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The Successful Learning Of A Second Language

1713 words - 7 pages

<The Successful Learning of a Second Language>English Literature 201101093 He Rim NamThe successful learning of any second language is a complex process and is not something that can be defined in a simple one dimensional way. There are indeed various things to take into account when it comes to second language acquisition such as learner variables, teacher variables and classroom environment variables. Thus it is not surprising that many scholars have rushed to produce principles that they think might reveal the key to successful language learning. In his book Teaching by Principles, Brown proposes 12 principles that he considers to be at the core of language pedagogy. Brown further classifies these principles under 3 categories: cognitive, socio affective and linguistic. Each principle is vital in second language learning, as well as being interrelated to each other. Nevertheless, in this essay I intend to choose the most important principle from each category, and illustrate a way to practically utilize it in a real class setting.The principle of intrinsic motivation seems to be the most important one among the six cognitive principles (automaticity, meaningful learning, anticipation of reward, intrinsic motivation, strategic investment and autonomy). The principle of intrinsic motivation is vital as it the driving force behind the studying process of a second language. Intrinsic motivation leads students to start studying and continue the studying process no matter what hardships they face. In addition, students with intrinsic motivation are also more interested in using various strategies to improve their second language skills. Whereas a student only studying due to external forces may easily give up or only passively receive the provided information, students with internal motivation will carry out the studying process with much more determination and interest. Such students are usually more driven and determined about the studying process, which leads to better results even with the same amount of input. It is often said that language skills improve in a stepwise not linear way. Thus to make certain amounts of improvement the learner has to be patient, determined and know the reason for his or her studying.Then how can a teacher utilize the principle of intrinsic motivation in class? Firstly, the teacher should always aid the students to find their own intrinsic motivations. Humans have a tendency to learn and persist in things that are considered important to them. Thus, teachers should help students to acknowledge the importance of learning a second language in a variety of ways. For instance, the teacher could relate learning to the students' future occupations, or mention the importance of L2 at a global level. The teacher should keep in mind that diverse learners have diverse needs and should cater to the various needs of the learners to draw out intrinsic motivation. Secondly, once the intrinsic motivation is drawn out, it is...

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