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"friends are people your comfortable with, but family are people your most comfortable with" - Nntien

Learning a Second Language

  • Date Submitted: 05/29/2010 08:01 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 38.2 
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To most people, second language acquisition is a lengthy and exhausting/strenuous process. A general approach taken by most learners is to learn vocabulary and memorize grammar rules. They contend that language speaks for itself and the meaning of language lies in the language itself. In my opinion, a language goes beyond its literal/unvarnished/plain/original meanings and delivers different messages as situations change.

The cultural context and background of a language have a bearing on the forming of a language. There is no distinction between acquiring a language and acquiring a culture.

The first reason to support the above contention/claim/assertion/protest is that culture influences the evolution and formation of a language. Learning a culture can help learners understand many aspects of a language, wording, syntax/sentence structure, and so forth. For example, word order, the order in which words appear in sentences, differs from language to language. In some languages, object normally comes ahead of the subject, as opposed to/rather than the word order in the English language. It mirrors/reflects the disparity/discrepancy in ways of seeing things and ways of thinking between people who speak different languages. Learning a culture can draw the attention of learners to these differences and therefore lead them to use a foreign language appropriately.

Familiarity with a culture is also known as the prerequisite/precondition of communication with native speakers. Effective communication relies not only on wording, pronunciation and sentence construction but also on physical gesture, body language and facial expressions. In fact, non-verbal messages sometimes tell people more than verbal messages do. For example, silence in the English-speaking country might indicate the agreement of the speaker on something, but in some Asian countries, silence might convey/deliver/pass on/communicate/ a message to the contrary, disagreement or even...


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