Second Language Acquisition
 Class introductions and syllabus
 Second Language Acquisition (SLA)
 What is SLA? And other definitions
 Languages I know
 Who is a “good” language learner? What
are the characteristics needed to be a good
language learner? Was/Am I a good
What’s the truth?
 I have a twin sister.
 When I was younger, I wanted to be an
 I can speak eight languages.
 I can play three instruments: piano, flute,
and guitar.
 I hate eating mushrooms, bananas, and
beets, but I actually like eating Kimchi.
Essential Questions
 What is Second Language Acquisition?
 What is the difference between a “first
language” (L1) and a “second/target
language” (L2)?
 How will knowledge of this field help me as
an English teacher?
What is Second Language
Acquisition (SLA)?
 Study of individuals and groups who are
learning another language besides their
native language.
 How (the process) of learning that language.
 L2 (Second Language)
 Target language (the aim or the goal of
Informal vs. formal learning
 Informal= “naturalistic” contexts; outside of
the classroom
 Formal= in classrooms
Where does most of the language learning
take place?
The 3 BIG Questions
 What exactly does the L2 learner come to
know? (What do they learn at the end of the
language learning context?)
 How does the learner acquire (learn) this
 Why are some learners more successful
than others?
 Linguists= Characteristics of the differences
and similarities in the languages they are
being learned
 Psychologists and psycholinguists= mental
or cognitive processes
 Sociolinguists=understanding the meaning
of what is being said.
 Social psychologists=group processes
What is a second language?
What is the difference?
 Second Language
 Foreign Language
 Library Language
 Auxiliary Language
 Second Language- A language needed for
education, employment, and other basic
purposes. (Immigrants)
 Foreign Language- Travel or studied at
school; no immediate or practical
 Library Language- Used for further learning
through reading.
 Auxiliary Language- Meant for
communication between people from
different countries who don’t share a similar
language. (The United Nations)
What is a first language?
 L1, Native language, primary language,
mother tongue
 Acquired during early childhood
 Learned in “naturalistic settings” as part of
people growing up among people who
speak them.
Your Language Experience
 List all of the languages you know.
 Classify them as L1 or L2.
 Further classify the L2s as “second”,
“foreign”, “library”, or “auxiliary”.
 How did you learn these languages?
(School, “naturalistic”)
 How well do you know these languages?
Characteristics of a “good”
language learner
 What does it mean to be a “good” language
 What skills do good language learners need
to possess?
 Do you think that you are a “good” or
“poor” language learner? Why or why not?
 Do you think your students are “good” or
“poor” language learners? Why or why not?
One Minute Note
 What did you learn today?
 What did you not understand from today’s
 What would you like to learn more?

Second Language Acquisition