Learning a Second Language and Learning Difficulties - Paper Example

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University of Richmond
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Learning a second language is an intricate process and the student has to be highly motivated and have self-perspective if he or she is to succeed in learning the new language. Self-perspective, attitude and motivation play a significant role in determining the success rate of university students in learning the new language. Theories of foreign or second language learning and teaching helps in building various on sets and types of ontological and epistemological assumptions about the very nature of reality and existence. Students have to be motivated to see the need of studying another language. When they see the importance of studying the language, their motivation will increase and so will their self-perspective. It is because of these reasons that there has been a lot of emphasis on studying self-perspective and motivation factors among students who are learning a second language. The motivations of students has to be stimulated an increased to make the learning process easy. If a student has a negative attitude towards a certain language, he or she will struggle in learning it. However, if a student has a positive attitude towards the language, he or she will succeed. This article will analyze self-perspective and motivation among university students learning English as their second language. The ontological stance of this inquiry is a relational, socio cultural view of identities. Meanwhile the epistemological stance is a sociolinguistic approach as well as a socio cultural psycholinguistics approach to the study of English as a second language.

Keywords: learn English as a second language; learn to read and write; self perspective; learning a second language and learning difficulties; review of studies.

IntroductionThe 21st century and globalization impose challenges on students and citizens of the world, among them, the development of bilingual competence, understood as the psycho sociolinguistic ability that the subject possesses to use two or more languages in order to encode and / or decode messages according to his communicative, labor, academic, cultural needs, etc. (Baker, 2011, Galindo, 2013, Liddicoat, 2013). Likewise, the boarding of the study of bilingualism requires a multidimensional view, given that its development includes cognitive, affective, educational factors, socio-cultural issues, among which are those related to individual differences, particularly the EAs of L2. The present article focuses its interest in English second language learning, mainly consecutive in a university context, in relation to the learning styles factor of L2. Also, in the educational, cognitive and language sciences there is a growing interest in understanding and explaining the characteristics of acquisition of an L2 in the process of bilingual school education.

From a psycholinguistic perspective of individual bilingualism in the educational field and from differential psychology, research documentary that is reported here revolves around the following. This study is relevant, among other reasons, for its contributions, from the fields of bilingualism, psycholinguistics and differential psychology, the conceptualization of learning styles in bilingual education and its relationship with the acquisition and use of an L2 in contexts academic This in line with what was expressed by Cummins (2002), as to what research in the field of individual differences and the domain of an L2 still has much to explore. On the other hand, it is important to mention that the analysis of the studies reported here in the different educational levels show, -under a view of development human (Piaget, 1972; Signoret, 2013- a dynamic panorama of how as subjects in bilingual education mature and progress in their cognitive development, their AEs of L2, acquire certain peculiarities.

Finally, the investigative tendencies are appreciated that in the last decades have permeated the relationship between cognitive, affective variables and physiological that underlie the concept of EA (Keefe, 2008) of L2 and other variables of socio-biological, educational and cultural type.

Different authors have addressed the topic of motivation towards the study of the English language as a foreign language (EFL) and as a second language (ESL). (Bill 2009, quoted by Kahn (2013) argues that the expectations with regards to learning a second language, together with the general attitude towards the second language and its culture will determine the students attitude toward the learning of languages. There are four self-perspective variables which influence the learning of a second language.

These four variables are intelligence, aptitude for languages, motivation and anxiety situational. On the other hand, aspects such as learning to learn, existential competence are mentioned (know how to be) and intercultural awareness. In this last point we can mention the importance which has the fact that the student compares his cultural environment with that of another nation and so is aware of how globalized and diversified the world has become, enrich your language and know how you perceive your culture in other countries (Kahn, p. 103-104).

Aims and ObjectivesAs can be seen, the attitude towards a foreign language and culture has a key importance in motivation. Several authors have examined this topic and have received recommendations they range from behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, social and even spiritual aspects. In the specific case of this work, the recommendations range from the cognitive area the areas inside and outside the classroom, (Crookes & Schmidt, 1991, cited by Nada, 2002). Regarding cognitive factors, it is necessary to favor processes of language assimilation English in terms of a meaningful and satisfactory personal search, that is, encourage motivation from within by means of strategies aimed at achieving the following goals for the student:

Get him to see a connection between the English language and his reality

Make the student value the results of success both in school and in life. Outside the classroom, at students can be shown all the resources that are within their reach to continue learning English on your own, many of them are free or low cost considering the favorable geographical position of this region of our country. Likewise, it is especially important that a large part of the responsibility corresponds to the teacher. In addition to achieving the aforementioned goals, the teacher's responsibilities

The Faculty of Languages must be:

Develop a working environment and healthy conducive environment for the learning process.

Preach with your own example. That is to say, he must be a teacher who dominates technology, which is constantly updated in the latest knowledge and techniques of class teaching through research and assistance to forums of and conferences, and also that you know the language and its culture, and have good pronunciation.

Enhance self-perspective and motivation levels among the students.

Ensure that the learning process is interesting and involve the student.

MethodologyThe aim of this study is to analyze self-perspective among university students learning English as the second language. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods are engaged in this project. Qualitative research technique has several advantages. First, it is flexible and thus enables the researcher to group the responses as stated by the calculations. Secondly, qualitative research method is simple and friendly. It is easy to supervise interviews and handle the feedback from the chosen population. Thirdly, the approach is formal and helps in the accessibility of primary stakeholders. Other than analyzing the existing literature, getting first hand information from the stakeholders increases the validity of the information.

Qualitative research approach is also used because it makes it easier to gain access of statistical and numerical data. Tangible results can only be obtained through an analysis of the theoretical perspective of this study by the use of qualitative approach because it is more of an epistemological constructionist paradigm. Data gathering will be conducted through qualitative approach; this data will then be tasted through qualitative techniques. More emphasis will be laid on the qualitative approach since it will be used in the verification of the authenticity of the collected information and identifying whether it is deceptive or fallacious. Surveys are also used to collect data for most language acquisition studies. The main method was an analysis of past journal articles on learning English language as a second language for students.

Literature Review on Self-PerspectiveDickinson, (2015, p.24), says that a self-perspective and motivated student is one who is responsible of his own learning and directs the learning process. Dickson (2015) says that the student is fully aware of the learning objectives and why he or she is studying the second language. This student self-evaluates himself, knows his strength and weaknesses is aware of his level of competence. In short, take an active role in your learning and take every opportunity what you have to understand, practice and learn. That is why it can also be said that the motivation to learn a new language means the student has to be committed in the teaching-learning process (Ames, 2010). Diaz-Barriga (2012) addresses significant psychological theories that explain self-perspective and motivation levels in the learning process. The behavioral theory argues that motivation is influenced with external forces and reinforcement measures (the student is motivated with punishments or rewards). The humanist theory says that self-perspective is influenced by self-esteem and the need to learn the new language. Finally, from a cognitive perspective, we speak of an active search for meaning, sense and satisfaction for what is done and that the student is guided by the goals that establishes, its internal representations, beliefs and attributions, for example, the explanation of the lost hopelessness of Seligman and the model TARGET of Ames that speaks of the promotion to motivation through self-regulated learning, which will be analyzed later.

In consideration of the concept of motivation and attitudes from which we have started, from an educational perspective is widely recognized that both the one and the other are factors essential for effective learning. Without motivation there is no learning and this is because attitude supports the motivation. Positioning ourselves in the framework of psychology educational and social, we followed Gardner and his socio-educational model of acquisition of second languages (Gardner 2015). Gardner's motivational theory includes a educational dimension and deals with the evaluation of the student in the learning situation in the classroom and outside the classroom. It assumes that the social context determines the attitudes of the apprentices.

On the one hand, the degree of motivation of a student for learning is conditioned for what you want to achieve by doing a specific activity. So, the motivation is endowed with a driving force or inte...

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