Acquiring the Language Naturally Helps Adult Learners Second Language Learning

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<p>BES 1043 English Proficiency 4 REPORT FOR RESEARCH PAPER Acquiring the Language Naturally Helps Adult Learners Second Language Learning Prepared by: Syed Ahmad Afiq Hasif b. Syed Ab. Rahaman (023590) Mohd Najib b. Abdul Kadir (024550) Prepared for: En. Mohamad Muhaymein b. Ahmed Zawawi</p> <p>1</p> <p>CONTENTS CHAPTER 1 Background Statement of the problem Purpose of the Study o Research Objectives o Research Questions CHAPTER 2 CHAPTER 3 Research Design Setting / Location Population and Sample Instrument FINDINGS CONCLUSION PAGE 11-18 PAGE 19-21 LITERATURE REVIEW RESEARCH METHODOLOGY PAGE 5-8 PAGE 9-10 INTRODUCTION PAGE 3-4</p> <p>y y y</p> <p>y y y y</p> <p>CHAPTER 4 CHAPTER 5 Conclusions Recommendations</p> <p>y y</p> <p>REFERENCES APPENDIX</p> <p>PAGE 22 PAGE 23-40</p> <p>2</p> <p>1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background</p> <p>Language acquisition, first or second, occurs when comprehension of real messages occurs, and when the acquirer fully understands the message. Language acquisition does not require extensive use of conscious grammatical rules, and does not require tedious drill. It does not occur overnight, however. Real language acquisition develops slowly, and speaking skills emerge significantly later than listening skills, even when conditions are perfect.</p> <p>1.2 Statement of the problem</p> <p>From an observation, the adult learners are still having problems to master English as a second language. There are a lot of reasons and excuses given why these ancient problems happened. The observation had been done on university students. Based on their level, they should be proficient enough as they had gone through many years of English learning. This phenomenon comes to the senses that are all these years of learning failed? Is it because of the teacher, students or the approaches? This research was carried out to investigate the problem.</p> <p>1.3 Purpose of the study</p> <p>The purpose of this study is to discuss and to know whether acquiring the language naturally helps adult learners in second language learning process. According to Krashen there are two independent systems of second language performance: 'the acquired system' and 'the learned system'. The 'acquired system' or 'acquisition' is the product of a subconscious process very similar to the process children undergo when they acquire their first language. It requires</p> <p>3</p> <p>meaningful interaction in the target language - natural communication - in which speakers are concentrated not in the form of their utterances, but in the communicative act.</p> <p>Linguist said that learning takes place more efficient in natural environment than classroom setting. What its mean by learning in natural environment? Natural environment brought the meaning of acquiring the language under subconscious learning. In such way, communicating with the native speakers and living in a English usage environment are considered as natural environment. Krashen (1987) agreed on the theory of a children acquire a language faster than others because of the different environment. This showed that controlled setting have a psychological barrier for the learner to acquire the language. So, they find it hard to learn.</p> <p>The aim of this study is to know how natural environment works in second language learning, to find out what are the factors in natural environment that help adult learner in the learning and to investigate the effect of natural environment in language learning.</p> <p>4</p> <p>2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW From the definition in Concise Oxford Dictionary (10th edition), acquire means come to posses where as acquisition brings the meaning of a recently acquired asset or object. Therefore, acquiring a language means the process by which humans acquire the capacity to perceive, produce and use words to understand and communicate. This capacity involves the picking up of diverse capacities including syntax, phonetics, and an extensive vocabulary. This language might be vocal as with speech or manual as in sign. Language acquisition usually refers to first language acquisition, which studies infants' acquisition of their native language, rather than second language acquisition that deals with acquisition in both children and adults of additional languages.(Wikipedia, 2010) As Stephen Krashen (1987) stated the finding of his research, acquisition requires meaningful interaction in the target language - natural communication - in which speakers are concerned not with the form of their utterances but with the messages they are conveying and understanding. So, the best way the adult learners to acquire a second language is by natural learning or environment. Natural environment includes having communication with the native speakers, living in an English usage environment and learning in a non-artificial surrounding. The term "native speaker" is pivotal in a number of areas. Firstly, even in generative linguistics, the concept of an "ideal speaker-listener, in a completely homogenous speech community" (Chomsky, 1965:3).</p> <p>5</p> <p>I have gone into the subject of "language" before discussing the term "native speaker" because, as I have stated, the two are mutually interdependent. A native speaker is a type of speaker of a particular language, but our idea of what constitutes a language is dependent on assumptions about who is a native speaker of that language. The term "native", however, seems to be about as clear as the terms "language" or "dialect"; like St. Augustine's "time", "we understand it until we start to think about it" (Ellis, 2004:78). So, if we want to acquire a certain language, one of the effective ways is to communicate with the native speakers of the language. "The best methods are therefore those that supply 'comprehensible input' in low anxiety situations, containing messages that students really want to hear. These methods do not force early production in the second language, but allow students to produce when they are 'ready', recognizing that improvement comes from supplying communicative and comprehensible input, and not from forcing and correcting production." Stephen Krashen (1980s) In order for the adult learner to acquire second language, a couple of approaches usually done which is Natural Setting learning and Classroom Setting learning. According to Krashen there are two independent systems of second language performance: 'the acquired system' and 'the learned system'. The 'acquired system' or 'acquisition' also known as natural setting learning is the product of a subconscious process very similar to the process children experience when they acquire their first language. The 'learned system' or 'learning' also known as classroom setting is the product of formal instruction and it consist of a conscious process which results in conscious knowledge 'about' the language, for example knowledge of grammar rules.6</p> <p>Learning is less important than acquisition Stephen Kreshen (1980s) Communicating with the native speaker will greatly help the learner to acquire the language. Language learner should be exposed to the natural environment in order to be able acquire the language effectively. You cannot learn a language without interaction. "In the real world, conversations with sympathetic native speakers who are willing to help the acquirer understand are very helpful." Stephen Krashen (1980s)</p> <p>A number of studies have reported that there is a negative correlation between age of L2 acquisition and performance on a variety of measures of L2 ability, and that individuals who begin learning an L2 after approximately 15 years of age fail to attain native-like levels of competence. These results have been interpreted as support both for the hypothesis that there is a critical period for L2 acquisition and for the hypothesis that there is a maturational decline in access to Universal Grammar (UG). We argue that extant results are not an adequate test of the critical periods hypothesis because they are based on the performance of learners who have not necessarily achieved native-like proficiency in the L2. In this study, we develop criteria to establish whether an L2 speaker has achieved native-like proficiency. We compare the performance of three groups (near-native speakers of English, non-native speakers and controls) on two tasks designed to tap aspects of UG which have been claimed to be subject to critical period effects. We found no significant differences between our near-native group and native speakers on either of the tasks. We conclude that native-like competence in an L2 is achievable, even by older L2 learners. (Lydia White, 2008)</p> <p>Second Language Research, Vol. 12, No. 3, 233-265 (1996</p> <p>7</p> <p>There are some serious problems that need to be mentioned before concluding. These have to do with the acceptance, by teachers and students, of language acquisition as primary, and comprehensible input as the means of encouraging language acquisition. These problems are caused by the fact that acquisition differs from learning in two major ways: acquisition is slow and subtle, while learning is fast and, for some people. It is consistent with the way thousands of people have acquired second languages throughout history, and in many cases acquired them very well. They acquired second languages while they were focused on something else, while they were gaining interesting or needed information, or interacting with people they liked to be with." (Wilson. R, 2005)</p> <p>8</p> <p>3.0 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY</p> <p>3.1 Research Design</p> <p>This is a quantitative educational research. It is an observation-based research.</p> <p>3.2 The Setting/Location</p> <p>In order to get the right population for this sophisticated study, we need to get the responses from the university students. So, the location of the study is at Universiti Darul Iman Malaysia which located at Gong Badak, Terengganu. This IPTA is consists of seven faculties and held more than 5000 students.</p> <p>3.3 Population and Sample</p> <p>The IPTA has more than 5000 students which come from seven different faculties. Lately,the university organised a big event that intended to test the proficiency of second language of the new intake students. The population of the study is taken from the English Proficiency Enhancement Programme. This programme was made to improve the level of English amongst UDM students. There are about 400 newcomers who involved in the programme. To get the sample of the study, we chose only a small numbers from them. They are 20 students from 3 small groups in the programme. Half of them were male students (50%) and the other are female (50%).</p> <p>The questionnaire was the method used to get students or adult learners in determining whether acquiring the language naturally helps them in second language learning process. These</p> <p>9</p> <p>students were selected because they were first year students and they were exposed and have the experience of learning English in natural environment.</p> <p>A small sample was chosen because of the expected difficulty obtaining the data from a large number of samples. Before giving out the questionnaires to the samples, we give a brief explanation about the topic for them to fully understand what does it means by acquiring the language naturally. We explained the terms such as natural environment, native speakers and so on. We also constructed intermediate questions in the questionnaires to ease them in answering them. To enable the subjects to see the word in the questionnaire sheet clearly, the questionnaire sheet were configured with a large font of word, moderate spacing between words and lines, clear font type of word, and the instruction were bold.</p> <p>3.4 Instrument</p> <p>We developed 22 questions for this study. The questions are consisting of four sections which are section A, B, C and D. Section A is made up of demography data questions. It asked about the age, gender, course and semester of course of the respondents. Whereas sections B, there are 7 multiple choice questions, section C consists of 11 Likert scale question where the respondents are needed to choose from strongly disagree to strongly agree based on statements given. Last but not least, section D has 3 yes no question and an open-ended question. In the process, we distributed 30 sheets of questionnaire and in the end; we got only 20 sheets of valid answered questionnaires. Both my partner and I personally administered the questionnaires.</p> <p>10</p> <p>4.0 FINDINGS Of the initial cohort of 20 students, 10 of them were female and 10 male. 16 of them are from the Faculty of Islamic Contemporary and the other 4 of them are from the Faculty of Technology.</p> <p>11</p> <p>Learning in Natural EnvironmentStudy outside the class 25% 30% Reading in the jungle Learning in English state 40% 5% Taught by English speakers</p> <p>DIAGRAM 1The result of the study shows that most of the students thinks that learning in natural environment is learning in English state (40%) and only (5%) of them confused with the meaning of learning in natural environments, they thought it is associated with reading in the jungle.</p> <p>12</p> <p>The Drawbacks of Natural Environment Learning25% Interfered by mother tongue language Hard to find natural environment 5% 35% Takes longer time to master the language Students can't see the objective of the learning</p> <p>35%</p> <p>DIAGRAM 2When being asked the question about the drawbacks of natural environment learning, 35% stated that it takes longer time to master the language and so did students cant see the objective of the learning. In contrast, only 5% of the respondents agree that it is hard to find natural environment.</p> <p>13</p> <p>Learning English from the Native SpeakersInteresting 20% 10% 20% 50% Hard to communicate with the teacher Boring Make the learning easier</p> <p>DIAGRAM 3Half of the samples (50%) think that learning in English from the native speaker is interesting. A few of them think that learning that it is boring. These show that majority of them like to learn English from native speaker.</p> <p>14</p> <p>Acquire naturally helps to improve English0% 0% 0% Strongly Disagree Disagree 45% 55% Neutral Agree</p> <p>Helps in speaking than grammar0% 5% 10% Strongly Disagree Disagree 35% Neutral 50% Agree</p> <p>DIAGRAM 4</p> <p>DIAGRAM 5</p> <p>In the Likert scale question the (55%) of the sample agree that acquiring the language naturally helps them to improve their English, while the other (45%) are neutral. Although it can help them improve in their speaking more than half of them said that it is not helping them in grammar aspect, (50%) agree and (20%) strongly agree.</p> <p>15</p> <p>Learning with local teachers0% 10% 5% Strongly Disagree 25% Disagree Neutral Agree 60% Strongly Agree</p> <p>DIAGRAM 6After that, in Diagram 6, the finding said that the respondents agreed that learning English with the local teachers is more comfortable and easier than with native speakers (60%) and (5%) disagreed with the statement.</p> <p>16</p> <p>English subject should be taught in English country0% 10% 20% 35% Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agr...</p>

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