The Benefits of Acquisition of the Second Language

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In ‘what is literacy’ by James Gee states that ‘acquisition is good for performance, learning is good for meta-level knowledge. Acquisition and learning are differential source of power.’ This indicates a broad distinction can be made between acquisition and learning. Acquisition is defined as a form of learning in a natural setting, without a process of formal teaching. Learning involves conscious knowledge gained through teaching which involve explanation and analysis. Gee made an important distinction between language acquisition and language learning. Learning refers as knowing better about the linguistic rules and its structures whereas acquisition refers as speaking better and comprehension of language.

My second discourse is english. I realize I needed to be part of the english discourse when I came to America. The process of becoming in this discourse was a very long journey. I recall my parents bought some books for me in order to learn the basics term in english such as what’s your name, how are you, thank you, goodbye etc…those books was a guide throughout my first week in America. At the same time, I was watching some youtube videos, movies in english with subtitles. I found it very helpful because it allowed me to become familiar with the sound and certain words. Three weeks later, it was my first day of school, I was very scared. Since i was a non-native english speaker, I enrolled in ESL ( english as a second language) class. Luckily my ESL teacher spoke my first language which was french therefore he helped me a lot, he encouraged me to do my best as well as teaching me different ways to improve my english like auditory learning or visual learning, repetition. I remembered he would give me two worksheet one in english and the other one in french, so that I would read it in french and understand and make connections with my knowledge in english. Google translator was also a useful tool. I would use everytime i see a new words or phrases that i did not know their meaning. My interaction with native english speakers was a great advantage for me to build my communication skills. My secondary discourse changed my life in a positive way and for the better in my personal and brain development as well as giving me a great experience, an opportunity to express myself, and to think in a most diverse way.

Referring back to James Gee ‘what is literacy’ about the notion of ‘acquisition and learning’ and how it relates to my process of learning a second language. I realize i use this concept during the development of second language in order to have skills and be a good performer. This concept help differently at different stages of my secondary discourse however the mixture of ‘acquisition and learning’ was so effective and make me progress faster with greater cognitive abilities. My secondary discourse was not something I wanted to do but it is a requirement in order to interact with people. Learning while acquiring was the most effective way for me to become part of the english discource.

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