Earlier Is Better: Learning of English as a Foreign Language in Saudi Arabia – Research Paper Example

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The paper "Earlier Is Better: Learning of English as a Foreign Language in Saudi Arabia" is a great example of a research paper on education. There has been much research carried out trying to find out which age is suitable for foreign language acquisition. Every research study has had a different Critical Period (CP) and most of them were not really close together in terms of years. Critical Period is the actual time frame that foreign language acquisition should take place. The study at hand does not look at the actual age, but theories about why there is an age.

Age comes as a result of factors that urge one into learning a second foreign language. These factors are known as domains. Due to this fact, this survey investigates why children should be taught a foreign language earlier as well as to assess their feelings about learning a new language (Li J. and Schmitt N., 2009).   The study was carried out at two Middle schools in Saudi Arabia whereby there were 33 participants aged between ages 11-14 years all taking out English as a Foreign language (EFL).

Five English linguistic teachers were also interviewed who were currently teaching in high schools. Data were collected by the use of guided semi-structured interviews, questionnaires and observation. The collected data coded and categorized into various categories, transcribed, translated, and then analyzed. Introduction Foreign language acquisition is the process by which people learn a second foreign language in addition to their native language. The Foreign language learned is normally referred to as target language and is abbreviated as SL2 or L2. The learning of foreign language (L2) may start as early as when one is in childhood, puberty, or as an adult that is later in life (American Community Survey, 2005).   Socio linguistics say that early learners are better placed than adult learners since children learn faster than adults because their learning often goes hand in hand with physical actions.

They are therefore availed with a concrete environment that they can relate their learning with. Thus they have to comprehend the language in play and school environments in order to be able to execute the required actions.

Due to this fact, they are able to engage in communication outside of classroom setting into an environment that is natural, informal and relaxed. Meanwhile, adults tend to learn without physical responses which lessens the motivation to learn. At the end of the day, learning becomes routine like which boils down into boredom (Harb Rachel Hayes, 2006). At the same time, some scholars say the critical time for foreign language acquisition is between the ages of 2 years to puberty. Before the age of two, it is impossible to learn because of different maturational problems like the cognitive aspect of the brain is not yet developed.

On the other side, after puberty, it is more difficult to learn foreign language because of a loss of cerebral plasticity which is a result of cerebral dominance due to lateralization of the language function. Basically this means that the mind has physically and emotionally elasticized enough matured and simply is not open to new things in the area of language (McKay S., 2008).


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