How I Acquire a Second Language?
Acquiring a Second Language isn’t a simple task. It will take time, experience, and hard work. If it is an easy task, most of the people can learn and speak more than ten languages easily. So, how many languages do you know? Can you speak more than three languages? Have you ever tried to learn another language rather than your mother tongue? Yes, let’s discuss further. Well, How did I acquire English?
I’m not a native speaker of English. My mother tongue (L1) is Sinhala. Sinhala is the language spoken by most of the people in Sri Lanka. It’s really a beautiful language with an alphabet. Anyway, the most important thing is, one can easily acquire a second language through his/her first language. The knowledge related to first language has a great influence on acquiring the second language. So, this is my experience related to learning English as a second language.
Thankfully, my mom was so enthusiastic in teaching English. So, she was my first teacher. I started learning English when I was four years old. My mom read and explained me various types of story books and fairy tales in English. I listened to her carefully. Most interesting fact is, I love focusing on beautiful pictures in those books. When she finished reading, I kept the book on my little table and watched those pictures and big English letters. I can still remember those wonderful images. Sometimes, I got my drawing book to draw those pictures. In the same way, I was interested in writing English sentences under those pictures. But I don’t know its pronunciation or meaning at those times. I just wanted to write those letters and their shapes. Gradually, I learned its pronunciation and meaning through my mom.
Normally, we talk in Sinhala. So, it’s so hard to practice another language in our day to day life. I am so delighted to tell that, I practiced speaking English in my school. When I was ten years old, I was able to read English poems and stories very well with correct pronunciation. Actually, I learned pronunciation from English movies and cartoons. Sometimes, I did many English speeches in school assembly. So, I developed my second language step by step. It’s true, when we are acquiring a second language, we have to learn it through our mother tongue or through the first language. Especially, I learned most of the meanings related to vocabulary through that particular method.
But there is another interesting fact which is closely related to this process. English is a great “borrower”. What does it mean? There are many languages in the world. So, English is considered as the International or the global language. Now, English is mingled with unique vocabulary items related to many languages. Sometimes, we would use it to express our own cultural and religious issues. Non-native speakers directly translate the words, phrases in their first language to English. It is really a unique process. The way the people in the world play with languages is really interesting. So, all the languages are alive, and you can give them a breath drop. Learn languages to see how the world is. Just explore the world.