Question by Claire M: What’s the difference between second language acquisition and alien language acquisition?
I’m studying the Neurofunctional theory of second language acquisition but I don’t get the difference when they say “primary and second language acquisition are marked by the use of the communication heirarchy whereas foreign language acquisition is marked by the use of the cognitive heirarchy”How is second language and foreign language different?

Best answer:

Answer by Melissa N
I’m not sure if it’s the exact definitions your books are using but in many of my classes I’ve taken (I’m a bilingual teacher) we’ve talked about second language acquisition when referring to someone learning a majority language that is different from their native language in order to assimilate to the local culture (i.e. someone moves to America and learns English or moves to Spain and learns Spanish). We typically utilized alien language acquisition when mentioning to someone larning another language from their home location (i.e. An American student learning Spanish). The difference in use of communication and cognitive hierarchy would come from the intelligent necessitate to communicate in the second language acq. situation versus a more cognitive desire to larn the language in the for. lang. acq. situation. The difference is probably why immersion is the best way to learn another language. Again, these are not definitions I can state I am getting from any one source, it is just how I’ve got word them used in my education. Hope that clears it up and helps you!

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