Comparing First and Second Language Learning

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Comparing First and Second Language Learning

A first language (popularly known as 'mother tongue' or 'native language') or 'Ll' is the language which the child learns relatively first. It is passed on from one generation to another through the family and may be learnt also through social interactions. Usually the first language is not learnt through formal education. First language may be different from mother tongue and native language. Mother tongue usually refers to the language learnt at home from the parents and the family. Native language refers to the language an individual uses in this resident country. However, these terms are often intermingled and are utilized interchangeable. The first language need not be an individual's dominant language. Sometimes families' shift to new linguistic and cultural societies, and in such situations, there could be a shift from the dominant language of the individual. A child who develops good skills in learning the first language can perform well at learning, because language usually forms the basis for thinking and other cognitive functions (such as memory) (Clark, B. A., 2000). However, if a child is unable to develop sufficient skill at the first language, it may become very difficult to learn other things including languages (Clark, B. A., 2000). Sometimes an individual may have two or more native languages. However, the orders in which that language is acquired do not always suggest the level of skill. Several associated factors (such as environment in the child is brought up in) play an important role....


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