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Comment on Popular Ideas about Language Learning

Throughout the semester we learnt different theories, approaches and methods that sometimes conflict with one another and thanks to the Second Language Acquisition Course; I gained a different point of view in a certain extent. In this commentary essay I will express my opinions about the mainstream ideas on SLA explained in Chapter 7.
Firstly, if I accept the claim that languages are learned mainly through imitation, I should be able to explain how the novel sentences are formed by children. Hence, I cannot explain first and second language acquisition only through imitation due to the novel sentences that children make during their conversations as Noam Chomsky explained in “Universal Grammar”, that is, “children’s minds are not blank slates to be filled by imitating language”. Besides, SLA learners also form novel sentences and use structures that they have not heard. On the other hand, I partly believe the role of imitation in first and second language acquisition. Since babies and children take their parents and environment as a model especially on pronunciation and vocabulary selection during that stages, imitation contributes to their first language and for the second language learners’ imitation take part for their development of pronunciation as well.
Secondly, depending on the children’s age and the parents’ sociolinguistic background, children are sometimes corrected when they make grammatical errors. I think parents usually correct grammatical errors when their children grow up enough to understand non- standard forms. However, parents usually focus on the meaning rather than the structure until their children begin to school.
The following commentary about high IQs contribution on successful language learning has...

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...and students need to be promoted and encouraged, otherwise they may lose their motivation and students should be exposed to real form of language, not only artificial classroom language.
I think when learners are allowed to interact freely in group or pair activities; they can give useful feedback to each other’s errors. Group activities can give students more opportunities to practice meaningful language.
While students can only learn what they are exposed to, they do not completely learn everything. I think the significant point is that it is important to decide which language features involve learners’ syllabus. If they are appropriate for the learners’ ages, interest, needs, experiences and learning styles, learning or teaching can be more successful. Teachers should be aware of the fact that students eventually know far more than they are taught directly.
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