Language Acquisition For Native Speakers Literacy Essay

Language Acquisition For Native Speakers Literacy Essay

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Literacy is the ability to perceive, interpret, internalize, react to language in a fluent and automatic way. It encompasses all facets of language including speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Whereas someone might be verbally literate with a language, full literacy requires a level of fluency across the spectrum. As Cushing & Weigele point out there is a big difference between speaking and listening. And while neither presupposes nor is more important than the other, they are both necessary for full literacy. Furthermore, literacy spans the content language that at least the specific participant is required to be a part of. For native speakers literacy develops first in the home with spoken word as a baby and then is slowly but surely honed to include the reading and writing components of literacy throughout one’s schooling. Conversely, English literacy for an L2 learner does not happen so organically. In fact literacy for an L2 learner can happen eventually, despite the many challenges of language acquisition including their literacy in their L1.
When it comes to supporting an L2 learner on his quest for English literacy, there are some things that an educator can do to help along the way. As Grabe points out, a student’s working memory is critical in language acquisition and literacy. Educators must be careful not to overload this working memory while at the same time creating educational opportunities that make salient the important processes needed in increase fluency. A constant delicate balance, educators must also address the associative component of Adaptive Control of Thought Rational (ACT-R) by giving their students repeated and extensive exposure to print while at the same time employing scaffolding an...

... middle of paper ... very beneficial to the growth of a child. Furthermore, some of the support methods mentioned above can be implemented and modeled so that parents can have some ideas as to what to do at home to foster growth. If nothing else, communicating with home the most concrete portions of literacy, such as vocabulary would be a good place to start. Creating and sending home high frequency word flash cards might not only be beneficial for the students but also might help their parents develop a higher level of proficiency as they work with their children at home.
Clearly the concept of literacy is a net that encaptures so many components. It would be naive to believe that on the very first cast of the net everything needed for full literacy will be caught. But with time and patience an L2 learner can attain the same level of literacy as their native speaker counterparts.

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