Learners Of Second Language Learners Essay

Learners Of Second Language Learners Essay

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This article presented interesting topics, such as how learners of second language (L2) acquisition learn to become fluent with a new modality. Another perspective mentioned was how L2 learners of American Sign Language (ASL) experience problems improving their signing skills and fluency. This article helped me to uncover my current struggle with my acquisition of ASL, and how I can improve my signing skills.
Leach’s article mentioned many new aspects of how adult second language learners of ASL struggle with language acquisition. Leach explained the challenges that individuals experience when learning a new language, the transfer errors that occur from first language (L1) to ASL (learner’s L2), and how often practice within a social setting may affect language acquisition skills. Challenges for L2 learners of ASL are the learner’s correct use of facial expressions, the learner’s fear of looking idiotic or making mistakes while signing, and the learner’s attitude toward the Deaf community and culture. If an L2 learner of ASL were self-conscious, then this person would have trouble using their own body to express themselves. Additionally, if the L2 learner did not use facial expressions, then this person would be perceived as monotone or uninterested in the current conversation. Also, if an L2 learner did not feel comfortable looking at another person during a conversation, then the person signing may thing the L2 learner is bored or unconcerned with the current conversation. Transfer errors that occur when transferring from L1 to L2 may have an English influence when using ASL grammar, complex morphology, and iconicity of signs. Some L2 learners may not articulate correctly when trying to converse in ASL due to the grammatical st...


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...think I would forget vocabulary and revert to my habitual anxiety behaviors, such as not partaking in conversation. Another strategy is to record myself signing stories and take note of mistakes or sloppy fingerspelling. Also, I could sign in the mirror, which I have never done, to see my facial expressions and size of my signs. My long-term strategies for improvement include: creating a friendship with acquaintances in the Deaf community, and joining an organization where attendance may be mandatory for membership. If I have a Deaf acquaintance that attends the same Deaf events as me, then perhaps I can receive more practice in a social setting. If I can become relaxed and less anxious around this person, I could lose the fear that has been holding me back in social settings. I need to persistently go to Deaf events and interact with those within the Deaf community.

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