English language learners arrive in the classroom at various levels of acquired primary language and English Language proficiency. There are four stages of language acquisition commonly seen: preproduction or beginning, early production or intermediate, speech emergence or advanced and intermediate fluency or advanced high. In the 1st stage, the student is seen as the silent learner, during this stage language is being incorporated internally, listening to sounds, rhythms, the flow of the language, and sorting out specific words often those that will aide in getting needs met or are similar to primary language. The learner relies heavily on contextual and visual clues for understanding and uses nonverbal communication of gestures, pointing, nodding, or one to two-word responses. There is little to no ability to communicate in English through speaking, reading or writing in academic or social settings. ...
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...y, due to the way in which the learning environment was managed.
In conclusion, second language learners progress through the stages of development at different rates. The teaching strategies used at each level must support the learner. It is imperative that students are not forced to produce utterances of the second language especially during the beginning levels of proficiency this will require them to rely on incomplete knowledge and could impede the ability to acquire the structure of second language De Jong (2005). Learners must be allowed to determine when to orally produce in the second language allowing them to move from the silent period to producing in the second language Granger (2004). Students and families must feel their culture and language is respected and the learning environment needs to support the learner to make the learning process effective.
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