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Role of a Teacher in Second Language Acquisition


Most of the people think that SPEAKING in learning new language is harder than reading, writing or listening, because for them speaking takes place in real times and even there is no chance for you to edit or revise what you wish to say.

Teaching language other than our own is considered as simple but it’s different from written language, because spoken language is auditory, temporary, has Prosody and may have immediate response, whereas written language is visual, permanent, has a delayed reception and response.

There are 5 principles for acquisition of second language, given below:

1. Be aware of second and foreign language learning contexts: Speaking is learned in two broad contests: 1.1 A foreign Language Context: It is the target language and not the language of communication on the society e.g. learning English in Japan or studying French in Australia.

It is often challenging for students because they have very few opportunities to use the target language outside the classroom.1.2 Second Language (SL) Context In this target language is communicated in the society e.g. English in the UK or Spanish in Mexico.

Second language learners include refugees, international students, and immigrants, some second language learners especially those who arrive in their new country as children achieve notable speaking skills, but many others progress to a certain proficiency level and then go on further.

2. Give students practice with both fluency and accuracy: During acquisition of language at the beginning or intermediate level, learners must be given opportunities to develop both Fluency and their accuracy which is not possible if the teacher is constantly interrupting them to correct their oral errors, teachers must provide students with fluency-building practice and realize that making mistakes is a natural part of learning a new language.

3. Provide opportunities for students to talk: According to some researchers it is noticed that a teacher do approximately 50 to 80 percent of the taking in the classroom. It is important for a teacher of language to realize and be aware of how much he/she is speaking in the class; teacher must not take up all the time. Pair work and group work activities are used to increase the amount of time that learners get to speak in the target language during lesson. It is also interesting to know that when a teacher is removed from the conversation, the learner take on diverse speaking roles that are normally filled by the teacher.

4. Plan speaking tasks that involve negotiation for meaning: Research suggests that in the process of negotiating for meaning, a learner make progress by communicating in the targeted language because interaction necessarily involves trying to understand and make you understood. This involves the checking process in which a person clarifies whether he is understood by others and the message he is trying to convey.

5. Design classroom activities that involve guidance and practice: When we talk with someone outside or beside study’ purposes, we are usually doing it for interactional or transactional purposes. The Interactional speech is actually communicating with someone for Social Purposes, which includes both the establishing and maintaining social relationship. The Transactional Speech involves communicating to get something done, including the exchange of goods and services.

Conversations are relatively unpredictable and can range over many topics, with the participants taking turns and commenting freely. According to an educationist called Nunan speaking activities inside the classroom need to embody both interactional and transactional purposes since the students of the language learners will have to speak the targeted language in both transactional and interactional settings but the interactional speech is much more fluid and unpredictable than transactional speech.

A teacher during his Class, can use following Techniques and Tasks to keep them on the track and get better results from the students. 1. Information Gap: It is useful activity in which one person has information that others lack, it is suitable in the class and teachers may ask a student to provide information about Shipbreaking, because of this particular student all the students got information.

2. Jigsaw Activities: These are a bidirectional or multidirectional information gap, in this each person in a pair or group has some information, the other persons need e.g. one student could have a timetable for train travel in Pakistan, another could have a map. Without showing each other the visual information, they speak English to plan a one-week trip.

3. Tango Seating: In this one student’s right shoulder is next to the other students’ right shoulder and they are facing opposite directions. This arrangement allows them to hear one another but not see what is being drawn or constructed on their partner’s desk.

4. Role-Play: It is another excellent activity for speaking in the relatively safe environment of the classroom, in which students are given particular roles in the targeted language.

5. Simulations: They are more elaborated than role-play, in which props and documents provide a somewhat realistic environment for language practice.

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