People inevitably acquire language or even several languages if their linguistic faculty is intact. So, language learning is a process that awaits any person in their childhood, which is First Language Acquisition (FLA). Afterward, they might decide to master another language, or circumstances may urge them to do so; this practice is called Second Language Acquisition (SLA). Although some believe that FLA is the same as SLA, in reality, FLA and SLA are pretty different in terms of a learner’s input and language background.
So, several important notions make it apparent that FLA and SLA are different. First, it is known that the language input in these two instances varies by quantity and quality. Children acquiring their mother tongue can receive multiple hours of language practice, whereas SLA learners’ resources are generally limited in amount and time. Next, FLA is distinguished by the dominance of phonetic input; for SLA, the learners use written material more often, which explains the difficulties of mastering a foreign language’s pronunciation (Azieb, 2021). The second argument can be posited; namely, there are differences in the learners’ backgrounds in FLA and SLA. In SLA, learners are already equipped with the general knowledge of the language, its structure, and system, although it might be subconscious. In contrast, FLA supposes acquiring without any previous language experience. Thus, it could be stated that FLA and SLA are different processes.
To conclude, language acquisition is not a generalized process, the concept of which can be applied to the learning of one’s mother tongue and foreign language. The first reason for the diversification is the input’s quality and quantity, which are not the same in the mentioned processes. Moreover, the background of the learners varies due to the fact that the first language is learned without any prior experience of such an operation.
Azieb, S. (2021). The Critical Period Hypothesis in Second Language Acquisition: A review of the literature. International Journal of Research in Humanities and Social Studies, 8(4), 20–26. Web.