Cook’s paper, “First and second language learning”, is a comparison between L1
and L2 language learning, the different factors and the differences that can be considered in
an educational context in the acquisition of a first and second language, the paper expresses
an overall position, stating similarities between L1 and L2 learning. The paper presents
eight statements which put the attention to the setting of the learning, specially the context;
the motivations that the learner, in order to acquire a new language; the mental capacity of
the learner; the adaptation of language in particular situations and in the interaction of child
Freeman(2004) “Essential Linguistics, What you need to know to teach reading,
ESL, Spelling, Phonics, Grammar”, chapter one: “First language acquisition”, suggests some
views of first language acquisition focused on the child, according to Rice (2002), the
model of language development should be focus on the children needs and what motivates
them ; on the environment, because the language always occurs in a context and what people
say depend on the context; and on the language, Chomsky(1968) stated that language is
innate in children, he and other linguists argued that “it is the best way to account for the
fact that nearly all humans develop the ability to use a very complex linguistic system in a
short time” . The second chapter, “Written and second language acquisition” Krashen (1981)
believes that the learning in schools is not really acquired, students just learn the form;
Schumann claims that social factors, motivations, attitude and cultural shocks explain the
rate in acquisition of a language; moreover, Schumann added that children appear to be
better L2 because adults are expected to learn a language and use it correctly, but children
have more time to acquire it.
The Author’s presentation was well done and prepared. Cook’s eight statements
gave examples to explain in a better way the meaning of the statements and how L1 and L2
have similarities acquiring a language. His reasoning was clear and supported by others
authors. In freeman’s chapters one and two the information was well delivered to the
reader. The quality of the reasoning was right, the evidence, examples and citations of other
authors were good and explicative. On one hand, the arguments were supported by the
necessary evidence, sometimes when the evidence was not clear the author clear it up by
examples. On the other hand when in some points the answers were not conclusive because
of the lack of research they stated that clearly.
The arguments were persuasive, since they were supported by some researches and
researchers which rapidly persuade the reader. When there was lack or no researches at all
on a specific topic the authors explained that there were certain evidence but that in any
case it meant a certain prove.
In the topic that people have motivations, attitudes and cultural issues to learn a
second language, it would be really important to research about why they think that and
figure out how to change that feeling in order to improve the attitude and motivations
towards the English acquisition.
Teachers have a really important role in the acquiring of a new language, in how to
make students understand the importance of knowing their first language or mother tongue
because that gives them the background knowledge of the component of the languages such
as nouns and verbs. For instance to L2 learners, this it gives them more tools to acquire the
language because they know their own grammar and syntax, etc.
A mind changing was that it is believed that people should learn a language, but
the fact is that they should acquire it, not just learn it and not using it, it is important that
teacher make students to use the language in real context not just in the school. By using
the language, this it is being acquiring.
In conclusion, L1 and L2 have similarities in acquiring a language; the arguments
on texts were conclusive and understandable. Motivation has an important role in the
acquisition of a language. Teachers also have a role of importance in changing the
motivation for students to learn a language and that L2 learners have advantages acquiring
a language because they know the rules of their own language.
Freeman . D, & Freeman, Y. (2004). Essential Linguistics What you need to know to teach
reading, ESL, Spelling, Phonics, Grammar. Heinemann.
Krashen, S. (1981). “Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning”.
University of Southern California.
V.J. Cook, J. Long and S. McDonough. In G.E. Perren (Ed.). (1979). The Mother Tongue
and Other Languages in Education, CILTR.
Cook. V. (3 Ed) (2011). Second Language Learning and Language Teaching.
Chomsky. N . (1968). Language and the mind.