Informal Second Language Acquisition Through Entertainment Mediums. Advantages and Disadvantages


Essay, 2019

13 Pages


Excerpt

Contents

INTRODUCTION TO SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION
Bilingualism and Second Language Acquisition
Informal Second Language Acquisition Through Entertainment Medium

DISADVANTAGES OF INFORMAL SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION THROUGH ENTERTAINMENT MEDIUMS
Informal Second Language Acquisition Through Social Media Platforms Leads to The Adoption of Non-Standard English Grammar
Informal Second Language Acquisition Leads to The Acquisition of Dialects Rather Than An Official Language

ADVANTAGES OF SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION THROUGH ENTERTAINMENT MEDIUMS
Informal Second Language Acquisition through Entertainment Enhances Learners' Memories of The Target Language
Informal Second Language Acquisition through Music Expose Learners to Proper Pronunciation of Target Language
Informal Second Language Acquisition through TV Shows Familiarise Learners to Cross-Cultural Communication of Target Language
Informal Second Language Acquisition through Facebook Increases Learners' Confidence to Practice the Target Language

CONCLUSION

REFERENCES

INTRODUCTION TO SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

Bilingualism and Second Language Acquisition

Recently, the term bilingualism and multilingualism has become a focused topic discussed all around the world. An article by (Nordquist, 2019) defined bilingualism as the ability of an individual or the members of a community to use two languages effectively. Another definition by the Linguistic Society of America defines both bilingualism and multilingualism as the ability to speak two languages or more. Merging these two definitions, the term bilingualism can be expressed as the ability of a person to efficiently practice two or more languages in a society. Almost everyone in the world either learns or acquires foreign languages apart from their native language at a certain age for various reasons. For example, out of all English speakers in the world, an amount of 80 percent are non-native speakers meanwhile only in the minority group are the native speaker of the language (Khodorkovsky, 2013). In the year 2019, experts estimated at least 50% of the world population is bilingual (Mathews,2019), showing an increase from the previous year where an estimated 43% of the world population is recorded to be bilingual ("Multilingual People," 2018). In order to become bilingual, an individual needs to learn another language other than the mother tongue language. This process is known as second language acquisition or SLA. In an article entitled 'Definition of Second Language Acquisition and Learning', Vandana Singhal defines SLA as the process of learning and acquisition of a second language once the mother tongue or native language acquisition is established.

Informal Second Language Acquisition Through Entertainment Medium

Second language acquisition can be acquired through formal or informal learning. Formal learning is defined as the process of learning in a structured syllabus and is usually learned in a classroom setting. Informal learning, on the other hand, offers more flexibility and entertainment for learners and can often be accessed on-the-go through various mediums (Cournoyer,2012). Science daily defines entertainment as a form of activity that holds the attention and interest of an audience or provides satisfaction and happiness. The casual process of informal second language acquisition can be accessed through entertainment media such as movies, music, video games, the Internet, books, and magazines. For example, when a person is watching a series of foreign-language TV shows for entertainment purposes, they might "pick up" the vocabulary structure and the grammar of the foreign language unconsciously. The more the learners expose themselves to the foreign language in the TV shows, the more knowledge of the foreign language they will acquire informally.

DISADVANTAGES OF INFORMAL SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION THROUGH ENTERTAINMENT MEDIUMS

Although some researchers have found that learners benefit more from opportunities to informal second language acquisition, others have found that there are learners who are not exposed informally to the target language but still manage to gain more prominent proficiency in the target language compared to the learners who are exposed to the target language informally (Spada, 1985). For instance, Muoka Chibuzor G (2018) argues that formal education is better than informal learning in a lot of directions, justifying that informal learning has some inevitable disadvantages.

Informal Second Language Acquisition Through Social Media Platforms Leads to The Adoption of Non-Standard English Grammar

The rise of the English language as the lingua franca of the Internet world (Mares, 2016) has led to the wide usage of the English language in various social media platforms. In social media platforms such as Tumblr and Twitter, the writing is mostly intended for readers to comprehend without the pressure to reread the phrases several times. Due to the unconstrained settings of Internet grammar, users often tend to shorten the structure of the standard language when writing on social media platforms ("Effect of Social Media on Modern English Language, n.d.). Another example is the application of the wrong grammar in the Internet language such as the use of the phrase "I'm liking the new feature" instead of "I like the new feature" ("Nonstandard usage or error: where should we draw the line?", n.d.). When the learners embraced the first phrase, indirectly, they will violate the grammar of the standard English language. This is supported in the research by Lino Cabrera (2018) stating that social media platforms can distract language learners with unscholarly and ungrammatical content.

Informal Second Language Acquisition Leads to The Acquisition of Dialects Rather Than An Official Language

In a famous Disney animated movie, the Shrek, the African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) dialect, or also known as the Ebonics dialect is simulated by the character 'Donkey' (Devi Indah Anggreeni, M. Bahri Arifin, Ririn Setyowati, 2018). This proves that the entertainment world nowadays is very familiar with the practice of Ebonics dialect. Ebonics refers to the diversity of English spoken by African Americans, consisting of slang and abbreviated words. For example, the phrase 'I ain't lying' can be found and heard from all over the Internet instead of 'I am not lying'. The learners might get confused with these phrases and assumes the first phrase as the standard English language due to its frequent usage compared to the latter phrase. This will lead the learners to the acquisition of the dialect of the target language instead of the official language itself as most linguists believe that Ebonics is a dialect of English, rather than a separate language itself (Baron, 2005).

ADVANTAGES OF SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION THROUGH ENTERTAINMENT MEDIUMS

In a study by Sally Anne Moore for the Digital Equipment Corporation, it is mentioned that only 25 percent of knowledge is acquired through formal learning and the remainder of 75 percent is acquired through informal means (Nield, 2014). This proves that the informal second language learning has a better impact on learning progress compared to formal second language learning. Informal second language acquisition is beneficial for learners because it enhances learners' memories of the target language, exposes learners to proper pronunciation of target language, familiarises learners to cross-cultural communication of target language, and increases learners' confidence to practice the target language.

Informal Second Language Acquisition through Entertainment Enhances Learners' Memories of The Target Language

Research has shown that positive emotional states, such as delights and happiness have a positive effect on ones' learning, memory, and social behavior (Lawson, 2002). As cited from the Psychologist World website in the article entitled 'Emotions and Memory', it is found that emotion plays an important role at several specific stages of encoding information, enhancing memories and during the recall of experiences at a later time (MacKay et al, 2004). It is because positive emotions emanated from enjoyments through entertainment flood the brains with neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. Besides radiating good feelings, these neurotransmitters are also responsible for improving ones' memory and learning ability (Achor, 2010 as cited from "You learn better when you are happy", n.d.). Thus, it can be concluded that learning a second language through entertainment mediums benefits its learner as they will manage to learn and memorize the target language better when they are feeling happy and relaxed.

Informal Second Language Acquisition through Music Expose Learners to Proper Pronunciation of Target Language.

The human brain pays particular attention to human speech and vocalization in music, which can help improve learners' pronunciation of target language (Burnett, 2016). This is proved in an article written by Michelle Baumgartner stating that listening to music in a target language can help learners to be more familiar with the language's sounds. A number of researchers have conducted studies on the influence of music on foreign language articulation skills and it is proved that music is, in fact, beneficial for the development of learners' pronunciation skills (Agnieszka Połać, 2014). The pronunciation skills of certain foreign languages, such as French language can be achieved easily and rapidly through listening to songs, rather than reading the syllables (Lewis, n.d.). Since the proper pronunciation of the French language is vital, learners should spend enough time on learning the pronunciation (Bibard, 2014) in order to produce an understandable utterance for effective communication (Abbas, 2012).

Informal Second Language Acquisition through TV Shows Familiarise Learners to Cross-Cultural Communication of Target Language

Language experts mentioned that with great obsession and passion, a person may learn a foreign language just by watching TV shows in the target language (Cohen, 2018). Furthermore, watching a TV series allows the learner to learn the target language along with the experience of the cross-cultural phenomena of the target language. Cross-cultural communication is defined as a process of establishing and sharing meaning among people from different cultural backgrounds using a variety of means (Allen, 2017). For example, instead of using the expression 'my country,' the Koreans replaced it with the phrase 'our country,' because, in Korean culture, the impression 'my' is understood as very egocentric. Considering that scripts of TV shows are written as if they were spoken in real situations (Sam Nathapong, 2018), learners will have the opportunity to know new words, expressions, and communicate across cultures just like native speakers. A blog site, Stump & Associates claimed that watching American TV shows can help learners to master the American family life, workplace dynamics, and common phrases used.

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Details

Title
Informal Second Language Acquisition Through Entertainment Mediums. Advantages and Disadvantages
College
Universiti Sains Malaysia
Author
Year
2019
Pages
13
Catalog Number
V540247
ISBN (eBook)
9783346168191
ISBN (Book)
9783346168207
Language
English
Tags
acquisition, advantages, disadvantages, entertainment, informal, language, mediums, second, through
Quote paper
Nurul Nadiah Mohammed Ali (Author), 2019, Informal Second Language Acquisition Through Entertainment Mediums. Advantages and Disadvantages, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/540247

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