Social Cultural factors in second language acquisition (subject: cultural)
There are several factors that affect the acquisition of a second language by an individual. Culture plays a significant role in people’s lives because it shapes not only one’s actions but also one’s thoughts. Cultural factors that can affect the acquisition of a second language are many, first of all the role that the second language plays in the society (Adger, 1995). If learning a second language will lead to acceptance by individuals or lead to a climb in the social class hierarchy then it should be highly encouraged but if felt like it has no value then it will not be encouraged.
A culture that has embraced its native language in their curriculum make it easy for their students to learn other languages (Tharp, 1998). This is because the features of use of one language to proficiency positively affect the acquisition of another language. This is the reason as to why most exchange programme students who come to America are able to learn easily English and perform well in it. This is because they have done the same in their countries like china and Japan.
Culture affects the attitude that people will have on a second language, for example in most Middle East countries they have the culture of being against America that they do not even want to learn English. This is what is known as intrinsic motivation from an individual but is partly dependent on culture (Adger, 1995). The cultural difference between the two languages also affects the acquisition of a second language. If the two languages are linguistically similar then it becomes easy, cultural similarity is also a factor because it creates a familiar environment to the learner and creates a good chance of easily learning the language (Deci, 1985).
Adger, C. Kalyanpur, M. Peterson, D, Bridger T. (1995), Engaging Students: Thinking, Talking cooperating. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin
Tharp, R.G, Gallimore, R. (1988), Rousing Minds to life: Teaching, Learning, School in Social Context. Cambridge University Press, New York
Deci, E.L, Ryan, R.M,,(1985), Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination in Human Behaviour, Plenum Publishers, New York