English Learners (ELs)

“Normal” phenomena seen in students who are acquiring English as a second language

by Jennifer Alicandri

When considering what’s typical and what’s not when it comes to acquiring English as a second language, Roseberry-McKibbin and Brice (2005) provide some guidance.

• Literal Translations: Students may be literally translating from their first language into English, which creates mistakes when the structures between the two languages are different.
• Silent period: Students – especially younger ones- may go through a phase called the “silent period”, when they focus on listening and comprehension as opposed to speaking. In some younger learners, the period may last for a year or more, whereas in some older learners it may last a few weeks or months.
• Codeswitching: This is exhibited when students switch between languages while speaking.
• Subtractive bilingualism: If a student’s first language is not reinforced or maintained, they may lose skills and fluency in this language.

Rate This Post:

  • There are no comments currently available

Leave Comment

  • You must be logged in to comment.

Please use the comments for discussion and to contribute your reviews, perspective and thoughts. Your colleagues and other visitors will appreciate it! If you need help, please contact us. Requests for help will not be answered in comments.

Consultants

View All Consultants »