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Essay on Language Learning vs Language Acquisition

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Beyond having defined motivation as an intrinsic factor in language acquisition, Gardner’s Educational Model moves us to consider four relevant factors that contribute to an individual’s competence to adopt a second language.

Gardner states that the environment surrounding the learner “affects, influences and determines” the individual’s beliefs and about his/her culture as well as a foreign one. While this is not new as it was first stated and revolutionized by John Dewey in his social constructivist approach to learning where the learner arrives to his “truth” through influences amongst the people and environment around him as this shapes the background and culture throughout the learning process, we can site how this becomes a revelation within our country.

Honduras has a long history of collaboration and bilateral relations with the United States of America. The strategic alliances and commercial trade has become relevant to the point where American culture is ever present in our day to day lives. Curiously enough on a International poll 75% of Hondurans viewed the American people positively in 2002 and 81% viewed the country as favorable, the highest among the region including a 2013 survey. The empathy towards this country has an impact on the lifestyle and standards of living, including education as we are now faced with schools adopting immersion programs to becoming bilingual. (Spanish and English) According to the Honduran Ministry of Education, there are 824 registered schools as “Bilingual” Schools across our country. While the accurateness of bilingual is not verified by the Ministry, the Association of Bilingual Schools in Honduras considers an admissible curriculum that one which has at least 70% of weekly instr...


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...nly when the focus became relevant and appealing through exchanges, did the motivation increase, thus exemplary proof of Pink’s Mastery component.

Pink’s Purpose element is described by Benson’s [1991] third group labeled as “personal”. Among this group were individuals who “found pleasure at being able to read and found enjoyment of entertainment in English” these people can be compared to those who can find benefit in the satisfaction of their goal or task and whose purpose is what will ultimately steer them.

An individual’s affective filter as well as their motivation can determine whether or not they will be successful at adopting a second language proficiently. While teachers cannot completely control our students intrinsic motivators, we can develop programs and model lessons that cater to their interests all the while we elicit mastery in autonomous tasks.


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