Second Language Acquisition Theories, Learning & Practices

(Last Updated On: June 16, 2020)

If you want to learn a second language online other than your mother language, but don’t know from where you should begin, don’t think you are the alone. You are not too late. Second language acquisition is in fact easy if you really desire. This article is intended to deliver its readers an overall thought on second language acquisition theories, learning of a second language and practices.

According to a survey cited by Forbes, 17% of Americans know a second language. Many people around you are in same dilemma, they wish to learn a second language but can’t start on right point overnight.

I will love to boost up your confidence because you are among the luckiest. You have decided to achieve fluency and is searching for content on second language acquisition theories, and advice free of cost.

Second language acquisition, what

Second-language acquisition (SLA), second-language learning, or L2 (language 2) acquisition, is the process that helps a learner to acquire a second language.

Second language acquisition theories

Learners follow five predictable stages while the acquisition of a second language (Krashen & Terrell, 1983):

  1. Preproduction,
  2. Early Production
  3. Speech Emergence
  4. Intermediate Fluency
  5. Advanced Fluency

Noam Chomsky‘s Theory Of Universal Grammar tells, “We are all born with an innate knowledge of grammar that serves as the basis for all language acquisition”

Stephen Krashen is a professor of linguistics at the University of Southern California, USA. He has been popular for his theory of second language acquisition, his 5 hypotheses on second language acquisition are:

  1. Input hypothesis
  2. Acquisition–learning hypothesis
  3. Monitor hypothesis
  4. Natural order hypothesis
  5. Affective filter hypothesis

Second language acquisition, how

Studies have shown that second language acquisition theories are useful for many reasons. It may be due to travel, migration, office, curiosity, career, skill, networking, smartness, or anything.

Yes, you can acquire a second language. You will find a lot of blogs on how to learn a foreign language. I suggest reading some of these for a 360-degree study. You can search YouTube also for step by step learning.

Although some say that childhood is the best time for learning, the truth is, learning has no time frame. Whatever you do, follow the below advice that would aid you to achieve your goal to acquire second language theories:

Strong will, motivation

Will power is the main trigger for achieving your goal. Determine your mindset that at any cost you will not skip this process. It happens frequently that due to lacking of an obligation imposed, some people drop this or linger this as per wish. Careful, don’t allow the laziness to dominate you! Second language acquisition is in fact easy if you really desire.

Start today, now!

Overthinking is nothing but a procrastination. Don’t think too much, it’s time for action. It’s better to start action now, instead of waiting for any suitable moment in future.

Set timeline and deadlines

It is not necessary that you have to work on your objective same time of the day, but at least you have to maintain some stipulated time everyday. I am sure you cannot ignore it’s importance in the midway that is going to add a skill to your career. There are many time management tips in the internet, check it out in case you are a busy person.

It will be good to manage a time in the morning when the brain is susceptible to learn fresh. Early rising and not excessive napping in the noon will increase your time span of the day.

However you can do it any time of the day, as well as In the traffic jam, in the queue of train or bank, or transition time in airport or meeting.

Gather content

You have to workout on the process and content of learning. It’s not like the constitution that to be followed rigidly. You can alter as per your level of understanding. Visit related blogs, see useful videos, bookmark them, download them.

You should customize your study contents according to your requirement, it can be of elementary, moderate or expert categories. Don’t worry, everything are there in the internet.

If needed, you can collect some printed matters, books, reference, journals from shops. Some audio visual materials will also be required during the process. Second language acquisition is in fact easy if you really desire.

Be consistent

It will give you much ease on way of learning once you will be stick to your goal continuously and consistently. Remember, it’s not the language you talk to, it’s a newer one, so, much effort and persistence will be required all through the way.

Have patience

Sometimes, you may feel it’s hard it complete. It is obvious in any arduous process. Please have your mind under control. Don’t skip. Yes, you can have a break if feels over-burden. If you can’t read or write, at least contemplate what you have learned already. Make the learning a fun. By this second language acquisition theories will be fun for you.

Use technology

Technologies are a great tool now a days to assist you on learning. Transform your use of technology into a productive one. You can take refuge to your Android, PC and laptop as learning tools. There are many apps related to almost every language.

Dutch translator Els De Keyser recommended Duolinguo for its gamified approach to grammar, and Anki for memorizing vocabulary with its “intelligent” flashcards.

Anki is a free software program that relies on a concept in intervals (For example, only on days 1, 4, 10, 20, 35, 60, etc.) is much more effective than studying all at once. Second language acquisition is in fact easy if you really desire.

Build community, partner

To share and practice about your learning path as well as contents, you have to create your community with at least one/ two persons of overall same mindset. It will greatly assist you to practice your day to day learning.

You can also create online community where you can discuss over message, email or video chat. The whole process will enhance speed and enable practice.

A second language acquisition can boost up career

Self partnership

It is a situation when you don’t have any second or third partners to study together. In case you have no one else to speak to on your way of learning, there’s nothing wrong with talking to yourself in a foreign language you wish to grab.


You know the old Maxim that says, practice makes a man perfect. The same rule is applicable here too. You can supersede yourself only when you will be in a regular practice day by day. Second language acquisition is in fact easy if you really desire.

Don’t worry about mistakes

Mistake is an inevitable part of any progress. It is told, who has not done any mistake hasn’t gone through any innovation. Smart persons never be ashamed of their mistakes, rather they learn from their mistakes.Its applicable to second language acquisition theories and processes too.

However, I didn’t mean to jump into intentional mistakes whatsoever, I only meant to set acceptable mindset to mistakes that lead to learning in the long run.

Related: How could you convert your failure to success?

Grow fun, interest

Ideate some fun ways to practice your new language: make a play with a friend, make a dialogue with you peer, draw a sketch, write a poem or at least talk to whomever you find nearby.

If you can find a way of learning with fun, success will beacon you much faster speed. Watching movies with subtitle is a way to learn with fun.


You may require some budget for learning, i.e., buying content, printing, internet, mobile, or may be mentors, etc. However it is not a mandatory part, and also I am sure you are positive to expense some money to gain such a valuable skill, aren’t you?

Watch others’ talk

Best way to observe any native to talk- if not possible, TV shows, movies and interviews of the same kinds will do. Different languages demand different requirements on the learner’s tongue, lips, teeth and throat. Pronunciation is just as much physical as it is psychological. It needs different attention.

However, no one expect your level of command over a second language will be as controlled as a native’s. It will assist you to listen and speak that desired language.

Come out of comfort zone

As you are going to learn a new thing, a new environment also need to set. No matter how much you have learned, you won’t ever be able to speak a language without putting yourself out of your comfort area: talk to your co-passenger in the language, advice your juniors, ask for directions, convey message, order food, try to tell a joke, make a gossip.

The more frequently you will be doing this, sphere of your comfort zone becomes larger and the more at ease you can be in new situations for second language acquisition.

At the outset you will be going to face challenges: such as the pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, the syntax, or you don’t really get the sayings, the most crucial matter is to always develop a mindset of out of comfort areas.

Related: Improve top soft skills that employers look for future

Listen others

It will be very helpful for you if you learn to listen the language before you can speak it well. Every language has some unique features. It sounds strange the first time you hear it.

The best way to be familiar by exposing yourself to it as well as to continue speaking it properly. Listen to local music, capture lyrics, watch movies with subtitle, read literature and books from that language. This process will assist you to grasp listening skill, as well as speaking through mimicry.

Take away

Now, let’s check out about the content outline that you would have to engulf. There are plenty of content guidelines on various languages in the internet. Read how to learn a second language fast with fun. Choose your desired language course from anywhere in the internet, and follow the process gradually. Second language acquisition theories are in fact easy if you really plan.

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