Problems of the Second Language Learner

Wahida Ahmed Lecturer, DIET Kamrup, Mirza
wahida ahmed

Language is one of the gifts of god given to human beings. Language plays an important role in our social life. The main function of a language is to communication through, ideas, feelings and emotions in the absence of language the communication process is unthinkable.

There is very little that is known for certain about language learning. All the same we know that the native speaker acquires his mother tongue through imitation and that this natural process of language acquisition.

But we, Indians are not native speakers of English ; to us English is a second language. So learning it is not as Natural to us as it is the native speaker. The native speakers of English has imbibed the language with his mother's milk. He has become familiar with the components of English in the natural process of growing up this cannot be show with us for us learning English is essentially a deliberate effort at developing a command and control of the different components of the language; Its phonology (the sound system) , its morphology (the patterns and parts of words) and its syntex (the patterns of phrases and sentences).

From the moment of his birth the child is exposed to the sounds of the language. He is thus In constant contact with these sounds for most of his waking hours and most of the language he hears is directed at him by other people objects and actions in the surroundings are described to the child in an over simplified language at first and later in explanatory utterances all these results in his producing the language.

One thing is certain both children and adults learn languages when exposed to them. So one of the important conditions of learning a second language is abundant exposure to the language. What we find is that the learners of a second language are not as much and as constantly exposed to the language the attempt to learn as a child acquiring his mother tongue.

There are certain variable factors which are of great importance in second language learning. The most important of these factors is - the duration of exposure to the language. In India English is taught as second language in schools and colleges for 5 or 6 hours in a week perhaps, The duration is hardly adequate; also the course are spread over the years. The two Facts make it difficult for us to create a sustained interest and inculcate a sense of progress and achievement in our students.

Another factor in learning is classroom conditions. These conditions include the number of students In a class, the physical arrangements for the class, teaching materials, stock, blackboards, audio-visual aids library etc. It is very important that second language classes are of the right size. One of the reasons why teaching English in India does not leave the desired impact on the students is that the class is too big for the teacher to do any Worthwhile job.

The availability of the right type of teaching materials and audio-visual aids can certainly make the teaching of English in India quite effective

Another two vital factors in a second language learning situation are the student and the teacher. The teacher has problems to tackle when he is faced with the task of teaching a class of students who show varying capacities of assimilation. In India even at the college level a large number of students have to be given elementary lessons in the language, they as well as the students who have better standard feel that the lessons and methods adopted are not appropriate to their age or status. In such situations the teachers should convince the students that what he wants to do is in their own interests and hear the teacher must himself stimulate and sustain motivation.

Like the student the teacher himself is a variable factor in the teaching of second language, his skill and personality are instrumental in creating the necessary conditions for learning a second language. He should be proficient in the language, his knowledge of an expertise in methods and techniques of language teaching should be of a reasonably high standard. Because the teachers' language is the principal model for the students.