Acquisition Of English As A Second Language English Language Essay

This paper is a critical reappraisal of “ sex differences in the acquisition of English as a 2nd linguistic communication ” by Madu, B.N. and Kasanga.L.A. Harmonizing to Archibald ( 1997 ) , 2nd linguistic communication acquisition is the procedure of larning a 2nd linguistic communication after one has acquired at least one native linguistic communication. Since the subject of 2nd linguistic communication acquisition ( hereinafter SLA ) is an inter-disciplinary field, affecting cognitive psychological science, instruction and many other subdivisions of linguistics, it is difficult to state the exact get downing point of the survey on SLA. However, in the present twenty-four hours and clip, SLA has been basking a strong impulse for development as people are populating in a “ planetary small town ” with English as the functionary and most widely used communicating tool. An increasing figure of people, runing from kids to grownups, have begun to analyze English as a 2nd linguistic communication. Then, assorted research on SLA, such as its construct, procedure and finding factors, are jumping up in order to function the pattern of SLA in a more efficient and effectual manner. This article surveies the impact of gender difference on larning English as a 2nd linguistic communication. In this essay, I will foremost sum up the article, so measure it from a critical position, eventually conveying out a decision, showing my position on the probe.


The article by Madu, B.N. and Kasanga.L.A investigates the influence of gender difference on the acquisition of English as a 2nd linguistic communication in South Africa by utilizing a combination of questionnaires and documental analysis. Based on the consequences of the experiment, the writer concludes that “ there is no important difference between the public presentation of male childs and misss with regard to English SLA ” ( Madu, B.N. , Kasanga.L.A 2005:450 ) . In the drumhead, I am traveling to indicate out a few specific strong points of the probe.

First of wholly, the writer gives a full image of assorted sentiments on gender differences and 2nd linguistic communication acquisition, therefore assisting readers understand the whole narrative. Generally, sentiments are divided by the writer into three groups, with the first group claiming that females outperform males, the 2nd stating that males outshine females and the 3rd demonstrating that there is no important difference between the public presentation of males and females on 2nd linguistic communication acquisition ( 2005 ) . To be more specific, the writer reviews assorted surveies by different groups. The fact is people can non make a consensus on the influence of gender difference on SLA ( 2005 ) . The descriptions of old surveies give audience a bird’s-eye position on this issue, lending to their deeper apprehension of the impact of gender on 2nd linguistic communication acquisition and animating originative ideas from readers.

Second, the processs of the probe are really prude and cautious. Research workers foremost asked permission from principals of the schools and parents of the pupil samples before the probe ( 2005 ) . Then, a pilot survey was conducted in instance that the specifically-constructed inquiries in the questionnaire were confounding to the pupils. This measure is well-appreciated as it helps cut down mistakes caused by pupils ‘ misinterpretation of the inquiries. In add-on, to guarantee the fluent traveling of the probe, research workers are ready to any inquiries refering the questionnaire. All of these bantam stairss proved the cogency and truth of this probe.

Third, the writer employs a rigorous and scientific manner to back up his sentiment. Similar to scientific survey, this probe followed the sequence of doing a hypothesis, proving the hypothesis and making a decision. Particularly the independent t-test accurately analysed the English scrutiny consequences, able to back up decision in a scientific manner.

Critical rating

This article is well-organized and seems to accomplish its end, making a instead clear decision based on the probe, nevertheless, defects can still be found in it.

To get down with, the scope of the pupil samples is excessively limited to back up a convincing decision. The probe covers merely one hundred and 20 eight students from Grade 8 to 11 in four schools in the Polokwane Municipality in South Africa. The figure of pupils take parting in the probe is excessively little and they are restricted to an country in South Africa, therefore it is non logical plenty for research workers to pull a general decision applied to other state of affairss based on a little sample. It seems that the writer fails to take many other possibilities into history while choosing samples, such as the public presentation difference of male and female pupils from different countries or states is non the same as that in the Polokwane Municipality. In add-on, all of the pupil samples are from grade 8 to 11, aging approximately from 14 to 17. Again the age scope is really limited since there is a possibility that male and female pupils ‘ public presentation on English acquisition as a 2nd linguistic communication varies with the addition of age. Harmonizing to several surveies ( Gorman, White and Brooks,1987 ; Gorman, White, Brooks, Maclure and KIspal,1988 ) , misss perform better than male childs at the beginning, nevertheless, from the age of 15 onwards, boys addition more advantages. In order to get at more persuasive decision, it is suggested the research workers investigate more pupils in different parts of the universe, covering a wider scope of age.

Second, the variable factor in the probe is non one and individual. In fact, for the pupil samples, the variable factors act uponing their public presentation on SLA are so complex that it is really difficult to find whether gender difference influences SLA. It is well-recognised that 2nd linguistic communication acquisition is a complex procedure ( Ellis, 1995 ) in that it concerns different interceding factors. Due to the fact that SLA is influenced by many factors, the rule of holding merely one variable factor in the research must be obeyed in order to acquire a clear and incontestable reply. However, in this probe, the variables are excessively complicated. It can be seen from table 1 in the article that pupils ‘ first linguistic communications are different, with Northern Sotho and Afrikaans being the first linguistic communications by the bulk. Since it is possible that first linguistic communication difference may exercise an consequence on SLA, some in a positive manner, others in a negative manner, the differences of pupils ‘ first linguistic communication possibly act upon their English acquisition. For the interest of truth, it is better to choose pupils utilizing the same first linguistic communication. What is more, the writer does non bespeak whether pupils ‘ English competency before the probe is the same, which is a crucially finding factor of their English scrutiny trial tonss at the terminal. If the chosen female pupils already performed better than their equal male pupils, so the concluding trial tonss that misss scored higher than male childs values little to the probe since there is a deficiency of comparison. Therefore, it is necessary to vouch the English degrees of the male and female pupils are the same before the probe.

Third, the design of the trial and the standards of appraisal are non clear to readers. Whether the trial is to measure pupils ‘ overall English ability or some specific accomplishments, such as listening accomplishments and composing accomplishments, will act upon the concluding mark since it is possible that male pupils are more specialized in listening accomplishments and male pupils are better at comprehensive English accomplishments. However, the research workers fail to present how the pupils are assessed.

Last but non the least, the inquiries presented in the questionnaire are excessively simplistic, non able to assist the probe in a more effectual manner. Since merely gender, first linguistic communication, class/grade and name of school ( 2005 ) were asked, the questionnaire, as a means to cognize more about the pupils, is wasted, to some extent, when more utile inquiries, like old public presentation, involvement in English and motive, should had been covered.


To sum up, the article is well-organized and clearly presented, but the logical thinking is non strong plenty to back up a convincing decision. It is excessively rash for the writer to claim that no great difference exists between the public presentation of male and female pupils in 2nd linguistic communication acquisition ( 2005 ) . Since the survey of SLA is to function 2nd linguistic communication scholars better by accommodating learning methods consequently, more accurate and logical surveies are required to detect if males and females attack and larn the 2nd linguistic communication otherwise, if there is any difference, how they are different.

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