Date of Award

2005

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Jeanna Westmoreland

Second Advisor

Ms. Sharon Cosh

Third Advisor

Dr. Nancy Hardman

Abstract

Every year, over 1,221,000 immigrants come to this country without any English background knowledge in English and are immersed in the public school system. The approximate net international immigration rate of Arkansas is approximately 4500 people annually. Most students that come at a young age must immediately adjust to American life as they go to a new school with a foreign language with strange people and customs. What happens to the students that have language differences, the ones that don't grasp the language easily and continue to struggle through their education and in their careers? How do we know which children are struggling in school because of learning differences and which ones are struggling because of a language and cultural barriers? How does their culture play a part in the education of these students?

The purpose of this study is to discover what the best-known way for children with learning differences to learn a second language are, and if Arkadelphia Public Schools are using the most effective methods. Secondary questions explored through this study are as follows: How do students naturally learn their first language? How do students naturally learn their second language? How is English taught as L2 in the Arkadelphia public school system? What are learning differences and how do they hinder language acquisition? And lastly, what are the best methods to teach students with learning differences in L2?

The act of learning and becoming fluent in a language other than one's native tongue is known as second language acquisition (SLA), a field of study developed by S. D. Krashen in the 1980s. Learning differences, such as dyslexia impairs one's ability to gain new knowledge or skills. Students with a first language other than English often are misunderstood. Often language difficulties and learning differences can be confused. In a classroom, teachers may mistake the reason for the child's English language developmental delay.

this study will look at how an L2 student learning English may be inadvertently identified with a learning difference with their impairment could be due to language deficiency; furthermore, how an identified learning impairment in a first language might hinder the process of acquiring a second language, or L2. then it will attempt to find bridge-building methods teachers may use to help such a student acquire a second language.

 
 

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