Thekey difference between language acquisition and language learningis that language acquisition is subconscious learning, whereas language learning is conscious learning.
Language acquisition is considered a first-hand exposure to a language. Here, students learn via practical knowledge. Meanwhile, language learning refers to studying a language through formal instructions and following theoretical methods.
What is Language Acquisition?
Language acquisition is a non-conscious procedure that takes place at any period of a person’s life. The term language acquisition is usually related to unconscious learning of one’s native language with the help of a close family or the surroundings. This generally happens during the first 6 -7 years of a person. Generally, we do not learn thefirst languagebut acquire it viaverbal and non-verbal communication. Language acquisition happens through a natural or subconscious process.
We hear the conversations around us and, through exposure, automatically learn the language. First, we acquire sounds and vocabulary, later sentence patterns and structures. During the acquisition, we are unaware of acquiring grammatical rules, and the rules are not systematically taught to identify the proper use of language. Those who are exposed to multi languages in their environment acquire multiple languages most naturally. They learn the language through a trial and error method.
Acquiring a language takes a comparatively short time. It is also instinct because it starts from birth. In addition, it is free from instructions and provides better quality in the acquired language.
Stages of First Language Acquisition
- 1-6 months – Pre-linguistic stage
- 6-9 months – Babbling stage
- 9-18 months – One-word stage (Holophrastic stage)
- 18-24 months – Two-word stage
- 24-30 months – Telegraphic stage
- 30+ months – Multiword stage
Stages of Second Language Acquisition
- 1-6 months – Pre-production (Silent period)
- 6-12 months – Early-production stage
- 12-36 months – Speech emergence
- 36-120 months – Fluency
What is Language Learning?
Language learning is using a formal education method where direct instructions and rules are provided by an educator. This process is conscious.
When teaching a language, teachers focus on teaching the form of the language. As a result, they explain the grammar rules, structures, and vocabulary to the students. Students, too, prefer direct instructions and explanations.
When we learn to read and write, we have a deductive approach tophonology, intonations, morphology, and syntax. This is usually a slow process. Here, all theoretical knowledge and sentence structuring is provided; however, since this does not focus much on practical knowledge, students might lack confidence in speaking. Subsequently, they study a language for years without mastering it.
What is the Difference Between Language Acquisition and Language Learning?
语言习得是无意识的学习啊f a language while being constantly exposed to the language, while language learning is learning a language through a formal education method where direct instructions and rules are provided by an educator. This is the key difference between language acquisition and language learning. Moreover, language acquisition involves informal learning while language learning involves formal learning. In addition, language acquisition takes a comparatively shorter time than language learning.
The following table summarizes the difference between language acquisition and language learning.
Summary – Language Acquisition vs Language Learning
语言习得是无意识的学习啊f a language while being constantly exposed to the language. It is a speedy, natural process. First, a person learns the sounds and vocabulary, and then comes the sentence structures. Language learning, on the other hand, involves using a formal education method to learn a language. It is a conscious process where children are taught all the theoretical aspects through formal education. It is a slow process and focuses much on theory. This is the summary of the difference between language acquisition and language learning.