I’ve recently been giving a lot of thought to ‘acquisition’ versus ‘learning’ of a second (or subsequent) language. In brief, the difference is related to communicative competence versus “explicit rule-based grammar teaching” (Lightbown & Spada, 2013, p. 193). (For more on the distinction, click here). In my mind, acquisition is perhaps the longer-lasting state or the point at which conscious rule-based practice becomes automatic communication, as in Skill Acquisition Theory.
Ancestral languages, international languages, minority languages, non-official languages, immigrant minority languages, community languages, home languages, languages of origin… these are just a few of the terms that have been used to describe languages spoken by minority ethnolinguistic groups. Continue reading
We are very pleased to welcome Zhonghui Zhang as this week’s guest blogger. Zhonghui is currently doing his Master’s degree in Second Language Education at McGill. This is not his first graduate degree, however. Over a decade ago, Zhonghui completed a Master’s in Philosophy with the highest distinctions from the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines. At that time, he was the Vice-President of the Chinese General Hospital in Manila. For 6 years prior to starting his graduate degree at McGill, Zhonghui was the Principal of the Montreal Chinese School and President of the Montreal Chinese Community Center Board of Directors. Continue reading