What are some differences in learning a first or second language?
In what ways and under what conditions are learning a first and second language similar and different?
There are several ways in which learning a first language and learning a second language differ. When you are an infant, just learning all of the different sounds and syllables that make up your first language, you are initially capable of making all of the sounds, or phonemes, necessary for every language in existence. Eventually you lose all but the phonemes that are required for your native language. As a baby listens to the speakers in his or her environment, the baby begins to learn vocabulary and to instinctively learn the grammatical rules required for speech. The baby learns these in phases, beginning with a "one word" type construction in which the baby might say "cookie" or "up" to convey needs. Then as the child's grammar develops, the child will begin to use short phrases, such as "Joey want juice" ...
The differences in learning a first or second language are noted.