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Interview with Fluent Speaker of Second Language

I need to write an article in the district-wide newsletter about second language fluency. I have determined that an interview with someone who is fluent in a second language would be a great way to deliver information in the article.

Create 10 questions inquiring how this person learned. Questions might include:
How old were you when you learned your second language? ) What was the biggest challenge? What learning strategies did you use? ......
Also help with a two-paragraph summary of how this person's experiences correlate with the major language acquisition theories .

Solution Preview

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS-----(native English speaker acquiring Spanish as L2)

1 At what age did you begin acquiring a second language?
2 In what type of environment did you attempt L2?
3 How did you start? With a base of comprehension, or other language-acquisition abilities?
4 Were you exposed to any media in the target language?
5 What was the time frame involved in achieving fluency?
6 What use or function did the new language have in your life?
7 Describe your pre-fluency communication.
8 Were conditions for practice present after acquiring the basics?
9 Did you attempt to teach the new language to others?
10 How did you know that fluency was achieved?

SHORT ANSWERS

1 I began, in earnest, to acquire a second language at age 31. High School study of French must be discounted, as full fluency was not achieved.
2 I was immersed in a native-speaking environment rather than a classroom setting.
3 I started by mimicking sounds and phrases heard in the new environment. I had no base in Spanish, but musical ability and theatre training helped the ear to successfully register new sound patterns and visualize new vocabulary. A base in another Romance language (French) also helped in pronunciation and verb recognition.
4 Yes, I listened to news radio and popular music, watched films (often ...

Solution Summary

A basic interview is created with a subject fluent in a second language. In this case, a native speaker of English has acquired Spanish. The questions target the strategies used, media influence, and daily living. Also discussed are the language acquisition theories associated with language learning. Supporting quotes from Noam Chomsky, Victoria Fromkin and Bernard Spolsky are used. 803 words with references.

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