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AP TESL paper 1 course hero

AP TESL paper 1 course hero - AP TESL 101W Paper#1 Final...

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AP TESL 101W Paper #1, Final Draft Le Français From the time I was born until my freshman year of high school, English was the only language I spoke. I grew up in the small coastal city of Huntington Beach, California, which had many residents who natively spoke a variety of languages. On the contrary, my parents, extended family, and friends were all native English speakers, thus I grew up speaking English only. As I grew older, I became familiar with certain Spanish words used often by English speakers such as “hola” and “adios”, but I remained unable to form full Spanish sentences and did not have any knowledge about Spanish grammar. It was not until my freshman year of high school, when I enrolled in French I (my school’s beginning level French course), that I began to learn French as a second language. In this premier class, all of the students were completely beginning his or her French language acquisition while the teacher was equally fluent in both French and English. According to the sociocultural theory of second language learning, “learning is thought to occur when an individual interacts with an interlocutor within his or her zone of proximal development” (Lightbown and Spada, 47). Noted psychologist Lev Vygotsky described a zone of proximal development, or ZPD, as being “a supportive interactive environment” where learners can “do more than they would be capable of independently” (L&S, 20). Likewise, the atmosphere of my first French course provided an adequate ZPD since the non-native-speaking students could both interact with peers at their same level of fluency and with a native-speaking adult. On the first day of class, my teacher started off by talking solely in French and then proceeded in English to tell my class that we would be able to speak with her fluency by the end of the year. She also placed heavy emphasis on correct pronunciation and grammar, and she highly motivated my class to speak only in French during the duration of the class by making participation account for a large portion of the
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final grades. This ambiance allowed me to be “capable of performing at a higher level because there [was] support from an interlocutor” (Lightbound and Spada, 2006, p. 47). In addition, with this constant exposure and participation in French conversation incorporated with external supervision by my teacher, the language gradually became engraved in my mind and I began to successfully acquire this second tongue. Therefore, through my language learning experiences, I feel that the sociocultural theory’s ideals of placing heavy emphasis on verbal interaction along with informed mediation most adequately describe aspects necessary for successful second language acquisition.
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