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Home » » Distinguish between language " acquisition " and "learning"

The acquisition is a subconscious process of learning a language. It is seen when a child acquires his/her mother tongue. On the other hand, “learning” is a conscious process of learning a language. It is a  way when a learner learns the syntactical, lexical, and phonological rules of a language. Acquisition happens when a learner is exposed to an environment where the learner develops language skills being unaware of the process. He/she does not learn the grammatical rules consciously; rather, they pick up some words and use their LAD to acquire the language. However, learning happens when a learner consciously learns the rules of the target language. 

According to Krashen, acquisition cannot lead to learning. He says that acquisition and learning are two different systems. However, Krashen has been criticized for this theory. I believe that they are interrelated. If teachers can create an environment where learners feel at home, learning could turn into acquisition. Materials chosen from the lives of learners, favorable classroom environments, interesting tasks and activities, and mutual respect to teachers and students can turn “learning” into “acquisition”, Though it is very difficult to attain nativelike proficiency in the target language by learning it, the acquisition-like environment may accelerate learning.


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