Ruth Sarahí Pulido Díaz L.I 14935 Language Learning Autobiography. “One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.” This quote is from the contemporary psycholinguist Frank Smith and I think it is true, if you have the possibility to learn a second language or more you have more opportunities like communicate with people from another place or get a good job. I was born in Mexico so my mother tongue (L1) or native language is Spanish because it was the language that I started to learn since I was born (Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis) not in the school (formal learning) but acquiring it from my environment among people who speak it during my early childhood (informal learning) because children learn by imitating and repeating what they hear. I started to take classes of English here in Mexico since I was four years old approximately when I was in Kindergarten, I can say that was a formal L2 learning because was in a classroom with a teacher who teach me the basic things such as the colors, numbers etc. I think that in that part of my life I learned English by listening what the teacher said and repeating it, it was so easy for me because of my age so I had many advantages for example I did not have any kind of inhibitions so I did not get ashamed of anything and because of the brain plasticity that all child have. I continued learning English during all elementary school, feedback and correction in my way of speaking and of writing were always a good strategy during all my development in this language. I always had the aptitude to learn it like phonemic coding ability, grammar sensitivity and associative memory capacity so it was easy to me continue acquiring it. During middle and high school I had a “pause” in my development in the formal way of learning that I used to have (in a classroom with a teacher) because all what I learned during that time was the same that I already knew because of the school that my parents chose for me so I began to learn English by myself.
Ruth Sarahí Pulido Díaz L.I 14935 Language Learning Autobiography. My motivation during that time was integrative because I was really interested in learning more so that I can communicate with people who speak English. What help me more to learn “lexicon” (vocabulary) and “phonology” (sound system) was songs and movies with subtitles and “syntax” (word order, grammar) by reading articles from the internet. I always tried to never stay with a doubt of the meaning of a word so I was always searching in a dictionary what was the meaning and how was the correct form to pronounce it with the phonetics transcriptions. When I started my major I had the opportunity to get a review of grammar rules and to improve my pronunciation. My teachers since I was I in first semester some of them were native speakers so with them I could spoke and there was not a problem to understand them. What help me more were the corrections that they made when I got wrong in pronouncing a word or in a tense of a verb. I began to study French since third semester of my major so I learned it in a formal way because it was in a classroom, the same as when I started to learn English. It was approximately at my 19 years old therefore I had a great learning capacity. I did not have any previous knowledge of French so at the beggining it was difficult because that was unfamiliar for me, I had even never listen a song in French such a different thing than in English because the songs really helped me in acquiring it. It was not until around the third week of being in contact with the French language that I began to get used to it. The teacher was not a native speaker but she lived nine years in France so her accent was something that was not a problem for me, it was understandable and the most important thing was that I really wanted to learn French so I was really motivated and a great advantage is that I have already a first and a second language so that analytic ability, pragmatic skills joined with the greater knowledge of my L1 were really helpful.
Ruth Sarahí Pulido Díaz L.I 14935 Language Learning Autobiography. I began with greetings in French like “bonjour” “au revoir” and those kinds of basic things then with the verbs tenses (syntax) in this stage was difficult because of the irregular verbs and the conjugations of the auxiliary verb depending on the pronoun. The way I started to learn French was very different than when I started to learn English because at this age I am more analytic so I compare all what I am learning in French with my first language (Spanish) and with English, I think this is a good strategy to acquire a third language that really worked for me another one that I read a lot; magazines that are in the library, little books were a good way to acquire vocabulary and to improve my pronunciation with audio books. I am more visual so all what I see sticks in my mind so draws, power point presentations and images are good strategies for me to learn more. In third semester I started to learn Italian but I only studied it for that only semester so I only know the basic things. Of course I do not have the plan to leave it unfinished so I try to listen to the Italian radio on my free time and to read articles on the internet in Italian. Next semester I will begin to learn German I think that I will have more strategies to learn it in a better and easier way because of all the languages that since I was a kid I started to learn. I consider myself a good language learner because even when I was 10-15 years old I did not have a formal way to learn a language I did it by myself. I am always trying to find out what is the more effective way for me to learn more about the languages I already know and for the new ones. I think I will never stop learning because there is always something new to learn of any of the four languages that I am studying even my mother tongue.
Ruth Sarahí Pulido Díaz L.I 14935 Language Learning Autobiography. My plans and goals for the future are to visit different parts of the world so that I can practice all the languages with native speakers and maybe take courses, for example German that is going to be a totally new language for me. My advice to second language learners, is to never give up, even when at the begging is difficult or tired. Always try to practice by talking with another person even chatting is very helpful and improves your vocabulary and pronunciation, read books, listen songs, watch movies are strategies to improve your language. I have never thought about being a teacher but I think is a good way to remember and share your knowledge at the same time. My advices to the teachers will be that not only get focus on the way you want to teach but to first check what kind of intelligence the most of the classmates have and according with that, make the class schedule so that all the kind of learning of the classmates get mixed and everyone can learn. A second language teacher have to get notice about the goals of each student who is acquiring a second language and he have to try to make them incorporate them into his second language teaching philosophy so that he can use his knowledge of teaching to instruct the student using his goals. For little kids interesting activities and games according to what the interests of them are about can make much easier the students learning. Use innovative material to make fun the classes such as magazines, power point presentations, videos, songs. Take trips to different places where the target language is used is a good idea too because they can listen how the language is used in a common day. To talk and to listen to your students is very important so that you can know what they already know and what do they need to know or only to strengthen what they already had acquired. These talks make you and your students feel more comfortable and generates an atmosphere of calm and confidence.