Posted by Winnie Melda on October 3rd, 2018

Summary and response essay about “Myths and misconceptions about second language Learning”.

            In the article titled “Myths and Misconceptions About Second Language Learning” by Barry McLaughlin presents the argument that the changing school-aged populations mean that teachers are facing with new challenges on how to instruct students with limited skills in English. Therefore, it is crucial for all teachers to have a proper understanding of how children get to learn a second language. The author states that the often mistake that teachers commit is mistaking intuitive assumptions and when they have an unrealistic expectation in L2 learning it harms their relationships with teachers. The author states that this relationship is crucial because it determines the acquisition of other academic knowledge and skills. The author also points out that any adult who has attempted to learn a second language can verify the fact that it is a frustrating experience and that this is the same case for children. The author, however, notes that there is a widespread belief that young children are facile as learners of a second language. Thus, the digest report is a discussion of the commonly held misconceptions and myths about second language learning, children, and its implications for teachers in the classroom (McLaughllin, 1992).

 The first myth that the author discusses is that children can learn a second language easily and quickly. McLaughlin insists that studies have in fact shown that adolescent and adult learners can perform better when learning a second language than children who construct simpler and shorter sentences and have the small vocabulary. Furthermore, McLaughlin that the more time students spends within a second language context enables them to acquire the language quickly is a myth. He proposes the fact that research has shown that the increased exposure does not necessarily mean the faster acquisition of English. The third important myth detail that the author states is that the younger a child is then, the most skilled that child becomes in acquiring the second language. He refutes this point by stating that research does not give such a conclusion. Therefore, teachers should have realistic expectations when educating young children learning a second language.

The fourth myth and misconception that the author demystifies is the fact that children are assumed to have acquired a second language the moment they start speaking it. He states that school children who are proficient in the face to face communication do not necessarily mean that they are proficiency in the highly complex academic language of various classroom activities. The last myth that McLaughlin discusses is that all children do learn a second language in the same way. The author states that most teachers hold the assumption that all students can learn a second language at the same rate, yet this is not the case since children come from different backgrounds.

Whether learning a second language should be a matter of considering the linguistic and cultural diversity is of importance or not it presents a provoking question for further research. By considering the evidence that McLaughlin provides in his article and my personal commitment, I am in full support of the fact that understanding the general education is from the diverse range of students who are from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds who keep on enriching our schools. I support this point because it is the way in which teachers can eliminate their misconceptions in which young children are expected to be highly competent learners of the second language than adults.

I have particularly been among those supporting the myths that children learn a second language faster, and so there is no need for adults to learn a second learns for their time is gone. Thus, McLaughlin gives us proper insights into these misconceptions and myths and what we need to do of acknowledging the linguistic and cultural diversity of students. I support his idea that there is the need for teachers to be realistic in considering the individual abilities of learners which give them an opportunity to establish a meaningful relationship (Teaching and learning languages, 2013). 


McLaughllin B. (1992) Myths and misconceptions about the second language Learning

Teaching and learning languages (2013) Language, Culture, and Learning.  Retrieved from 

Sherry Roberts is the author of this paper. A senior editor at Melda Research in research paper services if you need a similar paper you can place your order for cheap research paper services.


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Winnie Melda

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Winnie Melda
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