Psycholinguistics Acquisition

Foreign Language

A Paper on Foreign Language Acquisition

Prepared by: ANGELO OFIANGA TUBAC University of San Carlos, Cebu City

Presented to: DR. ANITA JUECO-ROSAL University of San Carlos, Cebu City
Profile of the Respondent

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Psycholinguistics Acquisition
Name: Date of Birth: Age: Place of Birth: Foreign Language Spoken: Educational Background: Allan Paul Delaman Sandigan January 15, 1981 29 Sugod, Leyte, Philippines Nippongo, Spanish

Foreign Language

Doctor of Philosophy Major in Educational Management University of Bohol, Tagbilaran City Master of Arts in English Language Teaching Leyte State University

Occupation: Employer:

Educator Cristal e-College, Panglao, Bohol

METHODOLOGY To gather the data, the respondent was asked to take an exam on Brain-Dominance Inventory, a data gathering tool edited by Evelyn C. Davis, Ed. D., in order to identify as to which side of the respondent’s brain is more dominant. After the dominant brain is identified, an interview was conducted inside the speech laboratory of Cristal e-College on February 4, 2010.

A TRANSCRIPTION FROM THE INTERVIEW Researcher: How old were you sir when you were exposed to Spanish and Nippongo?

Respondent: I was 18, or I think 19 years old that time when I first get interested to Spanish and Nippongo but I learned more about the two languages when I had my Ph. D and when I enrolled in an interactive language program based in the United States for my Spanish and a Nippongo language program in Japan. Researcher: What caused you to learn the language more?

Respondent: It is part of the curriculum in my Ph. D and part of the teaching requirement because I teach foreign language to Nursing, HRM and Tourism students. Researcher: How did you learn the language is it through immersion or it’s really out of your interest to speak another language aside from English?

Respondent: Recently, it becomes a passion; you know I am a traveler. Learning the language and culture of different countries would be interesting.

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Psycholinguistics Acquisition

Foreign Language

During the time that you were still learning, how many times did you practice speaking the language?

Respondent: It was seldom during my college years. But during my Ph. D I was forced to learn ((laugh)). I also enrolled in a foreign program for my Spanish where I had sessions with a foreign teacher every night, the program was interactive. Researcher: Did you have a hard time learning it?

Respondent: Exactly, it was very difficult because for Nippongo, the pronunciation is different from English; the grammar rules are also different. I didn’t find it more difficult for Spanish because in the Philippines we have words that are almost similar to some Spanish words like kumusta. (Dr. Sandigan made mention of the Spanish equivalent but I failed to take it down, it was spoken fast.) Researcher: When do you usually speak the language, is it at home, in class or in talking with peers?

Respondent: ((laugh)) In the Philippines, I always speak Nippongo and Spanish inside the class; only very seldom with peers but I always speak Spanish in my room because I enrolled in a Spanish program in the United States, it is an interactive program from the U.S. Institute of Language. Researcher: What for you now sir is the most dominant language, English, Spanish, or Nippongo?

Respondent: Of course English. Researcher: How do you feel sir that you can speak two foreign languages?

Respondent: I feel great ((laugh)). It is my starting point of speaking different languages, on my way of becoming a linguist. Researcher: Did you find it beneficial? If yes, in what situations?

Respondent: Beneficial because when I went to Japan, I was able to communicate with the people around me using their very own language. Researcher: If asked to rate your own proficiency, what level do you think you are? Have you taken proficiency exams, if you won’t mind me asking?

Respondent: ((Laugh)) what is your scale? Researcher: 1 is the lowest and 10 is the highest.

Respondent: It is difficult to rate, I will be bias. ((laugh)) but my results in the oral and written examinations from the US Institute of Language said “I am proficient in Spanish ”

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Psycholinguistics Acquisition
Researcher: What about your Nippongo sir?

Foreign Language

Respondent: I mentioned that I enrolled in Nippongo when I was in Japan but it was only for a month. I got the rating of average, meaning I can communicate.

(Note: Mr. Allan Paul Delaman Sandigan is a traveler. He travels from one country to another during Christmas break and summer vacation. He had been to China, Hongkong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Japan. This summer vacation, he is going to Germany and hopefully in the US to attend a convention)

ANALYSIS Linguists believed that language is best learned before the learner reaches the age of 13; D.L. Mills, Conboy, & Paton (2005) suggested that the development of the left hemisphere specialization for language may reflect the development of increasingly efficient language processing, however; the result of the interview shows that the respondent efficiently learned two different foreign languages after he was13 years old. The result of his different assessments from the US Institute of Language show that he is proficient is Spanish; during his exposure visit in Japan, he was able to communicate with confidence and his rating shows average communicative competence in Nippongo. Both assessment results deviated from the usual tendency that language is best learned if the learner is exposed to the foreign language before 13 years old. In the case of Allan Paul Sandigan, he exhibits communicative competence in both languages in spite that the two languages were learned during his late 20’s. The result of his Brain-Dominance Inventory test shows that the respondent has the rating of -0.3 which signifies that he has whole brain dominance (bilateral). Probably because both sides of the brain are dominant, it is easier for him to learn foreign languages. This further proves that age is not a matter of interference for Allan Paul Sandigan to acquire new languages, learn new cultures and meet different people in pursuing his passion to travel. Although the data gathered is insufficient to conclude that efficient language acquisition does not choose any age, however; in this study, it would be more appropriate to say that efficiency depends to the amount of passion, efforts, and time that the learner invested to proficiently learn a foreign language. Nevertheless, the findings and conclusion are isolated only to the perimeter of this study.

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