Reflection on second language learning

Over this month you have read about learning a second language, listened to students express their opinions on the topic and discussed your own opinions as well. Now it’s time to write a reflection.


Look back at the texts, the Exploration, Vocabulary, Comprehension, Images and Opinion tasks and use the information to write a reflection on the topic of learning a second language. Think about what you have learned, what was interesting, and what your overall response is.

For more academic English lessons go to:

Smart English Class

Discussion on learning a second language

For this discussion use the reading from this month Younger is not always better when it comes to learning a second language and the listening from this month Why should you learn a second language?


According to the article:

  1. What is the ideal way for young children to learn a language?
  2. What skills do adolescents need to learn a new language?
  3. Someone who chooses to study a second language by themselves is usually in what age group?


Click on the links to look at these images relating to the topic of learning a second language.

The most spoken languages worldwide

These languages have the most speakers

Linguistic diversity around the world


  1. Discuss the 3 images in detail.
  2. When did you first start learning a second language?
  3. What age do you think is best to start learning another language?
  4. Why did you start learning a second language?
  5. Do you think everyone should learn a second language?
  6. What do you think the advantages and disadvantages are of learning in a classroom compared to learning online?
Answers to the Comprehension Questions:
1. Living, learning and playing in a second language environment
2. Meta-cognitive skills
3. Adult

For more academic English lessons go to:

Smart English Class

Learning a Second Language

When is the right time to learn a second language? As a young child learning two languages at the same time, or as a teenager where it is a compulsory subject at school, or when you are an adult when you have the time and dedication to spend on learning a new language. What do you think?

Warren Midgley has written an article in The Conversation titled Younger is not always better when it comes to learning a second language.


To understand more about an article research is required to explore some of the ideas raised and who the author is. Read through these 3 explorations to give more insight into the article.

  1. Theory of universal grammar – this theory suggests that humans learn to speak their native language by imitating what they hear and repeating it. In other words, we are all genetically programmed to learn and understand our first language naturally.
  2. Critical period hypothesis – this hypothesis suggests that there is a particular period in the first few years of a human’s life where language is learned if there is sufficient exposure to the language. If this does not happen for someone within this critical period of time then learning that language is so much more difficult, particularly grammar.
  3. Warren Midgley is the author of this article. He works as an Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Southern Queensland. His fields of research are Education and Linguistics and his work has been published in many academic books and journals.


Now match these words from the article to the definitions.

WORD                                                              DEFINITION

1. second language

a) a language that is learned, not someone’s native language

2. first language b) wanting very much to have something that someone else has
3. fluency c) challenge an action or theory as not being correct
4. envy d) to have a strong effect on something
5. phenomenon e) the skills of understanding thought processes in learning
6. instinctive knowledge f) someone’s native language or mother tongue
7. exposure g) the age between being a child and an adult, usually the teenage years
8. posits h) being in the same place as someone else and interacting in person
9. contested i) a situation that exists
10. influential j) able to listen, read, speak and write coherently in a language
11. immersion k) learning online with people from all around the world
12. meta-cognitive skills l) following one after another in an order
13. adolescence m) having regular contact with something
14. consecutive n) a suggestion of something being true
15. face-to-face o) the level of ability someone has in a language
16. virtual conversation classes p) to be entirely involved in something
17. language proficiency q) a natural response or behavior
Answers: 1a, 2f, 3j, 4b, 5i, 6q, 7m, 8n, 9c, 10d, 11p, 12e, 13g, 14l, 15h, 16k, 17o.

For more academic English lessons go to:

Smart English Class