Mohamed Lamine Debaghine, Sétif 2 University (ALGERIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 17-23
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
Neuroscience has long investigated the brain-functioning in different realms of science. One of the main intrinsic studies which have been worth pinpointing was language acquisition and language learning. Indeed, the child is born with the pre-requisite to learn an unprecedented number of sounds regardless of what language is spoken in his immediate community. Additionally, in a multilingual social background, an infant is capable to grasp meanings and vocabularies that have similar or different connotations. More than that, children have the ability to learn a language in a remarkable speed. Language entities are cracked in the brain, reorganized and memorized in such a mechanical manner to process the information and act upon it.

New trends in language learning show that in vocabulary acquisition, the learner takes action in his learning process which makes him an active participant in the give-and-take action. The learner comes to know things according to his experience which requires both genes and the environment.

In this context, learning a second or a foreign language depends very much on the social context in which the learner has developed as well as on the linguistic background of his immediate environment. Several studies on language acquisition have shown that the infant’s linguistic exposure to languages in his early life make the difference in the manner and the quality of learning languages in the future. Children with parents speaking two different languages at home are more likely to develop learning strategies that enable them to excel with foreign language learning later on. Why children are better learners than adults; this question can also find an answer in the mind’s neuroscience theory to language learning.

In order to investigate this phenomenon in more depth, we shall lead a study in the Algerian context where the multicultural richness and the sociolinguistic diversity give fertile land to our experiment. In the Algerian society, there cohabitate a population with a plural social and linguistic repertoire. This plurality is mainly characterized by the Arabic-speaking and the Tamazight-speaking communities. Arabic is divided into “standard Arabic” the official national language and the language of instruction. The latter, in fact, cannot be taken as a mother tongue since it is not used in everyday communication, and “Derdja” or colloquial Arabic which is the first dialect the child is exposed to in his early communication act. Derdja has no written form and has wide variations in vocabulary and pronunciation according to the regions. “Tamazight” is a second national language and is spoken by more than thirty percent of the Algerian population mainly known as “Berbere”. The Berbere or the Amazigh people are the original inhabitants of Algeria and Tamazight is their mother tongue. They get to speak Tamazight and Derdja during their first infancy. French, which is officially taken to be the first foreign language, can count a great deal of vocabulary items in the algerian derdja as a remnant of the French colonization to Algeria for more than a hundred and thirty-two years. With globalization, however, students are increasingly pushed to learn English. The influence of this pluralistic linguistic background surely opens some questioning as to the impact of the latter on the English Foreign Language Class. In this paper, we shall demonstrate the influence of the linguistic diversity on the EFL class in Algeria.
Linguistic background, linguistic plurality, multilingualism, sociolinguistic, neuroscience, Algerian linguistic diversity.