Methodology for the Natural Acquisition of Second Languages

by Javier Gonzalez Fernandez (Author)
©2020 Monographs 100 Pages
Series: Gdańsk Studies in Language, Volume 15


This book presents a new methodology for facilitating the acquisition of second languages in a natural way.
This methodology aims to facilitate the acquisition of a second language in the same way that a child acquires his mother tongue, taking into account the characteristics of the environment of the acquisition of an L2, which in most cases is the classroom.
These pedagogic principles have been obtained through a detailed study of
infant and children’s developmental psychology and the infant-directed speech (IDS), also known as Motherese.
The book also provides with the main criticism different methods and approaches had had over the years and explains why this method overcomes these criticisms to teach a second language effectively

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgments
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • Citability of the eBook
  • Contents
  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Acquisition vs. Learning
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Second Language Learning
  • Affective Factors
  • 3 Methods and Approaches for the Acquisition of Second Languages
  • Problems with the Elaboration of an Effective Method or Approach in L2 Teaching and Learning
  • Methods or Approaches Based on Learning
  • The Traditional or Grammar-translation Method
  • The Cognitive Method
  • The Communicative Approach
  • The Task Approach
  • The Content-based Approach
  • The Method Based on Multiple Intelligences
  • A Bridge Method Between Acquisition and Learning: The Audio-oral Method
  • Methods or Approaches Based on the Acquisition of L1
  • The Direct Method
  • Total Physical Response Method
  • A Method Based on L2 Acquisition: The Natural Approach
  • Other Methods
  • 4 Methodological Principles of the MNASL
  • Initial Levels
  • Showing the World
  • Listening Comprehension Assessment
  • First Productions (Output) of a Single Word
  • Production of Two or More Words
  • Acquisition of Syntax
  • Time and Space Displacement
  • Intermediate Levels
  • Advanced Levels
  • 5 Conclusion
  • References

1 Introduction

The principles of the Methodology for the Natural Acquisition of Second Languages (MNASL) are a group of generalizations that have to be contrasted with future theoretical and practical research.

This methodology is based on the hypothesis that we must acquire a second language in the same way that we acquire the mother tongue or first language (L1).

This thesis can give rise to many criticisms due to the widespread belief that the acquisition of second languages is always different from the acquisition of the mother tongue, creating one of the largest branches of applied linguistics research, the Acquisition of Second Languages.

Due to this distinction, between L1 and L2 acquisition, the first one has not been examined with the aim of applying the findings to create an effective methodology for acquiring an L2. This book intends to reflect on this and lay theoretical foundations that can lead to a change of mentality in the world of acquisition (I hope that this concept can replace learning) of second languages.

I will try to argue in this book that, in spite of the pre-eminence given to language learning, as described by Krashen in his Monitor Hypothesis, L2 linguistic proficiency is obtained through the acquisition of that L2 and that this acquisition is produced through a comprehensible input, which is not related to the L1, but it is completely independent.

Many researchers, such as Krashen (1981), have suggested the previous hypothesis, but, in my opinion, have not succeeded in proposing a methodology that can leave a mark on the world of Second Language Acquisition for the following reasons:

Although the grammar-translation method is very old, grammatical correctness is still the main objective of L2 teaching and learning. The phrase Jonny cheese would not be acceptable, not even in the methodological practice within the Communicative Approach, although this sentence completes the communicative act satisfactorily in the hypothetical situation that Jonny has to choose between several food products. This is because L2 teachers have an allergic reaction to grammatical errors.

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It is very difficult to carry out this methodology without the support of modern technology. Some methods such as the Direct Method, the Audio-lingual Method or the Natural Approach presented the input through realia, drawings or photos, but, as we will see later on, we need videos, videogames or virtual reality for a significative acquisition.

In order to explain the starting hypothesis of this book, in chapter 2, I make a comparison of the concepts of acquisition and learning within the world of L2. I make a revision of Krashen’s (1981) Monitor and affective filter theories, adding a crucial affective factor such as social beliefs.

In chapter 3, Methods and Approaches for the Acquisition of Second Languages, I review the main methods and approaches in L2 teaching and learning from the perspective of my hypothesis, analyzing the strengths and most important weaknesses of each of them, always from the point of view of the MNASL.

After revealing the main problems of the current L2 teaching and learning and realizing the need for a new methodology to overcome these difficulties, in chapter 4, I present the general principles of the MNASL.

I conclude with the final chapter, Conclusion, summarizing all reflections and notions proposed in this book.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2020 (March)
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2020. 100 pp.

Biographical notes

Javier Gonzalez Fernandez (Author)

Javier Gonzalez Fernandez holds a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics and two B.A. degrees: Linguistics and Teaching. He has been a Lecturer at ZUT (Poland), MUIC (Thailand) and Fatih University (Turkey). He also has been a language instructor in China, Poland, UK and Ecuador. At present, he is an Assistant Professor at the University of Szczecin, Poland.


Title: Methodology for the Natural Acquisition of Second Languages