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Mars
Learning Vs Acquisition Many English learners do not know the difference between learning a language and acquiring a language,  so let's find out ! 
Learning takes place in formal or artificial environment because the target learners are totally conscious of what is going on. For example, teacher and learner interaction, i.e. The learner is conscious and aware of what is being taught or learned. Acquisition, on the other hand, take place in an informal  authentic and natural environment, such as home and streets,  so it is unconscious, i.e. The child acquires his mother tongue  in a natural context without being conscious.  
       


May 7, 2019 6:49 PM
Comments · 5
Interesting topic. I wanted to mention that while the traditional classroom focuses on the structure of the language, the rules, and tries to provide a coherent logic for "why" native speakers use the language the way they do, there are classroom environments that try to provide more exposure to natural language and remove the focus from the rules. When implemented well, with an instructor who identifies where the students are and meets them there, they are very successful. Of course, there is resistance both from some students and from some more classically trained instructors who think that one needs to know how a language works to speak it well, which is simply untrue.

Professor Jeff Brown, a Spanish teacher, made an interesting video about this topic, documenting his experience and progress learning Arabic in a year:
https://youtu.be/illApgaLgGA

(not a fan of the cheesy background music, but I like his enthusiasm and agree with the message)
May 7, 2019
Yes, Seand645 is right. Language acquisition can take place in both an instructed learning environment and a naturalistic one. There is a specific field in applied linguistics that deals with second language acquisition, which concerns the conscious and unconscious process of acquiring a second language. 
May 7, 2019
Actually I think you can acquire a language in a classroom or on italki, for example when the teacher asks you to do something and you understand without thinking. A good teacher can make this happen a lot.
May 7, 2019
Mars, I remember myself well sicne the age of 3 (and have occasional memories of before that). 

Most certainly I was uttely conscious. I did analyze what I heard. I did analyze grammar of what I heard. I did analyze vocuabulary.
I rarely made an effort to memorize something but... that happened as well.

Sorry.
and now you're having that naughty analytical adult here on forum. 
May 7, 2019
Nice explanation!
May 7, 2019
Mars
Language Skills
Arabic, English, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai
Learning Language
Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai