Publication Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

First Advisor

Diane Larsen-Freeman


This report is an examination of the results of my own beginning second language acquisition in the field. For one year I observed myself in the process of acquiring Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia in the respective countries. I was able to document my experiences in a language acquisition diary. It is the data from which this report was written.

I found that my second language acquisition in the field is a complex process determined by need as well as preferred personal strategies, and limited by a saturation monitor.

The success of this acquisition depends primarily upon my needs as well as attitudes towards the target language group. I found that attitude affects motivation, which in turn affects acquisition itself. If my perceptions towards the target culture were positive, I tended to acquire more easily. If my perceptions were negative, I tended to reject both the culture and the language. However, if I had a need to learn and use language for communication, I tended to do so regardless of my attitudes. The function of the saturation monitor was to limit the amount of language I was internalizing at any one moment. It was influenced by time, circumstance, and interference from other languages.

In this paper, I explore my personal acquisition strategies as well as the personal and environmental factors which influence them. In addition, I will compare my findings with John Schumann's acculturation model


Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Psychology | Teacher Education and Professional Development