Institution Affiliation

Language acquisition is defined as the process through which humanbeings acquire the capacity to understand a language (Haynes, 2005).Comprehension of the language involves the ability to produce wordsand communicate effectively. For one to be able to gain the abilityto use a language, it is necessary to acquire a series of tools suchas phonetics, syntax and extensive vocabulary. In this paper, wehighlight the stages of acquisition by using a chart that willcontain discussions on fictitious student behavior (Haynes, 2005).Moreover, it will identify the behaviors associated with thecharacteristics of each stage.

Case Scenario

The study will assume that the student under consideration is insecond grade. Another hypothesis is that the student is an ESLlearner. The student is known as Javier Hernandez, and the chartbelow indicates the characteristics associated with each stage of thelearning process.


Chart 1







Name of Stage


Early Production

Speech Emergence

Intermediate Fluency

Advanced Fluency

Other Stage Names

Pre-Speech/ Silent Period/Non-English Proficient (NEP)

Telegraphic Stage/ Limited English Proficient (LEP)

Simple-Sentence Stage / Limited English Proficient

Bridging Stage

Fluent English Proficient (FEP)

Variety of Languages

The student has began to develop a proficiency in Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS)

Fluency (Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills)

Fluency BICS (Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills)

Proficiency in Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) and increasing fluency in Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP)

Fluency in both the Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) and Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP)

Behavior of Student

At this stage the student produces no speech. However, he is likely to comprehend keywords as well as show comprehension physically.

The behavior of the student will hinge on the context. As such, they respond through gestures and by stating yes or no. They can also respond by drawing and names of other students

The student is in a position to produce words in isolation. At this stage, the student is also able to show comprehension physically as well verbalize keywords that have been heard.

The behavior of the student also depends on the context. They can therefore, offer responses with either two-word answers or make phrases. The student also mispronounces words at this stage, and there are a number of errors and omissions

The student is able to produce whole sentences as well as basic grammatical errors. He is also able to show an improved comprehension in addition to hearing smaller elements of speech. He is in a position to use a limited level of vocabulary.

At this phase, the student can produce complete narrations and comprehends even the subtle elements of speech. He makes complex grammatical mistakes and can operate at an academic level. A student at this stage can also be able to use expanded vocabulary.

The student is regarded to have achieved proficiency in the second language. He is considered to be near-native with regards to his performance in the learning context. He will have exited the ESL and other support programs. However, he still needs additional support with regards to social studies and writing


This stage lasts between two weeks and two months even though the duration is relative

Expected to take between two and four months. Is also relative

Takes between one and two years

Lasts between three and five years for one to achieve peer-appropriate proficiency

This stages is expected to last between four and ten years

Instructional programs

ESL (English as Second language). It should be topic based

ESL (English as Second Language). Should be both and literature based

ESL (English as Second Language). Should be content and literature based

Sheltered Instructions

At this stage, most ELLs (English-Language learners) have exited from ESL (English as Second Language). They are also no longer in other support programs

Second Chart

Name of Student

Stage of Language Acquisition



De Rossi


Listening: The student is able to start processing common words and phrases of the new language. In addition to this, they can demonstrate understanding through the use of gestures. To facilitate effective understanding of the new language, repetition is encouraged.

Speaking: The student is mostly silent and can only manage to repeat individual words. This stage is also synonymous with memorized utterances. However, the student relies massively on gestures when communicating

Writing: The student uses drawings as a means to demonstrate understanding as well as express his ideas. He can also copy written text

Reading: Meaning is only derived from pictures. However, he can recognize sounds and words that they see more often.

The student is considered to be in the first stage of language acquisition because there is no speech production. Additionally, the student has up to 500-word vocabulary.



Speaking: The student uses short phrases in addition to the memorized utterances. There are incomplete sentences in this case.

Listening: The student is in a position to hear, recognize and respond to language that they hear often.

Writing: The student can draw, copy and write words and phrases at this stage.

Reading: The main source of meaning for the student is pictures. The learner can also recognize that they see on a regular basis

The rationale for this classification is based on his ability to only issue one or two-word responses and the disconnected nature of his speech. The student has up to 100 active-word vocabulary.



Speaking: The student is able to produce original sentences. However, the number of errors is still high

Listening: The student understands both simple and compound sentences. This is especially the case in social context. The student is conversant with the basics ideas of a conversation. The learners are also aware of the basic grammatical mistakes.

Writing: The student is bale to engage in sentence-level production. They rely on Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) vocabulary. He has also been taught the Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP).

Reading: The student is aware of individual words as well as simple sentences by utilizing visual support. The learner also connects with initial knowledge

The student falls into this stage due to his ability to issue simple sentence answers as well as the good comprehension of the English language. The learner has up to 3000 receptive vocabulary



Speaking: The ESL student produces speech that meets both the social and academic expectations. Errors do not affect understanding.

Listening: There is a deep understanding of general language. Academic language is supported visually.

Writing: The student is able to write paragraph-level text with regards to both social and academic contexts. There are limited errors.

Reading: One can successfully read the text on common topics. The student requires contextual support when dealing with unfamiliar text

The student is in a position to make both simple and complex responses. The active word vocabulary also exceeds 3000 words.


Haynes, J. (2005). Stages of Second Language Retrieved from: