This phenomenon occurs when children are introduced to a second language after they are well-versed in the first language, usually after the age of three. They may experience sequential acquisition in case they are required to immigrate to a country where different language is spoken. The situation of sequential learning may also arise in case the child speaks only his mother language at home, until it starts going to school where it is required to undergo instructions given in a different language.In case a child acquires the second language in this way, it usually experiences the following:For a brief period, the child may be constrained to use his mother language.The child may go into a silent or non-verbal mode, immediately after being subjected to a second language. Till the child builds his comprehension of the language, he is likely to pursue these two kinds of interactive modes, which may continue for few weeks or even few months. However, it has been observed that younger children take more time for acclimatizing themselves with the second language, as compared to the older children. Other features observable are that children may use gestures during this period and may be able to utter few words in the second language.
Some children may attempt using short, distorted and imitative languages. They may try to utter one-word labels or memorized phrases. In fact, these phrases are not formed by own vocabulary or knowledge of the child about the language, rather heard, imitated and memorized after listening from others. After overcoming these imitating phases, the child may be enabled to form his own sentences. Such sentences are partially memorized and contain some amount of the own newly-learned vocabulary. At a later stage, the child may utilize a formula postulated by him while forming sentences and inserting his own words into certain common phrases like; ‘I want or I agree”. Slowly, the child acquires more and more frequency. In any case, grammatical mistakes persist and the child utters sentences that may sound abbreviated because of his lack of grammatical knowledge. The influence of his mother language may be the possible reason for this