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3565. On Establishing Real Communication in Second Language Lessons

Communication.  That’s sheer important in second language lessons. Otherwise… why would we summon our students into language classes? If I teach English as a foreign or second language, I have to foster and promote communication in my classroom.  Sixteen years ago I filled out a card when I was studying my PhD – I carried out those studies yet I did not finish that academic career; anyway I got a lot of interesting research for my lessons and for this blog. On that card I typed:  Communication 1 280504 “The language teaching profession was still not ready for much real communication.” (x; the underlining is ours). We as teachers should foster as well real communication and not just always simulation. Think for instance of the warm-ups we practise in class: they usually deal with real things of their lives (of our students). So we teachers should also give our logistics announcements to our dear students in the target language or L2, in the classroom. And then, after giving tho

3564. An Interesting Quotation about Learning a Foreign Language...

Can adults learn a foreign or second language, or rather this is more for children and infants? Can I actually learn a language?  Lately I'm telling you that that is also perfectly possible for grownups!  Thus now I offer you a quotation from another expert at learning languages, E. W. Stevick (1989) Success with Foreign Languages: Seven Who Achieved It and What Worked for Them . Hertfordshire: Prentice Hall International.  Look, "Until a few years ago, people assumed that this natural ability to 'acquire' a language died out at about the age of puberty. After that, it was thought, people could gain control of new languages only by 'learning' them. In this special technical sense, 'learning' is what we do in classrooms, with a textbook, focusing on one thing at a time under the guidance of a a teacher.  More recently, we have begun to change that view. It is still true that small children cannot learn from textbooks, of course. But we are discovering th

3563. On the Way We Adults Learn a Language. So Great, Look!

Do you need to learn a language? I do. English. I’m working on it.  Now I can help you by giving more advice from the scholar we’re treating about on our last posts, H. D. Brown, who is an ace at learning and teaching languages.  So now we could think that children, young ones, infants actually, have a lot of facility to learn a language, right? But if we are adults… So what? Adults have a great potential to learn and grab a language.  Our author puts, “(S)hould you, like a kid, try to pick up language subconsciously? The answer is a qualified yes. As an adult now, you most likely analyze yourself too much. Your tendency is to memorize, focus on grammar rules, translate from one language to the other, and do just about everything except subconsciously acquire it. You’re probably learning facts about the language at the expense of learning to use it. And one sure way to fail at learning a foreign language is not to use it for genuine communication.” (page 21 from the book we’re analyzi

3562. On How an Adult Learns a Language as Based on His or Her Adult Characteristics

Now I could tell you some more things - interesting ones - from our great author and scholar H. D. Brown. Remember he's an expert at learning and teaching languages.  First I would like to say that the person who achieves to learn a foreign or second tongue is... the learner who REALLY wants to learn.  I myself know some examples of people who have improved their learned language... because they did really wish to learn. A person like that is a powerful engine that takes initiatives and makes firm resolutions and tries to fulfill them.  That person is not passive at all in the classroom and he or she cooperates with their teacher and with their classmates at the beautiful learning process of a second or foreign language.  That person tries to know himself and gets perfectly conscious of HOW he learns, HOW he studies, HOW he improves, HOW he discards what doesn't work and takes up what works fine.  Each class is a step forward, each hour dedicated to learning the language is a g

3561. On How to Gain Fluency at Speaking in a Foreign Language: An Example

Let’s continue studying what H. D. Brown suggests for learning a language, which amounts to some very useful ideas.  The key point is that the learner who achieves to learn that tongue has to be one that takes initiatives, and actually and really wishes to learn. That person is very active: no firm resolutions, no learning. On the contrary, if he or she plunges into the cold lake, they will for sure attain to learn that language.  I know a friend of mine who currently has an advanced English level. He has taken and made the resolution of working on a method which includes a textbook of CEFR level C1.  CEFR stands for Common European Framework of Reference for languages, where C1 is advanced and C2 – the top one – requires proficiency by the learner, so very advanced, so as to say.  Well, you know, he practices the four language skills, listening, speaking, reading and writing. Since he is almost locked down by the pandemics, he practices speaking on his own, this is, he does the activi

3560. A Draft of Optimism at Learning a Language or Anything Else!

Many of us wish to learn a language, and we do need this one.  Well, we can read from H. D. Brown (1989) A Practical Guide to Language Learning. A Fifteen-Week Program of Strategies for Success . New York: McGraw-Hill.  I mean, we can turn to colleagues like him, and then learn a lot from them. I said “colleagues” but actually he is a master.  And if you read from that book you will learn that each learner has to find his or her own pathway to success, for each learner has his or her unique way to learn, one in which they come to feel well.  On this post I pick up some ideas from that book, about which I wrote a paper for a college journal some fourteen years ago.  The learner thus has to invest his best. Because learning and acquiring a second or foreign language demands the best from you. If you agree to put all the best, you for sure will attain and achieve to succeed.  Otherwise if the learner sits down in the classroom, in the language classroom, and that’s it, and he’s like oblig

3559. How Do We Learn a Language or Anything Else? Some Tips for You

Many of us wish and need to learn a language. How to achieve this stupendous goal? By relaxing. We learn when we are relaxed. Also in other circumstances, but better if relaxed for example in classes.  Some sane and healthy tension, however, is necessary. But we have to be somehow and rather relaxed.  I notice that my dear students now are rather relaxed in the classroom, or at least mostly so.  When you’re relaxed, the language input may more easily get stuck in mind. You learn more easily. And of course as well you can subconsciously acquire the language.  Thus there is a nice atmosphere of cooperation in the classroom.  Perhaps in your classroom now there is more tension, but what about trying to get as much as possible that nice and relaxing atmosphere? As much as possible.  Another point that helps both teach and educate your students is love them, with benevolence love, this is, by seeking what is good for them. We have to love our students. With prudence, with prudence I insist.