Wednesday, 10 September 2008

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: The Good Language Learner


Salam Ramadhan and hi to all,

How about something more serious this time round...good exercise for the brain!

Are you a good language learner? What does a good language learner do in order to learn English? What does he bring into the language classroom? Does he have to speak it often or write it often? Do you think there is such a thing as a good language learner?
Here's what the language experts have to say on the matter:

According to Rubin, J., & Thompson, I. (1982) in their book 'How to be a more successful language learner', there are fourteen important attributes:

1. Good language learners find their own way and take charge of their learning. They determine the methods that are best for them as individual learners. They learn from others and experiment with different methods.
2. Good language learners organise their study of the language, and they organise information about the language they study.
3. Good language learners are creative. They understand that language is creative. They experiment with the language and play with grammar, words, and sounds.
4. Good language learners make their own opportunities for practicing the language inside and outside of the classroom.
5. Good language learners learn to live with uncertainty by focusing on the meaning of what they can understand, by not getting flustered, and by continuing to talk or listen without necessarily understanding every word.
6. Good language learners use mnemonics and other memory strategies to recall what they are learning.
7. Good language learners make errors work for them and not against them.
8. Good language learners use linguistic knowledge, including knowledge of their first language, in learning a second language.
9. Good language learners use contextual clues to aid their comprehension of the language. They maximize use of all potential contexts around the language attended to for enhancing comprehension.
10. Good language learners learn to make intelligent guesses.
11. Good language learners learn chunks of language as wholes and formalised routines to help them perform beyond their competence. For example, they may learn idioms, proverbs, or other phrases knowing what the whole phrase means without necessarily understanding each individual part.
12. Good language learners learn certain tricks that keep conversations going.
13. Good language learners learn certain production techniques that also fill in the gaps in their own competence.
14. Good language learners learn different styles of speech or writing to learn to vary their language according to the formality of the situation.

How many characteristics are already there in you? How many do you need to work on? Which ones seem the most imprtant to you? I think it is important that English teachers and students are aware of the characteristics above because such an awareness can lead to change in attitude and hence performance! To do well in English we need to adopt the right strategies and attitudes. Otherwise, we will probably take a longer time to master the English language.

4 comments:

  1. As far as learning another language, including English, is concerned, can I put in a word for Esperanto?

    I know that Esperanto is a living language, but it has great propaedeutic values as well.

    Confirmation can be seen at http://www.lernu.net

    ReplyDelete
  2. yes, i read that esperanto can help learners to master the second target language faster after first learning esperanto. must be due to the linguistic features of the language. very interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow!Impressive ways of learning English,viewers should try out yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  4. well, those are the generally accepted requirements to learn any language!

    ReplyDelete

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