ERIC Number: ED028438
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1969-Feb-1
Reference Count: N/A
Learning a Language in the Field: Problems of Linguistic Relativity.
The author feels that there is no reason to suppose that adults are less capable than children in learning a second language, given adequate opportunity and motivation. In terms of amount learned in comparable time, the adult is about five times as efficient as the child. This is what would be expected of any other kind of intellectual or rational activity, and that is what second language learning ought to be--an intellectually interesting process. Two types of differences between languages are discussed here--differences in the surface representation of quasi-universal "deep" features, and differences in the "deep" conceptualizations of general human experience (the latter constituting "linguistic relativity"). Linguistic relativity, while a problem for the adult learner, is also a source of interest, and interest in language itself is one source of motivation for the mature student. The student learning a language in the field must be encouraged to develop initiative, curiosity, empathy, and an awareness of what to look for in the new language. This paper will be published in "The Modern Language Journal," v53, n5, 1969. It was also presented at the 1968 Annual Membership Conference of the Council on International Educational Exchange, New York, November 14-15, 1968. (Author/JD)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC. Bureau of Research.
Authoring Institution: Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor. Center for Research on Language and Language Behavior.