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ERIC Number: ED358695
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Apr-26
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
How Does One Learn a Second Language? Let Me Count the Number of Ways.
Mangubhai, Francis
A study used the think-aloud method to determine how adult learners beginning to learn a second language through oral input construct meanings, and what processing behaviors they engage in to help them construct future meanings more effectively. The subjects, 5 adult undergraduate and graduate students aged 23-55, were taught 20 Hindi lessons individually using the Total Physical Response method. Each lesson contained about 50 utterances, some of which were reviews of constructions already studied. The subjects were asked to think aloud and self-report when they were having difficulty during a teaching session. Sessions were videotaped, transcribed, and analyzed for patterns. Qualitative and quantitative differences in the strategies used to build on prior learning were found in all subjects, and five distinct styles emerged. Strategies included: focusing on single words; analyzing input into content of words and using pragmatic knowledge to determine meaning; translation; focusing on sentence constituents; processing in Hindi without resorting to translation; translating constituent parts when too complex for second-language analysis; separating the utterance into "chunks" before analysis of constituents; gestalt approach, with little conscious linguistic processing; induction of grammatical rules; inference by process of elimination; and repetition. (Contains 33 references.) (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A