ERIC Number: ED411679
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Self-Directed Language Learning and Third-Language Learner.
Rivers, William P.
A study investigated the characteristics and behaviors of college students learning a third language. Four groups of students with backgrounds in Slavic second languages and enrolled in a variety of Slavic and non-Slavic third languages courses were studied using ethnographic techniques, including open-ended questionnaires, focus groups, classroom observation, and interviews. Subjects were from three programs: a 1993-94 program in languages of the former Soviet Union at the University of Maryland at College Park; a language cross-training program at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (California) (DLI); and a DLI study of the effectiveness of foreign language immersion training. The proficiency outcomes of third-language learners were compared with those of learners in similar second-language courses. Two results emerged: (1) third-language learners are highly successful; they learn more language faster than second language learners of the same target language; and (2) their behaviors are those of the self-directed learner. Implications of self-directed second-language learning for the learner of less commonly taught languages and for learning outside formal language programs are discussed. Contains 88 references. (MSE)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Achievement Gains, College Students, Difficulty Level, Ethnography, Focus Groups, Higher Education, Immersion Programs, Interviews, Language Research, Multilingualism, Second Language Learning, Second Languages, Slavic Languages, Student Behavior, Student Characteristics, Surveys, Uncommonly Taught Languages
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A