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ERIC Number: ED474753
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
The Door into Other Lives.
van Troyer, Gene
Adapted from a speech to Japanese high school students in an English track program, this essay responds to the common question, "What is the best way to learn English?" First, it is noted that English can not be learned directly from dictionaries and grammar books, by empty repetition of words and phrases with passive attitude, with fear of making mistakes, without using the language, without looking for its usefulness, and in an environment that is not relaxed, respectful, and helpful. Then it is proposed that English must be learned by actively using opportunities to speak it, and that a passive or fearful attitude is the main obstacle in learning a second language. It is argued that student anxiety about making mistakes in language learning is universal, and that the common teacher response to this is as a perceived threat. Anecdotes from students and teachers alike are used as illustration. It is concluded that the best second language learners are those who take risks, anticipate both success and error, and find in language learning a way to learn about one's own and others' culture. (MSE)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A