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ERIC Number: EJ846304
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jan
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1094-3501
Let's Go to the Zoo! Sites for Young Language Learners
LeLoup, Jean W.; Ponterio, Robert
Language Learning & Technology, v9 n1 p4-16 Jan 2005
While the debate over the optimal age for second language (L2) acquisition continues into the 21st century--that is, whether or not there is a clearly established critical period beyond which L2 learning cannot take place--most people believe (rightly or wrongly) that "earlier is better." In this article, the authors begin with the premise that early language learning can be beneficial, if one follows some commonly accepted precepts of second language acquisition (SLA). Presentation of language in context seems to argue for the use of authentic materials in L2 instruction, even at an early stage. Using authentic texts to teach reading and listening skills provides language learners with real-life opportunities to use the target language (TL). If the aim is to enable learners to manipulate the TL in real-life circumstances, then they must practice with real-life examples. The goal is to select the authentic texts carefully, not edit them, and construct an age- and level-appropriate task for the learner to perform. For young learners, use of authentic language, in context, of high interest, and of familiar nature to the learner would seem to be the best bet for success. With this in mind, FL instructors might do well to consider a trip to the zoo--a virtual zoo. Virtual zoos on the Net are fruitful places for young language learners to explore. These sites are of high interest to youngsters, offer familiar content, and frequently have sections designed with educational activities for children. Here, the authors examine three sites and also explore a third site where young learners can create their own animals and write about them.
University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center. 1859 East-West Road #106, Honolulu, HI 96822. Tel: 808-956-9424; Fax: 808-956-5983; e-mail: llt@hawaii.edu; Web site: http://llt.msu.edu
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A