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Despite common practice in a lot countries and Language Curricula, Second Language Acquisition is fundamentally different than Primary Language Acquisition. In Second Language Acquisition the Learner references the new language (in different ways depending on age) to the first language. Furthermore Children education on Second Language is different to Adult education. In general Children-learner tend to process second (or third) languages in ‘parallel’ (creating an own pattern) while adults tend to process second (or third) languages ‘sequential’ (associated to the patter of the Primary Language). (The detailed differences are not subject to detailed illustration in this article.)
To significantly improve the Learner’s progress of Adults requires a) leveraging on existing “Language learning experience” and b) tapping intoLanguage Learning methodsof Primary Language Acquisition. It remains very difficult to extrapolate generic models due to different learning type personalities but the Dogme & Direct model are interesting methods to consider for learners (and instructors).
The Dogme method, based on the writing of Scott Thornbury, “considerslanguage learningto be a process where language emerges rather than one where it is acquired”. The entire method is based on conversation and the teaching (or in group lessons ‘moderation’) as such does not follow specific syllabus. While there is considerable criticism on this method (especially if followed strictly avoiding all text-material), interestingly it represents an excellent example of point (B) highlighted above – tapping into “Primary Language Acquisition Process Methods”. Also in Children Primary Language Acquisition very little text-material is used. (Picture-)Books are material to support a learning process entirely based on conversation. Almost every person went through this apparently highly effective process; the efficiency of this approach for Adult Education depends on the overall curriculum (eg intensity of program, frequency of lessons, setup of lessons). To elaborate on the efficiency it has to be noted that Children follow this approach over 1-2 years fulltime (in the “direct method”, see below). Furthermore the method was developed with very specific (e.g. non-tonal) languages in mind. Learning for example Chinese without basic graphical illustrations of tones or letters might be challenging.
The Direct Method (developed based on the dissatisfaction with the older grammar translation method) suggests refraining entirely from using the learners’ native language. Also the direct Method is basic principle of almost all Primary Language Acquisition. In Second Language Acquisition this approach requires teaching of basic communication pattern first to facilitate the course as such; grammar, reading and writing are taught in a later stage. Courses are usually based on question and answers in intensive lessons (students talk around 80% of the time) and grammar is learned inductively. Depending on the learning objective (e.g. general language acquisition or preparation for a specific exam), this approach has been suggested to be one of the most successful in making progress in Second Language Acquisition; especially in the context of conversation capability.
Globibo does not suggest or imply the use the one or the otherLanguage Learning Method, but highlights the necessity to assess the best learning method to improve the learning progress and satisfaction. Globibo Research suggests that applying the rightLearning Methodcan increase learning progress by 350%-450%.