Becoming Fluent: How Cognitive Science Can Help Adults Learn a Foreign Language

Becoming Fluent How Cognitive Science Can Help Adults Learn a Foreign Language Adults who want to learn a foreign language are often discouraged because they believe they cannot acquire a language as easily as children Once they begin to learn a language adults may be further d

  • Title: Becoming Fluent: How Cognitive Science Can Help Adults Learn a Foreign Language
  • Author: Richard M. Roberts Roger J. Kreuz
  • ISBN: 9780262029230
  • Page: 267
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Adults who want to learn a foreign language are often discouraged because they believe they cannot acquire a language as easily as children Once they begin to learn a language, adults may be further discouraged when they find the methods used to teach children don t seem to work for them What is an adult language learner to do In this book, Richard Roberts and Roger KreAdults who want to learn a foreign language are often discouraged because they believe they cannot acquire a language as easily as children Once they begin to learn a language, adults may be further discouraged when they find the methods used to teach children don t seem to work for them What is an adult language learner to do In this book, Richard Roberts and Roger Kreuz draw on insights from psychology and cognitive science to show that adults can master a foreign language if they bring to bear the skills and knowledge they have honed over a lifetime Adults shouldn t try to learn as children do they should learn like adults.Roberts and Kreuz report evidence that adults can learn new languages even easily than children Children appear to have only two advantages over adults in learning a language they acquire a native accent easily, and they do not suffer from self defeating anxiety about learning a language Adults, on the other hand, have the greater advantages gained from experience of an understanding of their own mental processes and knowing how to use language to do things Adults have an especially advantageous grasp of pragmatics, the social use of language, and Roberts and Kreuz show how to leverage this metalinguistic ability in learning a new language.Learning a language takes effort But if adult learners apply the tools acquired over a lifetime, it can be enjoyable and rewarding.

    One thought on “Becoming Fluent: How Cognitive Science Can Help Adults Learn a Foreign Language”

    1. Relatively new book out of MIT Press about second language learning in adults. I felt like this book couldn't really figure out its purpose: to serve as encouragement to adults to stop feeling like the ship has sailed on language learning, to be a summary of the relevant research, or to serve as a repository of tips on language learning. It did pretty well on the first task, but it was only a small portion of the book - the first full chapter or so. As a summary of the relevant research, it dido [...]

    2. This review is an excerpt from my full review - you can get it along with my 10 pages of book notes at fluentlanguage/blog/becominWhy It's AwesomeThere are many language learning books out in the market that tell you all about how wonderful the author's methods are. Most successful polyglot-style books follow this system. The logic is that if following certain steps made the author fluent in another language, then you can do the same by copying the steps.In Becoming Fluent, I detected none of th [...]

    3. There are many books about language learning in general, but it's great to finally see this scientifically sound account of second language acquisition. I was constantly nodding my head at things that I know to be true as an experienced language learner and coach to language learners, explained in a no-nonsense way drawing on many valid sources. Recommended for people who want to know the facts about adult foreign language acquisition.

    4. I really liked this book. I would recommend it to anyone who doesn't even want to learn a foreign language. Here's the kicker. The book is about cognitive science as applied to foreign language, not about foreign language with the use of cognitive science. The book can apply to an assortment of different situations if you only take time to sit and think about what the book is saying and how could this or that apply to situations outside of learning languages. It's not a difficult connection to m [...]

    5. It helps, if you're over 35 and have no idea of what your cognitive limitations are. I was expecting a plan-a strategy-for how to tackle a language, but the book itself is not bad. It mostly focuses of tricks and strategies for a certain mindset to tackle a language. So, while this book was not for me, I'm sure that people who have an inkling to learn a language, but feel they don't have the capabilities will find this book highly helpful.

    6.  Um bom livro. O título foi um pouco equivocado (quiçá traiçoeiro), diria, já que apenas uma pequena fração do livro está focada em ajudar – dar dicas – a aprender idiomas. Uma boa parte é  usada para desmistificar diversas menções do senso comum relacionado à linguagem (quanto mais velho, mais difícil de aprender um idioma novo, por exemplo). E os outros momentos resultaram-se em curiosidades de idiomas: coisas que fazemos, manias que temos, e nem percebemos (ler lábios, po [...]

    7. I picked up this book because I have studied many foreign languages in my life, but I forget them faster than I learn them! After having read Becoming Fluent, I feel I have taken away a lot of useful techniques that I can apply to my learning. Some of them I have been using subconsciously (such as leveraging my old knowledge to form associations with the new), while others I've been doing wrong (such as setting strict studying routines).Overall, I found this book clearly-written, well-structured [...]

    8. As someone who has learned and forgotten and vaguely recalled perhaps a dozen languages over the years, this book on learning a language at any age was a delight and packed with information on the latest science and research on learning. The main point is that you are never too old to learn a language and in fact the older learner has some advantages over the younger ones. Of course, I read that section very closely. The experiences described did match many of my own as I returned to a language [...]

    9. Honestly, this book was not what I thought it was. I was looking for something that could help identify ways to better learn a foreign language using cognitive science, as the title of the book suggests. But the title is definitely misleading. The first part of the book was a bit more geared for that purpose, but I left with basically no techniques, tricks, or methods to apply to my language learning endeavor. If you are interested in cognitive science, then this will certainly be an interesting [...]

    10. Much of this book serves as a cheerleader for adult language learners (You can do it!), which -- anyone trying to learn a foreign language certainly needs along the way. In addition, it explains the science and function of the adult mind and how to use them to your linguistic-expanding advantage. I discovered a few new insights, and found that most of the concepts rung true -- as I have already observed, experienced, and learned from them over the past few years of studying Italian and Spanish, [...]

    11. Interesting book that refutes common misconceptions about the disadvantages of being an adult (rather than child) foreign language learner, and tips about how to tip the odds in one's favor. More detailed practical examples would have been nice, but this was a quick and entertaining read.

    12. I started it because I'm addicted to linguistics. When I saw the authors were connected with my alma mater I was really excited.I had learned a lot of this material in my classes although there was some new tidbits of information in here for me. It was also nice to have citations and places to look up new information. Not everyone majors in psychology though.I found that this information was more academic and less immediately implementable. The authors seemed to intend for the info to be very do [...]

    13. The writing wasn't as dry as it could have been, but it was more rah, rah, you can do it; cognitive science says you can *\0/* than practical advice. Some of the advice that was included wasn't even that practical. I'm sure it's easy to find a native speaker to practice your target language with when you work for the Foreign Service. And some of the mnemonics were so convoluted I'd never remember them, let alone what they stood for.

    14. 2.5 starsThis book is not the greatest if you're an adult looking for help in learning a language; the main focus is on cognitive science and what is has to say about adult language learners' abilities to learn languages so what tips there are are mixed in with the cognitive science info and hard to parse by themselves. If you're interested in cognitive science as it relates to adult language learners, this might be a good starting book for the subject.

    15. This book does have quite a bit of information about how we learn. It can be applied to learning new languages. It is just difficult b to pick the wheat from the chafe. I will be using some of the strategies suggested in the book. I will also keep in mind some of their admonishment as well.

    16. It’s an interesting book that made me think about how we learn languages. I really enjoyed the examples that he had from various languages. Unfortunately the last few chapters were redundant and boring.

    17. This book was so boring and didn't really teach anything. I would not recommend it at all. I did learn a new acronym though: Some lovers try positions they can't handle ~ to remember the bones of the hand.

    18. The best of both worlds.A fun blend of metacognitive explanations and language learning tips. You will walk away with a greater linguistic vocabulary and the additional reading list is quite large.

    19. A must read for language learners and wannabe polyglots. Written in an accessible and actionable format, this book is clearly well researched but isn't stuffy. The studies mentioned in the book and discussions of cognitive science are efficiently written and clear even to those of us who aren't science people, and there are interesting narrative details that illustrate the humor and frustrations of language learning. Big fan.

    20. If you need a self-help book for learning a foreign language this book is for you, but for me it wasn't a big help. I already knew about things like picking up the spoon and saying what spoon is in the foreign language I was trying to learn and chunking things. Overall it wasn't that interesting to me.

    21. An excellent book about the science behind learning a language as an adult. It's refreshing to see someone come at the topic from a scientific angle and interesting that the science reinforces many of the ideas that the world's top polyglots have put forward from their own experiences.

    22. I thought this was going to be theoretical but it gave great examples of how to learn another language. Learned use of the peg system and heuristics in language learning. Great connections from Daniel Kahneman's book.

    23. A great book for anyone learning a language. The authors walk you through a great deal of information that dispels myths about and shows strategies for learning a language. I really enjoyed it.

    24. A very good, research-grounded overview. One indicator being the book's reasoned pushback against Gladwell's 10000 hours meme.

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