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Re: CHAT: Anglification (was Re: My Conlang Museum in Netscape too)

From:Dan Sulani <dnsulani@...>
Date:Tuesday, January 25, 2000, 9:04
On 25 Jan, Nicole asked:

>But are there really people >who can never ever learn another language? >
Well, Nicole, it seems to me that, in general, when one says that he/she cannot learn a lang, there is always an unspoken assumption: "by this particular method or teacher". Not every person can learn (anything) by the same techniques. For example, some of us assimilate information better through the eyes, some of us better through the ears. (For some people, the other senses can also play a part.) Some of us need whole gestalts; some of us need step by step progression. Some can learn a language by merely reading a grammar book; some can learn by analyzing a corpus (oral or written) with the help of a native informant or good dictionary. Some can learn in a "normal" classroom setting (30-40 people, frontal lecturing, minimal practice) and some learn by an "ulpan" method (small classes, teacher only talks the lang you are learning, maximum practice). Etc. Myself, I learned Hebrew by total immersion: living in the country where it is spoken, talking to people at every opportunity, trying to learn from people correcting me. (This is admittedly the hard way to do it, but it worked for me.) Once I had a basic level of the lang, I acquired vocabulary by reading material at _all_ levels: from great literature down to things which, today, I wouldn't let into my home! :-) Rather than memorizing lists of words for my profession, I got the books that students here use to learn it, and essentially relearned my profession in Hebrew, thus acquiring vocabulary while learning to think about my work in the new lang. But again, Nicole, that was _my_ way. Others would do it better differently. Having taught lang, as a Speech-Lang-Pathologist, to people of all ages with all manner of cognitive (dis)abilities, my professional bias is obviously that anyone can learn a language (mental abilities allowing --- and even then, be prepared for pleasant suprises). It's only a question of finding the appropriate learning strategy for the preson and investing the appropriate amount of time. Dan Sulani -------------------------------------------------------------------- likehsna rtem zuv tikuhnuh auag inuvuz vaka'a. A word is an awesome thing.