"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more
To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.
This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.
The development of theories of second language acquisition
Second language acquisition (SLA) is a relatively new field of enquiry. Before the late 1960s, educators did write about L2 learning, but very much as an adjunct of language teaching pedagogy, underpinned by behaviourism, the then-dominant learning theory in psychology. In this view, the task facing learners of foreign languages was to rote-learn and practise the grammatical patterns and vocabulary of the language to be learnt, in order to form new ‘habits’, that is to create new stimulus–response pairings which would become stronger with reinforcement. In order for the ‘old habits’ of the L1 not to interfere with this process by being ‘copied’, or transferred, into the L2, researchers embarked on thorough descriptions of pairs of languages to be learnt, in order to identify areas that are different and would thus be difficult.