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How Languages Are Learned 4e
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New 4th edition of Lightbown and Spada's prize-winning readable introduction to research in language acquisition

Table of Contents

Introduction1. Language learning in early childhoodPreviewFirst language acquisitionExplaining first language acquisitionLanguage disorders and delaysChildhood bilingualismSummarySuggestions for further reading2. Second language learningPreviewLearner characteristicsLearning conditionsStudying the language of second language learners VocabularyPragmaticsPhonologySampling learners' languageSummarySuggestions for further reading3. Individual differences in second language learningPreviewResearch on learner characteristicsIndividual differences and classroom instructionAge and second language learningAge and second language instructionSummarySuggestions for further reading4. Explaining second language learningPreviewThe behaviourist perspectiveThe innatist perspectiveThe cognitive perspectiveThe sociocultural perspectiveSummarySuggestions for further reading5. Observing learning and teaching in the second language classroomPreviewNatural and instructional settingsObservation schemesEthnographySummarySuggestions for further reading6. Second language learning in the classroomPreviewProposals for teachingAssessing the proposalsSummarySuggestions for further reading7. Popular ideas about language learning revisitedPreviewReflecting on the popular ideas: Learning from researchConclusion

About the Author


Patsy M. Lightbown is Distinguished Professor Emerita at Concordia University in Montreal and Past President of the American Association for Applied Linguistics. Her research focuses on how instruction and feedback affect second-language acquisition in classrooms where the emphasis is on "communicative" or "content-based" language teaching. The contexts for her work have included elementary schools in Canada and, more recently, dual-language bilingual classes in the U.S. Nina Spada is Professor of Applied Linguistics at the Modern Language Centre, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, Canada. Her main areas of professional interest are second language acquisition, classroom research in L2 teaching and learning, and English as a Second Language.

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How Languages Are Learned, 4th edn. P. Lightbown & N. Spada. (2013) Oxford U. Press. ISBN 978-0-19-454126-8; 256pp+. This edition of the standard introductory work on this subject is over 20 pp. longer than the 3rd edition. A strong feature of this admirable book is its concise, clear summaries of important research findings. The chapters are; Language learning in early childhood, Second language learning (SLL), Individual differences in SLL, Explaining SLL, Observing learning and teaching in the SL classroom, SLL in the classroom, and Popular ideas about language learning revisited. Extra activities, study questions, and videos are available online at www.oup.com/elt/teacher/hlal * The Teacher Trainer Journal, Vol 29/3 *

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