August 12, 2015 3:37 pm
When learning a second language, we all may have struggled with matters such as grammar, conjugations, syntax and pronunciation, however in the end no substantial results were achieved.
In order to learn a new language, more formally put by Dr. Paul Pimsleur (1969) as “second language acquisition”, conversation and interaction with other people are two fundamental techniques.
Pimsleur was known as one of the world’s experts in applied linguistics, and in essence he argued that before written history, individuals acquired language skills primarily through interacting with one another. In today’s world, on the other hand, literacy and education have altered the way languages are constructed, yet Pimsleur meant that we still acquire a second language in the same old manner. This leads us to Pimsleur’s second language acquisition method, which emphasises the principle of anticipation. By this he meant that our brains are designed to automatically process speech and ‘anticipate’ the correct answer, which indeed makes our brains more prone to learn through conversation. Furthermore, several studies conducted at the University of Cornell suggest that a focus on speech enhances the acquisition of a new language more than, for example, reading, listening, or cramming complicated grammar. In this sense, language acquisition through conversation would promote a far better understanding and improve the level of spoken language.
In a nutshell, this video sheds some light on the importance of conversation and interaction in the acquisition process of a new language. So, stop worrying about grammar and syntax, and start practising language by interacting and speaking it daily. Conversation surely is the key to rapid language learning!
Written by Antoneta Cristea
Communication Trainee at TermCoord
Student at University of Luxembourg
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