Second Language Fast – Part 1

Hello, everybody

Abstract

This post is about thoughts on topic of Second Language Acquisition. Current status of research and future developments. It is written in a popular science manner and has my conjectures that may or may not be backed by research in the field.

Not a programming language

Second language Acquisition in this post relates to natural human languages as opposed to programming computer languages.

Imagine

Have you ever tried to learn a second language and found it frustrating because of investment of lots of time, effort and even money? We all know that learning second language while being an adult takes time and effort. But despite of all investment it seems we`ll never be able to achieve the fluency and intuition of native speakers. The big question is ‘why is that?

Wouldn`t it be nice to acquire second language effortlessly and gain a native speakers` level of language control.

But this dream cannot be achieved in the near future due to biological constraints that we have in our brains and it has nothing to do with the amount of time invested in the second language learning.

Some linguistic background

We know from research that children that grow in a multilingual environment can acquire a number of languages in a level of native speakers effortlessly until certain age. After this threshold age acquisition turns from effortless to conscious practice and requires lots of time and effort. The question you may ask is what happens at this threshold age?

The answer is complicated. So far there is no clear answer. However it is known form Noam Chomsky`s research from past century that there must be some biological constraint in the human brains that is underlying this transition form unconscious language learning to a conscious one. And it has to do with brain plasticity and other unknown factors.

What other researches found

There is an interesting hypotheses by linguist Stephen Krashen known as Input hypotheses that conjectures that only written and spoken inputs are sufficient for effective second language learning in adulthood.

To be continued…on demand

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Goals like a laser

 

Hello there,

It is not a coincidence that the title of this post is Goals like a laser.

Clear, detailed, focused goals may pave the way to you success like a tiny beam of laser that penetrates massive obstacles.

My thoughts on the subject are influenced by a number of authors such as Brian Tracy, Napoleon Hill, Earl Nightingale and certainly others. In addition I`ll compare some points to other areas such as Theory of Inventive Problems Solving (TRIZ).

Define a result

One of the key components in Genrikh Altshuller theory is an Ideal Final Result. And it may be seen as a goal setting. It means when you set a goal you want to achieve there is no need to constrain yourself by your current means or situation. That yourself imagine Ideal Result as though you already has your goal achieved. When you`ve defined the result what you`ve done is actually set to yourself a destination but what remains is a way of arriving there.

Write it to your heart

Here comes the advice of Brian Tracy to write this goal down. And it seems there is a wisdom to this advice since psychological studies points out goals written down is more likely to be achieved. It has to do with the mentioned in previous post Robert Cialdini`s principle of Commitment and Consistency.

Put a time constraint

Next comes a definite time you`ll set for achieving your goal or a deadline as they call it. This thing will put you in a kind of pressure you`ll need to mobilize your resources and focus your energies on your goals. There is a Parkinson`s law that says the work that needs to be done will take all the time provided. This means without a time limit it may take centuries that we do not possess.

What are the obstacles?

In TRIZ it would be figuring out what is a contradiction that prevents you from achieving the Ideal Final Result or goal that you`ll set for yourself. Well achieving a goal not always has to have a contradiction but knowing about contradictions may help you invent.

Get knowledge and find resources

Think of information, experiences, knowledge or simply put resources that you`ll need in order to achieve you goal. Consult with other people if you know that there is something you do not know.

Make a plan

Breakdown you goal into smaller goals and then compose plan with prioritized activities that you think may lead you to your goal.

Constantly Proceed

Make a habit of working on your goal on a daily basis. Review your progress and compare it to you plan. Adjust the plan accordingly.

Start now

Without any excuses get to work now because tomorrow`s activities stay permanently in the future. And it takes now to make all the difference.

That`s it for tonight,

Stay tuned.