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How Languages are Learned (Oxford Handbooks for Language Teachers) [Paperback]

Patsy Lightbown , Nina Spada
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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How Languages are Learned (Oxford Handbooks for Language Teachers) How Languages are Learned (Oxford Handbooks for Language Teachers) 4.5 out of 5 stars (4)
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Book Description

11 Mar 1999 0194370003 978-0194370004 2nd Revised edition
This book is a comprehensive and readable introduction to how languages are learned. It presents the main theories of first and second language acquisition, and, with the help of activities and questionnaires, discusses their practical implications for language teaching.


Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 2nd Revised edition edition (11 Mar 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0194370003
  • ISBN-13: 978-0194370004
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.4 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 200,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 72 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jargon free 17 Aug 2004
Format:Paperback
This book, first published in 1999, is now in its second edition, and forms part of OUP's "Handbooks for Language Teachers" series. The target audience is teachers, especially (but not only)trainees, and the aim is to help teachers judge the merits of different textbooks and methodologies in the field of EFL/ESL.
While the book assumes some knowledge of teaching and of basic linguistics, it does not assume a lot of specialized knowledge in either linguistics or SLA research; a technical glossary is provided. As a language teacher myself, I found the book very interesting and useful. Lightbown and Spada have done a good job of organizing and describing the different approaches to EFL/ESL and the most important developments in SLA research over the last 100 years or so.
The introduction includes a short summary of each chapter. It also includes a simple questionnaire on 12 popular views of language learning; the implications are that teachers' styles and approaches are determined largely by what they believe about language and learning, and that these beliefs should be at least informed by knowledge of research in the field.
As well as an index and bibliography, each chapter ends with a list of sources and suggestions for further reading.
Chapter 1 investigates how we learn our first language, and quotes actual examples from children's speech (including the authors' own). This is important because " one of the significant findings of second language acquisition research has been that there are important similarities between first and second language acquisition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth not buying the more recent edition 18 Oct 2013
By Fiona
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Being a cheapskate student I decided to not buy the expensive third edition and go for the second edition, however I think it has all the necessary information and was definitely worth not paying more.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
67 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Introduction 28 Mar 2005
By T. Hooper - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really recommend this book as an introduction to Second Language Acquisition (SLA) reasearch. It was written with the language teacher in mind. Many of the other books on the subject are focused on the researcher rather than the teacher, so this book fills a gap in the literature. The explanations of the major theories are carried out without frequent use of jargon, so it's easy for the beginner to get a handle on SLA theory. I even recommend this for students who are studying SLA in graduate school. This will provide an excellent introduction that could be read before reading more difficult texts. After readinging "How Languages Are Learned", you'll understand more in depth discussions about the theories covered. A must for all practicing language teachers.
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars De-mystifies Second Language Learning Theory 28 May 2002
By Madeleine Youmans - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I used this book in a graduate ESL teacher-training SLA course. It presents all the relevant theory and research in terms students can understand. I adapted some of the authors' analyses to be used as models in student projects. Works well in combination with Vivian Cook's _Second Language Learning and Language Teaching_. I will definitely use it again.
34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to language learning theory 6 May 2000
By L J Powell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For language teachers. Covers elements of first and second language learning with a view to language teaching. Does not provide any lesson plans/class activities, its more theory than practical. Makes the reader aware of the current issues and proposes effective models. I like it, I'm buying a copy.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for TESL study 15 May 2010
By Eliot's mom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My husband used this book so many times throughout his graduate degree in MAT in ELL. He used it for article reviews and used it in an annotated bibliography as well as extensively for his thesis. I didn't read it, personally, but flipping through it, there's very little that ISN'T highlighted!!
5.0 out of 5 stars great book 22 April 2013
By Erin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
great book for class. wrote all of my papers off of this text and there is very valuable information in here!
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