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Study – Uncouncios Language Learning Skills

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Study – Uncouncios Language Learning Skills

Many of us had to learn one, two or more foreign languages during our lives. Some learned quicker, some found it more difficult to master a foregin language. Have you ever asked yourselves how is it possible for little kids to learn 2-3 different languages at the same time, but when they get bigger, during school or  adulthood, it gets harder and harder to learn a second language? Linguists have studied this phenomena and called it implicit language learning.

What does implicit language learning acttualy mean? It means they have the capacity to learn the pronunciation of words and gather them in phrases, different words from different languages at the same time, but still making a sentence with words from a single language.

How does it work? How do they know when to use a specific word or a preposition? The linguists have asked themselves how is this possible.

Dr. Williams G. from Cambridge University “ Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics and Dr. Leung J. from the University of Hong Kong, have tried to solve this mystery by leading an experiment in which they formed a new language, new and pronunciation rules for words.

Participants were asked to learn this new rules in a given time. The simplest example is the rules for the, pronounced differently according to its use: when used to describe a close object they should use gi or ro, and for a far object ul or ne , then observed if the participants make a correlation with a second meaning. They asked in case of an animate noun  gi and ul to be used and for an inanimate noun, ro and ne. Afterwards the participants were asks to use this new rules in given sentences.

During the tests, the linguists focused on directing attention to the part of the sentence that contains the new language rules and other parts of the phrase that seem to be chosen unconsciously.

Language Learning Skills

Language Learning Skills

According to Dr. Williams, participants generally chose the right answers We found significantly above-chance selection of sentence constructions that were ˜grammatically correct' according to the hidden pattern. Yet, the participants had no awareness of what they had learned or how. Moreover, we were able to show learning of the same material by native speakers of two typologically very different languages, English and Cantonese.

This is very important discovery as it can improve teachers teaching skills , because learning a new language doesn't mean only knowing many words and some grammar skils, but knowing when to apply them. Implicit memory seems to help  achieveing that concluded Dr Wiliams