Good Language Learner- Rubin 1975

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Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL) What the "Good Language Learner" Can Teach Us Author(s): Joan Rubin Reviewed work(s): Source: TESOL Quarterly, Vol. 9, No. 1 (Mar., 1975), pp. 41-51 Published by: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL) Stable URL: . Accessed: 06/02/2012 03:41 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to…show more content…
She has taught ESL in Brazil and at Georgetown University and has trained Peace Corps volunteers in language teaching methodology. lThis difference may not occur with very young children learning a second language in a natural setting with the kinds of communicative demands made in the use of a first language. 41 42 TESOL QUARTERLY in a second or foreign language, the success record for attempts to help students acquire this skill has been notoriously poor.2 More positively, we can observe that this ability does not decline for all students studying a second language. We all know of students who learn a second language in spite of the teacher, the textbook, or the classroom situation. How do these individuals achieve their success? I would like to suggest that if we knew more about what the "successful learners" did, we might be able to teach these strategies to poorer learners to enhance their success record. Good language learning is said to depend on at least three variables: aptitude, motivation and opportunity. Of the three, the first-aptitudeis assumed to be the least subject to manipulation; how subject to change it is, is a question frequently discussed in the literature. Some authors feel that language aptitude is "a relatively invariant characteristic of the individual, not subject to easy modification by learning" (Carroll 1960: 38). Others (Politzer and Weiss 1969; Yeni-Komshian 1967; and Hatfield 1965) have demonstrated
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