20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
An Engaging Introduction to Learning a Second Language.
December 18, 2013
By Dennis Waller
Amazon TOP 500 REVIEWER
“Second Language Acquisition” by Thomas Baker explores the various methods and techniques in acquiring a second language through the format of storytelling. This serves as an excellent way to illustrate the differences in how some people are able to absorb a new language rather quickly while others languish, frustrated with little positive results.
The approach Thomas Baker takes is relevant not only to academia but for the average person desiring to immerse themselves into another language. What sets this book above its peers is the importance that Thomas Baker places in addition to learning the language, is to take into consideration the cultural and social aspects of the native speakers. By taking a boarder approach to the subject by incorporating these aspects, the student has a richer, more rewarding experience while diving into the language thus bringing to fruition a more successful outcome.
It is easy to see why Mr. Baker has had a stellar career in the field of linguistics which is evident with this easy to grasp and understand book. Thomas Baker has produced a body of work that is beneficial to anyone desiring to embark on learning another language. A book that is very well done on many levels.
“Written by an experienced teacher and author of 58 books, from a practical perspective. This book is for new teachers, experienced teachers, parents of English Language Learners worldwide, English Language Learners, and students from all disciplines with a need to know how students learn English in actual day to day practice.
This book provides an actionable answer to the question of “How Do Students Learn English?” In this book, the discovery method is applied to case studies and actual experience, in reality.
If encountering the topic for the first time, this is a clear and practical introduction to experiential Second Language Acquisition (SLA). It shows actual students and teachers grappling with SLA issues in an interdisciplinary manner. To do this, we “stand on the shoulders of giants” like Wittgenstein, Gass & Selinker.
Storytelling becomes the medium to illustrate SLA in action, without being heavy on explanation. This is an inductive, discovery approach to deep learning about SLA in action.
How a second language is acquired; whether English, French, Yu’pik, or Mapudungun is what the second language learner needs to know; whether in the USA, Canada, Singapore, China, Chile or any other location worldwide, we all need to find relevant answers to know why some learners are more successful than others. The book introduces in a warm, friendly, first-person, engaging fashion a range of fundamental concepts – such as SLA in adults and children, in formal and informal learning contexts, and in diverse sociocultural settings – and takes (in the tradition of Gass & Selinker) an interdisciplinary approach, encouraging students to consider SLA from linguistic, psychological, and social perspectives.”