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Perceptive Narrowing

Perceptive Narrowing Children lose the ability to hear the sounds that are not in their native language at around 1- year of age. That is a fact, and it is known as perceptive narrowing. I’ve been harping on this, and pointing out the implications for teaching young FL learners, for years. The reactions range from […]

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I said I would post links to online videos if people wanted to use them for online classes. I got positive responses, but nobody actually asked for the links. I am a little unsure what that means, so will post some of the videos. This is the YouTube series the videos come from.     […]

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If you copy and paste this address into a browser, it will take you to a video and an attached quiz. It is one of 12. They can be used in online classes or as homework. And they are free.   https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1F1QUVGKeGtRMv6v9lDiHkx6Ricai9fMUHpAAz6IhQ_g/edit?usp=sharing        1) You will not be able to watch the video […]

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            In the last post, I showed that children lose the ability to hear non-native sounds at 1-year of age. In this post, I’ll explain why this is, and I’ll use the Native Language Magnet Theory (NLM; Kuhl, 2008) to do it.             NLM holds that infants recognize and categorize sound patterns into a “sound […]

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It’s amazing how many people do not know, or don’t seem to care, that kids lose the ability to hear the sounds of a non-native language at around their first birthday. This is critically important, but from my experience interacting with teachers, I would say the majority are not aware of it. In my last […]

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Learners have to hear the sounds. That is what this post is about. I’ll make the following points: Learners have to hear the sounds to pronounce them correctly. Of course, they have to hear the sounds to understand what is being said. Errors are the most common cause of communication breakdowns when two non-native speakers […]

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In this post, as the title suggests, I will introduce another article by Dr. Kazuya Saito. First, though, I’d like to touch on a question that arose regarding my last post. The abstract to one of the articles mentioned claimed, “Results suggested that explicit instruction had a significant effect on comprehensibility especially in the sentence-reading […]

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A Japanese Scholar in London Kazuya Saito Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics and TESOL, University College London    According to his webpage, Dr. Saito is currently studying audio processing and the role natural ability plays in second language learning. He is also working on a corpus for spontaneous speech of adult Japanese learners of English, […]

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What is the most important thing we can teach young learners? Grammar? Vocab? Well, in my obviously biased opinion, it is the sounds. After years of teaching at the university level, it is clear who my best students have been. Other than those who have been abroad, the best students are those who studied at […]

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In this post, I will do what I often do. I will write about an article I read.This article, though, left me in a strange place – a kind of quandary.   Dr. Paola Escudero is an expert in the field of second language acquisition. She got her Ph. D in the Netherlands and is currently […]

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