Factors Influencing Successful Language Learning with a Special Emphasis on Starting Age Research Findings, Language Policy and Folk Linguistic Views /

This paper looks at language learning from three angles. The first one looks at various research findings concerning a wide selection of the factors believed to have some influence on the learner’s language competence with a special emphasis on one of the factors - and its effects on performance - s...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Szilágyi Edit
Other Authors: Peckham Donald William
Format: Thesis
Published: 2018
Subjects:
Online Access:http://diploma.bibl.u-szeged.hu/74756
Description
Summary:This paper looks at language learning from three angles. The first one looks at various research findings concerning a wide selection of the factors believed to have some influence on the learner’s language competence with a special emphasis on one of the factors - and its effects on performance - starting age. The second angle looks at language learning from the point of view of official policy regulating the teaching of languages within the Hungarian school system. I look at what is provided for language learners within the school setting and what principles govern the decisions behind that provision and whether starting age features among the principles. The third angle is concerned with so called ‘folk linguistic views’ on the age factor, that is, beliefs held by members of the general public. These beliefs have in the past been derided by trained linguists but in recent times their opinion has been revised and it has been admitted that laypeople’s thinking and what is behind that thinking is indeed worthy of being studied and can often add to the findings of research in order to have a more rounded view on a topic. Connected to this third part is the survey I administered to the parents of a group of primary school students to find out what they believe about language learning and the factors influencing its success, focusing on starting age and its effects on second language acquisition. To conclude, the paper looks at a possible agreement among the three sides on the importance of starting age.