What are the differences and similarities between first and second language learning? Why do some people seem to have a knack for learning languages, while others struggle, or even resign themselves from the task entirely? Does age matter in learning another language? How do our own unique individual differences, like learning styles, affect our ability to learn a new language? What are the roles of implicit and explicit learning: can we just soak up the language like a sponge or do we have to pay attention to the details in order to learn? How does your first language influence how you learn a second language?
And perhaps the question everyday language learners might be most curious about, what influences how well and how fast an individual learns another language?
This last question, especially, is the one everyone wants to know, but one that has been surprisingly tough to pin down, at least ‘scientifically.’ All of these questions, though, are just a few of those that have been asked by Second Language Acquisition (SLA) researchers in a number of ways over the past four decades the field has been in existence, questions which have led them down all sorts of different paths in their efforts to peel off the layers of the language learning onion.
Read Gavin Lamb’s full post and learn about his “trifecta of effective language learning” at http://www.everydaylanguagelearner.com/2013/01/02/distilling-some-insights-from-second-language-acquisition-research