An Australian language teacher believes that anyone can learn another language.
Andrew Weiler, a teacher of English as Second Language (ESL), Indonesian and Hungarian, is so confident that he has written a book – Language Learning Unlocked, to help people learn a foreign language.
“I have been intrigued over the course of my professional life (as to) why it is that once we go to school our language learning abilities plummet.”
Andrew argues that we developed the necessary capacities to learn languages when we acquired our first language. However they have been neutralised by ineffective practices taught to us in school, creating the problems we have now.
The reasons we have such poor success rates and why we have put up with it for so long is explored in this book.
As well as unmasking the causes of the poor success rates, the book also provides many practical ideas and exercises that language learners can use to help address the factors at work.
Andrew maintains that once people are given the understandings and the keys, anyone can learn languages to the level they desire as long as they do what it takes. This involves letting go of various practices and beliefs and learning to approach learning as a game, where we need to be at the helm.
Language learning is looked at in ways that many language learners may not be accustomed to but the ideas stem from the understanding that we already have learned a language so the exercises and approach have a common sense about them that learners will be able to readily grasp.
The book is suitable for language learners who are setting out or who are well on their way.
(Samantha Phillips is a keen book-reader and a regular visitor to local libraries.)