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Book: The Five-Minute Linguist

Chapter: 41. How Have Our Ideas about Language Learning Changed through the Years?

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.38161


In the early days of the colonies, languages were learned to survive in a new environment and culture. Soon, language learning shifted to an academic enterprise with an emphasis on how the language worked and on reading it. From World War II onward, people were encouraged to learn to communicate, to use the language actively. Today’s students go far beyond that as they discover and work with authentic materials, oral and written, from the internet and become adept with the tools offered by technology. Teachers, curriculum, programs have to use those resources skillfully to advance language acquisition.

Chapter Contributors

  • June K. Phillips ( - jphillips1) 'Weber State University '