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Download Advances in the Teaching of Modern Languages by Gustave Mathieu PDF

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By Gustave Mathieu

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There RESEARCH IN SELF-INSTRUCTION 37 are indications from our research that rate of learning is highly correlated with aptitude for learning a foreign language as measured by the Carroll-Sapon Modern Language Aptitude Test (1958-1959). This tends to confirm the writer's hypothesis (Carroll, (1963b)) that aptitude is essentially a matter of time required for learning. On the other hand, it is possible that the correlation observed between foreign language aptitude and rate of progress was partly a function of some characteristic of the program, such as its difficulty.

This experiment disclosed that the massing or spacing of the trials made no appreciable difference in student performance. It appeared to indicate that the machine and the program were designed in a generally satisfactory manner, but that the "ground rules" under which the subjects were to perform their work were of critical importance. In Experiment I, subjects were required to repeat each loop in both the familiarization and the learning modes until they reduced their errors to 10% or less. T h e learners objected strenuously to this requirement, claiming that error rate was not a completely reliable index to degree of learning and pointing out that trying to meet a given error rate was both frustrating and distracting.

T h e English sentence is by all odds the most reliable way of cueing sentence generation; although it may seem to have the disadvantage of permitting a compound type of bilingualism it seems to be the most efficient way of eliciting a particular kind of sentence response in a foreign language, for it corresponds in some way to the process by which a speaker would generate a sentence in a real-life situation in speaking a foreign language. That is to say, the English sentences which are provided to the learner are "imitations" of the kind of "thought" that precedes the generation of a sentence in a foreignlanguage speaking situation.

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