What languages did you learn and how?

Only test I’ve ever got 100% on is a language aptitude test – apparently I’m good at identifying patterns and working it out from there … which probably have noticed “in real language interactions”

French to GCSE level, text books, but to get through the exams = extra spoken lessons, where saying the correct thing was abandoned for getting ‘the right word’

German for a couple of years – got confused between that and French, very particular words and grammar focused

Latin for 3 years – grammar grammar grammar and vocab

Italian – tried an online course – didn’t need to put it into practice

Brazilian Portuguese – Linkwords (linking words to really silly sentences), gave me something to start with for 5 months in Brazil, then have to use language to progress. Now using an iPad app to get back into things – where everything is gamified – largely vocab focused.

Learner Corpora

Contains data by those learning a particular language… Native corpora don’t refer to the problems that learners tend to encounter (as natives don’t tend to make the mistakes that learners do). Identifying errors in essays, etc. allows development of new leaner corpora. There can be bigger complications than frequency, and what is the background of the original language, so what translates/makes sense, etc.? What about under/overuse of words (especially compared to native speakers).

Interesting differences between the keywords that were used in discussions re the use of mobile phones – where are the different cultural emphases?



Interesting – Americans tend to use personal pronouns (I/individual experiences), whilst Polish tended to use (we/group) – speculates whether Polish is more ‘academic’ writing style [or is it the cultural expectations – definitely assume that Americans talk individually] … or Polish have less mobile phones so probably use in the group, and they rely on abstract nouns anyway = more generalisations. Rhetorical style – can be practical reasons, can be teaching style/vocabulary, societal differences.

More common to come across written than spoken corpa data … more difficult to capture, and also captures a larger range of words than there are, as computer doesn’t recognise spelling mistakes, etc. If analysis is just at a lexical level misses the range of uses. Too much research is not shared.

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