The lone language learner: a diary study (1994)

Author(s): Jones FR

  • : The lone language learner: a diary study

Abstract: This article, based on a learner diary, analyses an adult's self-study of Hungarian over a period of 11 months. Despite the complexity of Hungarian grammar, lexis was rated as the major learning priority. Personalized, real-message practice tasks appeared vital, not only for input to become automatized, but also in motivation terms. In terms of real-life performance, a lack of speaking practice was less problematic than a lack of listening practice. Learning strategies changed with increasing proficiency—not incrementally, but in terms of radical paradigm shifts. The crossing of two linguistic thresholds appeared crucial here—the gaining of a large enough stock of word-roots to enable many compound lexical items to be guessed, and the ability to read authentic texts. Below these thresholds, strategies were mainly studial and coursebook-centred; above, comprehensible-input and autonomous strategies played a major role, though comprehensible input appeared inefficient without the backup of studial strategies.

  • Short Title: The lone language learner: a diary study
  • Date: 01-07-2002
  • Journal: System
  • Volume: 22
  • Issue: 4
  • Pages: 441-454
  • Publisher: Pergamon
  • Publication type: Article
  • Bibliographic status: Published

Dr Francis Jones
Reader in Translation Studies