A Successful Multi-language
Learner: Fabian Wang
9531021 Erica
9531037 Kim
9531043 Amanda
9531044 Erin
9531049 Ruby
Who
Fabian
Background

Born in Miami, Florida, USA Mother LanguageEnglish and Portuguese

Acquires 7 languages

a supervisor in Customer Disputes for American
Express (before)

Been living here for 3 years

An English teacher (now)

Now is learning for Taiwanese
Purpose
Four Reasons:
1. He learns most of the languages by himself.
2. He can acquire languages well without spending
a long period of time.
3. He has experiences of teaching foreigners
Chinese.
4. When he speaks Chinese, his intonation is good.
Most people agree that the intonation of Chinese
is a great challenge for foreign learners.
Data Collection Methods

E-mail interview

Face to face interview

Video-taking

Picture-taking

Recording
Analysis

Multiple Intelligence

Aptitude

Personality

Learning Styles

Motivation and Attitudes

Age of Acquisition and the CPH
Multiple Intelligence

Linguistic-intelligence

Interpersonal-intelligence

Intrapersonal-intelligence
Aptitude

Identify and memorize new sounds

Understand function of particular words in
sentences

Figure out grammatical rules from language
samples

Remember new words
Personality

Extroversion
→ can easily talk with strangers
→ when you are learning a foreign language, never be shy

Risk-taking
→ He would not afraid of speaking no matter what he said
might be wrong or not.
→ Learners should put into practice what has been learned
Learning Styles

Auditory learner in high school.
→ he never took notes in classes

Becomes a visual learner when learning
foreign languages.
→ made index cards with vocabulary
kept writing when studying books
Learning Styles

Field-Independent > Field-dependent
→ recognize the rule and the system of everything

Left brain > Right brain
→ analyzing grammatical structures is important and
necessary
Motivation and Attitudes
1) Spanish → making friends → instrumental
→ the environment → extrinsic
2) Italian → earning money → instrumental
→ learning voluntarily → intrinsic
Motivation and Attitudes
3)
French
★ the former period :
professor’s suggestion
→integrative & extrinsic
★ the later period:
had a French girlfriend
→ instrumental & intrinsic
Motivation and Attitudes
4) Cantonese → learning martial art
→ intrinsic & instrumental
5) Mandarin → for working
→ intrinsic & instrumental
Age of Acquisition and the CPH

As an adult, he could understand grammar.

Although learning foreign languages after 18
(after puberty), his pronunciation is good.

CPH couldn’t be supported on this case.
Discussion

Behaviorism

Innatism

Interactionism
Behaviorism

Imitation
★ Be an actor.
Listen
Imitate
“ Your brain is very big!”
Memorize
Behaviorism

Practice
★ Seize every moment to practice
Stick note-cards everywhere.
★ Use the dictionary
divide words into many themes
Behaviorism

Practice
★ Write a lot and read a lot.
“If you do not practice, you will forget!”
★ Mingle with native speakers
make girlfriends
Behaviorism

Reinforcement
(positive feedback)
★ Encouragement from the French teacher
★ A strong desire for languages inside his soul
Behaviorism

Habit formation
★ Make learning all the languages as a habit
★ Study books from 10 am to 3 pm daily
CAH
The similarities between L1 and TL makes Fabian
acquire three target languages with ease.
The Latin Languages Fabian acquired
Portuguese
▲
Italian
▲
TL
Spanish
▲
L1
French
CAH
Mother Languages
English
&
Portuguese
Target Languages
different
Chinese
&
Cantonese
We think it’s difficult to acquire TL.
However, Fabian skills at finding rules and patterns of TL
so he learned TL well.
Innatism
★ Innatist theory have argued that UG offers
the best perspective to understand SLA.
★ Other linguists argue that UG is not a good
explanation for SLA, especially by learners
who have passed the critical period.
Innatism
★ Fabian learned most of the languages after18.
★ Doesn’t believe in natural talent.
★ Anybody has the ability to do anything they
want!
★ Age is not a problem; don’t say you are too old to
learn a language.
Krashen’s “monitor model” (1982)

The monitor hypothesis
★ Have no aware of the intonation.
★ When speaking Mandarin, he thinks of the
way that native people speak.
Krashen’s “monitor model” (1982)

Input Hypothesis
★(i+1) →A lot of writing and try to read
immediately.
★ Read book:
(basic) → (intermediate) → (advanced)
Kids book → friends’ mails → novel
★ Write down anything that he want to say.
Innatism-Affective filter Hypothesis

Didn’t really learn much about languages in
the school.
Because of …..
Boring courses, no motivation…
Ex: Spanish course.
Innatism-Affective filter Hypothesis

All languages he learned come for big
motivation that made him have positive side
for learning languages.

Ex: when he went back to Florida, people
around him speaking Spanish, so he had to
learn it.
Information Processing
Norman Segalowitz (2003)→ “Pay attention”


Make vocabulary cards stick everywhere…
Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory
★ Language development takes place in the
social interactions between individuals.
★ Speaking (and writing) mediate thinking.
★ Zone of proximal development (ZPD): when
there is support from interaction with an
interlocutor, the learner is capable of
performing at a higher level.
Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory

Exposed to the native environment
→Put himself into the situation

Hold chance to interact with speakers who
speak the language.
→ Only hand out with people who speak
Italian when he learned it.
Learner Beliefs

Be an actor

Don’t set a high wall in front of you.

Know how to say the correct way incorrectly
= Know the right way to speak wrong
Thank you for your listening
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A Successful Multi