On Second Language Learning

I was perusing my Amazon recommendations when I came across a book on Pidgins and Creoles (languages of generally of low prestige that develop from other langauges). Now I don’t have an opinion of this book because I haven’t read it (though some of what I read in the review makes me extremely uncomfortable, particularly his experiment), but in the editorial reviews Amazon included, I came across this quote that comes from the book itself:

“Most of the Spanish I speak was learned from drunks in bars. In fact, drunks are the world’s most underrated language teaching resource. The stereotypic drunk speaker slurs his speech to the point of unintelligibility, but in real life this happens only in the final, immediate-pre-collapse phase of drunkenness. Prior to that, drunks speak slowly and with exaggerated care, because they know they are drunk but don’t want other people to know. Moreover, since they’re already too drunk to remember what they just said, they repeat themselves over and over, and don’t mind if you do the same. If you’re gregarious and a drinker, it’s by far the easiest way to learn a new language.”

8 thoughts on “On Second Language Learning

  1. Elija a sus ayudantes bien. ¡Si no su lengua española puede sonar como esto!

    http://learnspanish.wikicomplete.info/list-of-spanish-words-for-getting-drunk

    Which reminds me of that published U of Texas Linguistics study in which the English speech of a bar hopper was investigated at each stage of insobriety so that scholarship now determines academically that phonology, grammar, lexicon, and reference all shift for drunks. Who’d a thunk it?

  2. Thanks for that Kurk, that video was great.

    Hmmm, if they all shift for drunks, I wonder how good this guy’s Spanish skills actually were!

    James: I hope so.

  3. Actually, Eric, I’ve heard that there is a professor at Criswell College who is using modern language learning methods for teaching Greek. I don’t know who he is, but I worked with a guy who was in the class.

  4. What is really disappointing is that 6 oz is the optimum amount of wine for language learning. Less and you are too uptight, more and it all goes downhill.

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