This 1978 publication is a report of a small-scale research project into language learning by adult learners. This was a relatively early attempt to ask learners about the ‘strategies and techniques’ that they use to learn a language, and the author, GD Pickett, who was at the time Deputy Director of the British Council’s English Teaching Information Centre, states that his intention was for the project to be ‘a starting off point’ which could encourage further research in this area.

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Pickett presents the invitation letter he sent to around 30 friends and colleagues – ‘a farflung assortment of linguists’, though mostly male, British, and in the 30 to 50 age range – to ask for their thoughts on their own experiences in language learning. The report provides insights into how a rather atypical sample of highly educated and cosmopolitan adult learners go about the language learning task, on the basis of the introspective accounts received. Finally, Steven McDonough of Essex University contributes a chapter in which he relates the report to other, existing and future, research.

This book is free to download below as a pdf file.

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