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Stage one of language learning



In stage one, the learner can hardly understand anything at all, unless the speaker is talking about things the learner is observing, or unless the language being learned is closely related to some other language the learner knows. Through comprehension activities the learner can internalize some vocabulary and some grammatical structures, which will help the learner to understand more in stage two, when she or she knows enough to actually converse in a simple way.


The result of getting through stage one is that the learner has acquired enough of the basic building blocks of the language to begin to function in real communication situations in a halting way.


In stage one there is very little real speaking ability, apart from some words and sentences that can be built on the comprehension exercises. In real communication situations the learner has to depend on memorized survival phrases to meet the most immediate needs.


Greg Thomson, personal communication

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Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 3.5, published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 1999. [Ordering information.]

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