DIY techniques for language learners

Fernandez-Toro, Maria and Jones, Francis R. (2001). DIY techniques for language learners. London, UK: CILT Publications.



Learners of a foreign language are generally keen to practice the language outside the classroom, but without guidance from a teacher, they often do not know how to go about it. DIY Techniques for Language Learners addresses this common problem by offering no-nonsense, practical advice that any learner can try out.

• Part A explains a few basic principles related to language learning, and summarises relevant research findings in plain language aimed at learners themselves. A series of questionnaires help you find out what exactly you need to learn and decide what learning approach suits you best.

• Part B is a recipe-type list of 81 learning techniques for developing vocabulary, grammar, reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. Each technique is described step-by-step, with a clear explanation of what it can be used for, and specific advice on how to assess your performance in each case.

DIY Techniques for Language Learners is primarily aimed at language learners who wish to supplement a taught course with extra practice, those who just prefer to work independently, or those who are unable to attend a conventional course. It is also a good starting point for learners who wish to study with another learner or with a proficient speaker of the target language who is not a language teacher. Teachers themselves will find a wealth of ideas in the book, both for out-of-class supplementary work and classroom-based strategy training. Since all the tasks described encourage learner initiative and can be self-assessed, this is also a good way to optimise learning with minimum teacher input. Finally, DIY Techniques for Language Learners is a useful reference for language advisors and a valuable open-access resource in teaching institutions and public libraries.

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