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Publisher's Summary

Adults who want to learn a foreign language are often discouraged because they believe they cannot acquire a language as easily as children. Once they begin to learn a language, students may be further discouraged when they find the methods used to teach children don't seem to work for them. What is an adult language learner to do?

In Becoming Fluent, Richard Roberts and Roger Kreuz draw on insights from psychology and cognitive science to show that adults can master a foreign language if they bring to bear the skills and knowledge they have honed over a lifetime. Adults shouldn't try to learn as children do, they should learn like adults. Roberts and Kreuz report evidence that adults can learn new languages even more easily than children. Children appear to have only two advantages over adults in learning a language: they acquire a native accent more easily, and they do not suffer from self-defeating anxiety about learning a language. Adults, on the other hand, have the greater advantages - gained from experience - of an understanding of their own mental processes and knowing how to use language to do things. Adults have an especially advantageous grasp of pragmatics, the social use of language, and Roberts and Kreuz show how to leverage this metalinguistic ability in learning a new language.

Learning a language takes effort. But if adult learners apply the tools acquired over a lifetime, it can be enjoyable and rewarding.

©2015 Richard Roberts, Roger Kreuz (P)2015 Blackstone Audio

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What listeners say about Becoming Fluent

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  • Overall
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    3 out of 5 stars

Learning strategies

This book had plenty of information of how NOT TO study foreign language but very little in the way of learning strategies. There are a few, and maybe there are more but they are easily forgotten due to complicated, vague, convoluted explanations. If you're looking for how the mind works when acquiring a foreign language, benefits of studying a foreign language, or why certain things you've done in the past have often times been helpful, this book is fine. Just don't expect the authors to give you examples of best practices to retain conversational foreign language competencies in long term memory.

21 people found this helpful

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Waste of time

As one who has some ability in several languages and having taken several courses in linguistics, I looked forward to this book.
However it was so useless and boring that I stopped halfway through.
The speaker is terrible. He goes on and on about the foreign service institute which is useless to the average person who probably isn’t joining the state department.
All he does is talk about psychological terms. Nothing practical.
If he were teaching a linguistics course I’d want a refund.

7 people found this helpful

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Interesting audiobook for language learners

One of the best audiobook about learning new language. The techniques in the book also can be used to study and prepare for new materials. Using cognitive science in order to recall old and new memories learned through the years. I do recommend it for all the learners.

7 people found this helpful

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Humorous and Enjoyable

Either I'm a huge nerd or this book really is as entertaining and informative as I think it is. The perfect blend of examples and stories of Richard paired with the scientific topics make for a really enjoyable listen.

6 people found this helpful

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Nothing too groundbreaking

If you've never researched or learned about memorization techniques you'd find this interesting. The narrator was also quite robotic sounding.

4 people found this helpful

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terrible narrator

good info, poor narration. hard to get past the tone of delivery. oh well, eh?

4 people found this helpful

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Useful, simple, and practical

The information in this book is science-based and encouraging for anyone struggling to learn a new language.

4 people found this helpful

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good enough

This book contained some very good points for adult spanish language learners. At times I felt as if it went around the block three times to get to the point. I was glad I listened to it once but it will most likely not be on my go back to list.

3 people found this helpful

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Perfect for adults wanting to learn a new language

There’s a lot of great information about cognitive theories that give an understanding of how our brain’s different memory capacities work, and how they apply to learning a new language. It’s very encouraging for anyone who might doubt their abilities. I liked the overall audio, there’s lots of stories and history referenced, so it was never bland listening to. I’m going to read listen at least a couple more times because there’s a lot to unpack.

2 people found this helpful

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Considering learning a new language, read this!

As a 35 year old that recently decided to learn Japanese this book reinforced some discoveries that I've made about learning as an adult. I've also learned some new learning techniques that I will be implementing into regular study. As I have found with most psychology related sources the material transcends language learning and a lot is helpful for teaching yourself most new information and some skills.

1 person found this helpful