Thursday 29 November 2018

Book Review: The Language Learner Guidebook by Shane Dixon (Non-Fiction)

Title: The Language Learner Guidebook
Author: Shane Dixon
Wayzgoose Press

Publication Date: 20 November 2018
eBook - PDF
ARC via NetGalley

Most people fail to learn a language before they even begin. Want to know why?

Go on a journey with Dr. Shane Dixon as he shares stories of successful and less successful language learners. Dr. Dixon will guide you to understand the scientific reasons for both failure and success.

The Language Learner Guidebook, through the lens of cognitive science, language acquisition, and practical know-how, provides powerful tools to help you understand how successful learners actually learn a language.

Did you know that you can go on language adventures in your own backyard? It’s true! You’ll be introduced to the language learner ecosystem, a powerful paradigm that will help you find and evaluate resources all around you. This book will invite you to join a growing world of modern language learners who understand that a powerful shift has occurred in language learning.

Whether you travel to far off lands, or never leave the comfort of your home, you can harness the power of immersion. Dr. Dixon, with more than twenty years’ experience as a professional language trainer, will share his knowledge not only as a fellow language learner but as someone who has witnessed thousands of others go through the process of acquiring a language.

Through stories and examples (and a useful workbook section in the back), this guidebook will allow you to take control of your own language learning by connecting you to strategies and resources that only a modern, immersive approach can provide.

I love learning foreign languages, and have done so ever since high school. As such, I was keen to see what advice Shane Dixon had to offer, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I already employ many of his methods in my own style of self-study. Dixon's approach is to mix traditional methods of both form and meaning learning with interactions and cultural pursuits, such as watching films or listening to podcasts. In this book, he blends advice and worksheets with anecdotes about students with whom he's worked, and I found that an engaging and interesting mix. Would all his suggestions be appropriate for everyone? Probably not. One or two things he mentions I know from experience would not be right for me. However, with this type of multi-faceted approach, it is easy to pick and choose which aspects to employ in your own study after trial and error, seeing what best suits your needs and preferences. Overall, I think this is a useful read for anyone keen to study another language, or those current language students who have reached a roadblock and are keen to find new ways to progress. 4.5 stars

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