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Language Distance and the Magnitude of the Language Learning Task

  • S. P. Corder (a1)

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A learner brings to the classroom many characteristics which are relevant to predictions about his career as a language learner. These characteristics are the product of his membership of a community; he shares its language and its attitudes to, beliefs about, motivations for and traditions in, language learning in general, and in the learning of specific second languages. And he possesses particular features of personality as formed by his personal history of maturation and experience. I am concerned in this paper with the role of only two of these characteristics, both related to the community he belongs to: the nature of his mother tongue and any other languages known to him, and the beliefs current in his community, which he presumably shares, as to the nature, extent and probable success in the learning task which lies ahead of him.

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