High Intensity Language Learning: I Want to Be A Polyglot (Monolingual With Benefits)

The polyglot / hyperglot: They are not born, rather, they are born to be made. A riddle, a puzzle, an enigma. Why would anyone want to learn multiple languages? After all, isn’t the English language the only language you need besides your Mother Tongue (if you weren’t lucky enough to be born with English as your mother language – in which case you don’t really need to learn another language.)???
After all, whether in the UK or the USA, monolingualism is the norm. Since the world already speaks your language, why “waste” your time trying to learn a second language? At least it seems, that’s the cause of monolingualism in the USA, in the UK, etc. However, after reading this book, your views may change, I warn you in advance…

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“I want to be able to go anywhere and be able to communicate with anyone.”

“When I’m an adult I want to be a surgeon and be able to work in all the hospitals of the world.”

“How people learn languages is central to the emergence of English as a global lingua franca… In the coming decades as many as 2 Billion people will learn English…

“It’s an odd tribe – there are no unified voices, no leaders, and no rules. In many ways it’s a lost tribe, belonging to no nation…”

“They have something to tell us about what our brains can do…”

Book Description
Publication Date: January 10, 2012
A “fascinating” (The Economist) dive into the world of linguistics that is “part travelogue, part science lesson, part intellectual investigation…an entertaining, informative survey of some of the most fascinating polyglots of our time” (The New York Times Book Review).

We all learn at least one language as children. But what does it take to learn six languages…or seventy? In Babel No More, Michael Erard, “a monolingual with benefits,” sets out on a quest to meet language superlearners and make sense of their mental powers. On the way he uncovers the secrets of historical figures like Italian cardinal Giuseppe Mezzofanti, who was said to speak seventy-two languages; Emil Krebs, a pugnacious German diplomat, who spoke sixty-eight languages; and Lomb Kató, a Hungarian who taught herself Russian by reading Russian romance novels.

On his way to tracking down the man who could be called the most linguistically talented person in the world, Erard meets modern language-superlearners. Among them is Alexander, who shows Erard the tricks of the trade and gives him a dark glimpse into the life of obsessive language acquisition. “Others do yoga,” writes Erard. “Alexander does grammatical exercises.”

With his ambitious examination of what language is, where it lives in the brain, and the cultural implications of polyglots’ pursuits, Erard explores the upper limits of our ability to learn and to use languages, illuminating the intellectual potential in everyone. How do some people escape the curse of Babel—and what might the gods have demanded of them in return?

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Book Description
Publication Date: May 5, 2013
It is estimated that over 1 billion people are currently learning English world wide. According to the British Council, as of the year 2,000 there were 750 million English as a Foreign language speakers. In addition, there were 375 million English as a Second Language speakers. The difference between the two groups amounts to English as a Foreign Language speakers using English occasionally for business or pleasure, while English as a Second Language speakers use English on a daily basis.

These impressive numbers are driven by adult speakers around the world who use English to communicate in the workplace. It is a commonly held misconception that these speakers need English to communicate with native speakers. While ESL is required for those living and working in English speaking cultures such as the UK and USA, it is equally true that English is used as the lingua franca between nations where English is not the primary language. In a globalized world, the number of English learners around the world is only expected to further grow as the global trend to begin teaching English to young learners at increasingly younger and younger ages continues.

Teaching English Language Learners Worldwide contains relevant ELT pedagogy, educational theory, and is a Practical Guide for both the new and esperienced teacher. The practical guidebook offers educators practical strategies for teaching in all settings: EAL / EIL / ELL / ESL / EFL worldwide.

It is written by a teacher of English, Thomas Jerome Baker (author of over 50 books, most on English Language Teaching) who has over a decade experience in a variety of settings, including language institutes, schools, and university, with all ages and levels, from beginner to advanced.

The book is written in a friendly, engaging, authentic, practical voice. It makes for easy reading and reference while motivating and interacting with the reader. The author is the Past-President of TESOL Chile, and thus is no stranger to the controversial topics in English Language Teaching, which he takes head on in this book.

The writer says: “This is the book I wish I had when I first started Teaching English Language Learners. It would have made me a better teacher.”

It provides research-based instructional techniques which have proven effective with English learners at all proficiency levels. The author requests you write a review for this book if you find this book to be helpful to you in your practical teaching, where it is most valuable. Thank you in advance for your support.

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About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He is the Coordinator of the English Department at Colegio Internacional SEK in Santiago, Chile. He is the Co-Founder and Co-Organiser of EdCamp Santiago 2012 & Edcamp Chile 2013, free, participant-driven, democratic, conversation based professional development for teachers, by teachers. EdCamp Santiago 2012 was held at Universidad Mayor in Santiago. Edcamp Chile 2013 was held at Universidad UCINF. Thomas is also a member of the Advisory Board for the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL), where he also serves as a reviewer and as the HETL Ambassador for Chile. Thomas enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. Thus far, he has written the following genres: romance, historical fiction, autobiographical, sports history/biography, and English Language Teaching. He has published a total of sixty one (61) books, all available on Amazon http://amzn.to/Qxmoec . The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family, his wife Gabriela, and his son, Thomas Jerome Baker, Jr.
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