The Secret to Learning Any New Language May Be Your Motivation – EdSurge News

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If you want to effortlessly become an expert in a new language, you’re probably too late. That’s an opportunity largely reserved for children. And yet, adults regularly set out to study a second (or third, or fourth) language. They embark on the difficult journey for different reasons. Some want to gain better job prospects, others seek to socialize in new circles, while still others just want an educational way to entertain themselves. Research is revealing that these reasons may influence how far someone is able to travel toward proficiency. So programs intended to make that process easier and faster are tapping into the science of motivation to improve their methods. That includes the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, which helps members of the military gain proficiency in new languages in as little time as nine months. “Without that intrinsic personal motivation, it’s hard to reach the levels we expect and hope,” says Parandeh Kia, associate provost for educational technology at the institute. “Achievement is not comparable.”Of course, not everyone has access to an intensive, in-person training program run by the U.S. government. But technology-enabled tools that aim to deliver language instruction at scale are …

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