Recommended Reading: How Languages are Learned

By Patsy Lightbown, Nina Spada

How Languages are Learned (Oxford Handbooks for Language Teachers) 4th Edition by Patsy Lightbrown and Nina Spada.

An excellent overview of the research and literature on Second Language Acquisition (SLA). Includes activities and points of discussion for language teachers (or learners) who are new to linguistics, and the history and theory behind language learning. 

"How languages are learned" begins with an introduction to how languages are learned in general, using this as a basis for how second languages compare. The following chapters sketch out the main ideas behind language acquisition, alongside specific research into language learning – and the evolution from Grammar-Translation to Audiolingual to more communicative pedagogies, as well as their relationship to theories of cognition. 

Especially important (for our purposes) is Chapter 6: Second Language Learning in the Classroom, which contains specific proposals for teaching (and learning) a second language. To quote: "It was the frequent failure of traditional grammar translation and audiolingual methods to produce fluency and accuracy in second language learners that led to more communicative approaches to teaching..." 

Highly recommended for Tibetan language teachers and learners who want an introductory, but in-depth, exploration of teaching and learning second languages.