Monday, December 25, 2017

Polyglot Kató Lomb Condones Reading for SLA

Kató Lomb is well-known in the world of polyglots for learning fifteen languages as an adult. In Polyglot: How I Learn Languages, Lomb recommended some unconventional but reportedly effective strategies. For example, she wrote: 

"[...] dare to include reading in your learning program from the very beginning, and second, that you should read actively." (66)

"[...] books [that you find personally engaging], which can be consulted at any time, questioned again and again, and read into scraps, cannot be rivaled as a language-learning tool" (66)

"[...] more efficient means of learning exist [than reading engaging books in a foreign language], [but] more accessible and obliging ones do not." (69)

Lomb recommended buying instead of borrowing. That way the books: "[...] can be spiced with underlines, question marks, and exclamation points [...] and annotated so that they become a mirror of yourself." (69)

"[...] books not only teach grammar but also provide the most painless means of obtaining vocabulary." (74)

Here's Lomb's methodology for using reading as a second-language acquisition (SLA) strategy (69):

So, grab an engaging book in your target language and a (monolingual) dictionary (to be consulted conservatively) to supplement your SLA.