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Krash ‘n’ burn: Does this study disprove famous language learning theory?


New research taking on the ‘input hypothesis’ finds that speaking in L2 helps improve understanding.

Students who are required to produce speech in L2 appear to improve their language comprehension faster than learners who only practise comprehension, according to a study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US.

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The British are world leaders in thanks

Christian Lendl Queenwbe

British English speakers may well be world leaders in saying ‘thank you’, an international study suggests.

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High Ielts score beats ability in quest for academic results


Pre-sessional courses don’t boost academic results for weaker test performers, study finds

Why do international students do worse than their native-speaker counterparts academically?

Figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency have shown that they gain proportionately fewer first and upper second-class degrees than UK home students.

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The eyes have it


Looking at English learners’ eye movements while reading English text tells us how well they are learning, a recent American study has suggested.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were able to predict the learners’ scores on standardised proficiency tests (MET and Toefl) by tracking how long they spent looking at individual words.

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Weird word order bends Basque brains


Spanish L1 speakers who are bilingual in Basque process atypical word order sentences better in Basque (Euskera) than natives do, a study suggests. The researchers conclude that the Spanish-speakers were able to rely on the syntactic features on their mother tongue to help them.

The most common word order in Spanish is subject verb object (SVO). Basque typically uses SOV. The sample was made up of thirty-five Spanish-speakers, all of whom started learning Basque before the age of five, and 35 Basque mother-tongue speakers.

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Finns flock to Facebook research quiz


Some seven per cent of the population of Finland took part in the recent critical-age study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a new analysis by the Gazette reveals.

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Norwegian gamers master English better than mother tongue


Teenage gamers perform markedly better in tests of L2 English reading compared to reading tests in their mother tongue, a Norwegian study suggests.

A total of 463 16-year-olds from Oslo public schools scored in or above the 60th percentile in their L2 English reading tests, but were only in the 20th percentile on their L1 reading exam.

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