How to Quote: Language Research Reports & Examples

Fun activities can improve language learning, Nottingham academics reveal

MIT: Computer learns language by playing games
"Games are used as a test bed for artificial-intelligence techniques simply because of their complexity," says Branavan, who was first author on both ACL papers. "Every action that you take in the game doesn't have a predetermined outcome, because the game or the opponent can randomly react to what you do. So you need a technique that can handle very complex scenarios that react in potentially random ways."
Moreover, Barzilay says, game manuals have "very open text. They don't tell you how to win. They just give you very general advice and suggestions, and you have to figure out a lot of other things on your own." Relative to an application like the software-installing program, Branavan explains, games are "another step closer to the real world."

New research demonstrates language learners' creativity

Second language learners recall native language when reading
Adults fluent in English whose first language is Chinese retrieve their native language when reading in English, according to new research in the June 2 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. This study suggests that people who learn a second language in adolescence or later recall the sounds of words from their native language. The scientists who conducted the study, Yan Jing Wu, PhD, and Guillaume Thierry, PhD, of Bangor University in the United Kingdom, said their work helps researchers understand how the brain manages symbols and sounds in different languages. Thierry explained that although most bilingual people believe they function solely in one language at any given time, these findings show that it is not necessarily the case.
"Bilingual individuals retrieve information from their native language even when it's not necessary, or, even more surprising, when it is counterproductive, since native language information does not help when reading or listening to second-language words," Thierry said.
"One limitation of the study is that many older generation English learners from China learned English by memorizing lists of words in what seems like a brute force method of learning," Chee said. "It would be interesting to see if the same results would be obtained if persons learning English earlier were studied."