A new synthesis of research in the Review of Educational Research (Dixon, Zhao, Shin, Wu, Su, Burgess-Brigham, Gezer, & Snow, 2012) answers this question from four areas of research. Here are the basic findings:
Optimal conditions include:
How can educators create some of these conditions? The authors suggest:
There is a lot more to the findings in this literature review which I will summarize in forthcoming blogs. I'll be telling you about what they found in answer to these questions: What are the characteristics of excellent or unsuccessful L2 learners? What are the characteristics of excellent or unsuccessful L2 teachers? What are reasonable expectations for speed and accomplishment for L2 learners of different ages? In the meantime, happy research-based teaching to you!
Everyday ELL is now Every Language Learner.