The study this time comes from Portland State University. I can't say the results surprise me, although they did surprise those conducting the study.
Link: Longitudinal Study of Adult Learning [Kentucky Educational Television] (via The Linguist on Language)
Reading that, it looks like they missed something: Motivation.Those who study without classes, and those who study with classes -and- on their own, are more motivated than those who just plop their butt in a chair and expect the class to force the knowledge into their heads.
That's a very good point. Motivation is of course key in language learning (or pretty much any other large endeavor, for that matter), and it could simply be that motivated students will study on their own while those with less motivation will, as you say, just plop their butt in a chair and expect the class to force the knowledge into their heads.Of course, I'd still bet that the method used in classes is a big reason why they are generally so ineffective, but motivation would need to be controlled for in any study that sought to demonstrate that.
I think we need to get rid of the language *study* thing and learn it instead. Studying a language means you're investigating how it works, but not really learning how to use it yourself.That's exactly why many people just suck in class (apart from the motivation factor, like William said); it doesn't work. You need to learn stuff and put it in practice, not study the inner mechanism of a language.
Your tittle is wrong, that's not what the findings were"The LSAL research indicates that self-study should be viewed as being on a continuum with, rather than an alternative to, classroom-based instruction," said Reder.
Agreed. Title revised.