Learners: Activity 2

Compare the learners

Look at the table below that summarizes the individuals’ characteristics as determined in Activity 1. Write about ways the two learners are the same or different, and whether these individual differences might be expected to affect the way they learn the language.

  Sebastian Maximus
Age Early twenties Early twenties
Native language English English
Other language Spanish in high school none
Studied Japanese 3 years in college 7 years in Concordia Language Village, high school and college, starting age 13
Native country USA USA
Education third year in college third year in college
Experiences in Japan Lived in a metro area, Japan, for 3 months with a host family Lived in a rural area, Japan for 1 year as a high school exchange student with a Japanese host family
Relationship with conversational partner member of same Japanese class member of same Japanese class
Japanese outside class Very limited Very limited.

Please type your answers to the questions in the box below.

When you have finished typing your answer, click to compare your response with the Learner Language staff response.

Sebastian and Maximus are typical of adult learners of Japanese in the US. They speak English as their first language. They are both college students and take Japanese classes on the university campus. However, their Japanese learning experiences are different. While Sebastian learned the language mostly in university classroom settings,
Maximus’ Japanese learning experience took place both in formal and informal settings. He started learning the language at an earlier age. He also lived in Japan for 1 year with a Japanese family while he was in high school.

This difference in language learning experience may play out in the learners’ preferences as to the way they learn Japanese. In fact, Sebastian spoke positively about his Japanese classes and teachers and Maximus said he learned the language most while he was in Japan.


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