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The insights, techniques and skills needed to understand why some adult students have difficulties with learning a second language are presented in this book. The author's premise is that what appears on the surface is often not the real source of the learner's difficulty. A correct diagnosis of the cause of the problem is important if intervention is to prove effective.
The book presents a large number of theories and models of learning, and covers areas including: learning styles and personality dispositions; student motivation, self-efficacy and anxiety; and how to interview students.
Madeline Ehrman is an independent scholar and consultant, retired from the position of Director of Research, Evaluation, & Development at the Foreign Service Institute (US Department of State). With advanced degrees in both linguistics and psychology, she has published extensively on topics that combine both fields, e.g., the books Understanding Second Language Learning Difficulties and Interpersonal Dynamics in Second Language Education. Her areas of interest include individual differences in adult language learning, language learning aptitude, the emotional aspects of learning, and helping learners make better use of their metacognition. In addition to continuing to write and consult, she also is pursuing a long-time interest in the work of JRR Tolkien.