Leo comments:

In terms of language learning so much depends on the teaching methods being used.

Pimsleur’s methods ( ) 

were better than those devised by the US Army in WWII, 

Those were better than those used Berlitz, etc.; 

those better than the systems of the nineteenth century. 


So much depends on the learners. Those who approach an eidetic memory (or hypermnesia) can gain vocabulary at an amazing speed. 

Since vocabulary attainment is one of the most difficult aspects of language learning, all this factors in.


Regards,                LEO


-----Original Message-----
From: International Auxiliary Languages [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Kjell Rehnström
Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2017 7:43 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: SLA Speed Tests


Den 2017-01-12 kl. 08:48, skrev 

Robert South:

> Has there been scientific research done on comparative second language acquisition?

Probably there is lots and lots of 

scientific research out there about 

second language learning. As for 

schools you might find it 

interesting to see how much English 

children are supposed to learn in 

one, two or more years in various 

countries. In Sweden children begin 

English in year 3 (they begin at 7 

years of age. To begin with they 

learn simple words and easy songs. 

Through computer games and TV most 

children have got some knowledge of 

English when they begin.


I used to teach Swedish to adult 

learners for about 20 years, 

Swedish is easier for Icelanders 

and Dutch learners. I have met 

students from The Netherlands who 

are quite fluent in Swedish after 

just some 3 or 4 months. Russians 

who have had some English are also 

very quick.


Arab and Iranian speakers who know 

some English are also very quick. 

After a year they can communicate 

in Swedish. If they have not had 

English it will be tougher for 

them, and pronunciation can be a 



If I recall correctly those who 

want to follow a university course 

where Swedish is the language of 

instruction, they take a course of 

Swedish during one year. Then they 

are supposed to understand everything!


An adult Chinese or Japanese who is 

adult and has had no English at 

all, Swedish is terribly difficult.


For English, German, Dutch, 

Russian, Polish and Spanish 

learners there are good 

dictionaries, and that helps a lot.


As for auxiliary languages there 

has been some tests – i think in 

the US – where groups have been 

taught Ido and Esperanto and the 

results have been compared. I doubt 

about the scientific value of these 

tests. Paul most certainly knows 

more about that.


The learners situation, motivation, 

contact with the language is 



In countries where English films 

ant TV programs are subtitled, not 

dubbed, the skills in English are 

better than in countries where 

everything is dubbed (or with 

voiceover) in the national language.


This is my contribution.


Kjell R