Research Findings and Foreign Language Requirements in Colleges and Universities*


  • Leon A. Jakobovits

  • Leon A. Jakobovits (Ph.D., McGill University) is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology and Communications at the Center for Comparative Psycholinguistics at the University of Illinois. He has taught at Laval University and is the Co-Director of the Centre for Comparative Psycholinguistics at Illinois. He is a member of the American Psychological Association, the International Council of Psychologists, and the Linguistic Society of America. He has published articles in the International Journal of Psychology and the Journal of Special Education. He is also the co-editor of Readings in the Psychology of Language, published by Prentice-Hall in 1967.

  • *

    Based on a report prepared by Leon A. Jakobovits for the Liberal Arts School Committee on the Foreign Language Requirement, University of Illinois, Urbana, 29 May 1968.


ABSTRACT: This report summarizes earlier reviews on research findings in FL teaching and outlines those principal conclusions which seemed to the writer to have the most adequate empirical justification. Five major topics are discussed: teaching methods in FL instruction, FL aptitude, the attainment of FL proficiency, the effects of motivation and interest in FL learning, and the goals and benefits of FL study. Nineteen conclusions are presented and their implications for FL teaching are discussed. Several recommendations for changes in the college FL curriculum are included.