Duncan Charters

Department of Languages and Cultures, Principia College
Elsah, The United States of America

INDECS 13(2), 288-298, 2015
DOI 10.7906/indecs.13.2.7
Full text available here.

Received: 26 January 2015.
Accepted: 11 February 2015.
Regular article


One of the first tasks faced by Zamenhof, the inventor of Esperanto (1887), was establishing its status as a living language, achieved in part by teaching the language to others, in part by translation and literary creation, and in part by forming a community of users. One of the earliest learners, Leo Tolstoy, emphasized its ease of learning, and both the early history of the language and contemporary experience show that the receptive and productive skills entailed in learning the language are unusually mutually reinforcing. In formal language-learning situations, students are able to reach an acceptable level of proficiency relatively quickly, allowing them to put the language to practical use. They are also able to learn on their own. Ease of learning builds confidence, so that Esperanto constitutes a good introduction to language study in general, even though the language is more complex linguistically than it may appear at first sight. The language also helps the learning of cultural sensitivity. In recent years, electronic aids to teaching and learning have proliferated and there are many resources available to the teacher and learner.


Esperanto, Esperanto teaching, propaedeutics, proficiency standards, language learning, language teaching



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