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Language Learning in Ministry

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Table of Contents


1. Misconceptions about Language Acquisition

2. Principles of Language Acquisition

3. Formal Language Learning

4. Informal Language Learning

5. Children’s Language and Educational Needs

6. Opportunities for Ministry amid Language Learning

7. Applying New Understanding to Chart a Path for Success



Appendix A: Language Proficiency Scales

Appendix B: English for Life Curriculum

Appendix C: Second Language Acquisition Self-Assessment

Appendix D: Language Teaching Methodologies

Appendix E: Language Learning Resources to Create

Appendix F: Language Learning Online Resources


Language Learning in Ministry
Preparing for Cross-Cultural Language Acquisition
Jan Edwards Dormer

Chart a Path for Language Success

Are you excited to minister in another culture, but worried about how best to learn the language of the people you are going to serve? While a new culture and a new language will change you and your family in dramatic ways, let the author dispel common myths about language acquisition and share a hopeful outlook. 

Language Learning in Ministry is essential for learning a new language or providing guidance for those headed into a new language context. With chapters on both formal and informal language learning to guide the selection of language schools, programs, and methodologies, this book walks you through the options, opportunities, and challenges ahead.

Special attention is given to:

  • Viewing language learning through a ministry lens Language development of children and the needs of the family, including schooling options and opportunities for MKs to learn the local
  • Personal application—walking the reader through decision-making processes to chart a path for success in language learning
  • Rich resources such as language proficiency scales, language learning methodologies, and online resources
  • A complete task-based language learning curriculum that can be adapted to any language

Don’t let language learning be a desert of waiting, but rather, a launch-pad for ministry opportunities. Utilizing the knowledge and guidance provided in this book will minimize your stress, increase the potential for your success in acquiring a new language, and fuel your ministry.


  • Dr. Dormer has personally walked the road of second language acquisition (SLA). More recently, she has given herself tirelessly to understanding how learning a second language can best be done. Through extensive research and interaction with many language learners and their helpers, Dr. Dormer brings insightful counsel, lays out helpful models, and even debunks common myths about SLA. This is an excellent twenty-first century text for SLA and for all mission leaders working closely with new language learners!
    Bob Fetherlin, DMinPresident, One Mission Society; Former missionary in Africa; and Vice-President for International Ministries with The Christian and Missionary Alliance 
  • When I met Dr. Dormer, I knew that she had the experience, training, and passion to write a work that would offer practical help for families in a variety of cross-cultural living and schooling situations. Her personal experience growing up cross-culturally and then raising her own family overseas gives her a unique and credible perspective. I highly recommend this book to all families anticipating or currently living in a country where learning the local language will make a qualitative difference in their ability to adapt to their new home.
    Nancy Elwood, MSMK Education International Coordinator, GEM; co-founder and team leader, SHARE Education Services; co-founder, Professional Association of Cross-cultural Consultants in Education

Additional Details

  • Pages: 164
  • Publisher: William Carey Publishing
  • Binding: paperback
  • Publish Year: 2021
  • ISBN: 9781645083238
  • Vendor: William Carey Publishing