In addition to these two essential characteristics, most SELs have other things in common. For example, they use mnemonics (such as English roots and synonyms) and other memory strategies to remember what has been learned. SELs use linguistic knowledge of their first language in learning English. They often have intense interaction with native speakers or plentiful practice in writing. The list goes on.
It should be noted that not all of these characteristics are based on research findings. Some of them are based on the observations of experienced English teachers. However, understanding the common characteristics of SELs can give us food for thought.
By referring to the features of SELs, English learners will find their own ways forward and take charge of their learning.
Shih-Fan Kao is an assistant professor at Jinwen University of Science and Technology.