BlogArchive by Category "Learning Techniques" (Page 8)
Interleaved learning is an approach to learning that departs from the traditional block or focused approach to learning. Interleaved learning and the research behind it, is based on the idea that if we should not focus on learning or mastering one skill or set of information, such as a limited group of words in a […]Read more Interleaved learning, or learning without pressure
We are learning languages the wrong way says an article from the New Statesman. I don’t agree with everything in the article, but there are some important points. I have always felt that the emphasis on teaching a few basic survival sentences, or correct usage, is largely a waste of time. I believe we need to emphasize […]Read more Are we learning languages the wrong way?
We are conditioned by schools to think that our learning has to be directed by a teacher in the classroom. However, learning is inevitably a process of self improvement and personal growth. What matters most is what we as learners do, whether in the classroom, or outside the classroom. A teacher cannot force learning on […]Read more All learning is self-learning
My grandchildren in Vancouver attend French immersion school. This means that their classes, most of them, are in French. French immersion is very popular amongst English-speaking parents, because it enables their children to go to a school where there are fewer special needs learners. On the positive side, students in French immersion develop good French […]Read more Developing Listening Skills
Reading a grammar book is like reading a manual. Grammar explanations are very hard to understand and absorb until we have enough experience with the language. As a person commented on a video I did a few years ago called “Krashen and Grammar“: “This is consistent with James Paul Gee’s statement that textbooks are […]Read more Reading a grammar book is like reading a manual
Two evenings ago I had dinner with a Brazilian couple and we spoke Portuguese. Last night I had dinner with a Chinese person and we spoke Mandarin. I just finished a Skype conversation in Czech with a person in Prague, who is a member of a political party there. In all cases I was able […]Read more The power of listening
German can be difficult according to Kristi Fuoco, in this article in our local Vancouver Sun newspaper. Kristi is living in Germany, studying German and is baffled by German grammar, especially the cases, and thwarted in her attempts to speak German since most Germans are so good in English. At the same time she is […]Read more Tired of Learning German in Germany
Do grammar instruction, corrections and role playing help us learn languages? I guess it does but only to a very limited degree. Here is an interesting excerpt from a discussion on a recent Internet forum. “To me, the research appears to indicate that explicit form focused instruction (EFFI) and corrective feedback (CF) as they are […]Read more Traditional Language Instruction: Why it Doesn’t Work
I like the grazing approach, nibble on a bit of grammar rules, then read and listen, and then go back to a bit of grammar. Work with examples, in the grammar book and then from real meaningful context, and above all avoid drills and exercises. Here is a video on the subject.Read more Grammar rules, how best to learn them
The evidence is now in: the explicit teaching of grammar rules leads to better learning. At least that is what this article from The Guardian in England claims. Unfortunately the article does not offer any proof that the evidence is in, but rather...Read more Time to stop avoiding grammar rules!