Thursday, 10 February 2011

how to learn a foreign language. how to teach a foreign language

how to learn a foreign language

1 - be exposed to it (a lot)
2 - use it for real communication (a lot)

so easy

but very time consuming.

frequently frustrating. also frequently rewarding, fun, and SO good for your brain. for humanity. and the general good.


you want to speed up the process, do more of each, more of the time.


how to 'teach' a language: - forget teaching - work on facilitating the learning of a new language (this is a little more complicated to do well)

provide exposure to the target language (lots and lots) - preferably make much of it challenging but not TOO challenging, just above the level the student can produce. provide models of what they might need to express. make it interesting. make it intriguing. make it real.

provide opportunities for real communication (lots and lots) - make it fun. make it exhilarating. make it useful. make it real.

facilitate the breaching of any gaps between what is intended and what is produced.
provide opportunities to reflect on successes and failures of attempts at communication.
provide your students tools and strategies to go about communicating despite any lacks.
motivate them to practice outside class, to find ways to increase their exposure to and use of the language.


there is more, so much more, for good language teaching


learning can be speeded up in various different ways.

but basically it comes down to

maximize exposure to target language, and maximize your use of it.

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