If a teacher cannot speak French or Spanish, how are they able to teach them as subjects? With the numbers of language teachers falling precipitously it's becoming more and more normal for a class to be taught by teachers who cannot themselves speak the language they teach. How can that work? Games like chess can harness human intellect I know many of the world's greatest chess players (in a previous life I ran the world chess championships) and it's interesting that the great Chess Grandmasters have chess coaches. It's interesting in that the chess [...]
Lessons in KLOO for kids and adults ABSOLUTELY How so? Because it happens with KLOO every day. Teachers use KLOO in their classes even if they themselves don't speak the language. As it's an auto-answering game (a game that answers the questions it poses), players learn without needing the teacher's intervention. In no time at all players will be able to: Build their vocabulary through Discovery Learning Make foreign sentences in under one minute Start playing - even if they are absolute beginners Have a lots of fun Speak the language out loud More and more schools are [...]
Context helps lock Spanish words in the long term memory Young Man learns speaks 11 languages fluently including Spanish I was struck by the recent news of a young man who is fluent in 11 languages. There is a lovely piece on him on the BBC where he does in fact speak in all 11 languages - including Spanish. It is significant that he said only one thing about what makes it easier for him to learn new languages and I wrote it down word for word. He stated: "THE EASIEST WAY TO LEARN IS [...]
Spanish Language Learning Tips Don't learn to talk Spanish like a Parrot! We're not parrots! So why do we still learn parrot fashion? Independent research has shown that some, much used learning methods, are totally inefficient ways to learn a foreign language. The main practice to be placed in the naughty corner is learning by rote (this includes vocabulary lists, phrase books and repetition exercises). Dr. H. Douglas Brown in his excellent book “Principles of Language Learning and Teaching” states that if you learn using such products and methods you are likely to suffer from “Systematic Forgetting” – a scary [...]
Q: How many sentences can you make with 60 words. See below for the shocking answer! When words that work together are correctly grouped then the number of sentences a learner can make with them grows exponentially....this means that the learners ability to express him or herself grows super fast. Really, really super fast - read on. In KLOO we have grouped decks of cards into 4 main themes: "People", Food & Drink", "Place" and "Everyday Objects". In each deck there are 60 cards. For instance, in the "People" deck there are nouns like "doctor", "policeman", "sister" [...]
How to spice up language lessons with MFL Games Sprinkle a little fun into lessons for language learning to grow Even now, after being immersed in language for some time, I look at how language is communicated and wonder at how difficult it all seems. Nouns, adjectives, verbs, agreement, tenses, person, form, gender, negatives, subjunctive, conditional....Oh my! When we started learning languages as an infant it was fun, even a favourite lesson. We sang songs, played games and were never troubled by a gerund. But then, at about the age of eight, Spanish lessons [...]
I have written before in this blog of the perils of learning from poor materials. Bad language resources will slow you down, demotivate you and even lead many aspiring learners to give up - in the false belief that they don't have the innate talent to learn a language. They do. We all do.
You won't be stuck for choice in terms of what MFL resources you can use. Far from it. The problem is that many of these resources are poor and not based on sound language learning principles. Suffice to say that choosing the wrong language tools is akin to playing tennis with a golf club....almost impossible.
Did you know that those who speak languages have better career prospects and can expect to be paid better? The jobs market is competitive and if you want an edge - get a language!
The Best Holiday Language Learn the language for a better holiday If you always go to holiday in France then this is an easy one - French. For Italy? Italian of course. So if you have a favourite destination then of course learn the language of that country. There are, however, many people (and I count myself among them) who have no idea where they will be going on holiday and it depends on a whole host of criteria: children friendly, sun, affordability etc. So on the basis of not having a fixed holiday destination: [...]