Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Listening and learning a foreign language

I think that listening is the most underrated of the five senses for learning  a language. When children are learning
a language for the first time, they are constantly listening to their parents and siblings. They are not visually learning the language with flash cards (the written word), nor are they reading it. Those are things that happen 4 or five years after having listened for the first years of their life. Aside from listening they are also involved with their bodies in the listening environment. Johnny open the door, a command followed by a movement. Listening combined with movement is the surest way to learn a language fast. This is the basis of the TPR  language learning movement. The difficult part is taking that concept and putting it into the classroom in an organized manner. It is difficult but it can be done. James Ashner and others have developed a semi system, but I do believe the system needs to be perfected.  Its is a ashame that students are taught to learn a language through worksheets and a text book, it will not happen. This is why students go through 4 years of a language and 10 years later don't remember it. Their learning was never right brain automatic learning.

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