Hard but not impossible

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Learning a new language is not easy. It is hard for adults and busy people to learn a new language that sounds differently from their mother tongue and that they don’t use outside the classroom.

It is really hard, but not impossible. Recent studies suggest that you can get better at a foreign language simply by listening to it, without speaking it yourself.

In other words, if you listen regularly to podcasts in the language you’re trying to learn, you will learn it at the end.

One hour listening practice a day following with some simple tasks is a good start to improve your listening comprehension and increase your ability to distinguish sounds.

Also, it is recommended to watch TV shows or short video clips and read material written in the language you are learning.

The goal is to be surrounded by the target language at all times and immerse yourself in it. Still, you should be both passive and active when you learn a foreign language, that is to listen and speak, read and write. In other words you should receive and produce something in the language you are learning EVERY DAY.

 

Seven Tips for Teachers to Help Low-Achiever Learners

low achiever

1. Know well who low-achiever learners are. They are learners who usually:

* lack basic knowledge or skills.

* have difficulty in comprehension.

* lack concentration.

* confuse easily in the classroom.

2. Change your attitudes towards them.

3. Give them clear, step by step instructions.

4. Be ready to give them extra help or explanation.

5. Motivate them all the time using all possible ways.

6. Be aware of their learning or studying habits and try to improve them.

7. Know their leaning styles and adapt your teaching to them.

 

20 Tips to Foster Motivation in Your Students

motivate ur students

1. Create a supportive environment where students are respected and feel a sense of belonging.

2. Believe in the ability of each student to learn.

3. Set up clear classroom rules from the very beginning and appreciate who follow them.

4. Be aware of the strengths of each student and focus on them not on their weaknesses.

5. Use your students’ interests, talents and goals to encourage them to learn.

6. Maintain disciplined, organized and calm classroom to increase your students’ concentration.

7. Vary your teaching methods and make the lessons interesting and enjoyable.

8. Adapt your lessons to your students life and needs.

9. Let students be aware of the objectives of each lesson so that they can realize the feeling of achievement.

10. Teach your students how to prepare and study their lessons, help them acquire good study habits at home.

11. Always provide positive feedback. Never embarrass or ridicule a student.

12. Assign homework that is specific and clearly related to the objectives of each lesson.

13. Emphasize cooperation rather than competition; support pair work and group work to create opportunities for students to help each other.

14. Teach students how to find solutions to the problems they may face.

15. Avoid practices or exercises that can cause frustration, instead adapt them to students’ level.

16. Provide rewards for unusual effort and success.

17. Establish a close relationship with students’ parents to assist their children in forming good habits at home so that they will be ready to learn at school.

18. Give your students the chance to lead a classroom activity.

19. Treat each student fairly, show no favoritism.

20. Discover your strengths, learn from mistakes and concentrate on doing your best.

Learning Strategies & Learning Styles

strategies and stylesLearning strategies vs. learning styles:

* Broadly speaking, learning styles can be defined as general approaches to language learning, while learning strategies are specific ways learners choose to cope with language tasks in particular contexts.

* Learning strategies are the ways in which students learn, remember information and study for tests. They refer to the actions and behaviors students use to learn but learning styles refer to the general approaches that students use in acquiring a new language or in learning any other subject.

* The strategies a student uses to learn depend greatly on his/her own learning style.

Learning styles:

Each student has his/her own style of learning. As a result we have different students with different learning styles inside the classroom as shown below:

1. Visual or spatial learners:
They need to see things to fully understand them. They learn best from visual objects such as diagrams, charts, etc. They prefer to write things down.

2. Auditory or musical learners:
They learn mainly through listening so they learn best through discussions and talking. They benefit most from reading texts aloud and using a tape recorder.

3. Physical or kinesthetic or tactile learners:
They learn through using their body, hands and sense of touch. They tend to use their muscles so they can be used well in playing, tidying, cleaning the board, collecting activity books, etc. They learn best through using their hands making things, fitting things together or taking them apart so hands-on activities are ideal to help those students learn best.

4. Social or interpersonal learners:
They prefer to learn in groups or with other people. They have the ability to understand others’ feelings and intentions.

5. Solitary or intrapersonal learners:
They prefer to work alone and use self-study. They have the ability to understand well their feelings, strengths and weaknesses. They tend to write personal diary, achieve independent projects, discuss feelings about certain topics, express likes and dislikes, etc.

6. Verbal or linguistic learners:
They prefer using words, both in speech and writing.

7. Logical or mathematical:
They prefer using logic, reasoning and systems.

Learning strategies:

Many students use learning strategies automatically without any awareness of them. The role of teachers here is to:

* recognize their students’ learning strategies,

* make them explicit to students, bring them to their attention and talk about them.

* encourage students to use them in the classroom

* make them more effective to the learning process,

* base teaching process and techniques on these strategies.

Students use the following learning strategies most often when learning a language:

1. Cognitive strategies which enable the learner to manipulate the language material in direct ways, e.g. through reasoning, analysis, note-taking, and synthesizing

2. Metacognitive strategies which are used to manage the learning process overall, e.g. identifying preferences and the need for planning, monitoring mistakes, and evaluating task success.

3. Memory-related strategies which help learners link one item or concept with another but do not necessarily involve deep understanding, e.g. using acronyms, sound similarities, images, key words.

4. Compensatory strategies which help make up for missing knowledge, e.g. using gestures, miming or guessing the meaning from the context.

5. Affective strategies which help learners manage their emotions, such as identifying one’s mood and anxiety level, talking about feelings, rewarding oneself, and using deep breathing or positive self-talk.

6. Social strategies which enable the learner to learn via interaction with others and understand the target culture, e.g. asking questions, asking for clarification, asking for conversation help, talking with a native-speaking partner, and exploring cultural and social norms.

To be able to use the suitable strategies for you, you should know first your learning style BUT What is your learning style? Click and take a few minutes to do a quiz to be aware of your learning style.