Learning by doing – Action method
Down the books!
Long live to action!
Or why “learning a language” must go through action.
« I hear and forget,
I see and I remember,
I do and I understand », Confucius
What is « learning by doing » or the action method?
Virtual classroom, e-learning platform, application of all kinds,
methods of learning a foreign language are constantly developing.
But do they really allow you to learn?
To know how to speak a language, one must be imbued with it,
being immersed in culture, working with people who speak it, living it.
Edgar Dale’s “Cone of Experience”*
shows that active learning is much more effective:
we only retain 10% of what we read and 75% of what we put into practice.
Living the language, is the best way to assimilate it quickly and memorize it in the long term.
Here are some keys that will allow you to be in active learning
and to use what we call: the actuating method.
Participate in a discussion, exchange with people who speak the language
Learning a foreign language is intuitive, being totally immersed in language, culture,
and working with people allows you to hear the sounds of the language and familiarize yourself with it.
You have to hear and « see » speak, to be able to absorb the words,
expressions, phonetics and naturally imitate one’s interlocutor.
So, do not hesitate to meet people who speak the language you are learning.
Simulate an experiment
The game is a great way to learn a language.
Role-playing, situational situations allow to simulate experiences of daily life
and acquire the vocabulary specific to each situation (take a telephone appointment, simulate a negotiation…).
But the more classic games also work very well, indeed while you play, in the language you learn,
you forget that you are working. The tension is released and allows the error, which allows you to progress faster.
The practice also makes it possible not to be afraid to launch when the real moment arrives.
Recount an experience
Telling a lived experience, talking about oneself, about what we love, allows us to use the language of everyday life.
It allows you to assimilate vocabulary by reusing what you’ve heard, in your own sentences.
You can prepare in writing what you want to tell if it seems too difficult to begin with.
Go for it! You will see, the people listening to you will be happy to help you progress.
Getting out of class: Experimenting
A language is primarily spoken, so it is important to focus on oral
and integrate it into his daily life to assimilate more quickly and efficiently.
The ideal is to learn the new language, in the country where it is spoken.
Take advantage of holidays and trips abroad to put yourself in a real situation.
To be in movement, to communicate, to live the action, appeals to all the senses
and feelings and allows long-term memorization.
Do not hesitate to «do» in the language you are learning: buy, cook, go to the theatre…
You will then see that these moments will be the ones you will remember the most.
Books, E-learning platform, etc. are supports, complementary tools, indispensable,
but nothing can replace the fact of living the language, groping, making mistakes.
So don’t be afraid to be wrong and “action!”
* Professor and Educational Researcher, American
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