Turning Learning into Playing

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    Remember back to grade school, if you will, and think about where you have the greatest memories. Which do you remember enjoying more, the teacher assigning you your homework for your three day holiday weekend, or being out on the playground with your friends, even if just for fifteen minutes?

    If your answer was the former, coming from a Psychological standpoint, you may want to have your Stress Levels evaluated, as they could be unhealthy.

    If the mentioning of the latter caused your heart to flutter and a smile to float across your face, then congratulations, you’re going to love this.

    Everybody, no matter their race, education, or age (yes, that’s you!), has a strong Kinesthetic side to them. Kinesthetic, in this context, refers to a style of learning based around physical activity and interaction with the situation.

    But how do you interact with a book? Or a tape? Good question.

    If you’re more of a visual learner, then probably you’re going to like to read, or look at pictures related to words. So, if you’re reading a book, get up OUT of that chair, take the open book with you, and act out the dialogues, as rediculously and dramatically as you can. If you can make yourself laugh, even better, even if you do lose track of where you were.

    Acting it out not doing it for you? More of the artsy type? Try drawing images that represent what you hear or read. Make a flash card for each word to start, then mix them up and see if you can put them back into their sentence form. Once you move along, see if you can make entire paragraphs.

    For those that lean towards the Auditory side of learning, interacting with your recordings, and better yet making your own recordings, can help learning. As far as interacting, try acting out the scene along with the recording, and see if you can beat the recording to a response.

    Making your own recordings is something you should do no matter how you learn your language. It’s best to carry a small recorder with you at all times, if for nothing else than to make quick notes of new words, or words that you’d like to ask a native speaker questions about.

    How you make your recordings should be a personal thing. Without meeting you in person and watching you closely, I can’t give an accurate representation of how to develop your recordings. Some feel that repeating a word three times in succession, with a short pause in between, is best, while others like to speak a word, then use it in a sentence. Still others will go to extreme lengths and create their own Pimsleur style recordings.

    If you’re not familiar with Pimsleur, they’re very effective, but equally expensive. Their method is simple, but the research they put into the programs is what you’re paying for.

    To create your own is difficult without hearing a course at least once, but it’s based around timing, and keeping the user active.

    Go to Pimsleur.com and find a sample file they have online. Hopefully that’ll give you some ideas.

    Now, wouldn’t you agree that these methods sound a bit more enjoyable than sitting down in a chair and digging your head into a book for an hour?

    Having fun while learning a language will help to eliminate a LOT of stress associated with learning, and when used in combination with different Memory Techniques, will turn your brain into a Language Absorption machine!

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