Learning about learning…

It is true that every person learns or acquires information differently.

For example, say there is a room full of students who must learn the location and capitals of certain countries for a geography test.  Billy knows that he can just study the map for about 30 minutes or so and then know the location and capital of each country.  Sarah knows that in addition to studying the map, she will have to write down the name of each country and its capital in order to memorize all the information.  And then there’s Sam, and he knows the only way he’ll remember the map, countries, and capitals is if he traces the map, writes in the names of the countries, and places the capital in the correct spot.

Each of the three students mentioned above has a different learning style.  Billy is a visual learner, he can look at something and absorb the information.  Sarah learns by reading and writing and Sam is a hands-on learner (or tactile learner), having to trace the map multiple times.

Although a person may learn using one method over the other, most people learn best with a combination of these methods, reading, writing, seeing, listening, and do an activity.  And maybe that’s why lately I’ve decided to take a fun “combination” approach to my lessons.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve made it a point to find an interesting current events article for each student.  I’ve tried to find subjects that I think may interest my students and we both read the article together.  I think that seeing the written Spanish, speaking it, and learning about a different or interesting subject has much more appeal that a standard textbook.  (Not to say that textbooks are bad, not at all, but sometimes it’s nice to take a break from the norm).

The exciting news is each student really enjoyed this exercise, and seeing words in a different context  helped them to realize they do understand Spanish and can figure out really what is being said!


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