It can be difficult to follow a Twitter conversation with @ToughLoveforX and co. at times. It’s full of jargon I don’t understand, in a language invented to suit the purpose of a discussion limited to 140 characters at a time. I know that NFME is a theory of how learning works (Notice, Focus, Mull, Engage), but English is easier for me and I’ve told him so!
But… when I recently wrote on my blog about integrating ICT into the PYP , he was quick to point out that my jargon was just as incomprehensible to him as his was to me. (ICT=Information and Communications Technology. PYP = Primary Years Program of the IB). Touche. He added that such jargon would turn him off reading any further in a post. Constructive criticism well received. I’ll be more careful in future.
But I’m a second language teacher.. so it got me thinking… How quickly do learners tune out when there are words they don’t understand?
I asked my Year 5 students (11 year olds) what’s easy and what’s difficult in language learning.
There were some interesting responses…
- The hardest thing is remembering words. The easiest is when you can connect new words with other words you already know. (Zac)
- It’s easiest when you’re learning with others. It’s hard when you don’t have the words to say what you need to. (Matthew)
- It’s easiest to learn through interactive games with others. Teaching yourself is challenging. (Tahnee)
- The hardest thing is when everything you are hearing is new. What helps is having someone who knows both languages. (Gabe)
- What makes it easier is confidence and experience, support from your teacher and other pupils. (Dean)
- The most difficult thing is that you can’t just translate from your home language, you have to think in the other language. (Sasha)
As always, I am excited by what I can learn from my students! Maybe we should invite them to run some professional development sessions for teachers…