Do we learn better if we have to think?

At the Myrtle Beach Literacy conference I saw a number of programs to help people with literacy and compared them with what we do at LingQ. It seems that these programs provide more help than LingQ does.

A)  Key words

  • In the typical literacy program learners are given a list of Key Words for each lesson. These are explained, and examples provided, beforehand.
  • A LingQ the learners have to look up the words they don’t know as they read. The unknown words are highlighted in blue, but learners need to look them up as they read. They are reviewed, with examples, after reading. I think this makes the learner hungrier to learn these words.

B) Sound files

  • In one literacy program I saw the learner could highlight a phrase and hear it pronounced using text to speech technology.
  • In LingQ the learner is asked to listen to the human recording, before, while and after reading, and has to repeat the recording when it is unclear. I find struggling to understand the unclear parts of the audio, without reading, forces me to concentrate.

C) Questions

  • In the typical program I saw, students are asked questions about why someone did something, or why something happened.  There is usually a correct and incorrect answer.
  • In LingQ learners write on what they want, but do not write often. I would like to change this and introduce some structured question for each lessons along the lines of, “Choose an important theme from the above” ” Tell us why you agree” “Tell us why you disagree” and ” Provide a conclusion of your views”

I hope that this free style might be conducive to developing language skills, without having to remember what happened in a story or article.

Any thoughts?



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