Recently we launched a new resource called Base Camp. This resource was designed to develop in students the skills they need to learn a language. Base Camp 1 outlines common strategies such as mnemonics and acrostic poems, whilst Base Camp 2 provides suggestions for elective students on how to embed their language learning in their current online leisure activities.
Both of these resources outline how to harness research into the psychology of motivation to help students find time and motivation for their language learning. Methods such as habit stacking, implementation intentions and avoiding the Valley of disappointment provide an infrastructure for successful learning to occur. As I mentioned in my previous post, the very first concepts we should be teaching in our language courses, is the how of learning. The success of all our subsequent lessons will be improved if students have fundamental knowledge of learning habits, study skills and motivation techniques. The poor continuation rates in languages suggest amongst other things, that students are not finding it an easy choice.
As we enter term 4 and elective classes for 2020 are being announced, I am impressed to hear some teachers are organising a special orientation lesson for these language students. During this lesson, sometimes held at lunch, teachers are guiding students through the skills in Base Camp – urged on with some Japanese treats – to have them ready for the start of the year. This seems to be particularly useful if you are teaching the Beginners course for Year 11 and 12. (If you are planning on running such a mini-lesson, you may be interested in our Grammar Patch that is coming out in term 4. This works similar to our Hiragana Patch series but with targeted grammar review. Booklet 1 revises tenses of nouns, verbs and adjectives and Booklet 2 works through common uses of the て form.)
What is also impressive are the teachers who have told me they are using the strategies in Base Camp to drive their own lifelong learning in language. Language teachers are extremely busy and committed people so a few tips on how to find time and motivation can be the difference between thinking about studying as an adult and putting those dreams into action.
The Base Camp level 1 and 2 resource is sold as a set for $50 and can be purchased by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org . The Grammar Patch will be launched in Term 4 and will also be $50 per Book level.
Happy holidays everyone!