8 Components of Accelerated Language Learning (Part 2)

4. Over-stimulation

  • This is not over-loading students with just information.  The accelerated learning language teacher may bombard the student with material in creative ways knowing that the human brain can often assimilate more information than we assume.
  • Using longer texts, dramatizations and the like (often carefully supported with the English meaning along one side) allows students of varying levels of ability to take what is useful for them at that stage of their learning.
  • This approach also allows for more opportunities to expose students to the rhythm and pronunciation of the new language.

5. Theory of multiple intelligences application

  • MI Theory (proposed by Howard Gardener) asserts that there are 8 types of intelligence: interpersonal, intrapersonal, logical-mathematical, verbal-linguistic, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical-rhythmic, and naturalist.  In the traditional classroom environment, the verbal-linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligences are often over represented.
  • Accelerated learning addresses this imbalance by including activities that allow the activation of other intelligences.  This includes simple activities that develop visual, auditory, and motor coordination; as in Brain Gym®.  Examples of other activities include: games that involve movement, use of color on worksheets/mind maps, use of songs, raps and music, manipulation of objects and word cards, and so on.

6. The use of chunking

Chunking lessons into shorter periods takes full advantage of the attention cycle of the human brain.  We are most likely to retain information presented at the beginning and end of a session; therefore if a lesson is divided into smaller chunks, we are creating more beginnings and endings and so increasing the amount of information retained.

7. Pattern spotting and learning in broad strokes

Often accelerated learning language teachers will introduce broad concepts to their students, enabling them to learn a great deal in a short amount of time.

8. Objective setting

The student must understand clearly what he/she is going to learn in any particular lesson and how this is going to happen.  There is then a predefined goal to work towards and a higher sense of achievement at the end of the lesson (particularly if the lesson objectives are listed on the board and can be checked off as the lesson proceeds).

What’s In It For Me (W.I.I.F.M) is a key phrase to remind teachers that students want to know how subject material they are going to learn is relevant to them and their day-to-day experiences.

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8 Components of Accelerated Language Learning (Part 1)

8 Components of Accelerated Language Learning (ALL)

In terms of the instruction and learning of foreign languages specifically, accelerated learning has been and is being put to good use by language teachers across the world. Key components of an accelerated learning language lesson are:

1. The learning environment

  • A great deal of attention will be focused on the use of color, the temperature in the room(s), the positioning of furniture, background music, smells, textures, and so on.
  •  Also, posters and displays may have been carefully selected with the aim of helping students to absorb vocabulary and ideas subconsciously.
  •  Posters containing vocabulary for a unit, which may not be introduced for a few weeks, may be present in order to gradually familiarize students with the vocabulary in advance.

2.  State setting

  • This is done partly through the learning environment but also through the use of body language by the teacher, the type of music used throughout the lesson (this might change depending on the mood/atmosphere the teacher wishes to create at any given time), the tone of voice employed at any given time by the teacher, the use of color in presentation materials, and so on.
  • The emphasis is on making the student feel comfortable, relaxed and free from anxiety and stress.

3. Mnemonics

  • Frequently used to help students retain and recall lists of vocabulary.  Instead of relying on simple repetition drills, the accelerated learning language teacher will often employ creative techniques when first introducing a new topic.
  • Students may be encouraged to use their imaginations to link items of vocabulary to parts of their body or to locations in the classroom (Loci).  This injects a sense of fun and usually promotes a more relaxed and free-flowing learning environment.