Think about this question. What do you think is the answer?
Watch the video below. You’ll be surprised by the answer!
When students learn language, too often their learning is intentional – they “learn to learn” and try hard to memorize and remember, especially lists of words and phrases. Often this is combined with shallow processing, focusing on the spelling, the part of speech of the word (verb, noun etc…), the definition. Language is learned through shallow processing.
What research has shown is that it really makes no difference – your intention to learn. If you just are exposed to the language or have the intent to learn it. Most importantly, deep processing is key, that the student look at language as a “whole” and process at a deep level – subjectively, connecting the language to their lives and prior knowledge.
Dr. Chou in the video below, describes a seminal study of Hyde and Jenkins (1973) that showed how important deep processing was to learning. It’s worth a watch and has important implications for both how teachers present material to students and how students study.
Here at EnglishCentral, we agree. Students should “connect” to the material, learn language through messages they want to hear, learn language incidentally, by engaging in the experience and deeply processing and connecting to the material – not activating shallow memory and with intention. We highly recommend watching this video.