https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

Learning how to learn

Spotted an interview with Barbara Oakley yesterday (https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018690021/barbara-oakley-learning-how-to-learn). She had an interesting path for those interested in linguistics. Initially a language person who "couldn't do maths", she retrained as an adult and is now an engineering professor.

The link has a brief overview of her interview - including some hacks. The interview fills it out more - and she has a free (DL students like that price) MOOK - https://www.coursera.org/learn/learning-how-to-learn

A (very) quick summary includes taking breaks, a little each day, and allowing unfocussed learning.

April 9, 2019

20 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Songve

Interesting and informative. Refreshing post. Edit: When I return to US I may enroll in that course. My learning method for 6 months has been the total immersion method, living and hanging out with locals. Seems like it forces me to rewire my brain to absorb the language. Conversations with strangers on the street challenging but not too much so. Biggest challenge I had was this past weekend where I attended a special event at a Buddhist temple in Vung Tau, Vietnam. Most of the people, including the monk, were originally from Quang Ngai in Central Vietnam. They asked me to give a short talk in Vietnamese and follow that up by singing a song in Vietnamese. Now, giving a talk in front of about 60 people was a challenge. I started by saying I was trying to learn to speak Vietnamese as good as them. Then I explained that although I liked Saigon, at times it was too noisy and hectic. The temple was like an oasis in the desert and everyone so friendly and kind. I told them I was honored to be with them.

Then I explained I knew they knew the song I was about to sing and asked them to sing the last 4 verses with me. I sang the first two verses a cappella, then someone sequed in with guitar. The first verse we sang together was kinda loose but the following verses we sang as one. It was more than I hoped. I have experience chanting with groups and it usually starts out disjointed but quickly blends in as one voice. It is a powerful experience and tends to bring tears to the eyes of those who first experience it.

No, I am no where's near fluent and I described my talk in an easier way than what I actually wrote above. I didn't know word for oasis so I used words I learned here in Duolingo and songs I learned. I described oasis as "a special place in the desert with shade of trees and cool, clear water." Not too far from Vung Tau is Mui Ne that has a desert that looks like the Sahara and even has an oasis. The sands are so intensely white and the green and blue colors of the oasis are likewise intense.

April 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Linda7Italian

Songve. Wish I could have been there, to sing with you. I filled up reading your post.

April 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/EastWestTileCo.

I don't know that I would have risen to the challenge as gracefully as it sounds like you did! Lovely and inspiring story; thank you for sharing.

April 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Giovanna-Louise

Songve,

a truly great experience that you had and well done to you! Overcoming the language and culture barriers and connecting with those people and their land is just so awesome!! thank you so much for sharing this!

April 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/albaduine

Songve, thank you for sharing about your weekend at the Buddhist Temple. What an experience that must have been, giving a talk and singing in Vietnamese, to an audience of Vietnamese speakers. Very moving and inspiring to hear about. I hope you continue to have wonderful experiences with the language and the people during your stay in Vietnam.

April 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Zig_Zag_Wanderer

Also for anyone with a stutter, and I imagine that would hinder learning a language, you may want to check out 'the scatman'. He found a way to beat it by singing.

April 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jaye16

I followed that course and highly recommend it. It's very motivating and enjoyable at the same time.

April 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Sharon228703

Really interesting article, Judit. Thanks for posting!

April 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Giovanna-Louise

Judit, thank you for sharing this article and for the insights..

April 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/JimThibaul

You know I got the link I will try it I think, the strange thing is at one of my Toastmaster's clubs on Saturday I heard a speech about this content. Then I read this on an unrelated source, Wow !! Now I am skeptical. I am 57 and I do not believe anybody can teach me how to learn but may enroll anyway.

April 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jaye16

I took the course two years ago and I got a lot out of it. Both for learning and for teaching. And I have children older than you. So, don't put yourself down keeping the gray cells active keeps us young.

April 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Linda7Italian

Judit thanks!

April 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/shrin990106

hello everyone, "We are sorry, but due to OFAC restrictions, learners in your country are not allowed to access the platform." this is what i get!

April 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

That's sad. She's from the States; ex-army!

April 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/shrin990106

Judit thanks

April 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Shypharagy

Thank you kindly for the resources, I find this TEDx talk to be also worthwile (the person speaking is a top fireshow performer, but the knowledge he shares is easily applicable elsewhere) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYlRIbOnhos

April 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Koolest

Thanks! This will help a lot.

April 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/albaduine

Thanks Judit, I enjoyed listening to this very much. A good reminder to work on small amounts of new material at a time, and to take breaks often.

April 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Nyarlath

Oh my, I finished the course at coursera 4 years ago and I had totally forgotten about it! Brainwashed o_O

April 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Jileha

I had totally forgotten about it!

Hm, that’s not exactly a recommendation for a course that stresses long-term memory! :)

Did you change your learning approach? Did you find it worth while? Do you have any feedback on that course? It sounds interesting, but also requires a fair amount of time commitment.

April 10, 2019
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