Neuroscience is proving the common wisdom: we remember what has meaning. There is so much clutter in our daily experience, if our brain remembered every single perception we would be overwhelmed. The stress of receiving a "fire hose" of new information is familiar to many of us when attending a conference or gaining initial exposure to a new field of study. There must be a way to help encode meaning, and then being able to recall quickly in the appropriate context.
The mechanics of meaning are no longer mysterious. There is no such thing as a person being "naturally good with languages" or "not able to learn languages." The repetition of meaningful, engaging input will allow the student to produce oral and written output that is comprehensible and expressive. What a great feeling that is! Basically, it is fun. It is amazing. This instant success, repeated many times, builds the positive framework for learning. A student becomes a lifelong learner by learning how to learn, and have fun doing it.
Even for a student who has been struggling all year, your kindness and supportive efforts have added a positive meaning to the experience of learning a new language. Regardless of your teaching method, the interpersonal connection has enormous impact.
But can a computer or tablet do what a teacher does?
The visuals that form a foundation of QTalk curriculum, are colorful and engaging. They allow a teacher to remain in the target language, and promote instant comprehension and recall for students who then are primed to spend their time outside of class practicing and sharing what they are learning.
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