by Stephen Downes
[Sept] 09, 2015
Should We Teach Strategies?
Nice article on whether we should teach language-learning strategies (for example, strategies that help us comprehend, strategies that help us compose articles). In general, writes Stephen Krashen, it's a good idea, but he notes that some strategies are instinctive or innate ("everyone predicts..."). But strategies like bringing in background information can be helpful. "A wealth of research confirms that background information in the form of pictures, discussion, and easier reading helps make texts comprehensible. The validity of this strategy is confirmed by studies showing that texts on topics familiar to readers are generally more comprehensible than texts on unfamiliar topics."
A waste of time
I am loathe to produce a chart similar to Jon Dron's because I know what it would show: approximately ten hours a day of 'wasted' time, a couple of hours spent in productive labour, and the rest in leisure, transportation, and the like. But I am the sort of person who takes a very long time to warm up and who produces rapidly. My talk the other day, for example, followed a full day of 'wasted' time, took ten minutes in the middle of the night to create the key points, and an hour or two in the morning to put together. But without the 'wasted time' the talk could not exist.
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