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Methods

1. THE LOZANOV METHOD

Dr. Georgi Lozanov created a remarkably effective method of teaching based on how the brain actually learns.  

A native of Sofia, Bulgaria, and a medical doctor specialized in psychiatry and psychotherapy, Dr. Lozanov has a passion for understanding how human beings learn. This led him to travel around the world to examine examples of super memory and learning achievements. In 1966, he established the Suggestology Research Institute in Sofia to put his new system of teaching into practice. Dr. Lozanov and his colleague, Dr. Evelyna Gateva, first applied the new methodology to the teaching of foreign languages, with astounding results. Students learned much faster than they had under traditional teaching methods, they retained the learning much longer, and they had a LOT more fun in class!

Suggestopedia: A New Way to Learn  

Dr. Lozanov called his new methodology Suggestopedia. He developed the term by combining two words: suggestion and pedagogy. Dr. Lozanov chose this name because of his fundamental concern about the influence of suggestion in teaching. In doing so, he asked himself questions like:

  • What message do we, as teachers, give our learners? That learning is easy and fun? Or that what we are teaching is so difficult they will never master the subject? 
  • What beliefs do learners bring with them about what is possible for them to accomplish?
  • How can teachers help learners move beyond their limiting beliefs and discover their full human potential?

Suggestopedia made learning a pleasurable, natural process by:

  • Incorporating music, art, role-playing and games into the curriculum.
  • Placing great emphasis on the quality of the learning environment.
  • Showing teachers how to create an emotionally safe and rich environment that motivates learners to expand their perspectives and increase their capacity to learn.

The Reserve Capacities of the Mind 

Dr. Lozanov’s main concern was the mental, physical and spiritual health of the learner. His system not only allowed students to learn without trauma and stress, but it also helped them rediscover their natural thirst for learning. In the process, learners uncovered previously hidden capacities and talents, which Lozanov called the reserve capacities of the mind. The result was that students not only had fun learning, but that they also absorbed subject matter at greatly increased rates. In fact, the results were phenomenal. Students learned material 3 to 5 times faster than with “normal” teaching methods.

According to his studies, listening to music while learning makes learning much more effective. When testing various music styles he found that classical music, especially baroque music proved to bring the best results. It's worh trying, isn't it?

 

2. MIND MAPS

A mind map is a diagram used to visually outline information. A mind map is often created around a single word or text, placed in the center, to which associated ideas, words and concepts are added. Major categories radiate from a central node, and lesser categories are sub-branches of larger branches. Categories can represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items related to a central key word or idea.

Mindmaps can be drawn by hand, either as "rough notes" during a lecture or meeting, for example, or as higher quality pictures when more time is available. 

The term "mind map" was first popularized by Beitish popular psychology author and television personalityTony Buzan when BBC TV ran a series hosted by Buzan called Use Your Head. In this show, and companion book series, Buzan enthusiastically promoted his conception of radial tree, diagramming key words in a colorful, radiant, tree-like structure.

Buzan argues that while "traditional" outlines force readers to scan left to right and top to bottom, readers actually tend to scan the entire page in a non-linear fashion. Prior to Buzan's popularization, the phrase "mind map" dates back at least a century.

Mind map guidelines

Buzan suggests the following guidelines for creating mind maps:

  1. Start in the center with an image of the topic, using at least 3 colors.
  2. Use images, symbols, codes, and dimensions throughout your mind map.
  3. Select key words and print using upper or lower case letters.
  4. Each word/image is best alone and sitting on its own line.
  5. The lines should be connected, starting from the central image. The central lines are thicker, organic and thinner as they radiate out from the centre.
  6. Make the lines the same length as the word/image they support.
  7. Use multiple colors throughout the mind map, for visual stimulation and also to encode or group.
  8. Develop your own personal style of mind mapping.
  9. Use emphasis and show associations in your mind map.
  10. Keep the mind map clear by using radial hierarchy, numerical order or outlines to embrace your branches.

This list is itself more concise than a prose version of the same information and the mind map of these guidelines is itself intended to be more memorable and quicker to scan than either the prose or the list.

mindmap.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. THE 80/20 RATIO by Vilfredo Paretto - How to Learn English Fast

What’s the quickest way for you to become fluent? You might be surprised to hear that the answer is related to Italian vegetables. To be more specific, the answer is related to Italian peas.
In 1906 an Italian economist name Vilfredo Paretto noticed something interesting about the peas in his vegetable garden. 20% of the pea pods, contained 80% of the peas. Another way to say the same thing would be that 80% of the pea pods in his garden contained only 20% of the peas. A small number of the pea plants were producing most of the food, while a large number of the pea plants were producing very litte food.
Pareto also noticed something similar with Italian landowners. 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. This 80/20 ratio can be seen in many situations, especially in the business world.

80% of sales are made to 20% of customers.
The richest 20% of the world earn 80% of the world’s income.
20% of employees do 80% of the work.

These numbers are not always 80/20. They might be 70/30 or even 90/10. The numbers aren’t really important. The main point is that all effort is not equal. Some effort produces great results and other types of effort produce very little results.
The way we use our time is not always an effective way to get the results we want. If we apply the 80/20 rule to learning English, we could say that 20% of our effort is generating the most improvement in our language skill. And 80% of our effort is generating very little improvement.
You want to focus your time and effort on the 20% that will give you the most benefit, and cut back on the 80% that gives you the least benefit.
The numbers aren’t really important. The main point is that there is a lack of balance in most systems. We can see this with vocabulary. There are over 250,000 English words, but you only need about 3,000 to understand a newspaper. And to speak conversational English, you need even less. Some words are much more useful than other words. If you studied all 250,000 words equally, it would take you a very long time to become fluent.
The most common English words are also the most useful English words. They are just a small percentage of the English language, but knowing them deeply and practicing using them will give the biggest boost to your English fluency. Learning very infrequent words that are rarely used will provide the least benefit.
To become fluent fast, you always want to focus on the 20% that will help you the most, and decrease the 80% that is helping you the least. But before you can do this, you need to be very clear about your goals.
Be specific. What are your English goals? There are many different possibilities.
Maybe you want to understand fast English.
Maybe you’re trying to improve your speaking confidence.
Or maybe you have some specific purpose, such as learning computer related technical English.
Whatever your goal is, if you look closely, you’ll probably find that the 80/20 rule can help you learn faster. Tell us about your English goals in the comments.

4. HOW TO INCREASE YOUR VOCABULARY

5. MAKING LEARNING FUN - Antonio Cortés

We were thrilled to hear from Antonio Cortés who works as an English teacher at Cardenal Spínola School in a town near the city of Seville, in the southwest of Spain.

He uses the London Underground map and the Animals to help his students improve their English while they discover many interesting things about London.

They've even made a short film all about how they use the London Underground map as part of their English language lessons. Their film will feature in the London Transport's Museum's 2012 Exhibition to demonstrate how the map is more than just a navigation tool.

Below you´ll find the link to the lessons' summary so that you can get to know all about them. You can't imagine their faces when watching the animals on the map: they were amazed!

Click here to read more...

Students at work    Students at work
 

As famous as the black cabs or red double-decker buses, the London Underground Map is loved for it's bright colours, striking design and unique style. When most people look at the 'tube' map, all they see is a pattern of colourful lines that helps them work out where they’re going and how they’re going to get there.

 But did you know that, hidden within the map, there is a world of Animals?

 

The Animals were discovered by Paul Middlewick in 1988. They're created using the tube lines, stations and junctions of the London Underground map. Paul found the original animal, the elephant, while he was staring at the tube map during his daily journey home from work. Since then, Elephant & Castle, as the elephant is called, has been joined by many others from bats to bottlenose whales.

 To see these, and many more, click on the Animals link above. New animals are being discovered all the time, if you want to be the first to hear about them, plus other events and offers, why not join our mailing list Join our mailing list?

 

 

How to Know the Difference Between Rise and Raise

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
Think you're sure about when to use raise and rise in a conversation or your written work? Even native English speakers get these two mixed up on occasion, so it can be helpful to do a quick refresher.

Steps

  1. Understand the difference in meanings. The meanings of "rise" and "raise" differ slightly and therefore need to be applied in different ways. For example, very basically the meanings can be said to be as follows:
    • Rise refers to something being moved upwards or an amount of something being increased. For example, to say that the sun rises and hot air rises refers to the action of these objects moving upwards.
    • Raise refers to something being moved to a higher position or something getting improved. For example, to say that you raise your hand or your voice refers to the action of moving your hand or voice to a higher level than previously. Or, you might refer to a need to raise efficiency in the factory, when factory efficiency needs to improve.
  2. Be aware of the regular or irregular status of each verb. "Raise" is a regular verb. This makes it easy to remember in both the past and perfect participles. On the other hand, "rise" is an irregular verb and its past and perfect participles therefore changes in its past participle and perfect participle forms.
    • Raise:
      • Past participle : Raised.
      • Perfect participle : Raised.
    • Rise:
      • Past participle : Rose.
      • Perfect participle : Risen.
  3. Keep in mind that raise is a transitive verb. This means that it always needs an object to act on, such as "I raised the object into the air". On the other hand, rise is intransitive; that is, it does not need an object and only ever involves the subject. It can help to remember that intransitive verbs denote something that you do "to yourself", such as "I rise at dawn", whereas if it's your arms being raised at dawn, your arms become objects rather than your whole self. More examples:
    • Raise (raise, raised, raised, is raising):
      • I raised my head to look at them.
      • She raises the book from the floor.
    • Rise (rise, rose, risen, is rising):
      • My head rose upon hearing the harsh noises.
      • My book is rising to the bestsellers top ten list.
    • It might help you to remember this mnemonic: To rAise grammatically has an Attack to or an Action on an object, but to rise does not have.
  4. Use the verbs within the appropriate context. There are some fairly standard usages of both verbs, depending on the context. For example:
    • "I rise each day at 8 o'clock" - this is a formal way of saying "I get up each day at 8 o'clock".
    • "She rose when the queen entered the room" - another formal way of saying "she got up when the queen entered the room".
    • "The wind and water level are rising, please evacuate!" - this refers to the wind becoming stronger and the water level moving upwards.
    • "He wanted to rise to the top of his field" - is one way of saying "He wanted to be promoted to the top of his field".
    • "Use of disposable water bottles rose during the 90s" - is another way of saying "Use of disposable water bottles increased during the 90s".
    • "Those of you wishing to visit the museum today, please raise your hand." - refers to "putting up or lifting" your hand.
    • "I have to raise my voice because he's a little deaf." - refers to "lifting the level" of the person's voice.
    • "She raised the hem slightly to make the skirt shorter." - refers to placing the hem in a higher position than before.
    • Learn various relevant idioms, such as "to raise the alarm", "to raise the roof", "to not raise a finger", "to raise a smile", "to rise to the bait", "to get a rise from", "to rise to the occasion/challenge", and so forth. Each of these needs to be learned as unique phrases within their relevant context if you're learning English as a second language.
  5. Note a slight difference between the application of raise and rise in British and American English. In some cases, the usage of raise and rise is switched around depending on which form of English you're using. A good example is to do with salary. In British English, you receive a "pay rise", while in American English, you receive a "pay raise". Both are correct and you are likely to be understood whichever you refer to.
  6. Contrast the more abstractly applied verb "arise". Arise can mean "to get up", "to emerge from a source" or "to come into being/come to one's attention". It's used widely too and should be used in a similar fashion to "rise".
    • The past participle is "arose", the perfect participle is "arisen".
    • It's often used to express abstract notions or uncertainty. For example:
      • "If the possibility arose, I'd definitely go to Paris." - You're not sure if the chance to go to Paris will happen.
      • "I'd like to return this iPhone––a problem has arisen with its ability to receive calls." - You know the outcome of the problem but not necessarily what's causing it.
    • To see the difference between "raise" and "arise", see this example:
      • "Immediately I raised the question as to the witness's credibility." (you have to use transitive verb raise).
      • "The question arises whether the witness is credible." (intransitive verb arise is used).

Tips

  • Araise is actually a'raise and if ever to be seen is the same as to raise.
  • To improve your awareness of the complete range of meanings (semantics) of the words rise, raise and arise, refer to a quality dictionary for a variety of explanations and a breadth of examples.
  • Consider other pairs such as intransitive to fall versus transitive to drop that bear the same meaning but with no confusion in spelling.

Things You'll Need

  • Quality dictionary

Related wikiHows

 Mind Powers-How to Use and Control Your Unlimited Potential

 

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