Learning a language like a Parrot will seriously slow you down

French Language Learning Tips

Don't learn to talk French  like a Parrot!

We’re not parrots! So why do we still learn parrot fashion?

Independent research has shown that some, much used learning methods, are totally inefficient ways to learn a foreign language.

The main practice to be placed in the naughty corner is learning by rote (this includes vocabulary lists, phrase books and repetition exercises). Dr. H. Douglas Brown in his excellent book “Principles of Language Learning and Teaching” states that if you learn using such products and methods you are likely to suffer from “Systematic Forgetting” – a scary thought which roughly means “in one ear and out the other”. There are strong scientific reasons for this phenomenon.

Rote learning involves the mental storage of information that is random and unconnected with other bits of information. Its insular nature means it is unlikely to be retained – a bit like someone asking you to remember a random telephone number while they dial it. You hold on to the information to complete the task in hand. Within minutes, however, the information has been forgotten. Alas.

The best way to learn to speak a language is through Meaningful Interaction with humans!

On the other hand meaningful interaction is the best possible way to learn a foreign language. This means talking a foreign language with another person. That other person does not have to be fluent. They can be friend, member of the family or colleague who wants to learn the language too.

Creating Context is the key to learning a language

Dr Brown goes on to expand the point:

“Too many languages are filled with rote and practice that centres on surface forms. Most cognitive psychologists agree that the frequency of stimuli and the number of times spent practicing a form are not highly important in learning an item. What is important is meaningfulness. It appears that contextualized, appropriate, meaningful communication in the second language seems to be the best possible practice the second language learner could engage in”

French MFL Game that makes learning French Fast, Easy, Fun and Meaningful!

French panel jpegHow about a game that uses the principles that Dr Brown extols? That puts words in context, makes them meaningful and involves social interaction (not screen interaction).

Only KLOO does this. Multi-award winning language games that are growing fast in schools and at home. Check out the video below – it shows how easy it is to make French sentences with KLOO cards.

KLOO language games are also available for learning English, Spanish and soon – Italian.

Dr H. Douglas Brown is a professor of MA-TESOL at San Francisco State University and has written many books, articles and textbooks on language teaching.

KLOO is an award winning MFL resource in French and Spanish and a proven way to build vocabulary and make sentences in  a foreign language


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