How to learn a new language?
Since most people wfh these days, we probably get one more hour per day because of no commute.
What’s your plan for this extra hour.
How about learning a new language?
That sounds interesting, but I’m not gonna learn in tradition way with thick grammar book and boring practice. I want to learn like a baby.
But before we get into details, you, shoud ask yourself, why am I learning this new language?
You got to have a motivation to kickstart something new, and it better be something involved in your life.
Mine is simple, I want to add more voice over languages to my films and get girlfriends in every languages I learned.
It’s simple. But your goal better make you implement or execute something.
You’re not learning simply passively acquire it, you learn by proactively create or output.
The more you do, keeps you do more.
And this is the positive flywheel effect.
Building the Game
Since I want to learn like a baby, I built a game environment so I can immerse in it.
Why don’t you just go out?
Sorry, we got COVID-21. So I’ll just build a game instead.
But why game?
Medium is the message.
Game is a failure free system and can be used to simulate baby - parent relationship. Watch Stephen Krashen.
The lower the anxiety, the better the language acquisition. For language acquisition to succeed, anxiety has to be directed somewhere else, not at language.
Game seems to be a potential medium.
The overall concept is simple, learn a new language with that language. Just like baby.
No grammar, no rhetoric. Use words and visual feedback to acquire a new language.
The game serves as the contextual environment and the tutor use simple words and gestures to convey comprehensible input.
Let’s see what’s going on in the class.
The grammar is not emphasized because in the game environment, the teacher’s role as a language parent does not need to focus on too detailed grammar as long as they can communicate with each other.
The advantage of real-person interactive learning is that it can get more direct feedbacks and visual communications.
The immersive experience allows students to be exposed to essentials of communication, which is helpful for long-term language development.
Self-taught vs. Tutoring
In addition to making games, I also use learning apps such as Duolingo, Memrise, Busuu, etc.
How much self-taught should one practice before looking for a tutor?
I kept thinking about the role of a tutor. Personally I believe the tutor’s presence is to get rid of tutor.
What does this mean?
You hire a tennis coach because you want to play without a coach. You hire a piano teacher because you want to be able to play by yourself.
People can get lots of resource these days, self learning is a new paradigm.
If so, why do we want to have a coach?
The role of a coach is to help speeding up the learning process, once you get into the road, you could self pilot.
Guidance in the tough journey is one of the reason why people looking for a tutor.
But what if we have a shadow tutor?
The design of learning app use similar ‘materials’ for people in the same level, so they can normalize the documents and save budget without hiring tutors.
What I’m thinking is we could create a game environment that perserve the interactivity of tutoring but also leverage the cost by assetize the lecture, so the courses can be used repeatedly.
It’s like in the next decade people making youtube videos switch to making game environments so others can experience what they have experienced.
What will it look like? Could this kind of game environments really help people learn a new language?
Share your ideas with us, let us know how you acquire new skills or languages.
I’m captain kangbo, see you next time, bye.
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