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Online Class on Language Learning (MOOC)

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United States
Joined 1940 days ago

70 posts - 105 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Irish, French

 Message 1 of 2
20 April 2015 at 5:14am | IP Logged 
There's an online class now starting on language learning, via the MOOC platform
FutureLearn and University of Southhampton.

Understanding Language: Learning and Teaching
An introduction to some key concepts in the effective teaching and learning of languages.

* Explore second language learning and what it means to learn language
* Consider language classrooms and how teaching affects our language learning
* Look at the use of technology in teaching, and its benefits and challenges for language

This course is aimed at graduates with an interest in the development of languages and
language teaching. It will give you a taste of postgraduate study in the field of English
language teaching. However, no prior knowledge is required to take part in the course and
we welcome anyone who is curious to know more about language learning and teaching.

Edited by tangleweeds on 20 April 2015 at 5:15am

4 persons have voted this message useful

United States
Joined 1940 days ago

70 posts - 105 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Irish, French

 Message 2 of 2
01 May 2015 at 8:30pm | IP Logged 
Watching last week's lectures, I felt the presentation of her "bottleneck hypothesis" and
the lame little animation to be much ado about a very simple idea, but in the end it's
given me some food for thought. For those who haven't visited the class to watch the
lectures, the unsurprising hypothesis is that the "little words" and endings, the
grammatical morphemes
are what slows down language production for the learner.

I'm not drawn to promises of rapid language acquisition, but what I've encountered suggests
that one way around this bottleneck is to worry less about these grammatical morphemes, and
learn just enough grammar to let you concentrate on content. This seems very practical for
the traveler, for instance.

And then today I got an entirely different insight into the grammatical morpheme bottleneck
when I was reading this
Antimoon post on Pause & Think
(link encountered via Woodsei's log). Here, the idea is to go against our inclination to
read (or listen) for general content, and instead focus on the little words, and all those
pesky grammatical morphemes, and observe the details of how a native speaker uses them, and
how those details differ from the possibly faulty intuitions of the language learner.

So even though the first week's lectures were pretty simplistic, I did get a useful idea
out of them. This week's lectures are about the classroom, which is a distant memory for
me, and I really need to get them watched before next weeks lectures appear.
4 persons have voted this message useful

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