When I look at successful online teachers or edupreneurs, how they choose and present their materials, I see a distinct pattern. Whether it’s Jason R. Levine aka Fluency MC who teaches irregular verbs by rapping them in a Beastie Boysian flow, George Machlan who transforms English learning into a celebration through his Karaoke English sessions, Sylvia Guinan’s brainfriendly approach or Nina Hanáková who turned “English without books” into a trademark, they all have one thing in common.
Already guessed it? No?
The Bludgeon Of Structure
Traditionally, languages were (and are still) taught with a strong emphasis on structure and learning by rote. I don’t have to explain to you how that works because you probably experienced it yourself.
It’s not that structure in general is bad, but that an over-emphasis on linear approaches to language learning over many decades has created a strong need for alternative approaches.
Online teachers and edupreneurs thriving today are all addressing this need and reaping the benefits.
Again, not clubbing people over the head with grammar rule books doesn’t mean that teachers aren’t aware of the importance of these rules and haven’t studied them in detail.
It does mean, however, that by not caging learners into a “structural edifice” from day one, learners can develop more dynamically, individually and most importantly: having more fun!
The Stigma Of Fun
Experiencing positive emotions while studying improves memorizing and processing. Merrill Swain states that
if the learners are anxious and experiencing negative emotions they will understand less or have a high affective filter but if their emotions are positive and relaxed, they will have a low affective filter and be able to understand and process more.
I don’t know about you, but I didn’t exactly feel reassured, positive or relaxed when my Latin teacher first dropped four double sheets of densely printed declension and conjugation rules on my table with the words: “Learn until tomorrow!”
Some people say “no pain, no game” – and yes, making an effort is important, but does it have to be a torture? Who said that language learning can’t and shouldn’t be fun?
Textbooks For The 21st Century
Last year we started experimenting here at learnoutlive with publishing ebooks that address these needs for a more painless and simply enjoyable way of language learning. And what we’ve found is that there’s not only a huge demand for these, it’s as if this approach works especially well on e-readers and tablet devices. We work a lot with images and audio, so strictly speaking they aren’t textbooks, at all.
If you’re curious about it, today we released a new publication for Hebrew learners, and – as always- you can grab a free copy for
24 hours, no strings attached (Sorry, this promotion has ended, sign up here to find out about future freebies) Simply click on one the links below:
And remember: Have some fun!
Or as my colleague Jason puts it: “Relax, repeat, remember”