Friday, 15 January 2010

Lesson 1 - What is communication?

This is the first lesson on how to learn online. You will find a task for you to do at the end of this post. It may look boring but it is an important language learning task. 

Using a  dictionary
You will also see that some words are linked. Click on the link and you will find a dictionary: looking at words is also learning. Even if you know the words, look anyway. Learning how to use a dictionary is an important skill for the independent learner.

  1. See how the words are used in the examples
  2. Listen to the pronunciation
  3. Don't just look at the meaning

How to learn online
If you want to learn a language online by yourself, you are almost half way to learning it. I say this for a very simple reason:
if you have motivation (or a reason) to learn, you can learn
in contrast

if you lose motivation, you are probably going to stop learning
Some good news
You're here: that tells me you have motivation and so you have a chance of learning. There's a good chance you're probably here by choice. That's the best kind of motivation to have.

Some bad news
But it's only a chance. There's still the danger that you lose motivation. This is the downside of learning by yourself: it's easy to lose motivation - there isn't a teacher there to help you.

The help - more good news
I'm a teacher, I think I can help you. What I am going to ask you to do is think about how you are going to learn a language. I believe you need to do this teacher thing because you are going to become your own teacher.

Language is communication
To help you, I am going to tell you that language is communication. This is slightly too simple, but I think most language professionals would agree with this idea.

The task
Your first task is to answer this question:

"What is communication?"

An answer
You will find an answer as a comment to this post. Don't look now. Think. If you can, talk to someone about it. It really does help to try and find your own answers. One reason for this is that you will need to talk and use the language and using the language is the best way of learning it.

You can learn to communicate by talking about communication.

Another task
Do you agree with my answer? Leave me a comment and tell me what you think communication is. Do you have any good words you want to share? You should find lots in the dictionary.

Another, another task
This is a thinking task. How are you going to communicate online? This is the important question. I have ideas I want to share. If you want my help, ask.

1 comment:

  1. In the dictionary you will see that learning is a word with many different uses. This is an important thing to understand about English:

    words often have more than one meaning

    To choose the right meaning you need to understand how to use them. Try to use your English-English dictionary in this way: look for the examples. Often these are most useful parts of a dictionary.

    What does communication mean in English language learning? For me, it doesn't mean speaking. It means speaking and listening. It means writing and reading.

    My message is this. If you want to learn a language well, learn to communicate. This means doing 4 things: