EVS LAB COACHING … more than English in Optics and Optometry …
For those who already have attended the EVS LAB COACHING course … learning English during the course is definitely not an objective but the tool rather, in order to acquire the so-called Vocabulary for Special Purposes ( i.e. vocab related to optometry, optics and sales in optical store).
However, it happens that we start the EVS LAB meeting with a discussion about learning English in general … what is the best way to learn English (EL)? Is the age crucial in EL achievement? What techniques will guarantee a successful EL competence? These and a lot more have got on the floor during the course and I’m very pleased about this since that proves an ongoing interest in EL acquisition in general.
The issue of perfect EL acquisition is nothing more than an extremely broad subject, based on growing research, controversy, and a bunch of scientific observations.
A ‘wise man’ would not answer all these questions straight away but rather dig into the beginnings …the brain 🙂 Many majors, underaged, or seniors who want to start their journey with an EL learning, decide to attend language schools, regular EL course that will guarantee a magic rod which in the twinkling of an eye, will supposedly immerse them in an Advanced English competence… this is a low-key freaking me out. :/ Let alone the cost of that magic stick … 1 PLN for a monthly language plan (kill me, this will not work in practice!) Very few of these schools take up the issue of HEMISPHERIC DOMINANCE, namely: 'show me your brain and I will tell you who you are'.
HEMISPHERIC DOMINANCE – division of cerebral functions in the brain, into two hemispheres; takes place at the age of 8 – 11 yr (depending on the scholar) close to the process of lateralization. These functions are highly specialized. There are, however, instances where a subject happens to be ‘whole-brained’, with no tendency towards the one hemisphere. It’s study has a long tradition and is strongly related to the origins of cognitive neuroscience itself in the 19th century (Broca, 1864; Wernicke, 1874).
in left hemisphere, you will find: analytical thinking, rationalization, verbal memory, maths, science, focus on details (…at your buddy’s exhibition, you will look at the painting and count the number of flowers rather than appreciate the whole picture of the flowery field), basically PLANNING, PLANNING, ORGANIZATION (what I personalny like most J )
in right hemisphere, you will find: emotions, 3D imaginations, holistic thinking, intuition, impulse, art., basically FEELING, IMPULSE, CHAOS seems not that bad …
And where is the language? …
LEFT HEMISPHERE detects words.
RIGHT HEMISPHERE detects accent.
getting familiar with the stuff mentioned above …
Most of the traditional educators give lessons without considering the different interests of the learners in homogenous learning groups. However, better and greater learning can be accomplished if they take the learners’ different interests and aptitudes into consideration as a heterogeneous group.
REMEMBER! ATTENDING SMALLER HOMOGENOUS LEARNING GROUPS WILL DO THE JOB! SINCE THERE IS EVERY POSSIBILITY YOU WILL SUCCEED IN EL ACQUISITION THANKS TO LARGER HEMISPHERIC HOMOGENITY! REMEMBER, INDIVIDUAL CLASSES NOT ALWAYS WORK FOR YOU … (COMPARED TO PAIR WORK – PERFECT 'FIT'! 🙂
Many teachers have difficulties with some EL learners such as keeping them still and focused, finishing assignments, keeping organized, grasping concepts the way they are taught. If you are left brained, it’s most probable you have analytical thinking. You will make lists and schedules. You will always want to know the rules (passive voice, past perfect will be a lot of fun for you! :), and follow them. You will take in information through analysis, observation and thinking. You will have little trouble expressing yourself in words.
REMEMBER! LEARNING ENGLISH USUALLY REQUIRES IMAGINATION/CONTEXT! IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT TURNING AROUND WORD CARDS AND CHECKING IF YOU GIVE A GOOD GUESS! (…hate word cards personally 🙁
Traditional schooling tends to favor left-brained people. The students are usually taught mostly by left brained teachers, who themselves love order, sequence and planning. Right brained learners do not always get the rewards or understanding of a different way to process information.
REMEMBER! TRADITIONAL EL LEARNING SCHOOLS TEND TO FAVOR LEFT-BRAINED PEOPLE, IT’S JUST SAFER (THE FEELING OF SECURITY, NO NEED TO TAKE RISK) AND LESS TIME-CONSUMING … BUT IS THIS EFFECTIVE IN THE END?
In contemporary EL learning, teacher will usually want you to learn the rules (He will hope passive voice, past perfect will be a lot of fun for you! :/ ) and follow them, with little EL chat incidents 🙁
REMEMBER! IN THE RESULT, BEING NURTURED TOWARDS LEFT-BRAINED, WE WILL SELDOM DEDICATE OURSELVES INTO ENGLISH IN- OR OUT-ROOM CONVERSATION! WHICH IS TOO BAD … PEOPLE FEEL SAFER WRITING RATHER THAN SPEAKING (especially adults; children and learning languages seems an exception but this will be the separate issue to discuss, stay tuned :). NOBODY LIKES MAKING MISTAKES IN PUBLIC, FEELING ASHAMED SO MUCH, SO THIS WILL BE BETTER NOT TO SPEAK A WORD OUT RATHER THAN JOIN THE CHAT AND HAPPEN TO SPEAK NOT SO FLUENTLY AS WE OURSELVES WOULD WISH FOR 🙂
In 2016, Polish EL learners got the 8th place (out of 82 countries worldwide! Not Bad! 🙂 in the ratings concerning English language competence (EF English Proficiency Index). According to that rating score, we do very well in grammar as well as in all tasks that would require writing more than speaking skills.
REMEMBER! RESEARCH PROVES THAT POLISH SOCIETY SHOW TENDENCY TOWARDS LEFT-HEMISPHERIC DUE TO THE SCHOOLING PERIOD WHEN THEY WERE CONSTANTLY NURTURED TOWARDS LEFT-BRAINED.
IN 2017, JAROSŁAW KRIUKOW CONDUCTED THE RESEARCH IN EDINBURGH AMONG POLISH RESPONDENTS LIVING THERE FOR FEW YEARS. THOSE WITH UPPER-INTERMEDIATE COMPETENCE OF ENGLISH DID NOT WANT TO SPEAK A LOT! IN TURN THE POLISH WITH A VERY LOW COMPETENCE OF ENGLISH, EXPERIMENTED A LOT AND WERE READY TO SPEAK IN ENGLISH!
THOSE WITH INTERMEDIATE LEVEL FELT ‘OBLIGED’ TO SPEAK WELL, WITH NO MISTAKES, DUE TO THE LEVEL THEY OFFICIALLY REPRESENTED, THAT IS WHY THEY WOULD RATHER NOT HAVE SAID A WORD IN CASE THEY WOULD MAKE A MISTAKE … THAT WOULD BE A SHAME! INDEED! WHAT PEOPLE SAY!
To finish with, I hope that from now on most of you will look at the EL learning from a slightly different and broader perspective, finding that process more neuro-like rather than purely ‘book-crammish’(took to that much :), once heard from an Irish guy at the conference few years before 🙂 meaning … learning too hard with books, etc.). Surely, all stuff presented here would definitely need more scientific insight but that was not my intention 🙂 just wanted to reach to wider audience and EVS LAB COACHING enthusiasts 🙂 Stay tuned! 🙂
acquisition = akwizycja/nauka języka
a bunch of = mnóstwo/bardzo dużo
dig into = ‘węszyć’/ grzebać (np. w przeszłości)
major = osoba pełnoletnia
underage = nastolatek/osoba niepełnoletnia
magic rod = czarodziejska róźdżka
in the twinkling of an eye = w mgnieniu oka
immerse = zanurzyć
hemispheric dominance = dominacja półkulowa
hemispere = półkula (mózgu)
accomplish = zdobyć, uzyskać
grasp the concept = złapać/poczuć kontekst
ratings = notowania