Saturday, January 22, 2011

Active recall vs elaborate study

Asher's early research which developed into the well-known "Total Physical Response" Method (TPR) was inspired by the discovery that retention may be far better for something learned quickly (rather than hammered in by drill) and then anchored in memory by multiple usage and active recall. The concept of active recall as used in the study linked above in essence means requiring use of the new language or concept in as wide a range of meaningful contexts as possible--a key assumption of the Communicative Approach to language teaching, as well. That can be an especially difficult task in pronunciation work, to be sure, but always creating a vivid, multiple modality initial learning experience (haptically anchored, of course) is at the very least more efficient.

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