The importance of emotions to learn a language
Dec 1, 2020
The importance of emotions to learn a language
This will not be the first time you hear that our brain needs emotions to learn. When we put sensations and emotions to the test, we remember and internalize more easily, with more enthusiasm and greater motivation. It turns out that when you decide to study a foreign language, which is usually done on personal initiative when you are an adult, we teachers forget that our older students must also feel, get excited, which will help them get more involved with it. The learning process and will motivate us more, as instructors, to continue with our work and continue researching to develop it a little better every day and help our students learn and have a good time.
How to excite foreign language learners
Each teacher must be aware of the environment, of the context in which they work in order to excite their students and help them learn in a more special and fast way. Therefore, there are many keys. Everything will depend on your specific student body: age, motivations to study the language they have decided to learn, time they have to dedicate to study, etc. But it also depends on the resources you have and the general culture of these students, which will make them more motivated or just learn the language for its own sake. Anyway, we are going to leave you some tips that as a teacher, according to your experience, you can put into practice in certain contexts and moments:
- The first thing you have to do is work with different resources. Once you get to know your students, you will see that, in general, they are a more or less heterogeneous group, with different tastes and concerns. Pull on that thread, on the personal motivations of each of them, that should be your base. From here, focus your attention to make them feel, to make them vibrate high and positive, to have fun.
- Talks or conversations about topics of concern usually give very good results. Students open up if the environment is pleasant, if there is listening and respect, and dialogues and approaches are usually generated that they will then share and remember with great affection. Derive basic topics to deeper topics in which each one gives their personal vision, but within the comfort of not having to expose themselves too much.
- Use the movies in the foreign language to move them inside. Choose one with a plot that is emotional, that does not leave you indifferent. This is not to say that it has to be a movie that makes you cry; it can be, on the contrary, a movie that gives them life, that motivates them to think differently, etc. Documentaries or short films are a great option, since you will be able to see them in the time of a session and thus the magic is not broken from one day to the next. All the work can be done the same day.
- Songs are also a great source to raise feelings, to make students feel a lot in a short time. There are songs with great messages. When you get to know them a little more and know what moves them inside, it is yours.
- Dedicate a session to gratitude. It's great how it works, regardless of the age of the students. Make them see the number of reasons they have to be grateful at that moment, the precious opportunities that life has placed at their feet. When they are teenagers, it works very well for them to take out a paper with the name of a classmate and secretly write a letter to that classmate thanking him for all that is good, so without having thought about it before every day he helps them. It is a practice that creates a beautiful atmosphere in the classroom and they leave very motivated, while practicing the language.
- There are very special texts that make the students feel many things and then create a wonderful and fertile atmosphere of dialogue. It depends on the age, it depends on the language and the inclinations of the students, but it is a very nice way to reach them. Choose a topic that you can give in the hearts of all of them, you have unforgettable learning assured.
- It is essential that as a teacher you are close. This does not mean that you have to make their friend, but you can, in class time, remind them of what they are worth, how well they do even if they sometimes make mistakes, remind them that each of them from their difference is special. And no matter how old they are, all your students will feel it, they will thank you, each in their own way, and a very special bond will be created with them.
- Take advantage of the means you have at your fingertips and even if it is a foreign language that has you far from the country of origin, it is possible to make virtual tours and visits to little-known places that can leave them with their mouths open, motivate them and make them feel many beautiful things. In this way they will see a meaning to the study of the language.
- If it is possible to have contacts with a language of the foreign country, it is very fun to organize virtual exchanges with the students of that school. The teachers must have everything very prepared, but they have to do it as an activity that they do not expect, so that they can improvise. They always have a great time and in most cases they end up creating ties that last over time.