Holistic Learning Part 1: How to study languages holistically to enhance learning ability

The secret of education lies in respecting the student.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am not sure about other countries but the education system in the UK does have a tendency to see students as buckets that need to be filled. Teachers cram lots of different information into these buckets until they overflow. One could see this as a rather internal-out process of learning.  In reality, I believe that students are not empty buckets, in fact, they already hold information in there. This information actually needs to be poured out of the bucket. So my personal view is that education is more of an external-inwards process.

The educational system may actually work for some, but for me… sadly I struggled with it! Until my parents took a more holistic approach to my learning. This meant cutting back on rubbish foods, such as sugary snacks and fizzy drinks and replacing them with healthier snacks like fruit. Looking at my sleep routine and incorporating positive thinking strategies.

This seemed to improve my focus to the point that I made real progress.

Teachers were too quick to judge and not understand why I could go from struggling to achieving in such a short space of time. They made me redo my work under close supervision thinking I was cheating! They soon realised the progress was really coming from me. Within a year I went from the bottom set needing some support to the top set and developed a real thirst for learning.

Now I want to help others become more focused, motivated and successful learners.

Learning languages holistically isn’t just about grabbing that grammar book or listening to audio, it’s seeing the bigger picture and developing those soft skills too, such as active listening. Learning something is deeply influenced by many factors and is multi-dimensional. For example mindset, environmental, physical and social factors involved with all need to be taking into consideration. Using the senses to fully engage in the materials that work best for and not just focusing on intellect but the role creativity, emotions, and instinct has to play.

 

A more holistic approach to education also means taking personal responsibility for your own language learning. Use your personal intellect style, preferences, insight, imagination as well as optimizing your environment to make you a more successful independent language learning.

The 4 core principles (with quick tips) to apply a more holistic approach to language learning…  

Inner Self –  Mindfulness techniques, developing soft skills, such as active listening and mood management. Developing your emotional EQ is just as important as working towards improving IQ. 

Mini-Challenge: What soft skill do you feel you need to develop and why? Share your answer on the LingoHut Facebook Page. 

 Physical Self – 30 minutes aerobic exercise at least twice a week, Have a healthy diet, and nutrition, Ensure you have enough water. Develop good sleeping habits.

Mini-Challenge: Increase your activity level. Does not mean you have to join a gym could be a simple walk. Tell us how you on! Kudos to those that answer in their target language on the post! 

Environmental –  Keep an eye on room temperature as research has shown that  22 degrees Celsius is the optimum temperature to learn! Ensure you are working with the right learning materials that stimulate more than one of your senses, check out your finances and invest in your language learning.

Mini-Challenge: What learning resources work best for you? What sense do you apply the most, i.e. audio or visual materials? Comment what your favorite sense is on the social media post, BUT in your target language

Social – Cultural, religious, belief systems and ability to communicate and collaborate with others are all important factors in learning something new. Remember a language is more than words learn cultural history and the mannerisms of your target language. 

Mini-Challenge: Learn 3 things about the culture of the language you are learning and share them on the LingoHut Facebook Page…

In order to be more successful at languages, you have to optimize your brain for learning. This monthly series on how to learn languages holistically will help you achieve this…