Authoring Foreign Language Textbooks/Approaches
Avoid the phrasebook approach[edit | edit source]
Never teach languages in the sense of simply providing a sentence with its translation and requesting memorization.
Without first teaching how to construct sentences, such examples do not aid in learning a language. If a person doesn't understand the structure and components of a sentence, the reader gains very little from memorizing it because he cannot use it to make or understand new sentences.
Bite-sized language lessons[edit | edit source]
1-2-3-4-5 Punch[edit | edit source]
The 1-2-3-4-5 Punch is a process of repetition and memorization critical to the learning of a new language. There are two parts to the 1-2-3-4-5 Punch: the 1-2-3 Punch and the 4-5 Punch. Parts 1, 2, and 3 deals with lessons and parts 4 and 5 with groups of lessons:
- Tell your readers what you are going to teach them.
- “You're going to be taught XYZ, and by the end of this lesson you should be able to do ABC, DEF, GHI...etc.”
- Teach them.
- Tell your readers what you taught them.
- With this technique, your readers have now heard the material 3 times in different ways. This repetition will ingrain the information in them. Now go 2 steps better and repeat the information even more.
- Review what you taught your readers in the last few lessons and what they should know and be able to do.
- Review what you taught your readers in the last Grade/Section/Division and what they should know and be able to do.
The more repetition the better. This is important, people don't normally remember something the first time they hear it. The more times you repeat the material you've gone through with the reader, the more likely they'll be able to remember what they read. It's a simple, but important, concept.
Many wikibooks for languages are trying to be curriculums rather than textbooks or references. This is an excellent goal, but to achieve it you must plan your curriculum, and repetition is key to any curriculum.