Anglais : Using your centres of interest to learn a language

Anglais : Using your centres of interest to learn a language

Dans cet article « Using Your Centres Of Interest To Learn A Language », Simon, formateur en anglais chez MyConnecting, vous explique comment utiliser à bon escient vos centres d’intérêt dans l’apprentissage de l’anglais. Inclure la langue qu’on étudie dans les moments de loisirs permet de joindre l’utile à l’agréable. Cela constitue également une source de motivation et d’intérêt pendant le processus d’apprentissage. Si vous êtes intéressé par une formation en anglais avec Simon, contactez-nous.

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Learn English language : Initial questions

One of the main questions that trainers ask their learners when meeting for the first time is; ‘What do you like to do when you are not working?’. This question is a classic ice-breaker, one of the first things that we learn when learning a second language is how to talk about oneself, our hobbies and what we enjoy doing when the work day is done.

Not only is this question useful because it puts the learner at ease by having them talk about something that they are familiar with, it is also a vital part of the teaching process because trainers have the opportunity of finding out what interests their learners have. This information can be used to the advantage of both parties, by sharing personal information the trainer and the learner can take a step towards building a professional rapport. The challenge then lies in how the trainer can integrate their learners’ centre of interests into their language learning journey.

Learn English Language : The importance of disconnecting

Having a hobby or interest to engage in outside of work hours is a great outlet and a necessity when trying to maintain a healthy work-life balance. The aim when trying to integrate a learner’s centre of interest to their language study is not to add extra work to their schedule or ruin their favourite pasttime, but rather to use the learner’s hobby as a conduit for further learning.

Learn English Language : One idea, double the advantages

The benefit of incorporating a target language into a leisure activity or hobby can be two-fold. Firstly, it allows an opportunity for learners that are short on time, and who do not wish to sacrifice their leisure acticvity, to study their target language when they wouldn’t otherwise. Maximising the use of free time, with the opportunity of learners progressing in their target language is, in itself, an area that merits attention.

Secondly, the theory that people of all ages learn more effectively while enjoying themselves has long been proven. By including language study into a leisure activity, the learner can blend an activity that they already enjoy and study their target language at the same time, making the learning process a lot more fun.

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Learn English Language : Making the link

Incorporating language study into a learner’s centre of interest takes a fair amount of creativity, as all people are different, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. Trainers must ensure that the suggestions that they make when attempting to blend leisure and study time complement actual study, and that the subjects related to their leisure time does not engulf their progression in their taget language.

For example, a learner who works in Human Resources and holds a black belt in Judo does not necessarily need to learn all the vocabulary that is associated with martial arts. Likewise, the IT professional who enjoys going skiing every February shouldn’t concentrate on only talking about their favourite type of holiday.

Rather than become the focus of study, centres of interest should be used as a link that bridges the gap between work and play. If done correctly, this technique can be used as a method to pique the interest of learners who lack time, interest or motivation when it comes to their language study.

The possibile ways to mix these two worlds are endless and are limited only by the imagination of the trainer. Using the judo blackbelt and skiing enthusiast as examples, a trainer could ask the judo practicioner to learn all the nouns and adjectives that are related to the art, or watch a short video about a recent judo competition and give a short oral presentation about what they saw.

The skier could write a report about their most recent skiing trip, using past tenses to describe what they did and where they went. The conditional form of their target language could also be used if they were given the exercise of writing about their dream skiing holiday if they won the lottery.

Learn English Language : An important thing to remember

Although the above techniques can be effective when implemented correctly, a seperation must be made between work and personal life. Trainers should not force the issue, leisure time is sacred and if a learner does not display any interest in blending their leisure time with their langauge study then the trainer should respect the learner’s feelings. Not doing so would go against the idea of making learning a second language a truly enjoyable experience.

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Simon Brown, le 26 octobre 2018
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