Since we have a number of courses using the “who is she” lessons, I’m curious about this: how do you guys intend to proceed in events with beginners?
I think that the beginner interaction with the tutor will rely on a lot of help in the learner’s language or a common language with the tutor. A major role is to encourage the learner not to get frustrated and to understand how LingQ works. I notice that Wolf set up writing questions around using some newly learned words which is good idea.
The beginner only has 15 minutes a week with the tutor. So if we can get them going, believing in themselves and the system, and not questioning so much but just taking the language in, we will succeed.
We just want the learners to enjoy the language, not feel it is too strange, and start to accumulate words, and not worry about what they cannot do.
I’ve thought about a beginner course (no knowledge!) and I have problems to do this like the courses work now.
I think for such a course it is necessary that the tutor speak the native language of the student or a language that the student understands well. It should be mentioned in which language a tutor can support a student.
I would like to create a course with 5 to 10 content items a week because I have created very easy beginner content. To study only a single content a week is much to less when the content is easy and short. I think 5 items a week of that easy content are necessary to have success.
On the other hand I don’t know what a beginner should write. I think it is nearly impossible to do writing submissions when vocabulary is missing.
Maybe the system of the courses could be more flexible?
Also I thought about shorter courses for more advanced learners for example 4 weeks. It is much easier for me to make sure that I’m available for 4 or 6 weeks. The price for a shorter course than is lower and it would make the decision to assign for a course easier.
I think courses are a good idea but I would wish that the system is much more flexible.
I agree with much of what you say. We need to be more flexible. The difficulty is putting all that flexibility into a system for 10 languages in all the time zones of the world. I think we have to crawl, then walk, then run, and then fly.
I agree that the Beginner tutor should speak the language of the learner. She should advertize that fact in the description of the course. The role of the tutor is just to explain the system and to encourage. As you know I am not in favour of explaining the language too much. If you read “Lernen” by Manfred Spitzer ( which I recommend to all our German speakers) you will understand why.
Yes one short item a week may be too little for some learners. You can always ask the learner to do more during your discussion. You could also include in your description that fact that you intend to cover more than just the 12 items selected.
By all means the tutor should choose the content that she wants to teach. LingQ is a platform and method. The course is up to the tutor. She plans it. She designs it. She must promote and “sell” it. She delivers it and leads it. Feel free to do what you feel best within the limits of what we can do within the system, and hopefully while remaining true to the learning principles of LingQ.
I believe it is not a bad discipline to have learners commit to 3 months. Many will want to make that commitment.
However, some will not. If you want to offer programs of shorter duration you can still call it a course, and put up individual sessions for each month under the same description. Learners will simply find these in the Library. You can mention these in the description of your three month course, as a way for learners to get to know you and the course.
We have to try to work around our framework as flexibly as possible. The system cannot be so flexible, but with imagination what we provide the learners can be flexible.
As far as writing is concerned, Wolf has created writing questions where he asks learners to use certain simply words like “why”, “where” etc. These need not be full sentences. At the beginning stage the learners are not really writing so much as forcing their brains a little to help the brains better notice the language.The goal at this stage is not to get anything right, but just to exercise the brain cells.
Perhaps we could think up some sort of co-tutor scheme, where, for instance, a Vietnamese speaker acts as co-tutor for the (non-Vietnamese-speaking) English tutor to help tutor Vietnamese speakers who are beginners in English. He or she could get some free discussion time with the tutor in exchange.
I mention this because I have had a Vietnamese-speaking beginnerin English, and I really feel for him because it is so hard to explain to him how lingQ works. I know there are Vietnamese LingQers here who are much more fluent in English, and I would like to enlist their help…but what’s in it for them?
That’s a great idea, Helen. I’ve thought the same before myself. I think maybe the easier thing to do is to have non-native speakers offering beginner courses or at least those who are bilingual can identify the languages they speak. This will probably be much more comfortable for the beginner learner until they feel confident enough to speak with a native speaker only in their target language.
I had already though about this, too. Maybe this is the best way to approach beginners, to have tutors which are natives in their language, not in the target one. If the tutor and the student don’t share a common language, events are likely to be a crazy and, what is worst, uncomfortable nonsense.