Currently learning a second language is a subject that causes a lot of controversy, this due to the statistics and comparisons of the results obtained in international tests, which show us that even after the implementation of educational reforms in Mexico, we have lagged behind on the subject of language training, specifically English.
Opinions on this topic are often polarized, but the reality is that it is not a problem of capacity or geographical situation, but of vision and diversification in the classroom.
Learning a language involves multiple important factors, including: a methodology according to the individual needs and characteristics of the students, instructors in constant training and an optimal environment for learning.
However, it is true that the past prepares us less and less for the future. Today, the traditional methods offered by some schools are no longer appropriate for new generations or their needs, much less aligned with the rapid evolution of technology. Currently, people are seeking comprehensive learning, less aimed at memorizing content and more focused on developing life skills.
ABEL programs are supported by a methodology called ‘Accelerated Learning’, based mainly on the functioning of the human brain, this means how we learn best. But many people will wonder how does the method work in a classroom? Why does it allow the assimilation of knowledge faster than other methodologies? According to Alistair Smith, (“Accelerated Learning in Practice,” 1988) a successful Accelerated Learning cycle consists of 7 stages:
Previous preparation: The user must be in an environment free of stress or other negative emotions. Three minutes of meditation and relaxation are crucial for optimal access to new cooking.
- Connection: During this stage the student will have the opportunity to relate the new topic to something that is already familiar to him, this in order to make connections with what is known and anticipate what there is to learn.
- ‘Big picture’: Refers to explaining to the student the content and processes of the lesson so that they know the why and what of what they are learning (also called metacognition).
- Expected learning: In this stage, the student is explained what the final product will be, that is, what he is expected to be able to achieve at the end of the lesson.
- Content: The instructor must provide a range of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic resources. Furthermore, it is important that this information is presented in a personalized way.
- Activity: In the long term, it is important to provide the student with a balanced diet of activities that allow him to achieve a balance between his multiple intelligences, and also invite him to self-reflect on the processes he uses in his learning.
- Demonstration: At this stage the student is already able to demonstrate their understanding of new knowledge through different tools such as posters, presentations, mind maps, tests, among others. It is also during this time that the instructor provides feedback and continues to strengthen a pleasant environment for the student.
- Recovery: This stage is vital to achieve long-term learning and retrieve information. As an example, the instructor can use the ‘six times’ rule technique whereby the student must have received key information in at least six different ways.
It is true that we are a country with great potential and we must be prepared with skills that require us not only to survive, but to compete fiercely with other international markets. Knowledge of two or more languages is power and the resources, techniques and strategies to adequately train ourselves exist. The decision to get out of the retracement spiral is up to us.