In this very short episode, Hedvig talks briefly about a topic that everyone should consider from time to time, and shares some news about an upcoming new programme for language learners.
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Language learning is not what you think, but so much more. This is the Abundate podcast, I’m your host Hedvig Sandbu, and today’s a very quick episode, so we’re just going to dive straight in. But before I do that: Happy new year! Very belatedly, and I hope you’re settling in well into 2022, and if not, give yourself a break. You deserve it. You’ve earned it. I know you have.
I will be releasing the next full interview episode next Monday, which includes a conversation with Vijay Ramjattan on something called accent bias and a lot of other related social constructs that it’s important that we talk about, and think about, and I believe these are important things to consider in our language learning practice as well. But in the meantime, and the main reason it’s taken me a while to pick the podcast back up again after the holidays, is that I’ve been quite busy preparing a new group coaching programme for language learners. And ok I’m not going to get all salesy on you, please stay on the line, because I believe what I’m about to tell you might be interesting to you even if you’re not going to sign up to the programme. Even if you’re not interested. Because really what I want to talk about is breaking your scripts on learning.
To explain what I mean by that, let me just give you a bit of context, first about something I’ve seen from working as a language coach, and then something I’ve learnt from my previous career in the startup world. One of the biggest mistakes I see many language learners make is to dive straight into one method or another without really considering what is actually going to be effective for them personally. Usually, the way we learnt in school was not the best or most effective way to learn, and it can be difficult to get out of those old habits. Sometimes also because we don’t even realise they are our habits or that there is a better way. And sometimes people are able to keep up momentum for a certain period of time, but then something happens, they lose motivation, and fall out of their learning habit altogether. And we also tend to make a lot of assumptions without realising it, like we assume, we have this internal voice in our head going, “I am really good at this”, but “I’m bad at this other thing” or “The only way to do this is to do this and this and that”...
So many people get stuck at that point, and they lose motivation, or they have to work incredibly hard to make progress.
I’ve taken inspiration from my previous career working in the world of start-ups and product design and design more generally, where experimentation, iteration, and testing your assumptions are really an essential part of what’s considered “a day at the office”. I’d like to see what will happen when a small group of language learners take some of these same principles and apply them to their language learning: Things like testing your assumptions, exploring different sides to a problem, creating a “prototype” solution and then testing and refining that solution.
As I was describing my course idea to a colleague, I’d kind of told him about the concept and then he said “it sounds to me like what you’re doing is breaking people’s scripts on learning”. And yeah, I think he summarised it much more eloquently than I think I could have. We all have these kinds of default modes in our minds, these ideas about how something should be done, and we don’t even think about it, we’re not even aware of it most of the time, because it’s the only way we know, or we assume everyone else is doing the same or thinking the same way. But we also know, from research into neuroscience and psychology, that every brain is different. And so I think it’s actually really important, once in a while, to spend a bit of time understanding and testing these scripts, to see whether they’re still useful to us now, in our current situations and in our current lives.
Ok so enrolment for the Founders’ Round of this programme has just opened, and will be open for the next 2 weeks, and the Founders’ Round of students is quite special because I’m limiting the size to only 5 students, and that’s because this is a first-of-its-kind programme for language learners and I want to ensure I can make the programme work for each of those 5 individuals, really give them quite a customised and high-contact experience, and it also means I’ll have time to listen to their feedback, coach them through any problems, and give them the chance to help to shape the curriculum as well.
If you’re curious and you want to learn more, you can find further details in the show notes. And just a final note if you happen to be listening in today from the future and the enrolment period has closed for this specific programme, I will make sure there’s updated information on any upcoming programmes.
Oh and one really important thing is - something I forgot - the start of the programme is Monday, 7th February 2022 and the programme lasts 8 weeks so that means it will last up until and including the first week of April. Ok, that’s it, I think I’ve remembered everything so check it our if you’re interested.