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Don't forget to look at the how to guide.
Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by minka1, Dec 6, 2011.
I would be interested to know of anybody's experience of this method. Good or bad.
Have you got a link to any materials? My first google landed on a commercial course offering. Found following in Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linkword
If it is really based on mnemonic techniques, then I'm not a great fan. I think all language learners need context not just vocabulary.
e.g. I group words and clauses according to function:
Who/What: The things or people taking part "A little dog", "An old man", "Ten green bottles" etc
Doing/Being: "went", "slowly got up", "started to rain" etc....
Where/When/How: "By the lake", "at home", "in a rather lethargic manner".
These are then real useful building blocks. Grammar can be practised through exposure with real texts. This is, in my view,far superior to learning vocab and abstract grammar.
However, there are plently who disagree.
I am mainly interested in MFL teaching in UK schools. I am so sick and tired of reading quotes like this from the BBC webite
"Since languages were made non-statutory in 2004, the proportion of students
taking language GCSEs has fallen from 61% in 2005 to 44% in 2010."
"However, too many students are failing to reach their potential, and do not
choose to undertake more advanced study beyond 16, because of the way they are
taught languages in many secondary schools."
Which was based on an Ofsted study.
The linkword or keyword method has been around for years. The academic reports generally supports its efficacy. Especially for those perceived as being poor MFL learners - by student and teacher alike - but not restricted to those. Teachers tend to be oblivious to it. Multitudes of methods are discussed in these forums but keyword or linkword as it is called in one of its commercial guises has been ignored largely. I would be interested to know why.
Agree absolutely on your frustration. I'm British but work in Switzerland teaching EFL and music to SEN kids. It's such a pity that languages are not given the importance they deserve in the UK.
Everybody has to learn phoentics and vocabulary (in context) of course but I see the very important contextual aspect being left out so often. We have four national languages in Switzerland and most foreigners seem to think that every Swiss can speak all of them. That's absolutely not the case and we have just as much difficulty teaching one of the other three plus EFL.
I'd like to see some of the Linkword materials if you have links. You can look at my little website if you're interested where I have some "visual-vocab" games using pictures and sound only (no direct translations) plus some notes on my own strategies. http://www.manxman.ch/moodle2/
At the end of the day, I'd say it depends on your target learners and your own enthusiasm. To the latter the freedom to choose your own materials is an exceptionally important factor. I'd hate it if someone told me what I HAD to do. Of course sometimes we can get railroaded by policy into what we teach.
You might want to try this link
Plus this pdf article
<font face="Arial" size="1">To quote from above article</font>
<font face="Arial" size="1">The question arises of why such a well established method, backed up by a weight of empirical evidence for both its motivational and performance benefits, should not yet be widely adopted in school situations.Paul Meara,one of the UK's leading experts on vocabulary acquisition,in a recent book review (1998), notes the widespread scepticism and indeed hostility towards courses such as Linkword which employ the keyword method. He notes:" The research is extensive and on the whole it all points in the same direction. Mnemonic systems,such as the keyword method, are extremely effective as a way of acquiring new words in a foreign language...This convincing evidence is strongly supported by a theoretical framework drawn from psychological work on imagery and learning.Surprisingly, however, the keyword method and its relatives have not been welcomed with open arms,notwithstanding this impressive research support.Most teachers that I know have very strong negative reactions to the idea of using mnemonic systemswith their own students....You will be met with a barrage of specious claims,all of which can be countered with clear evidence from the literature,but none of this counter evidence seems to be effective..."The hostility of teachers to the use of the keyword method is not confined to the UK;McDaniela nd Pressley(1 989)a nd Kasper( 1993)report similar hostility in North America.
At least there is no hostility expressed on forum. Just a deathly silence.
"One of the drawbacks of such methods is that it takes a lot of effort to create a scene for every new word. Linkword has the advantage of offering ready made scenes for each word, so hundreds of words can be memorized in a few hours. However, it offers only a basic vocabulary (e.g. 200 words for a survival course and around 1400 words for a 4-level course).
Another criticism of mnemonic techniques such as this is that they tend to assume a one-to-one relationship between the learner's first language and the target language. In reality, words often have a different range of meanings, and so the student must learn the complexity or nuance of the new words. For this reason, such techniques may be seen as a useful and powerful way to progress in the language, especially in the early stages, rather than giving a complete understanding.
Critics also say that because the method relies on the coincidental similarities in the sounds of words, it cannot be used to teach all, or even most, words of another language as there may be no corresponding phonetically similar words or visualizations that could be used. In practice, however, there is usually a visualization that can be used, but for some words it is a less direct connection and not as effective. In these cases, there is more need for other learning methods to support the visualization, such as repetition and flashcards."
Bit boring debating with myself. Anyone else care to join in.
I agree with Noemie. Just give it a rest.
Maybe you think we are all missing out on some amazing technique, or maybe you have some ulterior motive for peddling this linkword thingy.
Either way - the writing is on the wall. Or rather, the lack of writing is on the wall. Please stop.
Sorry I thought this was a forum where issues can be discussed in a civilised manner. Thanks for putting me right on that.
And thank you for presenting such a logical treatise about the pros and, now I understand, mainly cons about this 'linkword thingy'. How could I have been so blind.
The writing is not on the wall anymore. It can be accessed by downloading a pdf file. The wonders of modern technology. Whatever will they come up with next.
Aww just to cheer you up I'll reply Minka.....
Basically link word is just one of many ways of introducing MFL - you will have exactly the same response as you've got here if you wade over into primary and start telling people the only way to teach reading is by synthetic phonics. It's not. It's one way. It's not enough on its own so it's not worth banging on about it. But if it works for you and you want to share that great. Thank you.
It's the only way that aknowledges the importance of memory and memory training in language learning. Most methods used in schools do not take into account how memory works. Teachers of MFL have got to realise most of their students are not like them. Next time you ask a group the meaning of a word and you see a room of blank faces ask yourself why they can't remember it.
Perhaps they haven't been given the tools to do the job.
And re-read the post please Minka. Maybe your memory is playing you up? It's NOT the only way. Sigh...
This is ridiculous runaway. If <u>you</u> re read my last post I said
"It's the only way that <u>acknowledges</u> the <u>importance</u> of memory and memory training in language learning".
If I'm wrong tell me of another one.
Most methods rely on repetition in one way or another. Oh the joys of rote learning and flash cards and audio/visual methods. So does linkword. Linkword has better retention rates and is quicker.
I am not stupid enough to say it's the only way to learn a new language. I know it's not the only way because most courses are limited in size. Eventually the student will have to look at other ways to move onto the next level. I know there is a panoply of other methods and I embrace the idea of using different methods to find those that suit the individual best.
I'm simplfying this but I feel MFL teachers tell kids what to remember but not how to do it.
I'm sorry I made you sigh.
Oh minka, you make me sigh too.
You regularly add new posts with nothing new in them but just bump the thread up, you (and you alone) have given this thread a rating of 5 stars, and you seem unable to understand what anyone else is saying (or rather what they are not saying).
There is no one "way" to learn language; good teachers incorporate techniques from all kinds of approaches in their classroom, including those which "acknowledge the importance of memory and memory training".
I'm not going to say anything orh197 as you have the ability to understand what other people are not saying so you'll know what I'm saying without me saying it.