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Knowledge pool
Your brain

  • Learning vocabulary with index cards: memorizing is difficult for our brain.

The pupils first see the film "Your brain - learn!" completely on. The aim of the lesson is then to make different types of learning and their advantages and disadvantages tangible. To do this, they make a few attempts.

The film shows that learning works better the more active the process is. Movement supports learning, as well as stimulating the brain with new things (time code 10:45 to 13:15 min.). This will be tried out in an experiment. In four groups, the students learn 25 vocabulary from current foreign language lessons in different ways - from simply reading through to learning on the move. Each group has the same amount of time available. The teacher checks the groups to see whether they are adhering to the guidelines. Then the vocabulary is queried in writing and checked in partner work. Then the groups determine how many words were reproduced correctly on average. The students also exchange ideas about how they perceived the way of learning. How difficult or easy was it for you to learn? The results are then presented, compared and discussed in the plenary. The specifications for the learning groups as well as the exact course of the experiment are summarized in AB 1 "Learning rules". A group is stimulated by looking at new pictures before learning the vocabulary. The pictures are shown on worksheet 2 "Slideshow". They can be viewed on the computer: The experiment would have to take place in the computer room or the group would have several laptops at their disposal. Alternatively, the worksheet can be printed out, but the photos should be printed out in as many colors as possible and in good quality.

When composing the group, care should be taken to ensure that the level of the students is roughly the same. The result should not be falsified by the fact that there are a particularly large number of high-performing students in a group.

The evaluation of the group results is done with a spreadsheet program. The table is prepared on worksheet 3 "Evaluation". The students enter the number of correct vocabulary into the table, and a graphic is created directly below it. Depending on the objective of the lesson and the level of the learning group, students can of course develop this table themselves. The table is available once in Excel and once as an Open Document.

After discussing the results, it makes sense to look again at the film clip with the learning tips on which this experiment is based (timecode 10:45 to 13:15 min.). How is the experience of the students - are the learning tips correct based on their experience? Of course, you can combine them differently than in our experiment. Incidentally, the experiment is the best way to internalize the learning tips: by trying out and recognizing them yourself.