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Lynnette Harbison Personal Learning Theory September 14, 2011

From the day we are born, we are learning, taking in the world around us. Much of what we learn is acquired through our eyes and ears. As children, we learn quickly, by mimicking those around us and altering our actions as the first, second or third attempts may not have worked. As a language teacher, I believe that my students, like small children, learn by watching, listening and doing. When I think of all the learners that I have taught, I am always reminded of Gardners Multiple Intelligences. Not all learners learn in the same way. Some can learn something by simply watching someone do a task. Others need more verbal or musical guidance in their learning process. If you only lecture to your students, you will not reach all of them, and subsequently, notice that some are not getting it based on their marks or behaviour. Due to the complexity of class composition and languages in general, my daily lessons involve multiple activities. I try to keep lectures clear and concise in order to provide my students with as much opportunity to work with the new material. I believe that learners can only take in so much information at a time. Subject matter needs to be segmented into scaffolded chunks with several getting it activities before I expect them to use what I have taught and be able to move on. Learning is like making mole poblano1, a Mexican sauce. There are many ingredients, many steps, and much patience needed. One cannot learn something new overnight, especially something as complex as a language. Nor can one learn only by listening, watching, or doing. People can only truly learn something by incorporating multiple aspects of the various intelligences. It also must be noted that learning is a lifelong process.

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A Mexican sauce that is a blend of chocolate, chillies, garlic, onions and nuts, to name a few of the ingredients.