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mind Mapping, what is it? Mind mapping is not a mere diagram that presents words, ideas, or tasks arranged around a key concept or a central idea. However, it is a thinking strategy that reflects a specific life style, and thinking strategy. Mind mapping is a development of David Ausubel’s (1968) advance organizer. It is based on the constructivism movement in which prior knowledge is a central idea. .
In mind mapping, prior knowledge is elaborated, enriched, and developed to involve further knowledge. Visualization is the technique through which a person can reflect, arrange, imagine, and construct a new context. This process is based on radiant ideas, associated with other disciplines, human heritage, experiences, and environmental contexts to predict better future. Hence, there is positive change that comes out of visualization.
For instance, the”globe”, as a central concept, can be mapped and interrelated with endless radiant concepts and associations.
E ffe ct W hen H ow Future
V isio n
B etter fu ture for all hum ans
P olitic al
G lob e
H um an herita ge
C ulu re P olitics
E c o n o m ic s E x periences
S ocial activities C ulture s
E a rth P roduction S pace H um an be ings E nviro m ent
P eo p le
in d ifferen t ag es R elation s
Na tional Internation al
A ctivitie s
Template (1): Globe as a central concept with possible radiant ideas.
Furthermore, mind mapping is not a haphazard activity. It should mainly depend on a vision. It is not a mere none-directed drawing. However, this radiant thinking is maximized, according to Buzan(2003). Vision is also a central issue for mind mapping because it: a. Refers to planning as a base line for learning. b. Enhances interaction between radiant concepts and central issues. c. Clarifies goals, plans, techniques, and assessment. d. Informs time management. e. Specifies systemic organization of a plan based on a vision. So, it can be visualized as a mind mapping process for learning, as in template (2).
Beliefs Goals Aims Objectives Concerns
Resources Vision Future Present
Writing a vision
International National Regional Personal
Opportunities Positive Negative Self/ Others Criteria Relevence
Images Utility Personal Mind maps
Opportunities for realization
World wide Others Enviroment
Template (2): Vision as a central concept of language learning and teaching Vygotsky (1978) has his own contribution to knowledge, and language in particular; as the process by which learners were integrated into a knowledge community. He did not see the world only in relation to mind mapping concepts, “the world simply in color and shape; but also as a world with senses, and meaning”. The meaning created by the learner (Vygotsky, ibid). Hence prior knowledge, social context and individual cognitive development
are central issues for Vygotsky. This philosophy, Leffew, (the internet encyclopedia of philosophy) http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/d/dewey .htm#lop ). Mind mapping and language teaching: Buzan (2003) emphasizes that, "it is essential to all teachers to understand that the first lesson that must be taught to students, is mental literacy, learning how to learn 'the mind map', they add as the tool". The target of the present study is the English Department studentteachers. They should have to learn, identify and practice mind mapping to build up their own concepts according to individual prior knowledge.
• What is the foreign language teaching? (vision) • What do I expect my students to know / perform?
• What are my aims/objectives of language teaching? (aim/objectives) • What sort of knowledge can be managed? (content) • What are the theories/approaches I can adopt? (theories/approaches) • What are the teaching/learning strategies I can select? (teaching/learning strategies) • How can I assess my own performance? • How can I assess my students’ performance? • Where I stand? (assessment) • How can I develop my students’ performance? (future development)
This methodological context can be Vision reflected in the following template: Evaluation
Foregin language teaching
Approaches and theories
Template (3): Methodological concept mind map of foreign language teaching
The ultimate aim of language teaching and learning is creating meaning. In this template, each component does interact with the others. Components are not added to each other to form the sum. However, they represent endless multiplication of relationships that can be reflected, so, various methodological contexts are necessarily produced. However, in mind mapping, there is an opportunity to expand, multiply and, reflect prior knowledge to establish more interactive relations.
So, more individual reflections can be associated with academic contexts.
C re a tin g m e an in g Vi s i o n
C o nd u ct i ng r e se a rc h
S el e ct in g Co m bi n at i o n s ol u ti on s A p pl i ca t io n of Im p ro v em e n t n e w i de a s
R efle cting prior k no w le dg e Inquiring Q u es tionin g s tra te gy
Fr e ew h ee l i ng
WH AT DO ES I T ME AN ?
Fu r t h e r un d e r s t an d i ng C om m un i c a t i n g P ur po s e w it h o t h e r s F un c ti o n al us e
S u gg e s t i ng at t i tu d es In te rac tiv e p ro c e s s a l te r n a t iv e s Ne w te x ts o f m e a n in g c o n s tru c tio n Fe Re f le c t i ng o wn e li n g s pr i or Id e a s kn o wl e d g e Ex p re s s io n s
E nh an c em e n t s e lf
Ch a n gi n g
C o m p r eh e n si o n a n a l y si s Un d e r st a n di n g C re ating ow n th e t ex t s m e an ing
S el ect in g e s te e m l ea rni ng C r itic a l th in k in g s tr ate gi es In te ra ctiv e lan gua g e
U s in g te c hn olo gy
Template (4) : Interactive process of meaning construction
Mind mapping as a language learning strategy: In a hierarchical process for categorization of ideas, Buzan (2003) suggests the base of ordering ideas
(BOIs) as key concepts for mind mapping. This, simply, means that there is a space left for multiplying ideas in an interactional process, which is blending more than one concept. So, the focus is on the productive aspect of learning. In an attempt to apply visualization and categorization to language learning, which represents the “scope”, learners feel the need to read comprehensively, think strategically, reflect ideas freely, and progress to produce further developed ideas creatively.So, the focus of the learning process is production.
Furthermore, mind mapping is a practice done by language learners who have the freedom of action to specify concepts/ central ideas. Then, visualization and logical categorization provide radiant ideas as in template (5):
Clean and healthy enviroment Vision Causes
Air Water Noise Integrating efforts Creating awareness
Template (5): Landscape for mind mapping as a language learning strategy
On the other hand, in such diagram branching, different language arts and thinking are dealt with as an interactive practice. For instance, Note taking is not a memory exercise. Buzan and Buzan (2003) see that "it has analytical creative functions and conversational functions". This analytical and creative nature are applied to most of the language learning practices
When reading a text, the learner actually understands, comprehends, analyzes, and engages in a conversation with the author's ideas. Throughout this analytical process, an initiative and clear mind map is structured. Hence, new concepts, relations, and ideas are elaborated in the learner's mind. This is reflected in mind maps. However, at the same time, there is a continuous critical reflection on the part of the learner. This is due to the differences of thought between both author and readers, because language is basically a mental activity. This critical interaction, with other cognitive activities such as identification, comprehension, and organization dominate the visualization of images. Then, various meaningful, clearly structured and, categorized mind maps are taking place. This deep interactive thinking process is combined with reading and writing arts, study skills, as well as oral interaction contexts. Out of this cognition, speech can not be a mere
linear process, in which messages are exchanged to realize some linguistic functions. However, "it involves continual, multi-ordinate, and innovative learning" (Buzan, 2003). Moreover, this deep creative process do contain linear thinking, because in listing , sub-mental activities may clarify their logical sequence, or their chronological order, however, they can not establish such interactive multidimensional relationships taking place in mind mapping. Further, mind maps clarify a whole panoramic visualization that reflects clear images of a concept or a central idea.
Mind mapping and multiple intelligences Mind mapping is one of the current dynamic ways of thinking. "In mind mapping the brain creates patterns," (Christison, 2002).
Learners actually create "a set of themes" (Hunt and Buzan ,1999). They add, "we all think with the same apparatus", the apparatus works in the same manner, and we use our thinking machines similarly. However, while the processing is identical, the focus for those processes is entirely individual". I dare say, right from the very first moment of awareness, each individual mind tends to have specific styles of creating relationships between the same given inputs. This sheds light on multiple intelligences. Mind mapping, combined with, artistic intelligence, in particular , contributes to the visualization that takes place in the first moment of exposure to a given life item or a concept. In language learning, when learners are exposed to a text, a picture, or any other stimulating variable, visualization starts a comprehension process that creates interactive relationships between the components of that item in an image. The learners
have the freedom of action linguistic items to any images.
to relate suggested
V is i o n
E x p e c t e d p r o d u c t io n
L in g u i s t ic it e m
P u r p o s e o f t e a c h in g
S u g g e s t e d t y p e s o3 f x in t e llg e n c e s
C o n te n t
Template (6): Relationships created out of visualization of a linguistic item
Shapes, colors, painting, and drawing are such words that characterize the visualization of a diagram. So, there is a strong relationship between dynamic mind mapping and artistic intelligence. Furthermore, natural intelligence is also a common feature that supports mind mapping categorization. Since language is mainly one of the life skills, learners tend to visualize, categorize, and create language concepts and ideas they anticipate in relation to some authentic variables they experience. Again, a sort of familiarity makes it easy to learners' visualization of language components. Senses play a vital role in this context. They strengthen the relationship between, senses, mind and nature. Finally, mind mapping is not a haphazard diagram. It has a common background with mathematical intelligence. Categorization is based on logical sequence of ideas. Mathematical relationships multiply numbers. This creates endless outputs.
In my conviction, this is more or less , a divergent thinking process that embraces logical and mathematical thinking. In my point of view; "technological intelligence", with a special reference to the age of knowledge, is one of the areas that can not be ignored as a prerequisite of this age. Activating learners’ brains potential should be considered by educators. More opportunities, with even the lowest facilities should have the priority to utilize the learners’ technological intelligence. Hypertexts and online courses represent a good opportunity for further positive construction of new ideas. This can be easily practiced by young learners. Visualization, categorization, and reconstruction of concepts and central ideas could be interactive procedures by e-groups' members. Thus endless outputs can be resulted in. It is something like "vocabulary network" (http://anglais.facile.com/map.html). Mind mapping and motivation:
When language learning is based on practicing thinking through individual preferences, it becomes enjoyable and fruitful. Learning will also be related to life, as it leads to life skills manipulation, i.e. "deep rather than surface learning" (Buzan, 2003). In the early childhood, children think and anticipate technological actions. This feature should have priority in language learning. Learners can be motivated to further visualize individual images, and thus, arrive at self realization. Mind mapping and SWOT analysis: Systems diagrams, cash flow, for casting, and risk analysis are good techniques that incorporate to successful mind mapping. SWOT analysis is a powerful technique for identifying strengths and weakness faces. Assessment can be enhanced through SWOT analysis. This elaborative experience can be shared by more than one learner. Even visions can be shared, modified, or
integrated. However, in mind mapping, it should be noted that consensus is not necessarily the group aim, but rich experiences and attempts that develop language abilities are more important. So, SWOT analysis can be either individual or collaborative problemsolving practice.
The following template represents one of the crucial issues in language learning. Advantages and disadvantages, opportunities and threats concerning this issue are visualized.
Further meaning understanding T ra d itio n a l c o n v ic tio n s
icit gramm Community refusal Authentic practciet e a c h i n g s
Self expression Letter market performance
e M o r e f l u e Sn tt r o rn agl t h s written use of language Impl
W e a k n e Tse sa ec h e r s ' i n a b i l i t y s
to manage with ae m b e d e d s t r u c t u r e s r
as T h r e aL t c k o f
Template (8): SWOT analysis mind mapping and the issue of implicit grammar teaching
Mind mapping and problem solving: Mind mapping as a learning strategy integrates with other constructivist strategies such as, problem solving, Systemic KWL….etc. approach, brain storming,
When developing language abilities, traditionally, learners follow linear steps to solve the problem. However, in mind mapping problem-solving, there is much more personal reflection of prior knowledge, integrative with authentic, academic, cognitive, linguistic, and
artistic factors. So, main relations are established.
This results different alternatives that, more or less, represents the person’s concepts. Then more individual reflections can be blended to formulate collaborative ideas suggested by groups to create alternatives for solving linguistic and authentic problems.
Definition Dimensions Causes
Vision W hat Predictng difficults
Structuring scene Expected results
Alternative 1 Alternative 2
M ind m apping problem -solving
Personal skills Place Steps Tim e Layout
Priorities M y plans
Mind mapping and computer assistance: There are hundreds of e-programs that provide assistance for mind mapping. However, still, they are expensive . so ,free programs such as smart draw , mind genius and mind mappers could be utilized for some time by the student teachers in visualizing their images of various concepts and central issues in methodology.
The following templates are some of the student teachers' production as a result of applying the idea of mind mapping to the methodology course:
Observing own performence
Self-initiating Reconceptualaization Attitudes
Diagrams Writing reports
Assessment as a methodological concept
D a rk a n d da m a ge d roa ds H igh s pe e d A b s e nc e of tra ffic a w a re n e s s
S o lu tio n s
C a re fu l a nd s lo w d riv in g A w a re n e s s of tra ffic rule s
R o a d a c c id e n ts
D e a th C a rs B us e s T ra ins
R e s u lts K in d s
B re a k ing-dow n of s tre e ts C a rs ' de s tru c tio n
Sea Text material Resources Land
Vegitables Seeds Roots
Saturated fats Junk food
Cholesterol Diabetes Cancer Diseases
Dinner Lunch Breakfast
Increasing number of population with no Definition services
Attitudes C oncepts
illiteracy Low awareness of social problems
O ver population problem
Living in new cities More health care New types of jobs
More qualifications for young people
Health care Education Human rights J obs
Less opportunities in Features Effects
Bad infera structure
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