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Trying Harder Can Make Learning Language More Difficult for Adults

In Kelly Dickerson’s report Why Adults Struggle to Pick up New Languages, an experiment with adults shows that trying harder can actually make it more difficult to learn a language. Adults who were distracted with colouring actually picked up more of the functional grammar than those told to study for a test. How might this influence the learning environment that educators try to create in the classroom? How can teachers nurture the relaxed atmosphere needed for successful learning while also recognising adults’ preferences and expectations for learning?

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About clwoelk

Cheryl Woelk is coordinator of Language for Peace and specializes in language and peace education in multicultural contexts. She holds an MA in Education and a graduate certificate in Peacebuilding from Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia, USA. Cheryl currently lives in Saskatchewan, Canada with her spouse and son.

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Contributing Author

Cheryl Woelk is coordinator of Language for Peace and specializes in language and peace education in multicultural contexts. She holds an MA in Education and a graduate certificate in Peacebuilding from Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia, USA. Cheryl currently lives in Saskatchewan, Canada with her spouse and son.

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