Task Based Learning for the Home
Practicing Spanish speaking can be uncomfortable in the beginning for adults so it is no surprise that my children have always struggled to put together sentences. Because they are uncomfortable, they don’t practice it enough. Practice is key to becoming fluent and getting comfortable speaking the language so I set out to find a way to encourage practice.
The one place any kid feels comfortable trying out new ideas is play, and I have been on a mission to make learning more playful this year. Whatever method I choose needed to be playful and encourage real practice. Task based learning is a language learning technique where the teacher creates tasks that simulates a natural need to use the language. Maybe it’s going to the doctors or shopping, and this got me thinking about playing pretend. Here is an idea I could use.
The magical world of Pretend is the most comfortable place in the world for children to try out new ideas. This is where they become anything in the world and do anything. This is also where they aren’t worried about making mistakes because it’s their world. Yes, learning a language in the land of Pretend would be the best place for a child to learn.
That is why I created Spanish task based activities for my kids, and an explosion of Spanish practice has been blowing up in my house. Spanish is the number one subject right now, and we find ourselves talking Spanish for over an hour. You have no idea what an improvement this has been for them. Yes, they make mistakes while speaking but they are naturally going back and fixing their mistakes. This tells me that they are trying to remember what they learned, and each effort they make is building up a permanent memory.
We went from listening and watching Spanish shows and music for years to actually using the language. This has really opened my eyes to task based learning, and it takes me back to my earlier post. Sure inquiry based learning has it’s benefits, but task based learning offers a unique opportunity for acceleration. If we are strategic in constructing an environment, we can draw the eye of the learner to important building block that would create a more accelerated path of discovery.
Task based learning is generally a methodology connected only to language learning, but I see it creeping into everything I do these days from playing with Cuisenaire Rods to Spanish to History to Literature. Playing for children comes naturally, and it easy to convince children to get school work done when it evolves playing.
How are you taking advantage of playing? Comment below. I would love to hear.