Juggling with language learning theories

    Murphey, Tim

    For more of Tim’s presentations, visit our Tim Murphey Tips playlist.

    Here’s a sample.

    Learning to juggle has become popular among corporate training programs because it shows participants how to appreciate mistakes and use “Intelligent Fast Failure” (learning quickly by daring to make a lot of simple mistakes at the beginning of a process). Big business also likes the way juggling can get executives “out of the box” and into a more creative, playful state to work in. All this results in increased productivity. This video presents Tim’s September 2004 workshop at University of Hawaiʻi showing how effective steps for learning to juggle are often parallel to effective steps for learning foreign languages, or, indeed, learning anything. Academic theories of language learning can be made more concrete and visual in the learning-to-juggle process, making the theories easier to conceptualize as students see them in action and have immediate experiential information. Specifically, while participants learned to juggle, they looked at Krashen’s five hypotheses, Long’s adjustment hypothesis, Swain’s output hypothesis, and several concepts from Vygotskian socio-cultural theory. When foreign/second language learners learn to juggle in their language classes, it can facilitate many general education beliefs and attitudes that support learning and help them become more meta-cognitive about their learning.