The Classic 20

How to Learn Any Language in 6 Months? The 5 Principles and 7 Actions

Things that don’t matter in language learning:
– Talent
– Immersion (per se)

“A drowning man cannot learn to swim.”

What does matter:
Language modeling
– Attention
– Meaning
– Relevance
– Memory

Five Principles of Rapid Language Acquisition
1. Focus on language content that is relevant to you.
We master tools by using tools; we learn tools fastest when they are relevant to us.
2. Use your New Language as a Tool to Communicate, right from Day 1.
3. When you first understand the message, you unconsciously acquire the language. “Comprehensible input”; comprehension works; comprehension is key. Language learning is not about accumulating lots of knowledge. In many ways it is about
4. Physiological Training. “If you can’t hear it, you won’t understand it, and if you don’t understand it, you are not going to learn it. You have to be able to hear the sounds… Speaking requires muscle; if your face is hurting you are doing it right.”
5. Psychophysiological States matters, and you need to be tolerant of ambiguity.

Seven Actions for Rapid Language Acquisition
Action 1: Listen a lot. “Brain Soaking”
Action 2: Focus on the meaning first. Get the meaning first before you get the words. Use body language. (Understanding through comprehensible input.)
Action 3: Start mixing. “It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to work.”
Action 4: Focus on the core (high frequency content). For English, 1000 words is 85% of anything you are going to say in daily communication; 3000 words gives you 98% of anything you are going to say in daily conversation.
Week 1 Tool Box (in the target language):
– What is this?
– How do you say?
– I don’t understand…
– What does that mean?
– Repeat that please.
Week 2-3 Pronouns, Common Verbs, Simple Nouns
Week 4 Glue Words: and, but, therefore, even though
Action 5: Get a Language Parent. Language parent creates a comprehensible input environment.
1. Works hard to understand what you are saying
2. Does not correct mistakes
3. Confirms understanding by using correct language (feedback)
4. Uses words the learner knows
Action 6: Copy the Face
Action 7: “Direct Connect” to Mental Images

TEDx talk by Chris Lonsdale. Notes summarized by Shannon Ware.

Lessons from Sports Championship: Mind + Body + Action + Guide

Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way little else does. It speaks to the youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.” – Nelson Mandela 

Following from my previous blog post “The Classic 20 – steps to learn anything faster, better and easier“, I am going  to look into details for educators and learner how to master each step. Today let’s start with the essential lessons from sports legends.

1. Mental Attitude: believe in your dream, visualize your goal, step by step and learn from mistakes. 

65ecb52d32264a1299b3dc8464184f33-65ecb52d32264a1299b3dc8_highAll achievers have a dream and they believe in it. They dream the impossible and make it happen. Their passion derive from an overwhelming desire to succeed. Their dream could be to win the Olympic Gold medal, to set new world record, or to challenge their own physical limitation. Then they learn to visualize their goals and break those goals down into achievable steps. So while the dream is always there, they build on their successes. You can’t become a world champion overnight; you have to tackle hurdles regularly along the way – and celebrate each success as it is achieved. To see their achievements in advance. To play through their next football match like a video of the mind. Jack Nicklaus, possibly the greatest golfer of all time – until Tiger Woods – says 90 percent of his success has come from his ability to visualize where every individual shot is going to land. Also all sports achievers have a fantastically positive attitude toward mistakes. They don’t even call them mistakes; they call them practice. Even Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova belted balls into the net thousands of times on their way to the top in tennis. No teacher marked those shots as failures. They were all essential parts of learning.

 2. Physical intelligence: link the right mental attitude, fitness, diet and physical skills. Trust me. This can be trained. Then winning will just be like a habit. I will have a separate blog talking about how to discover the power of physical intelligence.

3. They all achieve by doing. Just do itSport is a hands-on operation. You don’t get fit by reading a book – although that may help with the theory. You don’t develop the right muscles staring at a television set. You don’t long-jump over 28 feet in a classroom. All sports achievements result fromaction.  Former American Olympian pentathlete Marilyn King says all astronauts, Olympic athletes and corporate executives have three things in common:  “They have something that really matters to them; something they really want to do or be. We call it passion.

4. Each achiever has a coach, a mentor, a guide.  In fact, we can probably learn more about real education from the success of the American college coaching system than we can from most school classes. If you doubt it, how many Olympic athletes, basketball and football stars have emerged from colleges – where the coaches are mentors, friends and guides?

In short, the key to peak performance is a combination of physical strength, mental focus, action and find an awesome coach!

Lastly, let’s give our sincere praise to our Olympic athletes for encouraging us to dream and inspiring us the essential lessons for life!

Source: Nelson Mandela quote. “The-Learning-Revolution” by Dr. Jeannette Vos and Gordon Dryden; “The Power of Physical Intelligence” by Tony Buzan. NIKE quotes

The Classic 20 – steps to learn anything faster, better and easier

Never-too-Young-to-ReadI have been thinking to start this blog for a long long time but never gave myself a chance to start. Thank Juan, co-founder of Live Talent, finally gave me a reason a start. Like most of us, the one thing (probably the only one thing besides being alive) that I can proudly declare over 10,000 hours of deliberately practises is schooling (thanks to my parents not giving me the power of decision-making before 18). The one classic book that probably changed my life is “The-Learning-Revolution” by Dr. Jeannette Vos and Gordon Dryden. It was gifted to me in 1999 in a translated Chinese version. How amazing is that those already-turned-yellow pages still applies to my life even after 16 years! This was the book shaped my belief that everyone has their talents regardless of race, religion, or learning challenges from the past.

Everyone is a teacher.  Everyone is a learner.  There is no such thing as being completely learning disabled. We may have learning difficulties and challenges, but the brain’s natural inclination is to learn. The question is what does it take to bring out your optimal ability to learn.

With the help of technology revolution such as “Massive Open Online Courses” and “Mobile Learning” platforms, the concept is further brought to reality. That’s the reason that I choose to start my blog with these classic 20 steps to learn anything much faster, better and more easily. Quite a large number of later articles or books that I have read about learning improvement can somewhat fall into these 20 points. Hope it can help you start an enjoyable learning journey too.

  • Step 1: Start with the lessons from Sports. My formula in short is: Mind + Body + Action + Guide = Success.
  • Step 2: Dare to dream. My practise would be to visualize the ideal future as detail as possible.
  • Step 3: Specific goal and deadlines. I use SMART goal system and always WRITE it down.
  • Step 4: Get an enthusiastic mentor – Fast! I always took notes on what people I know are enthusiastic about. Everyone can be your teacher but not everyone is available to teach. I am looking forward to a platform that I can find an enthusiastic mentor anytime I want to learn something.
  • Step 5: Start with the big picture first. This can be as simple as going through the table of content before reading a book.
  • Step 6: Ask! They are the “Who”, “What”, “When”, “Where”, “Why” and “How”. I like the Steve Jobs Approach: pick up the phone and call the experts!
  • Step 7: Seek out the main principle.
  • Step 8: Find three best books by practical achievers.
  • Step 9: Relearn how to read – faster, better, more easily.
  • Step 10: Reinforce with pictures and sound.
  • Step 11: Learn by doing
  • Step 12: Draw Mind Maps instead of taking linear notes.
  • Step 13: Easy ways to retrieve what you’ve learned.
  • Step 14: Learn of art of relaxed alertness.
  • Step 15: Practice, practice, practice
  • Step 16: Review and reflect
  • Step 17: Use linking tools as memory pegs
  • Step 18: Have fun, and play games
  • Step 19: Teach others
  • Step 20: Take an accelerated learning course

Baby-learning-in-StyleI have always been actively seeking resources, tools and platforms that would enable us to fully explore our talents, and empower us to learn anything faster, better and easier. I will dedicate this blog to provide all the best resources and tools for enthusiastic educators and learners just like me.