Kat's Tips 5 – Quit Studying and Take a Test???

Kat's Tips 5 – Quit Studying and Take a Test???

文章Kat C » 週二 1月 25, 2011 1:37 am

Kat's Tips 5 – "To Really Learn, Quit Studying and Take a Test?" - How to use “Retrieval Practice Testing” to Learn

A new study has found that “tests” are not mere some necessary evil the teachers and students have to put up with, but can be beneficial if used well.

I have to confess that I "detest" tests of any kind (love how that word is just perfect for here! :lol: ) – and I'm sure that I'm not alone. But this finding actually supports one of the methods I have students use often, which is to “write” as part of the “reading” practice.

This article from the New York Times describes the experiment:

“The final group took a “retrieval practice” test. [After reading several paragraphs about a scientific subject,] Without the passage in front of them, they wrote what they remembered in a free-form essay for 10 minutes. Then they reread the passage and took another retrieval practice test.”

What I take away from this article is not that tests are all good, but using a particular type of testing technique can help us learn. This is what I usually recommend to my students:

When you are practicing reading, read the whole thing thoroughly (without the help of a dictionary). Read the piece as a whole and don't break up the sentences. Once is enough. Put the material aside and write down what you think you've just read. Go back to the reading, and don't compare your notes with the source material. Just read! After you have read it through for the second time, write what you know on a new piece of paper. Don't add to the old notes. Throw them away. Repeat this process at least three times before you look up new words. When reading, there's no need to “memorize” every single word. It's more important that you find the key points of the piece. But try not to make your own sentences, either. Mistakes resulting from the “Chinese grammar” may seep in. Unless you have someone to correct them right away, the mistakes can “fossilize”. :twisted:

As the study also shows, this method creates certain anxiety: you are more aware of the things you don't know than the things you do know. But stay with it, now that you know this kind of “retrieval practice test” is good for you! :wink:

So here's the article (2 pages! And don't forget the multimedia graphics on the left, which compare different learning methods). It's really fascinating! Check it out. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/21/scien ... ted=1&_r=1
最後由 Kat C 於 週四 2月 03, 2011 12:37 am 編輯,總共編輯了 2 次。
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Kat C
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註冊時間: 週三 9月 08, 2010 10:31 am

Re: Kat's Tips No. 5 – Quit Studying and Take a Test???

文章Sherry Liao » 週二 1月 25, 2011 6:47 pm

Dear Kat,

I learned a lot from you tips. Some of the ideas you mentioned were quite new to me.

And your passion for teaching really amazes me... In my school life, I did have met several brilliant teachers with great enthusiasm for teaching. They have a profound influence on me. I am quite sure that you are going to be one of them.
Sherry Liao
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註冊時間: 週五 12月 07, 2007 12:15 pm

Re: Kat's Tips No. 5 – Quit Studying and Take a Test???

文章Kat C » 週四 1月 27, 2011 9:55 am

Hi Sherry,

It's my pleasure to help however I can. I love sharing what I know, and I wish to stay connected with all of you at YOYO. I also learn how to teach better through your questions. You are an excellent learner and you inspire me as much as I do you. So I thank you, too. :D

Kat
最後由 Kat C 於 週四 2月 03, 2011 10:12 pm 編輯,總共編輯了 1 次。
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Re: Kat's Tips 5 – Quit Studying and Take a Test???

文章Kooper » 週四 2月 03, 2011 9:10 pm

Hi Kat,

This is a fantastic way of learning English. How about experimenting with this in one of the ISG meetings?
Kooper
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註冊時間: 週三 4月 11, 2007 11:40 pm

Re: Kat's Tips 5 – Quit Studying and Take a Test???

文章Kat C » 週五 2月 04, 2011 10:14 pm

Hi Kooper,

Absolutely! We can talk about how we learn English (and other subjects, of course) and what ways have been effective for us. It should be fun!

Happy New Year to you and your family!

Kat :D
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