Learning the Italian language doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it can be fun, rewarding, and stress free. In order for that to happen, though, you must incorporate good language learning strategies. One great strategy to use is outcome-based learning.
What’s outcome-based learning?
First let’s look at what it’s not. Inexperienced language teachers, as well as those learning Italian on their own, oftentimes make a very crucial mistake. The mistake is focusing on what are called learning “inputs.” In regards to learning the Italian language, inputs are things like vocabulary words, grammar structures, and dialogues.
For example, you may set a goal like this, “I am going to learn 20 new Italian vocabulary words a day.” Now, that’s not a bad goal. After all, learning new vocabulary words is essential when learning the Italian language. But what kind of meaningful accomplishments are you going to make by doing so. It’s not really clear, and that’s the problem with focusing on leaning inputs instead of learning outcomes. So, what’s outcome-based learning?
Here is a goal using outcome-based learning strategies. “In two weeks I will be able to demonstrate my ability to enter an Italian restaurant, ask questions about the menu, order food, ask for my check, and complete a monetary transaction using the Italian language.” See the difference? With outcome-based goals you focus on learning outcomes. You define exactly how, after studying, you will be able to use the Italian language in useful, real-life situations. This subtle shift in focus has huge effects!
What are the effects of using outcome-based learning strategies?
1. Mountains of Motivation–learning an endless list of vocabulary words will suck the motivation out of you like a vacuum cleaner. Why? Because it’s a never-ending feat–you never got to “finish” anything. You never get to stop and be proud of yourself for accomplishing something wonderful. You just push on session after session….after session.
With clear learning outcomes, on the other hand, you get tangible goals and tangible evidence of your accomplishments. You get to set a useful, real-world goal, accomplishment it, pat yourself on the back, and then set another meaningful goal. This process of completing and then setting new tangible goals is highly motivating! Give it a try and watch your motivation skyrocket!
2. Better Learning–If you learn a huge list of Italian vocabulary words, does that mean you can speak the Italian language? No, not at all. It just means that you’ve got a bunch of words in your head that you may or may not be able to recall when you need them most.
If, on the other hand, “You can demonstrate your ability to order food in Italian,” well, then you can definitely speak the Italian language–because that’s the goal you’ve set and accomplished.
3. Faster Learning–Having the combination of increased motivation and real and measured success is like having a rocket strapped onto your learning speedometer! Use this method and you’ll learn faster than you ever thought possible!
Learning the Italian language can be an exercise in frustration, or it can be a motivational and uplifting experience. If you want the latter, use outcome-based learning strategies. You’ll see your motivation skyrocket, your learning effectiveness greatly improve, and your learning pace significantly increase.
- Outcome-Based Learning (Wikipedia)
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- Choosing the Best Italian Language Program
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