Chinese Conversation Class : ZhanZheng (War)

Chinese Conversation Class : ZhanZheng (War)
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Chinese Conversation Class : ZhanZheng (War)

This map demonstrates one possible use of mindmaps in the context of language learning.

A conversation class typically covers miscallenaous topics. One idea would lead to another, and the teacher would write new vocabulary in the chat window. After the lesson , the student would be left with a heap of new words to study.

One strategy is to collect these words and add them to a database or dedicated software. This is useful, especially for large quantities of words.

A mindmap provides a cheap and efficient alternative. It requires more work than creating flashcards, but this additional work is part of the study.

The first step is to organize the vocabulary in themes. This structure is due to evolve. If you don't see this as pure 'study time', think again. This step allows you to keep an eye on the range of topics discussed. In class, it's great to refer to an earlier lesson, and make links between them. It gives a feeling of really building something up.

The second step is to add vocabulary to the map(s). I don't write the pinyin or the translation : just one character per branch, with a tag for the tone. The map should be kept minimal. During a review, my brain should actively retrieve the information, not passively read it.

The third step is to enhance the map(s) with colours, pictures icons... No need to hurry, this is an incremental process. Again, this may not appear as pure 'study time', but it necessarily implies a review of the words and thus reinforces the learning in a playful way.

Although mindmaps do no strictly belong to the wave of 'learning games', they are playful and flexible devices. You can spend time with a set of maps, improving their structure and overall look, and this all contributes to the learning.
Created using: iMindMap
Copyright & licencing: ©2015 Alexis Van Espen. All Rights Reserved.

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