by Shane Gerzon
We want to help people communicate better with others. This will enhance brain activity, friendships, and healthy business relationships around the globe. Capacity for fluent self-expression in English is a powerful equalizer for people throughout the world. ENGLISH & MANDARIN are the two most popular languages for businesses and internet users throughout the world.
But how do we best commit language to long term memory?
It’s hard to remember anything these days, let alone a new language. Can we put down the so called “smart” phone that is dumbing us down? The irony of our hourly forays in the Robot/Computer world is that they contain a treasure trove of information, yet quickly sabotage our capacity to access vast portions of our own brains. Can we create meaningful relationship, mental pictures, and “memory palaces” in our minds rather than searching Google for them?*
As we teach and learn English together, let’s establish genuine human relationship (yes, via computer!). Technology can turn a quiet quarantine into an adventure. Human connection creates vivid memories and magnifies positive emotions, which combine to cement the language in our brains.
Learning language activates the brain, while certain toxic activities and habits tend to scramble and distract it. I favor the Pimsleur approach to language over the old sterile classroom environment. Make learning a fun, fast, and meaningful process rather than a dry, grammatical, and incongruous affair. Let’s engage as if we were three-year-old children seeing this charming world for the first time.
They say, “Pimsleur gets in your head and stays there.”** Very few of us have truly photographic memories. But many of us have what I call the “Emotionally Photographic Memory.” We remember what moves us. Emotions linked to a memory are found in the brain’s amygdala, which also controls our “fight or flight” reactions.
Have your camera on! We need to SEE each other. Why? Because 80 percent of communication is non-verbal. Our hands, objects, and all the little expressions in our face combine to tell most of the story.*
Think of the greatest languages on earth where no word is ever spoken. In SIGN LANGUAGES, expressions are the distinctive body postures and facial expressions that accompany signing, and which are necessary to properly form words. Expression is one of five components of a sign, along with handshape (DEZ), orientation (ORI), location (TAB), and movement (SIG). A major component of expression is mouthing.
We can employ these same techniques as we are learning a new language! When our vocabulary is in infant stages, hands must move! Keep eyes open wide ;0 @@). The words and sounds will come naturally, as they do with a wee child of three. 3. III.
If we can alter a person’s relationship to language and LEARNING, then we can change their entire lives for the better. Open up hearts and brains, then watch people join together in successful relationships.