Friday, 20 December 2013

Let's Get Back to the Basics!

Learning alphabet is a fundamental step towards learning a language. And, if you get a first step full of excitement and curiosity, then it would hardly take any time to learn the whole language. Recently, I got to know that one of my friends has just started learning language of Denmark i.e Danish and is facing a whole lot of problem in learning its alphabet only.

Learning A (a), Å (å), Æ (æ) of Danish has become his soul endeavor now a days but I wish I could help him the way I teach my little students to learn A, B, C of English. To learn the alphabet means recognizing, naming and learning to pronounce its letters. With kids it becomes easier to teach them alphabet through colorful letters and abc kids game but with an elder person the case differs a bit. The mind of a child is a ‘tabula rasa’ (a Blank slate), that grasps quite efficiently whatever we write on it. On the other hand, the mind of an elder person is like a slate that has been compacted with too many words alias affairs, leaving hardly any place for anything new.

The whole world becomes one to teach a little child alphabets of their world. At home parents buy them toys like balls, cubes, block with an imprint of letter over them to make the child familiar with the letters. Even they are served with Alphabet cookies so that they can literally consume the letter. Whereas, at schools, teachers show them some colorful pictures or object starting with some aimed letters to make their learning enticing and exciting.

But for sure, we can’t teach an elder learner in the same manner. A child’s mind absorbs everything seamlessly but our skeptic mind raises a sea of questions even over a letter. Like the question I asked from my friend why is here A (a), Å (å), Æ (æ) in Danish and not B after A?, are these 3 optional? hahaha...But alas! Instead of adding fun to the situation my question raised many questions in his minds and he jotted them down to injure his tutor with them.

But do we really need to worry this much when we are living in a tech-savvy arena? I don’t think so! There are many online games, learning apps like AOTW to aid the learners of all age groups alike. Through these you can have the letters with their respective cases, phonetics and pronunciations. Although the mode to learn alphabet is little different what goes same is the excitement but this time for everyone. Learning is always a fun no matter which way you have it and when it comes to learning something related to a different world it always carries with itself its share of mystery and mastery.