Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

The direct method of teaching Esperanto via YouTube

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The direct method of teaching a language uses only that language, along with gesture, mimicry, drawings, diagrams, maps, calendar, clock, color charts, photos, articles of clothing, cookware and tableware, tools, household supplies and equipment, sports equipment, models (of trains, cars, planes, boats, and so on), and other props.

The direct method can be very effective because learners associate their new vocabulary directly with the objective referent rather than with words in another language. If someone holds up a hammer and says “martelo” several times, you associate “martelo” directly with that object rather than with the English word “hammer.”

Moreover, if the teacher is holding a hammer and says “martelo,” s/he can also then point to the various parts of the hammer and provide the names for those, and also use the hammer and provide the name for that action along with the word “najlo” (nail) and “tabulo” (board), all the while using only the target language.

Today, with the global reach of YouTube, the direct method comes into its own since it is independent of any native language. A direct method language course can be used equally well to teach speakers of any language at all.

The course can begin with a native-language Lesson 0 to explain (in the viewer’s native language) how the course works and what will happen. Then, from Lesson 1 on, only Esperanto is spoken. (This is what various graduate-level math textbooks have done: Chapter 0 sets out the basic premises and establishes the foundation of knowledge the course assumes, and then Chapter 1 begins the actual course.)

The benefit is that the points to cover in Lesson 0 can be provided (in Esperanto) as a text comment attached to Lesson 1, so that anyone so inclined can make a Lesson 0 in his or her native language, covering those points and include a link to Lesson 1 of the (Esperanto-only) direct-method course. Over time I would expect more and more Lesson 0 videos to emerge, in a wide variety of languages.

The benefit is that production time and effort can focus on the core course and let a thousand Lesson 0 videos bloom as they will.

Voilà! (or, more appropriately, Jen!) A universal course for the universal language.

I would expect that the core direct-method course would in time have direct-method supplements made by volunteers to teach (via direct method) particular aspects of their culture: local foods, local dress, local customs, music, occupational terms and knowledge for various occupations, and so on. If these are based on the core course, in time there would be a rich variety of offerings, with each video purely in Esperanto and thus available to all Esperanto speakers. And making these would be facilitated by the fact that the teachers could use the Esperanto taught in the core course and build upon that.

And such a course is now underway, though not (yet) so generalized as I describe. You can see my posts on Esperanto by doing a Subject Search at the right with the subject Esperanto.



Written by Leisureguy

8 June 2020 at 12:37 pm

Posted in Education, Esperanto, Video

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