Tagged With learning

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If you want to teach your kid how to code, there’s certainly no shortage of apps, iPad-connected toys, motorised kits and programmable pets that you can buy for your future Google employee. Some are great, no doubt, but many focus on isolated skills, which may or may not be relevant in the decades ahead. For young children, what might be more critical than learning to code is learning how to think like a coder. And for that, they don’t even need a computer.

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There’s a big difference between levelling up in a language learning app and being able to speak and understand your target language when you arrive in a new country. Rather than wondering which app or approach is “best”, consider studying your language from multiple directions.

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There are more efficient ways of keeping track of important foreign language vocabulary than a hand-held dictionary. If you’re learning a new language or making basic translations, try using the Google Translate formula in Google Sheets for an easy access list of what you know — or want to know.

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Video: If you never learned to swim, it’s not too late. In this video, we follow Terry, 35, who never got around to learning to swim, and JR, 30, who’s been afraid of the water since nearly drowning as a child.

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I have a friend who took kindergarten prep very seriously. When her son began getting homework in preschool (“homework” and “preschool” being two words that should never go together) and he couldn’t properly identify on the homework that “car” started with the letter “C,” she freaked out.

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Duolingo has previously launched two courses for endangered indigenous languages, both created by native speakers. While most people will take the time to learn some French or Japanese with the app, why not consider something a little more obscure?

You can use the app to learn the languages spoken by native Hawaiians and by the Diné, better known as the Navajo nation.

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As parents, we’re told that we’re our kids’ first teachers. It’s true, but to me this conjures up the idea that we must stand over their shoulders with a red pen, telling them they exactly what to learn and how. To better support their natural inquisitiveness, it can help to instead think of yourself as a librarian.

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We’re all used to skimming past the boring parts of a reading assignment or a web article. But when researchers from RMIT University printed information in a weird, hard-to-read font, they found that people were more likely to remember what they read.

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For knowledge workers in the 21st century, efficiency and productivity are still integral to being seen as a “success”. We value writers who can produce 10 pieces of content each day, and we look to investing personalities for advice on what 10 trades to make to maximise our portfolios.

But what if we could reframe that perspective? What if instead of prioritising action and production, we emphasised learning, insight and quality?

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One of my biggest frustrations with reading in one of the few foreign languages I’ve dabbled in is how long it takes to look up all the words I don’t know (which, admittedly, is a lot of them). It’s disruptive, and I’m likely to quit before I get all the way through an article or chapter or page.

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Parenting, I am learning, is like being the belayer to a roped rock climber — you have to know when to hold on tight and when to give some slack. (No, I’m not a rock climber myself, but I once took an intro class using a Groupon.)

You want to make sure your kids are safe and not making bonehead decisions, but you can’t follow them around throughout their lives, whispering, “Eh, you sure about that move there, buddy?” For them to reach new heights, sometimes you have to let go.

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Before my daughter learned to speak she learned to sign, and the first sign she mastered was “more”. More meant more — as in, “Give me more milk before I scream-cry in 5-4-3-2-1...” — but for her, it also meant “again”. Sing that song again. Push the toy cash register button again. Make that funny sound with your armpit again, again, again.