French on Fridays: Going on a Bear Hunt
The greater the complexity, the greater the learning.
This counterintuitive assertion from John Medina, author of Brain Rules, seems to go against Heath & Heath's first rule of "stickiness": simplicity. After all, Medina notes that learning is increased through complication. Elaborate experiences trump simple ones.
Though this appears to contradict the rule of simplicity, it is good to remember that simplicity is just one of six stickiness factors (simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotions, stories). Add up the six, and you've got a fairly elaborate experience.
On a practical level, this suggests that optimal learning might be nurtured by providing elaborate experiences focused on a simple concept.
This is what I love about using children's books to learn French. On the one hand we have simplicity: a single story with a straightforward plot. On the other hand, we have complexity: pictures; playful rhymes; new words couched amidst familiar words; the cadence of voice (if we read aloud). If it's a good story, we might also react emotionally.
All this adds up to better learning. So let's go on a chasse à l'ours (bear hunt) and see what French we can bring home...
La Chasse à L'ours (Going on a Bear Hunt, by Helen Oxenbury)
French Learners: Type any English word here and get a translation into French.