French on Fridays: Going on a Bear Hunt

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.

Labels: ,


Blogger Maureen said...

La Lecon

Porter le fardeau
hunt not l'ours
enfanter l'enfant
but bear not la douleur
l'os that's bare
will not suit the bear
that's affame
chasseur: watch out!

Ventre affame n'a pas d'oreilles.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Maureen said...

The Lesson

Bear the burden
hunt not the bear
bear the child
but bear not the pain
the bone that's bare
will not suit the bear
that's hungry
Hunter: watch out!

A hungry belly has no ears. (It's a Fr. proverb that I had to look up to make sure I got it right.)

French has several different words for different meanings of bear. And I'm not sure I captured them all.

1:30 PM  
Blogger amanda {the habit of being} said...

my kids have been learning a silly nonsense rhyme this week, along the lines of eenie meenie mais en francais bien sur. at first they thought i was crazy (love that they never questioned the craziness of eenie meenie...) and now they love it. i read them children's books in french with great illustrations to engage them - they never suspect they're learning ;-)

9:57 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home