Monday, May 9, 2011

social mind

The other day I was watching a program about the social mind. It was pretty interesting. Something that I liked was this experiment researchers made with kids trying to learn Chinese. So what they did is this:

- for a period of time, they had one group of kids study via a video of the Chineese teacher (so, via TV)
- for the same period of time, another group of kids studied with the same teacher via audio (just headphones, no images this time)
- for the same period of time, the last group studied with the same teacher as the other two groups - except this last group had the classes live. The teacher went to their house and taught them Chinese there (in person)

The result was that the third group, the group that had the person teaching them live (in person) was the group that learnt the fastest. They could not only speak more fluently and write better, but they were also more confident when doing so. Not too surprising I guess, but interesting. Don't you think? It shows how important human contact is, also when learning a language.

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