When planning it is important to consider the fact that any lessons you provide have to be purposeful! When lessons are created, it is important to consider what the purpose of the lesson is. Our students have to gain meaningful input to them to retain information.  In addition, the following theories should be


  1.  Miller’s +- 7 – students have the ability to learn a certain amount of information. Miller, in 1967 discovered in 1956 that this magic number is +- 7. Words, numbers, letters etc. that the working memory can handle. Any more than this, we reach a level of overload. The brain will shut down. You can chunk these into units of learning. i.e. ASLA uses this method; 4 animals, 4 people, 4 modes of transportation, 4 Nouns (NA, NI)

  2. Scaffolding. What kind of support can we give students so that they can complete any given task?  How can we support Verbally? Visually? Physically? These supports are gradually removed as students master any given task. These scaffolds in language learning include: TPR, Images, Modeling, Realia, Direct-Instruction, Repetition and written texts

  3. Multiple Intelligences. Says that we all learn differently and that we can use a range of these intelligences to learn. Linguistic - learning through language, Visual – learning through seeing and imagining, Musical – learning through music, Interpersonal – learning through contact and Intrapersonal – learning through reflection. We take all of these into consideration when lessons are developed.

  4. Cognitive Capacity. When are developing lessons, we have to be aware of how much effort it takes for a student to learn. We don’t want to make something too easy, but, we also want to avoid “Saturation”. A state when there is far too much information to process. Frustration can happen in the students we teach and they will shut down.


Source: Best of Bilash





Second Language Learning Theories