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French Language Learning and Brain Dominance

Your brain dominance and language learning



Some language skills involve analytical, sequential, and left-brain processing. Others involve right-brain skills such as guessing, associating, and getting the main idea.

Obviously, those with bilateral dominance have some advantages.

There are, however, good language learners with both left-brain or right-brain dominance who achieve a high degree of fluency and accuracy. They learn to use both left-brain and right-brain skills depending on what works best for the activity at hand.


 — Here are some general guidelines to follow when you use your brain dominance for language learning:

• Use your left-brain analytical skills to determine the purpose of a learning activity or to set up the activity. Once you are involved in the activity, put most of your attention on the content of the message and let your right-brain go to work.

• According to James Asher, author of the Total Physical Response method, direct association methods for building listening comprehension rely more on right-brain processing than on left brain processing. Do not consciously try to figure out every detail when using these methods. Let your subconscious do the work.

You can google:

• The Physical Response techniques

• The Look and Listen techniques

• Tips for left-brain learners

• Tips for right-brain learners

Warnings — Here are some warnings about using your brain dominance for language learning:

• Analytical thinkers who make good linguists sometimes never acquire communicative fluency in a second language because their left-brain, sequential processing slows them down.

• Right-brained, global thinkers sometimes become quite fluent in comprehending and expressing themselves in a second language, but never become truly accurate. They are content to get across the main idea without worrying about the details.

 • Keywords: brain, right- or left- dominance



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