Microlearning Languages: Can It Help Improve Your Spanish?
Did you know that thousands of people are microlearning languages right now?
What would you say if I told you you could use microlearning to improve your Spanish?
Yes! Microlearning is the real deal!
If you haven’t heard about this phenomenon, keep reading.
Here you’ll learn what microlearning is, why it’s revolutionizing the world of language learning, and some of its benefits.
You’ll also learn about the best resources for microlearning languages and how to incorporate microlearning into your language-learning routine.
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What Is Microlearning?
First things first, microlearning is simply learning adapted to the internet age.
Every microlearning meaning you may find will agree that brief is its defining characteristic.
This can be achieved by “small learning units or short-term learning activities.”
As you can see, in an era when everybody complains about how the internet has affected our attention span, humans have adapted and come up with a solution for that: microlearning.
If you have difficulty learning anything (a language, for example) because you simply can’t focus for a long period of time, now you can microlearn.
How Does Microlearning Differ from Traditional Learning Methods?
First, microlearning differs from other traditional learning methods in the timeframe required to complete each learning session.
Let’s take language learning as an example.
While a common language lesson may last 50 to 60 minutes for an adult learner, microlearning languages use learning sessions of up to 15 minutes.
While traditional learners must digest a lot of information during long lessons and/or courses, micro-learners deal only with small chunks of information at a time.
This allows them to focus on the important bits and avoid irrelevant information.
Microlearning languages also allow students to learn at their own pace, contrary to what happens in long, structured programs that follow a strict schedule.
Finally, while in traditional learning, you may have one long lesson covering 4 or 5 topics, in microlearning, you would have 4 or 5 different lessons, each covering a different topic.
Benefits of Microlearning Languages
Microlearning can be considered a hack to language learning with plenty of benefits for those willing to try a different approach.
These are some of the benefits of microlearning languages:
1. Accessible and Mobile-Friendly
As noted before, microlearning is a learning method developed for the internet age or, better yet, for the mobile ear.
Microlearning language is suitable for people who want to learn on the go and at their own pace.
Microlearners typically use their phones to learn.
2. Microlearning Languages Improves Knowledge Retention
Microlearning modules are “only filled with important information and key points, which significantly increases learner retention.”
Also, as the learning modules are small and self-contained, it’s always easier to return to them if needed.
3. Less Time-Consuming
This may be stating the obvious. But as briefness is the microlearning defining feature, it’s normal that microlearning languages require a smaller investment of time than other traditional learning methods.
4. Microlearning Creates 50% More Engagement
One of the main problems when learning a language is falling into the trap of boredom and disengagement.
Commonly, a new language learner starts with much enthusiasm for their language learning project, but that energy fades over time.
People are more willing to keep learning if the courses are shorter and go straight to the point.
5. Microlearning Can Serve as Support for Traditional Learning
This point is crucial.
Because even though you can start microlearning languages on your own, the best way to use microlearning might be to use it as support for your traditional learning method.
Think of it as a blend of your usual language lessons with microlearning sessions afterward covering the key content seen in your lessons.
Used in this way, microlearning can be a boost to your language learning process.
Examples of Microlearning Resources for Spanish Learners
The good news is that microlearning Spanish is relatively easy to do these days.
There are a series of different microlearning resources that can help you to reinforce your Spanish language skills.
These are some of the most common microlearning resources for Spanish learners:
Duolingo | © Facebook
Duolingo is the perfect example of an effective microlearning tool.
Its fun environment, short lessons, and game-like approach go hand in hand with microlearning best practices.
Microlearning experts recommend using gamification and prizes to keep learners “interested and focused on learning.”
Memrise | © Facebook
Memrise is Duolingo’s greatest competitor and the app that has been closer to replicating its extraordinary success.
Memrise also uses games and prizes to keep learners engaged, but it also offers a variety of other different features to differentiate itself.
3. Spanish Dictionary
Spanish Dictionary | © Facebook
This website, that’s now also an app, is an excellent resource for microlearning languages.
It offers ready-made lessons that are easy to follow and self-paced.
It includes quizzes, vocabulary lists, cheat sheets, a word of the day section, and short videos.
Quizlet | © Facebook
Quizlet is another bundle of apps and websites that allow language learners to use different devices.
It offers a wide spectrum of study sets featuring digital flashcards, spelling exercises, quizzes, and three different games in each study set.
How to Incorporate Microlearning into Your Language Learning Routine?
Microlearning languages don’t have to be that complicated.
We recommend that you start using it to support your traditional learning method.
This way, the transition isn’t that hard, and you can use it more as a booster of your learning process than as the only source of all your learning.
Let’s say you take regular Spanish lessons twice a week, either online or with a private tutor.
An excellent way to incorporate microlearning into your language learning routine could be to revisit lessons through one of the resources mentioned above.
If you see the present tense conjugations and gendered nouns in your lessons, try microlearning these topics during the same week.
This way, you make sure to learn the content already explained to you by your teacher at your own pace and apply that knowledge in a fun and friendly environment.
Should You Try Microlearning?
Microlearning languages is just a tool, not the final solution for all your language learning difficulties.
Remember that when learning a language, there are no shortcuts. However, there are smarter ways to learn, and microlearning might be just one.
If you think learning through games and short quizzes matches your learning style, go for it.
The worst thing that can happen is that you don’t like it and go back to your traditional learning method.
You can try mixing the best homeschool Spanish curriculum at HSA with your favorite microlearning tool.
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