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Language of Learning (LANOL)


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Robert Heiny submitted a new blog post:

Language of Learning (LANOL)



THE LANGUAGE OF LEARNING (LANOL) describes what learners do while learning that observers can monitor and manage as learning occurs in schools and elsewhere. It formalizes the place of a learners' view (ALV) in the teaching-learning process. It complements the language of teaching used by educators. It completes the framework through which teachers communicate with learners in ways that change social (observable) patterns of learners. This communication uses patterns of choices of teachers and learners while these changes occur.

Learning, in this sense, is social, not cognitive, mental, etc., action. LANOL is a structured system of communication consisting of words and other symbols used by people to describe, classify, and catalogue experiences and objects (Spencer, 1964, p. 377) learners use while learning. LANOL maps the territory (Hayakawa, 1962, p. vii) of observable, manageable, measurable learning. Content of this initial draft was adapted from research reports by Siegfried Engelmann, Bernard Farber, Marc Gold, David L. Harvey, George Homans, Betty House, Samuel A. Kirk, Ogden Lindsley, B.F. Skinner, David Zeaman, as well as their teams and students.

From a learners' view (ALV) the language of learning (LANOL) accounts for the point of contact between a teacher and learner that results in learning. This point represents the active ingredients of learning (AIL) sometimes called active elements of learning. Other parts of lessons exist as distractions (like frequent commercials interrupting your favorite TV program) that learners must filter out to locate and use the relevant ingredients while learning. Scientists sometimes refer to AILs as dimensions of vision, etc. Teachers use them as prompts (redundant cues) such as underlining a word or other symbol in red or changing voice volume to call attention to a crucial part of a lesson.

LANOL describes those parts of social action that integrate two observable sets of social activity between a teacher and a learner into a different activity. LANOL identifies words and relationships among these words to describe the act or process of each actor that combine into a new whole (something learned) and results in socially relevant changes (a new behavior pattern that alters the way the learner interacts with others). It's like describing what cooks do to choose vegetables that combine in a heated liquid to make soup and the patch where a tire touches a road in ways that the vehicle proceeds in a predictable direction.

This view has implications for techniques of teacher selection and professional development, lesson preparation and instruction, for predicting whether learning will likely occur from a lesson, social factors in predictions, and consequences for lessons that fail to yield learning. It also has implications for basic research to describe the mutability of AILs and the impact of cultural and social values in the choice of AILs used by teachers and by learners.

Hayakawa, S. (1962). Foreword. In The Use And Misuse of Language. NY: Fawcett Premier Books, p. vii-x.

Spencer, R. (1964). Language. In J. Gould & W. Kolb (eds.), A Dictionary of the Social Sciences.NY: The Free Press, p. 377.
Related Reading

  1. 1.0 Teacher
  2. Active Ingredient of Learning (AIL)
  3. A Learners' View (ALV) of Learning Defined
  4. Learning
  5. Teaching

Related Resources

  1. Gaussian Curve
  2. Normal Distribution, sometimes called Normal Curve
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