Is Covering My House in Sticky Notes Helping?


Covering my home in sticky notes has seemed to become a pretty natural outworking of language learning here. And I have started wondering how much it really helps.

A great answer to the question I do not have. Please let know if you are aware of an academic answer to this question as to if it helps or not. All today I will share is what I think are some of the drawbacks to this method and some ways we can make it better.

  1. Engagement is always good- The question of language learning is never if engaging the language is a good thing of course it is. The real question is this the best way to use this time. Looking up all the words for my household things and then posting them around. This is better than nothing but I think the idea that you will just learn because of that is probably an unlikely.
  2. Are you learning how to talk- Another draw back to learning the vocab for everything in your house or office is that these will not pay very quick dividends in understanding or using language. Unless you are specifically talk about furniture.
  3. Disuse- This method has seemed most appealing to me right now when I have had the least language. So many of the early notes I put up have already went beyond the shelf life.

So let’s make it better since I know you and I are still going to do it.

  • Always be adding. If you are always adding some sticky notes around your house one or two at a time as you learn new concepts or have new questions you will always have plenty of new language around to engage with and master. And you will avoid the pitfall of having to spend a lot of time replacing them all at once. You will always be taking advantage of the vocabulary growing exercise of looking up new words and phrases.
  • Turkish Only- No translation. Just write the new word for “phone.” Not both. We all know we need to get beyond having to translate everything from what we think into what we are going to say. This is a simple way to start think in the language.
  • Not Just Nouns. Memorizing a list of nouns about your kitchen is ok. Memorizing a list of nouns and adjectives about those nouns is better. And even better is as well memorizing every verb you can think of to do with that noun. So write adjectives and verbs with each noun that makes sense. Not only will you be learning more concepts but the verbs and adjectives will probably be more useful in your everyday life sooner.
  • Engagement works- Magic Doesn’t. The more you engage with these the better. The More you engage the better these will work. When you do go through rooms say the things out loud. Say the activity you are doing out loud. Talk to other people about the things you are learning. When you are doing daily activities and you realize you have no idea how you would say ‘I am pouring water.’ Stop look it up and make a note. Engaging will help you learn but there is no magic in the sticky notes on walls.

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