August 21, 2005

Eide Neurolearning Blog: Unconscious and Unintentional (Implicit) Learning

This post includes comments which contain a link to this very interesting PowerPoint file on Grammar Learning Eide Neurolearning Blog: Unconscious and Unintentional (Implicit) Learning:
We take in enormous quantities of information through our senses and movements, but although a lot of information is filtered, what gets through is then sorted into conscious and unconscious patterns. So when we act on the unconscious patterns, we may not be completely aware of it.

Implicit learning refers to unintentional learning - and this can be powerfully manipulated in education. After first handling, experiencing, or playing with materials, guided questioning is used to make implicit learning explicit

comment:there's a ton of stuff on implicit and explicit language learning. Have you seen this nice Powerpoint presentation of Grammar Learning? Excellent teachers who guide their students to learn implicitly seem particularly gifted in their ability to organize information so the patterns are recognized, but not just 'told'. Also if you want to see more brain pics highlight differences in implicit vs. explicit category learning, look at the 2nd paper down here.

Very interesting ppt on Grammar Learning. "Implicit learning" sounds the same concept as "knowledge acquisition" (real, invisible learning) as opposed to "learning" (which is observable behaviour). Here's a quote from my report on a (2004) seminar on autonomy in Language Learning led by Henri Holec (NB: this definition of "acquisition" is a little different from Stephen Krashen's):

If learning cannot be said to be the direct result of teaching, then what is learning? One hypothesis was that true learning is invisible, and did not necessarily equate directly with learning behaviour, which is observable. To make the distinction between the observable behaviour which is the result of teaching and the invisible, mysterious, non-linear process of learning, the word “acquisition” was used to describe the latter, while “learning” was allowed to keep its definition as the result of teaching, i.e. observable manifest behaviour.

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