INTERNATIONAL ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY ISLAMABADSUBJECT: ESPASSIGNMENT # 1TOPIC: A MODEL FOR LEARNINGDate of submission: 03/04/2013A Model for LearningThe ability to learn is one of the most outstanding human characteristics. Learning occurscontinuously throughout a persons lifetime. To define learning, it is necessary to analyze whathappens to the individual. It is basically an individuals way of perceiving, thinking, feeling, anddoing may change as a result of a learning experience. . For example, children learn to identifyobjects at an early age; teenagers may learn to improve study habits; and adults can learn to solvecomplex problems. Pilots and aviation maintenance technicians (AMTs) need to acquire thehigher. Thus, learning can be defined as a change in behavior as a result of experience. This canbe physical and overt, or it may involve complex intellectual or attitudinal changes which affectbehavior in more subtle ways.Learning theory or approach may be described as a body of principles advocated bypsychologists and educators to explain how people acquire skills, knowledge, and attitudes.Various branches of learning theory are used in formal training programs to improve andaccelerate the learning process. Key concepts such as desired learning outcomes, objectives ofthe training, and depth of training also apply.In spite of numerous theories and contrasting views, In following chapter of book, ESP:approach not product writer suggests to take an eclectic approach, taking what is useful fromeach theory and trusting also in teachers evidence of her/his own experience becausepsychologists generally agree on many common characteristics of learning, most of them evendo agree that learning may be explained by a combination of two basic approaches behaviorismand cognitive theories.
A model of learning also includes these theories and some other strategies. Here the model oflearning is explained through a picture. In the picture we take the mind as a network ofconnections that look like a road map. Individual houses towns and villages represent bundles ofknowledge. The mind of learner is like a development agency that wants to bring the settlementinto the network to develop their potential and to achieve this communication links must beestablished. Any communication network links can only be established from existing links. Thepicture shows that point X, Y and Z can be connected easily with one another by developing alink while connecting that to existing links. But if we want to connect all these with F, L, K sothere must be a tunnel and a bridge to connect all of them. Same is the case with learning processwhere for the sake of learning anything we have to built connections or links among differentthings while covering all obstacles that come in this process. If a learner wants to achieve ahigher level of competence then he must work hard and have to pass all difficult stages.Individual items of knowledge have little significance. They acquire meaning when they areconnected into the network of existing knowledge. For example, In ESP, specific vocabularies,terminologies and forms are there when these forms are associated with a specific profession,they get a direction and their meaning becomes more and more clear. When a man works in hisspecific field, he knows specific items of knowledge of his profession when these terms are usedin the network of existing knowledge, they get meaning. He has existing knowledge and usesindividual items that give meaning. A person belongs to a medical profession; he has alreadyread medical terminologies and texts that are concerned with his profession, when he practicallyenters this profession, he uses that knowledge which gives it meaning.A person’s knowledge about his professional language that he has already studied helps him toconstruct new connections. In order to gain new knowledge, person’s existing knowledge guidesa man towards various new directions that makes it possible to learn new items. For example, adoctor who has practically adopted his profession and starts doing experiments in his field. Helearns more and more in that field and builds new connection to his concerned field and increasesin his existing knowledge. It is his existing knowledge that helps him get to know new things andterminologies about his professional language and builds various connections. As long as heworks in his profession, his existing knowledge improves and by and by with the passage oftime, he becomes capable of getting proficiency in his professional language that is English, itsrequirement and changes according to the need analysis of a man.Another main point about learning is that to get knowledge about different things is not so easyat beginning level. As at initial level learning seems as difficult but with the passage of timeslearning becomes an easy process. To gain knowledge about some items is difficult to acquire asall the knowledge about all things are not having same status. But whenever a learner learnanything through a hard or difficult process after that it becomes easy to further learn. Even thepotential for further learning becomes increase. In learning process there can be obstacles anddifficulties but when a learner met with those difficulties he becomes able to overcome thoseproblems occur during learning process. For example through different theories we come toknow about different levels of students through which they learn different techniques, skills andstrategies. As skills are those that we learn at beginning level with a little effort and with thepassage of time it becomes the part of our life for example cooking and driving. While comingtowards the point there is an example of audio lingual method in which a child at basic or
primary level he can not speak English fluently as for example a teacher at a primary class askstudents to say library. When they can not speak this word teacher ask them to say lib-ra-ryseparately. Then it becomes easy for the students to speak this word. Although with the passageof the time these learners become fluent.Further elaborating the learning process and the importance of English for specific purposesthere is another strong claim that every work requires complete planning. Planning of any workmakes it easy. Even in the learning process there should be complete planning. As a road builderknows how to construct a road and what are the strategies he should use for the construction aswell as what will be the problems he will face and how to solve them. Same is the case withlearning process. In learning process a learner learns and tries to learn in a better and completeway .Although a learner can learn in a better way by developing different strategies for theproblems that occur during learning process to them. We can take the example of learningtheories here we can say that a teacher before going to class mostly plan first what he is goingto deliver the lecture. He must have to plan the time as well as the whole lecture. Secondlyteachers mostly know and must know what are and will be problems to students during lecturesas well as how he should be able to solve those problems. Although in learning and teachingstrategies and planning plays a significant role.We also observe in the picture that communication network is a system; if a planner or buildercan see the whole system it becomes easy for him to manage all, similarly Language is also asystem and a learner too feels easy when he can see the whole system and connections of thewhole otherwise it becomes very difficult when he sees every thing haphazardly. For example ifa learner knows all learning theories, methods and skills and understand the whole system thathow to use all by making connections then it will be easier to manage all the obstacles in leaninga language or teaching a language for specific purpose.Last but not the least, it is very important for learner to be motivated to do so like writer of thebook explains while referring to the picture of model for learning that if the traveler will bemotivated to cross the obstacles e.g. mountains, river etc than he will enjoy the journey and willdesire for it once more otherwise some travelers do this only once just for the sake of need. Sohere we can also quote two types of motivation either instrumental (motivated by need) or theintegrative (motivated by desire or want instead of need). So if a leaner will be eager for learningbecause of his desire or want then he will surely enjoy learning like the first traveler mentionedbefore.