The 10 Pillars of Speech Acquisition
Speaking a language is a truly incredible skill, one we have all mastered at least once. Amazingly, we all used the same learning process to become experts at this complex task.
LEXO LAB learning pillars are based upon this universal approach, and its why the experience is so effective.
Research provides clear evidence that stress is a serious impediment to effective learning. Of even more significance is the fact that language learning in general, and speech in particular, is very prone to being adversely impacted by the debilitating influence of stress.
With LEXO LAB your child is encouraged to practice as often as they like in their own time, at their own pace and in the privacy of their own location. We further reduce stress by adding hints if required and giving clear but private feedback to students to save any embarrassment.
The first part of learning to speak is being immersed in the sounds of the language and associating those sounds with specific images. That is also the first part of the LEXO LAB experience.
Our stories and specific illustrations are not only beautiful, they also present information in a structured approach that constantly provides clarity and context, reinforcing past lessons and greatly improving learning.
Output Hypothesis + Skill Acquisition Theory
Next, we get children to generate speech. Speaking is the process of considering what words to say, in what order and having the skill to enunciate that combination of sounds correctly.
Speaking is both knowledge and skill, and constantly practicing speaking is crucial to improving spoken English. That’s why speaking is at the heart of every LEXO LAB lesson.
And that is why silent learning activities don’t effectively improve speaking. Speaking depends on muscle memory and quick retrieval of information, a process built and strengthened by practice.
Noticing Hypothesis + Self Correction
Noticing errors, identifying the correct pattern and retrying the phrase is an ideal learning model.
That’s why children are always encouraged to use the Feed-Back Machine, listen to what they said and compare it to a model answer before saying the phrase again. This form of self correcting practice is highly beneficial.
Acquiring the ability to speak new words and phrases requires multiple meetings with the new language. Therefore, it is important that the language be re-introduced to students multiple times.
At LEXO LAB we take that concept much further by reintroducing learnt language at specific times and in specific ways via our Game Pod activities. These learning games not only bring back vocabulary, test knowledge and allow further practise, they do all of that based on your child’s past performance on the earlier exercises. That is, we select what your child would be best to practice, and we reintroduce it in the best way and at the best time.
Error Pattern Identification
Everytime your child is practicing speaking we are monitoring progress and looking for multiple occurrences of the same error. This is important because frequently making the same error is different from making a mistake during practice that can be remedied immediately.
Error patterns, and by inverting that analysis, correct use patterns, allows us to build a detailed understanding of your child’s learning needs, their strengths and their weaknesses, and therefore we can determine what should be on their future learning path.
We also provide very specific error analysis to identify exactly what the language error was and where it occurred.
To improve, students greatly benefit from having specific phonetic errors accurately identified for them. It’s important to have children saying things correctly from the start and avoid letting them fossilise mistakes. It’s harder to relearn than it is to learn correctly from the start.
When we see a specific error pattern within a child’s speech, we are then able to address it by adding a specific remedial lesson that targets that error to the learning path of the student.
As with all our activities, our remedial lessons are designed by experts in the field. These specific and targeted lessons provide focused practice on a recurring problem and give the child the chance to hone their speaking skills and rectify this error.
Complex + Scaffolded Lesson Structure
While providing engagement and listening practice, each story also contains a carefully structured learning experience that builds upon the ones before.
Words and phrases introduced in each story are selected for the combination of sounds and the grammar structure being targeted. Every story has a very specific focus and intended learning outcomes, so nothing is left to chance.
Engagement + Storytelling
With all this learning going on, we don’t lose track of the fact that we need to create a sense of enjoyment for the kids completing the learning activities.
To do that, we use stories in our curriculum as a time-honoured and valuable way to engage and motivate children. Everybody loves being engaged in a story.
Importantly, by listening to the stories, your child is able to hear the natural rhythm of the language and to build awareness of intonation, syllable stress and sentence stress.