The Sturdy Diamond: Language Learning Style Summary
Updated: Aug 5, 2022
For this learning style, translation and grammar memorization set the language foundation.
Maybe you feel the most comfortable in a classroom or an online course, and you prefer to work in a set order to measure your progress. It's not exactly about moving slowly, but for you, steady definitely wins the race!
To learn more about how this relates to your unique learning style, keep reading!
1.) You want to focus on accuracy from the start, so you might place importance on grammar rules and vocab memorization.
2.) Learning in a set order might calm your mind so that you can focus on mastering each topic/goal before you move on.
3.) You might benefit from a classroom structure or classroom-related materials; something that feels familiar to the way you prefer to measure your progress.
Generally, this learning style focuses on grammar memorization and going through topics in a sequence, almost like you would in a classroom.
Maybe you like how textbooks and flashcards provide tangible ways to measure your progress. Finding (or creating) engaging textbooks, worksheets, courses, workbooks and study resources will be useful for you.
Reading and writing drills could be good warm-up or cool-down activities for you. Closely studying real materials, like song lyrics, blogs, recipes, written reviews of your favorite things, and social media captions, could help you build up your reading and writing skills with interesting materials. Also, following educational YouTube channels and websites could be good ways to level-up your traditional language learning approach.
Try to include some of these activities in your study plan:
1.) Find apps and/or resources that support translation-based learning and grammar/vocabulary drills.
2.) Complete worksheets or guided activities from textbooks, workbooks, or other sources.
3.) Write imaginary short postcards to friends and family.
4.) Write journal entries.
5.) Translate short/mid length texts and keep a reference list for key words and phrases that you had to look up.
6.) Memorize and recite a text/script. Maybe it’s a part of a short story you really liked, or maybe it’s a script for introducing your favorite travel spot. Be creative!
7.) Read a comic book or picture book. This is good for providing context for new words and concepts.
8.) Post questions or interact with forum-based language resources regularly to check your progress.
9.) Look up words in a dictionary, find similar words in a thesaurus, and discover new words by searching rhyming words for words you know. This “dictionary, thesaurus, search” activity is cool for people who get easily distracted or really like word chunking (grouping words together based on connections).
10.) Do rough song lyric translations. You can compare your rough translations with edited translations when you finish and take notes on colloquial phrases or notes you pick up along the way. Bonus: Practice singing the song!
11.) Write shopping lists and to-do lists in both English and your target language.
12.) Listen to podcasts at least once a month.
13.) Check your progress with native speakers or language tutors at least once a month.
14.) Follow instructional videos in your language at least once a month. For example, follow a video on cooking, workouts, dancing, or DIY projects.
Pro tip: Pair this with your results from our other quizzes to help set more specific goals, such as how often a week/month you should do study sessions!
Since this style focuses on structure, there are a few things to be mindful of. First, remember to be creative, especially when doing writing and speaking activities. The goal is to use what you know. It could be easy to worry so much on being correct that you spend too little time practice making your own sentences. Second, if you’re not taking language classes or tutoring, you should find a way to check your progress regularly with a native speaker or language community to keep the momentum going.
Recommended minimum: Check your progress with an accountability source at least once a month (ex: language partner, language forum, tutor, language course, etc.).
More about the Grammar Method and Structural Approach:
The grammar method (or “translation method”) is known for focusing on grammar rules and using them to translate from the target language to the native language. This method is great for people who want to focus on building vocabulary and strengthening skills in reading and writing.
The structural approach is where drills, systematic learning, and building habits shine. This approach puts more importance on learning sentence structures than vocabulary drills, but it’s possible to learn vocabulary through sentence building exercises. Even for vocabulary, gaining deeper understanding of root words might also be a focus. Finally, this approach focuses on building language habits.
And that's it!! Check out our other blog posts to learn even more about the other learning styles!!
Need more? Check out our resources for PDFs, resource instructions, and a sneak peak of the content in our Spade Language Playing Cards!
Ok, now it's really done! Happy learning!
Study like a diamond ♢ Practice like a club ♣ Vibe like a heart ♡ Speak like a spade ♠