Thursday, 17 November 2016

Learn in weeks, what usually takes years.

A little fun fact: 

Whenever a Mormon missionary chooses to serve in a foreign country, he or she has to learn a completely different language to be able communicate in the assigned area. Therefor they enter a Missionary Training Center (MTC) where they can learn the new language from Mormon teachers. Usually they attend the MTC for 2 to 10 weeks, right before they go out on their mission.  
Now just let that sink in...
Between 2 and 10 weeks to master a different language?!?!

Quite impressive isn't it? 
How does the Mormon church train their young missionaries to speak a foreign language so efficiently? These students learn in a few weeks what takes most college students three or four years. And being a non native English speaker myself, I would happily add a few more years to that to even become fluent.

But these students are mostly fluent within a year.   
The technique used to train these missionaries is called "Context-Based Learning.(CBL)" The CBL method uses real life and fictitious examples in teaching environments in order to learn though the actual experience with a subject rather that just it's mere theoretical parts. 

And luckily today, not only the Mormons use this technique but it has found it's way into corporate training organisations, schools and universities and even military and police training.  

The 5 step system is simple:

1.     Learn a concept
2.     Practice in role plays or real life scenario's
3.     Get coaching and feedback
4.     Repeat
5.     Get coaching and feedback

CBL proves over and over again the powerful results that Experience Based Learning can achieve.  

Researchers have often examined the effects of role-playing, a big part of CBL, in adults and adolescents. In a recent study one group got traditional discussion-based training while another did role play-based training. The group that did the role-plays experienced a significant positive change in their self-concept, which has a significant impact on their behaviors.

Additionally, the research has found that getting consistent, well formulated feedback is essential to effective learning.

So those that argue face-to-face training should be replaced by online programs, or those businesses that buy on cost only, don't ignore the unique (and incredibly valuable) advantages of having a face-to-face, hands-on training program that provides learning by doing with an experienced facilitator.

If you use the CBL method correctly, people CAN learn in weeks what normally takes years! 
Just ask the Mormons...

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