Lomb Kató

One of the greatest DVD’s I ever saw on second language acquisition was the Krashen Seminar. It was produced by Blaine Ray in the late 90’s and on the DVD Krashen, in a very light and informative manner, outlines how we learn languages. If you want a copy of the DVD let me know and I’ll get one to you.

Anyway, on the DVD Krashen mentions a woman from Hungary by the name of Lomb Kató. [In English her name would be Katherine Lomb] She was a woman that learned 16 languages, mostly by self effort. I find myself asking the question, “What can I learn from Lomb Kató?”

Well, here are a few things that I gathered. She mentions that she drove three autos in World Languages: autolexia [reading for myself], autographia [writing for myself], and autologia [speaking with myself]. When thinking about my own language learning , it makes me feel better to know that she mentioned these three tools because I wasn’t sure if I was normal.

I also think about whether I am providing this for my students. Do we have a time where they can read what they want? This is basically FVR. I wish I did it more often and I think it would be good for the students. I am still getting my act together for a grant for some money.

Do we also have a time where the students have a time where they write for themselves? The closest I come to this is freewrites. I wish that they could do more free journaling in L2 and I wonder if my students are at a level where they can express themselves this way. It is a good thing to think about.

While I am not sure that autologia leads to acquisition, I do think that it leads to feeling like you are part of a club of language learners, which is very important. This is especially important for teenagers who are so locked into social approval. This happens in my room when I give a brain break and have them do mini-retells with each other. To be honest, it could happen more. I also think that this is something that can be encouraged to do on their own.

Other comments that she made was that when learning a language, we focus on the essence of the grammar and the important words. How true this is! I don’t know why so many programs use grammar to teach the language. Grammar will not win over the majority and will deprive the learner of the joy of natural language.

She also mentions that we need to cling to the enjoyable side of language study. Am I really providing this for my students? I really think so because we have stories that are all about their life and we are reading things that bring up real life situations. Reading can be a very enjoyable side of language study if we get kids into good stories and books!

These are just a few things that I learned from Lomb Kató. I find myself asking the question, “What good does all the Spanish I am teaching the students do if they never take charge of their own language learning?” I think that we need to help our students to acquire the language, but also to know how to acquire a language so that when they leave they can continue this language acquisition journey.

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5 Comments

Filed under Encouragement for hard days, Reading, Storytelling tips, Teaching Discoveries, teaching grammar

5 responses to “Lomb Kató

  1. I couldn’t find your regular Email-adress on your blog, so I put it here. I am one of the very first teachers in Germany having heard of TPRS and I am very interested in the DVD with the Krashen seminar. Would it be possible to send it to Germany? I would pay for it, of course. Have you got a PayPal account?
    I have started to put up a website in Germany on TPR and TPRS, but it is not finished yet.
    Martin

    • thomasyoung

      Hi Martin,
      Yes, of course! I put my email on the About page. Send me your address and I can get it to you. I do have a paypal account. Send me the details. Have a great day!
      Thomas

  2. Robert Harrell

    Thomas, I’ve been working on (primarily pondering) how to help my students continue with language once they leave my class. Your three “autos” gave me an idea. Using the analogy of language acquisition is like a car, to get anywhere a car needs four tires:
    -autolexia [reading for myself]
    -autographia [writing for myself]
    -autologia [speaking with myself]
    -autoacousia [listening for myself]
    I made up that last one, but I think that listening is an important element in language acquisition. It’s all part of developing autodidaxy [self instruction]. I’ll expand on how to do each of those things on your own and share them with my students near the end of the year. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • thomasyoung

      I’m glad it helped!I really like your addition of autocousia. Let me know how you communicate this with your class and how it goes.

  3. Mary Cassell

    Please send me a Krashen DV:

    3007C San Clara Dr.
    Delray Beach, FL 33445
    Let me know how to pay for it.

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