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23 February 2015
World Thinking Day began on 22nd February 1926 and has become internationally recognised. It has become a day to think about a wide range of political topics, and gave our schools the perfect opportunity to use their English language skills.
Wouldn't it be great if you could remember everything the teacher told you in your English lessons? Even better, after studying English language you could use your newly acquired vocabulary as quickly as a fluent speaker, recalling words at lightening speed? We've been thinking, especially as it's World Thinking Day on 22nd February, about why learning a new language is easier if you think about it.
It seems the answer could be in cognitive thinking skills. This is the ability to process information quickly, remember and recall multiple things at once, and the skills of logic and reasoning. Research has shown that there is a very important interaction between language and thought, and learning a new language requires a great deal of thinking. The process of cognitive learning can be broken down into four steps:
1. Getting a new piece of information
2. Thinking about it critically
3. Judging it from your own perspective
4. Putting the information into context and applying it to your existing knowledge
The better your cognitive skills, the faster you will learn a new language, and research has shown that people can improve their cognitive skills at any age. Simple thinking exercises if done on a regular basis can help you to improve your cognitive skills quickly. Here are 10 suggested exercises:
We celebrated World Thinking Day day at our schools all around the UK by creating engaging, challenging and thought provoking activities for our students to mark this important event.
At our schools in Edinburgh, Bournemouth, Cambridge and Brighton the students were given a topic to research from previous historical themes from World Thinking Day. They researched their topic in-depth, interviewed staff and host families and used cognitive skills to learn about their topic and the language around it. Students presented their findings to an audience in a lively presentation and debate and took part in a variety of exercises and games to test their cognitive thinking skills, which was a great success!
Memory and the ability to recall previously learnt pieces of information plays an important part in cognitive thinking. Our students in London were asked to remember four famous quotes from the school coffee lounge and recite them on the day. London celebrated the day in style with games, a talk on super-foods and memory tests!
At Regent Oxford students did a presentation on great leaders such as Gandhi, and fought for the last place on a plane left on a plane. Students then voted on who they would give the last seat to, resulting in an engaging and well-researched presentation.
A fantastic day for all our students to discover how learning a new language can be made easier if you engage cognitive skills. A great topic for our Knowledge for a Global Community, showing just how important it is to think!
Take a look at some memories from the day on the schools' Facebook pages: