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Elaborative Rehearsal-Self Referencing Effect

Greetings and Happy Spring to everyone!!!

Fresh off our exhilarating TESOL and Language Instructor Course of May 3-7, we are excited to share with you this latest edition of “Adventures in Language Learning.” Along with our usual newsy updates, you will receive a “backstage pass” to one of our cornerstone teaching principles **- The Self Referencing Effect.

Similar to every other class, our May 2021 group is already proving themselves to be a very resourceful and courageous bunch! Their WhatsApp group chat is buzzing with innovative ways and ideas to use the skills learned during this intensive course. We are always impressed to hear about how people start to use what they have learned on the course to create work opportunities for themselves or find new ways to study a language that they are working hard to learn themselves. We are thrilled for you all and eagerly anticipate hearing great things from you in the future! Here are just a few of the kind and inspiring comments from our hardworking graduates: “Thanks for the wonderful course, I really appreciated your patience and readiness to answer all our questions. I finally feel confident I can teach!”- Elisabetta

“You’re not put on the spot or pressured to participate, there’s no wrong answers. Very encouraging!”-Rihiani

“I found both of you sustained high, enthusiastic, positive energy the entire week...even with the time change challenges! Commendation flowed freely and I ended the week feeling really charged up and confident to pursue this line of work!! LOVED IT!”-Laurie

“Thank you both so much! It was hard work and I enjoyed the entire program. On Monday night I wondered what I had gotten myself into and by Friday I understood clearly. I feel much more confident that I can learn thanks to your encouragement and instruction. You are both highly skilled at your profession and a pleasure to be around for the entire week!”-Keith

Two Lexica Students Team up to Teach a Two Month English Course

We would like to introduce you to two very special Lexica Alumni - Steffania Zhingre and Victoria Miranda. You can see their excellent professional profiles here on Linked in:

Steffania and Victoria took our TESOL Course in October, 2020 and they really hit the ground running! Victoria and Steffania teamed up to form their own English tutoring service called MIRANZHI - a combination of their last names! (love it!) Right away they got busy preparing a curriculum designed to help Spanish speakers improve their English. They taught their classes as a group from February 23 - to April 23, 2021 and then held a little graduation for their students, and sent them their class completion certificates as you can see in the photo.

Since then, they have both completed James Liu’s “21 Day Teacher Entrepreneur Challenge” (we will post the link to his program below) and are now re-designing their English program to specialize in English for the Healthcare Industry. They will be helping their students improve their communication and presentation skills primarily. We are happy for Steffania and Victoria and SUPER proud of them for their hard work. Well done guys! Can’t wait to hear how your future Specialized English Program services go!


We are working hard to completely overhaul and improve our website. It is important to us that you will be able to use it easy from any device. Also, we want to make it a place where all Lexica alumni can go to share their journey - both triumphs and “speed bumps.” Teaching can be a challenging profession and it really helps feel that you are not alone, instead - that you are part of a “community,” - that you have found your “tribe!” Imagine being able to share a certain lesson plan that your students loved, something funny that happened in class, or a great trick for teaching modal verbs, etc. We are designing a “members only” area where you will be able to do just that! Even just hearing about how other Lexica graduates are using what they have learned to provide for themselves, will be such an asset to new teachers!

We are almost done and highly anticipate launching it soon! Please let us know what other features you would love to see on our newly improved website. Please drop us a line at with any ideas and suggestions.

Elaborative Rehearsal-Self Referencing Effect

Our research into the science of memory has led us to weave into our course many aspects of “Elaborative Rehearsal.” Let’s define the two terms Elaborative Rehearsal and Rote or Mechanical Rehearsal. Rote or mechanical rehearsal is basically brute repetition of something so many times that eventually that bit of information “sticks” in long-term memory. Elaborative Rehearsal, on the other hand, is a “a deep form of processing information that needs to be remembered by establishing associations of thought related to the object's meaning, as well as making connections between the object, past experiences and the other objects of focus” 1 1)

If Rote Rehearsal is the arrangement of a table, a chair and a bed in a prison cell, Elaborative Rehearsal is an unforgettable three-dimensional space designed by a world-renowned interior designer with an unlimited budget and plenty of time!

The first pillar of Elaborative Rehearsal we will discuss in this series is the Self-Referencing Effect. People are inclined to encode things in their long- term memory differently, depending on how much the information implicates them directly. In other words, to remember something - it’s okay to make it all about you!

In the classroom, this means that any aspect of the language you are teaching - whether it is vocabulary, grammar or idioms, for example, - it

needs to involve the students personally in order for them to accelerate their neural encoding. I randomly googled the vocabulary for a basic beginner conversation lesson.

Here is the vocabulary to be taught: English A: Hello B: Hello A: How are you? B: I'm fine thank you. And you? A: Fine thank you Hindi (Transliterated) A: Namaste! B: Namaste! A: Kya haal hai? B: Main theek hoon. Aap kaise hain? A: main theek hoon

So, are you learning or teaching English or Hindi? Whatever the target language is, the challenge is to have the student take the vocabulary and in some way relate it to himself. How? By associating the meaning with another memory or object that involves himself. Would you use Mnemonics... or an imaginary setting that has the students acting out a realistic scenario? Could you introduce an emotional aspect to the mix by using a dramatic dialogue or an emotionally-charged conversation between enemies? Of course, repetition and drilling is essential, but by constantly convincing your students to see how the material affects them, you will speed up their ability to recall and use the target language. For those of you whom have taken our course and are familiar with the methods we teach, here is a sample 30 minute lesson plan for class featuring how I would teach this to a student who is learning Hindi, and whose native language is English.

30 Minute Hindi Lesson Plan

5 minutes: Lead in/Introduction Have them picture their next first-time encounter with a Hindi speaking person. What are they wearing? Show them pictures or a short video that can spark their imagination. Then use Passive Exposure and play a short audio recording featuring the vocabulary that will be presented and practiced today

5 minutes: Dynamic Dialogue: Use a picture, a video reel, a movie clip or act out yourself someone presenting a very special gift to someone else such as some jewelry, a sari, a salwar kameez, a homemade samosa, or 2 tickets to the latest Bollywood Blockbuster movie! Make it dramatic and exciting!

5 minutes: Mneumonics Namaste= master=hello (every time you meet someone you fall on your knees like a slave and say “Master!”

Kya haal hai = hell=How are you? (You don’t just say how are you? You say How the “HELL” are you? And visualize the other person cringe at your shocking language.)

5 minutes: drilling with Army method. Also, remember to use the “muscle buttons” to help them practice their pronunciation a little.

10 minutes: Dynamic Dialogue: Now the students themselves start acting out the dialogue with each other or with the teacher if it is a 1:1 teaching context.

In review, by using a variety of methods and by consistently involving the student in the process, you will accelerate their progress and make your lessons more effective and enjoyable.

Grammar Boot Camp!

We are gearing up for this month’s “Grammar Boot Camp” Class 3. This month we are focusing completely on the “Perfect” tenses - Past Perfect, Present Perfect and Future Perfect. This 90 minute class will greatly improve your understanding and usage of these tenses, which cause a lot of confusion for learners of English. It’s great to learn as a community and bounce ideas off of each other - it really helps us to remember what we have learned and retain it for much longer.

Enjoy your summer and we'll see you soon!

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