by Keith Mason
How can the Habits of Mind help foster language learning?
The Habits of Mind framework, a series of 16 problem-solving strategies, can help an individual throughout life. Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick have been promoting the Habits of Mind through books, articles, seminars and online venues. Developing Habits of Mind in Elementary Schools and Developing Habits of Mind in Secondary Schools by Karen Boyes and Graham Watts provide expert strategies for implementing the Habits of Mind in student learning. The 16 dispositions, developed over the course of several years, serve as a support system that can help motivate both students and educators within language studies and assist them with self-actualisation.
By connecting languages with Habits of Mind, we can see that they are perfectly in step with our main goal as language educators: to promote successful language learning in our students. At all levels of language instruction, students and their instructors can embrace the 16 Habits of Mind. Thus, the Habits have implications for beginning, intermediate, pre-advanced and advanced levels. Students in grades K-12 as well as undergraduate, graduate and adult learners can benefit from the dispositions. From FLES students to doctoral students undertaking their dissertations, the Habits of a Mind invite students to solve problems and innovate with instructor assistance.
Two main questions are at the essence of Habits of Mind:
- How can Habits of Mind foster successful language learning?
- How is using Habits of Mind applicable to learning languages as well as other subjects and for solving life problems?