Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Real World Practice

I re-created this diagram from a drawing on the whiteboard during an in-house training session today. The training's called Manager Excellence Program and I must say, I had loads of fun attending it. (Megan, if you're reading this, please know that YOU ROCK!)

This diagram resonated with me because—well, just look at it—it has all my favorite words in it: training, observation, research, and reading (especially this word!).

I love trainings; any kinds of training whether it's face-to-face or webinar or even self-study, which I do a lot. According to studies, 10% of the time, we obtain or learn a new skill through training. Which is then followed by observation, research and reading (20%—I totally relate to this), and finally, nothing beats real world practice (just do it!) which accounts for 70%.

Without realizing it but now I do, I've also been applying the same concept outside of my work; for example, in my Italian studies. I'm attending a Babbel self-study course (that's training). I'm also observing real-life conversations on Facebook pages, listening to podcasts and viewing YouTube videos, bought books on vocabulary, grammar, etc. including novels and magazines (these, I believe, fall under observation, research and reading). For practical (RWP),  I have regular one-on-one conversations with my Italian friend who doesn't speak English at all. I also look for fun ways to incorporate my learnings into my blog by giving vocab-related memes such as Wondrous Words Wednesday a new twist. In this meme, I post words and their definition or translation in Italian.

The 70% RWP is really important in the case of learning a language (or anything for the matter). All the training in the world will do you no good if you don't practice, so just do your best and forget the rest! I don't care if I sound like a child learning to string a sentence together. I don't care to impress anybody, but what I do care is consciously seek to correct and tweak along the way to make sure I get it right the next time. For Italian, I'm mimicking a lot. If I look silly doing it, so be it. We'll see who has the last laugh at the end of the day.

I just LOVE real world practice. Do you?