Elaboration as a Learning Technique

One of the biggest roadblocks you can face during learning is repetition and approaching the material in the same way, every time. There are, however, many techniques you can rely upon to enhance your learning process and break the mold of recycling the same material and lessons over and over, and one of the more successful ones is elaboration.

What Exactly is Elaboration?      

In this specific context of language learning, elaboration is a technique that is based around going into detail when describing ideas and study material. The main idea is to link the material to your everyday experiences and life in order to form a better connection with it. There are also more specific methods within elaboration that might be more appropriate to you.

Elaborative Interrogation

Interrogation is one of those methods and it revolves around questioning everything that you learn. Try to form your own questions about the material that you’re covering and to answer them on your own. These can be basic questions like how and why something works in a specific way or some more complex ones.

How to Use This Technique?

The first thing to do would be to make a list of the concepts and ideas that you want to learn. Then try to cover these ideas one by one, by forming questions related to them. If you don’t know the answers then try to find them by going through the study material.

The idea is to approach the same old material in a more creative way by looking at it from a different perspective and asking questions about it that you find interesting. If you just go down the checklist of questions that are already provided to you, then repetition and boredom settle in, and learning becomes far more difficult and stressful.

Author: Milica Madić, freelance blog/article writer from Serbia, with experience in teaching and working with young learners.