Incidental Learning

admin     2020-06-13

Incidental learning: Learn Vocabulary Automatically

In this article, you are going to read about Incidental learning

Suppose you are reading a book, maybe you have heard from somewhere and you have decided to read it. When you start reading it you may find many unfamiliar words, adjectives, verbs, and expressions.

While reading you will not want to find each word in the dictionary because your main goal is to understand the book not to learn new vocabulary.

Since you cannot understand the words which you find in the book. It will become impossible for you to understand this book.

But for understanding this book you check one word from the dictionary until you find it difficult to understand the next one.

Well, this is called Incidental Learning.

Because you need to memorize all the vocabulary.

What is Incidental learning?

We can understand this by definition – Incidental learning means when you do not mean to learn anything.

As you know when you were reading a book your intention was not to learn the words but you had to learn them because your goal was to understand the book.

How important is Incidental learning?

Incidental learning is an important way to teach the kids and the people who work with individuals with limited English proficiency, deaf and hard of hearing people, and with disabilities.

Benefits of Incidental learning 

There are many benefits of Incidental learning 

  1. You don’t need to select a time for learning
  2. No need to have a material
  3. You can learn anytime anywhere

Imagine you are learning a foreign language let’s take an example Spanish. So for learning vocabulary, you can use this method. For instance, you like cooking so you can watch cooking shows in Spanish on Youtube while doing this you will not have to decide the timing for learning Spanish you can learn anywhere you want. But if you memorize and start preparing a list of words then it might not help you. 

What are some examples of Incidental learning?

Well, there are many – from playing a video game, reading a book, talking to native speakers, talking with a common friend, talking to your teachers and mentors, playing word games on Duolingo or on the other platform, traveling to another country to be surrounded with a new language, watching you tubers and from watching television.

Does Incidental learning help you to learn a foreign language?

Yes, it helps you for instance when a child is of few months and one year old he does not speak and understand his native language but while observing everything from his environment at the age of five or six he speaks everything that he wants. So this is the best example of Incidental learning.

As it helps for the first language, it helps for a second language too. Moreover, it is considered the best way to learn vocabulary in a new language.

When you engage in all activities in your target language and let your brain sort things out automatically. If a young person starts learning a new language and uses a traditional method which has been following by many language schools, so he will not be able to speak like a 5 years old child speaks his native language. Because in incidental learning you do not need to push yourself intentionally.

What is the difference between Incidental learning and Intentional learning?

Incidental learning – 

Incidental learning means when your main motive is not to learn a particular skill but through experience and immersion, you learn.

Intentional learning – 

When your main motive is not to learn something that is motivated by intentions and goal-directed.

Intentional learning is just the opposite of Incidental learning. But you learn more through Incidental learning because you know the reason now.

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