Promoting mutual understanding and cultural dialogue

Theory: Principles of Language Learning

The taxonomy of Benjamin Bloom (1956)[1] ranks the learning objectives of the cognitive domain in six levels ranging from the simplest (the bottom of the pyramid), to the more complex (the top of the pyramid).

The first stage, KNOWLEDGE, consists on handling information in a basic way, with simple operations like: identify, list, and discriminate. It is applied in most self-corrective exercises such as multiple-choice questionnaires or True or False.

The next stage, COMPREHENSION, concerns the processing information. A learner who understands is able to restore the information by reformulating it or by giving an example. Multiple-choice questionnaires and matching exercises are well suited for work at this level.

The APPLICATION level is for the learner to practice a rule, a method, or to mobilize knowledge in an ordinary situation. We thus touch the limits of auto corrective exercise that rarely allows building situations of application.

The ANALYSIS stage is the tool level: the rule, the method. We seek to understand what its components are and how they work. The activities proposed to the learner are open activities that need to be corrected by an educator.

When in a specific situation the usual rules and methods do not work anymore, it is necessary to rectify the existing tools or to propose new ones. Tool design and new theories come under the SYNTHESIS level.

EVALUATION raises judgment. The learner exercises the possibility to make assumptions and to estimate the qualities of a product from criterion.

Image 1 Bloom’s Taxonomy[2]

Principles of Language Learning