Learning Strategies

Here is the testimony of a mum whose young boy’s difficulty to pronounce the letter “L” was fixed with one NLP session.

NLP applied to learning difficulties

Alain Thiry, a psychologist, NLP certified teacher, consultant, trainer and author of several books says:
One of the reasons for children or adults failing in their studies or professional career is an absence of method. They often proceed by intuition and mainly by trial and error. Some succeed in building a method, most of them don’t succeed. As a consequence, the studies become tedious and success is a game of chance.

Observation of highly successful students has allowed us to decipher five strategies for learning: memorisation, comprehension, reflection, pronunciation and transfer strategies. The goal of NLP is to build models for people with learning difficulties to enable them to assimilate and integrate these strategies.

A synthesis of best practice from the study of courses (languages, maths, etc) allows us to build studying methods that provide a veritable operations manual on “how to practically learn to learn“.

Alain Thiry’s research on learning strategies has led, since 1995, to the creation of NLP tools specifically focused on “how to provide practical, pragmatic tools for learning how to learn”.

He developed these techniques specifically for practical application in any discipline and at any age. It’s a methodology for learning how to learn.

It requires the use of all three sensory channels:

Visual for memorisation and comprehension
Aural for pronunciation and oral and written expression
Kinaesthetic for control of the quality of memorisation

Alain Thiry supports the idea that children should use all three of the channels. He has published several pedagogical tools, in particular a method for learning the times tables using the NLP comprehension and memorisation strategies.

The evolution of the application of NLP to learning difficulties

Twenty years ago, when teachers asked NLP specialists how NLP could assist them in their teaching methods, the response was that it was useful to be an excellent communicator and necessary to use all the sensory channels to explain a discipline. We know now that it is not entirely correct.

Fifteen years ago, the recommendation was to identify the comprehension and memorisation strategies of students in a successful environment and then to transpose them into difficult learning environments. This worked sometimes. However, this approach assumed that the student was sufficiently competent in at least one strategy. We have since realised that this is not always the case with the children that we follow.

Ten years ago, the research of Robert Dilts and The New Learning Pathways led to a new development.

The core idea is that the teacher having a good methodology is not sufficient in itself for the students to succeed. The student also needs to be using mental tools, sufficient to manage information.

They then started to observe the learning strategies of brilliant students.

They realised that for the same task, these students use the same mental operations.

We can distinguish 5 mental tools (corresponding to 5 types of learning difficulties):

Memorisation strategy
Comprehension/understanding strategy
Reflection strategy
Pronunciation strategy
Strategy of transferring learnings to other contexts

Having done this decoding, the goal is to offer those strategies to students or adults with learning difficulties.” Alain Thiry.

School coaching and the science of learning and integration

The school coaching is a very efficient approach with the school teaching. It is comprised of 2 elements: work on motivation and work on learning strategies.

The school coach can first address the student’s motivation, generating internal motivation in order to give back a sense of purpose and meaning to the study. Several NLP techniques contribute to this.

Often, when we lift a young person’s spirit, when we invite them to start working, they may quickly give up, losing heart because they don’t see early progress. It is at this point that the learning strategies are going to give a major advantage to the school coach. The school coach can encourage and promote success for a task that the young person didn’t believe they could do. This surprise result then demonstrates to the young person the extent to which success is possible but also that it requires involvement and commitment.