Exploiting Memories to Inspire Learning

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Kristen Sullivan, Shimonoseki City University; Paul Collett, Shimonoseki City University

Memories play a key role in language learning. Consciously or unconsciously, learners can be influenced by past (learning) experiences and encounters related in varying degrees to the target language, with recollections of these events helping to shape learners’ goals, beliefs, and motivation for learning. Some students may already proactively draw from past learning experiences to guide and motivate their current engagement with the target language. However, in many cases learners lack these skills, and many more have difficulties with critically reflecting on negative learning experiences. In this paper, we introduce a series of simple and easily adaptable activities that can be used to help learners unlock and exploit memories to guide and inspire their language learning.