Poll: How do you prefer to learn new things?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 12:37
Feb 24, 2017

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How do you prefer to learn new things?".

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Edith van der Have-Raats  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:37
Member (2016)
English to Dutch
+ ...
It depends on the type of subject matter... Feb 24, 2017

... for theoretical knowledge, I prefer self-paced online courses (MOOCs) and reading books, while I prefer in-person (group) tutoring for practical skills (such as subtitling).


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Feb 24, 2017

Of course it depends, but in general nowadays I prefer in-person to remote learning. I usually like to be instructed, not brainstormed. Before translation, I worked in TEFL, and I recall finding the RSA Dip TEFLA course terribly frustrating because all they seemed to do was ask us (the students) what we did, or what we would do, in each hypothetical classroom situation. Prior to this I had only worked in dodgy academies using different equally questionable methods, and I'd hoped the diploma course would lay down a set of guidelines or instructions on "how to teach EFL properly". Instead, the trainers mainly seemed to try to elicit everything from us rather than spoon-feeding, which I found really hard to begin with. Nevertheless, with a bit of help from the rest of the group I did manage to absorb some knowledge and by the end of the course I felt I had learnt a lot.
A few years ago I took my Spanish driving test. The course consisted of classroom sessions with a teacher who basically just walked us through the rulebook and pointed out typical mistakes, and access to computerised practice exams, which I found very useful. The combination of traditional, classroom rote-type instructional learning and computer-based self-access material worked for me.


Kay Denney  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:37
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
it depends of course! Feb 24, 2017

I do learn a lot in the course of researching my translations (my family are sick of hearing me jump in with some information about the subject in hand and then explaining that "I did a translation on that")

Going to a physical school to get my Masters was quite unnerving for me since I have hermit tendencies, but I found it highly enjoyable once I'd got into the swing of it. It was interesting to be studying alongside youngsters, as well as vaguely terrifying to see that these people would be my future competitors (terror sparked by the totally ludicrous questions they asked).

I wouldn't want to do a formal course on my laptop, because I enjoyed being able to discuss things with the other students.

I'm thinking I would like to do a creative writing course sometime and definitely would prefer to be in a setting where I could meet other students.


Platon Danilov  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:37
Member (2014)
English to Russian
+ ...
it depends Feb 24, 2017

It depends on the type of knowledge. I prefer MOOCs to gain skills, but for general awareness I prefer my own research and/or one-off webinars.


Teresa Borges
Local time: 20:37
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other (private lessons) Feb 24, 2017

My preference, whatever the learning activity, goes to private lessons and, if these are not financially feasible, I’ll opt for MOOCs or self-teaching.


Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:37
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
It depends Feb 24, 2017

I taught myself to play the cello, but I had already had lessons on the violin, so that helped. I taught myself some German but my knowledge of other languages came in useful there. I love reading and learning as much as possible from books, and MOOCs are becoming a new addiction for me. However, anything to do with computers and technology does not come naturally at all, so I need someone sitting beside me, talking me through every point (and then repeating it many times). Also, teaching myself to drive could have been a little dangerous...


Vuka Mijuskovic  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:37
English to Serbian
+ ...
Other, along with MOOCs (through imersion programs) Feb 24, 2017

I never learnt more on a particular subject than as administrative assistant in a research project of the given subject matter.
I learn a lot on translation trade through taking active part in Kudoz section of this platform, but video lectures and conferences add value through allowing for systematization and formatting.

[Edited at 2017-02-24 11:13 GMT]


Hege Jakobsen Lepri  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:37
Member (2002)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
It depends on the subject matter and local availability Feb 24, 2017

Generally, I prefer learning in a structured learning environment, but when the need arises, I'll learn anything from youtube, online tutorials etc, self-guided online-learning, or by picking up a book about the subject.
I am however the quintessential life long learner, I had a few years break while my daughters were small, but I generally I do at least a course or two of continuing education a year. Right after moving to Canada, about the functioning of Canadian government, power and influence in Canada etc. More recently, I've studied creative writing and copy editing. I've done seminars on translation theory, and I'm tempted to do an intensive course this summer in publishing.
Next on my list would be a MFA in creative writing. That should take me a few years of part-time study...


Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:37
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
On your own is the only way it works for adults, actually Feb 24, 2017

There are several learning stages in life. As a child, we start with parents, siblings, etc., then teachers in school...

But as you grow up, you find out that the only efficient way of actually learning something is when you are alone, concentrated, in a proper place, and you dive into the subject. All courses we take as an adult, wither in college, paid courses, on-line or whatever, are useless if you don't arrive at home and try to learn it on your own, really concentrating in it and practicing.


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Poll: How do you prefer to learn new things?

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