The Key to Understanding – Language

IMGP0010I would not call myself a linguist as that implies I have studied for some sort of qualification in the field of languages.

Instead I refer to myself as a languagologist. Still no formal qualification but I guess that, when understood simply means the study of language.

In my own research, and gaining the experience in the past three plus years in the delivery of workshops to over 800 maths teachers and more than 5,600 learners from Grade 4 through to Grade 12, I can confidently say that if one gets to understand the language of any subject, any profession or hobby or job, one will succeed with it.

It is not rocket science, but simply application. If one knows the definition (conceptually), the purpose of a word, term or concept and its association within the parameters of the subject or profession one is studying or applying, one understands. When one understands, he or she can apply correctly.

My forte right now is maths. I am the co-author of My Maths Buddy, a simply amazing tool for learners and teachers proven to improve results rapidly.

In applying these simple methodologies, we have moved thousands of learners up from struggling or mediocre maths performance to succeeding. Schools we have been involved with have reported marks oftentimes going up 5 – 20% in a matter of a couple of months.

The simple formula is to leave the teaching, being the content, to the teachers. We empower the teachers first and provide them with the methodology we have proven works. Then we help the learners with the simple building block of any education – understanding the language the subject is encapsulated within.

In fact I mentioned rocket science earlier on. If one were to get to conceptually understand the majority of definitions, purposes and associations of the words related to rocket science, he would be a successful rocket scientist. It really is that simple, ask any engineer, doctor, plumber. They succeed according to their conceptual understanding of the language of their profession, the purpose of each word or term and the associations of these words and terms.

Learning is simple. Content is understood and successfully applied on the back of understanding of the language of the subject.

 

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Amazon may be the world’s favourite bookstore—followed by Flipkart

The world of books continues to be the source of inspiration and a place to let your imagination roam free.

From the Book: Mitch & Makhaya – Cave of Ages

I thought to drop in an extract from the book I am busy on. This is my young readers book by the name above. Take a read and let me know your thoughts or views. . .

CHAPTER 5

The old woman looked down from her hidden position on the side of the hill. She could see the young boys kicking the ball to and fro on the soccer field and on the closer side of the school to her, a group of girls throwing a ball through the netball hoop. Another group sat together chatting to each other leaning against the wall of the administrative building of the school.

She watched them for a while, envious of their youth and energy. Her life had been one of watching and waiting. She was The Keeper. Her job had had moments of anguish and of confrontation with people she had preferred not to have occurred. It had been many, many years now of watching with nothing happening. She felt in her old bones that she was soon to have another confrontation. She thought she had seen them, those she had encountered before. Maybe this was the time.

She sighed and scratched her nose, a slight itch irritating her.

She had perfected the art of camouflage, not being seen by the farm workers, the farmer himself and many of the children when she was but meters away from them.

She gazed upwards to judge the time of day, her white eyes reflecting the glare of the sun. Her body had become old and wizen over the years and her hair had turned white. She had to use mud to cake her hair so that she could remain hidden and so had gotten used to a helmet of dried mud in place of hair she remembered being able to run her fingers through. But that was the price of her position as The Keeper.

She gazed down once more at the children as the school bell sounded and they made their way back to the various classrooms. When the last of them had disappeared into class, she slowly rose, stretched out her back and turned towards the hill. She took three steps towards a clump of bushes and disappeared.

The Movie of Your Mind

Reading is playing a movie in your mind,
Writing provides the scenes, actors and directing,
Publishing produces the movie and
The book itself is your TV set.

Authors have such an Interesting Life

You know what makes an authors life interesting? Being able to go out and research the territory for their book. I had that pleasure yesterday. My wife, Angela, and my one year old daughter, Catherine, got into the car – well, maybe Catherine was helped! – and headed out of town. It was raining so we didn’t expect to see too much but felt we needed to take the trip. Luckily the rain held up once we were out of town.

The amazing thing about Johannesburg is you just have to go 40 minutes west – on the right road – and you are into virgin country. This is the area of the Cradle of Mankind. Beautiful hills, nature reserves with a few sightings of wild animals from the road and some really aesthetic resorts.

We got to the area my upcoming book is being located in, took some shots and carried on driving. Unfortunately it just started drizzling so we did not get much but this opens up the possibility to get more time out of town to continue! But boy, does it help to have that reality on the location so you can close your eyes and think about the roll of the story.

Anyway, we were out of town and reluctant to return too early, so we meandered around, went through the gorge called Hekpoort which is beautiful and found ourselves at a village called Magaliesburg. We stopped at a terrific Country Hotel called Mount Grace for coffee and outstanding and mouthwatering Black Forrest Cake.  Now, if you are ever in the area, this is the place to stop for a meal, a coffee or a weekend! Beautiful. On top of a hill overlooking stunning valleys but oh! so green and lush out there right now.

My daughter Catherine loved the place and crawled around at a speed with Angela and I following like two brawny bodyguards.

Then time to head home but we definitely want to take a weekend break at Mount Grace.

Moving on with Maths

Two years ago our new publishing company released our first publication, My Maths Buddy. A unique and evolutionary Maths Dictionary that was done based off surveys of Learners and teachers as well as study into the technology of definitions and what is really needed to make a difference for one learning Maths.

Our book has been a great success with over 15 000 copies sold to date. We have also translated it into Afrikaans, one of the nine official languages in South Africa. We have had many many success stories from teachers and learners who have used the book and found it to help immensely with their understanding and ability to apply Maths. Kids from across the world are now using it because it is not only available in softcopy, but as an eBook as well.

In addition, we have done almost 50 seminars and workshops to subject advisers, Maths teachers and principals of schools as well as Learners on how to effectively use the book, including a new view on Maths. These too have had great success.

As a result, and to provide the information on what I go over in my seminars and workshops to parents specifically, a new book is soon to be released – Five Effective Ways To Help Your Child Succeed With Mathematics. This book contains the key successful methods used in the workshops which have been found to be invaluable to teachers and learners to date.

Now making them available to parents, who can then assist their kids with confidence to improve their Maths understanding, is a step towards helping far more kids pass maths with confidence. In the meantime, My Maths Buddy has been the solution to understanding Maths for many.

Stay tuned.

Down a Different Path

Mitch & Makhaya

I started this blog with hopes and determination to get my book, Mitch & Makhaya, out within a few months. Fate spelled out another path and a year later I still hold the hope of completing my book.

However, as an author I did get something published. But, in addition to that, started our own publishing house. Now that’s not too bad a change of destiny.

My Maths Buddy

After extensive research into why kids struggle with Maths at school, we found an answer. It was an interesting and eye-opening path. We spoke with many youngsters and almost one for one, found that they had difficulty with the words and terms of Maths. and to add a little secret. .  many teachers had similar problems too!

Hence, out of the long hours of research and development came a new and unique dictionary, My Maths Buddy maths dictionary. and here is one of the main reasons it works: 100% a creation of laypeople. Yes, we did have everything checked by Maths experts BUT the idea was to address kids at the level they normally communicate.

We’ve had fantastic endorsements and feedback to date and with the book on the market, mainly in South Africa so far but reaching internationally now, we’ve sold just short of 3000 copies in just under seven months.

This month too, we are about to launch, in partnership with the NGO Education Africa, the One Book One Learner Project which is a project giving companies and individuals the ability to donate My Maths Buddy to underprivileged kids. its one thing to ensure those who can afford to get such tools do get them, its another to make sure those who cannot afford to obtain the book are enabled by us to do so. after all, intelligence is not determined by income. So here is a Project anyone can get behind. Its covered briefly on our Blog at this time.

We have kept up a regular briefing of developments of My Maths Buddy at our Blog, so you can check out some of the testimonials and happenings there.

So with my attention on this new, exciting and effective help for kids – now starting on translations of it as well as the new My Science Buddy’s coming – I’ve had little time for Mitch & Makhaya. Hopefully I’ll get to them before they get too old to have exciting youth adventures!