In the first place, homework is not! Some teachers like to give it a different name like Home-Play or Extended-Activities and I’m cool with that.. students must avoid the negative connotation of this necessary re-encounter with lessons they have previously practiced to ensure effective learning.
In reality, these learning tools designed to be made at home provide several benefits for the cognitive development due to several factors:
- Students retake the ideas discussed at school and are now able to reflect on them at a more personal stage.
- The effect of reproducing the learning experience in a different and comfortable environment contributes to endure retention.
- Reviewing aspects of the lesson at students’ pace facilitates comprehension of key knowledge.
- The creativeness process is strengthened since students are free to consult external sources encouraging critical thinking and decision making.
While homework represents a complementary stage of lessons, it should be carefully planned to ensure continuity of previously covered topics. This planning involves sequential exercises to guarantee long-lasting learning using different teaching approaches.
One particular sequence is defined through the ECRIF framework, as it depicts five stages of language learning: Encounter, Clarify, Remember, Internalize and Fluently use. In short, homework assignments should contain exercises oriented to Remember and Internalize what has been already Encountered and Clarified.