nsI read another useful study this week - on the use of object lessons to illustrate points, as opposed to teaching something purely conceptually, from the university of Ohio.
Students were given mathematics problems to solve, using abstract symbols i.e. star + snowflake = raindrop, etc.
Another group were given dynamic moving images, personalised, that had three dimensions, and moved across the screen, when they banged into each other, they morphed into something else - visually far more exciting, and one would think, a priori, that this would be easier to learn from.
Students who had the more conceptual material learned it faster.
This seems to be more information along the line of what I posted about previously - our intuition as teachers as to what works may actually be way off the mark, what is needed is evidentially based practice, just as doctors try to practice evidence based medicine.
How would this alter the way we teach a language? We are dealing with conceptual material, in many respects analogous to mathematics, and often we want to 'spice it up' to make it 'easier' to learn. Perhaps we are in fact doing the exact opposite, and making the material harder to grasp when we do this?