Here at Real Life English, we are all about working and learning with community. Since starting the RLE community, I have learned a lot about language learning, become more inspired and motivated as an English teacher and as a writer, connected with people from all around the world, developed a more open-minded view on different nations and cultures, and had a lot of fun.
Whether you join RealLife English or a different community, I’m positive that having a community base to whatever it is you are partaking in is going to increase your learning immensely in more ways than you could imagine.
Today, I want bring to your attention some aspects of community based learning that can really accelerate the process. You have probably never thought of a lot of these benefits before, but I’m sure that if you are an active member in any kind of community you are definitely getting a lot of value from these amazing benefits.
6 Benefits of Community Based Learning
1. Connecting with people who share common interests
Whatever it is that you are interested in, or wish to learn more about, being surrounded by like-minded people (people who think the same as you) is going to make your learning process a lot more interesting.
Having people to talk to about particular subjects is a great way to internalize everything that you have been learning. A person’s hobbies in general is a big part of his life and personality.
Think about some of your best friends, I’m sure a lot of them share very similar interests and hobbies, which is probably why you get along with (have a good relationship with someone) them so well.
2. Working together for something bigger
Many communities have a specific purpose, or a mission you might say. In most cases members of a community, whether it be sports, music, or education, are attracted to the community not for their own well-being, but they realize that they are part of something bigger.
When a member can feel a strong purpose of the community and really believe that they, as a group can make a difference, people tend to find more motivation, dedicate themselves more, and feel more rewarded when they achieve their goals.
Celebrating something as a group is a lot more rewarding than celebrating something alone.
3. Sharing the best resources
This one is quite obvious, especially in the RealLife community. The more active members you have, the more resources you are going to have access to.
Through the RealLife community I have discovered many awesome resources for teaching, which are also applicable for my language learning, as well. Another beautiful aspect of this is that when people are constantly supplied with great resources, it inspires them to get creative and start developing resources of their own.
As a group we can discuss all the best parts of any resource and disregard things we believe to be of no value. Creating a mutual source of information as a group is very powerful.
The closer you become to the other members of a community, the more you are going to be aware of each other’s individual strengths and weaknesses. As a community member, and friend, people will start to hold each other accountable for their progress.
Think of this as if you were on a sports team. If one of the players in your team isn’t training very much, and his or her performance is starting to decline, then you would want to have a little talk with your teammate about why he isn’t practicing as much and letting down (disappointing) the rest of the team.
Working towards something as a team is ultimately going to help you take more responsibility for you actions, and take your learning more seriously.
5. Multiple perspectives
Over these past few years, I have chatted to people from all around the world and learned so much about so many different cultures and world views. Being exposed to different cultures and ways of life is a great way to expand you knowledge and have a more open-minded, non-judgmental approach to whatever it is you are involved in.
Knowing that the way you prefer to do things is not necessarily the ONLY way to do them is going to expose you to new ideas, connect you to many people on all levels, and, help you understand why you do things the way you do them.
6. Creating friendship
And lastly, my favorite part of any community is creating real and meaningful friendships. Again, think about some of your best friends. How did you meet these people?
I’m sure that if you think hard enough, a lot of your friendships were formed in some sort of community environment. Strong friendships are usually initiated through being involved in some kind of activity that you are doing with other people. Sometimes it is at school, in sports teams, chess clubs, bands, etc.
Friendship and relating to people is such an important part of our lives and, being part of a community is the best opportunity you will ever have to find these authentic human connections.