[expand title=”Is It Your Challenge Or Weakness”]

By: Dessy Barnaby 

We often hear the word challenge in everything we do, now by definition – Challenge means difficulty in a task or undertaking it; but by human definition, challenges can mean a whole lot more than just having to do with difficulties in undertaking certain tasks.

A person who is unable to pronounce certain words the right way, might be categorized as having a challenge in pronouncing those words. The reason could be due to their language incompetency or the lack of knowledge in pronouncing it.

Challenges are often encountered by those who have English as their second or even third language. However, there are some who have been learning and bettering their English yet have not progressed too much for the last…… 15 years of nonstop speaking.

This is where I often propose the question back to them during their English assessment; is pronouncing and speaking proper English their challenge or has it become their weakness for not letting themselves get better even during such a long period of time.

Now the reason I ask is, if one was unable to read or pronounce properly due to their lack of knowledge, it is acceptable to say they are facing a challenge. However, the challenge will soon became a weakness when the person has gone through the whole she-bang of training, practicing and tips sharing from the best coach in town yet over the course of such a long time they STILL face the same challenge.

Many of them come in the hope of improving their verbal skills, but not many of them are willing to go the extra mile in overcoming the challenge with their newly learnt tips. So over a period of time, their challenge in speaking English looks more like a weakness in them for not wanting it bad enough to take on the challenge.

It is a question of whether they are really having a challenge with the language and the whole learning process, or is it their weakness for simply looping on the same challenge.


[expand title=”Adult Learning”]

By: Dessy Barnaby 

Part 1: Identifying the characteristic of Adult as learner

Adult learning was first pioneered by Malcolm Knowles; Malcolm highlighted few characteristics we need to know in order to understand the adult as learner:

• Self-directed: as learner adult appreciate more if they are allowed to get involved in the learning process and become the participant to work in the project of their interests.

• Have accumulated life experience: as learner adults are able to relate what they learn to their life experience, it can be work related or personal experience. Under these circumstances we have to be able to create learning through experience.

• Relevancy related: as learner they must see the relevance in learning. Different with children, adult need to be shown the relevancy and objectives before even the course begin.

• Goal oriented: adults are aware of their goals upon their enrollment so it’s the facilitator’s role to first set and introduce the objectives that will help them achieve those goals.

• Practical: adults as learner might focus mainly on the important aspects of the lesson that is most useful to them. They may not come in for the knowledge sake however facilitator needs to show the practicality aspects that will be useful to them in their work field.

The above characteristics are important for us in order to understand adults as learner. As all learners, adults like to be shown respect too.

Facilitators have to be able to respect the experience and knowledge they bring to class and most importantly allow them to express their opinion and gain the respect and acknowledgement as equal.


[expand title=”Experiential Education”]


Experiential Education is not a newly discovered education system but it’s a life education system when an individual is born into the exciting world that we live in. Exploring, discovering and experiencing a situation, environment and people will have great contribution and development to the individual belief, behavior change, personal development and growth.

The Association for Experiential Education (AEE) has define a series of principles

EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION = EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING“Experiential education is learning by doing and reflecting”

In experiential learning, the student is taught and exposed to using their head (thoughts), heart (feeling) and hand (action). EE uses both direct and indirect approaches where the student learns through doing and reflecting. EE does not require the same age group or the ability level and they are not taught with the same approach.

What you hear, you FORGOT
What you see, you REMEMBER
What you do, you KNOW

In EE, there are a lot of activities, group discussions, hands-on experience and student led discovery. There will be significant attention in the social development, intrapersonal skills, interpersonal relationship and teamwork.

Traditional Education

Traditional Education is also known as back to basic that refers to long established customs found in school and society with traditional approach.

In school, students are taught to develop their reading, writing and counting skills. The traditional teacher centered approach where student concerns are to maintain the education system based on test and examination.

Traditional Education uses direct approach, student learns through listening and observation. In TE, students are matched in the same age group, intellectual ability and all are taught the same way. There is minimal attention on social development in traditional education where the focus is on individual and independent learning.

Adventure Based Learning

  • Adventure-Based Practice:

The use of games (primarily new and cooperative), initiatives (problem solving activities), trust activities, high adventure activities (ropes courses, rock climbing, white water kayaking, and related activities), wilderness activities (backpacking, canoeing or other wilderness expedition forms) as part of an intentional change process based on the philosophy of experiential education

  • Adventure-Based Recreation:

The use of adventure-based practice has effect a change in feelings (particularly increasing pleasurable feelings and having fun).

  • Adventure-Based Education:

The use of adventure-based practice to effect a change in thinking (including exposure to new skills and generating awareness)

  • Adventure-Based Training/Development:

The use of adventure-based practice to effect a change in behaviors (both increasing function and positive action and decreasing dysfunction and negative action) especially as it relates to professional, organizational, and community contexts.

  • Therapeutic Adventure:

The use of adventure-based practice to effect a change in behaviors (both increasing function and positive action and decreasing dysfunction and negative action) as it relates to health, mental health, and corrections. A term often used to refer to this level is
Adventure-Based Counseling (ABC) 

  • Adventure Therapy (Adventure-Based Therapy):

The use of adventure-based practice with change directed at a meta-process level (behaviors, cognition’s, and unconscious processes that impede or support therapeutic change).

True Adventure Therapy is more than the addition of adventure experiences to an existing psychotherapy process. It is a new form of therapy that blends, integrates, and synthesizes adventure-based practice, experiential education, and principles from a number of schools of psychotherapy there appear to be elements of humanism, existentialism, strategic structural, narrative, solution and problem solving approaches in adventure therapy. In general it appears to be more consistent with post- modern thinking.


[expand title=”Preffered Learning Style”]


Classically, our learning style is force upon through life like this:

  • In grades Kindergarten to 3, new information is presented to us KINESTETICALLY.
  • Grades 4 to 8, learning information are normally presented VISUALLY.
  • Grades 9 to college and into the business learning environment, information are     presented to us in AUDITORY by lecturers and presenters.

As an instructor/trainer/facilitator, we need to present information using all this 3 learning styles. This allowed learners, no matter what preferred the learners style is but the opportunities to become involved in different learning styles. Just because we prefer style, doesn’t mean that the other 2 do no good. Just because we prefer one style, doesn’t mean that the other 2 do not good. Quite the contrary, they help us to learn faster.


Visual learning has 2 sub channels – LINGUISTIC and SPATIAL.

Visual Linguistic learners like to learn written languages, such as reading and writing task. They remember what have been written down, even if they do not need to read more than once.

Visual Spatial learners usually have difficulties with written language and do better with charts, demonstrations videos and other visual materials. They easily visualized faces and places by using their imagination and seldom get lost in new surroundings.

These learners can see their teacher’s body language and facial expression to fully understand the content of the lesson. They tend to prefer sitting at the front of the classroom to avoid obstructions. They may think in pictures and learn best way from visual display including: diagrams, illustrated textbooks, overhead transparencies, videos, flipcharts and handouts. During lectures or classroom discussion, visual learners often prefer details notes to absorb information


  • Use maps, illustrations to get to the point across
  • Include outlines, agendas, handouts for taking notes
  • Include plenty of content in handouts to reread after the learning session
  • Invite questions to help them to stay alert in an auditory environment
  • Emphasis key point to cue when take notes


They learn the best through verbal lectures, discussion, talking things through and listening to what other have to say. Learners usually talk to themselves a lot. They also move their lips and read out loud. They may have difficulties with reading and writing task. They often do better talking to colleagues or on tape-recorded and hearing what we said.

Auditory learners interpret the underlying meanings of speech through listening to one tone voice, pitch speed and other nuances. This people are aware of noises about them, and so are distracted by noise about them when they are learning.


  • Verbal lecturers/ discussion/briefings
  • Make speeches and presentations
  • Dictate to someone while they are writing down your thoughts
  • Asking lots of questions after you have given a briefing
  • Leave plenty of time of debrief the activities
  • Include auditory activities such as brainstorming.


Kinesthetic persons learn best through a hands-on approach, actively exploring the physical world around them. They may find hard to sit for long periods and may become distracted by their needs for activities and exploration.

When reading they like to scan material first, and then focus on the details (to get the big picture first) they typically use colour highlighter and then ask notes by drawing pictures and diagrams.


  • Use colored markers to emphasize key points on white board
  • Try to use a lot of games to get the learning across
  • Play music, when appropriate during activities


There are a number of principles that will help you to understand how adult learn. These principles are guide only; there may be others that you can think of.

Active Participation
Adults are likely to learn more quickly and effectively if they are actively participating in the learning process. Adult learn best by doing and reflecting.

Meaningful Materials
Learning is more effective when participants can relate new materials to their existing knowledge and experience. Retention of the learning is more likely if the initial learning and vivid and if materials are used.

Holistic learning
It is important to start with the big picture or entire job. Then break it down into component parts so that participant can see how each piece fits together. The component parts should be explained in detailed after the participant understand the overall job.

Multi—sensory Learning
Learning occurs as a result of sensory experience and learning is generally more effective if we can use 2 or more sense. If a trainer simply talks about something, it can be quite difficult to learn. If an explanation is given along with a model, and participants can see and examine the model, and participants can see and examine the model, then learning is likely to be more effective.

Practice and Reinforcement
Appropriate opportunities to practice and apply new skills and knowledge enhance the learning process. Positive reinforcement helps to maintain or increase the skills and knowledge being practiced. Encouraging comments about work or progress are examples of reinforcement.


Things to be aware:

  • Need to know the relevance of the learning before they undertake
  • They want to make their own decision
  • They learnt at things immediately relevant to them
  • They have a wealth experience and knowledge to add and draw from
  • Adult are task focused when it comes to learning
  • The most potent motivation for adults is internal pressures
  • They have their own learning style
  • Learn best through stimulated experience
  • Learn well when given the opportunity to be made aware of their needs
  • Adult learn the best by doing
  • Holistic learning: Give them big picture the break it down and put it back together
  • What’s in for me?


Things to be aware of:

  • Short attention spans
  • Easily distracted
  • Needs reason to learn
  • Safety First
  • Need to have opportunities to practice skills before activity
  • Needs prompts to remind them
  • What’s for me?


  • Each individuals has different goals & motivation towards learning
  • Learn at different rates
  • Individuals differ in ways they perceived this things (Learning Style)
  • Literacy Language
  • Cultural Background
  • Physical Impairment
  • Personalities Traits
  • Individuals vary in the amount of assistant and practice they need




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