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- we should really implement this
I still find it fascinating that after all this time, and despite this experiment being relatively well-known, there seems to have been no real equivalent since then. I think there are political hurdles to implementing something like this (particularly given the current bent, at least in the US, toward standardized testing, and the current state of those standards), but I think they are not insurmountable. Jo Baoler describes promising results in this paper (under the heading "EVIDENCE OF EQUITABLE TEACHING "), though even that was nearly 15 years ago and seems not to have "caught on."
- not only with one language, but we should start teaching foreign languages to kids as soon as possible
That's really interesting, and something I hadn't really thought of before (at least not insofar as it relates specifically to Benezet's curriculum). It seems logical to me that learning a second language is beneficial to young students, even if they don't make much practical use of that language later in life. I'm not familiar with any research in this area, though; I think it would make an interesting experiment!
On my more radical days, I might argue that we should get students started from that young age not only with additional natural languages, but also with programming languages...
Good luck with the thesis! I'll just jot down some thoughts. I'm not sure how generally applicable they are, or how much they are just quirks of my personality...anyway, hopefully some of them are helpful!
A book that might be worth looking at is A Writer's Time; I've heard very good things about it from people who write more than I do.
Some things that helped me:
Divide and conquer: How do you eat a pizza? One slice at a time. How do you write a thesis? One section at a time. I would recommend developing an outline early, and then trying to write the individual sections, rather than writing the thesis as a whole. If you're writing a technical thesis, they tend to follow the same general structure, so the outline often writes itself for those kinds of papers.
Start in the middle: The introduction and abstract are often the most difficult pieces to write. So don't get stuck on them early on! Come back and write the introduction once the rest of the thesis has taken shape.
Write quickly, not well: Early in the game, just try to get your thoughts down. Don't worry about grammar or structure too much; just get things down. It's always easier to revise than to write from a blank page, so just make _something_. Pick one of the sections from your outline that seems interesting at the time, and just write whatever comes to mind. Then take a break for an hour or so and come back to revise. If you're like me, a lot of what you wrote will be garbage; but that's okay, because there will be some good stuff there, too, and once you have that as a hand-hold, the process gets much easier.
Dedicate time: For me, one of the best ways to make progress was to dedicate time specifically to the thesis. I would set a timer for 30 minutes and use that time for the thesis and _only_ for the thesis (no Internet, no anything else). If you give yourself all day to write, it's going to be hard to get anything done (or the "I'm tired; there's always tomorrow" sets in). But if you only have 30 minutes, you feel like you can focus for that amount of time. When the time is up, force yourself to take a small break, and then come back.
Find a dedicated environment (or environments): It helped me to have a dedicated place to write my thesis (also, a place with relatively few distractions). Even if it's just a different chair in the same room that you normally sit, you can train yourself to recognize one or more places as your thesis-writing zone. For me, I had about 2-3 "thesis-only" spots, and it also helped to rotate between them (when I ran out of ideas in one spot, I would take a little break and walk to a different one; often, by the time I got there, I had thought of something new).
Discuss: If you get stuck, discuss what you are currently writing with someone (could be a thesis supervisor, a friend, or even a Rubber Duck). Sometimes it helps to "think aloud," and you might come up with some things you wouldn't have otherwise.