|Scaffolding is a fancy term in linguistics used to mean setting the bar a little higher than a student’s ability and thereby facilitating new language acquisition more easily. Of course, this is simply common sense and applies to almost all areas of teaching/learning that I can think of. Naturally, it’s the same in sports, too. If you’re going to be a weightlifter, it’s not a good idea to start out with a bar loaded up with 200kgs of weights.
So, the only difference between many aspects of linguistics (and a host of other “academic” subjects) and common sense is the level of paperwork required to explain the patently obvious.
I used an article in class the other day (from the Guardian Newspaper) which stated that every subject can be boiled down to two things (which are sometimes contradictory). One of the examples given was “driving”. Driving was summarized as: “Don’t hit anything” and “Don’t let anything hit you”. Get the idea?
So I decided to apply the two-point game to language learning. What are the two key points of language learning?
As any language student would tell you (if they actually took the time to think about it) language learning can be distilled into two simple points:
1. Study hard and continuously in your own best way
2. Use what you’ve learned in the real world
Of course many English schools claim to have “the best study method”. This is simply marketing and cannot be true. Why not? Because we all have our own “best way” of studying and our methods are all (at least slightly) different. The school’s method (by definition) cannot be your method so how can it possibly be the best method for you?
What many adult language learners seem to forget is that they already have good study skills (from other areas in life) and that those study skills are their preferred method(s) of studying. All they need to do is to adapt their skills to learning English.
As for using the English skills they’ve learned in the “real world”, well the Internet has largely solved that problem. Simply do all your online searches in English from now on. Okay, that might seem like putting 200kgs on the weightlifting bar from the beginning, but if you use your common sense a little, you can find lighter weights than that online – simply speaking use scaffolding
Just like I do in Japanese…
Ahem. Well, from now on
ACE English はこちら。
Thanks a lot for your kind support
テーマ: 英語・英会話学習 - ジャンル:学校・教育