2013年10月18日金曜日

Get Real! Get Native! - The Origin Story


毎週月曜19:00開講の「Get Real! Get Native! 〜リアルな英会話を〜」で使用されるスクリプトは、毎回講師のニックが作成しています。(レッスンの紹介はこちらをご覧ください。

レッスンはどのようにして始まったのか、そのストーリーはどのようにして始まったのかをご紹介します。

It’s interesting to wonder why we love origin stories so much. Spiderman, Batman, Ironman, Superman – we love this stuff! Well, to be specific I think we love imagining what would happen if we woke up one day with super powers. You would either freak out and head straight to the hospital, or jump for joy and spend all day trying out all your new powers. I would be the latter. Ok, sorry, I’m going off topic. Let’s get back to the origin of Get Native.

Get Native, if you didn’t know, was one of the first classes I developed for Stella Innovations. It was my baby, and when it was born it became my joy. You see, it was more than I hoped for.

The idea for Get Native grew from a realization I had regarding language learning, both from my students’ experiences and my own learning Japanese. Have you ever wondered why language textbooks are so popular? Well, the answer is quite simple; they offer structure, order and provide a good reference for independent study. These are all good things. We humans, we do like structure and order. The problem is, language is not always so structured and orderly.

Language is like a creature, living, breathing and growing. It’s also spontaneous – that means you never know what someone is going to say, it’s often not what you expected. Sure, there are social pleasantries and norms we have to follow: How are you? I’m fine, thanks. But a lot of language is not like that, and that can be quite discouraging and demotivating for people learning a language.

I hear people talk about speed, and accent. I can’t understand; people talk too fast. I can understand an American accent, but I can’t understand British people. Well, maybe. Then again, maybe there is another problem happening. Expectations are not being met, and when the unexpected happens, I’m not ready for it; I haven’t trained myself how to react. And so began the idea of Get Native.

A lot of students I knew when I was teaching in New Zealand loved the TV show ‘Friends’. One thing I noticed after they had watched a lot of episodes of this funny American drama was that they began to laugh more and more with each show they watched. Now, you have to remember, a lot of the humor in the show is verbal and not just visual. Also, there certainly wasn’t a lot of ‘text book’ language being used. So, what was happening? How had they improved their understanding and more importantly, their enjoyment?

Maybe you could say it was just repetition; they had watched the show so many times and heard the same language being used again and again, and their brains had processed and internalized the words and phrases. Maybe. But every show had a different theme. Certainly, some words and phrases were repeated, but they were using phrases with me in our daily conversation that they had only heard once on the TV show.  So, what was going on? I think it was the enjoyment; they were having so much fun and this opened up their minds to the language. It opened all the doors and all the data flooded in and as the language came in they would pick and choose the words and phrases they liked and store them so they could use them themselves. The TV show scenes and the words connected to them were so fun and memorable, that their mind had no trouble processing and storing the information. In fact, their brain wanted to store the information!
Not only that, but they were also not nervous about the unexpected. Their brain did not put up the walls of fear and negativity when it encountered new language. Nope, their brains were opening all the doors, breaking all the walls and working at a super pace and power to guess and infer meaning from the context of the characters interactions in the show. At least, this is what I think was happening in their heads. I couldn’t see inside, of course.

Well, this is what I wanted students to experience in the Get Native class. I wanted to give them a class that would show them language in its true creative, natural and spontaneous form. I wanted them to laugh, and to enjoy the experience so much, that all of the doors in their mind would open and they would stay positive. I wanted them to want to remember the words and phrases they discovered. And I think we have succeeded.

They may not know it, but the students in Get Native are working their minds at a super pace, and with super power. Maybe they are not aware of it, but it’s happening. So, I guess, in a way, they are becoming super heroes.



A big thank you to all of the wonderful students who have shared with me the joy of the Get Native class. The story of Ross, Helena, Tim, Hermione and their many friends and foes continues…

Nick

講師の紹介:
毎週月曜19:00〜の「Get Real! Get Native!」を担当しているニックは、ケンブリッジ大学の英語教育の修士号を取得しており、9年間日本の大手企業や大学で講師及び教育コンサルタントとして活躍してきました。リアルなコミュニケーション能力を高める教材の作成および指導を得意分野とし、英語に苦手意識のある方が自信を持って英語で話し、海外でも活躍できるようサポートします。

現在、「Get Real! Get Native!」の無料体験レッスンを受付中です。開講中の実際のレッスンを1回無料で体験していただくことができます。ご希望の方には、無料のカウンセリングも行っておりますので、ぜひ一度ステラのレッスンを体験してみてください。
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