Saturday, April 2, 2011

Learning is Social

Man is a social animal. We like to speak with others, eat with others, play and watch sports with others, be in romantic and friendly relationships with other, and we like to learn with others.

Not only do we learn with others all the way from pre-school through graduate school, in the sense of sharing a classroom, we also learn from our peers.

It is not only the teacher who gives us information, models new skills and explains difficult concepts: Our classmates are our teachers as well.

Is you ever watch children in a classroom, they are always helping each other with tasks and skills. The same is true in the adult education classroom. One prominent example of this takes place in the ESL classroom. More advanced students help less advanced ones. Students become friends and share conversation, humor and the challenges of learning a new language, in a new country, after a day of work, dealing with mates, children, bosses, bills and a host of issues specific to immigrants who are second language learners.

Te social aspect of learning makes learning possible by creating a safe, comfortable space in which students can relax and feel good about themselves while acquiring English-language skills.

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