この過程の中で、このようなことを聞くとき、what year という表現を in という前置詞と一緒に使うんだとか、歴史に関する質問では did や was を使うんだなとか、飛行機は plane とも言うし aeroplane とも airplane とも言うんだなと気づきますね。たくさんの質問やクイズに触れて
Among all of the activities we use in Gateway classes, one is often particularly well received - the general knowledge quiz. There are many variations in how the activity is used, but ultimately the core is the same. Students are asked a variety of questions about topics such as music, science and history through English questions.
One might ask, what is the purpose of doing such a quiz? What is the learning objective? To realise the power of the activity, we have to look not at the language of the question, but at the thought process of the contestant.
Throughout the quiz, students are faced with a multitude of question types and formats. “Which member of~”, “In what year~”, “How many people~”, “Where did ~ happen?”... the list goes on. Our students tend to have both the listening ability and vocabulary knowledge to identify and understand the key words in any given question, for example: “In what year did the first aeroplane fly?”. Students here can pick out the words “what”, “year”, “first”, “plane” and “fly”, and for many students that is more than enough to answer the question.
In the process they have also found that “what year” and “in” occur together in this kind of question, that all history questions tend to use “did” or “was”, and sometimes “planes” are “aeroplanes” or “airplanes”. This extra information slowly accumulates over many questions and many quizzes, to the extent that students intuitively understand the nature of questions without listening so intently, and understand a greater variety of common words and regional variations.
This is the true value of the general knowledge quiz. It is a bonus if students can learn something new about the world or about history, but the real value comes from noticing where your own understanding of the question doesn’t match up with the correct interpretation in a natural and fun way, and this in itself represents one of the most important tenets of the Gateway course. The most natural and expedient way to learn a language and improve your skills is to practise and to notice when there is an issue such that you can fix it yourself in order to communicate, and in turn understand that communication unlocks access to ideas and knowledge you find interesting.