Make sure you study in these 4 areas to learn English properly.

| - Tim Lake |

In order to learn English properly, any good language course must cover four areas. If you are missing one, or worse two, of the areas it makes learning English much harder. But not all courses can cover all parts especially at eikaiwa schools, so if you know what the four areas are you can find a way to cover them by yourself or outside of class. This gives you the best chance to improve your English conversation skills.


in the library learning english

The idea of the Four Strands was developed by English teacher trainer and professor Paul Nation as a guide for teachers as well as for people designing English language courses. You should spend roughly 25% of your time in each area. Here we will briefly explain what the Four Strands are.

「Four Strands(4つの要素)」という考え方は、英語教師のトレーナーであるポール・ネーション教授が、英語教師や英語コースを設計する人たちのための指針として開発したものです。それぞれの分野において、それぞれに25%の時間を費やすべきだとされています。ここでは、「4つの要素」とは何かを簡単に説明します。


1.) Meaning Focused-Input.インプット(情報吸収)に重点をおく

This area focuses on input through listening and reading. As we mentioned in our last post, most English learners in Japan don't get enough input, and you really need a lot. As a learner, you should focus on understanding the main content or message of what you are reading or listening to, but it doesn't matter if you don't understand all the details. However, you need to select material that is at your level and there shouldn't be more than a few words per page that you don't know. As we always say, the best way to do this is through extensive reading of graded readers, but watching TV can help too.



2.) Meaning Focused-Output.アウトプット(実践)に力を入れる

This area focuses on spoken and written communication. The main thing you should focus on is clearly communicating what you want to say to another person. In this area, we also focus on controlled practice, which means practising using a particular grammar structure or set of vocabulary in a realistic way. Work in this area should both use English language knowledge you already have on topics you are interested in as well as push you to use and develop new language skills.

この分野では、スピーキングとライティングにおけるコミュニケーションに焦点を当てています。 主に、自分の言いたいことを相手に明確に伝えることに重点を置きます。この分野では、コントロールされた練習、つまり特定の文法やボキャブラリーを使って現実的な方法で練習することに焦点を当てます。この分野では、あなたが興味を持っているトピックについて、すでに持っている英語の知識を活用・実践すると同時に、新しい言語スキルを使用して上達できるように努力する必要があります。


3.) Language Focused-Learning.言語に重点を置いた学習方法

This area is the most familiar to most English learners. It involves explicitly learning grammar rules, new vocabulary, pronunciation and ways to use language to communicate. Most courses, and especially high school English classes in Japan, spend too much time in this area. You do need to practice new grammar, and one of the most important things you can do is use flashcards to learn vocabulary, but you need to make sure you work in the other areas too. You learn the most when you use the language in a meaningful way.

この分野は、多くの英語学習者にとって最も身近なものでしょう。これは、文法のルール、新しい語彙、発音、言語を使ったコミュニケーションの取り方を明確に学ぶことができます。 ほとんどのコース、特に日本の高校の英語の授業では、この分野に多くの時間を費やしています。新しい文法を練習することは必要ですし、フラッシュカードを使って語彙を覚えることは最も重要なことのひとつではありますが、他の分野にも力を入れるようにしなければなりません。価値のある方法で言語を使用したときに、そこから最も多くのことを学ぶことができます。


4.) Fluency Development.流暢性の向上

In this area you work with English you already know how to use. It involves lots of practice so that your use of English becomes smoother and more automatic. Although this is mostly about speaking, it also means working on reading fluency - reading quicker - and writing fluency too. Make sure you use the chances you have to speak, try to work on giving longer answers to questions, and take regular time to write in English too, for example by keeping a diary.


Four Things You Need to Learn English Properly

The Four Strands is one of the key theories that supports what and how we teach at triplo. We try to spread them across our lesson types which you can read about on our blog post on Learn, Extend, Create. It is also why we encourage extensive reading outside of lessons and provide a library of graded readers for you to borrow.

「4つの要素」は、triploで講師がお届けする授業内容を支える重要な理論の一つです。これについては、ブログ記事「Learn, Extend, Create」でもご紹介しましたが、レッスンの種類に応じて分散させるようにしています。また、レッスン以外での多読を奨励し、グレーデッド・リーダーの本をライブラリーに用意して貸し出している理由です。


You can read more about the Four Strands and other important points for learning English in our free e-book - How to Learn English.

「4つの要素」やその他の英語学習の重要なポイントについては、無料の電子書籍「How to Learn English」でも詳しくご紹介しております。