In possessing fluency in the English language, educators sometimes forget how much prior knowledge is required to learn a new word.
In the last week, I’ve found myself explaining the concept of task mapping often. It’s an extremely valuable technique that can be used to break down a task into its smallest parts, allowing for Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to understand and convey complex information within the right framework.
As a literacy tutor, I was introduced to a whole new challenge for English language learners. Within this world resides the untold story of people who speak English but cannot read or write it. They’ve learned from their friends, family, and neighbors, and in doing so, have heard words filtered through a dozen different accents and grammatical structures. So when we, as ELL teachers, ask a student to learn to read and write a language they know aurally, we are asking for so much more than stringing letters together.
To illustrate what this means, I’ve put together the following worksheet. I encourage you to try it out, especially if your first language is English.
I also challenge you implement task mapping when you are designing new trainings or asking someone to complete a new task. I would also encourage you to watch the 2016 film Arrival, which discusses the complexities of language and what each interaction means for the future of humans and our ability to communicate with each other.Task Mapping- Learning New Words