The Helical Model – Our solar system is a vortex

The following video is an astronomical metaphor for the way we see vocabulary, grammar and writing spiral throughout the language development process.  Just as nature spirals, so does language.

We liken language to astronomy because there are so many parallels.  When students just begin to learn a language, it is like the Big Bang.  There is so much language coming to them at once, and there is little order.

The sun is like the learner, traveling through space, trying to find order.  The learner has a trajectory just like our solar system.   The planets are the vocabulary and grammar she picks up along the way, held together by a spiraling lesson plan that acts like a gravitational pull, keeping everything together.  As instructors, if we allow for this spiral to happen, perhaps the student’s process of language development can go more smoothly, efficiently, and effectively.

Categories: ELT

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