Social Distance & Writing Practice?
With the outbreak of COVID-19, there are two words that stand tall and reign over our lives. These two words have garnered an incredible impact throughout the world, so much that these two words are understood by all nationalities and of all ages. And these two words are: Social Distancing.
Social Distancing is the method of reducing the risk of transmitting a disease through keeping a set distance from others and minimizing gatherings. Generally, the distance would be around that of arm’s length. Social Distancing practices have been required, with many establishments placing markers for people to stand on, and restaurants encouraging patrons to sit one seat apart from one another. Indeed, Social Distancing has a defining role in our society, and looks to remain as a cautionary practice for the next generation. Yet Social Distancing could be used as a bridge to others.
One of the troubles of an English teacher would be to have students understand and remember how to write with spacing in mind. While many students properly space their words apart, a good number of them would fill a line with their words without keeping their spacing in mind. Some students would write their sentences inconsistently, with their spaces being too small or too big in the same sentence. This makes it difficult to read their handwriting at times. And having the students practice spacing their words early would lead to an easier time in the future.
While it isn’t the most important concept to remember when writing, it is by far the easiest to associate and remember in these current times. All the students are now very familiar with the concept of Social Distancing. Instead of instructing the students to practice spacing then explaining the concept to them, communicate to them that English words also make use of Social Distancing. Present to them the idea that each word is like a family, and the spaces between them would just be them practicing Social Distancing. Instead of asking them to “remember to space your words”, have them “practice Social Distancing words”.
Initially some students would space their words with large spaces, but with a little more instruction they will start spacing their words neatly. And moving forward, you can remind your students to “practice Social Distancing words” whenever it would be appropriate to do so. Using these words that they are already very familiar with would make it easier for the students to remember and practice when writing. Making use of these words would help them realize how much the English language is used in their everyday lives. And understanding these things may make them more curious about the English language, which would be a great step in bringing them to learn the language for their own benefit.
These trying times certainly pose a difficult challenge in our daily lives, but there are ideas and concepts that come alongside it as well. They can lead into more curiosities and willingness to learn and grow as a person. And in these times where physical contact is highly discouraged, connecting to others through words are encouraged instead. So Social Distancing shouldn’t be used to keep others away, but rather as a bridge of ideas to bring our thoughts together.
R.A – Fujimino ALT