Saturday, June 30, 2012

862. Shhhh! They're working

One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “When your students have got to carry out a class activity – say from a simple drill in their course book to a short role-play – they must be active, not mere passive listeners that just hear they’ve got to do an activity: the learners of languages that succeed actually see that activity as something of their own, and they think they must solve that activity.

Those true learners dive into the activity, try to understand it, read it and read it again, and their minds start to ‘process’ all that written information and they become able to produce something original as a response. They feel satisfied. I’d say that, for those students, understanding that exercise or activity means that 50% of the task has already been done, already been solved.

Those learners become their own teachers, the motor or engine of their own process of learning the target language. In this way they are doing an authentically human work, a creative one; they’re creative, they’re conducting as human persons. That work dignifies them, and they dignify that work, and also they dignify others with that work. The class in this case is not something alienating or dehumanizing, but all the contrary: profoundly human and humane.

It’s so too, evidently and even more, when those people carry out that work for love to God and service to the class community. Because the person is a creature of God, and even more, a son or daughter of God.” / Photo from: aufc ca. Le professeur David Staines recoit l’Ordre de l’Ontario. Professeur d'anglais   
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