We foreign or second language teachers foster communication inside the classroom, and that’s okay, and that’s one of the main methodologies today: the communicative approach.
However we could foster real communication, couldn’t we? Instead of the students giving a simple answer we could ask them further, by amplifying the answer: let’s settle real communication, let’s make our students think over.
Communication should be real and respectful, thorough and humane, educative and rich in values, deep and not just superficial. At least let’s ask them further questions, to create a nice discussion. There should be real discussions, deep ones, what-else-like ones, rich in contents. Let’s introduce some follow-up.
For example if they give as an answer the way the story protagonist thinks, let’s ask them more about that way of thinking: kind of, Do you think the same way? Do you agree with her? Why? In few words, let’s deepen into our students’ answers.
A friend of mine used to say we language teachers ask a lot of questions, but rather useless ones… Let’s deepen into the texts from their textbooks or tablets. Another example that can be interesting to us teachers and to our students too is history, or science and technology. Our students have to learn how to think, how to engage their brains.
Even in my former school we had English-language textbooks that brought about ethics, school ethics, for example about friendship and bullying. / Photo from: classroom1 now dartmouth edu