5i2QplltQes


Interesting video I found..
I can't watch it. I set up my pc again. Maybe it is because of this.
Very interesting. A welcome reminder of the down-to-earth realities of this business. The teacher is genuinely concerned about these 'obstacles', and not just because they make his working days less fulfilling than he'd like. He seems to be describing a vicious circle - one that must ring lots of bells. Little evidence of progress = reduced motivation. Reduced motivation = less effective learning. Less effective learning = little evidence of progress.

Lack of time is a simple fact of life that teachers and course designers have to accept. The authoritarian type of teacher who insists on homework and self-study because students "should do what is good for them" will not get very far in many cases (although maybe there are countries where adult learners are more culturally inclined towards homework - feedback welcome ). Methodolgy and lesson procedure need to be geared towards 'effectiveness' - strategies that are going to bring lasting results with three hours a week of classroom time. Not knowing what you learnt three months ago is depressing: no one likes wasting their investments.

'Effectiveness', in this case, seems to be interpreted in terms of unappealing activities like 'drilling'. The teacher sees it as necessary hard work but the students get bored. The teacher tries 'fun' activities to alleviate the boredom; he mentions songs but they don't go down well (no great surprise with adults). 'Effective' and 'fun' seem to be alternatives here. Hmmm!

The teacher then goes on to describe a very telling and relevant truth. He wants students to give more of 'themselves' into the learning process but they don't want to know. In the humanistic 'communicative' tradition the teacher looks for deep personal involvement - he's looking for the 'whole' person, while they prefer to keep the lesson on the peripheral parts of their brains. They are happy to learn a bit of language, thank you, but this is a lesson in a classroom not a heart-to-heart with a trusted companion, so don't go too far, please. Of course, there are teaching situations where depth and authenticity of relationships can make this kind of approach appropriate and productive, but I reckon these situations are a minority. You can have a great relationship with students simply by treating them with respect and dealing with things in a responsive, interested but matter-of-fact way.

The teacher states a very important truth - you have to adapt to the students: they won't adapt to you. This is a point that can mean many things - too many for here - but it does mean primarily that without the right sense of collaboration (and the respect mentioned before) the classroom is not going to be a very fertile ground for learning. If the teacher's priorities are perceived as being the achievement of their expectations the door can open to a successful course and enjoyable (mostly) lessons.

Where do we go from here? I'm looking forward to future 'confessions' from the teacher in Spain and hopefully some lively debate on this forum. (I forgot to log in but my name is Iain (Pellisier.)
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Hmmm, well if the students don't have time to study and do homework, then who does. Come on, students are students and they have to continue learning English even after they leave class.

Spreading this idea that students don't have time and they have more important things to do will result in the teacher and the students believing that and then no work outside class.

Well, then we can also say that teachers don't have time to prepare for their lessons since they have a family and kids and more responsibilities at work and outside. So teachers and students dont have time for their classes.

I hope that is not true.