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Sunday, April 24, 2005

Omar

Message: 8430 From: MCJ Received: Sa Apr 23, 2005 3:35
Subject: Re: Teaching the way we learn
Daniel Tourt wrote: > > Obviously every student is different, and I didn't say that we should > teach exactly as we would like to be taught, but maybe, just maybe, we > might actually have something in common with our students that would be > useful, and by re-activating our learning sensibilities (i.e. learning > something ourselves) we are more likely to be able to touch on that, no? I do think about this alot, especially while drilling grammar rules and working through tedious workbook busy busy pages. I studied French in high school and it was absolute torture. I didn't do very well but was astonished to find, at mid-year when family friends visited from France, that I could actually speak French. I continued to make just passing grades in French but these were no impediment to communication, nor to my learning French well, once I finally ended up in France. Today I am expected to assess students' competence by drilling them on grammar factoids; but I do my best to undermine the system by massive generosity on writing and speaking assessments. Marking is absurd, and most students are aware of this - if not by the fact that in paying schools students can progress from "level 1" to "level 8" with no significant development of their productive language skills. We are constantly relating our old experiences to our new ones. I would be surprised by any teacher who had never thought about the learning process and what might be involved in it, nor attempted to relate such thoughts to personal experience. Omar

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