Speaking, Teaching and Learning

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The lines of (1) speaking English only and (2) watching films in English seems to be here to stay… passed down generation after generation of English ‘teachers’… merely hoping to get away with teaching murder… only nothing could be further from the truth… if this was true any opera fan would speak French, German and Italian… and I would speak Arabic what with the number of hundreds of hours I spend every year listen to songs in Arabic… sadly my Arabic has desperately remained stuck at ground level all those years… and seems to want to stay there…
But we know now that adepts of this approach are merely repeating the phrases of, as the French like to say, ‘The man who saw the man who saw the man who saw the donkey’… an old wives’ tale that has no more ground than rhyme or reason… the origin of which has been long lost to times immemorial…

This probably arises from the fact that babies learn language from the parents… only, again, this is not how babies learn to speak from their parents…
My nephews spent their baby and toddler years watching Italian films and understood Italian but never spoke Italian… because they never learnt Italian… watching films will only make you believe you speak… yet, in fact, even that understanding isn’t that great as it is cracked to be…

Babies may understand what their parents are saying… to a certain extend… they cannot actually speak… because they have to learn to relate sounds and words to meaning and contexts… and, most of all, have to learn to use their mouth and throat to produce the right sound… years before they can voice any idea ! Many babies choke in their first years because they cannot master their food tract… imagine speaking which is much more sophisticated…
Most English teachers struggle –and make their students struggle- with the learning of how to get the 2 ‘th’ sounds right while native babies in English speaking countries only get it right when they average 5 years of age… so why should students achieve this in minutes ?

I learnt a lot about teaching while I was teaching toddlers…
I had to review and rethink everything I thought I knew about teaching, learning and students… they put me to a new kind of test I decided then I would pass… not fail…
And so I went back to my teaching drawing board…
I put my ‘second’ brain in motion in observation mode while I was getting on with the business at hand… I recorded my lessons to listen to them again at night… often past midnight as I worked long days… and tried to draw benefits from the experience… and from then on only did my teaching move forward… to the point my boss asked me to train my colleagues…

I recommend watching babies as Desmond Morris studied them to learn about teaching and learning… helping teachers teach more naturally while more efficiently… for more student involvement… better results and higher scores… while promoting involvement in lessons…

Also check THE COMPREHENSIVE TEACHER (The EFL & TEFL Companion)
Book, eBook and audiobook at
Bounty link
https://www.audible.com/pd/B00I0G7E3W/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-015149&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_015149_rh_us

Jesse CRAIGNOU (jesse.craignou@yahoo.fr)

PS : I regularly train and coach teachers through workshops and seminars… contact me if you think I can assist you…

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