I asked my new class what comes to their mind when they hear the word 'English'. This is what they said:
And this is what comes to their mind when they hear the word 'English learning'. (I like BetterThanMaths ;-))
We did this survey in paper form and in groups (it's anonymous, you are welcome to fill it in too). Some of the answers that brought a smile to my face are:
Q: What do you remember from your English classes best?
A: A view from the window.
(Great idea for next Clasrooms Across the Globe topic, isn't it? Literally sharing views from our classrooms ;-)).
Q: Is perfect English necessary for successful communication?
A: Good is good enough. Perfect is unnecessary.
Learning English is important - English is the language of international communication, the language of the Internet, the language of many films and songs we love. It's the first foreign language at our schools and it's good for us to be able to successfully communicate in it. That's more important than worrying too much about mistakes we make along the way. According to our little survey, we teachears here seem to be guilty of focussing rather a lot on grammar and mistakes learners make... But if our students find it difficult to see the forrest for the trees we are missing the point, aren't we?
My new students' advice to me and fellow English teachers?
- If possible, invite native speaker guests in class. (Kay, Bob, have you read this? :-))Make class activities meaningful. Allow students to use language to express themselves. Involve students in class discussions. Do fun group activities. Encourage student interaction. Make classes communicative.
Here's the advice Wordle:
Looking forward to another year's learning. :-)