A repost from 2014:
What Angie wrote today about Can Do statements could apply to almost any aspect of traditional language education, I felt a deep connection to every word. If someone asked me why I am so opposed to the old ways, and why I embrace human based teaching so strongly, I would say what Angie wrote right here:
This is the first time I’ve come across the “Can-Do” statements, but just from the language of the excerpts of the article I can feel that knot in my stomach and throat that warns that here comes that thing in education that forces you to exit your heart and common sense in order to conform to some lonely, brain-centered expectation that makes a new teacher like me feel like I’m doomed before I get started. It SOUNDS logical and rational but it can have a truly evil core. It SOUNDS like it’s about teachers collaborating but it secretly divorces teachers from connection with their real, actual students. This is the kind of stuff that buried me the first time around and I am not even going to read about it until I am a more experienced and confident teacher.
[Note: in no way do I feel that this thread about Can Do statements should in any way be an indictment of them. There aren’t many people in this profession I’ve met whom I respect more than Carol Hill and Michele Whaley, and the arguments in favor of their statements make sense. Most importantly, we don’t know, we don’t have the research, that shows that their use is ineffective or effective. And our decisions to use such statements are our own to make anyway, and we should have no fear of getting torched by purist fanatics like me, who won’t use them. Again, we don’t know very much. We are just all developing this kind of teaching together. So to be clear – in reading what Angie wrote, I resonated with the timbre of her words, and am certainly not judging Can Do statements. What do I know? What do any of us know?]