When we think about our roles as language teachers, the most important aspect of our work is to love our children and give them hope in what they can do in life.
In my opinion – and I’m not trying to sell anything with this next thought – the means that we pay back the gift we have been given in languages, given to us by a Higher Power, is to use that gift in service to others.
In the intense testing culture that has characterized the first part of the 21st century in education, it is no surprise that many of us have forgotten our real purpose as teachers: to help form the child into a confident and contributing member of society.
The way I have always looked at it is that if the kids learn any French, fine, but the real thing is in making them all feel that they can do it. That is why I worked so hard at my profession, not so much for language gains but rather in service to God’s children.
If the child is made to feel stupid and does not enjoy the course of study we offer them, but memorizes enough to get through the class, and then doesn’t want to continue with us to the higher levels, then we can say with certainty that we have failed in our real positions as teachers.
Therefore it becomes a moral imperative to teach languages in a way that kids enjoy being in our class. This is what the Invisibles and the One Word Images (ANATS) bring to our classes. That is why they are so revolutionary.
But it would still be better to teach using traditional textbook methods and love the kids and give them confidence than to teach using the Invisibles and make them feel stupid.