jGA 2

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4 thoughts on “jGA 2”

  1. This is astounding in its clarity and it is so useful to me in understanding the fundamental differences among methodologies, not to mention the visceral reactions people have about TPRS. In a conversation last week, I had an administrator say to me that TPRS is not good for students with “anxiety issues”. Then he halfheartedly followed up by saying of course, it depends on the teacher. But one thing from jGA1 that really struck me, or maybe it was in the subsequent conversation, was the idea that yes, we understand how analytically-oriented high schoolers can be, but does that mean we play to that tendency in language class? Or is this where we encourage the aspect of ourselves that learns through a unique kind of paying attention…not taking apart and analyzing, but rather opening to something huge and beautiful and just becoming a part of it? Becoming a part instead of taking apart?

    1. “…yes, we understand how analytically-oriented high schoolers can be, but does that mean we play to that tendency in language class?”

      I totally have the temptation all the time to play to the smart kids with grammar and all that. If I did, it would feel a lot more like school. And if it felt a lot more like school I could control the kids. It leads to a dark place, unfortunately where many teachers have permanent residence.

  2. Now I get why you had such a rough year. This is so beautifully expressed. You are like the flower who simply got planted in the wrong soil, that’s all. They had no idea what they had in that school! In a few days, a very important article will appear here that addresses what we need to do when we are in an environment with a toxic administration.

    I’m going to find places to use this quote by you Angie. I’m going to add it to my email signature right now. It pretty much says it all. It places our work firmly in the elective areas of art and music and makes it clear why language shouldn’t be considered a purely academic subject. What you write here is huge, and beautifully illustrates James’ points. We are not hacks. We are individual teaching artists:

    …yes, we understand how analytically-oriented high schoolers can be, but does that mean we play to that tendency in language class? Or is this where we encourage the aspect of ourselves that learns through a unique kind of paying attention…not taking apart and analyzing, but rather opening to something huge and beautiful and just becoming a part of it? Becoming a part instead of taking apart?…

    The mind’s job is to take apart. But language can’t be taken apart and learned any more than a rocket ship can be taken apart one day and be launched the next. Our language rocket ship is already built. Acquiring the language is, as you say, about “opening to something huge and beautiful and just becoming a part of it.”

    All we need to learn to do for our students is to load the rocket ship up with plenty of CI and launch.

  3. To no. 1. How on earth did people learn languages before grammar books had been thought up? If they hadn’t picked it up as small children, they would never have learnt it in their lifetime. Makes total sense!

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