What is taught is what is learned, dear magicians?

Publicado por Tatiana

Dear magicians,

When you observe a magic trick, are you empowered enough to comprehend every single step that leads to impress the audience? Not to mention, when you look at a painting somewhere at the National Gallery, are you able to unveil the secret story behind it by only staring at that masterpiece? Well, it seems a tough question. 

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Harry Houdini, the well-known magician used to say: “Never tell the audience how good you are, they will soon find out for themselves”. By the same token, I would slightly disagree with the assumption “What is taught is what is learned.”

Our students are willing to be amused, eager to learn something new and out of the ordinary if and only if they are taught in a playful way and build up their own knowledge. Correspondingly, what we learned from the module is that students sometimes need to get immersed into focusing on some particular tools in order to create their own magic tricks.

It is no surprise that the technical aspects of the moral dilemma “Language learners should only be exposed to the forms they are taught” drag us, teachers, into the quicksand. Playful and communicative approaches instruct us to apply the 80/20 principle, but do they work out for every student or group we are facing? It is rather a job leaning towards psychological counseling, and even more, sometimes coupled with cheating and tricking our students.

On one hand, I do agree with this statement when dealing with students in need of some extra time to leave their comfort zone and walk out of the “door” due to their personality type, shyness (even using their mother tongue, by the way).

But the first thing to remember are such concepts as “timeline” and “preliminary steps to make” in order to achieve some particular goals and engage them in real language acquisition in a gentle, undemanding, or simply “unpushy” Gandhi –like way: “In a gentle way you can shake the world”.

On the other hand, further to Jarvis, H., & Krashen, S. on “Digital Age” reading, what turns my attention is that many students by using a great deal of English on the internet acquire far more easily than through conscious learning.

Nevertheless, my teaching experience whispers to my ears what can be accomplished with beginners within this model is step-by-step integration (for instance, setting up their mobile phone in English or playing simple visual games on the internet) so that they are exposed to what they learned whereas students with risk-taker personality type might experience that innate curiosity expertly playing upon them outside the a door from the very beginning.

 

 

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Tatiana

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