Ben Slavik recently observed a teacher in Denver who kept her students active and engaged for an entire hour without any use of English (her students’ native language) or any blurting by students. He was impressed and wrote an article about it. One of his suggestions was that we make “No English” a rule for our students.
Younger teachers often tell me they envy my “experience.” Yet, what does the word really mean? Does it just mean that I’m getting old? What is experience? It has to be more than a mere accumulation of years. It seems to imply a certain wisdom that I have no claim to.
Yesterday I read a long article by Carol Black that stunned me. In very simple words she explained so many things that I’ve often felt or sensed. At the same time, much of what she says echoes the findings of Stephen Krashen, Alfie Kohn and the latest cutting edge research in neurolinguistics.
This question was asked recently by a French person who came to the Agen Workshop in July, 2014. She is perfectly bilingual and a creative, hard-working and conscientious teacher of English. She admitted that she didn’t feel comfortable teaching pronunciation.
Some days, if I want to have some fun, I ask my francophone students how many verb tenses there are in English. Their guesses are all over the place, usually somewhere between ten and twenty. And they are guesses; no one is really sure that they know the answer to my question.