Linda and I were talking about whether we should join a program in our school where we open our doors to groups of teachers from all disciplines to share ideas about teaching. My position and Linda agrees that we are so different in what we are doing, in what we are trying to accomplish, that its apples and oranges and how we get the high engagement and laughter would be something of a mystery to anyone who doesn’t teach a language. Why? Because we teach to an entirely different part of our students’ brains – their unconscious minds.

That’s THE game changer in foreign language education. It is the underlying concept at the heart of the reason that the WL community worldwide is – that we don’t even target the same part of the brain that all the other subjects target. As I have said, a child doesn’t learn a language by thinking. Thinking has nothing to do with it. So we decided to not participate in the program. Our doors are always open anyway. The image here is that when we go uptown we use the subway, and everyone else uses the bus.



2 thoughts on “Subways”

  1. I agree that what we do simply isn’t the same thing. It’s kind of funny because I almost don’t feel like I’m a teacher anymore. My main goals as I go into the classroom is to use French as much as possible, talk with (quite different from talking “to” students) my students, create/explore something in French, and do some things that help me to keep my sanity and health (like dictées and listen and draw, etc.). It can still be tiring simply because of the sheer number of students (I have around 130/day), but I still almost feel sorry for other teachers who are just trying to force students to learn things with their conscious minds.

    1. Bryan said:

      …I still almost feel sorry for other teachers who are just trying to force students to learn things…

      Moi aussi. I really feel sorry for them. And the fault lies in no one. It’s just the way it is. We can’t teach anyone anything, really, if they aren’t interested. And the only way to make them interesed is to tell them a story or do some variation on a story. So many kids and teachers just faking through it, day after day! The warm weather comes to a close each year, the cold weather comes and goes away, it gets warm again, the kids get an increasingly brief amount of time to decompress from the enormous pressure we put them under for those ten months (used to be nine!) and the beat goes on. My career has been nothing more or less than the Wizard of Oz. It was in black and white for 24 years and in color for 15 years. Thank you Bryan. I love what you wrote above. It is exactly the way I feel. And before I didn’t feel that I was any good at it, the old way, that I wasn’t any good as a teacher because I couldn’t reach more than a few kids in each class. Now I feel good enough. All glory to be God on that one, dude.

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