Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


by AJ

On the subject of the future of classroom teaching.... here's an idea.

A school-bar combination (for adults obviously). God, where is it written that a school must be a stuffy, bleak, dehumanized warehouse? Are flourescent lights, cramped desks, tan carpet, and whiteboards mandated by the UN?

If I had the money and the lifestyle (ie, I could stay in one place more than 2 years running) here's what Id do: Id open a TESOL pub. The "school" would completely capture the pub vibe: hardwood bar and decor, dart board, intimate corners with track lighting, etc.

The TESOL pub would serve good beer and a small selection of pub snacks (pub grub). Students and teachers would sit at tables in the bar during "class". [In fact, there's a study that shows that one drink improves language acquisition in most participants :) See sdkrashen.com

The pub would come stocked with a karaoke machine (English songs, of course)and it'd have TVs in each corner (for using movies/TV shows to teach).

Students would be encouraged to come to "class" after work, have a beer, kick back, listen, read, and converse.

Native speaker volunteers from the community would be encouraged to drop in and chat with students-- perhaps by giving them a discount on drinks. Students would be encouraged to hang out after class and chat with the volunteers.

The pub would organize a lot of social activities. There would be outings, a karaoke night, a trivia night, a game night, darts tournament, a movie night,.....

And maybe a speed dating night once a month.... with the twist that one side of the table would be students and the other side would be fluent English speakers (of the opposite sex)... (learn English, get a date: now THAT would increase "motivation").

Now be honest, wouldnt you rather learn a language in a pub setting-- rather than in a sterile, sensory-deprivation tank called a "school"?