Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Autonomous Students

by AJ

Here is the simple truth: English class is not enough. Students do not spend enough time in class. They cannot make big improvements simply by attending class. This is especially true of advanced students such as the ones at Thammasat.

To improve, students must get comprehensible input outside of class. They must watch movies, or TV shows, or children's shows. They must read for fun. These self-study efforts will help them much more than class.

At the advanced level, the teacher's primary job is to encourage student autonomy. We must encourage students to become independent learners. We must teach them the most effective and pleasurable ways to study (free reading, movies, TV shows, radio, books on tape).

We must encourage them to find pleasure in English. If reading is interesting and fun, students will do it often. If studying English is boring and difficult (such as memorizing vocabulary and grammar rules), most will NOT do it in their free time.

Our job as language teachers is to help students help themselves. At the intermediate and advanced levels, we cannot do it for them. Our main task is to encourage and coach them..... so that they will seek out comprehensible English on their own.