Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Partnering With Students

by AJ

We must teach our students not only English... but language acquisition theory. Why? Because our goal as teachers must be to develop autonomous learners. I want my students to become independent. I want them to learn effective self-study strategies. To do that, they need to know some basics about language acquisition. Otherwise they may waste a great deal of time on study methods that are inferior (such as grammar-translation).

So today my classes read an article about Free Voluntary Reading (by Krashen). We read through the article and then discussed the implications. I put them in groups and had them discuss the main ideas of the article.

I then had each group come up with three self-study suggestions. All of them were excellent. They included:

*Watch movies in English
*Listen to books on tape
*Listen to English radio programs
*Make friends with English speakers
*Read for fun (in English)

These are all excellent suggestions.... they show me that the students have a firm grasp of the Comprehension hypothesis. These are advanced students, so they are already at the autonomous stage. Really, they dont need a class at all. They are now capable of learning completely on their own (as their study suggestions show).

Many of today's students will graduate this year. The best thing I can give them is a taste for reading (and other sources of authentic English).... so that they can continue to acquire the language long after they leave the university.