Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Monday, July 18, 2005

Anti-Social Tendencies

by AJ

I admit it, when it comes to work-- Im anti-social. I avoid conversations with most of the other teachers in my department. I keep quiet about my methods and approach.

Krashen urges us not to do this. He encourages dedicated and knowledgeable teachers to communicate with and educate other teachers. He encourages us to advocate for more natural and effective approaches.

But I find this difficult. I know most of my co-workers just won't get it. First of all, most do not have degrees in TESOL or language acquisition. Second, almost all of them are brainwashed by the grammar-translation-textbook approach. They are utterly dependent on textbooks.

I know my indirect grammar, authentic materials, comprehensible input, free reading approach would shock most of them. They just won't get it. If I talk about my methods, I will encourage them to comment on and scrutinize my teaching. I invite interference in my class. And since Im hugely outnumbered... Id be asking for them to try to force me to teach with more grammar-translation methods.

So I choose to avoid conversations with them. I dont care what they do in their classes and wont tolerate interference in mine. I have always preferred to live by the motto "never ask permission".

This makes me a poor advocate, I admit. I wish I had more energy and persuasive power-- to try to educate and persuade my colleagues. But I dont.