Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Teaching & Learning

by AJ

A symphony conductor is usually a good musician, but seldom a world-class performer. The ability to [teach]... to Engage Others and to Turn Them On... rarely coincides with being at the tip-top of the... Individual Performance Heap.
--Tom Peters

This is Tom Peters take on the level of performance needed for leaders (and teachers) and it sounds about right to me. TESOL teachers need not be world class multi-linguists... but they damn sure should at least be good... should at least be familiar with the process of learning another language.

Because both direct experience and knowledge (introspection, analysis) are necessary. Theory without in-the-trenches experience quickly leads one to the ivory tour (ie. cluelessness). And direct experience without knowledge (& contemplation) often results in greater skill but no greater insight. In teaching, as in most things in life, we need both.

Though, as Peters (and previous commenters have pointed out)- we need not be absolute masters of a foreign language to be absolute masters of teaching TESOL.