Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Thoughts On Littky

by AJ

I love Littky's thoughts on breaking down the walls between "school" and "the real world" (if we believe school is "unreal", perhaps thats our first and greatest problem). I would make one substitution though... Littky talks about "kids" and "young adults" but the concept applies just as much to adults.. to all human beings.

As my ambitions and ideas grow ever larger, Im realizing that there is no way I can do all this by myself. NO WAY. Im naturally lazy, after all... but that has its advantages. It means Im always trying to get more accomplished with less effort.

Littky is right on track. There are two ways to break down the walls. One is to bring the community into the classroom. This can be done by inviting visitors and volunteers. It can be done by encouraging students to bring their family and friends to class. It can be done by creating mentor programs. It can be done with "open classrooms" (next semester Ill invite any of my students to attend any/all of my classes, as they wish).

The other thing to do (in addition) is to get students out of the class. This is done with projects that nudge them outside. Its done through internships, observation practicums,.... and even traditional "field trips". Its done through internet collaborations (especially international ones).

Both are necessary. I admit its a bit tougher to organize some of this as a foreigner in Thailand who does not speak Thai. I could do it very easily at home... but Im still trying to figure out how to attract/recruit mentors, volunteers, internship partners, and the like here in Bangkok.

Perhaps I should start with the students families? Send something home with them... ask them to recruit their Moms, Dads, Aunts, Uncles, and Siblings for mentoring, internships, observation practicums, guest speaking, interviews, and the like.

Ill do my best, and am confident that at least some of the attempts will work (ie. the collaborations with teachers/students in Ubon and Kyoto).