Motivation can overcome almost all obstacles. It can overcome weaknesses in natural ability or deficiencies in the learning environment, while in contrast a lack of motivation can derail the brightest and most talented of learners. The secret, the holy grail, the Aladdin's lamp of teaching that we all seek isn’t only how to ignite the fire of inquisitiveness but how to promote such a burning desire to improve that sustained and independent learning occurs long after the teacher steps away and after the initial excitement of being able to engage in a conversation in English has subsided.
We live in a politically correct world, for the most part. There are words and stereotypes that were commonly used half a century ago that we wouldn’t stand for now. We work hard to make sure that no-one feels his or her experiences or opinions are worth less than that of an other’s. We still have a way to go, but on whole, I would suggest -- we are on the right track.
Teaching is a timeless profession; the Greeks were doing it, Jesus was apt, and even Einstein wanted a piece of the action, and it’s difficult to see at first what has fundamentally changed in the way we teach since Plato was expounding his theory of Forms.
But Plato didn’t have an iPad. Or Twitter. And he didn’t have access to an online language corpora with millions examples of language to compare. So what advantage do we really have now compared to our sandaled friends?
There are four aspects to this: the school, the methods, the teacher, and the student.
It is commonly claimed that teachers are born; not made, but can the same be said of a Director of Studies?