If I have done this I have to take some blame. In my defence, though, let me say that it is hard to live in a world like the EFL one that thinks mainly in terms of cognitive skills and behaviours and largely ignores the affective and the sensory side of life.
‘Where in the World can one make a decent living and save some AT A NEWBIE LEVEL‘ asks Spiral78 over on the ELT World forums. The question has received a number of responses and the outlook is not so great it would seem. Is there any hope? Let’s look in more detail...
Hello dear colleagues!
When his first best seller came out Eco was interviewed by loads of journalists. With one of them he asked:
" I know you have a very busy life so may I ask you a delicate question: have you have time to read some pages of my book?" The lady blushed and replied that she had read all six hundred pages through to the end. She added that she had read some parts twice.
At this Eco sighed deeply and said in a low voice: " The we have a real problem on our hands. Are we going to discuss the book you have read or the book I think I tried to write?
Let me randomly list some of the things I have found:
Students have had distracting side-thoughts provoked by some detail in the story
One student once turned the story into a film in a foreign language, with subtitles in his language and with a strong musical soundtrack. ( amazing) ( The story was set in this foreign country)
Another person was reminded of another story they already knew and fused this story with the story I was telling.
1. What are the major challenges facing EL Teachers in your country?
Try this exercise: make sure each student has a large sheet of blank paper in front of them. Tell them that you want them to draw something and that it ought to take up the whole of the paper. Tell them they wil have just one minute to draw it. TELL THEM TO DRAW A ONE MINUTE MAP OF THEIR COUNTRY AND TO PUT IN ALL THE DETAIL THEY CAN IN THE TIME ALLOTED.
Time the minute.
The exercise allows you and your students to explore the sensory power of words. Put these headings up on the board for them to copy into their note books:
I see I hear I feel through my body I taste/smell
Tell your students you are going to give them the name of an animal and then give them 15 seconds silent time. Give them the word "LION" .......... When the 15 seconds are up ask a number of students this simple question: "When you heard the word LION what happened in your head?"
You will get answers ranging from "nothing" to " I saw the lion in the grass", "the lion roar", "I feel the lion too near", " the Lion King".
Give the students about a dozen animals using the timing suggested above. Vary the animals you choose: eg mosquito, hen, crocodile, cat, snake, seagull.
Well, my third course has just finished and everything went quite smoothly. All 12 candidates made it to the end, and despite a couple of ups and downs for a couple of teachers/trainees towards