For whatever reason, some students have a different idea about what it means to be cool in the English classroom. Is it a rebellion against the English classroom? If so, in some senses I entirely understand it.
But an attitude against English is counterproductive for English teachers.
So, we are trying to turn that paradigm on its head.
We’ve started giving our 3rd grade students tutorials on how to be cool in English.
“Good eye contact is cool.” We tell them.
“You’ve got to have a nice smile and good expression.” We say.
“Saying your words smoothly is cool…”We quietly remark.
This approach teaches them English etiquette and takes the wind out of the sails of students who try to do otherwise.
Suddenly, the student who tries hard to improve their pronunciation and speak fluently is a hero.
In the normal English classroom, some of that rebellious behavior may seem cool. In a real conversation, however, it turns out to be quite rude and difficult to understand.
For their benefit, then, we’ve got to shatter those illusions about cool English behavior and show them what’s really cool.