Patience and Protest

Right now I see students making two choices in the English classroom.

1) Be patient.

The logic: I may or may not like English, but I want to get into a good school so I’ll cram and test and jump through all the hoops they present me. And, hey, maybe I’ll be able to speak someday.

2) Protest.

The logic: I will do the absolute minimum and insulate myself emotionally from English. The opportunities aren’t there to speak, and all they do is test me over and over. I’ll cram for the tests (maybe), but I’m not going to absorb this stuff.

The ratio of patient students and protesters in a given class is dependent upon their teachers. Some are more successful at getting more students to be patient than others.

But the choices are essentially the same.

What about presenting a third choice to students?

That choice is, “Should I be passionate about learning English or not?”

I think ALTs can be game changers in this area.

Most people need permission and knowledge about the options they have. The first steps in changing this thinking process then, is showing the students the choice they have and inspiring them to choose to learn English.