I mention the above visit as it ties into the 'secret' I am discovering.
With the visit to the gallery about to happen, the students now needed to expand their vocabulary linked to art so as to be able to discuss their opinions about the art on exhibit. By offering some resources to help fulfil this need or demand, the progress they made in a short space of time was exciting to witness. It made their eyes sparkle!
The more I think about the process of language learning and as I watch my superbly spirited students progress towards fluency, the more I can see that if I can create lessons that fulfill a specific & current demand that the students have for vocabulary and phrases that will allow them to hold a fluent discussion or conversation about it, I can see how that 'demand' or need, somehow triggers such exciting progress.
An example: Up and coming job interview
By way of another example, if I know a student has an up and coming job interview in English, I will draw up lessons from a number of sources about job interviews such as those available on the British Council Profession English. (I have done a previous post on job interview so please links to that and others at the end of this post)
The fact that within the student there is this demand, this real and imminent need to expand their level of English to encompass and deal with the interview really does seem to create opportunities for real advances
It gets really exciting as I can see that the students feel this progress too. As we deal with language we are about to need and that we really now want and need to know, I think we tap into the brilliant often magical learning processes within us.
I think that 'demand' can also be found by students tapping into their passions.
As I sing and rap in my dance track remix, 'Don't get tense about English tense!' 'Use your passion in language learning process, whatever it is that really interests you, what turns you on, what you are passionate about - learn and read about that!'
See video of dance track remix below - Don't get tense about English tense on youtube at http://youtu.be/YJnt7DZIKdA
I think that passion can create that same demand and focus that helps the often magical learning processes to really kick in! It creates a keenness.
I love the definition of ‘keenness’
'Keenness /kiːnnɪs/ noun
1. the quality of being eager or enthusiastic; eagerness.
"the sparkle in their eyes showed their keenness to learn more
synonyms: eagerness, willingness, readiness, desire, wish, '
Our passions can overcome any of the restraints of shyness and insecurities that we feel or any learning blocks that may have arisen.
I think that by creating language lessons that would be of interest in whatever language and which go beyond just the language itself, well it might be one of the keys to opening those doors of our learning potentials.
The same principles would apply when students are doing self-study. Use your passions! Use your needs!
Following your passions in the language learning process will create that same demand, that need to discover and will make the learning process enjoyable and new concepts easier to assimilate.
I am so impressed with seeing my students working with such enthusiasm and keenness that when I see their eyes sparkle, mine do too!
Professional English lessons including preparing for job interviews at http://www.britishcouncil.org/professionals-work-skills-homepage.htm
Main Pic: D Art
Keep dancing your way to fluency with Lawrence's remixes - DiscoTense songs - Good times - Present and continuous at http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLS-eQxgMJEd0d6B32n0jInZFAcDAd84fZ
youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Songolola
fluency on twitter @Lawrence_Hilton