Phoebe’s Point

Today Phoebe made a really good point:

“I like this blog site and have been reading it for several months so far. I am encouraged and relieved quite often when I realize about the higher end of teaching and how it is explained here. I am still in the gap of transitioning from the ‘old’ way with lots of plans and activities to the ‘three words and have at it’! Part of me feels guilty about feeling so calm about it – it’s as though I SHOULD be torturing myself and agonizing about all the details of my plans.

Thanks for providing all this important information. I’ll keep reading and learning!”

I respond:

“Phoebe I am hearing you say that we are not even aware when we torture ourselves with lesson plan details and the multifarious activities connected to traditional teaching. We think it is normal. Thus, we cannot heal from it because it has become like breathing air to us.

“What a blockbuster thought! If we could but realize how complicated we make our lives in the classroom (cf. Merton quote on this blog), and how truly little effect our freneticism has on what our students actually acquire, then we might be able to do something about it.

“This is the hardest thing of all, isn’t it? It is not so much about learning the new method as much as it is about letting go of the old. We can’t keep one eye focused happily on TPRS while the other remains fixed on what we used to do.

Thanks for this. I have been wanting to put this into words for weeks now. If we can’t stop torturing ourselves in needless activities, burning the days of our careers away in a sense of binding frustration, then our embracing of TPRS will stall if not come to a halt.

Maybe this explains why so few people do TPRS even though as intelligent professionals who have done research on how we learn languages, they see its merits.”

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