Today a very smart talented published ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher from Canada emailed me asking for advice.
She wrote, “Can you help me become a really good teacher?” Below is my edited reply.
Yes! I would love to work with you.
My understanding of second-language communication is based on my own intense work and study for the last ten years.
If there is a better to achieve successful second-language communication, sign me up!
I am constantly searching for better sources and better means to do what I do.
I look forward to how I can learn from you, as well as the reverse.
So why do we use and learn communication?
In essence for one reason, to connnect and then to share information.
What is the foundation of communication?
The deepest recognition of “I am”: our own deepest sense of ourselves.
Books, media etc etc are only a simulacrum (weak limited copy) of the real thing.
The real thing is real-time coming together, to create and to develop shared understanding between people.
Start there, progress there, and end there!
That means dialogue, dialogue, dialogue.
This is the very same foundation that you began with your own first language as a small baby.
Books, videos, audios, vocabulary, grammar, lesson plans and everything else are additional means, that are not wrong, but can very easily send us in the wrong direction.
What is the greatest resource for this learning-teaching-learning adventure we are on?
In my view, it our own questioning mysterious humanity.
Be yourself, be the best most vulnerable teacher you can be.
Then your learners’ hearts cannot fail to open, and they will want to use every means to communicate with you.
My current understanding has led me to just two concepts which guarantee second-language success:
- Authentic Confidence: the unbreakable confidence you had that began you on your own journey of communication as a seconds-old baby, and indeed before.
- Conscious Intention: the increasing practice and ability to distinguish between one language, often your native language, and a second intended language. This ability can be practised both externally and most importantly internally within our own minds
Using just these two concepts one can practice jumping immediately into a position of identity in a second language.
It is not important your level of grammar or vocabulary.
Dear V,so let us continue to learn and research together!!
Best regards Mo