"Guillian Lynne, a world famous choreographer, was at risk of being sent to a special school when she was a kid. Her teacher complained that she was not attentive in the class, constantly fidgeting and disturbing others. The school sent her to a psychological assessment with her mother.
The psychologist who had seen other children with similar peculiarities, turned on a radio and asked the mother to observe the girl in silence. Gillian started to move around by the music, looking graceful and natural. Then the psychologist said, “Gillian isn’t sick. She’s a dancer. Take her to a dance school."
“The Element” (Ken Robinson)
The story illustrates how every student is able to perform either perfectly, regularily or poorly – it just depends on the particular conditions.
The conditions are good, when learners understand how the tasks support their principal goals in life. Does everyone know what their goals are?
At school, Guillian did not know excactly what she wanted from life, but she had a natural impulse to constantly move her body. Her teacher was focused on standardised learning: she wanted the girl to behave according to the norms in the school program.
However, she did not know how to adapt the class with students` personal needs. How should this adaption work?
Imagine a student like Guillian dreaming about becoming an internationally successful dancer, and she is in an English class. By studying English, she could practice communication with international dance agencies and thereby find better career opportunities. If she understands it, she becomes an enthusiastic learner.
However, she must first understand that her passion is dancing.
If students connect the subject with their personal needs, they will also relate their studies with real life – they understand why it is useful to them.
For example, Gyillian had an innate ability to express herself corporally, but the teacher wanted her to sit still still listen. Maybe students like Guillian need to study even languages with music – in order not to forget their passion?
If following standardised techniques becomes a priority, the learners just do the minimum that is required, because they feel they are not developing their individual talents properly.
They cannot relate the studies with their life. It would be the same as making musculous wrestler and graceful ballerina do the same execise at a gym, even though they have different needs.
What happens if teacher believes that technics are more important than life outside the course and studens ultimately meet the learning standards? The only happy person will be just the teacher. However, what happens if students know what their passion is and teacher understands their talents? Learning becomes fun, learners become entusiastic and they advance faster. In any subject.
Do you want to know how learning English would help you with your professional or personal goals?
Contact me and we will find it out together!