Early Language Lessons To Close the New Achievement Gap
In a site that prides itself on a "desirable and sustainable future" it is unfortunate that this kind of article gets some prominence. The reality is that the problems we find ourselves today are because of the teaching practices used. Despite all the changes, the testing, the funding there has been no measurable increase in the outcomes from language teaching for decades. Why? Because the paradigms used portray the learner as needing to be "filled" with language, grammar, pronunciation, phrases, etc. Rather than seeing people as meaning making machines that always try to make sense of what they are provided with. This is why all of us learned our first language without too many dramas. ...no one interfered with us learning how to speak. we just made sense of it all, etc. By providing learners with ready packaged formulas they have to "learn" - read memorize - we have undermined the very basis of our amazing abilities. There need to be a wholesale re-evaluation of how we understand learning so we can head towards a desirable future, rather than just more of the same. Check out http://www.strategiesinlanguagelearning.com/what-makes-an-exceptional-language-teacher/ to get a sense of what that would look like.
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