Pride goes before a fall – as a teacher

My last post described how I don’t push or spend time emphasizing correct French pronunciation in my classes.  The evidence behind this practice shows that given enough comprehensible repetition, students eventually self-correct once they HEAR the sounds.  I shared the example of my student eventually vocalizing ‘beaucoup’ correctly.

The very next week, I was humbled.  I was concluding a very left-brain activity (the methodology that is least effective for long-term retention) and suddenly realized that harping on the correct use of language was just as counter-productive and demoralizing to my students.  In fact I FELT like I was grinding a couple down into feeling like they were not very good at French.

I spent about 24 hours beating up on myself. (do Math teachers self-reflect as much as language teachers????)  But out of that failure was born a new approach to the same material.

So two lessons learned:

  • teachers are fallible and inconsistent
  • out of failure can come some of our best ideas
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