So much grammar, so little time…

It is very frustrating to be a teacher who has experienced learning another language, teaching in another country and being told to do something that you know does not work. People in countries such as Japan and South Korea have been studying English for many years, but they have focused on grammar. The reason for this is not very difficult to understand, actually.

When you try to teach someone a language that you do not speak well, it is only natural that you focus on something which does not require you to speak the language and which can be written on the board in a classroom, supplemented with lots of paper to complete in class, tons of homework to assign and then it is easy to have numerous tests. This is the life of many non-English speaking English teachers.

Most of my student are familiar with my Grammar Machine story. When you spend a lot of time studying English grammar you think that there is a right and a wrong way to speak English. You begin to build a machine in your head that reviews and judges everything you want to say. In Japan and South Korea, where there is a deep sense of saving face, a fear of embarrassment, this means that most students do not want to try to speak, especially in a class with other students. It is too bad, because often I see students who really want to participate in a conversation, but they just cannot keep up with what is happening because of the grammar machine in their head.

Point of View story classes are a great way to learn how to use grammar well and have fun while studying. Grammar sheets and repetitive homework is not done in my class. And it will never be that way.

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