If you want to build a ship, don’t gather people together to collect wood and son’t asign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
This quote is posted on the cork board next to my teacher desk. It’s a reminder for many things, but in the language classroom in particular it reminds me that my ultimate job is to teach students to want to learn languages.
When I remember that my job is to teach them to want to learn languages, that, in turn, reminds me to celebrate every success.
When I’m focused on celebrating every success, it fills my students with confidence and our classroom with smiles.
When everyone smiles, we all belong.
When we all belong, we all relax.
When we all relax, our minds subconsciously open to new learning.
When our minds are open to new learning, compelling, comprehensible input flows and students forget we are speaking another language.
When we’re lost in the moment, we are in a state of FLOW.
When we’re in FLOW students are absorbing the structure of the language without trying.
When students absorb complex linguistic structure without trying, their brain creates a “mental representation” of language.
When students have mental representation, it allows them to produce language spontaneously.
When students produce meaningful language spontaneously, they see themselves as the natural-born language learners they really are.
When they see themselves as language learners, students have the desire to improve.
When students want to improve, we have successfully taught them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.