Thursday, March 16, 2006

When we're teaching English we're...

In January I wrote a post about our school's English faculty reflection on the question: What are we doing when we’re teaching English. These are some of the words and ideas that we came up with. Our next step is to bring these ideas to life in the classroom. I hope that the plurality of views that are in any largish faculty are represented here. But is there something we haven’t thought of? Where should our reflections go next in our efforts to educate the students in our care? I’d be interested in what other teachers of English have to say about it.

When we're teaching English we're....
"When I’m teaching English… I am demystifying, equipping, conceptualising, and developing our language in young minds for the future. We teach an understanding of our world and how to interpret and operate in it. We are developing a love of language. We are working towards enabling students to read, write, listen, communicate and understand. We are helping them be effective members of the community. Teaching English helps students to be able to “read” the world around them and therefore participate more effectively. Effective communicators. Expression. Passion for words. “Decoding” the world around us. Displaying understanding of matter, appreciating the written word, thinking beyond the text. Teaching thinking and analysing. Teaching reflection. When we teach English we teach to communicate, to appreciate, to provide means of expression, to provide a way to utter what comes from within. We’re helping our students to be informed and articulate and responsive to great ideas. We are inviting young people to share in the richness of the English language, to learn to use it and to participate in the world through it. We are passing on or sharing a love of language, literature and ideas. When we’re teaching English we are teaching students the ability to communicate effectively using the conventions, standards, expectations that enable connection, understanding and experiences to be shared, we are communicating and exploring and we are inviting responses to the world of language. We are providing students with the opportunity to gain social and creative skills to be able to succeed in society. In English we are educating the whole student. They are learning the English language, while learning about themselves and their world. In teaching English I believe I am broadening outlooks, encouraging tolerance, and expanding powers of thinking."

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jo

    I don't know how relevant it is to your question, but have a look at my post:

    In my case, I was talking about the learning of a second language, so the fit might not be quite right, but perhaps you have something similar to the UK's EFL (English as a foreign language) programme in Australia?