Everybody is talking about education, and it’s time to do something. Less drilling, more learning. Fewer, preferably no, standardized tests and more alternative, creative ways of assessing individual progress. Take away the fear and hatred of school and replace them with curiosity and a love of learning.
This week I began a new advertising campaign emphasing meaningful English learning. The response was overwhelming. Dozens of principals, teachers and parents across the country are no longer interested only in test scores. They want children to learn English as a language, to be able to speak and most important, to enjoy it. They are looking for activities instead of more workbooks. These activities require more dynamic educators who care about children.
In addition to requests for materials and workshops, I have received several requests for instructors to run programs in various parts of the country. If you love children and want to make a difference in their lives, and speak English at a native or near-native level, this might be the job you’re looking for. You will receive a full set of materials, training and guidance. In return, you must be prepared to lead groups according to the basic principles of “English is Fun”:
- English is for everyone, and everyone learns differently – be prepared to work with a wide variety of methods including songs, games, drama, physical activity and crafts.
- Children absorb language naturally – speak English as much as possible and translate only when necessary. Point to objects or use hand motions and facial expressions instead.
- This isn’t a regular English lesson – children are not expected to sit quietly for 45 minutes. Activities involve moving and sometimes a lot of noise. This should not be confused with a lack of discipline.
- Encourage creativity – whenever possible, and in most activites it is, be flexible and let kids use their imagination. There are many ways to imitate a horse, draw a house or make a happy face.
- English is fun – if kids don’t like English they won’t learn much. This begins with you, your attitude and your relationship with them.