Without a shadow of a doubt, to teach is an art. To learn is an art.
The practice of art is to understand the materials, its use, and how to make strong connections that form a pleasing and useful outcome. Well, that’s one definition, but it’s not really a clear definition the art of teaching.
A good teacher must connect with the student. Help them understand, and be vigilant in watching how students react to the material.
Teaching English language is as much about showing, explaining, and prompting students towards moments of understanding, as it is about keeping them motivated to continue learning.
Language learning seems like slow progress – but really, it isn’t. It’s just that we can’t see the progress in the usual forms; there’s no material increase at the end of a lesson, there seems to be no feeling of progress, and so on, but when a student suddenly finds themselves among native English speakers, and they participate in a conversation, they realise that their progress in learning has increases ten-fold.
We can’t see progress, we can experience it. That’s because language is a living thing. An action that we carry out when we are in dialogues with other people, in conflict with others, when we are passionate about life we express our feelings and ideas to others – or the mirror.
Learning to speak a second language fluently isn’t about how hard it is, it is about developing a strong sense of motivation built on use of the language, and self knowledge about how much effort you put into your practice.
Understanding positive stress of learning as a sign of growth, two sides of the same coin, helps a student stay on track and continue on the knowledge that learning and retention of ideas is happening.
This motivation, the thing that keeps us going, will ensure a positive outcome of fluency in any second language.
Recipe for success in language learning; Take one motivated student, one motivated and knowledgeable teacher, two cups of coffee and a quiet room. Let them work with each other to transmit ideas and knowledge as a team effort.