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■リレーコラム テーマ 1. 教師の資質とは

第3回 THE LANGUAGE FORCE (1)
David Rosenfeld (高槻市教育センターAETスーパーバイザー)

The Adventure begins

“Most impressive, young Skywalker. The Force is strong with you.”


 The above words, from the famous adventure film Star Wars, are spoken by the evil Darth Vader, when he sees how much progress the hero of the story has made in learning how to use the powerful “Force.” I believe that one of the reasons Star Wars is so popular is that it is a classic story of self-discovery and growing up. The young, uncertain hero, Luke Skywalker, grows to discover and use his own natural ability, and eventually becomes more powerful than his teachers.

 Luke actually has two teachers. One, named Obi-wan, is the good teacher, a master of The Force, who trains Luke to find and trust his own natural power. Obi-wan is encouraging, patient, and kind, and is glad when his student makes great progress. He seems to know that someday the student will become greater than the teacher. Luke succeeds because Obi-wan believes in him. The other teacher is of course Darth Vader, who teaches Luke not by encouragement but by rivalry. He is jealous of Luke’s progress, does not want him to gain power, and wants always to be in control. Luke succeeds in spite of Darth.

 I’ll tell you a secret. School is Star Wars. All your students are Luke Skywalker, the hero of their own education. And all your students have The Force. Right now we are concerned with language, so I will call this aspect of it The Language Force. All children have it. The natural ability to become powerful second-language users is waiting to be discovered, ready to burst forth and become reality right there in your classroom. Don’t believe me?

 

The Force is With Us!

Recent Sightings of Luke, Darth, Obi-wan and The Force in our own galaxy!

 

 In case you are one of the skeptical few who don’t believe in The Force, let me report some recent manifestations of the Language Force in our own galaxy - in fact, right here in our own solar system! Most of the following have occurred within the past 3 weeks!

  1. First grade (7 years old).
     While presenting their artwork involving shapes, numbers, and colors, they spontaneously began putting together proper word order, such as “Two blue circles” and “Three red squares,”after hearing the teachers chant this pattern briefly using a different example. They didn’t need the prompting questions that teachers had prepared, such as, “What shape?” “What color?” “How many?” At first, the teachers continued to use these prompts instead of allowing the children to continue developing the grammar themselves. This is exactly what Darth Vader would do! Then, realizing that the children could do it on their own, the teachers then adjusted by simply asking the children to describe what they had used, and more and more children used the correct grammar! This is what Obi-wan would do.
  2. 3rd grade.
     Visiting Australian children taught an English chant, which all the Japanese teachers immediately forgot. After the Australians went home, and the teachers tried to do the chant again during English Activities, they started wrongly, directed the children wrongly, and the activity was a disaster (Darth Vader). Even long after this failure, when the children were simply asked to make groups and do the chant, they did it perfectly. The teachers did nothing (Obi-wan).
  3. 6th grade.
     The key sentence in the interview game was, “Do you want to be a ---?” The children were told to answer, “No, I don’t” and then follow with “I want to be a ---.” A boy (Luke) asked,“What if our answer is YES?” (He meant, “What if we really do want to be what they ask?”) The teacher (Darth Vader) said, say NO anyway, because this is just an exercise.
  4. 4th grade.
     Playing fukuwarai, children became frustrated because they hadn’t learned the word for “turn” and so couldn’t instruct their teammates to straighten a crooked nose. A teacher (Obi-wan) at that moment simply made a gesture and said “turn.” Soon, “turn” was being used perfectly throughout the class.
  5. 2nd grade.
     Chanting the names of animals and fruit according to what the teacher hit rhythmically with the fly swatter (also known as a light saber), the children were doing well at 3 in a row (dog, peach, cow). Some children shouted, “Do 4 next!” The teacher (Darth Vader) said, “No, we’ll just do three.”

 Now, the question is, are you Obi-wan, or are you Darth Vader? If you can be a real Darth Vader, providing a real language battle where your students’ adrenaline is rushing and sweat is pouring off as they fight for survival with every bit of linguistic strength they can muster, then maybe your students will become strong through fighting against you. But most likely, if you are not positive, encouraging, and on their side, they won’t fight you; they’ll just tune you out. You aren’t even in the movie.

 But fear not, fellow educators! When it comes to the Language Force, I, David Rosenfeld, teacher trainer and 29th level Jedi Master, will provide you with some helpful hints, to bring out the Obi-wan within you, so you can bring out the Force within your students.

Tune in next issue to find the JEDI MASTER’S SECRETS OF THE LANGUAGE FORCE, and be like Obi-wan!

2008年2月28日

 
David Rosenfeld (デービッド ローゼンフェルド)
David Rosenfeld (高槻市教育センターAETスーパーバイザー)

高槻市教育センターAETスーパーバイザー。
ALT、英語講師として、日本の英語教育にたずさわる。現在は、AETスーパバイザーとして、AETや学級担任の研修に力をそそいでいる。

著書・その他:
・eラーニングコース『即実践!ベテラン先生に学ぶ小学校英語活動』(アジアネット教育研究所)

 

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