3 Things that make Language Learners special

Blog By Shakina Mohol (ESL Specialist-Kohinoor American School)

Language learners are really special people to teach. Not only do they have an abundance of cultural diversity oozing out of every nook and cranny, but theyalso have a great sense of togetherness and unity. I’d like to point out three qualities that make true language learnersspecial indeed:

1. Intrinsic motivation:

Simply put, these wonderful people are motivated from within. They want to learn a language not because someone told them to, orbecause it’s part of their syllabus, but because they feel they have a real need to study the language. Their career could depend on it, or perhaps they really love the culture of the target language and want to work or live there. One of the most delightful moments of a teacher’s life is when he or she meets a class full of students who have a real desire to learn.

2. Willingness to put in the work

In my opinion, a true language learner wants to put in the hard work needed to learn a language. He or she may have different definitions have of what‘working hard’ means. Hard work could mean watching movies in the target language or something more conventional like maintaining a vocabulary notebook religiously. When I see their hard work, I feel inspired to do better, especially to improve myself as a teacher.

3. Willingness to make mistakes

Without doubt, this is the most important reason I think language learners are great people to be around. Their willingness to make mistakes makes them open, frank and broad minded. They aren’t afraid of making mistakes, whether that means pronouncing a word wrongly or making a grammatical mistake. This willingness to learn through mistakes could even extend to how they deal with their personal lives. They know they won’t ever learn if they don’t make mistakes. Language learners are inspiring people to be around because they use their mistakes as tools to help them reach their goals.

There are, of course, plenty of other reasons why language learners are special. I haven’t mentioned all of them here. But I’d like to end by saying that it’s the learners that make a language classroom special. And when you find a group of true language learners together in class, you can be sure that the rest of the journey is going to be a delightfully fun experience for both you and your students.

Teach them to Love

Blog By Nicole Donnelly (Events and Activities Coordinator- Kohinoor American School)

We talk about progress; building bridges and conquering the unknown. We talk of a society that has evolved over the years and is marching forward towards greatness. But, as a modern civilized society - among the many things we do right, we still seem to be struggling with a few.

Our ‘Educational Systems’have become just another burden on the shoulders of our little children. Class tests, home assignments, summative assessments, grades etc. Have you ever asked a child what they enjoyed most at school? You wouldn’t be surprised at their answers, because those are the very things you enjoyed when you were young.

We say that we are empowering our future generations to take over our world and make it a better place. But with the given system of education we are training our students to get better grades, better jobs and a better life. When our children graduate, we have made them selfish beings, who only think of themselves. This attitude will surely not make the world a better place.

I came across a quote by the Dalia Lama a few years ago. “When educating the minds of our youth, we must not forget to educate their hearts.”This quote is so simple, yet it is the essence of a good educational system; education isn’t only about imparting knowledge.

If we as a society teach our children to value others, to reach out to the community in every way possible and to love the other; we will create citizens of tomorrow who are genuinely concerned about the world. Citizens who place others before themselves and create global solutions to our every increasing issues.

As teachers, educators, facilitators and parents we may not be able to change the system but we can surely change the little minds that we meet every day and teach them to love, respect and serve others.

Teach your children well, for the future is in their hands.