Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"It's Break-time Kids Video"

When the teacher has to remind kids that it is break-time:

Untitled from Aaron Jolly on Vimeo.

Our Discovery Island: Online World Breaks Through Affective Filters.

“Excuse me Mr. Jolly, when’s break-time?”

“My dear students (kids)… it’s break-time!”

“Excuse me Mr. Jolly, when’s break-time!” This the usual refrain of even the best and most motivated among my winter camp students once the class starts heading toward the 40 or 45 minute mark. That is, unless they have already got their watches or cell phone timers set to remind me.

Imagine my surprise and delight when instead of being begged for break-time, it was me who had to remind them - “My dear students… it’s break-time” and tell them that they should “log-off” from their language learning and “go get a snack”.

This was my experience this past winter when road-testing the online world for Our Discovery Island at my language institute. You can see evidence here (on my blog) of this actual occurrence – and given the low level of my students and the fact that they were new to studying with me – I was pretty amazed by it.

The reason for their reaction is quite clear – kids in 2011 are demanding blended learning experiences. They want to learn English in the way they learn many other things these days - through self-directed learning and exploration.

Kids want something that speaks to them in their “language”. The best online supplements for language learning do this. They can enable students with motivational issues, or even shy personalities to shine – while enabling the teacher to collect feedback and track student progress efficiently.

We know that motivation is the key to leaning anything, so we shouldn’t really be surprised. My wide range of experience as a language teacher, an eager methodology tester and curriculum designer, teacher trainer, conference organizer and attendee has led me to believe that “motivation + vocabulary acquisition = success”. There are many other factors but without these two nothing else is possible.

Thus, my surprise and delight at the benefits of online learning deepened, as I watched my student James learn the word “dentist” in the online world one day, then teach another student the word the very next day as if he had known it forever. And, thanks to the way he learnt it, he will know it forever.

All the best of luck with your teaching (and your students’ learning)!

Aaron D. Jolly.
Seoul, South Korea.

No comments:

Post a Comment