Teaching, a method

–read in Italian–


A classic method

When learning a new language, the method is crucial. I could tell you Jespersen, or Skinner, even Chomsky, but there would be only names. Rather than doing that, it’s easier to see how teaching got close to win the battle against foreign language. First of all, we thought the best way to teach was to follow rigid guidelines. It seems like the teacher needed to let you speak like a book. The result? You were not going to speak at all. So the method developed, but the main idea was still to let you speak as a parrot.


A cool method, even nowadays, is the one called Parrotism, used mainly by the old school teachers. In a word, dinosaurs. As in Jurassic Park, but instead of  plants or other dinosaurs, they love reptita iuvant and white and black grammars with the smallest characters ever. If it was still by the law, they’d love to slap sb in the face. Errors? Na, erased. I supposed mainly because it reminds about the slap. The grammar slap, as to say.

Searching for perfection

As a result, an entire generation (mine, doh!) is living with the myth of perfection in written language (which is still waiting for with Godot, btw). And above all, we combine our formalism in our speaking with a fear (terror) for interaction with unknown people. Ah, a great mix, uh? The bright side is that for some people, as Italian, goes the same as for the bumblebee and its wings. We know just 6 words? No worries, we’re going to use it at the risk of seem (and honestly, mostly be) funny.

The modern methods

As always, we have to wait for a while just to say “hey there, modern is better”. Not always it’s like that, but this is certainly the case. Our cousins, nephews or sons are in a world mostly slap-free (grammar or not). Furthermore, teachers have a communication– lead teaching and they know how to motivate the students. Obviously, from knowing the techniques to actually use them, it’s gonna be another story. With the study of the brain, the main part is done.

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