I really admire any teacher that “stretches” the mind of their students. YES, we teach English but further, a teacher should embody “praxis” which is to promote committed action in their students, promote their questioning about the world around them. (Praxis to me is reflection upon ones place / beliefs in the world with the aim of acting and changing these conditions).
A second language offers a wonderful “mask” and opportunity to question all the assumptions we automatically don and wear in our lives. WHY? Well, thought, free and unrooted, like that of a child, rises and flames much more easily in “a second language. There is something liberating (once a certain level of fluency is achieved) about “thinking” in another language. We gain some kind of freedom to see and go down the rabbit hole.
One way teachers can do this is by showing and discussing some of the wonderful animations about the world “as it is” (but be careful and use them with students that are of the right age). Perspepolis is one such winner. I’d also recommend highly “Waltz with Bashir”. Animations connect with students and allow the brain more rein and breadth. I’ll be highlighting both fine, Academy awarded films time on Teacher TV this month. Catch them in full there.
Get your students thinking! If you have any suggestions, please add them!!!!