Twenty-four years of teaching English. So many generations of students, some of them keen on learning this musical language, others less interested in it, but still able to understand it and have a short chat in English.
Being able to communicate in a foreign language gives students a boost in their self-esteem and they feel the power triggered by the chance to have a discussion with people from other countries while travelling, playing games on different platforms or on social media. Besides, they practise their English by watching their favourite movies or TV series, with or without subtitles, listening to their favourite songs, printing the lyrics and memorizing them while singing, reading comics or books in English or working on the computer by understanding the commands which are in English.
Furthermore, let’s not forget about the researchers’ discovery regarding the fact that the people who speak more languages have a brain which reacts faster.
Isn’t it heaven on Earth for the English teachers? Which other foreign language teachers are as lucky as us? None. English is the most spoken international language.
The joy, exhilaration and pride felt when some of my students got great results in contests, Olympiads, Cambridge exams and project work meetings were the most precious reward a teacher can experience in his/her career. The moments when some ex-students called me, paid me a visit or invited me out are so dear to my heart that I always remember them with gratitude.
Besides, I’m the mother of two daughters of seventeen and eleven years old, who I have been tutoring since they were 3 years old and who have become fluent, inspired and passionate about English. This is my most precious heritage for them.
Years of teaching, studying, reading, experiencing and feeling this language. It’s so vivid that I have no doubt regarding its importance and the necessity of using it in real-life contexts, with confidence and passion. It flourishes when it is kindly tendered and it becomes vital to its users. If you resume it to a set of grammar and vocabulary rules, you will finish by getting lost in the uselessness of drills which are unproductive and boring. English is so musical that it must be spoken, not just resumed to grammar exercises.
How can you look into your students’ eyes and not discover the sparkle given by their passion for proving they master the queen of languages in debates full of ideas and substance?
English brightens our life and soul!