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Teaching Philosophy

"I believe that learning a second language requires a supportive and safe environment and this can only be provided by a teacher that cares about the individual. This support is more than the traditional pedagogical teaching methods but should include lively, interesting and “experienced based” situational learning. Lessons should be created with the understanding of the students' strengths and weaknesses and teachers need to maximizing the students’ opportunities to learn while mitigating the threats to their success. Long-term memory is the key to language proficiency and these memories are made and reinforced by emotional connections plus repeated dynamic (active) use of the language. Learning by rote (passive repetition, typically through the use of endless exercise sheets) only creates a short-term working memory and won’t stay with you. You must live a language to speak a language! Adult learners have one major disadvantage as compared to children, specifically, we don’t like to fail. Whereas children are immune to these social impediments, adults can be paralyzed by shyness, fear, embarrassment and failure. This makes a reassuring, safe and positive environment even more important. Mistakes create great learning opportunities and a good teacher embraces these moments to connect with the students and reassure them. When a mistake is made, in a safe environment, the student has a positive emotional connection and when the correction is explained and understood by the student, then long-term memories are made. It’s truly a Eureka moment!"

Bruce Malanka