I’ve always wanted to find an excuse to write more about Earl Stevick! Now that I mentioned humanistic approaches in two previous posts, it seems there’ll never be a better chance 🙂
So, here we go: Teaching and Learning Languages by Earl W.Stevick, my favourite ELT writer of all times. First published in 1982, but still very relevant – at least that’s what I think. By his own admission, Stevick wrote this tiny book as something practical, but not a ‘how-to-do-it’ book. He was focusing on the principles of teaching, on thinking about ‘how-it-works’, beginning from the first words the teacher says when they enter the classroom.
And here’s my favourite quote for today: “When you called the people there in front of you ‘class’, you accepted for yourself the role known as ‘teacher’, and along with it an obligation to help your students to move toward the goals that they brought with them.”
Quite a lot to unpack here: the advice to find out about the learners’ needs as soon as possible, the understanding that calling yourself a teacher means taking on a huge responsibility… Does this quote speak to you as well?