In your hands

My life as a teacher of English and other curiosities

February 18, 2011
by annavarna

Silver bullets and ELT

A friend called me anxious yesterday morning asking me if I could give some classes to her brother who urgently needs to learn to speak English, because he has some clients from abroad (he is a business man).  I declined, but promised to ask around. But then she tells me: “We ‘ve heard about this miraculous new method by which you can be fluent in English in three or four months”.

I was kind of baffled then and said I would get back to her, because the bell had just rang. I was saved by the bell, someone could say. So I spent the rest of the day, wondering about this “new, miraculous method” that promises to teach you English in a couple of months. Wow, I must have been doing something wrong all my teaching life then.

And what use is all this connection with people if they don’t let you know about such things? I mean I am involved in so many educational networks and nobody mentioned a thing. Are you keeping it all to yourselves people? So that you can become millionaires?

Late at night I started reading Diane Ravitch’s book “The Death and Life of the Great American School System” and I was lucky enough to find my answer on page 3: “I have consistently warned that, in education, there are no shortcuts, no utopias, and no silver bullets. For certain there are no magic feathers that enable elephants to fly”. I was thankful for this quotation, I wouldn’t have been able to sleep at night.

But in case you have heard about this “New, Easy Way to Speak English in a couple of months with the minimum effort” please let me know!

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