I assigned the students to write a self-evaluation of their reading, writing, and speaking abilities yesterday. Wanting them to take the questions at least as seriously as I did while writing them, I belabored the “language is power” and “your learning is really your responsibility” concepts really well before handing the evaluation form out.
Also… I may have told them it was weighted as much as their final exam would be.
Sometimes you gotta pull the grade card.
But I have to tell you, I’m impressed. Almost without exception, these students think seriously about their strengths and weaknesses. They write thoughtfully about their language goals and taking responsibility for reaching them.
As I read their thoughts, and one solution after another occurred to me, I was possessed of a sudden assurance that I was in the right place, at the right time, doing what I’m meant to be doing. I’m envisioning a drastically different approach to language learning, but I’ve got a feeling it’s going to work.
It’s been incredibly stressful, trying to come up with my own curriculum; more than once I’ve thought a bit wistfully of those elementary jobs where everything is laid out for you in lockstep. But this. What an opportunity to work with students where they really are!