Sunday, December 9, 2012

Who is the best role model for my language learning?

I've spend a day at Joint JALT Tokyo conference and had a chance to think who my role model was when I started learning English. The theme of the conference was, "There is no best method." but the discussion during the first plenary speaker, Dr. Andy Curtis, ended up in "Who can be the best role model for the language learners?" while he got us walk through the history of English language education and its methodology. It was quite interesting shift from talking about the best Methodology to the best roll model. To me, it was engaging topic for I constantly wonder if I am good enough as a language instructor. I keep on asking myself, "How can you be the best roll model for your students when your English can not be "Perfect"?" I Would try to make it as good enough as possible as a communication tool, however, I can never see myself to build the same sense of ease and confidence when I produce sentences in English as I do in my 1st language. My heart resonate with the phrases such as Daring greatly and the gift of imperfection because of the fact that I can't see myself achieving the native-like proficiency in English. And if the best roll model means someone who show the perfect model, I am a failure.

However, when I look back to my learning experiences, I remember some persons who were adorably imperfect and beautifully messy in a very wholehearted way. They motivated me to be able to communicate with them in order to get to know them more. Even for the different areas such as parenting, my roll models are not perfect human-beings yet they dealt with me as real and sincere as possible and accept me as who I am.  So, for me "the best" means not "the perfect". The best means more like sincere or real.

So, just in time before Christmas I found one more wish to add to my wishing list. That is to be courageous enough to show up in the classroom as sincere and real as possible in spite of all the anxieties and fears I might feel.

I am thankful for the opportunity to attend such a thought-provoking conference.

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