Do you want to learn English… or do you need to?

17 May

Teaching ain’t easy.

In order to teach people, you have to consider their age, culture, socio-economic background, preferred learning style, and attention span, besides tuning into their mood for the day, and respecting their past experience (traumas) in learning.

But, above all, you’ve gotta understand their reasons for learning. As far as I can tell, there are only 2:

1. you want to learn.

2. you need to learn.

Now if a student wants to learn, you’re clear. Just apply all of the considerations above, love what you do, and have fun.

However, if they need to learn, you’re dealing with a completely different beast.

It’s funny. People who feel they need to learn (who, theoretically, should be more motivated) will find any excuse to avoid learning. They’ll miss classes, forget homework, take calls in the middle of a lesson, basically anything that will deviate them from learning, because they don’t want to learn. They just feel they need to. 

I know people who have spent years in this state of denial, paying for classes and courses that they simply don’t show up to. It’s like people who pay for a gym membership, and never go. They don’t really want to be fit. They just pay for the concept of staying fit:

– You going to the gym?

– Oh, I can’t today. I’ve gotta work/stay home/anniversary/wash my hair/(insert your favorite excuse here).

– Tomorrow then?

– For sure! 

And they never go.

It’s the same with English classes. Some people really want me to teach them, and some people just want me to help them pretend.

Luckily, I can do both 😉


2 Responses to “Do you want to learn English… or do you need to?”


  1. Teaching in Peru « Getting to Know the World - May 30, 2012

    […] Do you want to learn English… or do you need to? ( […]

  2. But, « It's ON! - January 15, 2013

    […] as I’ve mentioned before, there are two types of students. The ones that want to learn and the ones that want to pretend. I […]

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