All began from the sound of… crickets!
I know how it feels when you try your best to get your students to speak spontaneously and to put into use what you taught them in your language lessons, but, instead, you get crickets.
Do you know when you spend hours on planning language lessons packed with activities supposed to get your students to speak and to get them engaged, but then someone asks one of those questions:
“That exercise was fun, but shall we now get back to the grammar?”
“The games we did were nice, but shall we translate now, or I’m not sure I actually got everything right!”
All those “Yes, but…” made me feel —ARGH!
In my mind, I saw students interacting spontaneously, totally engaged with my language lessons and committed to learn more. In reality, I saw students’ reluctant faces staring at me, silently questioning my methodology. In other words, crickets!
When I experienced this, I was feeling really frustrated, sometimes even terrible or not fully competent.
In order to fix the lessons, I searched for fresh resources and exercises that could help me out. Unfortunately, as a result, I felt buried by tons of exercises and a mountain of resources. It was like if all I knew about language teaching wasn’t helping me at all to put together a course plan that was effective, fun and engaging.
Students were asking to stick to the grammar analysis, whereas I knew grammar-based approaches couldn’t help them to boost their speaking skills, their fluency and their overall motivation. I loved Linguistics and grammar. Nevertheless I was aware there was something different I needed to do in order to trigger meaningful learning in my students.
Why on earth I wasn’t able to get the students to speak, interact, to break the ice??
Why were my students struggling to put into use what I taught them?
Why did my students keep on insisting on focusing on the grammar rules and direct translation, instead of going with the flow of a spontaneous conversation?
All this used to corner me into thinking I wasn’t doing enough. And, even worse, I was failing them. Today I know I was doing a lot. Nevertheless, without a method, my efforts were pointless.
I was stuck between dreaming about owning my own language school on one hand and, on the other hand, the students’ reluctant faces staring at me (crickets!). I needed to grow. I needed to learn how to properly design language training courses that were effective and really engaging at the same time. And by engaging I meant: let’s get them to spontaneously speak and to actively take the lead of their own language skills development.
Do I have what it takes?
I got to the point where I thought I hadn’t what it takes to be an exceptional teacher and innovator in language learning. Even less, I thought I hadn’t what it takes to make my dream of becoming a successful independent language teacher and entrepreneur in language teaching come true.
I was 21 years old. On my diary I wrote I wanted to become an entrepreneur in language teaching and to run my own innovative learning centre. I was overwhelmed by doubts.
A few years later I finally met my guides.
I was 23 years old and I was ready for my call.
And that is how I trained hundreds of people and I got certified in Suggestopedia
When I met team Creattività I was given the chance to dive into the Learning & Development world. I became a freelance training consultant and in 10 years I would train hundreds of people in effective communication, speed reading, creative thinking and teachers’ training, I would carry out performance assessment and I would design tonnes of training courses from scratch. Quite a gym! Did I want to become an expert in designing and delivering training courses? No doubt, I got what I wanted.
Meanwhile, I got certified as suggestopedic teacher by Dr. Lozanov, father of Suggestopedia. Suggestopedia is a pedagogy recommended by UNESCO as a superior methodology for learning and teaching languages.
Learning all about Suggestopedia from Dr. Georgi Lozanov in person was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
And it was life changing.
Suggestopedia had a massive impact on all the training I was delivering because it gave me clear guidelines on how to build a trustworthy relationship with my students, how to address their objections and frustrations, how to gently take my students exactly where I wanted to take them, and to do all this by respecting everyone’s pace.
That was when I started to see my students speaking up, taking active action, actively and spontaneously taking part in the training. And it made the whole difference.
China, Poland, Bangladesh, Morocco, Ecuador: the students in my very first suggestopedic language course came from all around the world. I was impressed to see them actively trying to put into use from day #1 what I was teaching them. They spoke up, they were totally in for playing games, doing more activities and learning more. The lessons were flowing like I had never experienced before. No magic, just good method. And loads of practice 🙂
There is a method for anything
I learned so many things thanks to my guides. One of those things is that there is a method for getting the students engaged (and it’s not about magic!) – regardless of what you teach.
Ready for taking the big leap
At that point, I knew how to design effective training courses packed with fun, how to keep the participants engaged until the last minute of training, how to welcome the students’ frustrations and to address their objections. I was a certified suggestopedic teacher. Hence, I was ready for finally bringing to life my own innovative learning centre, where I could teach language teachers like you, how to create their own language training courses that make students knock their socks off, by following a step-by-step thorough method, so that they would see their students spontaneously speaking, enthusiastically interacting, making links and actively taking the lead of their own skills development. In other words, they would never get crickets ever again!
Your students, spontaneously speaking, enthusiastically interacting, making links and actively taking the lead of their own skills development.
This is what your lessons ought to look like.
What I can do for you
Today I am finally ready to help other independent language teachers in creating and delivering engaging, fun and results-proven language courses based on art and drama. This is what I love doing most and what drives me: training other teachers. This is the purpose of LingoDrama Academy.
“Artistic means are the best vehicle for spontaneous ‘overgrowing’ or ‘clustering’ of the memory material. In addition, they possess high motivational power.” Georgi Lozanov
I love the idea to see other independent language teachers becoming successful in doing what they love most: to inspire their students, to stand out from the crowd by offering genuinely high-impact language training experiences and, ultimately, to grow as entrepreneurs so that they can bring their dreams to life.
But this is another story. This is your story.
Are you ready?
“I am not afraid of storms for I am learning to sail my ship.” – Louisa May Alcott