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Humanising Language Teaching
Year 1; Issue 4; June 1999

Student Voices

When a student does not need humanistic language teaching

Humanistic classrooms are not necessarily the right place for all students at all times. There can be student states of mind and heart that make such work just too strong.

The text below was sent by a mature student to his language teacher at the end of the first week of a two-week intensive language course. The student had an intermediate level command of English but decided to write the letter in his mother tongue which he knew the teacher could read.

    "I write you these lines to wish you goodbye as I am withdrawing from the course.

    Over the last six months I have undergone extreme pressure in my workplace without any time for myself, my family and my inner world. I was not fully aware that I was going through a situation of overwork and stress.

    Over the course of the first week of the course you led us towards a both intro- and retro-spective search through our lives. At first I resisted but finally windows and doors to my inner self have opened and I have to go through them and forget about the English course.

    At the week-end I went to see my son who is doing an engineering course here in UK and he agreed with me that I should forget the course and and the transcendental thoughts that are becoming obsessive.

    You are not to blame. I feel you are a teacher who leaves a mark on students for a lifetime, only this time I was not able to follow you.

    Say goodbye to the others for me"


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