Psychology and ELT – Asking Stupid Questions
‘What is your stupid question?’ Hold that thought. Rory Sutherland makes an excellent point here: it makes sense to ask stupid questions because i) the answer is not always immediately obvious and ii) the solution to a problem may be very, very different depending on what that answer is. RS illustrates that perfectly with the (apparently silly) question: ‘Why do people dislike standing up on trains?’
My stupid question is a different one: ‘Why do people attend English classes?’ For many the answer may be ‘To improve my English’ but I would like to argue that for many others there are at least additional reasons: ‘Because I want to meet people’ / ‘Because I want to feel I am not stagnating’ / ‘Because my parents expect me to’.
If these answers are true (and notice that the respondent may well be unaware of this) then simply delivering methodologically sound lessons doesn’t quite cut it. Should we organise more social events? Should we include more interesting content? Should we try to make the lesson an interesting as well as an instructive experience?
Now over to you: What is YOUR stupid question?
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