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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?

#Psychology #ELT #Stupid #Questions

Some Toughts (15)

  1. Avatar
    added on 17 Jan, 2020
    Reply

    You guys say this, but working in the service industry people had asked questions such as "Why are your outlets are sold out of X?", pretty sure its sold out because its been sold out. Or better yet, a person once called me (upper management) saying that it was urgent and they have a problem, only to find out they're asking "Is my X ready for collection? Because the email you sent me says so". In my younger days, almost everyday I had someone pointing out on the price tag and getting asked "How much is this?".

    Its amazing that people still asks the questions and wastes precious time and resources even when the answer is so goddamn clear that its right in front of them.

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    added on 6 Nov, 2020
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