Indwelling Language Essentials
All our services are characterized by these ten features, presented here as questions we consider when evaluating language programs, methods, lesson, and activities:
1. Communication—Does it prioritize the communicative function of language? Languages exist so that people can convey and understand messages. Any method or activity should keep communication at the forefront. (Communication does not always mean that the learner is speaking or writing: enjoying a novel, watching a cartoon, and checking a Twitter feed are all ways of participating in communication.)
2. Comprehension—Does it ensure that practically all students can understand? What tools are students given to indicate a need for increased comprehensibility, preferably in real time?
3. Joy—Is it enjoyable? Does it take seriously that learning is most likely to happen in a joyful environment? How is joy modeled, engendered, and perpetuated?
4. Variety—Does it satisfy the brain’s need for novelty? Is there a good combination of both trusted activities, in which students are well trained and that provide security and consistency, and activities that are fresh?
5. Trust—Do learners trust the teacher? Do they have every reason to believe that the teacher will treat them with humanity? That the teacher is using effective methods? Do learners trust each other? Do autodidacts trust their materials and advisors? How is trust achieved?
6. Personalization—Does it take seriously students’ lives, interests, and personalities? How is personalization achieved?
7. Differentiation—Does it take seriously the circumstances under which and rates at which different people learn? How is differentiation achieved?
8. Ownership—Does it give students power over and responsibility for their own learning? Do students monitor their own learning process and use provided tools to optimize it, preferably in real time?
9. Community—Are all these things practiced as a community, and do they strengthen community?
10. Sustainability—Can it last? Even if it is hard work, does it bring refreshment to teachers and learners? Are learners equipped and eager to create and teach new learners?
For a fuller discussion, see the blog articles about Essentials for Language Programs and Essentials for Language Learners. To learn more about Indwelling Language’s philosophy, see the Indwelling Language Manifesto and the Indwelling Language Blog. If you want help implementing these Essentials in your own language teaching or learning program, go ahead and explore our Services or use the Contact Form!