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6/17/2008

Make Mistakes

I was reading a mailing list for bilingual families, the Bilingual Families mailing list today and there was an interesting post that caught my eye. Normally I don't have time to even open the messages but I opened this one. A 17 year old had just joined the list and was introducing himself. He is a bilingual Spanish-English speaker. He was talking about how now he rarely speaks Spanish because maybe, he doesn't have confidence in his abilities. He's afraid of making mistakes. In the very first response to his message, one list member said:

My husband, a native Spanish speaker, who didn't learn English until late in life, always encourages me to just speak - don't let mistakes stop you from connecting with people. He says, "The important thing is to be able to communicate. If people can understand you, then you've accomplished the goal."

It is such an obvious suggestion and one that is reiterated over and over again and one that can't be stressed enough. That is don't let mistakes stop you from connecting with people! Teachers almost always say the same thing to their students. Don't let fear of making mistakes prevent you from connecting with people. However, at the same time, we put fear of making mistakes into the students by testing them and giving them grades and by forcing them to perform in front of a group and then making a big deal of their mistakes by correcting them in front of everyone. That's like being publicly whipped for some students.

If you are interested, you can get more information about the Bilingual Families at the Bilingual Families Web Page.
URL: http://www.nethelp.no/cindy/biling-fam.html

2 件のコメント:

JH さんのコメント...

Hi Clint,
Thanks for commenting on my blog. I actually lived in Hokkaido for 4 years: two years in Kuriyama and 2 years just outside of Hakodate. I will probably be up in Hokkaido this summer because that is where my wife is from.
I checked out your links about bilingual families and bookmarked them.
About the picture books, you can see the guides that we made for teachers on the internet. Some of the picture books are easy to get and others are more difficult.
Extremely impressive that you could run 100 kilometers! I am looking forward to reading more about your races.
Jimbo

Clint さんのコメント...

Thank you for the replying comment and the link to the guides. They have been informative! Were you able to make it up to Hokkaido over the summer?