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Monday, May 7, 2012

How to Teach Yourself a Language [part 7]

Constructing the Method Made for You
It's no secret that when something appeals to the way we do things, we're more likely to give it the time of day, and when it comes to learning something new, this aspect is crucial to getting it down solid. Unfortunately, many teachers don't allow the flexibility needed to apply what what's taught outside the classroom and often insist on injecting themselves into the whole learning experience, turning it into a static, unchanging object. In my view, the difference between whether that knowledge becomes a part of a student's day to day grind or goes right in their mental shoebox is in how much the teacher steps out of the way and allows them to apply it in a way that not only get them to identify with it, but also to think about what they're doing. When you're young and still building your conception of how the world works, lack of that creates what some like to call the Ophelia Syndrome.

The Ophelia Syndrome and You
Named after Ophelia, the young lady from William Shakespeare's Hamlet, it encapsulates the concept of basing your thoughts, feelings and acts purely upon what you think people higher up than you want, as Ophelia did, when she was conflicted on how to feel about Hamlet and her dad, Polonius, told her “I'll teach you. Think yourself a baby...(and yes, that is exactly what you might be thinking)”. Of course people have to do this to some extent when they're still building the box they need think outside of, but there comes a point where people can't just let older folks determine the best course of action.

            Given enough years, they soon become those older folks the next generation looks to for guidance, and if they just do that for the rest of their lives, it'll just be everybody asking everybody else what they should do next, creating a never ending cycle of the blind leading the blind until someone- regardless of they can weigh the needs of the many of not-guts up and says “This is the way things are gonna be” Whether it's in the entertainment, sports or political arenas, the Ophelia Syndrome is what allows one to control to the lives of those around them, even if they're as stable as a guy running on a six pack of Absinthe, so to help you break the cycle, I'll give you a few pointers in how to ease off of relying on the higher ups (myself, included, admittedly) for what you want to know.