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More Than A Native Speaker

Don Snow, in More Than A Native Speaker, speaks to the heart of many beginning (and veteran) teachers:

It was at the Taipei YMCA in 1979 that I first stood before and English class as a volunteer teacher, wondering how to survive the period with my dignity intact. I was assured of my command of English, but much less confident that I would even understand a jargon-laden question about English rules, let alone be able to answer it. I was also distinctly aware that knowing how to speak English was not the same as knowing how to teach English. What few vague ideas I had about language teaching dated from painful experiences in high school and college foreign language classes, which had convinced me that there had to be a better way to teach language than lecturing on the finer points of grammar, but which had not shown me what that better way might be. Thus, in that first class period, my attention was focused much more on my need to not make a fool of myself than it was on effective pedagogy; my primary goal was to hear the bell ring before I had run out of things to say.

So true.