Angel on Frank Smith

Re Frank Smith. Second to Krashen, in whose pages I read the name Frank Smith, Frank Smith is the scholar who seems best to unite human action and specific learning. When we learn a language, we do so not through arduous study but through interacting with other people. The specific learning occurs b/c another person provides the material with which the learner can interact. We have only to watch children to see that there are no lazy, bored, indifferent, oppositional human beings, only dynamos geared to learn who have to be damped down so they can fit into our classroom routine. The poor and unfortunate come roaring into our classrooms ready to add to what they have already learned; the fortunate and well-off troop in in orderly fashion, waiting to be formed by the pedagogy b/c they have had the advantage of pre-school where they have learned that leaning is hard and boring.
Angel has hopefully prodded everyone on this list to read Frank Smith’s many books; they are all wonderful. He provides what we need to peel away the blinders over our adult eyes, a kind of cataract removal, so we can see under the sullen, defiant, dulled, bored student the child eager to learn. If we provide the material, us, they will learn. I can’t think of any method other than tprs that respects the child’s natural ability and natural desire to learn.

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