|Have one billion students learning with Genki English.|
Yeah, that’s billion, not million! The thing is that he never batted an eyelid. He knows the projects I’ve been involved in and with the India and now China projects coming online, fingers crossed this should be a big, but achievable goal.
Goals are bad?
Conversely, goals can be one of the big things that let English learners down. We all know we should have them, but in learning a language it’s so difficult to actually set a concrete level you want to attain in a specific time. I guess that’s why so many teachers start with the ABCs, because it’s something concrete and easy to show you’ve done, even if it doesn’t really help beginner students.
Some people use the TOEIC tests. I have a friend of mine who’s been overseas and wants to get something to prove she can speak English, so her aim is to get 850 points on the TOEIC test. I guess that’s a good goal, but again it’s not the most suitable for someone who just wants to learn how to speak and communicate in English.
The goal I use for new learners for Genki English is for the kids to:
|Be able to say anything you want to say in English.|
It doesn’t mean fluent (whatever that means), it just means anything they can think or feel they can find a way to express it in English that is understood. e.g. if you can’t say “My Grandmother is ill”, you find a way around it such as “My mother’s mother is sick”.
Of course a goal without a time limit is just a wish, and the time limit I usually say is around 200 hours of lessons, or around 4 years at one lesson a week. I know that’s a little (a lot?) on the taking too long side, but you know it’s a start for less confident teachers.
Anyway, goals are important, and your students need to know them, and it’s so easy to improve the kids’ abilities with a even a mediocre one. But then again you might as well make it a big one, you never know you might just achieve it. As I’ve said before, President Kennedy didn’t decide to go to the moon because he knew they could do it, he did it because he didn’t know it couldn’t be done!
So the question is: what are your big goals for your students?