We could start from many different perspectives; however, I do believe that something primordial is to begin with the right and left side of the brain.
We have the concept that the right side takes care of all those matters related to mathematics or psychology or “very rational issues”, analytical and “Feet on the ground” problems or situations. On the other hand, the left side wanders, dreams, rambles in less “important things” such as arts in general. Well, surprise! We have to work with both sides in order to actually grow in our mental capacity, therefore, increase and properly develop our intelligence and knowledge.
I am giving you this example because it is the classical and controversial argument regarding what is more important in life, economic stability or job satisfaction? Not meaning of course that developing yourself within the practical side of life is wrong, all the contrary, is great and, besides, arts are usually not a good “business”, but trust me, it is very satisfactory and soul fulfilling.
Anyway, the main issue here is to realize that the concepts that we have been talking about in previous sessions, learning and acquisition of a language, which are complementary to one another, must be in balance as the right and left side of the brain must be as well.
The symbol of justice, the blindfolded woman with a scale, is showing us that justice is not always properly balanced, leveled; but it is always moving up and down according to rules and appreciations. The same happens when we talk about learning and acquisition, if the learner does not consider acquisition, or the other way around, his or her knowledge will be incomplete. The idea of watching movies or T.V. series in the target language in order to practice listening comprehension and vocabulary and pronunciation “acquisition”, I am thinking of English as my personal field of studies, reading, as the main source of vocabulary once again, but grammar and writing skills as well as grammar and writing skills, which is very logical. As we live in a country in which only a few speak a foreign language, these “tools” are our only option if we want to enter the world of the target language.
Therefore, this is a call for the teachers to insist on the acquisition side of the matter, and for the students to apply some of their time in the practices mentioned. We must find the balance between the studies of our major subjects and English. Languages are an essential plus, if you wish, for our future professional life within whatever field you develop yourself in.
So what are your plans for the weekend?