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Clearly (Or is it clear?), one does not teach children the same way one teaches adults. Adults do not start with a tabula rasa and they are serious. Pre-school children may demand different methods from junior-high children. Senior high-school young people prepare for the more abstract and threatening intellectual discipline of the university--rather than for the acquisition of a new communicative medium and culture.

Young children learn essentially and best through play--as in Total Physical Response. Conservative teachers--conscious of the fragility of their tenure--fear that stressing play at the expense of study in the painful traditional fashion, will deprive the child from developing discipline; that the child will not possess the skills and motivations needed to face the rigors of learning in the adult world. The first question that comes to mind is: Why shouldn't learning be a source of enjoyment for the adult as it was--or should have been--for the child? The second question is, rather, an observation: How is it that the young of all mammalians learn through play and yet, somehow learn all the adult skills needed to survive? Isn't a playful lion cub or baby-bear ever going to learn to hunt and find its dinner? In other words: The kind of fun the young enjoys as it learns naturally may gradually give way to other kinds of self-satisfaction it will enjoy as an adult. Thus, the nature of the satisfaction of pleasure-seeking and survival-maintenance may differ according to intellectual and affective processing; but the act of learning, in its most effective, constructive, retentive, and adaptive form, remains egocentric, viz. personal survival and growth through personal satisfaction of vital urges. Vital urges are essentially natural drives aimed at survival. To go against this natural tendency is to thwart the process of life-sustaining acquisitions. And, by the way, in the case of t...

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METHODOLOGICAL APPROACHES TO TEACHING ENGLISH. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:16, November 30, 2021, from