Today I received an email from a student, asking me to bring her another Spenser novel to our next class, as she had finished the last one. She has become a fan of my favorite author, Robert B Parker and his Spenser series, and she has now read more than 20 of his novels. How did it get to this point, that one of my students is reading the same books as me? Simply put, she is a of the Just Do It mind set when it comes to studying English.
When I started teaching her, she asked me how she could improve her grammar, and I suggested she write in her diary everyday. Being a Just Do It kind of person, she did and lo and behold, her grammar improved. Next, she asked me how to improve her listening, and I suggested she watch more DVDs, which she did again to great results. Then she asked me what I suggested she read in order to improve her vocabulary, and I handed her Parker’s Early Autumn. It took her 2 months but she finished it and asked for another. The next one took her less than 2 months, the third a month. Now she is reading a book every 2-3 weeks, basically the same pace as me. Her reading speed has improved, her vocabulary is enormous, her passion for language is inspiring to all students she meets.
This student has also taken on other language learning projects on her own, including doing crossword puzzles, playing online board games, using Skype to chat with friends in Canada and other countries. volunteering to give visitors tours of Shiga prefecture and so much more. The key to her English success is her Just Do It attitude, combined with creating opportunities to learn AND taking every opportunity given. A truly inspirational student who is nothing if not a pure joy to teach and know.