Many learners are under the impression that it is the sole responsibility of the teacher to teach them; that they don’t really need to exert an effort to teach themselves because, after all, they are students. The teachers teach, the students learn.
From my stand point, while it is true the teachers teach and students learn, the latter have a much bigger responsibility that is beyond the scope of the former. Let me illustrate this point by sharing you a story about Ms. Sato, a 28 year-old lady and Mr, Suzuki, a 30 year-old man.
Ms. Sato takes an hour of pronunciation class every morning before going to work. She trains very intensively to improve her English pronunciation. And every after class, she is asked to review and practice anytime, anywhere.
At work, she talks to her boss, colleagues, and company clients in Japanese. Sometimes, after work, she meets her Japanese friends and together they go drinking.
On weekends, she does a lot of activities like playing golf, going shopping with her friends or family or simply staying home and surfing the net.
This is basically Ms. Sato’s daily routine. It doesn’t falter.
Now, let’s talk about Mr. Suzuki. He is in the Philippines for 3 months. He takes 6 hours of English class; 2 hours of which is Pronunciation and 4 hours Speaking.
After his daily classes, he returns to his apartment where he chats with his fellow students in Japanese. At times, he goes for drinks with them and returns to his place early in the morning drunk. Because of that, he goes straight to bed and wakes up with a hang over the next day.
This is more or less how Mr. Suzuki spends every day of his life in the Philippines.
Mr Suzuki’s 3 months is nearly over and comes the realization; he doesn’t feel any changes, except in his bank account; he has spent more than he intended to.
As for Ms. Sato, she starts to get bored with her morning lesson because she is made to do the same things over and over again. She feels that she is not learning anything; that she doesn’t feel any changes in her Pronunciation, though she now finds waking up before 6am a lot easier. After 6 months of studying English Pronunciation, she is considering ending her class.
Now, the point I would like you, my beloved readers and learners, to realize is this; being a student or a learner, you have an obligation to yourself; that your responsibility is weightier, compared to your teachers’; that you are part of a team and as such you also have work to do whose scope is far bigger and extends farther than that of your teachers.
Going back to Ms. Sato and Mr. Suzuki, the very reason why they don’t feel any improvements is the fact that they both lack the initiative to study by themselves, to exert more effort to review their lessons or practice, and on top of this, to make time to find ways to help themselves or do what they are asked to do.
Yes, teachers teach, and when the class ends so does their role. Learners, on the other hand, learn, but when the class ends they still need to continue learning.