700 Reasons: Reason #84

Reason: 84
The particular ethos and forms of relationship encountered as students explore the social aspects of target language use and interact with one another in the modern language classroom can be seen as a potential arena for spiritual development. For instance, students and teachers must regularly attend to others’ halting attempts to convey meaning, and they may do so with respect, empathy, indifference or even derision. Students often find themselves making very public mistakes, and need both the humility to learn from them and the security that comes from expecting that they will be received with compassion and support. Students may find that they need to apologise or forgive, and they may need to be forgiven; all of these are language functions that can be met and practised in the target language. If spiritual development includes growth in qualities such as empathy, respect for others, mercy and humility, then such interactions are potentially fertile ground
Smith, D. (2002) ‘Spiritual development in the language classroom: interpreting the National Curriculum’ in the Language Learning Journal, No. 26, pp. 36-42
Related Keywords:
Communication, Language learning skills, Personal and social development, Secondary sector, Values