3 thoughts on “Trainer Diary: 10

  1. I often use the idea of ‘mental bandwidth’ with both my trainees and the teachers I’m working with. If you’re spending 80% of your mental bandwidth on trying to remember the instructions for the next activity, it’s difficult to be aware of the student who’s swinging on their chair very violently and loudly and nearly putting said chair onto the observer’s foot [not a real example at all]. As things become more automatic, you free up mental bandwidth for other things, and can be more and more present in the lesson. To reach the stage of automaticity, you need to go through the conscious process of planning, thinking something through, writing it down to force yourself to go through all of the steps in depth, perhaps even reading off a piece of paper. But if you persevere, you’ll get their eventually.

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    1. That’s fantastic. I basically want to quote..no, channel that entire thing! Mental bandwidth, shifting percentages, and the whole thing in a slow-burning process of producing increasing automaticity…fueled by perseverance. Thanks for your response Sandy. Really enjoy hearing how other CELTA trainers and others who work in similar contexts frame things.

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      1. One helpful mental scaffold I’ve used is the ‘gordon’s ladder’ 4-step skill acquisition framework. Just yesterday I brought this into the end of a Language Analysis input session (here: http://bit.ly/2eKp6iJ). Paraphrasing some: “So…before the course started, CCQ meant nothing to you (unconsciousness + incompetence), then Week 1, you know what they are but can’t use them for the life of you (consciousness + incompetence). This week, you’ve proven you actually now have some skills using CCQs to check and consolidate understanding – still learning, and it still requires a lot of thought and effort but there is (consciousness + competence). Maybe, just maybe, by Week 4 asking CCQs will come naturally…maybe once even! Or maybe it’s further down the road, but eventually you might be like me, someone who has internalized this technique which is now an impulse which requires little to no thought! (unconsciousness + competence).


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