The Biological Symbiosis in Language Classes
The idea of a language class in which the relationship between teachers and students is characterized by a sort of hierarchy is still very present in the society’s minds but should be stigmatized as inappropriate and worn-out as fast as possible. To create a highly productive and comforting atmosphere in class, teachers, students and parents have to be open for the new idea of a symbiosis between teachers and students in language classes.
The term symbiosis describes a biological situation in which two players work hand in hand to achieve best results and conditions of living and interact in a state of shaping and being shaped. The most positive fact is that both partners profit immensely from the interaction which leads me to the idea of students and teachers that both profit from learning and teaching a language.
To go more into detail, I should focus on the benefits for the students: he or she will be able to dive into a ‘new’ and ‘widened’ world, including other cultures, people and its languages. Furthermore, they get prepared for further life and situations in which it will be necessary to speak more than one’s mother language – a language that should be known and spoken by a majority of world’s population.
Besides, learning a language means forming and shaping one’s own character as one understands how other nations feel, think and act and why they do so. Going one step further and analysing the situation of the language teachers it becomes clear that they underwent the same processes and transformations always supported by their passion for languages and people. To put it in a nutshell: Loving, speaking and teaching languages (without reference to one’s mother tongue) establishes the love for and emotional closeness to people and the willingness to get to know one’s own thoughts and values in more detail.
Teachers are prepared for integrating students into one’s own herd as a sheep, protecting them and accompanying them through periods of hope, happiness and fears. In this acting as a shepherd, supporter and guide, the teacher will adjust his behaviour and habits to the atmosphere the student creates in class. An open-minded and active student provokes a more active way of teaching whereas a shy one leads the teacher to be empathetic. Every type of student is as important and interesting for the teacher, because the advantage is that they develop their empathy and their talent of adjusting oneself to specific situations and people and they have the possibility to find out that they are changeable as butterflies, totally developing into a different creature. He or she is far more self-confident, experienced and mentally stable than before, established through the help of students who always contribute their important and influential part to the symbiosis.
To sum up, I would like to affirm that the interconnection and closeness in language classes should be a symbiosis between teachers and students in which both players influence the fellow player to the highest possible positive level. Creating this transfer is one of the main tasks the study centre Avenir in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain is concerned with and fulfils in every session, not depending on age, language level or qualifications of students. The motto is clear: “Teachers have three loves: love of learning, love of learners, and the love of bringing the first two loves together” (Scott Hayden). I would like to add: …under the positive influence students have on them and teachers have on their students.