January 24, 2011
The Language Learners’ Declaration of Independence.
The Language Learners’ Declaration of Independence (draft). I welcome additional clauses.We have the inalienable right to pursue happiness, well-being, and prosperity through the pleasurable study of the languages of mankind.We have the inalienable right to study the language(s) of our choice, in whatever way we want.We have the inalienable right to study content of our choice, seeking the sublime enjoyment of communicating meaningfully in another language and culture, at our own pace, gradually increasing our understanding and confidence.We have the inalienable right to form our own understanding of what we are reading and listening to, at any point in our progress in the language, without the need to answer comprehension questions or translate. We have the inalienable right to refuse to do exercises, drills, answer questions on grammar, memorize grammar rules and tables, study lists of words not of our choosing, or any other activity imposed by others.We have the inalienable right to speak in the language we are learning, only when we want, and how we want, and to refuse to respond to pressure to perform for evaluation by others.We have the inalienable right to refuse to participate in role playing, task based activities, or other unnatural activities imposed by others.We have the inalienable right to enjoy our language learning, because we are individuals with different interests and goals, and because it is only by enjoying the language that we will eventually reach our goals.
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