Reading and Writing through Neuro-Linguistic ProgrammingTom Maguire
motme [at] redestb.es
A three minute introduction to "Neuro-Linguistic Programming" would go like this:
Ladies and Gentlemen, to be successful in life you only need to remember three things:
- Firstly, know what you want; have a clear idea of your goal in each situation.
- Secondly, be alert and keep your senses open so as to know what you are getting.
- Thirdly, be flexible enough to change your behaviour until you get what you want.
Goal, Sensitivity, Flexibility
Neuro-Linguistic Programming in EducationNeuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) begins with an interest in people; it's about how we do things. NLP in Education tells us about how we, ourselves and our students,think and learn. It does this by enabling us to explore the structure of our own subjective experience: how we construct our view of the world. Used in Education NLP empowers us to submerge into the inner, virtual-world image each of us creates as a way of understanding the outside world.
An analogy of NLP is the example of a history teacher I know. He is currently spending a lot of his free time learning to program a Roman house in virtual reality. His aim is to be able to take his students for a virtual walk round the house so that they can explore it in 3D. In a similar way NLP techniques enable us to demonstrate to students their own inner learning processes. This brings them much closer to learning to manage their own rich internal software: their images, sounds and feelings. Bit-by-bit they will come to understand and even learn how to control the way they think. In short they will learn how to learn. This is surely our goal as educators.
- Ask some students to tell you the story of the latest film they have seen. Ask pertinent questions about the visuals (scenery, clothes, colours, special effects... ), the sounds (music, lyrics, voices, sound effects... ) and what they felt about the film (fear? sadness? happiness?) Congratulate your students on their natural ability to recreate pictures, sounds and feelings. Say that today's activity will extend that ability.
- Use the next reading from the class textbook. Have your students guess possible storylines from the title and note them on the board. Now hand out copies and invite everyone to read the text to check which guess comes closest to reality. Remind your students to picture the scenes in the story while reading, just as they did when remembering the film. Say that you'll be asking questions about their pictures after they have read it.
- Verify the accuracy of guesses, ask a few questions about the textual information then ask a lot of questions about information which is not in the text. Challenge students to describe the main characters, the setting, and the sounds which they attribute to the story. Ask them how they feel about the conflict in the story and about the end.
- After students have answered the questions congratulate them congruently on their ability to visualise.
Announce to students that you are going to help them to describe their Halloween celebrations in writing. Explain unusual vocabulary in the story below. Then say, "Everyone get into a comfortable position for listening to a story. You can close your eyes while listening if you like."
You are at home ... tomorrow is Halloween ... everyone goes to school dressed up ... you must look for something to put on ... you remember other times when you dressed up ... you think about the clothes you put on ... you talk to your friends ... do they have any ideas? ... you remember an unusual character that you saw and liked ... you have decided to dress up ... describe your character's clothes ... is there a hat? ... do you need something for your hands? ... will you wear a mask? ... do you need to paint your face? ... which colours? ... you are with your friends now ... how do you feel? ... What do you talk about? ... Now the carnival has ended and you have had a good time ... you feel relaxed and ready to write about your experience ... you return to class here and now."
Here is an authentic example of one 15-year-old's daydream, written during a class :
The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. II, No. 6, June 1996