rpc2–statements and responses

This is the second Reflective Practice Challenge (rpc) in a running series of challenges in which I challenge myself, and whoever would like to join in, to reflect upon themselves and their classrooms.

The first challenge sparked some fantastic responses.

Ann Loseva stepped up with trepidation, inverted it and reflected upon herself.

Anne Hendler broke it down and reminded us that we, all of us, are unique.

Hana Ticha experienced some pain, but enjoyed the process of breaking it down and building it up again.

David Harbinson joins in with his RP mission statement first draft and responds in style to the challenge below.

Josette LeBlanc defined her statement and what a reflective community is all about!

Kevin Stein adds his two cents on all that’s worthy regards reflection and teaching. #amazingnarative

Roseli Serra adds her voice and reflects on how she reflects. Meta reflection at its finest.

Zhenya Polosatova on how reflective practice helps her continually develop and learn from her #PLN.

“Newbie” CELTA trainer has come in with a fun, creative approach to our first challenge here.

and Rose Bard has joined in on the act. Check out the back of her dictionary…

Apologies if I missed yours. Let me know if I did and I’ll add it to our growing list.


RP Challenge – 2

Statements & Responses


This is a fun ice breaker I use in class. It’s also a great way to get an RP meeting started.


strongly disagree               disagree                      agree                   strongly agree

1) Teachers must teach grammar explicitly if learners are to acquire language effectively.

2) Teachers who don’t utilize technology in class are doing a disservice to their students.

3) Teachers have to understand the correlation between student feelings and student needs* to be effective.

*What needs are/aren’t being met in the students lives that might lead to the students current feelings.


The idea behind this challenge is to get everyone thinking and talking. In class I have students make a line (with either end being strongly agree/disagree). I then read the statements out and the students move to a point in the line that aligns them with how they feel about the statement.

For the purposes of this challenge, I hope these statements will get you thinking. I am also hoping to hear your responses to them. What values guide you in your thinking?

All you have to do to participate is blog your thoughts. If you don’t have a blog, join in the conversation through our comments sections.


13 thoughts on “rpc2–statements and responses

  1. Pingback: RP2- the ice-breaker | livinglearning

  2. How do I participate in your challenge? I have started a blog do I need to add tags so we can all share and follow each other’s responses?
    Looking forward to participating!

    • Hi Sue,

      WELCOME! I’m so pleased to have yet another participant! Participating is easy. The first challenge is put to the public here

      This post is the second challenge and you can start here if you’d like. Basically, the challenge is to respond to the three statements above. You can do this on your blog. If you link this page (or other participants pages) a “pingback” comment will be left on their blog. By following pingbacks you can navigate from one participants page to another.

      We also use Twitter extensively to connect to each other. My handle is @johnpfordresher. Other participants can be found @annehendler, @annloseva, @hanaticha, @josetteLB.

      We are also hoping to start discussion with each other through the comments sections of each others blogs.

      I will be on the look out for your responses, and look forward to having your voice added to our discussion!


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  4. Hi John,
    Instead of creating a separate blog post, I’ve decided to elaborate on one of the statements here. I’ve chosen the first one, which I find the most appealing of all three: 1) Teachers must teach grammar explicitly if learners are to acquire language effectively.
    Based on my observation, English teachers generally fall into two categories: a) those who feel affection for grammar and b) those who don’t. The former category advocates grammar because
    1. it is clearly structured.
    2. the rules can be understood and remembered for later use.
    3. it is simply something concrete to hold on to.
    4. if you get a grasp of it, you will finally learn the language properly.
    The latter category is becoming larger these days and argues that grammar is just an internal structure or framework that supports the language. They say that you don’t need to study grammar to learn the language. It’s even impossible to learn a language by merely studying its grammar; it’s literally a waste of time. How can you study something that doesn’t even exist on its own? Metaphorically speaking, in order to understand grammar you need to look at everything that fills it and surrounds it – the vocabulary?
    Anyway, I’d always found this grammar/vocabulary dichotomy invalid, even before I learned that language consists of so-called chunks and grammaticalised lexis, not lexicalised grammar. Structural patterns are useful, but lexical patterns are even more important.
    So based on what I’ve just written and as I pointed out on David Harbinson’s blog: teaching grammar explicitly – no! (there’s no need), teaching lexico-grammar explicitly – absolutely yes! (apart from teaching it implicitly).

    • Hi Hana,

      Wonderfully informative response to our first statement for discussion. I find nothing to disagree with! If only I were more learned and knowledgable about all the fancy terms I would hope that my “gray area” would be as aptly explained as you’ve just done. Thanks so much for the input and spreading the comments around!


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