Phil Stokes

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I make two explicit assumptions and two unfashionable arguments in this paper. The first assumption is that learning a skill necessarily involves repetition, and repetition is boring. The second assumption is that mastering a skill requires a certain discipline of patience, dedication and practice, and that mistakes and 'failures' are an inevitable part of the learning process. From these assumptions I argue first, somewhat unfashionably, that students should not be misled into expecting all language learning to be 'fun'; believing that one can master a second language by only playing games and engaging in ever-entertaining activities is, I argue, counter-productive to long-term success. The second argument is that instead of focussing on entertainment, teachers should promote awareness of the learning behavior of successful learners. I provide one suggestion as to how that can be done in the classroom, with a practical worksheet given in the Appendix.



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