We are the champions 

** This story was shared on my Facebook page on July 29.

Don’t panic.

I home tutor 2 boys who are fairly well versed with the language. They have lots of ideas. Just need help putting their ideas into words.

We were doing reading and comprehension about Mahsuri and one of the exercise was to answer subjective questions.

Q: How was Mahsuri killed? 

One of the boy answered “With a kris”.

‘Answer in a complete sentence.’

The boy started going through the passage looking for the answer. After a few head scratches, I asked him to look at me.

‘How was Mahsuri killed?’

“With a kris.”

‘Okay that is correct. But can you answer “with a kris” during your exam?’

‘Now just tell, how was Mahsuri killed.’

After a momentary shrug “Mahsuri… Was… (I nod) … killed with a kris.”

‘There you go!’

“Oh, just like that?”

‘Yes. Just like that.’

Alhamdulillah, the moment I asked the question as if we were having a chat, he relaxed and was able to answer. When he felt he needed to refer to the text, he struggled to figure it out.

In learning a language, put focus on casual conversations. When they are struggling to find the answer, they tend to panic and naturally experience a mental block. That’s where the mind tells them ”This is difficult“. They fail to find the answer even when it’s in front of them. The head scratches and shrugs begin and they will opt to keep quiet, hoping and praying the answer will be given.

But when the children are relaxed, they tend to be more excited to answer. They respond to being corrected far better too. And when they accept being corrected, the ultimate learning happens.



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