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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:
One of the dangers that I perceive to be lurking within the engage phase is the possibility of evoking undue frustration in the event of purposefully challenging students to do what we know they cannot yet do. In some way, or for some students, can't it be said to be potentially cruel or diminishing--a redundant proving of that which is already known: that you don't know how to say or do a particular thing? In this light, how can teachers engage students to wade into new learning objectives without unnecessarily causing the stress of disempowerment?
Imagine rock climbing: Engage/Activate: \"Here, try to climb that part of the wall.\" \"Oh, can't do it? Whoops jump down; Ha, yes I know. Yes, Yes, now watch: here I will show you a particular move now...\" Followed by the Study phase.
As a solution, it may be very important for the teacher to transparently speak to the psychological challenge they are imposing within a challenging part of the Engage phase. This danger seems particularly acute within a \"Boomerang\" model where Activate precedes study.
In conclusion, when the expectation is that students will be pushed to their limit in an initial-phase activity, the teacher's tone, demeanor, and words must be transparent in explicitly reflecting the understanding. If not, students may risk misunderstanding. They may assume they are being asked to do something that they should be able to already do.