When we say we “taught someone how to ride a bike,” we didn’t explain to them how to ride a bike – we supported and motivated them while they practiced, until they “got the hang of it.”  This is what language learning is like.

We try to limit using the words “teach” and “teacher,” replacing them with “facilitate” and “facilitator”. “Teach” calls up an academic approach that is only one part of language learning, reinforcing the idea of a smart person in front of the room explaining something. This shift in awareness supports a clearer understanding of how language and other intercultural communication skills are developed.

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