Have your classroom performances ever been 'wind-assisted'? Do you often make appropriate usage of the flatulence factor, weaving an inspired and informative performance around the acrid aromas of your toxic anal emissions?
If so, I just might have found a new approach to teaching EFL that is right up your, erm ... 'street', I suppose. It's an article called 'Off the Beaten Path', and it's one of those loony attempts to justify doing bonkers things in the classroom, all in the name of 'radical methodology' ... I suppose.
The article has been published, of course, by that veritable refuge of charlatan theatricals in EFL teaching, Humanistic Language Teaching. And let's be honest here folks - where would all we Teflers be without our regular dose of the whacky HLT mag? Where indeed would we ALL be without that veritable army of Mario Rinvoloonies, who are ready, at the drop of several screwed up pieces of paper masquerading as a ball, to indulge in some of the most absurd pedagogical posturing imaginable, all in the name of turning a fast buck - oops, I mean, turning our heads, of course!
The article's a real cracker in modern methodology and its application in ... erm, teaching something or other. For starters, it recommends the application of PO as a way of "challenging ideas or stirring up new ones". PO means, by the way, Provocative Operation - a bit like this blog, I suppose; and the founder of PO, Edward de Bonkers, might well have been inspired to create his dear PO after a session gazing at these very pages of Sandy McManus. Maybe.
In fact, surely this is no coincidence here? I mean, I often shout PO - as in 'Piss Off' - when I hear ideas like this: "ask the entire class to remember new words by tattooing them all over their bodies".
Yes, that was PO1, which de Bonkers describes as "using a bad idea as a springboard for good ones." I'm sure I don't need remind you that De Bonkers is standing squarely on Tefl terra firma here, as the whole game is notorious for its bad ideas in the first place!
I mean, not only is the entire PO approach pure madness, it's the sort of madness that attracts a certain type of Tefl twerp by the busload. For example, there's also 'PO2', which involves juxtaposing two unrelated ideas, such as this: "the phrase 'TV cabbage' should conjure up some inventive combinations, such as a TV made of edible cabbage leaves, or a cabbage channel".
Yes, dear - very good idea! But I have to ask here - what the fuck's it got to do with teaching English? What possible benefit could it ever bring to my class of fat businessmen or rowdy teenagers, eh? Well, ask Hall Houston, the unfortunate author of this article extolling the hidden virtues of the PO approach in the Tefl classroom. Bacause I have NO idea at all.
And we should not forget PO3, either - challenging an idea, or just fart of it. Oops, did I mention the dreaded F-word there? Of course, the 'sense' (dare I use that descriptor?) behind this one lies in being able to do make it do anything you want - anything at all, I guess. So, instead of suggesting something like"Let's start every class with a dictation", we can challenge an element of it, and say "Let's start the classes with a farting competition" instead! Brilliant!!
Which sort of brings me rather neatly back to the beginning. So when your DoS raises an eyebrow at your inventive use of the proverbial buttock ballon in the classroom, you can just tell her - PO!!