Video: Miyoko Shida
Zen Artist Miyoko Shida has a powerful performance and an even more powerful lesson about the potential of focus and concentration. I first saw this clip a few years ago. It was a video taken from the Spanish TV program "Tú Sí Que Vales" ("You Can Do It").
She kept the audience and judges on the edges of their seats as she...well, you have to see it for yourself.
When we study something, we have to put a lot of thought into it. A teacher can point out what to look at but how students think about the material is ultimately up to the individual student.
Oftentimes I find myself training the students to pay closer attention and so I create activities that force them to remember chunks of material with only the aid of a few key words or a simple prompt. They have to compose the text in their minds and recite or retell the material. This takes a certain level of memorization and concentration that pushes them towards a greater level of thinking.
Ultimately we want the students to turn towards their memory of the words, in order to write and talk about anything they want, instead of always just being able to barely use the language from the current unit. Less dependent on books and less dependent on teachers, they recognize the ability within themselves to express themselves. English takes shape as a tool which they can apply towards anything they want to use it for.
How you study is probably more important than what you study.