The difference between a traveller (traveler in American English) and a tourist is a classic subject for an essay or a discussion. Here you have a link to 21 answers to this question, by travelbloggers. Read what they say (you have to read up to Kerrin Rousset,not the answers to the blog entry) and try to collate the entries and summarize their main points. There seems to be a recurring idea. Which one?
Sir Richard Burton was not only a great traveller, explorer, scholar and translator, but also an amazing language learner. Here you have a video in which his abilities and methods are explained.
Shakespeare famously said that “all the world is a stage.” Similarly, I sometimes think that the language classroom is also a stage. Not in the sense of pretending, but of choreography of warm, word-based interactions: of a collective presence. A good play in the theatre will always be superior to a film, because of the human aliveness, of the magical descent of inspiration in the now, the unrepeatable moment. In some manner, the creative language lesson participates of that quality. In certain theatrical events, the play is a script brought to life on the stage, leaving room to improvisation: even more so, there is no lesson plan that cannot and should not be left aside for the sake of the spontaneous finding. The teacher directs -sometimes visibly, sometimes elusively- but the whole result is never mechanical but the sum of the planning, the teaching and all the students, their ideas and their states. The picture of the Globe theatre in London, that quintessential stage which still bewitches audiences from the world with Shakespeare’s words and magic represents that connection between performance and collective learning.
The expansive, horizontal photograph serves as a foundation for the blog’s title: More things in heaven and earth. This is an allusion to a quote from Hamlet, Shakespeare’s melancholic tragedy. Prince Hamlet instructs his friend Horatio –who is reluctant to believe that the Prince has really seen his late father’s ghost- in this memorable manner: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” What does he mean? Surely the sentence has an immediate context in the play, but also a universal meaning –or several. One is perhaps that wonderment is the natural state of the human being whose mind and heart are truly attentive, who retains somewhat of the open nature of the child. Another could refer to the ever-expanding process of learning, which begins at the cradle and hopefully ends at the grave, always moving us beyond the horizons. In our class, following the model of the three concentric circles which is explained in the program, I hope we can leave not only with a greater language competence in English but with a sense of true growth, of having found more things in heaven and earth that were contained in our experience, and in our philosophy.
Welcome to the new C1 English course. A new learning adventure that I hope will be as exciting as instructive. Throughout the year, we will be using this blog continuously. So keep visiting it. And try not to miss lessons. Regular, consistent practice and work are the key.