INTERLINK Curriculum Guide
Teaching should not be compared to filling a bottle with water, but rather to helping a flower grow in its own way. As any good teacher knows, the methods of instruction and the range of material covered are matters of small importance as compared with the success in arousing the natural curiosity of the students and stimulating their interest in exploring on their own. What the student learns passively will be quickly forgotten. What students discover for themselves when their natural curiosity and creative impulses are aroused not only will be remembered but will be the basis for further exploration and inquiry and perhaps significant intellectual contributions. (Noam Chomsky, Language and Problems of Knowledge).
Central to the INTERLINK program is the idea that learning is done by the learner. Furthermore, we believe that learning is not simply a process of accumulating information (such as grammar rules and lexical items), but a more complex and multidimensional process involving discovery, synthesis, integration and performance. In fact, as explained in the Slide Show Modules (see menu on right), we prefer the term language acquisition and what it connotes to the term language learning, which is often thought of as a wholly cognitive process. Consequently, while the conventional curriculum is concerned with what material should be presented, the INTERLINK curriculum focuses on how to engage students in activities that develop their abilities to use language effectively for communicative and academic tasks. In other words, the content of INTERLINK classes is not linguistic information but rather activities that promote authentic communication and active language use. This guide describes both our instructional philosophy and the mechanisms used to translate our pedagogical beliefs into practice. Of the two, the mechanisms are far less important than the concepts that underlie them, because, with a good understanding of the concepts, the teacher will be able to adapt and create mechanisms that will effectively promote language acquisition and bring students closer to their ultimate goal of proficiency in the use of English. Awareness of the mechanisms without an accurate understanding of the principles underlying them will almost certainly result in the teacher following a meaningless rubric of activities devoid of usefulness and relevance to the students. This curriculum is, therefore, intentionally constructed to give precedence to pedagogical ideas instead of telling the teacher what to do in class. It is hoped that this approach is more empowering to the teacher and will provide the utmost freedom to meet the learning needs of students. The curriculum statement below details some of the features and objectives of the INTERLINK program.
To view the formal Curriculum Statement, click here.