Specialized in One Way or Another

But there is nothing simple about that order itself, or the bewildering number of components that go into it. Most of these components are specialized in one way or another. They unite in their joint effect upon the sidewalk, which is not specialized in the least. That is its strength. (p54)

When I began as a language teacher in Japan, I started to develop my ability to teach within the flow of a conversation. This is photo by Walk Eagle Rock on Flickrwhat my students preferred, and I became very good at it. When it works well it seems very simple. But, whenever I try to break it down into skills, or a what to watch for type of list, it’s complicated, it doesn’t translate into such a list. Perhaps, this is because many of the important items that would be on such a list are actions not taken.

I guess the best way to say it, is that it’s a mindset – all of the smaller specialized tasks that I do within the conversation support the main, unspecialized goal of ‘improving language’. This makes it seem simple, even to myself.

It’s not quite crowdsourcing (‘the bewildering number of components’) in the way that Jacobs uses her chapter ending quote here, but it relates to the complexity of the process, – the two distinct levels of specialized and unspecialized.

Individual Values, Community Relevance

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