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I have been assigned some tough cases in my school: young people who are not enthusiastic about learning english. One of my students has been studying privately for six years. He's been through every teacher in the school! He is 13 years old now refuses to speak english!!!!

It occurred to me that he might feel that he has absolutely no stake in learning english or participating in a lesson. So I decided to give him an opportunity to be part of the decision-making process that goes into teaching a lesson.

The first day of class, i told him that we were going to write our own english textbook! We looked at several texts as models for our book. We have a list of the grammar we need to include and have chosen some illustrations for the chapters. We set goals together every week and try to stay on schedule. We are using a futuristic theme and have assigned names to our characters. We introduce grammar points and write text. There are sections on reading, writing and eventually we will record some listening exercises.

My student seems to be enjoying the process. He has started to speak english without even knowing it!

The cost of this project is minimal.

I am learning how to be a better teacher by taking on these so-called uninspired learners.

Have fun and good luck!
Stephanie Marino, Lucca, Italy

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