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The Canguro manifesto of language learning

A student can only have success when they know what they want to learn, and they are treated as individuals, with varying levels of ability and interest. Workbooks, standardised testing, and high-stakes exams destroy success for this reason.

There is no room for false promises or magic techniques in the learning process. Evidence comes from both research and the experience of teachers in the classroom and they should inform each other to create effective language learning.

You need patience because it will take 30 years. Mistakes are learning. Being a native speaker is not the goal. Never apologise for your language. You don’t need perfect language to have good communication. These are all essential parts of a successful student mindset.

You can’t measure success with exams, or vocabulary size, or worksheets. You can only measure success by how much the student can succeed at doing what they want to do, in the target language.

Language and culture are deeply integrated, and unless students understand and respect the culture of the place where they will be using the language, they will never be successful communicators.

Learning a language will not always be fun, but it should mostly be fun. The main job of the teacher is to stimulate curiosity in the student. Everyone in the process should remember that there is nothing more magical than learning the ability to send messages through time and space, using language.

Education changes lives

The Canguro community knows the power of education and has raised more than $65,100 to build schools in Laos with the charity Pencils of Promise.

Help to ban unfair English exams

Every year the futures of millions of people are decided by high-stakes English exams like the Pearson Test of English (PTE) and the TOEFL iBT. These exams hold a lot of power. They are accepted by thousands of universities worldwide, including Harvard and Cambridge, and are also accepted by the US, UK, Canadian, and Australian governments for visa and immigration purposes.

But there is strong evidence from research that the technology used in these exams contains bias and unfairly discriminates against minorities, non-standard English speakers, and women.

Sign this petition to ban AI English exams from universities and government immigration systems.

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