Philosophy of EFL management
- a personal view
by Piotr Jednaszewski
There is nothing more than the heart and the mind involved in the continuous development of ourselves and the environment surroundings us.
My philosophy of EFL management presented in this short article aims not only to show the way of managing the EFL colleges in the micro world where English becomes a Lingua Franca, but also to help my teacher colleagues and managers to find the right balance between the mind and the heart in making decisions and through that also develop as managers. There are two perspectives analysed within my research: macro and micro. Macro from the global EFL perspective based on the EFL institutions which I could personally approach, hence considered micro from the individual teacher, trainer, manager and student perspective.
Here one could ask a couple of questions:
1. What is EFL management?’
2. What are the essentials of EFL management?
Whereas managers in the commercial world receive their training at institutions for management, most EFL managers are teachers of English and all their knowledge and experience is based on academic and practical “tools” of teaching and managing the groups during their linguistic studies. Teachers of English have to become language institution architects who are knowledgeable not only about the methodology of teaching but about all other aspects consolidating the whole system.
The analogy of an architect can be used here. The architect designing a house puts his logical and mathematical intelligence into creating a project. That type of intelligence enables individuals to use and appreciate abstract relations, including facility in the use of numbers and logical thinking. This intelligence is not only about numerical reasoning but, as the name implies, includes logical reasoning abilities that might not involve numbers at all and that can be called ‘the mind’. The symbolic architect uses also his spatial intelligence to recreate visual images from memory that could be called ‘the heart’. ‘The heart’ because the visual images from memory carry their emotional load deeply coded in the individual’s subconscious mind. Therefore, if he makes a mistake in both cases the whole structure of the building can collapse and many would suffer or the overall image of the building may destroy the unity of the natural surrounding of the considered place and cause harm to people’s esthetical perception of the world.
The same situation can be observed in the following situation: the EFL manager’s decisions influence his school directors, teachers, secretarial work and all publicity. So, harm can be done not only in terms of the syllabus, teaching methods and placement of students on the right level (what is represented here by the mind) but also the college atmosphere like relation between teachers and students, teachers and directors, all staff members, new comers and so on, here called the heart. And even the most idyllic system, unless cared for, can be destroyed in the course of time by the nature of ongoing change within.
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