Many associate me with the idea of breaking rules. I am copying a few rules to follow rather than break. But than again, breaking and following rules are two sides of the same coins.

Enjoy.

John

PS I need a couple of rules to break/follow re using digital media to learn about teaching and to learn languages.

XXII Rules for Student-Centered Language Learning
Never* use jargon, rather provide examples of activities you are talking about and with students generate names for the activities. Any labels we use are arbitrary but by using jargon we imply that others know better than we how to label what we experience.
Never suggest that students read or listen to any text only once, rather urge them to experience the lexical and grammatical** meanings in the same text in different ways from 5 to 10 times. XXI
Never assume your students or you have some deficiency if they cannot perform, rather assume that what they are being asked to do or the material is deficient; to develop their language they need to read or listen to language which they understand at least 95% of—98% would be better–and they need to have some interest in the topic and be challenged by the activities. XX
Never explain vocabulary or ask students to define words, rather have your students use bilingual or monolingual dictionaries, imagination and grouping skills to discover or confirm lexical and grammatical meanings. XIX
Never ask students to use words in a sentence to illustrate their meaning, rather have your students manipulate and embellish example sentences in dictionaries or texts. XVIII
Never explain grammar or ask students to explain grammar, rather have your students become aware of word order, function words and grammatical suffixes by using language and by tapping the grammatical information in dictionaries. XVII

*I started to develop Activities I refer to as Huh? Oh. Aha! Activities with rules that started with the word Avoid rather than Never. But I continued to create activities that were less student centered than I wanted. So to raise the bar and stretch my mind, and those of others who want to create student centered activities, I substituted Never for Avoid, outrageous as the word Never is. I hope all readers will select a word that they feel comfortable with to start re-thinking the roles of teachers and students in language classes and also generate their own rules.

**I use the word grammatical to refer to ways English works in all dimensions: the ways we use stress, rhythm and pronunciation to speak, the ways we use word order, function words and suffixes to create sentences, the ways we arrange sentences in paragraphs and longer passages, ways we take turns in conversations, etc.

Never focus on lexical and grammatical meanings separately—rather integrate the learning of lexical and grammatical meanings. XVI
Never answer any student’s question-word questions such as “What does this mean?” or “Why can’t we say jargons and vocabularies?”, rather have your students ask yes-no and either-or questions that contain predictions or hypotheses about lexical or grammatical meanings. XVNever ask students to repeat or copy words or sentences, rather have your students look at the words or sentences, cover them and then write what they remember. XIV
Never ask students to read orally as their eyes are glued to the printed lines, rather have your students read silently, cover what they read, pause to think and then say what they have read silently to another person; have each person write what was said. XIII
Never have students write or type single words they hear as they hear them, rather have them write or type chunks of words and only after the words have been said, not as they are being said. XII
Never say words such as “very good, excellent, wonderful” after students respond, rather observe how your students show that learning is its own reward and provide information about what they do that ensures they are accurate and have high expectations. XI
Never have students use eraser, rather have your students edit and re-write their first predictions or hypotheses. X
Never provide complete information, rather provide incomplete information such as mouthed words, cloze passages or initial or final letters of words so your students can tap their previous knowledge and use prediction skills to discover lexical and grammatical meanings. IX
Never prepare detailed lesson plans, rather engage your students in a wide range of activities that they need as they take in and produce language that they want to master and that engages them. VIII
Never tell students what they are going to learn during a lesson, rather ask them what they think they learned. VII
Never give directions, rather demonstrate or illustrate what students are to do. VI
Never give students worksheets, rather have students produce materials in their notebooks. V
Never depend on language alone to communicat, rather ensure that other mediums such as gestures, sketches, sounds and music accompany language you and your students use. IV
Never depend on information, experiences, feelings or ideas from outside sources alone, rather value and integrate student information, experiences, feelings, or ideas as well. III
Never discuss teaching only with peers and by recalling events, judging them and using jargon such as ice breaker, key words, communicative activities, zone of proximal development, cognitive approach, etc., rather use transcriptions of excerpts from lessons and analyze and interpret the data from multiple perspectives using your own terms, those of peers and students in order to deepen understanding rather than to improve teaching. II
Never teach or learn computing skills alone, rather ensure you and your students develop touch-typing skills as well. I
Since these rules are so different from those that I and others are accustomed to, they liberated us—freed us from the practices we were used to. I hope these rules, will free you to create even more student-centered learning activities.