Paragraph blogging: Demand High

This is a paragraph blogging type of post, inspired by Anna Loseva and Kate Makaryeva, who came up with this fantastic idea at the time when I thought my blogging needed a tweak. This challenge is perfect for me because 1) I’m “sick of mulling over my Seriously Great Idea in an attempt to shape it coherently and beautifully into a decent (read: perfect) 1K+ words blog post” and because 2) I suspect my “Seriously Great Idea will not significantly lose in its greatness if I manage to tell it in one paragraph”. 🙂 Well, I wonder whether my idea is great enough to be published as a blog post but anyway ….  
Demand High: The idea of engaging your students’ full learning potential, proposed by Jim Scrivener and Adrian Underhill, got into circulation back in 2012, and it soon became an object of profound criticism. When I heard the term for the first time, it immediately struck a chord with me. Since then I’ve never felt the need to scrutinize the theory or the motivation of its proponents; I’ve always considered it pure inspiration which perfectly fits into my existing schemata; it is consistent with the way I see (or want to see) the world of education. I often think of the endless hours kids are forced to spend at school glued to their desks, and I too wonder whether all the time is used effectively. I have my doubts because I can clearly visualize the moments of me killing the precious classroom time with meaningless games and fun activities just because back then my teacher self thought it was the right thing to do. Had I allowed my students to go out and play in the park, I wouldn’t have done them a disservice. I’m convinced that Demand High speaks to lots of teachers out there, and I strongly believe we are obliged to ask ourselves the kind of questions Jim Scrivener and Adrian Underhill proposed. Even if the answers are hard to find, the questions themselves are invaluable tools for every teacher’s professional development. When I think about it now, I actually see Demand High as a kind of reflective practice rather than an approach to teaching.
Oops, it seems that a paragraph can become pretty lengthy. I’d like to apologize for failing to stick to the challenge, but I swear I tried hard. 🙂


About Hana Tichá

I'm an EFL teacher based in the Czech Republic. I've been teaching English to learners of all ages for almost 25 years and I still love my job. You can find out more about my passion here on my blog.
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2 Responses to Paragraph blogging: Demand High

  1. Dear Hana,
    I'm so glad to see you paragraph blogging? How do you feel having done that? Personally, I was so relieved and it went so amazingly easy. Like a deep breath of fresh air.
    Considering Demand High, I've heard about it and I've tried implementing it. For me it turned out to be more difficult than it sounded, but still it doesn't make it less worthwhile. One should just beware of getting stuck into playing with exercises at the expense of speaking. That happened to me sometimes.
    It is a good topic to be touched upon. Thank you.


  2. Hana Tichá says:

    Hi Kate. It actually felt great. Not that the post was finished in 10 minutes or so; it takes time to edit and delete after all 🙂 But as you say, it's amazingly refreshing to allow yourself to write, say, only a quarter of what you normally write. I guess blogging would be more enjoyable if we reduced the amount of words we think are appropriate for a 'decent' post. Ideas come to mind all day long as I read through all the interesting posts and articles, but most of them, in my view, are not ‘worth’ a post because the post would be too short. But this is just a mindset I created in my head and which, I hope, I can easily get rid of. Thanks for the inspiration, reading and commenting.


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