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ByJoseph   posted on01 Sep, 12 1832 Views 0 Comments Regular Feature Add to favorite

What is Positive Thinking?

Positive thinking has become a money-making mantra for most of the trainers. What, after all, is positive thinking?

Renuka Chari, Mumbai

Dear Renuka Chari,
‘Dream, dream and dream’ is the oft quoted words of Dr Abdul Kalam. Unfortunately, while following these words many people go to deep slumber.

Many forget that positive thinking is accompanied with a great deal of learning, planning and hard work. Even the trainers do not mention the accompanying requirements in order that their panacea looks very simple and practicable to their devotees.

The achievers go the whole hog without making any fuss and the observers take cognizant only of their glory and easy looking fašade. Most of the successful people do not reveal the hardships they have undergone. However, those with the verve to succeed notice the travails beneath the throne studded with diamonds and pearls.

Positive thinking should be built on the strong foundation of excellent attitude, skills and knowledge. Positive thinking should be an offshoot of understanding the success formulae of scores of achievers who have already shown the way. Positive thinking should be the result of intelligent planning and exemplary modelling.

If you understand that positive thinking is the offspring of the catalogued activities and endowments you have the right to think positively and positive thinking will give you the results you aspire for. Of course, you have within you all the resources you will ever need and if one person can do it every one can do it, or at least learn to do it.

The secret is that if you strongly believe that you can do something, you will learn everything needed to do it, and you will do it by all means. Is it not positive thinking?

Teaching English to First Generation Learners

I am teaching English in a college and am at a loss to know how to make my students, many of whom are first generation learners with the least speaking and writing skills, to speak and write at least simple correct English.

Ranveer Sinha, Patna

Dear Ranveer Sinha,
Let me first of all tell you that you are blessed to have been assigned such a task of empowering underprivileged students to master something that they think is impossible. If you also believe that it is impossible better you leave the task to someone else who believes that it is possible.

The students who have been entrusted to your care have had at least of nine years of learning English in one way or other. The simple fact is that they have been exposed to the English language and they have in store a great number of English words and phrases. They have some correct sentences also in their collection.

There is some formula missing to put all they know in the right combination to make correct sentences. What is that ‘algorithm’ or ‘abracadabra’?

Give them confidence that speaking and writing English is a matter of simple steps, right steps. Lead them to the construction of right sentences in an enjoyable way. When you take them along a few steps in the right direction each student will take the required leap. You need to create the right spark and the right atmosphere.

If one method does not produce the result, try another. Remember, they are just baby steps. Children learn languages fast, but only after a prolonged struggle for months. Your students have been in the period of struggle for a prolonged time. This is the right time to strike gold. Have the insight to give them the needed insights.

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