Academic journal article The Journal of Linguistic and Intercultural Education

Neuro-Linguistic Programming for Teaching and Learning

Academic journal article The Journal of Linguistic and Intercultural Education

Neuro-Linguistic Programming for Teaching and Learning

Article excerpt

NLP has been accused of being manipulative. It is only a tool. Like a knife. Like a knife it can be used for good or for bad. It is up to you how you use it. (Revell, & Norman 2009:13)


Teachers have to play a number of roles in order to support their students' success. Being a driving force in the educational process, they ought to reach beyond merely standing in front of the classroom and lecturing. They have to be like philosophers who continuously reflect on the efficiency of their actions or like lawyers who are able to persuade students to perform their tasks. In order to provide a vivid and clear image of what teachers' job involves, Harmer (2007:107) advises to use a variety of metaphors He compares teachers to actors being always on the stage, or to orchestral conductors who direct conversations in their vicinity, set the pace and the tone, or to gardeners who after planting seeds remain to watch them grow and develop. Following the author's mode of illustrating the issue at hand, the teacher can be also compared to a manager leading his or her group and, at the same time, working together with employees to make their company as successful and thriving as possible. Churches and Terry (2007), the authors of a well-received book NLP for Teachers, suggest comparing teachers to therapists as their key skills, namely the ability to use language to create change, are similar. In other words, both vocations require effective communication to facilitate learning and support the ones entrusted to their care and attention in optimal implementation of their potential (Churches, & Terry 2007:503-511). Additionally, Churches and Terry (2007:351-353) claim that teaching is "about relationships as well as pedagogy. It is about feelings as well as facts, and it is as much about what goes on inside your head as it is about what goes on in the heads of your students. It is about using your senses as well as your subject knowledge". They also stress that it is the teacher's mood and motivation that create atmosphere in the class and it is the teacher's abilities to manage both the internal responses as well as the external behaviours of his or her students that make teaching effective.

Further, Dörney and Murphey (2003) claim that it is one of teachers' main responsibilities to create good relationships within their groups and facilitate the process of learning. Given a clear focus at the beginning of a course, its participants shall develop and, eventually, become responsible for their own learning and only then will they both be able and willing to express themselves in the classroom environment and beyond. In view of the aforementioned illustrations, it seems that there are not many jobs that require such mastery and level of orchestration as teaching, not only in the professional field, but primarily in terms of interpersonal and intrapersonal skills (Churches, & Terry 2007:354-355). Accordingly, teachers are in constant need of powerful tools that help them perform their job well in order to meet growing expectations of their students, on many occasions augmented by demands (at times insatiable) made by the said students' parents. One of such ingenious devices may become Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), a relatively new field of study, especially in relation to its use in education (despite any reservations, scepticism or points of concern it might raise among scholars).

2Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Definition and key concepts

Neuro-Linguistic Programming, commonly known as the study of excellence, is a set of general communication techniques combined with strategies for building rapport, personal change, and learning. What is more, it is often considered to be one of the most powerful tools available for personal and professional development. There have been numerous attempts to define NLP as a science, a process, a study, a model, a set of procedures or even a form of applied psychology. …

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