Years ago I remember reading about John Searle. He lived and worked over in America – but he did come to England as a Rhodes Scholar. He was interested in intelligence and talked about the `Chinese Room’.
You have to imagine yourself as an English speaker – and not know any Chinese. You will be confined in a room into which batches of instructions are posted. You are given:
A Pile of Chinese Symbols
A long rule book
The rule book explains how to post out Chinese symbols in response to symbols posted into the room.
He hoped that in time a person would become so adept at interpreting and responding to the symbols that he or she become almost indistinguishable from a native Chinese speaker.
You could try this at home.
Place your child in a room with a pile of eleven plus papers and a rule book. Post instructions . Ask your child to interrogate the rule book. Wait with bated breath to see if your child comes up with the right answer.
Expecting an appropriate output in response to inputs can be the ultimate Eleven Plus dream. To ginger up motivation to keep learning parents could say: “After all I have done for you. I brought you up as a baby. I feed you. I clothe you. I give you this wonderful eleven plus opportunity and what do you do?”
On the other hand praise would probably be even more effective!