Learners can extend their ways of participating and engaging with what they learn, becoming more active and less passive. Becoming active and engaged does not necessarily imply a certain type of activity; listening can be active. Being actively engaged means learning becomes a two-way experience, and learners can be challenged and changed by what they learn. For example, learners could be asked in a language class what they would donate to if they were given $100,000. This engages them in brainstorming about giving rather than getting. This active connection means the teacher needs to exercise responsibility concerning what learners connect with.

  • Learners can extend their listening and looking skills. This is the opposite of quick “mastery.” Students can learn slow reading skills in English, allowing time for the text to speak to them; they can develop their looking skills in art, using questions to interrogate a work; and they can develop respectful listening skills in music using pictures to aid listening
  • Learners can expand their imaginative participation by using a range of creative techniques. For example, they could create a storyboard for a German music video in order to expand their understanding of love. They could engage with an new way of thinking about a story in English class by seeing words as gifts; then, they can record those “gifts” on slips of paper and place them inside a gift bag.
  • Learners could engage in new experiences such as cooking for the elderly or using their skills to make a poster for a community day as a service to others during a lesson about communities.

Encouraging students to extend their participation opens the way to a more active involvement in learning. It creates the possibility of what is learned leading the student to consider life from a different perspective.