(True story.) It’s the September of 1985, the year that Stevie Wonder released an international hit song. I’m on campus in Japan and happen to run into a couple of my students from spring term, Yuki and Hana.
“How was your summer?” I ask.
“Wonderful! I went to Europe with my family,” Yuki says.
“That’s great! How about you Hana?”
“Interesting. I had a part-time lover,” Hana answers.
Both Yuki and I look astonished and laughingly ask simultaneously, “You had a what?!!”
“I had a part-time lover. … Oh, no, I mean I had a part-time job!” Hana replies with some embarrassment when she realizes what she had said.
She then explains how she had often heard Stevie Wonder’s “Part-Time Lover” during the summer.
Hana’s automatic response to my question demonstrated the power of listening input. Since then, I’ve found ways to tap into it’s potential in helping student internalize grammar concepts and new vocabulary, and even how to write paragraphs and essays.