New research suggests that elder siblings have a higher IQ than younger ones.
Will be letting my three younger sisters know that several times an hour when I go back for a week to the UK, although obviously not revealing the fact that the result is a statistical average rather than something true in every family- and anyway the difference is only three IQ points.
Needless to say, parents all over America and Japan are taking this a whole lot more seriously than me. Three IQ points in Japan could be the difference between Todai (Tokyo University, guaranteed passport to selling your soul to the corrupt ruling classes for serious cash) and Waseda (also prestigious, but risk of learning some unpleasingly original thoughts and therefore messing up your career prospects ).
For English teaching, the most important part of the research is the suggestion that the reason why the elder brothers and sisters learn more is that when they try to come up with explanations for how things work for their little brat kid brother, it helps them learn the information more than it does the person it is being explained to. Therefore, in the classroom maybe a higher level student who helps a lower level one by explaining grammar is also fixing that language in their own brain forever, and should therefore stop whining all the time about being in the wrong class!!! (Feel better after venting that)
The theory makes sense to me. When I was teaching grammar and the phonemic script for the first time in my first couple of years, I certainly picked it up faster than my students. From now on they can teach me, and pay me for the privilege!
Found a spelling mistake that disproves the theory? Want to publically humiliate your siblings? Want to vent your spleen here so rather than killing whingeing students? Press “comment” below: