Friday, January 19, 2018

3317. Enjoy Learning and Your Students Too!

I wrote on my previous post that reading novels can be great for learning new lexis and a foreign or second language in general. And it’s okay. But if you think that that got some rather complex nature – you might have to be after so many things while reading – I would tell you you could just read the novel and enjoy it. Just that, read and enjoy: that’s quite better than just doing nothing.
And please remember: learning your own learning strategies is the best way to learn and acquire a second or foreign language: feel at home when learning that tongue and apply the ways that best suit your learning style! / Photo from: High-Bouncing-Ball

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

3316. How to Learn New Vocabulary

Not all the words I look up in the big dictionaries I have – mainly and namely Oxford and online – are learned by me. When I read the novel I have in charge now I learn a nice number of words.
The words that are learned by me are ones I come across once and for all or those which I’ve got some context from. Not every word I come across when reading is learned by me but many of them get stuck in mind and are mysteriously retrieved when writing a post for example… or when teaching in the classrooms. Others are retained in mind because they’ve been used for a while or for an exercise I carry out with my students.
Anyway what I mainly mean here is that reading fiction is quite nice for learning vocab. Why fiction? Well, you know, it’s the one that more commonly matches everyday native-speakers’ speaking – for instance it brings out a lot of phrasal verbs. / Photo from: adare-cottages My Ireland Tour

Monday, January 15, 2018

3315. Only for Committed Teachers

We teachers give ourselves to our students, at our everyday working. And we have to love them with love of benevolence. That love is the one that allows and even pushes us to love what is good for them. And that may happen although the first years of our career may be tough.
Even along the whole career we may find hardship at our teaching. Teachers usually love all what is peculiar of youth and children. And in the case of adult students I can say the very same truth: we love our students up to the point to give ourselves to them at each and every lesson with them.
And that generous giving us to them also brings joy and a juvenile strength and attitude. I can assure you about this point, from the years of my experience as a teacher, thank God.
Students, as any other people, are creatures we have to respect. Even though especially the first years of our career may be rather tough.
I can also see all this in your attitude for reading my posts: you’re kind of committed teachers. Thank you very much! / Photo from: the village of Coing in County Mayo Ireland. I love Ireland and you may know it…

Friday, January 12, 2018

3314. Communicating in the Target Language

I’ve told you all that I keep on learning English. Learning a language is life-long, I can assure you.
Something I carry out for my own learning that language is reading for example a novel. In some way reading a novel in English and enjoying it is like being in a country where English is spoken.
As well our foreign or second language classroom should be like a piece of those adorable countries where English is spoken, if that’s the language taught and learned. Think of it.
We should create an atmosphere where English is the vehicle language for communication between the teacher and his students, and among these latter ones.
So even if we have to give some announcement about logistics we should say it in that tongue we’re teaching and learning. If you think they didn’t understand, you can explain it in other words, with the help of the chalkboard or smartboard. Or have other students say the message in their own words in the target language!
So try first in the target tongue, only then we could reinforce the message in our common native language, Spanish in my case. The core point is creating, like I said, an atmosphere where English is the communication tool. / Photo from: KU Leuven

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

3313. When Our Students May Be Anxious

We may have re-started after Christmas break, in the northern hemisphere.
Something we can now take into account is that maybe we should put some ice-breaking in the classroom. Our students both kids and adults may feel a bit anxious, right? We might introduce some small joke. Or maybe some other empathizing detail.
We have to notice our students’ mood. They may be anxious or otherwise disruptive. In any case we have to manage the classroom, right? Another point we could implement is just telling them how we teachers see them, for them to obtain some feedback about their behavior and attitude. As I said, both if they’re anxious or otherwise disruptive, or both! Are we able to learn about their mood? / Photo from: alfodiregiomagazin hu a rainy day

Monday, January 8, 2018

3312. Minds Working Hard Again!

Phewww! We started or restarted our nice lessons this morning, today Monday January 8. It was okay and my students were nice.
I remind you that my students are adults. Although we tried the lesson be in English – which is the language I teach – I gave them some clues in Spanish to reinforce their efforts and let them think they are already working hard. Also I tried to empathize with their feelings and with what they told me about their struggle to work hard again. As I said it was nice. / Photo from: CNN com. The picture is just a season’s one: here in Granada, Spain, it’s cold, rainy and even snowy.