Monday, August 31, 2009

104. To hope the fruit of your class-period


Shean, the veteran, heard with sheer interest, to keep learning, albeit he had been teaching for so many years,

"...All the same, the core stuff in the class-period, is communication, human and humane communication.

But have in the first place of your day, of your life, communication with your Father, who is so close, at every moment.

I, hm, i wanna tell you more activities you can develop with your disciples in the classroom.

However, however, engrave deep into your mind,"

Shean was the kind of guy he trusts in the trainer, from whom he can still learn, improve. "

All good, from God it comes.

All fruit, from Him.

Whether your pupils do learn,

whether they want to learn,

getting more and more fluently, with eager eagerness to devore new words, new expressions.

I was saying, whether your class-periods yield fruit and a big one, it comes from... That's the point.

That's the only way.

Just one more example: ask the Holy Spirit to plan your notes.

Each class-period is a step forward: do not waste it."

An example of plain communication. Thanks to artungo lemonde blog fr

103. Becoming capable of making full sentences


Shean, the veteran teacher, attentively heard,

"There's a simple game, you know, that teaches students to construct full sentences, not just broken English, which would be one step forward anyway!

Recall they may know how to utter isolated words, right.

A paramount step is for them to get capable to make a sentence.

The game allowes varieties.

First, 'Hangman', but with words.

The words show on a column, but not in the correct order of the result sentence.

Oh, the sentences follow the grammar pattern of the unit you are working on.

Second, you write the words of the sentence in a shuffled way on the black- or whiteboard.

Like [sic] you know, they like playing.

If your students' grade is more advanced, try more original or somewhow more fancy sentences. As usual in a language class, this one is mix-ability: so, you can make the more advanced students help their slower peers."

On the picture above is Wall-e, a cute protagonist of an animation movie, by Disney-Pixar. These animation movie guys are making for it.

Don't miss this movie either.

Thanks to larryfair wordpress com

Saturday, August 29, 2009

102. Some gadgets


I gave up. I tried to attach gadgets to my blog. These gadgets are




Another "gadget" we have is in the very Mars. Long after he had been dismissed for it had fulfilled its job time, it persevered ang hung around, so glad to be there. The Spirit Mars rover. A jewel of engineering craft. How good God helps man push on and on and on in technology, hope ever for human sake.


101. From the student's desk


Shean, the veteran of war, the veterean teacher, was told by the teaching trainer,
"So far mostly I have said to Dwight stuff significant for the teacher. But,
what about the student's view of the class, of the class-period?
One student, far off in time, went to the class of English, first of all, with so a big respect toward his teacher. He had been taught that way at home.
He was mainly concerned with passing that subject of the school with a top grade, plus some concept that he was learning English to communicate, with other people.
One day, four years later, he made the resolution of rereading the dialogs they had seen in the class-period that day.
But he did so, not because his teacher had asked to reread the text as homework, just to improve, to focus on the way native speakers had to express things.
That student took on Philology of English after having finished the equivalent to High School, with a streak of fair, for his level of English was not so good, not fit enough to embark in such a degree study.
He keeps learning currently.
He also learned from his teachers: both good and bad things, habits, efforts, failures, flaws, pieces of heroism."
Long ago too, there were mommoths, even in today province of Granada, south of Spain.
I think, though not sure, they had been hanging around here in Granada few thousand years ago. I mean, not so long ago.
Whatsoever ago, thanks to britannica com . Some weeks ago some more rests of those wool-fur guys were found in this province.

Friday, August 28, 2009

100. How to hit on the head of the nail


Around one hour ago, when coming from the Holy Mass, I met with a friend of mine, a teacher too.

He told me about the people in Spain who do not achieve the goal of learning English, despite the great deal of years spent at learning. On the reverse side, in other countries, he referred to European ones, young people can speak in English without any magic: they do speak in English, and they have acquired it. And they perhaps have a different attitude regards English.

A different mentality.

A different history.

A different culture.

The reply was that people here, in need of English, hit the nail on the head.

In addition, people who like English, and maybe because of this, they, one day, encounter the necessity, or rather they look for it.

To sum up, here the person that gets to learn English is... the person that wishes to hit on the nail.

A good theme for a number 100 of posts.

On the photo are Wilbur and Orville Wright. Either of them in the Flyier I, December 1903. That flight on the picture was the first one of these brothers, in a glider-device, but powered by an engine of gas. Kitty Hawk beach. About 100 meters. They hit on the head of the nail. They did.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

99. Some specific strategies


Following what said on #98, we could give strategies, taken from OXFORD, Rebecca (1990) Language Learning Strategies. What Every Teacher Should Know (search for the whole ref.).

Taken and quoted.

Memory strategies, creating mental linkages, grouping, placing new words into a context, reviewing, practicing, repeating, practicing naturalistically,

getting the idea quickly when receiving a message, analyzing expressions,

adjusting or approximating the message, using a circumlocution or synonym, planning, self-evaluating, etc.

Just to give you a sample with which you can make up an idea.


Colorado Canyons, thanks for the view to soliclima es. In the shade you can stay at more than 100 Farenheit degrees.

98. Strategies, strategies, strategies


The trainer told the novice teacher that any person who is learning a language, who really wishes, he or she uses strategies, ways to learn the language, ways, techniques this person has learned in a book, or by his friends, or ones he has learned precisely by learning.
Namely: planning the everyday study, the how to retrieve words, the how to hold a conversation, to learn new words, a new one, the how to practice a new word by thinking or writing one sentence, or by using it in an email,
or the how this person has taken in, not just input, a new word, because that word has appeared several times throughout the novel,
the how the mental effort to improve memory,
the how this person ponders about other hows,
the how he realizes he is using certain hows...
Very helpful for the teacher, as well as for the learner: remember the reference I gave you about the book by Rebecca Oxford, some entries... "down".
-Just one more thing: man is a social being, so he learns with his peers
(Below, on another post, I wrote that, as you well know, when I say "man" etc.).

On the picture you can make out two astronauts laboring out of the ISS. Thanks to yaaqui com for the pic. You can also see the land of the earth somewhat close, for the ISS is only some 200 miles (I might be quite wrong - just it rings a bell to me, in km, more or less 300).

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

97. Saying full sentences

Dwight, the rookie teacher, one day was told,
"H. D. Brown puts it that communication is the aim of teaching or learning a language.
Clear so far.
He also says that the students' reply with just one word is the first step: already there is communication: the student replies to a question or a prompt by his teacher."

NB.: Spot that most of times I use the definite article before "students" for example. Summing up, that is because I refer to some specific students, the ones you have in your classroom, or mine.

vueltalmundo com, thank you.

96. Fulfilling another task


The novice teacher was told,
"Another task game can be selling a new computer.
A key step: Ask or supply useful words and expressions, like specific vocabulary about computering.
Or a game that has to do with the vocabulary and grammar of the unit your class is working on lately."
On the photograph you can see a peculiar view in Granada (Spain), a street musician and two kids, beneath an arch of the wall of the city, at picturesque suburb of Albayzín.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

95. Working out a task


"So, bear in mind what I told you at post #94.
The stuff of the planning a shopping-center; you... Basically: Your students, by groups - ususally they perform the planning of this in L1, albeit you'd prefer in the target language- I was saying, your students plan the mall, say, what facilities they are going to include, where, how large, why there such facilities within the general plan, why any change from the first layout, the name of the center, amount of money they could invest, the ubi of the center in town, number of storeys.

After having made it, one speaker exposes the thing, and, say, two classmates help her to explain the stuff, and help with the replying to the questions by you... or another classmate, better so!"


Unforgettable Harry, Hermione and Ron. Teach your students how to pronounce Hermione. Thanks to harrylatino com

94. Fulfilling a task


Dwight, the rookie teacher was taught,

"Recall that game I told you about: one student acting out as though s/he would be the teacher her/himself.

It's ok, also because the students make a task, and task-activities are practical and train the students for real life. As well games in general help students fulfill future demandings at their work.

I'd advise you to combine pair or group work, with individual working out.

You might think these games and activities are too difficult for your real students.

Just try.

You lose nothing.

You'll begin to find what works fine.

One more example: They are a realtor team, and they have to plan a mall or shopping-center, with facilities.


A Pittsburgh Pirates baseball player. Thanks to uk eurosport yahoo com

93. Where is the missing word?


Dwight, the novice teacher, was told -by the veteran one,
"I can teach you a game that involves both grammar and vocabulary.

You write on the blac- or digital-board a short text, about the topic of the current unit.

The text has a blank, a missing word. You can also write 4 possible words for the blank they have to fill out.

They work by pairs for example, to decide which word fits ok. They love competing with his friends.You can also ask them why they decided so."


Groucho again on my blog - Why Marx Brothers so many times? The famous scene of him in pajamas looking at himself on a mirror, in Duck Soup. Don't miss the movie.

Monday, August 24, 2009

92. Welcome, Mr. Chwa!


I'm so grateful to Chwa for entering my blog.

I guess that we teachers, joined with one another, can give a big push up to TEFL and other categories.

I have a lot of stuff oulined to tell you all, yet I wanted to welcome you, Chwa, and announce that any other teacher will be welcome.

Best wishes for everyone.

On the picture you can see a pool where some fish can be seen as well as part of marvelous Alhambra, worth visiting.

Friday, August 21, 2009

91. What's the main resource of activities?


Beside what said on post #90, the rookie teacher was told,

"Every class-period is unique.

It demands close preparation, a well focused one. Yet do not spend too much time on the planning.

Bear in mind the expectations the more advanced students have, and the cognitive or behavioral or moral hinderings of the slower students.

This teacher so is creative, and teaching a fine art.

The teacher works shoulder with shoulder with his students.

He does not utilize past years' plannings of the class-periods. However he keeps helpful material, in Word documents, or references to some websites with suitable material.

He gets the best of his students, because he tries to reach the best of his work. He jumps over everyday problems that for sure will rise."

A construction worker at The Empire State Building. This edifice was begun in 1930, and inaugurated solemnly on May 1, 1931. Thanks for the photo to science howstuffworks com

90. What's the main resource for activities and games?


A novice teacher was told,

"The teacher.

The teacher's concern and hopes and expectations.

He - as you know, he grammatically includes she - prepares every class. He writes the outline of the activities of the specific class for tomorrow. He writes the script of the most important movie in somebody's life: education. Parents are the first and main educators of their chidren, though.

Education to pursue happiness. On earth you can reach some, partial but great happiness, and the everlasting one in Heaven.

The teacher thinks how to hit the nail on the head.

He recalls his students' flaws, yet also the human capability to improve, to acquire the language that will allow them to communicate with billions (in AmE) of people, for example through the Internet."


A picture of Vall d'Aran, in the Catalonian Pyrenees.

89. Where can I find learning strategies?


It is very helpful to read about strategies of learning a language in

OXFORD, Rebecca (1990) Language Learning Strategies. What Every Teacher Should Know. Boston: Heinle & Heinle Publishers.

As well she is an experienced teacher.


An Indian Chief on Dances with Wolves (1990). Starring Kevin Costner.

88. Do parents have any role here?


One teacher answered,

"Sure. Definitely. When parents are heavy readers, it's more likely that their children will take on a reading habit.

My dad used to say that the kid who reads comics will read books when an adult.

A Spanish teacher of English said to me he owed his love to English to his dad.

If parents are hard-working, more likely their children will emulate this virtue.

Being-the-parents entails educating their children.

In Spain at least, many parents entrust too much education in the teachers; they think the school will educate their sons and daughters."


A scene of Hotel Rwanda (2006), about the genocide in that country.

87. A massive input for the students


The same teacher added something to post #86.

"Before speaking, the students must listen to a massive input in English by the teacher.

Nonetheless, in the meanwhile they can already say something.

Little by little this input will turn into intake: they will understand more and more. This is my experience."


On the picture you can see a man in a classical car, at an exhibition in Puerta Real, Granada downtown, Spain.

86. Do I have to say all in the target language?


One teacher told me,

"You can recall what I told you about speaking in English from the first day, from the first announcements about the program -or syllabus-. Although your students may be beginners.

Let them hear, listen to speaking in English. Let them acquaint with the texture of the language.

This has to do with the silent period Krashen wrote about.

Furthermore try to make them understand something of your speech, by doing mimicry, giving examples, drawing on the black or digital board, repeating, writing the key words -maybe cognate words of their native language.

And get yourself close to them emotionally: you wish them to learn/acquire English, and they notice and appreciate this interest."


Me teaching a small group, smaller than the usual ones. Two or three summers ago, in Málaga. -Just one more thing: all the chairs should be down on the floor.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

85. How to learn to learn


Joe told me,
"It is indispensable that your students learn how to turn the stuff of the exercises of their workbook into something useful for authentic communication, both inside and outside the classroom.
The teacher so you, can... No, your students ought to engage their brains.
Ask them what are they going to do to turn the grammar of a specific exercise into something practical for today's class. They have got to suggest something practical, not just presenting the first conditional type of sentences.
Do not tell them any hint. Let them set their minds on reflection. Listen, value and nod at any statement."
Great Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman on Casablanca (1942).

84. Chained words: a simple game


Joe told us,
"All right. Try 'Chained words'. So simple.
Ask one student to give a word, like 'dog'. Then, a second student says another word, beginning with the last letter of 'dog'.
You or a student writes the words all together, like in a chain. And so on with the game.
Retrieving words from their minds helps them interiorize a more ample range of words."
On the photo a scene of the movie The Chronicles of Narnia. Episode: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. The movie was premiered in 2006, and it is based on the novel of C. S. Lewis. One of the protagonists speaking with... was it a faun, or a centaur? The movie is worth watching it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

83. Who can teach me how to teach?


Joe told me,

"H. D. Brown was one of the first authors that gave me so brilliant ideas about teaching/learning." ----The author of this blog wrote a paper about Brown's brilliant findings.

You can see this scholar's methodology on: DÍEZ GALLEGO, Fernando (2006) "Una metodología que lleva al éxito en el aprendizaje de lenguas: Comentarios en torno a BROWN, H. D. (1989) A Practical Guide to Language Learning. A Fifteen-Week program of Strategies for Success. New York: McGraw-Hill.

This article was published in a journal on educative and teaching research, of Universidad de Jaén (Spain).

The name of the journal is Guadalbullón. Issue # 13.

The picture is the famous Anatomy Lesson, by Rembrandt.

82. My class is large and they don't want to learn


Joe responded to my question,
"You're right when you say that teachers in Spain, a lot of times, have to teach adolescents, many of them disruptive, plus a large class.
It's a complex problem.
Once, a student butted in his teacher's presentation of the program of the subject, on the first day of the academic year. The student asked - in Spanish. 'Ok all that, but are you going to give me Sobresaliente (the highest grade)? His teacher stopped speaking. Silence.
A tense one.
This professional stared at this 'little-terrorist'.
Silence.
Silence.
How is this new teacher going to react?
'You yourself, reply your own question.'
I mean, that's the bulk of the anecdote. So, stop speaking, make the students use their minds, quench any starting 'rebellion', silences, show seriously what your professional work is about, your service to him or to them, show what his work should be , make the contrast between good and bad manners, state the main objective of this subject, the assessment and evaluation system, address a single student, though there could be more students in the 'gang'...
And also take this student apart, when outside, when you encounter him and his friends in the hall, apart, and just you and he, talk with him, about what is positive, what negative, about his behavior, trying to pull him to good learning in the classroom; about his dignity as a person; about the due respect to an adult, to his classmates, to himself;
about the fact that he will need English in his future, within a few years, like the famous conversation in English at his Selectividad examination - This Selectividad is a previous examination to enter university."
On the pic is a picturesque street of a small town south of Spain, in Andalucía.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

81. How to really help my student?


Joe told me,
"Taking into account what I told you on post #80, proceed on this direction: Ask your tutored student questions that will make him ponder about the way he does when studying English - if any studying by him!
Make questions to make him more aware about his good strategies, and about what he could do better, or a possible new strategy he could practice."
A scene from Hotel Rwanda (2006), a movie about the genocide in that African country; worth to watch it. Thanks for the pic to cinencuentro com

80. How can I make a tutorial?



Joe told me,
"There are two main points in relation to individual tutorials, in order to help your student improve his subject of English.
First, asking, gently provoking a response by your student.
The second important point is listening. Be tactful. Deepen into the how to improve his grades, if this learner let you help him, let you enter his interior, with his permission. When there is concern about the student, a true one, affection as well, most of times the kid let him be helped. People, persons want to be listened to, need to be listened to.
Something convenient is for a male teacher to make the tutorial with a male learner. The same thing with the other gender."

Thanks for the pic to boarding org au

79. How to make my students more autonomous



Joe told me,
“We teachers should help our students become more motor-like, more responsible and aware of their own process of learning the target language.
Try do a brainstorm in a class period. The theme: How to push off, how to gain more fluency at speaking.
Listen to their contributions, though you may think those proposals might be trifles, or too obvious or too general."

Terrific Professor Snape scolding poor Harry and Ron. From Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Starring Daniel Radcliffe. Thanks to reelifewisdom com

Monday, August 17, 2009

78. What can I do with a novel in the classroom?


Joe told me,
"Some years ago we in the classroom read A Story of Two Cities - I might be wrong with the precise title.
What my students like most was when I made the summary of the pages read on one day. The summary in Spanish.
They liked the plot. Nevertheless this is not the most convenient thing to do with a book in the class. You'd better read some pages - You and some students, at random.
After the reading session, ask them to summarize the plot. In the target language. Sometimes you can do it yourself, to show them how someone can make it. Help them make the summary by means of support questions."
A well known washing up powder in Spain. Thanks to solostocks com

Sunday, August 16, 2009

77. How can I gain fluency at speaking?


Joe told me,
"A person who speaks English has read novels massively.
And intensely.
He or she has enjoyed reading an adventure novel, a romance one, a science-fiction one. This person understands novels more and more, more and more easily.
This person focuses on expressions, idioms, words. And when she or he speaks, this person has a treasure where he can retrieve words from. This person can speak more accurately, and going into more specific information."
On the photo Henry Ford on a quadricycle in 1896. Grateful to meredith hopson

76. What should the teacher be like? (2)


"Also, he used to come neatly dressed, with his clergyman, smiling and gentle, a good talent or experience for presenting the matters of the subject, and he did not have any problem with discipline and managing the class, and this latter point with doing nothing special.


The very same thing could be said about other teachers he might tell about." On the photograph you can see the castle at La Calahorra, a town in the province of Granada, Spain.

75. What should the teacher be like?



Joe told me,

"Bear in mind that a good rapport and authentic humane relationship with your students is paramount.

The word for this point is love, charity, to wish the good for the other person.

Pepe told me about his own experience, when at the institute, in Spain.

He then used to have a teacher who really took a real concern about his students. So this teacher came to the classroom, with enough leeway between classes, and not just to teach 'Religión' (Catholic doctrine), or whatever subject, yet to hold a genuine interest for his students.

Pepe, with the passing years, had a positive remembrance about this teacher, Don Miguel, a priest.

One day this teacher said to Pepe that he looked tired or sad, while holding his head on one hand, as in a worn-out-day way. Pepe then, aged 14, said something silly, like, just like his head at that moment was heavy to him - he looked mad (upset, angry). When an adult himself, Pepe was so grateful to whom had been this kind of a teacher like, so concerned with each student of his. There were some many other nice gestures - This teacher was appreciated and liked."

A scene of so funny The Pincess Bride (1987), a parody of the genre of wandering knights novels, the ones loathed and ridiculized by Cervantes in Don Quijote. I'm not an ace at movies, and I might be wrong, but insamuch as I know, the actors and the actress have not been appreciated and famous as they would deserve. Thanks for the picture to opiniones terra es.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

74. Transcendence or transcendency?


I took the dictionary - the Concise Collins one- because I wanted to find out whether the spelling is either transcendence, or transcendency. I found out that both are valid. And that the stress is on the second syllable.


On the picture you can see a lady dressed up fancily, for an exhibition of old classic cars, at Puerta Real, in Granada. http://fotoinexpertos.blogspot.com/

Friday, August 14, 2009

73. Families, families, families, families



Dustin Hoffman and Henry Justin on unforgettable Kramer vs Kramer (1979).

72. What about transcendence matters?


Joe again,

"After having finished reading Caritas in veritate, the last encyclic by the Pope, I infer one conclusion, among many others:

Development, a global development, also passes through the interior development of me, of us all, as a person, as persons. He is so wise.

Many say he is one of the best minds of the last 100 years. Read his books.

Better than wise, or beside wise:

He is Peter, the head of the Twelve Apostles of the very Jesus Christ.

Which fact is not a trifle."

Also Joe advised me to shake hands with any teacher, whatsoever his or her ideals; sure! That's the main stuff of the encyclic-letter.
--------------Thanks to jdlong wordpress com, two F-22 raptors fighters. The last aircraft that is being proofed - I prefer to think of that outfit as self-defense of a country!

71. What's an autonomous learner like?


Joe told us,

"I knew a learner of English, an adult, a teacher of English himself, who tried to improve more and more in the classes of English he attended at an institution of the university of Granada; and to get the most of the classes, basically to practice speaking. The group was small.

The teacher, a British lady, based in Granada, for quite some years; she was an experienced teacher, who somehow cunningly or cleverly promoted speaking. I said 'cunningly', well, you understand what I mean, like wisely - Don't get me wrong.

This lady knew an impressive amount of news, current ones at the days of the classes, for she had read -I suppose- Ideal, the local paper.

This student tried to speak the most chances he got, assuming he also wanted to let his classmates to intervene.

They were also assigned exercises to do in the class, mostly in smaller groups or pairs. They had a short time to decide the correct answer to fill out the blanks, or whatever type of activity it was.

He tried to focus and concentrate on the textbook, to read quickly but with close attention, in order to gain the gist of a text or otherwise some more specific information items. Sometimes he scribbled the answers on a notebook; other times he just read but avoided jotting down, in order to leave more time to understand and memorize the grammar patterns or the new words.

At home he revised some of the exercises, and tried to revise them and memorize the stuff.

Last, he tried to use the new words in his own classes, with his young students or into emails to prospective teachers of English. Finally, some other times he composed brief essays, by using the vocabulary.

After that he saved those documents in a computer file, for possible classes with advanced students."

Patio de los leones, in Alhambra (Granada).

70. Get to learn your students' names


Concerning discipline, Joe told us, we teachers should learn the names of our students from the beginning of the semester. Look at their faces.
When talking with them. At each face, at each person.
Old teachers say you can remember the names of the people you love, you wish to do them good. Plunge the most advanced students into worthy labor. For they might be the disruptive ones, because simply they get bored with the activities. Plunge the rest of them alike. You'll have fewer problems.
Classicist figures in the yard of Carmen de los Martires, in Granada downtown. A "carmen" is a typical house in Granada, with a garden or yard, and a vineyard or an orchard. The word comes from "karm", an Arabic word that means a house of that kind.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

69. A blow up of imagination: Creating a story


Joe told us,


"You asked me for a game that would help with grammar, with making up sentences. Try and do this one.


You can need some acting out, so as to give the story more terror streak. You start writing on the BB the beginning of an invented tale, like


'It was at night. Thunders could be heard. Harry was alone. It was raining heavily. Then, suddenly, he saw a mansion among the mist. So, he went to the house...',


and you plus your students suggest further sentences.


I warn you that the sentences will be as though not interwoven, following no thread - But, as you told me yesterday, the point here is creating the story, making some authentic communication in the target language.


Besides, this yarn is also suitable for revising or presenting conjunctions. And past simple.


Have a try, and let me know. See ye!"


Thanks for the pic to palomitasconrefresco blogspot com

68. Just fun with reading


Joe told me,

"One good experience I have, with my students, is - I used to do it in Jaen, and turned out to be cool.

Once a month, or twice, I just brought to the classroom, with the help of one of my dear students, a pile of readers, simplified books, unabridged books... I handed out these books, by circulating amidst the rows of desks, according to the level of English each student had.

They loved this reading session! And the rest of the class time they just read! The books were significant and amusing for them.

When some student finished one short reader, he came to me and I gave him another one.

There was a silent and concentrated ambience, right. Perhaps one student gave me back his book when yet unfinished - anyways the activity was worth to implement it in the class. For example, they gained vocabulary, necessary to better participate in further games or contributions of any kind to later on classes. Have a go."

Two kids in the camp of El Chaparral, Parque Nacional de Cazorla, province of Jaen, southern Spain, a marvelous place.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

67. Creativity and imagination

Joe carried on by saying,
"The students pour their imagination and fantasy on their essays ( compositions), when I set one of the activities they do when they have a test, an exam.
One of the questions is, for example, to write about - I'm somehow sorry to say this, but I think I set this activity some years ago; anyhow, I might be wrong and I did not set this question.
So, they had to write about what happened on 9/11, in, say, 80 words.
I assure you that in this case, as in many others, most of my students used to pour creatitivy - In this case, like a memorial about what happened then. Perhaps I could have set any other topic, like an adventure in a castle you, the student, being a knigh.
It's plain true the students made many mistakes when writing, but in that case the significant thing was writing, expressing their feelings, their thoughts, and also were important the contents, communicating, in a word."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

66. Creativity, imagination


One day Joe told me,
"With regard to communication in the classroom, you are right, that communication is the target which you have to shoot at.
But you or your students must have something to communicate about. The conducting of the class itself may serve the purpose for raising communication, though your students know little of English.
On top of that, you, the teacher, have to feed your kids with the tools to actually make that communiciation.
Turn the grammar and vocabulary of the unit you are studying in the classes to - Well, I wanted to tell you today about creativity by the students, but let's try to date on coming days to deal with creativity and imagination, right?
Remember that the students are the protagonists of their own learning. Otherwise, nothing gotten."
Photo: a forest in Fall, in the province of Granada, south Spain.

65. Teaching vocabulary through guessing


Joe has just told us,
"There is a particular game that helps much to interiorize new words. Have a go.
You say things about a word you the class are learning lately. They have to guess what the word is.
You say about its use, color, shape, size, what the thing is made out of, examples, opposites, mimicry... It's so amusing.
Then, one of your kids, or your adult learners will act as though she was the teacher in that way presenting a word."
The bells tower of a church in Val d'Aran, a valley in the Catalonian Pyrenees.

64. Your authority is moral, firstly


Joe just told us,
"About discipline. Yes, I reckon this is a concern of you, teachers.
The best discipline is self-discipline. You'll get it in your students by treating them fine, as persons that do not allow to be treated by looking them down, even more, when with his friends in the classroom.
As well they do not stand being treated like little children. Moreover they expect from you a lot: To be calm and serene, telling them that that little dinky trifle of misbehavior, like a low chirp done by someone, is not correct, not respectful to you, to his classmates, and to himself.
Scotch any disruption at the beginning of the academic year. Do not take any guff by them.
Your authority must be moral, first of all.
You attend your dayly work, with them, and you do not permit someone might hurt your professional work.
But do not lose your temper.
Have a go with this view of things."
Two bandplayer girls going to join their bandmates, maybe for a procesión of Semana Santa, in Cádiar, a small town of the province of Granada.

Monday, August 10, 2009

63. The learner who had success in acquiring English



Joe told us yersterday,

"And stick to this idea: You, as a teacher, have to make Cristina interested herself in learning English or Thai or French.

So, try to get her eagerly interested, thus, autonomous, involved in an amusing activity, a necessary one for life; create that need in the classroom as well. She has to learn such and such set of words to intervene in the class, beside the fact that she is going to be interviewed in English at the Selectividad examination, prior her entrance at the college.

Moreover she will need English for her professional career.

Otherwise she will not be hired in the majority of jobs.

But now, in this coming academic year, create the necessity in the class, create an ambience where English is the natural way of conducting themselves, and no native language is permitted, or 'understood'."

Toro de Osborne, común en las carreteras españolas. Thanks to flickr com

Saturday, August 8, 2009

62. Just for fun


When a kid myself I was told by my dad that on HOY newspaper something funny happened once. That newspaper used to be the only one published in Extremadura for a long time - as for example, when I was a kid. Well, one day there appeared a photograph - Is it true anyhow? - with a footnote that said that the mayor of Badajoz with some concejales (town-hall councilors) were inaugurating a reservoir in the province of Badajoz. Well, that's the bulk idea, perhaps not the precise info of the footnote. Anyway, what you could actually see on the pic was a herd of pigs in a dehesa extremeña (a meadow, or pasture, or grassland with holm oaks). Everyone makes a mistake. That's it. Thanks to elcotodegalan es for the photograph.

61. What's the missing word?


Jack Jack asked Great Joe,
"Now I'm hanging around to find a game or the like for my students to expand their vocabulary."
Joe responded,
"Did you ever try the missing-word stuff? Very simple, no time preparation, and very fun. Elicit words about the topic you are studying lately, in your classroom. Like vocabulary about The School, I mean, typical objects or workers you can see in a school.
Right. It's the same as something I told Dwight some days ago. It's a network of words, around the topic.
After writing their words on the blackboard or the digital one, give them one minute to memorize as many words as possible. They stare at the BB eyes stabbed into it, for, say, one minute.
Then, the time is over, and one volunteer rises to his feet and turns around, trying to say as many words as possible. So fun for you and your students.
Another way - briefly speaking. One student erases one word, and a second student has to guess what the missing word is."
Una noche en la ópera. cosasdecine com (so many thanks for the photo).

Friday, August 7, 2009

60. A fun listening game: celebs


Jack Jack also appreciates Joe' advice.
He is also trained by Joe, a teacher of teachers. Pieces of advice like, for example, one that is an aid for the class: the following amusing game.
You, the teacher, say things about a celebrity, like whether a man or a woman, whether he is a soccer player of Barça, also that he is black, that he has been hired for this coming season, that... And the students have to guess whom you are talking about. This game is a fine ore - try, my students love it.
Thank you for the photo - bajoelhielo blogspot com

59. Your job serves people


If you have had a look at the previous posts, you'll remember that Joe was speaking with Dwight about teaching as a service.
"And what's more: the teacher and his or her students are like the pieces of a clock machine: every screw or gearwheel have to fulfill its duty.
Remember the stuff I showed you when considering the student as a person, with his or her own biography, family, today's way of thinking and conducting one's life, with our natural tendency to bliss and happiness with other people.
Bear this in mind, when in the classroom or at a tutorial.
Thus, the student is a person, with the subsequent consequences. Thus, the teacher is a person."

Thursday, August 6, 2009

58. Teaching is a service



Before anything else, Dwight wanted to make clear that we west countries cannot be paternalist with the poorer ones. They have to be responsible of themselves (cfr. #58 in Caritas in Veritate, Benedict XVI's last encyclica). We can help them get out of poverty, if any.
Joe replied to the words aforesaid by Dwight, by saying,
"Right. You are not far from the point. Teaching is a service to other children of God, a service to both parents and kids, or adult-learners.
A service. As well as a car designer, say, of Audi, does not merely seek for his pride and self-satisfaction. Moreover and better, if he relishes and enjoyes doing that, ok."
To be continued. Chinese pupils - a pic thanks to soschidrensvillages org uk. I don't mean China is the typical Third World country, for you know it is an emergent power country, though many people live in poverty.

57. Teaching a language is service


One day Dwight once more said to Joe, "I am thinking lately that teaching is a service, it should be something else than mere fulfilling a schedule and be paid and trying to survive among people, from bow to aft, who do not want to learn." To be continued.

Me teaching at a summer program in Malaga, a few years ago. As you see, at this time my students were so few, and so advanced most of them though. I'd like to add that the chairs upside-down should be on the floor.

56. (Do not tell anyone - It is secret)


Ponder on this, as Joe suggested us to do: Sanctify your job, sanctify yourself at your job, sanctify the(sic) others with your job. Plus that it's the Holy Spirit who sanctifies.
Zipi y Zape. Thanks to bibliopiedrasbalncas wordpress com

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

55. Women bear sorrow more upheld and bravely


Joe thought in the later afternoon that he should have told Dwight about some more advantages, or better said, positive points women are enriched with, just for the fact of their feminity.
When facing pain, they suffer it more bravely.
Man and woman are complementary. Summing up to that feminity, add the quality of being more on the little detail. Plus perhaps being better in treatment with other people, not disregarding men - I'm very diplomatic...
More Enduring! -that's the word.
I'd like to write about other so positive points they can contribute to the school, whatever the level in the company.
I can remember, who said it?, oh no clue, that behind a great man is a great woman. Just think of the First Ladies, namely from JFK on, Jacqueline, Nancy, Michelle, Laura, Mrs. Clinton... Last but not least. Who is the best creature ever, the highest? The Most Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our mother. More than her, only God.