Showing posts from November, 2009

219. Hey, can you see where the solution is?

Further games, for you to have fun in your classes!
This is the first premise: have fun. Inasmuch as possible.
Right a few minutes ago I was talking with a professor of Computering, at a university of Spain, and he told me... Well, let's change round the polarity of the conversation: he agreed with me, it's a great thing if I myself can have fun when teaching my boys. (This was so different when I began teaching: so tough, hard times, well, as any other comrade of mine, I s'ppose).
1. Simon says… They really enjoy this one! If you don't know what this game is about, let me know: worthy to ask me, believe me.
2. Hangman. Also to construct sentences.
3. Spelling words written by the teacher on the blackboard. Oh, I forgot it. Photograph from www educar org

218. Games are useful for your kids

Here you have 3 more games to implement in your classroom. Very helpful to practise grammar, vocabulary and communication itself.

1. Dictionary. The teacher writes a new word on the blackboard. The student who finds the meaning first, one point. Very helpful to practise looking up words in a dictionary. Every activity can be done individually or in pairs or in groups of three. In different levels and different ages.

2. The teacher writes words beginning with the same letter. The students have to order those words as they are in the dictionary: belong, believe, beneath, be, beep, bend, bachelor, believer.

3. Who knows an object of the classroom? Who knows a means of transportation…? Who knows a colour in English? Who knows... ?
Photo from www pga com

217. Self-confidence

H D Brown, an expert at TEFL/TESL, who has been quoted on previous posts, also states 'A foreign language is so complex a skill that self-confidence is one of the most important keystones for your success. Don't kid yourself. You're not going through this class just to add a few nonsense sounds and rules to your existing knowledge. This journey has ups dand downs, rapids to run, rivers to ford, narrow trails to negotiate, and mountains to climb.' P. 9

The bad guy in the film The Incredibles wdavidphillips com

216. How long the same game?

Thank you, Eugenio, for your comment.
How long the same game or how long the game would take?
This point is so important.
(I tried to publish my reply to your comment, but I didn't get so and gave up).
Amount of time for a game?
Two things to take into account when implementing games in the classroom:
First: The game should take no longer than the moment when you feel the students may start getting bored. So as to say, 5 minutes, perhaps.
Second point: Implement the same game a bit shorter of what they would wish to play. I mean: let them make you feel they'd like to carry on with the same game. You'll repeat it another day!
Best for you and your family.

215. Starting the class-conducting is 50% of the effort invested by you

automotivehistoryonline com. Henry Ford close to a model car in 1921.

Here you have the first release of games I have invented or copied to boost communication in English. They are taken from my book on TEFL.
Re-outfitting begun November 25, 2009 Apéndice 6
Games for classes
Aunque hay un apartado de este libro dedicado a la explicación de cada juego, en castellano, me ha parecido conveniente componer este guión de juegos. Ahora los coloco por orden de dificultad, o prefiero decir de desafío, para los alumnos. Se puede aprender una lengua jugando. El juego es una imitación de la vida, y más en el caso en que los chicos tienen que utilizar inglés para comunicarse en clase.
They are really fun, both for the teacher and the students. Besides, they practice real communication in English. Give them points for their scoring. They are just set on a list ---further developments and variations might be applied. They cover from basic English up to proficient learners. The protagonists and actors of t…

214. These guys always win!

H D Brown puts, 'People who decide to become more of a winner than a loser [...] discover that they can rely, more and more, on their own capacities [...] They continue to discover and renew themselves. For them, life consists not in getting more but in being more. Winners are glad to be alive! (cited in the book by James, Muriel and Dorothy Jongeward (1976), Born to Win. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, p.13).'

Page 13 from the book by H D Brown (1989), whose title I have copied on some posts so far. airbus corporate freewebs com

213. He will win

Photo from diferenciada org

In the article I wrote on the method proposed by genius H D Brown you can read on page 108 of journal Guadalbullón, of Universidad de Jaén, south Spain:

El estudiante también debe aprender a confiar en su propia capacidad. Ha nacido para vencer (cfr. título del capítulo 3). No es ni demasiado viejo ni demasiado torpe para ello, como dice el autor. Él puede, como otras personas han podido de igual manera. Tiene que pensar desde una mentalidad de vencedor.

In the next post you will read what this scholar states, with his own words.

212. Like growing fruitful plants

I have outfitted this text for a presentation by me, at the centre where I am preparing level C-2 of English. Every term we pupils have to make a presentation on whatever we wish. I have composed this series of 10 points, which is like a summary of the points that a teacher of languages should consider, for his daily labour in the classroom.I hope it would be any help to you.Centro de Lenguas Modernas: next presentationHow to Success on Teaching English?Outline begun on 23 November 2009 I have been researching on this theme since 1992. This is my contribution.1. You, teacher: Have fun. Make your pupils have fun. Fun builds success.2. Communitation: this is the goal of my subject.3. The learner who wishes to learn. To help to create autonomous learners. Learning strategies.4. Affection. Love of benevolence. Real concern about him/her. You are educating persons. 5. All in English.6. Words. Sentences. Coversations and presentations. This is the sequence that a learner should progress in …

211. Is it me who made this?

The teacher trainer/coach told me,
'One day the learner realizes of his or her process of learning English; this learner realizes he is learning something indispensable for communication. Later on, this learner will realize, will get aware that he is learning a language, a language for communication.
Help your students, your pupils to realize of this cognitive and practical process... and progress.
Help him, as much as he is capable, according to his age, to get aware of his progress.
Tell him what he does well.'

almalura blogspot com. Ratatouille.

210. Spot this!

Just an announcement. I'm preparing to pass international C-2 level in English. The highest level (!). I attend a specific course at prestigious Centro de Lenguas Modernas, of Universidad de Granada. The English variety used there is BrE. And its teachers speak it. A nice team. Very communicative and commited. That preparation entails the fact that I'm struggling hard, believe me, to recover this variety. And this swift requires changes in various points: grammar, vocabulary, accent, pronunciation, idioms, usage of tenses, some syntax, even some thinking processing or indiosincraces, the stress on syllables, spelling, vowels qualities, punctuation signs. Help! One of the reasons I have used AmE so far, for how long? Say four years. One of the reasons has been the fact that most of my students came from the USA. These guys were, are prospective teachers of English. I have many friends in this country beyond the Atlantic (I live in Spain). This does not mean at all I have looked…

209. Your students' topics

The teacher trainer/coach told me, "Your students can get more involved into the class conducting and into participation and into concentration when you deal with a topic that is meaningful for them. Villa, Puyol, Casillas, Kaká, Sergio Ramos, Abengoa, Inhiesta, Güiza, Navas... Your students may know more about those guys than you. If you include those soccer players of Barça and Real Madrid, you will create a certain good and nice atmosphere of confrontation. Those players are for example the subject of sentences, when presenting a grammar pattern. Deal with topics that touch their interests. More than that: your students' likes and topics must be ones of your interest, whatever topic or things they are, whatever things they tell you; these things are important. Listen to them between classes. These topics are not trifles in their lives. Not at all. English language becomes something significant and meaningful." Chelsea. www myfootball-wallpapers uk

208. What's the object?

Right yesterday evening I learned a game which is very helpful to practice and foster speaking and vocabulary.
It can be used for any level.
You get a card with a specific word, say, "vast".
You have got to describe it (the word can also be an adjective, etc.) but not by using certain words, like "huge", "big", and an extra one now I don't remember.
Fun and fostering communication.
The other players engage brain and communicative skills as well.

y4food com, I thank you for the photo.

207. This time is unique!

The teacher trainer/coach told me, "With regard to programming a class-period, I'd tell you: that very class-period is pinpointing, unique; that class-period ought to be a hit in their learning process. Decide what the main goal is, for that class-period, and plan the activities and games which will be appropriate for that goal. Students in mind; the students in mind."

lardsandjoeaustralia wordpress com

206. Their attitude?

The teacher trainer/coach told me, "Delicately praise them: reckon their good willing, their good wish to learn, to work. Get from the inner themselves the good attitude (if any). Sometimes, many times, their attitude is positive. Even more, they have something positive, always, there inside; they have some good attitude, some positive wish to do things well. In some students, this is apparent. Let's pull, let's drag from that attitude they can become self-aware of; aware of their attitude, and aptitude, and doing that they will try to improve: interest, effort, attention, commitment, doing their best. This is my experience, plus some anthropological reading." Picture from www pleasval k12 ia us

205. How to hit the cricket ball?

The teacher trainer/coach told me, "It's sound to plan every class-period. Definitely. Er... the activities they..., you all, teacher plus students are going to do, to achieve the goals you have in mind for them: this grammar, this semantic field; the practice, in a word: the communication you are going to hold in the class-period. Some drill... Asking them... about what they think essential to... be, to get naturalistic at using past simple. I'd say... two aims for each class-period, maybe one regarding discipline, conducting their personal work and study, how to create an atmosphere of quiet... of working fine, of engaging their brains, a bit of humor... Some homework, explaining to them that it will help them to grasp that grammar pattern, or set as homework re-reading that text on page 123, also using as an aid the nice picture that is included on the page, close to the text. You know? These are just some tips which might help you out to program next class-period. Oh,…

204. Talk about your favorite topic

One pinponting activity you can implement with your class-group is Speaking for somewhat a long time.

It is not the same for our kids to say a full sentence than giving a speech, with its coherence and cohesion.

I learned this activity when teaching in Jaen, south of Spain. Mrs. M J A taught me how to implement this project. I'm going to try to recall all the steps, briefly.

1. You elicit possible topics or subject-matters from your pupils, and you write them on the BB. Every student will make a presentation about whatever they wish. However, by following this procedure here explained, you can teach them how to outfit a presentation. You all select one topic, by putting aside other topics, by votes from the students, discarding the rest of the topics.

2. In two columns you write what they can say about the selected topic, one column for the things they can express in L2 and the second one for the things they know how to say but in L1.

3. Next, you with your students choose three poin…

203. A total 0 beginner

On #195 I told you about a program for an adult, who wanted to learn English, in order to settle and base in, say, Hong Kong, for example (this latter place has been changed). The adult: 0 beginner. This person had learned French at the school, quite long ago.

Here you have some further guidelines for this program. It's the first time I have such a case: adult and 0.

Document #2 (Document #1 was the stuff of post #195)
Finished 11/6/09 (Nov 6, 09)
1. This process of learning English can take… how long? 1, 6 years? It is a total new task for me (the teacher). Taking into account we will meet twice a week, for the class of English + his personal study and practice: he can need 6 years: the English language needs to be kind of interiorized, acquainted, familiarized, settled deep and naturalistic, and easy using and retrieving.
2. Goal: to arrive in Hong Kong and stay there: meeting and communicating with people, conducting everyday life, finding an academy, a house for his family, a job, …

202. A key to success

The teacher trainer/coach told me, "The learner must be convinced, must interiorize, that he can reach fluency at speaking and writing in English; fluency or at least some capacity of mastering the language. If he is not convinced, he won't struggle with all his possible commitment to reach that goal. Ok, he can be studying now; think of an adult learner for example; he should bear in mind that he has a goal, a target, he should study with a goal in mind. He shouldn't think he can't get this target, that he is too old, or he does not have the potential to hit the target. These ideas were somehow expressed by genius H. D. Brown, in the book reference I told you some days ago, A Practical Guideline to Language Learning. A Fifteen-Week Program of Strategies for Success, published in 1989 ."

Picture from www moveyourmind es

201. Communication, communication

I'm sorry, but I lost the source site of the picture above. They are students in London; Japanese students. Thank you, anyway! Here you have a comment I made yesterday, Monday Nov 9, to an interesting post one teacher entered into the website of The British Council - BBC. His post was about the communication skills a teacher ought to have in the classroom.

And beneath his post you have the reply to my comment, by the same teacher who had entered the post. He is a good teacher, from what he states. You can see his name.

You can contribute with your ideas to that website forum. For sure you have interesting things to share with us, teachers.

Remember we teachers are educating and forming the people of future. On top of that, also remember that it's his or her parents the ones who have the obligation and right to educate and form their children.

Fernando M Díez...
Communication skills for teachers of English
Submitted on 9 November, 2009 - 12:12
Hello, Albert and Girish,
I have just read …

200. Blowing into the correct pipe

pic from www revistaturismo es Here you have a full chapter from my book on TEFL: would it be any aid for you. Ciao! 30. Alegría y buen humor... en la tutoría personal

Muéstrate cercano y sonriente al empezar la tutoría o preceptuación con un alumno. Pregúntale qué tal, aunque de ordinario esta pregunta no sirve de mucho. Pero ven que intentas ayudarle. Cuando le preguntes por aspectos concretos de sus estudios, escúchale con atención y sinceridad. Nunca muestres escándalo por lo que te cuente, sea lo que sea. Eso sí, ayúdale. Te voy a contar varios aspectos que facilitan la tutoría. Al menos a mí me van bien, y algunos de ellos te pueden ayudar o hacer pensar.

Primero trátale con suma delicadeza. Que no es untuosidad. Escucha lo que te cuente, aunque a ti te parezca una tontería o algo sin importancia. Para él eso es muy importante. Retendrás mejor los datos y lo que te cuente no tanto por buena memoria, sino porque le escuchas con cariño. No tengas miedo a esta palabra. Cariño con natur…

199. He can't do all you would expect from him

The teacher trainer/coach told me, "Bear in mind that your students must be capable and able to do the exercises of their coursebook, because you and your students have worked out a grammar pattern, long, adequately in the class-periods, you know? You cannot expect, demand them to do an exercise well, if you, as a class-group, have not worked that grammar pattern in the class-periods. They can do just what you as a group have studied and learned in the classroom. Many times I find students, in my academy, who actually can't complete, do their exercises because they haven't worked out that grammar pattern sufficiently in the classroom."
Rompetechos (literally it means ceiling-breaking) is a comics character, popular in Spain when I was a kid. Typically he is absolutely absent-minded, naive, with a serious poor sight. Picture taken from adn es. Thank you.

198. Keeping a diary

"For this week [one] , there's just one basic exercise that will help you gain some valuable insights into your own learning process. It's one that has worked remarkably well for many language learners: keeping a journal (a diary of your personal feelings, thoughts, ideas, fears, successes, problems, frustrations, breakthroughs) of your ongoing experience in learning this language." I just let this master of teaching speak, no more coments. He's an ace at learning languages. This quotation was taken fom page 2 , from the book aforementioned, by H. D. Brown. This scholar had been to my university, the one where I studied three academic years of Philology of English, in Jaen, south of Spain (the previous two years, in Seville; and these three in Universidad de Jaen, when it still was within the University of Granada). Picture from www easse org.

197. Teaching new words from the blackboard

The teacher trainer/coach told me, "One other game you can implement in your classes is about a specific semantic field. You can name it as Christian-doctrine vocabulary. You are going to understand the game. First premise: it's common that the students don't know any word of this semantic field. Even they don't know the word 'God'. This vocabulary field can be taught in your classroom, here in Spain, a country with a deep Christian root, centuries long. You, in one way or another, elicit this kind of vocabulary. Also you'll have to teach them many of these words. So, you write these words on the blackboard, or the digital one, or whatever. So far, also, you have explained the meaning of those words. The game proper is that you say the meaning of one of the words, and the first kid that says the exact word wins. What vocabulary? Think of church, monstrance, hope, charity, faith, fortitude, the Holy Mass, Jeseus Christ, bible, gospel, prayer, sacraments nam…