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Showing posts from February, 2010

302. Updating models [Teacher's learning]

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One day teacher A said to teacher B, "The teacher of English herself should read novels in English, I'd say. I'm referring to non-native teachers. That person learns words, expressions, idioms, particular English expressions (diverse from the ones of her native language); she thinks in English during the reading; can do mental or written exercising with those words, by thinking in English. Unconsciously she puts in and takes in expressions that will be naturally used on later occasions. Besides, that person can take risks at using expressions, moderate risks, backed up by her massive and intensive reading. One example of learning and using expressions: phrasal verbs. Up, off, out, in, away, into, down, with, on, are preps and adverbs that can be attached to some verbs and you could maybe achieve to emphasize the meaning of one verb. However, that person should study phrasal verbs, and, as much as possible, check out whether those phrasal verbs she makes up really mean wha…

301. Making big things together [Helping a new pupil]

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One day teacher A said to teacher B, “One new young student once came to my classes program. He had apparent flaws at English, and at learning. In spite of this first sight, I gave him a small task – to try and remember to bring a worksheet he had at home, one I had handed him some days before. Eventually he brought it, and I praised him. He had attention problems at the beginning of the program, but fortunately he got to feel roped in the class conducting, and he participated more and more, and he was able to understand more, too. He looked happy and used to greet me with sincere affection. Also ok with his classmates.” On the picture a nice skyline of Chicago, where you can see Sears Tower. This building is (or was) the tallest in that city, even I think in US. Thanks to photos igougo com.

300. A different view of the scenery

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Here you have something I began composing April 2, 2009. About learning strategies I have made up from my students or have invented from everyday assisting and teaching my students in their process of learning English.

1. Translating sentences on the whiteboard among both pupils and me. In Spain quite often students have translation in their tests, both ways.

2. The pupil makes up a test as though he was the teacher, on a piece of paper. Just 4 questions, no more. This makes him be more aware and conscious of his personal learning.

3. All the class make a test, to be written on WB. The teacher proposes one question. Picture: a view of Beijing, thanks to www uvm edu.

299. Helping each other

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One day teacher B said to teacher A, “I have clearly realized that the teacher must effectively make every student participate. The teacher should rope all his students in the class-period, asking and addressing each student, both slower students and more advanced (or better-achievers) ones, combining simple questions and prompts with higher-level ones. And he should look at each student in their faces. Also he must not forget the advanced and faster students: he can make these latter ones help slower classmates, by for example helping these students who don't understand a question. To sum up, the teacher will avoid forgetting the advanced students and only concentrating on the ones with problems. He or she should avoid the advanced students get bored. - Just one more thing: remind me of telling you about insulting and real hitting the teacher: a new case in an instituto in Granada. However, we have somewhat dealt with discipline other times.”Ernest Shackleton and his crew got tra…

298. It sounds dreadful!

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I wanted to say I just reread the story post #291 and I found some errors and mistakes. I have to present this composition to my C-2 English-level teacher. We learn form mistakes. Picture from www bookpalace com. I don't know from what episode this picture is.

297. She has a good teacher

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One day teacher A said to teacher B, “Some weeks ago I read something written by Jeremy Harmer, on his book How to teach English, [7th impression 2001]; something so simple though it says a lot. At the beginning of the book this expert at teaching English counts he once made a sort of survey about What a teacher must be like, and he compiled some responses to this question among varied people: teachers, teacher trainers maybe, learners. One interviewed said that the teacher should love her job, so she would make her lessons more interesting. Plain truth. Think of it. Think of your daily work.”A girl in an Afghan home-school; picture thanks to www d umn edu

296. Sere discipline

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One day teacher B said to teacher A, "Yep, I remember you told me you had to invigilate or take in charge a study hall, with children, and what to do to facilitate their concentration and the like. Whatever they do or whatever they don't, is their business. You are right there, fulfilling your work. Try for them to really work and study - a serious or neutral look your face. Solve their individual doubts and questions, if they ask to come to your desk. Try maintain a steady - as far as possible - atmosphere of sere work. And if any disruptive pupil, keep cool, and talk with him next day - not that very day if you are about to lose your temper. Be affectionate and listen and get to acquaint each kid at other different occasions: the best discipline is they respect you; even more, they love you and reckon your labor, in favor of them." Royal Guards in Ottawa, picture gratitude to fineartamerica com.

295. Trying to do my best in the game

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Oh, silly me. The correct word is "consent" [kon'sent]; there appears not to exist "consenment", like I posted in # 294. It was a mistranslation of Spanish "consentimiento". On the photograph, more about my lovely Ireland. A hurling match. It is a mix of hockey, football, rugby. There is a national league in Eire, and international championships among some former British Empire countries. bettingsnews boylesport com. A match in Cork, south of the island.

294. Content-based instruction

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Picture: streets in Baile Átha Cliath, the Celtic Irish name of Dublin. I'm grateful to 2bp blogspot com. Apéndice 5
Some anthropological basement
For our everyday work


22 August 2006


Learning a language should be a profoundly human action. And humane as well.
It serves the purpose to enable to communicate among persons.
Emissor-message-receiver. Examples.
Learning is not just something technical, but human.
Communication offers a message which can enrich me, or enrich others.
Communication creates convival as well. We have to learn how to live with others, to get to know others.
In the classroom there should be communication. It enriches us as human beings.
Debates as well are interesting: the students give their opinions and learn to listen to others.
Learning grammar and vocabulary are instruments for communication. Drill-activities provide us with tools for communication.
Games create communication.
Also to help them learn how to work well and neatly.
Make them engage their minds, to solve …

293. A planned visit

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Some topics or sources for oncoming posts, just for you to know.
1. New technologies in the classroom: pcs, digital-boards, the Internet as a useful aid.
2. How can a student, high level, work out on a text?
3. Word Documents from my computer, about research and experience at teaching.
4. Something from scholar Jeremy Harmer, a teacher of teachers.
5. About women's qualities for teaching.
6. Stuff from some chapters of my book on success in TEFL.
7. From some colleagues of ours' blogs. Things I have learned, things I have posted. Also on the website of BBC - The British Council. Or on http://www.eflblogs.com/ (a list of blogs).
8. Learning strategies, from one book by Rebecca Oxford.
9. Further strategies learned throughout my career. And/or learned from my students.
10. topics from the Index of chapters of by book (unpublished).
11. Practical Appendixes from that book.
12. From an article I wrote and published, on H. D. Brown's methodology or approach or view of learning with success…

292. Naturally kids are playful!

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I hope tomorrow to have time to post some stuff about discipline when inviligating a study hall with many students age 10 to 12, they being naturally so playful... Picture shows two kids playing in the snow in Sierra Nevada (Granada, Spain) these days, of big blizzards, and continuous raining down in the city.

291. That's the way she's made of.

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Here you have an activity I had to do, within the course to pass C-2 level of English, at Centro de Lenguas Modernas, of Universidad de Granada (Spain). I had fun when writing it and I'd feel satisfied if you liked it too. Nessie on the picture, thanks to mediabistro com.

Writing
From page 38 in the coursebook.
I have composed a story, inspired by the beginning of a novel. The exercise or activity has a series of the beginnings of some famous writers’ novels.

Begun on 17 February 2010.
I take Alice Blanchard’s The Stuntman’s Daughter.
NB.: As you may remember, it is the story of that tomboy girl, who used to have a lingering aweful odour although she would wash, etc.





Nola was not a mere, let’s say, action woman. Well, she then was a girl – a chick, as was named, called by her male-classmates.
Was it in May? I think to remember so – yes, definitely so, because the end of the academic year was approaching... all the kids of that class-group were certainly scared, for Mrs Fair looked not pre…

290. Trial and error

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This is somehow funny. Oh, do not get me wrong. I just opened up my blog, to post a new entry today, and I found a comment in Chinese. The first premise is I appreciate anyone's comment, but I do not understand Chinese. I love that great country, and have friends working there. So, Please, I appreciate you, the person who sent me that comment, to translate into English (or Spanish or Italian or Latin). Hello, anyways. I'm prone to read and publish your comment, after approval. Today, Ash Wednesday, i wanted to say a few words about errors, and mistakes. If one learner makes a mistake, or one hundred, well, as you know, that means he or she is on the right pathway toward success. All of us commit errors and/or mistakes. I don't say any more about this point. You are a smart teacher, and you'll infer your own conclusions for your struggle, a one of peace and goodtreating your learners. One other thing, you, teacher of English, be considerate with yourself, with regard to …

289. She achieved her resolution

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One day teacher B said to teacher A, "I wanted to talk with you about something I saw a few days ago, at the entrance of a school. It regards discipline. Albeit maybe nothing wrong might have happened: what I mean is only that that thing reminded me of discipline. Look, one young female teacher arrived at the school - very same could have happened with a guy. She looked as though she was in a bit of a hurry to reach the school. A few students - this was in the afternoon, when extra activities - said to this girl something about whether her boyfriend had picked her up to the school by car. She was young and pretty. The tone of the kids was kind of, say, ironic, or better said, like, er, humor, yet with a streak like a joke, close a too buddy relationship with their teacher. This teacher got a little serious, so as to show them there is an obvious, logical distance between her and the kids. I learned from that." On the picture you can see audacious and intrepid Harriet Quimby. …

288. She was human and humane

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One day teacher A said to teacher B, "A few days ago teacher C told me that right after the classes, when she was clearing up her stuff, some girls used to come to her desk, just to talk with her, to chat for a small while, just to have a peek at her stuff, and things like thtat. Other times one girl spoke with her, when waiting for the rest of the girls to arrive at the classroom. It's a chance opportunity, she says, to chatter about any thing, to listen to their kids' things, sometimes more affectionate and attentive than even a few of their parents." Picture from www attendis com

287. A couple of authentic students...

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One day teacher A said to teacher B, “I can’t remember who said it or where I read it. The thing is about the learner’s awareness that it’s him, her, who has to wish to learn a language. It’s was a metaphor, you know? Learning a language is as if you be inside a room, a locked one. And so it’s you –you have the key- the only person that can open the door.” Picture thanks to act ugr es.

286. Communication between people: our aim as teachers

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One day teacher B said to teacher A, "So, as a summary of what I try to do in my class-periods is aimingtoward communication. Some teachers implement too much translation from English into Spanish, for example, with the text or stories that are in the students' coursebooks. Translating is ok, yet it's only one more activity, not the only one, or plus few more. On the other hand, translating is a good activity, by the way - because this process with texts entails applying diverse techniques and fields (particular expressions in L2, translation more focused on the meaning than a mere translation word by word, and so). Some days ago we achieved authentic communication in the classroom, with the thing of the interview to the kids, you may remember. As well we do fun games, and I guess the learners see something practical in the subject of English. Just one other thing: you must help the learners become their own volitive motors; otherwise, nothing achieved. They must become au…

285. Communication unites people

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Next day teacher B said to teacher A, “Yesterday I told you I had achieved to make my students talk in English, remember? I made an interview to one student of my class-group. Today I wanted to also tell you some other questions that provoked, or boosted that speaking. I asked the interviewed kid how long he had been a socio (a member, or how to say in English, I just mean a student whose family paid some fare every month); and I also utilized mimicry with this very question, and synonym expressions. And another question I gave more relevance to was what activity he, or they, would like to do, one activity ‘you don’t have now in Alayos’, adding some nodding to make me understood – I referred to excursions, or games, or educative activities, or practicing a new sport. Oh, just a bit more: I told them this interview ‘would be’ published in the weekly newsletter of Alayos center – They actually did know this was not true, simply a ‘mock interview’ – Every week one socio is interviewed ab…

284. What's your dream?

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One day teacher B said to teacher A, "You know what happened today? Like you know, my goal is for my students to say words - as replies; then, later on, sentences or expressions; and farther on conversations and presentations of whatever topics. Today I was with three of my students in my class-period - they are 11 or 12 years. So far they have said words or even invented words - as an effort to communicate with me; the positive point of this inventing is they try a guess, they try theories or ways to produce messages. Well, for today I had planned to interview N. - Some variety of questios: full name, eternal-in-Spain football team, favorite activity in our center, one activity he would like to do, favorite color, one subject of the school, one smell, taste, letter, what else?, ok, whatever - some a bit more questions. They three got involved in the conversation, also because I roped the others in the conversation. So the result has been an authentic exchange of information, so…

283. Working as a team with your students

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One day teacher A said to teacher B, "Speak slowly, or better said, speak in a way it might be more simple for your students to understand you. They, as well, are getting accostumed to your way of talking, the expressions you repeat often - try and use different words also; use the new words of the current unit they are learning. Pronounce fine. They are getting the particular texture of spoken English. Speak in a clear way but at the same time in a naturalistic mode, a realistic mode. Utilize aids: eye-contact; the blackboard (or the digital one if you have one of this kind!); drawing; visual aids for the younger kids (they cannot think abstract concepts of syntax and so - they start to be capable when 11 years approx); act out, do some gestures, smile; stop talking (silence definitely helps focusing back again); address each student; look at their faces; ask them; make some others to repeat, or to reply with another example; and the sort. Something interactive, practical, reali…

282. With my students every day

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One day teacher A said to teacher B, "We usually say a Hail Mary prayer at the beginning of the class-period, and another one when we finish. The learners' parents agree with this thing. And we hope that all good comes from God, and his mother - also our mother in Heaven. All good, also the students' learning and an effective teaching by me. As well we hope from God, ourselves' improvement as persons - besides our everyday struggle to become better persons. Here you have the text of the Hail Mary. Lately, these days, we pray it in Spanish, for us all to be more attentive of the things we are saying to her. I believe this helps my students to work harder. At the same time, I help them to also work harder." [On the picture a girl of a school of India. From media1 delhi 88db com. Thank you].
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee, blessed art Thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary,…

281. Learning with fun

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One day teacher A said to teacher B, "I teach special classes. These classes have a part for the homework of the kids' subject of English of their schools, and a second part for games, fully in English. If the kids have no homework (exercises or personal study) I hand them out worksheets. Here you have one example. Just something to note: these worksheets are in British English, this 2009-2010 academic year. The students like the worksheets, often, and I try to provide them with certain sense of humor. Even sometimes they ask me for one of them, to do it in the class-period. I listen to their suggestions for further worksheets. And I measure and adjust the degree of difficulty. There may be more sheets of this sort on the blog." Worksheet no. 73False beginners, upper levelTopic: Attack to the Earth(Written on 5 February 2010)1.Read this story:A new day. 5th of May of 2059. The sun was rising in the horizon. I was alone in the world. The aliens had attacked the earth and …

280. A special atmosphere

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One day teacher B said to teacher A, "What do I do you said to maintain English spoken in the classroom? I speak English from the beginning. Only English is spoken... and understood by me, right? That way an atmosphere is created, I guess, as though it'd be in any country where English is spoken. The class-period is a piece of India, or Britain, or the US, or Ireland, or Hong Kong, or... At least for a piece, a big one, of the class-period, with specific limits, from starting to end: all in English. They grasp in mind I 'only' use that language. Try yourself next class-period. By the way, an anecdote. It has to do with using a language as a way of communicating. Historical. Don't get me wrong, hmm? When the Allies took France from the Nazis, in the Second World War, when things were setting down after the battles, some shops on the streets showed notices - English spoken, American understood." Chateau Chenonceau, from www castles francethisway com.

279. So, any remedy left?

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Here you have a comment I wrote and which was published on the website of BBC - The BritishCouncil. The topic is about remedial work. I've ever been especially concerned with this aspect of TEFL. Remember the matter of my research has been success in teaching/learning English as a foreign language.



Fernando M DíezNice to meet you, sureshr.Submitted on 2 February, 2010 - 12:37
Nice to meet you, sureshr. Hello everyone,I hope not to misspell your username.In a school where a colleague of ours used to work the staff decided to split apart slow students and higher achievers, into two different classrooms.I hope to help you out with what I'm going to say. The point is that this comment is based on real life.So there were two class-groups. Obviously the staff wanted to boost learning English in this way, having two more homogeneous groups.In few words. With the passing time, the staff realized that this conducting did not help the pupils.Basically the slow students did not improve the…

278. A tutorial with parents

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One day teacher A said to teacher B, "I've been thinking these days that there are more female teachers than guys - teachers of English: it's so in Spain. It makes me think. Even with regard to teachers, by and large: female teachers also in other subjects, both primary and secondary education: more female teachers. As far as I know, this has been so along history, and today too. Think of their particular way of taking care of children, looking after little important details, etc. In my neighbor's family there have been some teachers: his sister, three of his aunts, one brother; and his grandfather was the representative of a publisher of text-books and educative material, also of coursebooks of English. It's nice to know that men and women can be complementary at work. Look, my neighbor's niece is in charge of an extracurricular activity, drama, out of the regular classes schedule: she has some 20 kids aged around 7 to 9 years, and she has to make a small dra…

277. Love in your everyday work and care

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One day teacher B said to teacher A, "Yesterday I forgot to tell you something: Be creative in your planning the course. Give your own personal, maybe somehow genius, stroke, your own style, be yourself. Dream, and dream high - although realistic, but anyway dream high, thinking high of your learners." Achomawi mother and child - Thank you www old-picture com

276. The correct target

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One day teacher B said to teacher A, "My advice about the syllabus or planning of an academic year? I'll let you know just one point. Besides planning the units, procedures, objectives, activities, tests and the kind, oh, and the points the department of English obliges you to implement, think of one key objective: have fun with your students and help them in oral activities, I mean, above all practice speaking in English, with sense of humor and the firm resolution to make your students as happy as possible. Let hem feel loved really by you. Why oral activities mainly? A lot of adults tell me they studied English or French when at the school, but they have not learned English or French: they did many exercises and grammar but they can't speak in those languages." John Ford, somehow the inventor of Westerns, directed TheSearchers, released in 1956, starring John Wayne. This latter star got boosted by this film: it was the one that got him reckoned as an actor with a n…

275. A quiet atmosphere of work

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One day teacher A said to teacher B, "You should take into account how your students feel in the classroom: if they are fine, or they have any possible distress (or stress). Don't go to the classroom just to teach your lesson. Ask your tutored student at the tutorial. Be warm with him. Moreover this brings no problems because your school is single-sex. You both can create confidence. Ask him how he feels in the class-period. If he can concentrate and work, or rather has any problem. He can work only in an atmosphere of attentive and neat work."