Tuesday, June 29, 2010

389. Playing together, winning together


This is one chapter of my book on TEFL/TESL/ELL. It is what somehow experienced teacher writes to a rookie, novice one. Photo thanks to contralatanca files wordpress com A hockey game Bulgary vs Spain. Here is a minority sport.

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3. Aunar fuerzas proporciona una enorme potencialidad...

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Unas ocurrencias sobre el trabajo de los profesores en equipo, como miembros de un seminario o departamento. Y unos recuerdos prácticos, por si te sirven. Tampoco había pensado colocar este factor de éxito en enseñanza y aprendizaje, tan pronto en el desarrollo del libro. Pero creo que está bien situado ahora entre los factores de éxito en aprender un idioma; piensa en la importancia, para el profesor, de la inteligencia emocional al trabajar en equipo: el profesor es la primera fuente de recursos en el aula y el motor de la clase y como un director de orquesta.

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El equipo puede aunar profesores y sus fuerzas, y coordinar la materia de los distintos cursos en la asignatura de inglés. Bien llevada esta colaboración, el departamento puede ser un instrumento formidable. Sé que puede haber zancadillas serias entre profesores, y hay puñaladas, pero tú puedes hacer de tu parte para que esto se suavice, es más, a ver qué puedes hacer para unir; también deben respetarte tus compañeros, claro. En fin, esto es lo que yo te diría.

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Es más probable, lo he visto, que te ganes el afecto y la cercanía de tus compañeros si les quieres (amor auténtico y humano de benevolencia), les escuchas, te haces cargo de sus problemas y alegrías, si les facilitas las cosas.

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Recuerdo un profesor que se ofrecía cuando veía a un compañero agobiado por corregir exámenes, y sinceramente se prestaba, por lo menos, para corregirlos.

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De entrada tienes, tengo que, aprender a trabajar en grupo, por el valor humano mismo que supone la comunicación entre personas y tirar de un mismo proyecto hacia adelante. Puedes entrenarte en escuchar, mirar, tener presente a tus compañeros y el trabajo de tus compañeros. Aprende también, es muy importante, a proponer mejoras en algún curso.

***

Tú puedes y debes proponer algo que podría ser muy valioso para el departamento, porque tú tienes luces, quizá experiencia, talento, buen hacer, discernimiento. No te calles. Aprende asimismo de ellos, aunque tú también lleves ya años en el negocio. Lo primero es que tú, como compañera, le ayudes a la otra: ¿no ves la cara que trae hoy? A ver qué le pasa. Y al otro, con un hijo al que le están haciendo unas pruebas, y los médicos no dan aún con lo que tiene. Y el otro, un lunes, está contento; tú no eres aficionado al fútbol, y te cuesta darte cuenta de por qué el otro viene alegre, y es que ayer ganó su equipo (en España somos muy aficionados al fútbol).

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Tenles presentes a todos y a cada uno en particular. Vuestro trabajo, cualquier trabajo, es siempre un servicio a la sociedad. Pide por ellos y sus familias. Ojalá forméis un equipo de verdad (formemos…).

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El hombre vive en sociedad, necesariamente, y hay que aprender a trabajar de esa manera.

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Aunar objetivos, decía. Por ejemplo, el jefe de departamento nos dice, en la reunión de la semana, que tendremos que coordinar la materia y el vocabulario de la asignatura de inglés, a lo largo de los cursos, para que sea algo orgánico y escalonado, desde 1º de Primaria hasta 2º de Bachillerato. De modo que evitemos que cada profesor vaya por donde quiera. Siéntete libre de todas maneras, no es incompatible; da las clases como se te dé mejor, y además irás mejorando, como profesor y persona en este esfuerzo. Hay que aprender a escuchar, sugerir nuestra opinión sin avasallar ni imponer, y, al revés, no quedarme callado con mi visión del asunto de que se trata en una reunión, que puede ser tan, tan conveniente.

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Habrá que ceder algunas veces el cómo entiendo yo la enseñanza del idioma, pensando, con amplitud de miras (with ample lenses, como dice H. Douglas Brown), en el bien común del centro y de los alumnos. Pero serán, quizá, aspectos parciales. Lo que tú sabes hacer puede ser lo que más ayude al departamento, al centro.

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Es probable que debas ceder, por ejemplo, ante una indicación del director, exponiendo también tu punto de vista, con sencillez, y también porque somos un equipo involucrados en la misma meta.

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Puede suceder asimismo que acabas de llegar al centro y no te gusta el planteamiento de la enseñanza del inglés.

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Otro conocido me contó que en tal ciudad no había estado a gusto, porque algunos compañeros de acuartelamiento no pegaban ni chapa (era militar). Después ascendió a tal escalafón, y le destinaron a otra ciudad, a meterse en una oficina con un ordenador. Había sido jefe de carro, y le gustaba estar al aire libre, en acción. Poco a poco, me contaba, se fue haciendo amigo de sus compañeros, y cada vez le gustaba un poquito más su trabajo de ahora.

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Otro, esta vez un colega de trabajo, me dijo alguna vez que el presente simple se ve en 2º de Primaria por ejemplo, y así hasta en 2º de Bachillerato, e ídem con el pasado simple, la comparativa, las condicionales, los adverbios de frecuencia. Entonces el coordinador o jefe del departamento lo piensa, y propone ciertos matices que se les puede ir añadiendo a esos puntos gramaticales y de vocabulario, ampliando la utilización real y auténtica del idioma en la vida diaria.

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Y deja que te den un encargo dentro del departamento o una tarea para unos días. Igual que los otros también se encargan de otras funciones. Otro colega de un instituto me decía que a las excursiones y salidas con los alumnos no quería ir ningún profesor, y que le tocaba ir a él, sin darle mayor importancia. No tiene más la anécdota: es buen profesor, sencillo, servicial, no ingenuo, buen trabajador, desea mejorar con mayores cualificaciones, le gusta lo que explica aunque sea muy laborioso enseñar su asignatura en inglés.

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Yo te diría que el departamento, físicamente, esté ordenado y agradable: eso es lo que más educa a los chicos.

Monday, June 28, 2010

388. From all over the world


Welcome, nazli, to my blog, to our blog - there are some followers else, like you see. If you please - I'd appreciate - I'd like to get to know something else about you, if you don't mind and you consider it not unpolite. I've carried out some small research about you: I mean, someone your same name. On your profile I see you live or are from the Islamic Republic of Iran. In my photo storage I had one of an Iranian family. Welcome again. From www peacecouncil net I studied one-year Arabic-language subject in my degree of philology of English, just to let you all know this clue, especially to nazli.

387. A competent worker


One day teacher B said to teacher A, “I have just realized that I may have told you little on female teachers, explicitly. Anyway, all said here on the blog can be applied to women, as you can easily infer.

Women have special, unique things or traits or characteristics that make for a different approach to teaching a language.

I have worked mostly at single-sex schools or centers, not always anyway, and my colleagues have been male teachers, most of the times, not always either.

A woman has a special, unique, like I said before, addressing and treating her students, and tenderness, and concerning. Women, I’d say, are, so as to speak, more capable to be after little daily details. On top of that, in Spain, most of the teachers of English are women. In my ‘92 class we were some five guys, and some fifteen girls (philology of English, campus of Jaen, within Universidad de Granada, still at those moments; Granada is south of Jaen, next province). Don’t get me wrong but women are more sensitive with regard to individual treatment with persons.

Women are essential for TEFL/TESL: a big piece of human culture and history is in their hands.” Photo from www mitchelteachers net

Saturday, June 26, 2010

386. A thorough educating


One day teacher A said to teacher B,
"I knew a teacher, a good one, who used to be seriously concerned for his students, for their thorough edcuation. One day, in the school, I saw him serious. He was passing by one student of his. They greeted each other.
Usually this teacher showed himself as glad, but not that time. I learned afterward that this colleague of ours was not merely worried about this student's acting up in the classes, more and more as he was growing up. He was not only worried for, so as to speak, formal problems of discipline, but he was concerned for this student's degrading himself: he was becoming a small time crook and a misbehaving fellow, you know?
The teacher was concerned for the person."
photo from brucerandallfoundation com . I don't mean, in any ways, anything wrong about the guys on the picture.

Friday, June 25, 2010

385. We all are after good!



From http://www.englishteaching.org.uk/ , the website of British Council. About disruption in the classroom. Joris started the thread of opinions on this forum of teachers. He is not sure whether to swift from the nice guy to a stricter guy with his students, in a Japanese school. My reply is below, a few posts ago. Now you have clov1968’s comment. It also bangs, I guess, on what can likely go on in any of our clasrooms. Thank you, clov1968. Photo from the_incredibles-disneypicture net – Thank you.



clov1968


Nice to strict.


Submitted on 24 June, 2010 - 12:08 New


I suggest you use the beginning of a semester as a new start. However, if the students are having a negative effect on the other students you should act now. I have found that when students are actting up in class there is usually some problem outside of the classroom. If your new approach fails you may have to investigate what is going on in the students' lives. This will necessitate talking to their parents.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

384. Toward excellence



I found the next stuff on the Internet: it’s bang on our classes, very helpful and useful for our classes. I hope so. I hadn’t got a baldy about some these tips, I mean, I thought otherwise. Sorry for possible formatting bugs: I copied and pasted this stuff from a Word document I had created before. Here you go:

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By GetEnglishLessons

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10 strategies for creating and sustaining motivation in the classroom

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1. Rapport. Build quality relantionship with your students.

2. Relevance. Help students see the relevance to them:
“What’s in it for me?”

3. Choice. Give students choice and sense of control. Let them decide. Give responsibility to get responsible behavior.

4. Individuals. Allow students to learn in ways that are significant to them. Explain different learning styles.

5. Environment. Make the classroom a bright, pleasant and relaxed place. Use 1-minute breaks to enliven mood and increase attention.

6. Self-talk and self-esteem. Teach the value of positive self-talk and high self-esteem. Teach students to manage their own motivation.

7. Feedback. Make it safe to make mistakes. Give feedback as information. Be aware of the dangers of praise or punishment.

8. The power of suggestion. Everything should suggest success. Encourage students to help each other.

9. Involve the parents. Parents want to help, but often don’t know how. Give them information and seek their active input.

10. Juicify!!!! Put yourself in a motivated state first. Have passion-enthusiasm.

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Do you find it hard to have your teenage students talk?

How about a lesson in which they interview and are interviewed? I’m sure they will have a good time, as these questions relate to their own life and experience!

If you have a large group, the conversation might be set up in pairs or even a small group. If you have a small group, students might be given time to talk among themselves! Teacher goes around monitoring and writing down eventual mistakes!

They might start using their first language, or just say it is too difficult, but you have to explain them it is important to try out and give themselves the time. They will realise it will be fun and at the end they will say they practiced a lot!

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Snap from www scientificamerican com Some winners at kind of project contest or competition, at High School.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

383. Beauty as an educator

Welcome, Jackie, to my blog, and I appreciate your interest. More and more this blog is not only mine but an increasing community, and this community is connected to another one, and so we could carry on by talking about the "chain". I also appreciate your signing in because you are a retiree, a repectable lady. I've just visited your blogs, especially Jackie's Jewels, and I've noticed your cards: beautiful definitely. Moreover art and sensibility are very good educators of the young.

Picture from www nicisofhawaii com This is "just" one of the fantastic buildings inside Alhambra we people in Granada can enjoy. Millions of visitors worldwide come to Granada every year. Today is June 23, and still Sierra Nevada has loads of snow; it's still white, up to some extenct. And in Granada proper lately we are having temperatures of more than 30 Centigrade degrees! Sierra Nevada is only about 20 miles off Granada. Many people still go skiing or trekking. The ridge can be enjoyed from most of Granada city.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

382. A school... of fish


Just to thank HeatherA for following my blog. I just wrote some words of gratefulness on the website of British Council, but as you receive new RSS, you'll see this appreciation by me. I'm afraid you may have not seen my gratefulness on British Council website, because I've written it right today, June 22. Picture from www phillaird com

381. Young kids are so jumpy!


Yesterday I tried to help out a colleague of ours, by means of sending one comment to him. These posts have been published on the website of British Council – BBC; you can clic on the gadget this blog for further viewing the site; worth for teachers to visit. I changed some minor mistakes. Sorry if any formatting bugs when publishing this post from a Word document. Photo from www op-ccp ca

The makeover: from nice guy to strict guy

Submitted by teemingup on 21 June, 2010 - 03:43

Hi, my name is Joris, I am from Holland, now living and working in Japan. I am now teaching four science classes in Tokyo. They are to 3th and 4th graders, so in the age group from 8 to 10 years old. These Japanese children used to live in the U.S., U.K. etc. Mostly nice ` kids, but...there are some nasty exeptions in the `spoilt` department. They are in the two classes after the break. And I am a bit more tired after the break.....I am afraid that I have been the nice and patient teacher for too long, and we are getting towards the end of the semester. New houserules right away and repeat them at the beginning of the next semester or just new houserules the next semester. What are your thoughts on this? By the way, it is `Parents Day` next week, so then I can`t do anything. Plus...they will probably be on their best behaviour that day. I am thinking of using that the week after as a reference. Good idea?

Hello Joris,

I’ve just read your post several times so as to make out a clear idea about your situation. Let’s see if I can tell you something helpful.

First premise, whatsoever labour you have done with your students so far is not a lost battle, believe me. Keep cool. Your concerning for them is kept by them, they may look unconcerned nonetheless.

Your improving as a teacher and as a person will be reckoned by them. I’d tell you not to think you were too, say, lenient, and now you’ve got to be sort of Mr Sergeant. Or at least, learn from failures and achievements.

Perhaps, tell them, at the beginning of this semester, on the very first day, tell them or report to them about what was wrong with them and their behaviour and their learning science... and what was great, because of this reason, because of that reason (so the why’s).

Young people adhere themselves to good when presented and showed to them. Speak to them in simple terms, not too long, and address each one looking in his eyes. Set houserules, just the necessary ones and the ‘why’ (I confess I didn’t know the word ‘houserule’, I liked it – sounds funny; don’t get me wrong).

Make them up and move round for some class purpose: they are very young and they need move.

Plan your class. Take what worked fine and discard what didn’t work. Stop talking whenever the first ‘spark’ of a ‘riot’, or just a likely distracting chattering between two kids. Silence is very eloquent. Get sincerely concerned about each of them, about the way each feels in the class; and gently praise and smile whenever one student says something correct: give value to the small progress they’ll definitely attain. Authentic affection draws them to the right direction, no doubt.

Focus on the positive stuff that is going on in your classes. Ask each student a question and you give an acceptable reply, as though any response would be fine: tentatively any response can be acceptable. It may entail progress.

The ‘Parents Day’? Oh, I have passed through the same situations. Well, you can do that day what works fine with them in the regular classes, and practise that day’s session making them aware that on that day they will show off their best. Tell them what they are doing well lately, and let them know that this stuff will be showed off that very day.

Rope your students in the classes. Try.

It’s ‘their business’, ultimately: their process of learning science.

Best wishes! At your disposal.

Fernando Diez Gallego

Teacher of English. Teacher trainer/coach

Granada (Spain)

http://fernandoexperiences.blogspot.com

Monday, June 21, 2010

380. Content-based instruction



Worksheet # 105 [For a student of mine, who is a doctor].

June 21, 2010. This worksheet is a prompt to foster speaking.


What is malaria?

A serious and ancient disease caused by one-celled Plasmodium parasites, malaria is spread by the bite of infected Anopheles mosquitoes. The symptoms of malaria include periodic chills, fever, headache, and sweating. Complications affecting the kidneys, liver, brain, and blood can be fatal. Malaria is a major health problem in the tropics, where it afflicts up to 500 million people.


From: http://kids.britannica.com

1. What are the symptoms of this disease?

2. Does it have any cure?

3. Are there cases in Europe; because it is a disease of Africa, isn’t it?

4. Is it mortal?

5. What is the treatment for this infection?

6. Are there cases in other continents?

7. Is it associated to tropical humid climates?

8. Don’t look at the text. What parts of the body does this disease mainly affect?

9. I have heard that only female mosquitoes bite – is it true?

10. Is it a big problem the abundance of mosquitoes in Africa? If affirmative, could you do anything to protect you from mosquitoes biting you?

11. If I travel to Africa, must I get vaccinated against malaria? Any other vaccinations against other diseases? What procedures should I take to get vaccinated in Spain; where can I carry out these medical services?


Picture from University of Colorado at Boulder.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

379. How to sustain the course



From http://www.getenglishlessons.com/ Key tips for our classes.

How to sustain motivation in your classes

It’s a mixture of 5 A’s:

Activity – Students need to have a lot of good activities. Moving around, role-plays, hands-on experiences, singing/Variety.

Agency – Students are more motivated when they are the doers, when they are the agents, so give them some power to decide things when you can.

Affect – How they feel. They need to know you care about them, you need to know their names.

Adaptation – Teachers’ ability to respond to the unexpected. What do you do when things break down? You have to be flexible.

Attitude – The teacher’s attitude. What are you like when you come into the classroom? It can’t be you, it has to be the professional teacher in you.

Pic from thinkquest org A clipper ship, 19th century - It was fast and capable to carry heavy freights.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

378. Is Mafalda a good student?



Very interesting, what follows, and helpful, no doubt. It makes you think. Taken from http://www.crie.org.nz/ . It is a paper written by Carol Griffiths, School of Foundations Studies - AIS St Helens, Auckland, New Zealand. Worth to read it: www.crie.org.nz/research_paper/c_griffiths_op1.pdf The title of the paper is as inspiring as “Language Learning Strategies: Theory and Reserch”, February 2004.



Although “the communicative approach implicitly encourages learners to take greater responsibility for their own learning” (Oxford et al, 1989, p.33), typically the emphasis in the communicative language movement, as in previous methods and approaches, has been on how teachers teach, with relatively little attention paid to how learners learn. Even today, when the communicative approach underlies a substantial number of syllabuses for speakers of other languages, and in spite of insights from a now considerable body of research, it is unusual to find textbooks which include learning strategies in their material. A rare exception is Blueprint (Abbs and Freebairn, 1991), and even in this series, the space dedicated to learning strategies consists of no more than a paragraph at the end of each section.



Photo from phylacterium files wordpress com

Friday, June 18, 2010

377. Capable of great ideals


I translate an inspiring quotation for your treatment with your teens. "Adolescence is the age of great challenges and also of great failures; the age of victories and also of defeats. The point is this age be the one of striving." By C. Burke. I read it yesterday in Gerardo Castillo (2006) Tus hijos adolescentes. Madrid: Ediciones Palabra. On the picture some of my former students taking food to poor families of Granada (SE Spain).

Thursday, June 17, 2010

376. Building up a lifelong house


From: Wenden, Anita y Joan Rubin (1987) Learner Strategies in Language Learning. London: Prentice-Hall International. I copied this note on October 29, 2004, during my doctorate research on TEFL/ELL. The translation into English would sound as "The main point about this research on learning is that we teachers would help our students learn but as well help them autonomously invest their best energies on learning, self-controlling their learning." Photo thanks to www vegamediapress es

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

375. Correcting their own errors and mistakes


Another contribution to the website of British Council – BBC about errors and mistakes, by one more teacher. Very, very interesting. Picture from Life magazine. A Maori girl and a white one are playing or working at something.


SusanArgiri


Dealing with errors/mistakes


Submitted on 11 June, 2010 - 04:40


I always tell the students to not be afraid of mistakes. Mistakes allow a particular point to be placed in their memory banks. When they make a mistake I point out where the mistake is and let them correct it themselves. If they still get it wrong then I guide them to give them a further chance to correct it. If all fails then I tell them the answer with the appropriate explanation. The whole procedure means they remember.

Mistakes can be beneficial. If a student looks at the grammar rule or finds the correct vocabulary and writes the answer down correctly, that doesn't mean they will remember it when they come across it again. If they have had to correct the mistake there is a much better chance that the memory will be recalled.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

374. Many teachers educating for the future... and for today


A big welcome to my blog, arlennefernandez. I see you are a teacher of English as well, and many other things. Thank you again. I also see you are from Chile, and live or were born in Osorno. I'm sorry about what you all had to undergo with the quakes. I have some friends in Chile. Some of them sent me emails: it's amazing what you had to face up with. I prayed for you all. At your entire disposal. Photo from www astarlimos co uk

Friday, June 11, 2010

373. Managing the situation


One day teacher B said to teacher A, "One thing that helps me manage the class is to speak low, from time to time, slowing down too, after I've been saying something aloud. They listen more carefully. I knew one teacher who taught kids aged 8 or 9, and all the time the volume of his voice was low, and he kept easy all the time. It worked." Guardia-civil de Tráfico, in Spain. Photo from www sevillaactualidad com

Thursday, June 10, 2010

372. Educating



I just read a comment that sounds very interesting. It has been published on BBC British Council site. Written by sunseeker. About errors and mistakes. I also published one comment same topic on that web-site: you can read it on post # 370.



SUNSEEKER JUNE 9


Dealing with errors and mistakes


Submitted on 9 June, 2010 - 04:56


An error is an instance of language that is unintentionally deviant and not self corrigible by its author. A mistake is either intentionally or unintentionally deviant and self corrigible. Slips, or lapses of the tongue, pen, or keyboard are easily detected and can be self corrected by thier author unaided. James, C. 1998. Errors in Language Learning and Use: Exploring Error Analysis. Addison Wesley Longman, London. (Re-published 2001 by FLTRP, Beijing)

Basically a L makes an error when s/he doesn't know the utterance is deviant, for example because s/he has learned from an incorrect model, such as the tendency of Chinese students and their teachers to pronounce words such as 'energy', 'technology' as /energe/ and /teknowledge/.

Errors cannot be corrected until further relevant input has been provided and converted by the L. In other words, errors require further relevant learning to take place before they can be self corrected.

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A nice picture of a mom and her baby. From poundingheartbeat com. It may not match the post's topic, but I liked to attach it: it's wonderful and shows tenderness. Just I liked it.

371. A happy couple


One day teacher A said to teacher B, "We'll encounter many rather old people who say it's a lost battle, for them, to still learn English.
As a matter of fact, old people have some inner 'crystilized' habits that hinder from the learning process. And it's tough for them to acquire new habits. New habits of thought.
Some posts ago, anyway, I told you that adult learners possess learning strategies and ways of thinking an adolescent doesn't have, because he is not mature and his personality and habits are still rooting and forming.
Nevertheless adult learners can strive to gain helping habits to learn: perseverance and a strong will are necessary here; also the necessity of learning that language can help.
On top of that these adults have the capability to self-control, analyze and improve their process of learning." Photo from www montogomerycountymd gov

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

370. Many people may miss communication


A comment of mine on British Council BBC website, published today June 9. The site can be found on www.teachingenglish.co.uk


Hello cmftrier and everyone,

In my degree of Philology of English we were taught the difference between errors and mistakes. It fits what some of you state.

If it helps you out, my primeval goal in the classroom is communication. Right now I'm referring to speaking errors or mistakes. One of you, sorry who?, said that making errors and mistakes is a sign of actual learning.

I let my students utter their messages, and I try to express my wish to understand them, yet they speak in broken English. So, the point in the class is the real communication among us.

Secondly but not less important, I correct some mistakes/errors few times while someone is explainig something: I let him or her speak out. I do not much butt in what that student is saying.

When one student is explaining something or just stammering some words, or maybe saying full sentences, depending on their level.

However, at other moments of the classes we practice the punctual grammar, useful to utter more messages. Or similar messages to the already ones said in former classes. Thus their improving to talk is sustained and helped by the grammar and vocab they are learning. They invent some words: it's ok, so far, we'll polish their style.

In the classes, fully in L2, the students may have close to no idea of English, though. Anyway, it's also important for them to listen to the the texture of spoken English. In an English-speaking atmosphere.

Best for you all!

Fernando M Diez Gallego

Granada (Spain)


Photo from dailykos com Thank you. A homeless man in dreadful winter.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

369. Get to know other cultures


One day teacher A said to teacher B, "Something that helps to learn English is watching videos where appear people from English-speaking countries. Or people from anywhere in the world speaking English. This watching images serves the purpose of creating a special environment in the classroom where English is the vehicle for communication. The point, you know?, is that the students would take in some culture of those countries. I've used for my classes videos from the BBC website, YouTube (be careful when exposing this site to your students, you may encounter bad things), formerly video-cassettes (!), DVD's that are part of a coursebook, radio stations, movies, documentaries, etc. Very helpful for your classes." Picture from www bunniktours com au

Monday, June 7, 2010

368. A different view of everyday things


Rebecca Oxford (1990) states that visual aids are a big aid to memorize words or chunks. A large proportion of learners utilizes, she says, visual aids to learn vocabulary. More often than what I used to think, personally. We tend to pair an image to an expression. When you acquire a skill level of usage of a new language, you get capable to retrieve more language, in spite of disuse. Nothing loses. Mental visual storage is larger than lexical memory. Sounds great! /Photo from www bergoiata org

367. Fruits will arrive!



Another piece of my book, hoping it would help you in some way. Photo from www affordablecruiserstours com



46. Cada clase es un paso adelante para el alumno


Asimismo cada ejercicio lo es. Cada palabra que aprende. Son los ladrillos para construir el edificio del idioma.


Has de aprovechar cada clase, cada hora. Han de hacer ellos lo mismo. Depende de ti, en parte. El tiempo es corto, y los cursos pasan corriendo. Pronto tus alumnos se encontrarán en 2º de Bachillerato, o en último curso de la carrera. Cada clase ha de ser un paso adelante, un pequeño avance. Pon un objetivo a cada clase. Muchas veces se repetirá, o no, dependiendo de tu discernimiento. Una clase es un paso, porque habéis aprovechado el tiempo. Porque en un curso académico tus alumnos, al nivel que sea, por ejemplo un 3º de la ESO, han de haberse soltado un poco más en hablar el idioma que les enseñas.


Materializa ese objetivo en las actividades que pienses para la clase de mañana. Un objetivo dentro de una meta más general que cubre el curso entero. Piensa como un guión para cada clase, o unas notas. A ser posible por escrito. Te ayudará, seguro. No me digas que ya llevas muchos años dando clases... Cada clase, en un idioma, con tales alumnos y sus circunstancias, exigen pensar un poquito antes de salir a escena. Como llevas 17 años ayudando a aprender inglés, esa preparación será muy rápida.


Por último, este tratar de cumplir una meta en cada clase te llevará de la mano a ocuparte de cada alumno de tu clase. Que participen, que hablen, que se mojen, que intervengan. En cuanto a ti, te aconsejo que te des, que te des a tu público, a tus alumnos, que te emplees a fondo, que termines cansado; vale la pena. Casi te diría que si no acabas la clase con cierto cansancio, piensa si has luchado para que tus alumnos lleguen a la meta concretada. Y además sentirás satisfacción y alegría, por haberte dado a tu público.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

366. This is the way I see my students!


One day teacher A said to a rookie teacher, "... discipline, yup, essential. For your summer camp of English, in regular classrooms in a school.
Some basic tips.
They will put you to the test.
Keep cool, do not lose your temper.
Wait for the adolescents to sit down and be quiet.
Say nothing, just gaze at them, at each of them. Tell someone or do a signal for him to sit and focus. Wave your hand, gently. Don't worry you are nervous. Be serious, you aren't their buddie.
These pieces of advice are not complete: they are some basic points.
Start one activity, a simple one. Give clear instructions. Expect from them, from one of them any response.
Soon you'll note who the high-achievers are, and the smart cookies. Accept any reply or answer, though it may be not very good. Stop talking whenever you notice any spark of disruption.
The first class is crucial.
Also the next day's one.
If one activity doesn't work and it gets into a bore, be flexible and change into the next one. Exploit the one that is working fine: that's the moment to gain them, to connect with them, to hold a nice conversation or at least a nice conducting of the class. Feel satisfied. They will adapt to your way of teaching. Keep what works, discard what doesn't work. Denounce what is wrong. Don't scream, and less to the whole group as if it would be a mass of lions. Be easy, be easy.
They see you are nervous, even shivering, but tentatively they will respect your commitment, your sincere commitment for every of them.
When you commit an error: don't care, no problem they see you are improving the class. And if this stuff I just explained to you turns out to be dreadful... Then, yes: bring your KC-47 next day, and your kevlar helmet maybe...
Oh - I'm not kidding right now: learn their names and introduce yourself." Photo from static2 elespectador com

Friday, June 4, 2010

365. We all update our instruments



This is a reply I wrote to a colleague of ours, about questioning the students in an effective way. It has been published in the web-site of Pearson-Longman. Worth to call on this site! / Photo from www ekinsbuilder co uk . This truck c1925.

Hello Benson and everyone,

I'd tell you some hints, if any useful.

1. Talk about things of your students' real interest currently, don't talk about, say, fishing red crabs in swallow waters in areas close to the Antarctic. Get it?

2. Paraphrase what your student just said, just responded.

3. Listen, listen, listen, listen.

4. Look in his/her eyes. Eye-contact is of paramount importance.

5. Address each student and look in his/her eyes in the class.

6. Any answer might be acceptable: they are starting communication, and this is our goal of teachers of languages!

7. Pretend you don't understand your common language: at that class-time you "do not understand L1": it's a funny treat, believe me.

Oooops, I'm stopping here. This stuff is my specialty.

Fernando M Diez Gallego

Teacher of English. -Teacher trainer/coach

Granada (Spain)

Practical tips and materials on htt://fernandoexperiences.blogspot.com