Tuesday, July 27, 2010

412. Listen, can you hear them?

One day teacher B said to teacher A, 'For this summer-camp course of English we have made three groups according to the level of English of the students.
In past years a few of the students of these courses used to come to me upset, and told me they felt disappointed, because the level they had been placed in was too low, and that they already knew the grammar and other stuff the teacher was presenting in the class-periods.
What to do?
This year the small staff of teachers have reached a solution. Chiefly they help their students to participate more, more times. They make them intervene more frequently.
They let them speak for longer, they listen with interest to what such or such adolescent is explaining, although this message seems unimportant or trivial. The teachers tease them to speak for a longer time, although the student may have serious problems for a communication in English. These professionals put in the student's messages, even they try to view what the student wants to mean and what he can be feeling at that very moment.
Also the teachers prepare the texts beforehand, the night before, having in mind how they can exploit the content so as to provoke more speaking, more eagerness for carrying on saying things.' Photo from www cumbavac org

Saturday, July 24, 2010

411. Trying a good rapport

One day teacher B said to teacher A, “Arrange the misbehavior problem with that kid who was teasing out his classmates, and disrupting the class. Take him to talk aside, if possible, sitting in your office or in an empty classroom. Otherwise, if it is not simple to talk with him this way, when they are writing an exercise on the course book, and silently, approach the small-terrorist’s desk.

Speak to him in a low voice, gently, putting him before his responsibility and his yet maybe fading wish to do things good. Push him upward, to a noble behavior. You too are ‘alone’ in the middle of the classroom, even more, you can duck close to him. Albeit his classmates are perfectly listening to your dialog, say, it is as if psychologically, in some way, you two were alone.

Thus you do not humilliate him before his friends, which is terrible for an adolescent. Discipline: if possible, in a positive mood, in a constructive way, helping them gain virtues: hard-working, maturity, comradeship, solidarity, generosity, sincerity, honesty, respect. Perhaps this teen doesn’t look a nice kid during the class, but this very same small rascal expects from you rules and discernment about a noble behavior nevertheless.” Picture from www sde ct gov

Thursday, July 22, 2010

410. This cuisinier-monitor has patience and humor

Here is a comment about teaching Roman handwriting to Arabic children. Basically (sorry to summarize the problem) Sandy Millin has some Arabic children aged around 9 years, plus other children who use Roman characters. For the former ones is so tough to learn our characters, and may become demotivated. Both posts, Sandy’s and mine, have been published on the web site of British Council – BBC (link at the right column). I have corrected some mistakes.

Hello Sandy,

I've studied Arabic myself, so I can see the problem... from the other side. Well, I learnt very little, anyway.

I'm trying some advice. If any helpful. First, utilise TPR, I'd say. It's so motivating when the kids can see their progress!

Make one student stand up; the others just watching. Miming here is crucial, believe me. Give him or her instructions, perhaps by using gestures more than words. Better said, show him/her what you demand from the kid, and say the instruction in simple terms, and with gentle repetition. "Aadel, take this paper bin and put it on Tahsin's desk." And you lead the operation, at the beginnings. Or one eager kid: for granted some of them are eager to give a hand, even they'll try to carry out the operation themselves. No, no, no, just you, Aadel.

Later on, and they love this, one child utters the instruction, regardless if not accurate grammar, by now.

Work out about "paper bin", over and over, repeat this word. Play up with the object - not for too long! And then you slowly write the word on the blackboard with clear simple letters, as if moulding the word.

Oh, something which is relinquishing for chidren. You, or someone else, write the Roman alphabet on the BB, clear characters. In short clear rows. Teach them the pronunciation of each letter. The non-Arabic children help you out with the pronunciation. Afterwards, point at random letters, and they chorus the pointed letter. They will make mistakes, funny ones, and also you'll have fun; tip on the wrong pronunciation of a letter, repeatedly, until they self-correct from each other. Funny especially: pronunciation of a, e, i. And, at least in Spain, b and v. And g and j.

I'm finishing. Play hangman after the game of the alphabet. You can begin with "paper bin" and proceed with other objects round the classroom. Give the clue that the object is INSIDE this classroom, and look round, as if looking for the "object". They will follow your scanning look.

Little by little. To be honest it's the first time I encounter a problem this kind. In Spain we have more and more Arabic children in our classrooms. I can assure you there is integration among them, they get themselves more and more integrated, amazing! One link? Football: they play together, Bolivians, Moroccians, Equatorians, people somewhere from Africa.

And girls? Sorry, I can tell you very little, but I suppose in somehow similar ways, or not? Women are different.

All the best

Fernando Díez Gallego

Teacher of English. Teacher-trainer

Granada (!), Spain


Photo from Denver Post

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

409. Theoretical or practical assessment?

One day teacher A said to teacher B, “The teacher must assess the learning or acquisition of the target language every day. A single test once a term doesn’t reflect the learning process with liability. The test, the written one, should be practical, authentic communication. Perfectly compatible with assessing grammar and vocabulary. On top of what said, the very test is an act of communication. The skill of speaking may be assessed day after day as well, and if you consider it convenient, arrange oral tests furthermore. Talk with your students about these points; it’ll help them out to prepare their tests.” Photo from radiology uthscsa edu

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

408. Stories, wow!

From the web site of British Council – BBC. Another bang on for our classes: very inspiring. Thank you, Carol Read. / Photo from lss schoolwires com A legionar soldier. – Ms m, I had a problem with your following this blog. I wouldn’t like to miss you. Please try again: I guess you can fix the problem from your side. Thank you!


The magic of story time

Submitted by Carol Read on 16 June, 2010 - 14:53

Have you ever noticed children listening to a story so attentively that the classroom is completely quiet? Or have you ever noticed children participating in a story so actively that everyone in the class wants to contribute? If so, then you've witnessed the 'magic of story time'!

Where the 'magic' lies
Stories provide shared contexts for rich, natural language development from a very young age, and throughout the primary years. The 'magic' lies in the way stories potentially engage children's hearts and minds, as people and as thinkers, with issues that are relevant, real and important to them.

Sources of stories
The stories we use in class may come from a variety of different sources. These include authentic picture books from the English-speaking world, specially written children's readers, course books, educational and other sites on the internet, or English versions of local cultural tales and fables. The important thing is not so much the source of the stories but the appeal and interest they have for the children themselves.

Supporting children's understanding
Stories may frequently contain some language structures and vocabulary that are beyond children's current level of productive competence. However, this does not need to be a problem as long as we actively support children's understanding in the way we read or tell the story, especially the first time.
We can support children's understanding of stories through:

  • the way we use our voice – varying our intonation, pitch, tone, speed and volume to create interest and variety, and to express emotions such as delight, anger, surprise, worry or fear. We can also use different voices to portray different characters, for example, a deep voice for Father Bear and a high-pitched voice for Baby Bear in the traditional Goldilocks story.

  • using facial expression – to enhance the way we express a range of emotions such as the examples given above.

  • using mime and gesture - to demonstrate the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary e.g. the way the giant 'strode' across the room, or pretending to show the tiger's 'sharp teeth' as if they are our own.

  • eliciting and asking questions – to encourage prediction, to check understanding of key moments in the story, and to personalise the story to the children's own lives and world.

  • using pauses – to create suspense, to encourage participation, and to give children thinking time in order to assimilate what the story is about.

  • using repetition – to reinforce key vocabulary and phrases, and to give children opportunities to listen to the language of the story more than once.

  • pointing to illustrations – to help children associate sounds, words and meanings, as well as make connections in the ways different elements in the story relate to each other.

  • maintaining eye contact – to ensure that all the children stay actively involved and focused as they listen to the story.

The storytelling process
The storytelling process refers to the way in which we can use a story as the basis of a unit of work over several lessons, or weeks, in order to maximise children's learning and enjoyment. There are five key features of the storytelling process which are as follows:

1. It is cyclical
Children may come back to the story up to as many as three or four times during the course of a story-based unit of work, although not necessarily in consecutive lessons. In the lessons in which children do not work directly on the story, they practise and extend their use of the language and vocabulary it contains. This cyclical process allows children to naturally progress from an initial global understanding of the story to using more of the language productively. It culminates, for example, in children acting out the story or creating their own parallel version.

2. Scaffolding is vital
Scaffolding refers to the way in which we support children's learning and lead them to greater competence and independence. Children's initial responses to a story are likely to be, at least partially, in their first language as they spontaneously express their opinions, show empathy or dislike of the characters, and relate what happens to their own experience. However, each time children come back to the story, they are increasingly able to respond and participate in English. This is due to the cyclical process described above and the inbuilt scaffolding that this provides. With each re-telling, children become more confident and fluent in using the language the story contains.

3. It caters for diversity
The storytelling process allows for all children to participate successfully at the level at which they are ready to do so. By the end of the storytelling process, some children may only be producing key vocabulary or phrases from the story, whereas others may know the whole story off by heart, and others may be ready to invent their own. In either case, stories provide a context for learning which allows all the children to participate fully and to fulfil their own individual potential for learning.

4. Variety is essential
In order to keep children engaged, variety is essential in the way we re-tell the story. As a rule of thumb, it is advisable never to tell a story in the same way twice, and always to get the children to do something different (increasing the level of challenge each time) in response. There are many techniques we can use for doing this, such as getting children to hold up vocabulary cards when they hear the words in the story, or move cut-out characters on their desks as they speak, or act out the story with pencil or finger puppets. A wealth of ideas which can be adapted to different stories can be found in the books and online resources listed below.

5. There are opportunities for transfer
As part of the storytelling process, we need to provide frequent opportunities for children to transfer the language they learn from stories to other personalised, relevant and meaningful contexts. In terms of evaluation of the storytelling process, it is this that ultimately provides us with feedback about the learning that has taken place, and the level of competence and independence in using the language which the children have achieved.

In conclusion, the 'magic of story time' provides a powerful vehicle for language learning throughout the kindergarten and primary school years, and the storytelling process enables us to maximise the benefits for all the children we teach.

Resources for story time

  • Ellis G., Brewster, J. Tell it Again! The New Storytelling Handbook for Primary Teachers, Penguin Longman 2002

  • Read C. 500 Activities for the Primary Classroom, Macmillan Education 2007

  • Wright A. Storytelling with Children (2nd Edition), Oxford University Press 2009

See also on this site

407. A fantastic source of material

One day teacher B said to teacher A, "You told me yesterday you are concerned with using the coursebook. All the philosophy of this blog can be applied to the activities and texts of the coursebook. The point, bear this in mind, is that the stuff from the coursebook serve the purpose of facilitating and practicing communication. Authentic communication among persons. For example, make them practice drills of one grammar pattern from one exercise in the book, and secondly you all utilize that grammar to facilitate communication, about whatever topic, interesting to them, or about a topic that might enrich their minds, like art, history, feelings, inventions, the ideas that have made the world progress; depending on their level of English." Photo from spip ibsofprovence com, some Dutch girls

Monday, July 19, 2010

406. The coursebook as an ingredient

Hello Mima, welcome to my blog; well, mine and, in some way, of my followers'. If you would please say something else about you, I'd appreciate it. With all my respect toward you. I've found out just a bit about you.

One day teacher B said to teacher A, "So far, we've talked a lot about loads of things we can implement in the class, right, but what can I do with the expensive coursebooks my students bought?".

And teacher A replied, "All the stuff said here, on this blog, is targeted toward making your learners learn English, right? The coursebook is an aid. Your discernment plus your increasing experience will tell you, for sure, how and how not utilize the coursebook. The stuff said here is completely compatible with using the coursebook. Just one example: take the grammar pattern of Unit 2, and make the students use and interiorize that grammar pattern according with the posts where I wrote about 'learning verbal tenses' or with a similar title." - Oh, sorry, I forgot it: the pic is from www beekmann net . Excuse me, Mima, the picture you attached as a follower is not clear at all. If please any explanation. Thank you!

Friday, July 16, 2010

405. Speeding up in communication

You can find what follows to be very useful. Composed by Georgina Hudson, and published on the site of British-Council BBC. Within the teacher forum of this web site/ Picture from www the-laser com

speaking skills

Submitted on 13 July, 2010 - 02:22

I go along with Mr Díez in every point he made. He has been so clear that there isn't a lot of room to add more comments.

I had the most enriching experience teaching a Franco-African boy some years ago. We couldn't resort to L1 just because I had no knowledge of Senegalese or French and my young learner didn't have any knowkedge of Spanish, my mother tongue.

It's absolutely possible to carry out your class in English a 100% of the time. For the most part from my experience with that boy, I had to resort to realia, story telling, songs, miming, role-playing etc. to convey meaning.

My expectations were very realistic from the very beginning. We drilled lots of classroom language to ease the learning-teaching experience (look and listen/look and call out/repeat/quiet, please/guess/touch/point to/etc), we had lots of TPR, pen to paper activities, craft activities, games, etc. because I tried to anchor the phrases/words/sentences he learned by doing.

Each lesson provided revision and recapping, presentation and practice of new language working towards a linguistic outcome, and a fun end-of-lesson activity.

It's also true that sometimes I found myself doing away with my carefully planned lessons and material. I relied a lot on my intuition and I observed my student carefully in an attempt to find out who he was, what he liked, what he was good at and what he needed to work on to tune in to him and adapt myself and the class to his requirements and not the other way around.

When I let go of methodologies, when I relaxed about what I "should" be doing and I followed my inner voice by watching him and catering for his needs linguistically and emotionally, then the classes started to flow and it became quite simple to teach my beautiful kiddy.

All the best!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

404. I'm scared of the roar!

One day teacher A said to teacher B, "Now I'm referring to boys. Since they are ten year, approximately, until late adolescence, are more and more self-conscious. They are finding and building up their personality.
Therefore they feel insecurity, insecurity in their regular behavior, sentiments, feelings of rebellion against any rule... and a primeval age to have great ideals and a thirst of genuinity.
This is the reason, for example, of their, say, peculiar ways of dressing, also in the case of girls. There are many other traits of adolescence, like you know. Coming to the head, they are experiencing big changes, both in their bodies and mind.
One trait this age is shouting, speaking aloud, acting up, showing off, not submitting themselves to rules.
In general terms, because each kid is unique.
Consequently, do not get scared of having these boys in your classroom. Or recover whenever you felt scared yourself. Carry on with your great labor of educating them. Ah, explain the reasons of the rules and of the working in the class: they may be very reasonable. Sláinte, man!" / Picture from Denver Post (Denver, CO).

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

403. Welcome!

Welcome, Ms Georgina Hudson, to my blog, and the blog of some other teachers. We hope you might find something useful. Kind regards again. / Photo from www imagescloud com

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

402. What's her mood you think?

One day teacher B said to teacher A, “I have a good experience of teaching boys. Schools for boys and schools for girls are one educative option, and obviously you know teachers that are in favor and others that are against the separation of boys and girls. In my experience and from what I’ve read and discussed, when there are only boys, these ones aren’t distracted with showing off before the girls. Boys are more focused on the class, albeit there may be further disruption problems. When girls are with boys are in the same classroom, the former ones may be, I believe, more timid to say things in the target language. Besides, I think girls view and learn languages more easily than boys, in general terms.” Photo from www territoriogolf com

Monday, July 12, 2010

401. He himself tracks his learning process

One day teacher A said to teacher B, “The assessment of knowledge and usage of English, when the teacher corrects the written tests, should also be useful for the student’s awareness of his or her process of learning the target language.

Just a collateral comment. You should evaluate listening, speaking, reading and writing. We’ll discuss about this point another moment.

In my classes, after my correcting their tests, I hand the sheets out to each student. We correct the exam in the class. One by one question or activity, on the blackboard. I ask them to give me the correct response to every question. I accept their contributions. Also I provide possible correct answers if no one says anything. I think, by doing this, they can get more aware of their errors and mistakes. After this class I let them keep the tests. I have seen some of the students keep them; I guess others would throw them to the waste-can.” Photo from teachers sdushsd k1 ca us

Saturday, July 10, 2010

400. At home we had those typical Russian dolls

One day teacher A said to teacher B, “I’ve just found a text I was looking up in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, on education. The text provides a nice basement for us teachers in our duty to help parents educate their children, I believe.

Remember some days ago we two were talking about teachers’ role in the thorough education of young people, don’t you?

The text is universal; I mean, the text is natural, is based on the person’s natural stuff.

It’s useful, I believe, as a background for my daily teaching and for my tutorials with parents.


2206. The relationships within the family bring an affinity of feelings, affections and interests, arising above all from the members' respect for one another. The family is a privileged community called to achieve a "sharing of thought and common deliberation by the spouses as well as their eager cooperation as parents in the children's upbringing."

Photo from ahorrodiario com – Thank you.

Friday, July 9, 2010

399. Creating a story

One day teacher B said to teacher A, "I'm glad, ya know?, because my elder daughter has told me she has begun to write a book, a novel. I like the idea. One person who decides to write a book, well, or a story, a shorter story, sounds great, you know? She reads a lot of novels, kind of one every two or three weeks. I'm after she wouldn't lose time of her studies - she is 15. She has a sketch of the characters and some ideas. I gently try to suggest to her possible useful tips. Beauty, creativity, fantasy, just trying to write something, are very educative, aren't them? Also reading good literature." www disneypicture net The movie is The Pacifier. Starring Vin Diesel. The movie was released in 2005. - I hadn't got a baldy on this film.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

398. She's helping her son develop communication

This is a comment I’ve just written, for British Council – BBC site, to answer a teacher who wants to receive ideas to teach the speaking skill. / Photo from learningsupport co uk (The comment has not been published yet: the staff is moderating whether being outlet on the site).

Hello Maria Victoria, small9 and vlnraojagatha,

You know what?

This morning I wrote a comment to try to help you, Maria Victoria. But, at sudden, right after having composed the comment, I clicked on I don't know where, with my mouse, and puuuf!!, everything disappeared.

Now I'm going to write the things I can remember. First, what I've just said above, well, is... funny. Let's put the anecdote aside.

You ought to, or you can speak in English, I'd tell you, from the very beginning until the very end of the class. Although your students may have close to no knowledge of English. It's like a treat between you and them. They soon will make up the image that you only speak in English, at that time, so as to say.

Plus you pretend you don't understand their L1. Funny. You create, in that way, an atmosphere where English is the only language spoken and listened to.

Why that much speaking in L2? It's of a paramount importance for them to grasp the texture of English.

Moreover, if you wish that someone would speak in English, and that person is learning or acquiring that language, that person needs loads of input in English. So, massive speaking by you.

This is the 'silent period', according to great Krashen, an expert scholar in acquisition of languages.

Stay calm. I usually say this to whoever is starting our fantastic career. And to me myself.

They may look they are in the clouds, or they are actually talking to each other; all the same, they are storing language, and above all, storing your commitment to them in the classroom. They are, say, swallowing and somehow digesting English.

Make them stand up, and move round, up and down: children, as you all know, shouldn't be sitting too much time.

Their brains are developing. Since they are not capable of abstract ideas at learning a language, use visual aids, and realia.

Swift activity or game, every few minutes.

If you see one game or activity doesn't work, also then swift into the next activity from your class-plan.

Pick up loads of patience. You, and also novice teachers, are learning the profession. You'll see the fruits. You are learning in the day-to-day battlefield.

Logical steps in the process of acquiring the capability of speaking:

1. Single isolated words, which they have heard from you many times. Those words are responses to your questions and prompts. Slightly praise that great step forward. They are beginning to communicate with you... in English!

2. Full sentences. These sentences may be broken English nonetheless. Doesn't matter.

3. Conversations, on interesting topics with which you get a linkage among them and you: exploit those moments!

When talking to them, during the 'silent period', make use of gestures, eye-contact, smiling, acting out, shifting of intonation, face expressions.

What else? I hope this would be any useful for you, and other potential new-teacher readers.

Best wishes.

Fernando M Díez Gallego

Teacher of English. Teacher trainer

Granada (Spain)


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

397. He will likely see the fruit

One day teacher A said to teacher B, "You've asked me for a class planning of mine, so as to have one example of my classes. Here you go.

These notes are for a regular day of my schedule: they may be not the best-thought ones, just one class at random. I've written them briefly, as a prompt for myself: behind are years of experience and battle.

In no way do they show exhaustive notes of the class planning.

The main goal of the current course is some craic in the classroom: practicing listening and speaking - it's an extra-curricular course. Kids 11 and 12 year-old. One hour approx."

1. Learning their names.

2.Tell them "I do not understand Spanish at this time..." [So they've got to say their messages however they can]

3. Competition. Two players. Topic: means of transportation.

4. Competition. All the class vs me! Topic their choice.

5. Revise alphabet.

6. Hangman. Clue: objects in this room. DICTIONARY. BOOKCASE. TRASH CAN. ATLAS.

7. Dictionary competition. The kids who find the given words (3) are the winners.

9. Hangman with words. THE SWAT SQUAD BROKE INTO THE HOUSE OF THE MAFFIA, IN GLANDALE [I write the words scrambled on the whiteboard].

10. Simon says. Also one volunteer acts out as the teacher.

11. Describing pictures by me [From National Geographic. They just listen, they cannot see the picture; follow-up questions. I show them the picture].

12. One student describes one picture [from NG too]. / Photo from www lavozdigital es cadiz

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

396. Connecting people, like Nokia

Hello, Rose, a big welcome to my blog, to our blog, for the number of followers is rising, fortunately. I see you are a teacher of Eglish, right? I tried to watch the blogs you follow and gained an ample view of some. Your comments are also welcome, for sure. Nice to meet you. - Oh, I forgot it - the picture is from mysite verizon ne.
Rose, let us know something else about you, if you would please and not inconsiderate. I tried to learn something about you, but I got little. My compliments.

395. I think students read more and more

One day teacher A said to teacher B, “Before a Reading activity of a text you have previously handed out to your students, I believe it’s sound to create certain eagerness to read it. I mean, make a pre-reading, a lead-in: ask them questions whose answers will appear in the text; ask your teens about the gist or details about the topic. You, read it before. It’ll be less bore than if just reading a printed text. Spur their curiosity, their thirst to read it.” Photo from www iml granada com

Monday, July 5, 2010

394. Kittie, I'm done!

One day teacher A said to teacher B, "So, you told me you're teaching 11-12-year girls now, and they are so jumpy. What eagla is on you? You told me you stop talking when two of them are talking.
Ok, but we wide: they're cunning. They want to lose class time. And you, often, stop talking. Thus you lose more class time. They wanna lose time. Okay, when they stop talking, be quick and start a new activity or game. Thus you get them more plunged into the class.
Anyway, if you think the class was a total failure, do not worry at all: you won, because you did your best.
Nothing is lost.
Whatever you do with your girls, for their sake, and for God's love too, believe me, nothing is lost. You are carrying out the students' education. More and more they'll pick up the messages and actions directed to their personal eduation. -Remember, Marie, next time we two meet together again, you gotta spot me a drink, for my pieces of advice..."
Picture from img dailymail co uk A Romanian school. By no means do I intend to say the teacher on the picture is wall-falling, it's solely an illustration.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

393. An overview of the classroom

One day teacher B said to teacher A, "Management and conducting of the class? When discipline is already settled, say, in a few weeks (or longer!), in your classroom, I'd tell you three points that help a lot the class performance: affection/authentic concerning your students; sense of humor; and roping the students in work: if engaged, more likely there will be lesser [fewer] problems." Photo from www astronomy-pictures net The ISS is overflying... where you think? Try a guess - so simple for us Europeans.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

392. Present continuous: "What is he doing?"

From the web site of British Council – BBC, www.teachingenglish.org.uk It’s a comment by me, about the usage and difference between present continuous and the present participle. Photo from andreselbarbero blogspot com Oh, sorry, I got to say that this, my comment, is one more contribution to what other teachers have said on this site. Worth to visit this teachers’ web site, no doubt, awesome.

Submitted on 3 July, 2010 - 12:29

Hello shyamag, Heath, mhinde, and everyone,

For present continuous and related progressive tenses:

I'm trying to give some, hopefully, useful clues. For my classes I draw puppets or sort of characters, even with their names, and I ask: "So, what is Anne doing?", emphasising the -ing word, and my students say, e. g., "Eating!". Funny: they shout out the same word!, as high as possible, as though that shouting would make them be more right than their classmates. Well, this is the way Spanish kids do; I had two German brothers, few years ago, and, oh man, they spoke so calmly and low.

The same stuff could be applied to, for example, past continuous.

When practising present perfect continuous, I draw nothing, but I speak slowly and by gestures and by doing I don't quite know what else. I try to make them understand the sentence: "How long have you been living in Granada?" I use similar sentences to that one just said, chunks, examples, and the like. Even for kids aged 11 years.

Oh, something else regarding present continuous: I gently demand from them to say full sentences. A single word is ok, but little by lttle they've got to say full sentences. I mould those sentences through examples. The thing looks to turn out fine.

Besides, it's funny, for me and from them, as I've said. If you have fun, they'll have fun.

Present participle? Let me see. Well, firstly it's part of present continuous, as you teachers have said. What else? You all have said it too, in some words or in other ones. The present participle is the nominalisation of the verb. "Skating is so great!". In Spanish we say the infinitive ("Hacer skateboard está guay" - colloquial teenageish language, sorry).

Also, present participle is the predicate of a transitive verb; look, so simple also: "I can't stand seeing the football players spitting on the ground".

I think our goal in the class ultimately is communicating. And grammar? The skeleton, so as to speak.

I hope to have been any helpful.

Fernando Diez Gallego

Teacher of English. Teacher trainer.

Granada (Spain)

Friday, July 2, 2010

391. How to prepare to face up with a job interview

A few days ago I came accross a cracker web site fitting adult learners, or even adolescents. So so useful, look:

By GetEnglishLessons on 06/07/09 at 9:50 am

A Job Interview in English – ESL/EFL/Business English

Some adult students are learning English for their jobs and some other to apply for jobs. Nothing better than a list of questions they are going to be asked on the day of the interview.

Interviewing Questions

Below is a listing of sample interview questions to use as a guideline when developing questions you might ask a potential employee. The trend in developing these interview questions has been to make them behavioral based, allowing the interviewer to get the maximum benefit from the interview.



· Tell me about your recent work experience(s).

· Why did you leave your previous place of employment?

· Why are there gaps in your employment history?

· What strengths and weaknesses would you bring to this position?

· What is your understanding of this position and what skills do you bring to the position?

· What types of job responsibilities do you find to be most rewarding? Why?

· What types of job responsibilities do you find to be most frustrating? Why?

· Tell me about your computer skills and what type of software you are experienced with.

· What type of management style do you prefer (hands-on, frequent supervision, minimal supervision, etc.) and why?

Behavior Questions

· Describe a situation when you had to take directions from several people at the same time.

· Describe a tough problem that you have dealt with, tell me how you approached it and the outcome.

· Tell me about a specific occasion when you conformed to a policy even though you did not agree with it.

· Tell me about a project you have been responsible for and how you organized the necessary paperwork, tasks, goals, etc.

· Describe for me two improvements you have made in your job in the past six months.

· When you delegate assignments to others, how do you keep track of their progress?

· Tell me about a decision you made that your supervisor disagreed with. How did you handle it?

· What do you feel would be the most common errors made in a position such as this?

· Tell me about a time when you were late or absent to work. How did you communicate that to your supervisor?

· Tell me about a time when a supervisor asked you to complete a task that you thought was not necessary, or could have been done another way. What steps did you take to achieve the task?

· Tell me about a time when you felt you had to break a company rule in order to get something done.

Customer Service

· How would your supervisor describe your relationship with your peers?

· Describe a day when you were faced with multiple interruptions and had to assist in covering an additional position. Tell me how you managed your day to accomplish your work.

· Tell me about a time when you were given high priority tasks from multiple supervisors. How did you decide which to complete first?

· How would the people you supervise describe your management style?

End of Interview

· What aspect of your past employments did you enjoy the most?

· Why should I hire you?

· Do you have any questions for me?"


Photograph from psychosmart files wordpress com

Thursday, July 1, 2010

390. Families

Hello everyone. I got loads of stuff to tell you about our sometimes breath-taking and strength-draining labor and our students' one. I'm eager to tell you more things. But these days I'm a bit hectic with stuff with my lovely family. I expect to write you pretty soon anyways. I got a big storage to tell you, and as well to learn from what you would like to teach me. Furthermore, I'm trying not to make a balls of that storage of ideas: I don't want to mess up those ideas. Photo from 2008-01_kosiuszko-canb expedition toptotop org A nice family, I guess.