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Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Yesterday I wrote this letter to the director of Ideal, a local newspaper of eastern Andalucía, as a response to an article, a nice one, about the teachers a lady, Mariluz Escribano Pueo, used to have in her school, rather many years ago, I guess. / Photo: Dunluce – Castle – County - Antrim20Ir i187 photobucket com ireland
In your honor, my dear fellow-teachers.
These letters, you know, are sent to the paper to be published in the corresponding section of the paper assigned to the readers’ letters.
Acabo de leer, hoy domingo 29, el artículo de opinión escrito por Mariluz Escribano Pueo. Describe esta señora o señorita cómo eran su escuela y sus maestras. Me ha gustado el estilo con el que está escrito este artículo. Lo he leído con mucho interés y atención. Intentaré decir algo más, brevemente, pero no puedo abarcar, lógicamente, el contenido de esa columna. Me fijo ahora en dos aspectos de aquellas maestras con esta excelente vocación profesional, de enseñar y educar a los jóvenes. Me fijo en "sentido común" y "sabiduría". Dos palabras muy grandes para la educación de los alumnos. Dos aptitudes (quizá mejor decir actitudes, es decir, algo adquirido, con esfuerzo) claves para enseñar tal o cual asignatura, y para educar a cada alumno, a cada persona, dentro de esa asignatura. Esas maestras tenían muy claro que en sus manos estaba la formación de las personas que tenían delante. Hoy también, afortunadamente, veo profesores y profesoras con una dedicación y entrega a sus alumnos muy de aplaudir. Es más, la mayoría de mis compañeros procuran tener esta dedicación y entrega. Feliz inicio de curso.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Here you go with a note I typed May 28, 2004, during my doctorate research. The quotation is from very useful OXFORD, Rebecca (1990) Language Learning Strategies. What Every Teacher Should Know. Boston: Heinle & Heinle Publishers. After that is a comment by me. / Photo from smart-board-600i-interactive-whiteboard-photo www ivci com
“The language teaching profession was still not ready for much real communication.” (x; the underlining is ours). We as teachers, as well, should foster real communication and not just always simulation. Think for instance of the warm-ups or warmers we practice at the beginning of the class: they usually deal with real things of thei students’ lives.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “A teacher-trainer should combine different points, I’d say: methodology instruction, to the new teacher I mean, mere suggesting, listening and approving this teacher’s views when hitting on the target, even learning from him or her, letting this teacher implement things in the class however way he thinks better, praising the successes, and delegating responsibilities. Ah, and making clear to this teacher that he or she has persons before his or her desk. In other words: create an autonomous teacher, with his own tools and resources. You well know that the trainer should anyway carry on with lighting up the new way of this professional. Both training and listening to the new teacher are important. What is more: both of them should go along on a parallel way, working together.” / Photo from mastersofmedia hum uva nl
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
A teacher of English, below is his (or her? sorry) name, asked in the
Forum of teachers of British Council – BBC about the usage of “good at” and “good in”. I found an answer on http://www.bbc.co.uk/ Intenational Service – Learning English. / Photo from prontooffice com
Submitted by divakar3368 on 11 August, 2010 - 21:10
Dear friends ,
Can anybody help me by explaining the difference between the usage 'good at and good in'.
Thanking you in advance,
Submitted on 12 August, 2010 - 12:40
I've found this, which can be a good answer. It's from BBC International Service - Learning English, http://www.bbc.co.uk/ . I don't have anything to add.
Fernando M Díez Gallego
Teacher of English. Teacher-trainer.
“Lim Chiu Lan from Malaysia asks about prepositional phrases:
Would you be good enough to explain to me what is the difference between these prepositional phrases: good at and good in?
Which of the following is correct: 1) 'I'm good at English' or 2) 'I'm good in English' and 1) 'I'm good at football' or 2) 'I'm good in football'?
To be good at and to be good in are often interchangeable, Lim, and there is no easy rule to follow. In simple statements, like the ones you have quoted, the standard form appears to be good at as in 'I'm not very good at football'.
However, in this following sentence, to be good in seems more likely than to be good at, i.e:
'He was the best in the class in French, but in mathematics and chemistry he was not so good.'
This is perhaps because with other expressions or verbs denoting assessment or ranking, the preposition in would be required, thus:
'In pharmacology she obtained/scored/gained/attained the highest marks.' “
Thursday, August 12, 2010
One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “The extra-class interviews in English, better if male teacher and male student, may achieve farther than tutorials in L1. There can be a teacher that picks up the students one by one, out of the classroom, to make an interview, as a reinforcement to speaking. That teacher, for example you, teases the student in English, you ask him questions, and each student, at his correspondent level of English – I’m referring to adolescents – will tell you some things about his own interests and circumstances.
A few days ago, in an interview with me, one student could manage only to say very, very few words. Another student, one of a higher-level group was telling me about the past Football World Cup, for about twenty minutes, with specific technical aspects I didn’t know about: I asked him to explain to me the play of his national team and he eagerly wished to tell me everything. Awesome.” / Photo from www mundounido com mx
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Today I offer you all a comment I sent to Georgina Hudson, and her reply. The link to her blog is on the right column of mine. Photo from www ecoalimenta com
Fernando M Díez Gallego dijo...
Hello Ms. Georgina and colleagues,
Definitely motivation... of the teacher hits big for his/her students. I've seen it many times: an enthusiastic teacher sustains and make his or her students love the subject. The teacher is the main resource for the classes. And whatsoever he or she does, definitely influences the students. His or his personal struggle to better as a person too. We teachers set an example. Even, even, even, I'd dare say, and I've seen this, his or her private life, though it's hidden, affects the students. We are educating persons, not manufacturing screws.
Best for everyone!
Fernando Diez Gallego
Granada (Spain). Oh, by the way, just an anecdote, we had Mrs. Obama here in Granada these days. Why Granada, you think...? Interesting point, isn't it?
Georgina Hudson dijo...
Thank you Fernando for your thorough answer.
A colleague said to me "your bucket needs to be full to be able to give to others".
It's a great metaphor of how important it is to feel good with ourselves and our teaching and learners to be able to give our best and enjoy the teaching process.
All the best!
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Agata Zgarda asked for help to teach students of different countries. This post of hers appeared on www.teachingenglish.org.uk , the site of BBC – British Council. Underneath is my response to her post. Photo from Farsi Crop.
How diferent is it to teach students from different countries?
Submitted by Agata Zgarda on 26 July, 2010 - 23:08
I've been invited to take part in a webinar with a title (that's not the final title yet) "Cross-cultural communication". One of my ideas was to look at the communication from a different point of view: teacher-student communication, provided that a teacher is of a different nationality than a student. I am one of the examples - a Polish person teaching English in Brazil.
So for that I need to collect characteristics of English students from different countries. Have you ever had an opportunity to teach people of a diferent nationality? How would you characterize them as learners? What kind of difficulties (that come from cultural differences) did you face in the classroom? Did you need to change your approach because of cultural diferences? I'd be really grateful for your help.
Submitted on 4 August, 2010 - 15:42
Hello Agata Zgarda and everyone,
This circumstance of having students from other countries is increasing, as you well know.
There may be students whose L1 is Arabic, like it happens in Spain more and more. Nevertheless these children and teenagers admirably learn or acquire Spanish quite easily or early, I'd dare say. You can hear them on the street, talking either in Arabic or with their friends in Spanish.
You know a joining and making-friends activity? Ever-present football.
In my school we have had Magrebi students. You know what? They mastered Spanish! I think the necessity helps a lot, evidently. They have got to earn daily food.
A suggestion. First try giving them physical instructions in the class, aided with your gestures and movements, even somehow acting out, don't worry. An instruction like, 'Nazli, take the paper bin and put it onto this desk.' Don't mind he or she doesn't understand at first. You can fulfil the instruction yourself. With emphasis on your words, and slowly, and in a repetitive way. Praise their hit on the target when achieved.
Repeat this instruction or others on the following days, as a revision. They for granted will get glad they are able to receive messages in so a strange language like English.
Tell one student to give one instruction to the Arabic student and let that Spanish classmate do whatsoever action or prompt so as to monitor his Arabic classmate. Both students get roped more intensely in the conducting of the class.
Afterwards you can write 'paper bin' on the blakboard. And then ask the Arabic adolescent or child to fulfil the famous instruction, but you now omit saying the word 'paper bin', while tapping on that written word, on the blackboard.
Little by little the Arab will recognise the shapes and forms of that word in clear Roman characters: that's the object he or she has to pick up to fulfil the instruction.
This may be the beginning - You will need a big patience, but also you will obtain a big satisfaction when you see his/her progress. It's important for the boy, for the girl, to see you smiling and content. Non-verbal language of communication makes a good role! At that very moment you two, learner and teacher, are communicating with each other.
Then, I'm trying to finish this comment, make a student write 'paper bin' in clear big letters, on the board. Call the Arab and ask him or her just to copy the word under the English word, as better as possible.
With the passing time they may be able to write the instructions in full sentences.
So, basically, and this is the logical and psychological process to learn a foreign strange language: listening massively and trying repeating-speaking by the learner, and secondly reading and writing.
Best wishes for you. One more thing: let the Arabic student just tell things in Arabic, for the rest of his or her classmates to listen to a foreign and nice and different-texture language.
Fernando Díez Gallego
Teacher of English. Teacher trainer.
I live in Granada!, Spain. This was the land of Muslims only 500 years ago!
I appreciate the above helping comments by you, other teachers. My congrats.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
A useful activity, and a reinforcement to foster the speaking skill, in a summer-camp of English, for example, is to have one teacher, either native or a fluent speaker, who would pick up the students, one by one, out of the classrooms, and hold an interview with him. A really interesting dialog, starting for example from the score table which his team is on. This chart could include the points won at soccer, visiting the sick, volley-ball, participation in the class... We, the staff, are concluding, in this course of English, that the main skill to practice is speaking, definitely. Roughly stating, the speaking capability is low in a lot of Spanish schools, improving little by little nonetheless. Maybe your school is one otherwise the level, and the standard is high. Photo from www clemson edu. I guess the conductor is Emil de Cou.