Monday, February 28, 2011

579. Hey, screwing your mind again?

One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A , “I know you love your job. That’s good to do your work better day after day. Ultimately you serve people with that enthusiasm for your work. I would say you not only teach English but are concerned about your students’ families, your comrades, and your students. You love your work and those people. So I’m not surprised when you tell me that you bear those people in mind even on feast days. Anyway, do not forget that when you are out of your work, give yourself entirely to your family, to your wife, and to your children. Be coherent: if you try to help out your students, be nice at home alike. However, if a spark comes up to mind, which could improve your work, while you are with your family, or when fishing in the river, keep it in your mind for after the weekend. That spark may be the solution to something you were screwing but without finding a solution.” / Photo from: nortecastilla es

Saturday, February 26, 2011

578. Starting the way is being tough

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “Help your student lose fear of speaking in English. I’m referring to the private classes you are starting soon. This may be shocking to your student, but that conducting in English from the first minute is good for... a class of English. Most of your students would be false beginners. Lean on that basis they already have to try communicate in English. You two may talk about the schedule, the days for the classes, the money, his or her needs.

This talking in English should create an atmosphere where speaking in English is something natural. It may be kind of tough to him, but I believe it’s ok. Make yourself be understood by your learner: you can slow down your discourse, your sentences; aid the action with writing on a sheet of paper; smile, nod, repeat, approve.

I’d say that only if the situation is a dead lock, you can switch into Spanish. While leaving the place you two, keep speaking in English for a while.” / Photo from: sialacasadelosperezgarcia blogspot com

Friday, February 25, 2011

577. Discover new things

One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “An advanced learner, even a proficient one, will continue speaking with words and expressions that are not the ordinary ones of a native speaker. I have seen it. He or she has to carry on a lifelong learning, although not less exciting: they are learning new things, new words, targeting a native speaker! This is a special moment, when the learner has to utilize very personal learning strategies, like using the dictionary, consulting an online dictionary while typing a text, focusing and noticing a native’s ways of saying, realizing that what he usually says is a Spanish translation of certain word or phrase. Everyday we can hear foreigners who use words from their language, and which we don’t say in our L1.

More strategies? Reading, talking with native speakers, listening to a radio station in the Internet, contributing to a web forum and reading from other people...”

/ Photo from: granadatourist com. This is a photo of the picturesque suburb of Albaicín, close to the Muslim palace of Alhambra, in Granada, where I live. It’s downtown. It was part of the streets and market spaces of the Muslims, when they lived in Granada, even after the conquer by The Catholic Sovereigns, Isabella and Ferdinando, in 1492. Presently all this old city and surroundings are a place worth to visit, now with a background of a Sierra Nevada so white with snow. Awesome. It’s simple to find bars where the waiters and waitresses may serve a cool beer with tapas.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

576. Setting high standards

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “A leader in the classroom may set high standards concerning learning English. He or she – or several hard-working leaders, why not – may foster some atmosphere of effort to learn, to carry out the set activities. They can work on high-level project-works; they can monitor and ease some classmates by sitting next to them; they can present a verbal tense with their own words – sometimes the students understand one student more than the teacher! They will set a good example and help create a nice atmosphere of work. Oh, I forgot it: a student who misbehaves and acts as a rascal may make a serious evil to the class. I have talked about tutorials on this blog, as one remedy.” / Photo from: es-la-guerra blogspot com: michael-jordan-dunking

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

575. Fixing things

One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “Yesterday I made the resolution to tell you something. A few years ago a student of mine came to me one day, and with some shy look told me he appreciated the way I treated him. We were having private classes.

I don’t like to show off by telling you this stuff. Anyway, so, he told me that it was ok for me to soothe and calm him in the private classes - he did have serious problems to write correct sentences. Also he thanked me, however, that I showed so demanding with him to improve writing sentences. He was also grateful because I explained to him how to make sentences. That I made him think over the grammar to first understand that terrible grammar, and second, to learn the grammar pattern, and third, to write sentences.”

/ Photo from: motorspain com. Pepe Gotera y Otilio were two Spanish comics characters, and popular among us kids. I don’t know whether these stories continue being published. From the picture you may guess what the worker was like, and also his boss. The author is F. Ibáñez.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

574. You are a part of a team

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “If you are the head of a team of teachers, say, for example, the director of the department of English, I would tell you some ideas, if useful.

Each member of the group ought to have his or her role, a specific one, within the conducting of the team. This team should be well structured, well outfitted. You listen to their worries and daily findings. Try to raise a good rapport among you all, but without forcing it. You give proposals too.

Go ahead, set an example, work hard. Problems of the staff members have to be faced and even try get from them a chance for creativity, for a common growth. So, listen to your colleagues but you have the last word, and your colleagues expect so. Anyway, make this latter attitude compatible with that listening to the others. Leave ample possibilities for their initiatives. Learn from your colleagues. This may be the big scheme – authentic circumstances deserve authentic treatment.” / Photo from: luge-erin-hamlin-photos. channelone com

Monday, February 21, 2011

573. This way

One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “The student firstly has to comprehend, understand, see clearly, learn, memorize the grammar patterns. Also to include these patterns into a more global scheme: what learned so far, by relating the new pattern or a given idiom for example, already known, with the new thing. Then it is possible to store that stuff. And then it’s possible to retrieve that information, to practice it, to use it in a communicative way. You as the teacher can help your students to learn how to do this.” Cfr. José Bernardo Carrasco (2004) Una didáctica para hoy. Cómo enseñar mejor. Madrid: Rialp (page 44). / Photo from: kevmoore files wordpress com. This is a Spanish guardia civil officer. One of their jobs is to help control the traffic in speedways.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

572. Too long for you?

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “You are choked with loads of tests to correct? Look, I’ve learned a way of implementing written tests which might be any useful to you. I think of questions and activities that can try assess their grammar/vocab and communicative competence. The result is a brief test, ten questions, yet it tries to evaluate all the stuff just said. One of the questions is an essay, many times a story they have to invent – they’re so imaginative! It’s great to read their stories. As well I think of exams that ought to be corrected in a rather short time. I mean, practical tests. On their sheets, most of the times I write down an encouraging line or something they should improve – I try to write a positive tip.” / Photo from: GreatWall. travelsplendid com

Friday, February 18, 2011

571. Educating

I have copied and pasted a post from a friend of mine’s blog. Sorry for the likely formatting problems that could bob up on my blog. I’m trying to publish his post – otherwise I’ll try another post by me. It is worth a try. He is an expertised teacher, José Luis Font, and his blog is . The picture is not from his blog.

diciembre 4, 2010

Archivado en: Conocimiento personal — albayalde @ 6:15 pm

Conviene a cada persona conocer de sí mismo cómo es, qué características tiene, que capacidades, hasta dónde puede llegar o no llegar, cuáles son sus puntos fuertes y cuáles los débiles, para qué está mejor o peor dotado. Esta tarea universal es clave en los pequeños y adolescentes; los padres y educadores tienen en este campo una responsabilidad importante y a ambos también se les debe ayudar y ellos pueden ayudarse mutuamente. Y no parezca exagerado que también los hijos y los alumnos pueden ayudar mucho a padres y profesores para que se conozcan mejor.

Un elemento imprescindible para que se de el conocimiento propio es la capacidad de ser sincero. La persona de cualquier edad tiene grandes triunfos si se dice la verdad y si la sabe decir a otros. En el orden interno, la persona gana si sabe decirse a sí mismo la verdad sobre sí mismo; engañarse es ir torcidamente por la vida, es ir al engaño, ir al fracaso, disponerse a encontrar obstáculos de los que no sabrá salir. En el orden externo, decir la verdad a otros conviene en la necesidad, proporción y prudencia conveniente, o sea, decirlo a quien pueda corresponder en la tarea de ayuda que se le pueda prestar.

Si no se conoce suficientemente a sí mismo no podrá ser sincero, aunque lo desee y será difícil aconsejarle bien y poner con acierto los medios a su alcance para tratar de corregir defectos y tratar de desarrollar virtudes. Por ello, también es conveniente educar a la persona para ser sincera.

El conocimiento propio es un punto clave en la educación de la persona. La persona sencilla puede llegar fácilmente a conocerse, la persona demasiado imaginativa o dada a la fantasía puede tenerlo más difícil. En cualquier caso, el buen empeño personal por esta tarea es importante y los resultados son tanto mejores cuanto mayor es el empeño personal por sonseguirlo, junto con la valoración de la ayuda que pueda recibir.

Al conocimiento propio se llega mediante la observación de los actos y de sus raíces, de la autoevaluación personal, de la autocomprensión de la vida propia -saber qué “me pasa” y “por qué”-, de la comprensión de la vida de los demás y su influencia en la mía; pero todo esto con sencillez, sin afán psicoanalítico, que no es necesario en personas sencillas y sanas.

Conocerse bien es un buen modo de combatir la inestabilidad que produce dejarse arrastrar por la fantasía, por ejemplo, sobrevalorando las propias posibilidades personales (en momentos de euforia) o subestimando las propias posibilidades personales (en circunstancias adversas). En cambio, no lograr el conocimiento personal tiene el riesgo de vivir consigo mismo como con un desconocido.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

570. She's a good classmate

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “So, like I told you yesterday, the ‘assisted’ student may feel him or herself as dim, as dense. This student realizes he or she does have strong flaws to understand, store, and retrieve language. This foreign language is a wall which he will crash over and over with. No exit. You know, when abetting him, break down the exercise he’s got to do. Make him think. Gently praise his or her findings. This way, the student will see his steps forward. Carry on by doing so in following classes, from time to time, to assist him or her build up their knowledge and small competence so far, build up their intellectual maturity. If you resolve to implement this method with another peer’s assistance, talk with this latter student so as to pass him this idea of self-making, never humillating his classmate. In every class you’ll find some student capable to fulfill this monitoring.” / Photo from: chinese student- telegraph co uk

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

569. He is assisted

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “Many things could be said about that student, sitting at the back of the classroom, who suffers dire straits along his or her studies at school. I mean, many things can be said to push that student up. For a moment put in his or her shoes. Now I’m saying only two things. Tell one peer to sit next to him when doing an exercise, to help him. Or you may go to him, to aid and abet him by molding how to do the exercise, and how to infer ways of doing the exercise. This student, if you assist him quietly, I mean, tactfully, in a low voice, may feel actually backed up.” / Photo from: ferrari 2011 - juegalaroja com. Oh, tomorrow I hope to say something about self-esteem or just something. If this kid is "just" told what to do and how to do... maybe this can become a bad thing for the "helped" kid and his experiences and learning, "I'm dud: I need help."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

568. This is part of my daily routine

One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “I’m wondering lately whether I live to teach, or rather I teach to live. Both: I work to live and to aid other people, and a big part of my life is teaching. Is it my job and my strivings the only goal of my life? What do I deserve because of my hard work? Simply my salary and keeping my post although there is a lot of unemployment? Life is worth to live. I’m also considering whether after life is any life beyond? I believe so: I guess it’s something natural to think so, and also I have faith and trust in God. And what is love? Because I develop my labor, better said, I should work with love to my students’ families, my colleagues of the school, and my students. And after that I hope in an everlasting life, which has to do with my trying work well. I think this is not a trifle to be thought, is it? You know, I’m not merely thinking of my own life, along with all this stuff; I bear my family in mind, of course.” / Photo from: planetagadget com

Monday, February 14, 2011

567. Taking steps forward

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “How can you bolster up your students’ learning? Tell them they’ve taken a step forward when they have done well a far-reaching activity, or when done just something smaller though something they used to do wrong. This will motivate them and influence them for farther steps.” / Photo from: raquetas_ascension alcorceaventura com

Sunday, February 13, 2011

566. Learning to stay calm

One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “What about if our class was a complete failure? Well, so what? Tomorrow will be a new day. Your will and wish to do things well is enough. From this premise, try do things better. Often it’s our students who did wrong, not us. Try to improve yourself though. You’re gaining experience. When you teach the class to aid your students, nothing is lost. Even more, when also you try and do things with a transcendent view in mind, nothing is lost. We are in the world for something else. When you pursue to do things for love to God, our father, our dad, nothing is lost. Stay calm with yourself, with your students.” / Photo from: www1 wnec edu

Saturday, February 12, 2011

565. Just study

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “My students utilize different strategies to learn new words. They notice the resemblance with a French or German word they already know. Or with a Spanish word, and they focus on the similarities and differences, and the root-origin, either Latin or Germanic.

They use the word in the next opportunities they will find to express some specific message. So, I mean, they use the words.

Some of them write lists and revise them from time to time.

If they are teachers themselves they use the word in the following class, because it fits well then.

Some write a word several times, focusing on the sequence of letters.

Some compare the spelling with the pronunciation.

Some make mental and visual linkages with the word, or write cards and shuffle them.

Some learn a few words every day, not many.

Some read common everyday language in the Web, so as to learn language a native speaker would use. They gain and expand their memory with precisely the habit of learning new words.

Some just study a piece of the dictionary every day, or a text every day. For example some focus on learning new phrasal verbs, and comparing the meanings of the prepositions or adverbs, subsequent to the verb, with the ones collocated to other verbs, and draw certain theory.” / Photo from: education uoregon edu

Friday, February 11, 2011

564. Keep ready at the right moment

One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “Observe your students in the conducting of the class. Observe, notice the way they show in the class, during an activity, while your are saying something. Swift the volume of your voice and speak low to attract their attention; at that moment talk more slowly. Proceed into the next thing in your plan of the class if you notice they are putting their minds in the clouds or they feel bored and jumpy. If they feel bored, it’s more likely you may well have trouble. Look at them, at each one, with affection and exactness.

Discover this student expects more, because he or she already knows this given point, and right now it is a bore to him or her, because this student manages the point enough. And that other student, last row, is totally lost, for you asked her and soon noticed she understood but nothing. Make short stops. Back up this or that kid by asking him or her to answer a question. Plan the next class by recalling their reactions.” / Photo from: Soccer%20Shooter%20banner montgomerysports org

Thursday, February 10, 2011

563. Your committments as a teacher

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “What to do when planning a class? Have your students in mind. Their necessities and expectations. In some way, have each student in mind. Don’t plan a class, with its matter, objectives, and the kind, but without your students’ stuff. We work with real people, with their own biographies. Each student is unique and different. There are high achievers and low achievers, also intermediate, etc.; students with a fine and quick intelligence and students with flaws and carencies. In our classes there is a universe of people. Oh, and don’t have bad manners in the class. Bad manners are opposite to discipline.” / Photo from: kenyaphotos wordpress com

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

562. People in our hands

I have found a text that may be of interest to teachers and college professors. The American Association of University Professors published, in Norms that govern the Professoriate (AAUP bulletin, 1968), a series of conclusions concerning teachers’ duties and moral compromises. It puts, “To ask questions of what professors as professors should and should not do invites at the outset, to the consideration of our ideals and our special conception of our work and our committments. It further invites appraisal of the relevant issue of choice in terms of those ideals and committments.” All of this appears in WANJIRU GICHURE, Christine (1999) La ética de la profesión docente. Estudio introductorio a la deontología de la educación. Pamplona: Eunsa. On page 109. It is a research work. I hope it as well be interesting to you teacher. / Photo from: supergol com

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

561. A fine overview

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “You told me that you must follow and fulfill the general lines of the department of English to plan your academic-year syllabus. I’d say, when planning it consider that it has to be realistic, with your real students in mind, but also with high expectations and achievements, practical, with objectives of authentic communication, with the grammar and vocabulary (abundant) necessary as an instrument for that communication. Check the syllabus you’ll have programmed, for example when you begin a new unit, and self-evaluate your own achievements concerning that syllabus; being flexible but demanding with yourself.” / Photo from: www newzonfire com

Monday, February 7, 2011

560. Just listen

One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “Pronunciation in English is essential in teaching/learning this language. The teacher has to pronounce single words clearly, and make the students repeat, as a chorus, and individually. Also the teacher should read sentences in a more naturalistic way, and make the students read aloud too, and so listen to one another. He or she will dedicate enough time to the vowels, for example the pronunciation of ‘i’ in different words, like idea, finish, mine, meantime, bit, bite. Though the students may not understand much, it seems good they listen massively to their teacher, to sense the peculiar texture of English. CDs and DVDs help the learners focus attentively on the spoken language and its pronunciation. With passing time, the teacher can start to teach the international phonetic alphabet (IPA), a great aid, as it appears in dictionaries.” / Photo from: www thecia au. The film is Once, a moving Irish movie, produced with an amazingly low budget.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

559. Now we can harvest the fruits

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “As you know, often our students don’t know how to study and what to study for the next test. In the classes we may have used the textbook as a basis, and may have finished a unit, ok. But studying English is different from studying other subjects like History, Biology, Language, Natural Science, Latin, Greek... Something we can do to help out our students is to elicit from them specific strategies about how to prepare the exam. One by one they are saying things. Approve these suggestions, though some can sound too childish or too general, like ‘Study more’. Sharpen that comment. By doing this way your students will help one another. You all will reach clearer ways to study the exam.” / Photo from: Soja_Agricultor www agromeat com

Friday, February 4, 2011

558. Their family is growing

One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A , “You teacher may be striving to educate your students in values and virtues, like honesty, fortitude, solidarity, environmental friendship, study, a correct self-esteem, joy, friendship, generosity… However, sometimes we somewhat forget their parents and families’ role and help in the same direction. Both parts have to educate the kids together. Firstly, the parents, definitely. It’s sensible to talk with the parents in tutorials, and organize talks and brief lectures for the parents, given by experts we may have among our very colleagues of the school, maybe also by you yourself, if you plan a useful and interesting speech.” – I big appreciate you followers your signing in. I’ve hidden that section, nevertheless (I mean the section where you are shown). I’ll keep thanking you and the readers and other people I know who follow my blog. / Photo from: toyota-avanza- mundoautomotor com mx

Thursday, February 3, 2011

557. An indispensable engine

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “One way we can easier remember one person’s name is linking that person, physically, with his or her name. In other words, we remember better the people we are interested in, the people - the students for example, we put interest in. Furthermore memory is something suitable to be trained, practiced, enhanced. There arrives one moment when the teacher of a language, for example, can remember a new word better than a person who is not so much dedicated to learn words. Memory is essential to learning a language. Memory is helped by practice of those words and expressions, helped by using them actually.” / Photo from: full_truck www partseek com

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

556. Making up

One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “The students are free and responsible of their acts. All of us the same. Morality, either good or bad actions, make up the class. The good ones does, the bad one does makes up the class. And we have to learn to correct, to forgive, to help our students repair the bad consequences. The teacher has also to ask for forgiveness, any person has to learn so. And has to expect forgiveness. Also to expect forgiveness from God, our common loving father. Bear in mind the necessity for anyone to repair the bad committed, too. All of this makes up the class.” / Photo from: Taumata_sign_2006 welsh no8wire blogspot com. I think to remember the name of this town in Wales is the longest one in the world.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

555. Follow his track

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “One way to foster real communication in English in the class is letting the student talk. I mean, you asked a student something or you prompted for a reply. Ok, don’t break off the thread of communication: get interested in what he or she said. Now you reply to him or her, deepening into this real and human communication – give him more prompts to talk a bit more about the matter. Set a dialogue. If a classmate of his says something to the first student, in L1, asked this second student to repeat that in English, however he can.” / Photo from: canoing_at_Winfield_Scott buckandnelson com