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Showing posts from December, 2011

774. Building up tomorrow

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One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “Some years ago a teacher suggested me to recognize my students’ work in class, to recognize this in public, addressing all the students. From time to time.
They’re struggling to learn English, they follow my instructions, they try to be attentive, they attend the classes one day after another. It’s good for them, and just too, to tell them they’re nice people, nice students. They, also as a result, will work harder.
I do know there’re problems of disruptive things and all that stuff, but I insist it’s sensible to acknowledge my students’ effort and interest. As well they’ll grow as better people, becoming more aware of their freedom and responsibility. We people need to be recognized and feel affection. I hope and expect great things in 2012.” / Photo from: web1 taringa. automóviles Llega a New York el taxi del futuro

773. I teach in this city

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One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “I want to tell you what I do with one of my groups of English. The classes are extra-school assistance and for fostering speaking in English. In the second half of the classes we play games (you can see some on post # 259). At that time I pretend I cannot speak Spanish and they accept the treat, as something amusing.
The thing is that in this group there are kids of different ages. What I do is combining games of different levels: a simple one, and next a higher level one. Anyway, I try to rope all the students in the class in the same game.
For example, an older student may demand some conversation, talking naturalistically, about this, about that, whereas the youngest one tries to grasp as much as he can.
Another point: the youngest kid needs to move around the large room every 5 or 10 minutes – he’s 9. At times I give him some instructions to carry out. Sometimes I ask one of the older students to give the young kid some i…

772. It's a relief we aren't alone

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One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “The daily conducting with your kids in classes can teach you many things. Last year I taught a class of four students;
‘twas an extra-curricular course. Half of the class was dedicated to do their school homework, and the other half to speak in English by means of games, trying to create immersion in English.

I wasn’t able to reach and assist my four students with their own homework in the same class. One day, an idea came up to me as the class was taking place.

I said to one student of 14 to correct an exercise from a classmate’s course book. This latter student was 9 then. So for the older student was the first time he had to correct somebody else’s exercise – it was maybe the first time he had to
focus on grammar and find out errors in another person’s exercises. Summing up, this was great for the helper and for the assisted boy.” / Photo from: alfamblog alliance-tibet org

771. How to compose something interesting

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One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “One of my students of secondary got 5 in a test of English - 5 is pass. He came up to me to talk about the test.
I asked him what he thought about that grade. I wanted
to make him draw his own conclusions, not merely me telling what he should do to improve his grades. He looked not very much satisfied with his actual carrying out the test.
I asked him what questions he did well and which ones wrong, this is, his strong points and the weak ones.
Also what he could do to actually improve writing a significant composition.
One point about improving his compositions? I can say some but then we agreed in writing a sentence that would continue adding information to the previous sentence; the goal should be a development of ideas, so as to build a meaningful text – we talked about some linkers: however, nonetheless, all the same, summing up, besides…” / Photo from:galaxywire net. Soyuz. International Space Station. Docking

770. Mom's tenderness to his son, for example

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One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “I wanted to tell you about the scanners and rules thing. You can read post # 769. I’m in a bit of a hurry because we’re at Christmas Eve. I could tell you more things, but now I’m saying something brief.
Look. Rules and some sane punishment are necessary. Both must be educative; otherwise our school would be a ‘battlefield’ or the kind, between teachers and students. So, coming to the head, we have to think of students as unique persons, with the dignity of such unique persons. And where are the ultimate roots of such a dignity, if you let me tell you? I’m thinking of two premises: every person has been born, created, as the image and likeness of God. What’s more: we all are children of God (!).” / Photo from: mindware com. Mom and son cooking

769. Rules for fair play

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One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “Like you
know scanners are going to be set in the school, at the entrance, so every
student and teacher have to walk through them.


They are necessary now, the principal told me yesterday. I’ve read somewhere in the Internet that these things are necessary in schools like ours, which is placed within a difficult neighborhood. Students, too, know that the scanners are going to be set during this Christmas vacation.
Oooops!, I’ve got to leave you know – I’ve appointed a date with the
representatives of one of my classes. I’ll tell you further tomorrow or on
coming days. See you. Oh, I’ll tell something about rules and norms too.” / Photo from: theball tv. waiting to kick off the tournament

768. On duty, like you, committed teachers

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How can I get my students should do their homework? Here you have a post by elena.t about how to help her students wish to fulfill their homework. Below you have more information about her circumstances. Basically her student won’t learn English and carry out their assigned homework. Also beneath is a reply by me. All this was published in British Council – BBC useful web site, which is www.teachingenglish.org.uk / Photo from: daylife com. Dublin Irish police officers stand guard outside the Bank of Ireland. Sorry for the likely format settings.


Helping with English homework
Submitted by elena.t on 15 December, 2011 - 18:20
Hi, Ive recently started volunteering in a childrens home and one of my duties
is to help with english homework. I am not an enlish teacher, but have a degree in psychology. The children are quite a long way behind and sometimes unwilling to concentrate and learn. Any advice which would help get their attention, make our sessions more interesting and also encourage le…

767. Teachers can do big things every day

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One Sunday teachers of English B and A, two girls met up with each other in a bar, with their families, “You know, I believe any teacher can do great and important things in her classroom: I mean, if she carries out things well, and puts affection, love, and commitment in her work, she’s doing grand things, and not a mere dry fulfillment of duties.
You know, if that person, as she tries to be a thorough professional, deals with the ups and downs of everyday work, she is changing that regular routine into something more human and humane – also because she gets really concerned with her students and colleague teachers, not only physical things.
Last Friday the new teacher of our school looked afflicted, sitting in front of the window, in her classroom, lonely, sobbing and trying to hide herself from the possible passing by people.

One girl, a veteran teacher noticed something wrong was going on; got into the room and asked her what was going on. The veteran teacher listened to her story.…

766. Genuine and authentic love

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One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “Yesterday I read through this blog. The guy writes things he’s picked up here and there. After reading this stuff I at once realized that those things must be really first accomplished in my life and in my class, and it isn’t enough just to have read some posts and this is it, as he says of himself.
It’s ok you have to think of your students when planning a class, and not of ‘virtual’ students: you must accept your students they way they are. I oughtn’t to plan according-to-a-perfect-methodoly-like
classes; this has to be related with the students.
The first premise, I think, is that I have to struggle to firstly love my wife and kids, and as a result the love to my students will be genuine and authentic: You say you treat your family in a rather rough way when you arrive home!? And you tell me you love and teach and treat your students in the nicest way!? It doesn’t fit, guy.

So I would turn the thing the other way round, which…

765. Their success? Because they work hard

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Today I’ve translated, in case it’d be useful to someone, an email I sent to Álex’s dad and mom a couple years ago. Like you may guess, I’ve changed the names and few detais. “Álex” was a student of one of my English classes. Then he could be 12 through 14. He got many fails in his school subjects in the first Evaluation – I think this could be right before Christmas. We had to solve Álex study problems as quick as possible! The original email was in Spanish. / Photo from: universitypost dk. German student at Heidelberg The email was: Antonio [Álex’s dad], I’d appreciate you would pass this email to Álex. Un abrazo, Antonio [we in Spain use this expression to say bye on an email; Abrazo is a hug. I wish you a Merry Christmas. Call on our school to see the Nativity scene. I’ll be out. You might keep talking with Baby Jesus, his mom and dad; you can ask them questions and tell about the things that concern you.Álex, here you have some suggestions for next days.1. Right now I begin to be…

764. When kids are responsible of their learning

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One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “Each class is unique, and has some surprises, which you can take advantage of for your teaching and your students’ learning English.

Look. Yesterday I got into my classroom with my planning notes. Basically we would dedicate a short period for them to do their school homework, and a second part, longer, to play games to practice speaking.

What really happened made me smile: I felt the students were more protagonists and enthusiastic motors of their learning, and homework. It took longer than I had planned, I mean, what they were more interested in was their homework, more than my games. This hasn’t regularly occurred. Great.

One kid assisted me as a monitor to a younger one, who was reading a simple story in his textbook. Time flew. At the very end of the class, the younger student wished to go on reading one more story. The third of my students in that group was missing yesterday.

Alike at those fantastic times I discovered …

763. She needs the instructor to learn

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One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “It’s marvelous when a person decides to take on learning English, on his or her own. Great. However I think that this learner will need a teacher, a coach, a person who can talk with. Language is something between two people. Many people ask me what to do to learn English once and for ever.

I tell them that whatever they would do is helpful. I mean, I try to facilitate the way: as they show the wish to learn I encourage them to start as soon as possible.

Nevertheless, ultimately they’ll need a person that could demand from them, encourage them, lead the way to them, make them go on and on with the schedule they had thought.

When I say whatever they do is helpful, I mean that anything regarding working with English seems okay – at least, at the beginning steps: a web-site, grammar from a book in the bookstore, reading a reader with a dictionary, talking with me in English, and so on and so forth. Whatever they do adds up somet…

762. Viewing with a fresh perspective

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One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “Our students can gain a new and fresh view of their homework, just at the tutorial between you and each student. This is crucial for their learning English.

Students settle what they worked on at the classroom that very day. They, maybe now, understand the texts and the instructions of the exercises. And they’re able to make up a composition. The habit of dedicating time to deepen, think and review the texts, grammar patterns, graphs, and so on and so forth is simply crucial. Classes and homework are conplementary. - I don't mean students cannot achieve all this in the classes. I'm talking here about the importance of homework, which is complementary, like I said.

Students do need some quiet period to ‘process’ all the information from the classes, also for their personal growth and for making up a solid tank of knowledge to face up life. I ain’t magnifying, I think. I intently repeat, classes and homework as complemen…

761. Making big things little by little

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One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “A game you can try with your class is repeating a sentence as a chorus, word by word, subsequently increasing the number of words, starting with the last word of the sentence. It’s amazing to see students’ capability to remember each chunk, which becomes longer and longer. I’ve done this with students from 10 to 12 years. In this way you make them develop their memory and some awareness of syntax-with-a-message. They like it. They’re able to repeat long sentences. It can be helpful to practice the grammar and vocabulary they’re learning.” / Photo from: sierra-nevada costasur com. A hotel in Sierra Nevada, Granada, Spain. This picture could have been taken these days.

760. He practices hard to improve his records

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One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “I wish to actually help the small group of students I lately have in my classes to improve the grades of the subject of English of their schools, and also to learn English for their near future. I see that my own striving to improve is essential, for example in thinking in the way of helping each student, with their traits. If I struggle to better myself, I will help them, If I don’t, every day, I won’t assist them, even I could hurt them in the process of their education.” / Photo from: biketrialmadrid wordpress com. sergio llamas bicicleta trial

759. Shhh! I heard something in the distance

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The next day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “The way for learning English irregular verbs? Studying. Lately I made the following experiment, so as to help learning these verbs. Instead of teaching the difference between irregular verbs and verbs with the –ed ending, I had my students read a text from their course book that told about, for example, young Jim’s story when one day he got lost in a forest in winter, and he heard noises at night, and the like; or you can compose and provide a text written by yourself. We worked on around the text, they understood more and more, the small suspense caught them... I explained the words they didn’t know.

Then I asked them to tell me which the irregular verbs – in past simple and past participle – were, and the regular ones, on the other hand.

They realized that many of the verbs were irregular, ans so the past wasn’t formed with the –ed ending. I think they became aware that the irregular verbs are something very common in …

758. Irregular verbs now and then

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One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “English irregular verbs are an interesting grammar point Spanish students have to study year after year, increasing the list of them each academic year.


Quite many more verbs of this type existed in Old English, before the 11th century, perhaps most of the English verbs then. In other words, the way each verb took the form of past simple and past participle was more complicate than the simple –ed ending. With centuries passing, fewer and fewer verbs remained as such ‘irregular’ verbs, in fact those verbs native speakers used very often. Because of that those verbs remained being ‘irregular’, while most of the English verbs, roughly speaking, were taking on the regular form of –ed for past simple and past participle.


This can be due just to linguistic evolutions that actually occur in every language, with the language common people speak, year after year. Beside the fact that many words, so verbs too, were entering in the Engl…

757. Leading the correct way

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One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “What to do? About 2001 I was teaching a class-group of 13 and 14 years. One student, after the first few days of the academic year, was starting to tease his classmates, to insult them, to conduct in bad manners. I repeated, to him and the rest of the class, some basic rules of conducting in a classroom plus the reasons why.


However, this student kept on doing bad, disruptive things – and a few other students. At certain moment I told him, in a low voice, to wait for me after the class, for I wanted to have a word with him - for me and him to talk, in good words and making him think of the best way to behave. Nevertheless before the class had been over, this kid kept on misbehaving. The class was small. As things went on the same bad way, I stopped talking, and kept silent.


Then I explained basically the same rules I’d said before, making them think these new announcements meant one more time, meaning I should not repeat the …