Showing posts from 2012

948. Verbalizing problems

One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “Sometimes a student of ours can have an interior, an inner problem or conflict, and he can suffer dire straits.
Verbalizing, putting the conflict into words, conveying it at a tutoring session can help a lot. The very fact of telling the problem may make it start to solve it – a shared problem can alleviate the weight.
I know you respect your students’ privacy, but also I know that you wish to help them. Sometimes you say to that student that you see him strange in some way, or that he looks worried lately, and that is the trigger for him to shoot his inner problem. That student then can see a way out for his problem by telling it to you. Carry on that way, I’d tell you.
And count on his family: perhaps that problem should be told to them – with the mutual understanding between him and you.” / Photo from: visitphilly com. ethel cee sitting on bench in rittenhouse park. Obviously the pic above has nothing to do with the experi…

947. One more story

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “I was recalling that teacher that knew how to listen to her students.
She was attentive when a student told her something at a tutoring session, or another student told her that he had not done the assigned homework. The teacher asked him why, and it was crystal clear she was attentively listening to his reasons and trying to make the big picture of those reasons.
She peered and gazed at him, like I said, as if she was trying to find out the deep reasons of this failure. All concerning her students was important to her. She was pretty attentive to her students and her colleagues. I guess one male teacher fell in love with her because of this attitude of hers. They got together at the staff’s hall and the guy, who was a novice teacher, one day told her some problems he had had.
I think the next time at that hall he got stunned because he was asked how things were going – even she asked about some punctual thing he wouldn’t thi…

946. New things

One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “I have told you that it’s sound to plan each class. Much of the success in teaching a language depends on planning.
However, and even more if you didn't have time to plan one class, you can do up and improvise. That class-period can turn out to be good, perhaps because you do have a specific goal concerning those students’ development, and also because you then focus on viewing teaching in a different way as usual. As well, at that moment you could view the way they learn with ample and new lenses.” / Photo from: usembassy org uk. the first english colonists to america. i think this is a replica of the Mayflower ship but ain’t sure

945. A good teacher again

Here you have a translation into English of the main contents of post # 943. / Photo from: telegraph co uk. young girl writing 1.The teacher has a teaching love to kids, teens and youngsters. In few words it’s a profound tendency toward discovering and focusing on the inmaturity of learners, plus toward their capability of self-growth. This tendency implies certain psychological capability of view, and being able to understand and comprehend each person. 2.A tendency toward values. The educator must love and practice values if he wishes to pass them on to learners. 3.Temper, personality. Someone who is not educated cannot educate. 4.Sense of humor. This is a feature that defends from arrogance and being too serious but without real contents or essence. It’s like a resource to hinder from becoming a too strict and unchangeable person. Due to sense of humor we are able of focusing on everyday little things and daily problems. That teacher is capable of focusing on little things, childish th…

944. Here we are

Hi everybody. Just to let you know I will keep carrying on blogging. Merry Christmas! / Photo from: olympic-games-2012-london com. Cycling-Track-Olympics

943. A good teacher

A couple days ago I came across the following text, which is just great for you committed teachers. I hope that pretty soon I’ll give you the translation in English. Or even you can translate it – I’ll do it on coming days anyway.
GALLEGO CODES, Julio (2004) Los estudios de los hijos. Cómo ofrecerles ayuda. Madrid: Rialp.
1.Inclinación hacia los niños, adolescentes y jóvenes. Es el “amor pedagógico” que en esencia es una profunda inclinación hacia la inmadurez del educando y sus posibilidades de desarrollo. Inclinación que supone capacidad de penetración psicológica y de comprensión individual.
2.Tendencia hacia los valores, el educador tiene que amar y cultivar los valores para poder transferirlos a sus educandos.
3.Personalidad. No puede formar quien no está formado.
4.Buen humor. Cualidad que es defensa contra la pedantería y la seriedad sin contenidos. Es el recurso para no convertirse en un individuo rígido. Gracias al buen humor somos capaces de detenernos en las pequeñas bagatelas y…

942. In advance

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “I knew a student that used to re-read what they had studied at that day’s class of English. At that moment, when reading at home, she understood more about the stories. Characters meant more to her and the plot was more interesting too. When they had finished a unit from the course book and had nothing to do for example, she used to read and have a look at the next unit. In this way, when the teacher began the unit, and its texts and grammar points, the student already had some significant knowledge. Sometimes there were points she did not understand, but anyway those things rang a bell to her. She used to get high grades in the tests and had some fluency at speaking.” / Photo from: mpsaz org. pencils clipart

941. Helping out

One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “Last year one of my students had Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder. I would say that all of us teachers should know that this disorder just exists among our students. Between 5 and 8 per cent of our students have or may have this disorder. I remember that one teacher taught him private classes, apart from the regular scheduled ones in a class-group. The teacher told me that he assigned short, small and challenging goals to the kid, taken from the boy's course books.” / Photo from: rv-103 com. RV 103 towed web pic

940. Great after practicing and training

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “You can advise your students to read something in English for some time, for long if possible, right before an oral exam. This reading prepares the candidates to have more resources to express their ideas in the target language. The candidates arrive at the examination venue as one who has already trained and practiced, like before a sport game. Their English then can be fresh, their mind more adapted to think in English. They are already like in their own land, more likely ready to respond in English in a fluent way.” I published the post above in November of 2010. I have changed small things, like some words for instance. / Photo: cbsnews com. he is lochte, in last olympic games london 2012

939. The planning to follow

I have planned a sequence of pieces of communication to implement along the course I teach to adult learners, most of them already retired. They’re excellent learners. They wish to learn English for example for their trips abroad. The sequence is: words – phrases – sentences – conversations and presentations. The basis for the material we use is on worksheets with short stories and meaningful-for-them sentences. As you can see, the approach I follow in my classes is communicative (mainly). One example: I ask them a question and they respond with a phrase: “What does the man help himself with, to stroll?” And the students will answer, “With a stick”. / Photo from: centennialofflight gov. instructor and students studying map. civilian training school

938. Do my students think profoundly?

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “Just thinking.
That is something some of my students fail. That failure comprises from the effort invested in doing a drill to the effort at thinking about the ethics as the main topic of a long text in their course book.
An example of this latter case is a text where they've got to decide if reporting or not a case of a starting bullying by a school mate.
Something even farther: seeking the truth. For example, why am I on earth? What for? What’s my ultimate goal in life? What does my Father God wants from me? God has a loving tenderness, limitless, toward me, like all the best dads and moms in the world as a whole.” / Photo from: terawarner com. mom and daughter

937. Learning to be a professional

One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “Notice that you’re helping those people become good professionals at their area of knowledge. In other words you’re teaching students how to become good professionals. Remember their job now is studying. What’s more, why don’t you tell them these things next class? They might become more aware of their responsibility. Make them think that they expect to have a good and demanding teacher of English, right? Tell them that they could plan the homework they’re going to do that evening, a planning that can take just a couple of minutes or three. Also you can tell them how to plan their exams of the present term, the term before Christmas.” / Photo from: coracletrust orh uk. camouflaged boy

936. Another coat of painting on something already said

I publish a post that can be useful for teachers of advanced levels of English or any other language. The text was published January 8, 2011, on a post from this very blog. I’ve changed minor things. / Photo from: thisoldhouse com. perfect interior painting

537. Practicing for the near future
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Here is a set of activities I helped to compose for a three-week course of English; a set of activities directed to the advanced students. We tried to think of high level activities, professional ones inasmuch as possible; as well it should be useful for the students’ near future. This document was included in the book I wrote for teachers of modern languages.

Apéndice 18

Objetivos para un curso de inglés de verano

May 18, 2007

Advanced group. Professional-like. Demand the following three objectives from the NN Academia’s teacher. Core point: help the students learn and practice professional English, in view of social current realistic demands, plus what their parents told u…

935. Like a band of music

One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “Someone at home last night was listening to a CD of Los chicos del coro (the music of Les choristes movie). All of the kids were singing as a single voice, which is one of the most important things in a choir – maybe the main one. I carried on by listening.And then I thought of the movie as well. You can make a choir from a group of kids. It has something to do with a class. In a class YOU are the conductor, and the main thing, so, the goal, is each and every student do the right thing at the right moment. A real example: think of a teacher who achieves every student is plunged into a dictation. With the weeks passing, you, a novice teacher, I hope you’ll achieve your students do what is scheduled and planned for that time. Be patient. You’ll get it, and your students will learn and acquire the language, one step after another.” / Photo from: bestsingletravel com. St Patrick’s Day Parade Band in a memorial of Eire’s Patron

934. After much thinking and much teaching

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “Yesterday I had my class with the kids of 10 years. You know, all I said was in English, while their aural level is so low. Well, they understood the games I implemented: with examples, gestures and body language, and you know what: they understood a nice percentage and even could follow the class. An indispensable aid: the whiteboard. I guess they understand me more and more, despite they are jumpy and frisky, and it’s an extra school activity. I dare say they’re acquiring English, and not just learning. In my class in the morning, with my adult students, happened similar: all the class was in English, by me and by them – it’s true we had a visitor teacher and that makes you invest more effort.” / Photo from: tentonhammer com. man thinking

933. Teaching to write

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “About writing essays or stories, you can tell your students to write an outline or a summary. Or just start to write – with some idea in mind – and more ideas will come up whilst writing.
I see this in many students from one part or another: young people simply don’t know how to express their ideas. Because of that it’s a nice thing to make them practice writing, perhaps with some ouline in mind or a written one.
Before, when I said some – many – students don’t know how to utter their ideas, I was thinking in our L1, namely Spanish: so think of much more difficult in English can be.
Many coursebooks have a part at every unit where students have to write.
Just so as to finish, you can write an essay or a story yourself, and explain that it has an introduction, development, and a conclusion. Kids like stories: they can like writing stories; I’ve seen that.” / Photo from: newcreationchapel org. young girl thinking

932. Discovering new things every day

One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “A definite yes. Many teachers are so committed and concerned about their students, and this attitude assists a lot in the kids’ education. I’ve recently found a text that could help you and shed some light. It’s taken from one of the two most important documents of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), which was a large council of the Roman Catholic Church. It says something of committing and dedicating oneself to other people in order to help them. Listen:
‘Indeed, the Lord Jesus, when He prayed to the Father, "that all may be one. . . as we are one" (John 17:21-22) opened up vistas closed to human reason, for He implied a certain likeness between the union of the divine Persons, and the unity of God's sons in truth and charity. This likeness reveals that man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.’

The title of the do…

931. Just my daily conducting

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “The teacher must know his students, but also he must know himself: how am I doing? Are my students really learning? How am I working lately?
20th century philosopher and writer Jean Guitton (1901-1999), one of the best minds in that century, used to say that intellectual work, and teaching is, should begin by self-knowledge.
What are my strong points?, for example, can a teacher ask him or herself. What’s my style of teaching like? What can I learn from my colleagues of the faculty or department? How were today’s classes? Am I doing my best? Are my students actually learning and acquiring English? Is really there communication in English in my classes?
Draw your conclusions, be brave, and try to take a single resolution for next classes.” / Photo from: farmer driving tractor. library of congress

930. He has practiced a lot to do this

The next day teacher B went on by telling teacher A what follows and which continues what they were talking about on post # 929.
“As I told you, some of the classes are private, individual, and I usually try to help each student with his school subject of English. Obviously it’s another teacher the one who teaches him English. So I’ve got to learn as much as possible concerning the subject of his school, because it’s of a paramount importance to get to know how he’s going in that subject.
Also the student is new for me. As the private classes are taking place I try to find out things like: whether he has a test soon, whether he has some homework, how he feels in the classes, I see and observe what his course books are like, his grades so far, whether he should study some point harder, we revise the stuff he’s learning lately, maybe he can do an exercise or drill his teacher has not set yet as something to do either in the class or as homework, what his handwriting is like, his spellin…

929. I've got to loop the loop

One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “A few days ago I was walking to the center where I teach classes: some of them are for practicing speaking in English, both they and me. And some other classes are private, individual: the student and I work on the course books and notebooks of their school. These latter classes are for reinforcing the school subject of English.
The boys are of 10 years of age. While I was walking to the center that evening I was thinking about all this stuff, and how I could achieve those goals: speaking in English and getting good grades in the subject of their schools.
With the classes as a group I try they listen and speak English as much as possible. This year I still haven’t gotten all the class as a group be all in English. I’ve had few classes with them yet, so I will keep on trying that all I say and all they say be in English.
I’ll let you know how classes turn out to be like. Their level of speaking in English is low. I’ve got to l…

928. This helps be more communicative

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “I teach adult learners too, like you know. They’re retired people who have worked as many different jobs.
I try classes be communicative, as much as possible. So I try to plan activities that could foster communication in the classes.
For example, sometimes I address one student and tell him or her about a situation, a specific one, in Spanish, which is our mother language. And then I ask the student what he or she would say in English, so as to respond to that situation.
Before that we’ve worked on a list of useful expressions in the target language, by means of having passed on a worksheet with useful expressions for traveling, or when at a restaurant, etc.
The student then says a word, or a phrase, or a sentence to respond to what I had asked. Briefly I give you an example: I ask someone how he would ask for or demand the check (or bill) at a pub. And the student will say something concerning the check (or bill).
It’s so si…

927. A delicate and tactful work by you at school

One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “Your treatment with your students should be one with elegance but firmness at the same time, all the time respecting your students. In this way, more likely they'll respect you too.
Consider that you're treating with people, who're young but not unaware of the way you treat them.
I’d tell you that you ought not to shout at them, at least usually. Shouting at a student is like a blow to him, one friend of mine used to say – he’s a teacher too. A very few times a shout can suit a situation, when you must use your fortitude, in order to stop something wrong and serious at once.
And, if possible, take the kid you shouted at, later or on another day, and be a bit specially kind and nice with him, just a few nice words or a greeting, so as to avoid that kid could get hurt by your correction.
Youngsters don’t like being shouted at – well, like anybody else, does he? Even sometimes they could feel serious fear because of y…

926. The key thing is immersion

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “I can see that if you teach classes to rather oldish people you have to turn to their mother tongue, for example for grammar explanations.
I’m trying, anyway, to find the way to speak all in English. H. D. Brown used to say that even adults can acquire and not merely learn a modern language.
With my young students – 10 years – I will keep on talking all in English albeit they won’t understand everything. Remember I kinda try to pretend I do not speak Spanish in class – their and my mother language. If possible, immersion is preferable, but each case must be considered and then something specific will be looked to.” / Photo from: pguims-random-science blogspot com. scuba-diving

925. A particular atmosphere

One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “The best thing you all can do in your school regarding misbehavior and that rather strained and tense atmosphere... is to suffocate and choke that atmosphere with fresh air.
You can try: turn to tutoring sessions with the students and their parents, demand some basic discipline rules, the class-representatives’ assistance to their classmates, love of benevolence that does not mean being naive, be respectful, set good examples of polite treating the kids, some elegant or correct atmosphere, ‘exploit’ the good atmosphere that many of the students create, assign some educative punishment and correction...
So, is there some naughty atmosphere among some students?: head for them with the aforementioned ‘weapons’: all already said suits a type of school like yours.
Oh, and try to create an atmosphere of serene work in classes, where the students can think.” / Photo from: Solder_grissom-w-capsule. nasa project mercury astronaut virg…

924. Trying to set each thing in its right place

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “Currently I teach adult students. They’re retired people. The course has two hours per week. The atmosphere is one of nice rapport.
I teach them useful expressions for their trips to other countries. They registered in the program just because they wished. And also because they need English. Each two or three weeks I hand them out worksheets with useful expressions, stories, etc.
I’ve tried all the class be in English, but they told me the level is too high and they don’t understand. Thus, in those circumstances I’m using L1, namely Spanish. If I used only English in the classes, I would need a long time to explain things little by little. Furthermore their levels of English are so varied, from low to general intermediate.
I would like there be total immersion, but – don’t get me wrong – I have to use our L1 too. For next week’s classes I’m going to re-consider whether it’s okay to use L1 or I should invent any sort ofclass i…

923. The point now is improving

One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “I can see your effort and struggle to facilitate and make possible your students learn English, better and better. You look for the best ways to adapt the coursebook and other stuff to your kids’ needs and expectations. I also can see you try hard to improve as a teacher, as a person, as a competent worker.
I can assure you that your students most likely will better and improve as workers, as persons. You told me about this point a few weeks ago, remember?” / Photo from: mexico mariachis unos 40 grupos de mariachis de diversos países desfilaron en oeste de mexico28 agosto 2011

922. Just wait: the messages for teachers were over here

For granted, I have many more ideas to tell you in this blog – just the thing was I was hectic and I could not write anything. Hope I’ll be writing pretty soon. Special greetings to teachers! / Photo from:newtimes co rw. a man looking for a book in the Kigali Public Library_

921. Now classes are interesting

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, "Some students can see the subject of English as something boring and with no sense relating their daily lives. The coursebook of English, in some cases, could seem something that has nothing to do with their lives and interests.

The failure number among students can be high. Well, then we have that the good teacher is the one who achieves his or her students work. If he's convinced that things have to stop being like that, little by little, with his or her continuous everyday work and enthusiasm (or at least sense of fulfillment of his or her duties as a teacher) in and out of the classroom, he or she will achieve a big improvement among their students, because that teacher will have learned how to have their kids see the positive points each single one of them actually does.

One more word. In this blog we've talked a lot about connecting the subject of English with the students' real lives, like may happen w…

920. As if by playing in the classes

Hi Charlie Sheen and everybody else,
As a matter of fact something else could be said about this kid I referred to on post # 919. The point here is helping the kid realize he can actually work and do specific things in the classroom.
This kid had problems at studies – even a possible Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (I stopped seeing him in class rather soon).
What things did this kid aged 9 do in the classroom? The first premise is that all the class as long as it was, was only in English. So I had to rely a lot on the whiteboard, realia, gestures... to make me be understood by him.
I remember one activity we used to do was TPR: Total Physical Response, assisted by my physical examples. For instance I told him, ‘Okay, Luis (invented name), now take this chair and put it at that corner’, and also I had to carry out the instruction before he understood.
So as to finish, I would tell you, in the short period I taught him, he acquired some English, plus he got used to hearing …

919. Relieving his weight

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “I knew a student, a few years ago, that was and felt insecure: his competence at English usage was low and he used to get absent-minded frequently. He then was 9 years. This was happening at the beginning of a short course of English.
Thus I tried to accept any of his correct responses, small ones they could be though, and I think he began to feel more secure: I suppose he realized he could do things in the class. He was 9, as I said. I think we arrived in time to reinforce his self-confidence and acquire learning strategies.” / Photo from: nawe co uk. heavy books

918. Asking for help

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “One way of making the students communicate in the target language has to do with the functional methodology. The teacher has to provoke saying something in English, the target language. The teacher describes in the first language a situation, a realistic one, where the student has to use English to communicate about what this latter one needs, or wishes, or demands, protests, shows gratitude, just says a statement, etc. For example, ‘María, ¿cómo expresarías en inglés la necesidad de que tienes que cambiar los pañales al bebé, en el aeropuerto?’, which is ‘María, how would you show the necessity you have to change your baby’s diaper?’. And the student could say, ‘Excuse me sir, where can I change my baby’s diaper?’ Like you see, I used translation: sometimes it is necessary and helpful, but use it not too much.” / Photo from: chagrinvalley times com. By JoanDemirjian us. police officer on duty

917. Let's solve the problem

One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “Commonly a kid 10 years old studies and works well, and he or she wishes to learn new things.
If this child has problems at his or her school subjects a red light turns on: something is going wrong. Here I’m talking about situations in general. Each person obviously is unique and different. There may be a problem, which has to be treated. This person needs help. This student needs someone who helps him.
A private teacher (or tutoring sessions) can help him. Of course the psychologist of the school should enter this case and findout whether if there’s something that produces this dropping of interest, etc.
It’s important to treat this person as soon as possible, so at the first symptoms. Often the origin of the situation is simple to correct. ” / Photo from: acegames us. Mickey Fixing Clock

916. Speaking in class?

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “How much do your students speak in English in your classes? Think of it because you can catch you yourself speaking a lot whilst your students speak little in English. Have them speak and make contributions to what you’re talking about at that moment in the class.
This is totally compatible with the fact that your students must listen massively, this is, a lot, in English, to you and their classmates and DVD’s.
Once a student told me they spoke in class yet very little: they did exercises a big part of the classes.” / Photo from: msass case edu. mom x child physical exercise

915. Advancing in a relaxed atmosphere

One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “Do you stay with your students after the class? Or arrive a few minutes before in order to stay with them?
This is a suggestion merely – I know you’re busy and hectic and have got to go to another classroom quickly. However, if it’s possible you might stay with them. Why? Because you see them and know them and learn the way they are in a more relaxed way, in another context; you get to learn a lot about your students: someone asks you something that makes you smile, others are hanging around the classroom.
Moreover it is a good moment to educate them: they do listen to what you tell them, and keep it (maybe), and take it into account (maybe). As I told you, you get to know a lot about them and about their classmates and about the atmosphere of classes.” / Photo from: fullinsight com. airbus. air travel in 2050

914. Just about you reader and me

Remember that whatever you teach, while teaching, you're educating your students.

So can I educate if I teach math? Sure. Think: order, arriving on time, neat work and neat handwriting, respecting even helping their classmates, politeness, discipline, fortitude, generosity, arousing possible talents as writers, engineers, artists... Whatever we teachers do in the classroom either educates our students or some way hurts them.

The best thing you can do, and the most beautiful as well, is doing your work well and loving it. This should be combined with love of benevolence toward them all, though sometimes you may get burned out with a few of them who're acting up. Re-read what I said a few posts before, about transcendence (post # 911). / Photo from: nysut org

913. The best age to learn a language?

Something simple today but significant to know. Did you know that between 1 and 4 years is the best age to learn the mother language and any other language? I think we parents and teachers of languages should know this. That’s it. Best wishes for everyone! Oh, that’s so because that age, 1 to 4, is the “periodo sensitivo” of children. I’m not sure but the translation might be “sensible period”. Does anyone know? Thanks in advance. / Photo from: ahiprodec blogspot com. cepillarse dientes

912. Stay calm with your young kids

One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “With your young children, 6 to 9 years approximately, shift and change the activities every 5 or 10 minutes, maximum 15.
Otherwise they will get anxious and it’ll be harder to keep peace and calm in the classroom. Have them stand up from time to time, or have a jumpier student to stand up and move with an aim, like instructions, ‘Stand up and and touch the frame of a window’.
Combine crosswords, playing with plasticine, repetition as a chorus, games, puzzles, putting the words of a sentence into the correct order. Combine the four skills of language: listening, saying something, reading something from the chalkboard, copying that in their notebooks.
Don’t think those classes are a mess: both you and they’re learning to behave inside a classroom and with the typical discipline of a classroom – with things like raising someone’s hand to say something.” / Photo from: catspictures net. KidCat