Monday, October 29, 2012

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 mexico  28 agosto 2011

Sunday, October 28, 2012

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_     

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

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 with other school subjects, like science." / Photo from: centre atlantaballet com. ballet classes

Sunday, October 21, 2012

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 in English – both he and I are Spanish. Any further question? / Photo from: revistadelacarolina com. snowboard  

Friday, October 19, 2012

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  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

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 Joan Demirjian us. police officer on duty

Sunday, October 14, 2012

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 find out 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  

Friday, October 12, 2012

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   

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

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  

Monday, October 8, 2012

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

Saturday, October 6, 2012

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  

Friday, October 5, 2012

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  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

911. Coming to the head of things



One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “Students learn (and even can acquire!) English or any other language by means of activities: some discussion, drills, projects-works, watching a movie, reading an e-book... but all those things are means, not the end and goal of the person.

We attend our work day after day, but all that is means, not the goal itself. This one has to be trascendent: man and woman are not beings who do things and that’s it. I would say this trascendence makes reference to God, who is trascendent to man and woman.

All a long career as a teacher is so nice, but is there anything else? That career can be to live life to the full, but I think there should be something trascendent, something else after retirement and life. I think you can work with God all the professional career, and afterwards, to continue living with God after the person dies.

All my effort, what for? Well, to help students to learn English, okay, but the human person demands something else, something spiritual and trascendent, I would tell you, if you let me so.” / Photo from: oldrags tumblr com. portrait of a lady by Jean-Laurent Mosnier ca 1790    

Monday, October 1, 2012

910. My job is people would communicate with one another



One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “I’m not a native speaker of English, like you well know, but while I’m listening to someone speaking in that language I often understand what’s he or she’s saying.

It isn’t simple to describe: all helps to understand: I grab words, expressions, body language, phrases, idioms, vocabulary, gestures, the context, the thread of the discourse, I don't understand many things too... but you know what? A few days ago I heard a couple of British people talking, and at the beginning I didn’t understand them! And it was just because now I’m used to hearing Americans talking.

I feel like I’ve got to recycle my practice in order to be able to understand the inventors of the English language. After a while I started to understand their British accent.

Something interesting I noticed was they used quite many glotal stops and similar stops, proper of British English. Just it’s something interesting, curious I was not so used to hear lately. It is like if you pronounce 'cotton', as 'co'on': you don't hear the 't', you hear a glotal stop: 'co on'.” / Photo from: wutulurav comyr com. writing japanese characters. learn japanese in osaka.