Sunday, June 30, 2013

1192. Autonomous learners of languages: they are successful



Rebecca Oxford in the already mentioned book in this blog puts it “Learner self-direction is not an “all or nothing” concept; it is often a gradually increasing phenomenon, growing as learners become more comfortable with the idea of their own responsibility. 

Self-directed students gradually gain greater confidence, involvement, and proficiency.” (Page 10 - indentations are of mine) / Photo from: www friends-of-india org. Bhavani milking her cow  

1191. It's them who have to want to



Teacher B said to teacher A, “It’s them, the students, the ones who have to wish to learn English or any other modern language. 

We as their teachers can help them to want to, to talk to them so as they would want to.” / Photo from: www hdwallpapersbest com. busted race car 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

1190. Strategies to win the game



According to great Rebecca Oxford “Learning strategies are steps taken by students to enhance their own learning. 

Strategies are especially important for language learning because they are tools for active, self-directed involvement, which is essential for developing communicative competence. 

Appropriate language learning strategies result in improved proficiency and greater self-confidence.” (Page 1 from Rebecca Oxford’s book - indentations are mine) / Photo from: onlyagame wbur org. college football  

1189. A sere education is necessary



According again to Alejandro Llano all this education passes through deep tutoring sessions, going to specific details and actions. 

And of course the first role of education is in their parents’ hands. Parents are the main educators of their children, and they turn to schools because they don’t know physics, Latin, etc. 

Thus, the school’s labor is subsidiary. 

Parents should talk with their children in an easy way, also they should transmit values, both by means of setting an example and by talking. Parents should try to be better persons, and so their children will also better. / Photo from: pressboxperspectives wordpress com. manning brothers

1188. Effort and eagerness are very important



According to Spanish philosopher Alejandro Llano “what it is important aren’t activities or contents, but habits and costumes.” [I’ve translated from Spanish into English; errors and mistakes are mine.] 

“The key point is that the student should be capable to carry on learning by his own studying”. 

The student should learn on his own, by himself. We as teachers should “help to learn thinking on one’s own, with rigor, profoundness, and creativity.” / Photo from: www milesbeyond300 com. rope pulling  

1187. A trick to spread out to other teachers



Teacher A said to teacher B, “Oh, I forgot to tell you something for that vacation course, a trick: turn to the students’ guardian angels to have an easy class. 

I have done this sometimes, you can do it yourself, and you might perhaps get astounded of the efficiency of doing this trick.” / Photo from: www hemisyncforyou com. children studying 

1186. They'll put you to the test, no doubt



Teacher A said to teacher B, “On the very first day in that vacation course the students will put you to the test. 

I would advise you to speak all in English, whatsoever level of English the children have. So it can be sound you explain things clearly, slowly, in different ways, with gestures, pronouncing clearly, and with the aid of the whiteboard. 

Don’t tolerate the smallest disruption: stop speaking and silently stare at the disruptive student – otherwise, something different you can do is to explain that those actions or speaking are not allowed in classes.” / Photo from: www ed-resources com. boys studying

Friday, June 28, 2013

1185. Coexisting with other cultures



Knowledge has an indispensable moral dimension. 

You cannot separate science and morality, as the pseudo-illustrated myth proposed. 

The student has to learn how to make the coexistence with others, and human values, above all in colloquial treatment. And this is included into a  cultural tradition. / Photo from: www csmonitor com. a girl with a muslim veil  

1184. Do you wish to better, to improve?



Better than looking for further discipline means in classrooms (that possibly we must do it) we have to go to the roots of person in his education. 

How important tutoring sessions are! We must talk clearly, going to the roots and in a positive way (starting from a will to help by the student, counting on the accomplishment of the student, who usually wishes to improve). / Photo from: drmommyonline com. student studying

1183. Strategies to win

Rebecca Oxford describes well what learning strategies are. 

Take into account that we learn a language by means of learning strategies. 

She puts it, “Learning strategies are steps taken by students to enhance their own learning. 

Strategies are especially important for language learning because they are tools for active, self-directed involvement, which is essential for developing communicative competence. 

Appropriate language learning strategies result in improved proficiency and greater self-confidence.” (Page 1; indentations are of mine) / Photo from: www telegraph co uk. kids playing soccer

Thursday, June 27, 2013

1182. Learning strategies help a big deal



According to Rebecca Oxford learning strategies “1. Contribute to the main goal, communicative competence.
2. Allow learners to become more self-directed.
3. Expand the role of teachers.
4. Are problem-oriented.
5. Are specific actions taken by the learner.
6. Involve many aspects of the learner, not just the cognitive.
7. Support learning both directly and indirectly.
8. Are not always observable.
9. Are often conscious.
10. Can be taught.
11. Are flexible.

12. Are influenced by a variety of factors.” (Page 9) / Photo from: www thetrainingsecret com. walking the dog  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

1181. Against the stream



Teacher A said to teacher B, “It’s crystal clear that you must improve. In general, as a person. 

Don’t blame others or the circumstances, but it’s you who has to struggle. 

Good students are the ones that know how to manage their learning strategies, this is, they know how to work and learn English. The point is that they are aware of their duties and try to fufill them. 

The surrounding circumstances are not the main problem: they know that if they persevere they know they will achieve mastering English or any other modern language.” / Photo from: commons wikimedia org. slalom canoeing 2012 Olympics     

1180. Tricks to learn



According to Rebecca Oxford learning strategies are “[...] actions taken by second and foreign language learners to control and improve their own learning. 

Learning strategies are keys to greater autonomy and more meaningful learning. 

Although learning strategies are used by students themselves, teachers play an important role in helping students develop and use strategies in more effective ways.” (page ix - indentations are of mine) / Photo from: greatartulsandrivingschool com. image oregon driver education center

1179. Taking classes and learning strategies



According to Rebecca Oxford learning strategies are “Operations employed by the learner to aid the acquisition, storage, retrieval, and use of information. [...] specific actions taken by the learner to make learning easier, faster, more enjoyable, more self-directed, more effective, and more transferrable to new situations.” (Page 8) / Photo from: georgioudrivingschool co uk. driving school  

1178. It's a matter of empathy



“Successful foreign language learners are able to bridge the gap, to close the distance that’s there” according to H. D. Brown. 

The thing is that we need empathy, this is, the capability of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. “Developing cultural empathy is easier said than done. 

Each of us is so bound up in our cultural background and experience that reaching out for other ways to experience the world is no simple task” according also to that expert. (Indentations are of mine) / Photo from: botcrwal com. american flag eagle  

1177. Leaving biases aside



Teacher A said to teacher B, “If you want to enter the club of English you should put biases aside. Talking with people in their language is a great equalizer, as H. D. Brown puts it.” / Photo from: www avanticuk net. recent passes 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

1176. Diving into history



On this post I summarize the main core of the history of Celts and something else. 

As I say in my profile I myself could have Celtic family roots. The thing is in research process still. However I can say that some scholars say that people from today Galicia went to Ireland and settled down there. 

It is known that there was a Celtic origin in central Europe as well. 

Celts would have settled in today Ireland from Galicia, Asturias, partially because the Anglo-Saxon peoples from western Europe pushed Celts toward the island of Man and Ireland and today Wales. 

As I say I am researching about my roots, among which Cantabri would be part of the migrations. 

Romans conquered Hispania, but on the north of Spain they could have not submitted Vasconi (Vascones). 

The history is much more complicated, but coming to the head part of my origins come from Cantabria. 

Other peoples of these origins settled down in French Bretagne (you may think of the comics of Asterix). 

I repeat again that I am after this research, picking up from here, picking up from there, using books, different sources, etc. 

Anyway all these tribes and people seem to have the same Indo-European origin. / Photo from: s258 photobucket com. celtic knots 

1175. The way each person is



More interesting things from H. D. Brown. 

not all of this sort of stereotyping is bad. 

We get some of our notions from legitimate cultural characteristics, and we need to be aware of those characteristics. 

We need to understand that the French really are different from Americans in important ways – and we’d better understand those differences before we do business with them or invite them to our homes for dinner. (page 66 in Brown’s book - indentations are of mine) / Photo from: www allartnews com. ivan kramskoy painting a portrait of his daughter  

Monday, June 24, 2013

1174. Have you ever been to London?



Extract from H. D. Brown, quoted in my paper of the university journal. Worthy to be read.

Learning a foreign language always entails learning a second culture to some degree, even if you never actually set foot in the foreign country where the language is spoken. Language and culture are bound up with each other and interrelated. Culture is the set of conventions and rules for operating within the language club […]. So if you’re planning to carry on some sort of communication with people who speak or write a given language, you need to understand the culture out of which the language emerges. Without that understanding, you’ll miss out on a lot of the delightful uniqueness of the language. (page 65) / Photo from: www 8thingstodo com. the big ben and the parliament 

1173. How to park your car. The goals of your life



Teacher A said to teacher B, “Do you wish to improve in your career as a teacher? Why? 

Is it something for you, in a selfish way, or you’re looking for helping out society? Well, society is the total of individuals. 

How do you consider your students? I see you’re helping them with their work. Yet, do you use your students for a selfish goal? Or rather you’re trying to help them because of themselves, on their sake? Think of this, my friend. 

And consider that a life with no ethics will end in nothing, in ruins. 

The first goal should be give positive things to the Almighty, even give your self to Him. He loves you like you were the only person in the world. 

Secondly, you have your students, their families, other drivers in a traffic jam, governors, the old lady that sells the bread you and your family eats, your colleagues, your boss, your neighbors…” / Photo from: www videojug com. how to park a car

1172. A club to speak in English



By great H. D. Brown, a paragraph from my university-journal paper. 

Join a real foreign language club, if there’s one available to you. It’s a great way to create situations where you’re forced to use the language in meaningful situations: dinner groups, parties, field trips, etc. If your institution doesn’t have a language club, how about starting one? Ask your teacher for suggestions and help. (Page 63 in the already mentioned book by this scholar). / Photo from: www globesicc com. women’s basketball 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

1171. Learning strategies to win the endurance race



“[...] actions taken by second and foreign language learners to control and improve their own learning. Learning strategies are keys to greater autonomy and more meaningful learning. Although learning strategies are used by students themselves, teachers play an important role in helping students develop and use strategies in more effective ways.” (page ix). From: OXFORD, Rebecca (1990) Language Learning Strategies. What Every Teacher Should Know. Boston: Heinle & Heinle Publishers. / Photo from: local stv tv. motorcycle endurance 

1170. Authentic communication in the target language is necessary and nice



“The language teaching profession was still not ready for much real communication [50 years ago for example].” (page x). Today we as teachers should foster real communication too and not just always simulation. Think for instance of the warm-ups we practice in class: they usually deal with real things of the students’ lives and current news. The quotation is from Rebecca Oxford, whose book I have already posted about. / Photo from: dirknoy di funpic de

1169. A new experience



This is a paragraph from H. D. Brown’s book I’ve referred to on some posts, and which paragraph appears in a paper by me in a university journal. 

…never fear, a foreign language learning experience won’t make you a schizophrenic! You simply need to grow comfortable with the prospect that there will develop within you a second mode of thinking, feeling, and acting. Eventually you’ll find that you actually think differently when you’re using your foreign language. You’ll experience the feeling that “you are what you speak”. (Page 63). 

That experience is not necessarily so but it CAN, I would say. / Photo from: olympic ca. speed skating olympic sport

1168. A sane cooperation



By professor Llano and me. Education is an intellectual collaboration, an authentic symbiosis. We must form a working team, one of research, between the teacher and the students: they learn and I help them out. 

I should give them and set these principles, in their own language, I should count on students. 

A class is not a controversy or a struggle. We should form a research and learning community. 

My list of the students is not like a weapon to give bad grades, but a tracking instrument for each and every student. Even I could just give positive grades or points, and thus the people who work less, just gain fewer points. In this way we could make a sound competitiveness. As well you can think of those students who gain fewer points and talk to them in order to help them out. / Photo from: www guardian co uk. woman working on computer      

Saturday, June 22, 2013

1167. Some basics of education



I will traslate it: Further ideas by Llano and me. “La educación es una convivencia culta, una auténtica simbiosis.” Hay que crear un equipo de trabajo, de investigación, entre el profesor y los alumnos: ellos aprenden y yo les ayudo. Darles a conocer estos principios, con su lenguaje, contar con ellos. La clase no es un enfrentamiento o una vigilancia. Hay que crear “una comunidad de investigación y aprendizaje.” La lista de clase, en principio, no es un “arma” para anotar negativos, sino una hoja que refleja la marcha de tal alumno. Incluso quizá se podrían dar solo puntos positivos por aciertos, y así los que menos hagan, simplemente tienen menos puntos positivos. Y se crea, con la guía del profesor, una sana competitividad. Pensar también en los que consiguen pocos puntos y hablar con ellos. / Photo from: cellfield ca. girl working on computer   

1166. What is important



Teaching English is important, yet learning and acquiring it is more important. / Photo from: www motoryracing com. an endurance motorcycle

1165. The foundation of culture



Spanish philosopher Alejandro Llano wrote the following ideas in 2006, which I’ve translated for you into English, Someone’s education and his academic formation have to be immersed inside a cultural context and tradition. How important reading is. / Photo from: www theproducersperspective com. books in a library

Friday, June 21, 2013

1164. Learn from children



From my paper on H. D. Brown. 

Children can teach you a lesson on how to go about learning a foreign language. They tend to move directly into a foreign language. They don’t worry about what the native language equivalents are. They don’t mentally translate things as they’re listening or speaking. Your best bet would be to try being a little more childlike. (Page 53) 

The reference of this book has already been mentioned in this blog. / Photo from: 

1163. How can I understand the dialog?



Teacher A said to teacher B, “Rebecca Oxford presents some interesting learning strategies. 

One of them is to try to understand some people that are speaking in English by guessing intelligently. This strategy can be assisted by the linguistic clues the learner perceives, like some words that are similar in his native language. 

Other helps include the context of the conversation, situation, intuition, text structure, turn taking, general world knowledge, overcoming the difficulty to understand, clues that are not linguistic, body language, etc. The book of reference of this post has already been mentioned.” / Photo from: www guardian co uk. student on computer   

Thursday, June 20, 2013

1162. This is something I do



I like what I do. I’m referring to teaching English, to Spanish young kids through retired people. I like to treat people.

I can see they’re learning. Oh, wait. They’re learning because they apply learning strategies, such as for example when you want to say a word in English and you just don’t have the word, and then you explain the idea, by means of trying to convey the meaning of the missing word. 

I can assure you that people learn English or German or Swahili just because they wish and so they utilize means for learning: register in an academy, read, watch videos, listen to radio stations in the Internet... / Photo from: montserratadventure blogspot com. climbing a wall of a mountain

1161. The point is to be able to communicate with one another person



Teacher A said to teacher B, “H. D. Brown wrote the following. This text is from the paper I made for a university journal. 

One of the first rules of foreign language learning is to avoid constant translating to or from your native language. We tend to think of a word or phrase in English first [his mother language], then translate it into the foreign language. We’re always banking on the native language to bail us out in some way. What you have to try to do is to think directly in your foreign language. Don’t always insist on an English equivalent for words or phrases. Just accept them for their meaning and purpose in the foreign language. Untie the apron strings of the native language! (pages 52-53).” / Photo from: www nasa gov. the  iss, international space station. Astronauts of different countries communicate in the same language up there     

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

1160. Learning and being graded with no awareness



Teacher B said to teacher A, “Once a dad asked me why I set so few tests of English. 

I pulled him from his astonishment. He realized the students made more written exams, by showing him my lists of students with grades. 

Furthermore I told that father, ok, come and see how the conducting in the class is. A student responded one question by me in English, we warmed up at the beginning of the class, I prompted for more questions, I played a DVD and asked about the plot, I paused the film to ask something… I was making quick notes on my list of students while the class was proceeding. 

Assessment was continuous.” / Photo from: www southwoods com. tennis

1159. She has a huge discernment for her classes



Teacher A said to teacher B, “Two weeks ago teacher of English C again assigned as homework to study the irregular verbs that appear in their course book: present simple and past simple. 

Nevertheless next year the students will have to study more irregular verbs and the past participle. Her students are 9 years old. 

She is going to compose a worksheet with also the past participle for the course now. It’s an initiative that implies discernment from her. That is what I told you about the necessary discernment a teacher should have.” / Photo from: www thepersonaldevelopmentcompany com. woman working

1158. Cleansing the class of English by using English



Teacher B said to teacher A, “When learning English, or any other modern language, communication is so important in classes. 

Try to speak in English at the normal and regular conducting of classes. 

Unless your students understand what you’re saying, repeat it, more slowly, with gestures as an aid, with other words, with examples, with a naturalistic way, by writing on the whiteboard or smartboard.” / Photo from: blogs babycenter com. is spring cleaning pointless? Window washing   

1157. When being wrong is not so wrong



Teacher A said to teacher B, “H. D. Brown, an expert in language learning and acquiring, wrote that the learner has to plunge into the water: he must break off the fear of speaking in English. 

A friend of mine used to speak in English to me whenever we met with each other, Spanish we are though. 

Are you scared to be wrong and make a mistake or an error? So what? It means you’re learning English, doesn’t it?” / Photo from: www marketplace org 2011-06-24   us tennis tries to net more young players   

1156. Track all the process of a golf swing



Teacher B said to teacher A, “I advise you to track your students every day, in a continuous way. 

Because: can I as a teacher of English see my students know English by means of mere written exams? 

Just a tip: I’ve got to test my students’ skills of a language, that is: listening, speaking, reading and writing.” / Photo from: golfillustration com. Golf Swing Progression

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

1155. Just fulfilling my duties as a lady cleaner




Teacher A said to teacher B, “All we have been discussing about is educating in freedom and responsibility. 

All we do has to be educative. Educative for today and for tomorrow, when kids are growns.” / Photo from: sabadell olx es. a school lady cleaner

1154. Fulfilling her duties well



Teacher B said to teacher A, “You teacher show your attitude to work, to learning English in a lifelong process. 

Students in our school have a diary where they write the homework they’ve got to do, test dates... Some parents and elder brothers or sisters check up whether the kid has fulfilled all his homework, with the help of that diary. 

I assume they should not have a look at their kid’s diary sometimes, maybe ever – the kid has his duties to fufill and he’s responsible of what he’s done or haven’t done. This can be educative too.” / Photo from: www coventrytelegraph net. st-benedict-primary-farewell-to-pat-riley  

1153. Focused on the specific task



Teacher A said to teacher B, “Ok, you admonish your students who are chattering and distracted, and that’s your duty. 

However remember always that your students are free to learn or not to learn. Keep on telling individuals to be quiet, if necessary. They’re free and correspondingly responsible of their acts. It's their business. 

There was a teacher who remained in the classroom, and was waiting for their students to arrive and enter the classroom: it was them who had to realize it was the time of the class of English. He didn’t go to fetch them at the hall of the school.” / Photo from: www nasa gov. the iss: international space station     

Monday, June 17, 2013

1152. How to teach specific private lessons



Teacher B said to teacher A, “In private lessons ask your student if he has an exam of English soon. 

If the answer is affirmative, both of you should focus on preparing it: revise the exercises he has done with his school teacher of English, and which exercises are in his course book or on the workbook. 

The key thing now is for your student to pass that exam. Ask him to focus on an exercise and do it again in the private class. Ask him to focus on grammar tables too. 

The key thing now is to train for the exam however way his teacher sets exams. Ask him to tell you what exams are like.” / Photo from: www waterloo k12 ia us. teacher and student in dress code female   

1151. How to get feedback from our students



Teacher B said to teacher A, “It is essential to obtain feedback from your students, who are learning and acquiring English. 

One way are tests: written and oral ones. 

When you’ve graded or marked their written exams you can make out also if your way of teaching this or that grammar pattern has been understood. 

Something similar may occur with oral exams. You obtain some feedback from their responses. Sometimes you will have to change the way of teaching, because very few students have understood and learned this or that grammar pattern.” / Photo from: www wisegeek com. hit and run

Sunday, June 16, 2013

1150. Let 'em make up a council of students



Teacher A said to teacher B, “When I taught in another school of the south of Spain we used to have a small council per class-group. 

They had been elected by their classmates. They were three students. 

It was a good thing, because I could learn things from the other students: needs from them. We met together rather often. 

Definitely it was a good assistance to other students. At the same time those three students grew in responsibility.” / Photo from: www nusu co uk. council of students logo