Monday, July 22, 2013

1251. Keeping a diary: helpful for learning English



I published a paper (in a university journal) about H. D. Brown. 

He recommends to learners of modern languages to keep a diary. You write all about learning and acquiring the language: a strategy you used, fears, joys, brilliant ideas, tips, frustrations… All remarkable about your experiences in the classes or wherever. 

Once a week you can read what you’ve written. It makes you get aware of your learning and your autonomy as a learner. You may give vents in that diary. It may help. I believe in H. D. Brown’s ideas about learning a language. / Photo from: www scoop it

1250. I love teaching and helping out



Thank you, ISE Oxford The Art of Teaching, for having included me in your circles. Also thank you to the rest of teachers and other professions, who are added me in their circles too. At your disposal, you all. / Photo from: class posct in. german language classes   

Sunday, July 21, 2013

1249. Getting to understand an adolescent



Teacher A said to teacher B, “Adolescents are getting to know themselves. 

It’s not the safe age of children, when they worry about nothing. 

Those former ones are experiencing a change, a crisis. They are making themselves. They may feel confused. 

There’s a deep gap between girls and boys, I'm referring to treat them. 

They all want to call others’ attention, and so they dress even weird or as the fashion dictates. 

You as a teacher of them ought to comprehend their fears and joys. In tutoring sessions they expect you give them like premises or rules, albeit they don’t like growns’ establishment. 

Be patient with them, and you could catch yourself helping them a lot.” / Photo from: healthyliving ezcentral com

1248. Like learning a new sport with a monitor's help



Tutoring sessions with each student is a sound time to talk about learning strategies. 

The student will get aware that he’s using some strategies, and the teacher can help him improve them. 

It’s a sound occasion: the learner of English gets aware of having used strategies, and we can shed light on that way for him to really learn English. / Photo from: roseknowshealth com. man swinging golf club  

Saturday, July 20, 2013

1247. More about learning to learn



As well and according to Spanish philosopher Alejandro Llano, Teaching is something important, but more important it’s to learn how to learn. 

And the teacher is involved in this process – he facilitates this learning to learn by the students. / Photo from: www tbarmcamps org. kids playing basketball

1246. The point is learn to learn



According to expert Rebecca Oxford teachers of a language “welcome their new functions as facilitator, helper, guide, consultant, adviser, coordinator, idea person, diagnostician, and co-communicator.” 

All this implies a close relationship with students. 

The teacher teaches but also makes his students work, learn to learn. Often the teacher assigns an activity so they can learn to learn. / Photo from: www theviolinshop ca. start play violin  / Thank you, Thomas Baker, for having included me in your circles.

1245. How to teach with human principles?



Teacher B said to teacher A, “Any work, like learning a language or teaching it, requires ethics and morality. 

In this way the process of learning English, for example, implies really human actions. These ones, if they are carried out with ethics and morality, make the process of learning something human, proper of persons. 

The teacher ought to learn to conduct himself well, plus carry out a continuous learning ethics and morality, which are humane. Any example of a source? The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which can be valid for everybody.” / Photo from: lettuceveg com. strolling through central park in fall     

Friday, July 19, 2013

1244. Single-sex education



Teacher A said to teacher B, “I prefer single-sex education, though I’ve taught courses with both boys and girls. 

Why the first option? Boys and girls grow and develop in a different way, for example at 13 or 15 years of age. 

They’re so different. Groups of students learning English ought to be as homogeneous as possible. This is my experience.” / Photo from: malaikablog com. kid smiling 

1243. Refreshing the foreign language


Teacher B said to teacher A, “Among my adult students some of them tell me they studied French in the school. 

I for example belong to the first Class that studied English. My brother, one year older, studied French in the same school. 

So my students say they knew French but they’ve forgotten it. And I tell them that if they started again to practice French, they would refresh it with the passing classes. 

Thus if you haven’t practiced English for long, be aware that you would refresh it again if you immerse in it.” / Photo from: www fanpop com. dolphin 

1242. Keep on living in English



Teacher A said to teacher B, “I’m thinking in carrying out tutoring sessions in English. 

There are very different levels among my students, but I’m going to do it. In that way they use English in different contexts. 

I go to a classroom and ask the teacher if such student can come along with me. 

At least they will have had another chance to speak in English. We’ll talk about his studies and all he can want to talk about. I have a list of 23 students for tutoring sessions.” / Photo from: www guardian co uk. woman reading an ebook    

1241. Live in English in classes



Teacher B said to teacher A, “Don’t hesitate to speak in English in the class: your students are acquiring English. 

With the help of intuition plus the whiteboard they can make out what you mean. The more you use English, the better. 

Listening to English does good to your students. It's immersion in the language. 

If you can have the class in English fully, your students will get acquainting with that language soon. Live in English in the class.” / Photo from: www scuba students stedwars edu

1240. Live with the language you're learning



To live and immerse in the atmosphere of the people that speak the language you’re learning is very important. 

Expert H. D. Brown states, “Margaret Mead felt that rapport and shared knowledge and experience were the most important factors in learning a language. Know the people, empathize with them, try to understand them fully; the language will follow.” / Photo from: universitypost dk. Alenka checks out the fresh produce at her local grocer   

Thursday, July 18, 2013

1239. Communication in English whilst studying



Teacher B said to teacher A, “One day I was invigilating a study session in a hall of the school. 

These adult learners were preparing an exam of English. And I thought that there was being communication in English – between the writer’s course book and the students. It’s as if the writer was telling things to the students, and these latter ones were responding by means of the exercises and other activities. There was the core of communication.” / Photo from: newsroom unl edu

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

1238. Learning English with strategies, step by step



Who learns a language? Here is a clue, according to Wenden and Rubin “Learners are actively and deliberately involved in their language learning process. In other words, they bring to the task of language learning a varied repertoire of learning skills.” 

(Page xvii, WENDEN, Anita y Joan Rubin (eds.) (1987) Learner Strategies in Language Learning. London: Prentice-Hall International. / Photo from: www priskilly-forest co uk. front stairs of a country house in Wales 

1237. I learn from my students



Teacher B said to teacher A, “I learn also from my students. 

For example, at the tutoring sessions they tell me how they learn English, the ways they have to learn vocabulary, the way they use to do the exercises. 

I guess a good attitude is to learn also from the students. They can teach you many things. And they can monitor other classmates.” / Photo from: www hotairballoonsoverarizona com. Arizona hot air balloon ride photos  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

1236. The point here is advancing



Teacher A said to teacher B, “You can ask your students, in a class, to say what learning strategies they use to learn English, and what else they can do. 

In that way, they become more aware of the process of learning and acquiring the foreign language. 

You can suggest some, taken from Rebecca Oxford. 

For example, when you don’t know a word in the target language, you can explain what it is and say characteristics of the thing: so paraphrasing the word.” / Photo from: www guardian co uk. Two men walking along a road  

Monday, July 15, 2013

1235. Getting acquainted with other people



Expert in learning and acquiring foreign languages H. D. Brown states that we need empathy, if we want to really learn and acquire a language. 

The thing is that we have our own view of things, and we need to open us to other cultures and other people. 

We have to plunge into the water, if we wish to master a different language. We’ve got to put in another person’s shoes. / Photo from: www railbirds com. scottish piper  

1234. We pass on our struggle to be better



Teacher A said to teacher B, “We can teach our student the virtues we may have acquired through struggling. And all the time we have to struggle to be good. 

Otherwise we can’t teach virtues to our students. 

For a Christian that lives as such, we have the merciful help of our Father. Unless you are Christian, anyway you can ask him for help. He’s good with his children.” / Photo from: www easywork-greatpay com. work from home  

1233. Challenging goals



Teacher B said to teacher A, “At home parents are the ones who educate their kids in values and virtues. School is an aid, an important one. 

We as teachers – and better at tutoring sessions with the students – can talk to the kids and set some interesting and challenging values, etc.: hard-work, honesty, solidarity, joy, fortitude, eagerness to learn new things… 

However we should talk with their families and tell them the values and virtues we’re trying to enhance lately, so they at home can ‘pull the cart’ in the same direction. 

We can set short and simple challenges to our students at those sessions.” / Photo from: www abc net au. long jump

1232. Learning when they are little children



Teacher A said to teacher B, “Now I don’t remember the exact right age for learning a foreign language. 

Anyway, if you have babies or very young children, make them learn English at given specific moments during the day, or speak in English on specific days of the week. 

Remember that they must listen a lot to you parents speaking in English, or one of you at least, before they say something. Probably they will speak in that foreign language within a few years.” / Photo from: education more4kids info. mom teaching daughter   

Sunday, July 14, 2013

1231. A big dog: training with vocabulary



Teacher B said to teacher A, “An activity you can implement to enhance their vocabulary is asking them for the opposite of a word, or derived words, or asking to say a sentence that’s the opposite of a given one. 

All this is training for future communication and training for life. 

Some of the ideas are of scholar Julio Gallego Codes’s.” / Photo from: www doggydoula com.   

1230. The atmosphere at home concerning work



Teacher A said to teacher B, “How the atmosphere at home does help students in their personal work! 

I knew a family where dad used to read a lot. He had secondary studies but he had read a lot and achieved to rope their children in reading, comics when they were very young, and books at teen age. 

Also the vision parents have regarding their work influences on the children of the family.” / Photo from: www 4wallsandaview com

1229. Learning to be a good professional



Teacher B said to teacher A, “A student must learn some habits and costumes proper of his job now. 

For example, he has to learn to write in his notebooks neat and with a clear handwriting. The work done on a given day can have the date. 

Finally, he should care the English spelling. I might say other things, but I leave here. 

Just one more: he’s a professional of studying, and we adults have to help him to be a good one.” / Photo from: national junior tennis & learning

Saturday, July 13, 2013

1228. They adore I tell them stories


Scholar Julio Gallego Codes as well states that it’s sound to tell stories to young students, or older ones. 

The first group of students have to learn to get abstract ideas, imagination flowing, making their minds, making the plot, grasping some details... Besides they can like the stories, like one character, etc. / Photo from: www fishingplaces org. walleye fishing on lake oahe

1227. Trying to get students focused



Teacher B said to teacher A, “Now there are more distracters for kids than before. 

The teacher of English or any other language has to be a bit of an actor, stimulator, focuser, etc. 

Anyway you can find teachers that achieve their students listen. They make their education a bit of an adventure. 

Moreover, these teachers make a bridge of communication with their students. 

Now I recall a female teacher who got together some of her students around her desk in the classroom, and they used to talk about her students’ stuff.” / Photo from: www peoplescollection org uk. wales. brass instruments

1226. Especially dedicated to moms



Teacher A said to teacher B, “For a teacher, in summer vacations, in the north hemisphere, there are things that are important. 

It’s a time to spend longer periods with our families, to talk more with our spouse, to talk with her (or him) for longer. Communication within the marriage is of a paramount importance. 

It’s a period to talk also with our children, a time for relaxing, deepening in the idea of teaching and educating, a time for reading, and writing.” / Photo from: www dailybreeze com. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

1225. Reading at school and home just because I feel like it



Julio Gallego Codes states that students should read books for pleasure sake. 

This affects us teachers of English. 

In a school I worked before there was a library of books in English. We had classes where the students could choose any book. 

That scholar is an expert in education, and study and family. / Photo from: www guardian co uk. ebooks the new reading

1224. Single-sex education



Teacher A said to teacher B, “Single-sex education? 

It’s one more option. 

I like it because in English classes there’s a mixture of abilities. According to my experience, if you can simplify class levels, it’s much better. 

Boys and girls present a big variety of levels of performance and competence at these ages.” / Photo from: www pianoplay co uk. girl playing piano       

Thursday, July 11, 2013

1223. Peeling the class of English



Teacher B said to teacher A, “My students in that vacation course had a low level of English, and besides they’re playful. 

These days in class I used Spanish [L1] to manage the class. I was forced to use Spanish. 

What do you think? 

Does anyone think I should have used English also to manage and organize the classes? 

Sometimes, even often, I told them instructions in English anyway.” / Photo from: seekingabundance net. orange peel    

1222. This is what I offer to you



Teacher A said to teacher B, “Concerning management of the class and discipline in a vacation course the teacher of English should be at ease all the time: we’re after educating them – their disruptions are not problems of mine, but theirs and their families’. 

I hope all the students will improve the way they conduct themselves. Why at ease? I feel optimistic: we are trying to do the best and we count on God’s help – he has a big love, like a mom or a dad.” / Photo from: familyfood hiddenvalley com. food to have at a family cookout      

1221. Teaching at school and at home



Teacher A said to teacher B, “It is sound to have tutoring sessions with our students’ parents, because in that way both at home and at school we can pull of the cart in the same direction, like virtues for example: hard-work, think of the others, generosity, self-discipline, honesty, environmental friendship…” / Photo from: www nationalgardenmonth org. school garden. national gardening association    

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

1220. Following the rules toward success



Teacher A said to teacher B, “Sometimes silence is a pacifier. 

You know, if the children are chattering and moving around, you can tell them this or that, but also you can stand still and in silence, and that can be very eloquent in these special summer classes. 

On the same line, you can try to talk lowly, and waiting till everybody is quiet and attentive.” / Photo from: www johnsonsofpallmall com. playing croquet

1219. Keeping the right route



Teacher B said to teacher A, “Something else – and important – so as to foster a good education of the students of this vacation course is to thank a kid that has done a small task or another kid that has told me something I wrote wrong on the whiteboard. 

These things, small ones though, help create a nice atmosphere of politeness and education. I like it.” / Photo from: www whitegadget com. sailing ship   

1218. Trying to follow the route we had planned



Teacher B said to teacher A, “In the vacation course we now are running one thing we try to educate the kids in is politeness. 

For example, in the classes of English I insist in listening to the person who’s speaking, me for instance. Something to bear in mind is that most of the activities are sports, excursions, soccer…, so they get pretty playful. This is something important to take into account - it’s harder to have them relaxed in the classroom.” 

/ Photo from: www charterworld com. Sailing Yacht Vesper Christophe Jouany Les Voiles de Saint Barth   

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

1217. The teacher must be ready for any possible problem



Teacher A said to teacher B, “A teacher must be ready in his classes to rise to solve any possible problem. 

I remember now about a teacher who had to act fast: a student of 13 or 14 swallowed the cap of a pen. So this teacher had to press the student’s abdomen very quickly for his student to put out that object off him. 

The teacher achieved it by hugging his student from behind, quickly and with strength. / Photo from: jpg  wolveninesspeedteam com. picture by  Theressa Cliff

Monday, July 8, 2013

1216. Keys to succeed in learning a language




Teacher B told teacher A about the most important keys to learn and acquire a language, in a sorted order:
1.   One’s attitude about learning a language
2.   A real Wish to do it.
3.   Use the means, like a good methodology. By the way, in order to learn and acquire a foreign language you need a person: language is something between two people, at least.
4.   Study with learning strategies (see Rebecca Oxford’s quotations by me, and H. D. Brown’s too)
5.   Plunge into the swimming pool, that is, to want to speak with someone else in the target language.
6.   Communication: this is the main goal or ought to be the one of the school subject of English.
7.   Effort
8.   Motivation
9.   Reflexive learning. Be creative. A diary?
10.          Massive input
11.          Massive output
12.          Rapport. Personalisation in a class.
13.          Have fun
14.          Meet with the Club of speakers of the target language.
15.          Repetition and revision
16.          Firming up, settling on something specific, materialising like a friend of mine who used to take all the choices he encountered to speak in English.
17.          Cultivate the four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing – in that order of importance but it is not necessarily something scheduled – it’s a combination of them
18.          Imitate native-speakers
19.          Many people come to Spain to earn their life, so in that case necessity is the protagonist. / Photo from: framingthestreet com street musician on the streets of Rome.  

Sunday, July 7, 2013

1215. "How to teach" depends on various factors



Teacher A said to teacher B, “The most important thing when teaching is you should love each and every student, but also taking into account that the teacher should know about his area of knowledge, plus he should know how to teach. 

This “how to teach” depends on the experience; so if he is a rookie teacher he should plan his classes well and with his students in mind, and expect that the time passing will teach him how to teach, little by little.” /Photo from: www school-portal co uk. girl smiling   

Saturday, July 6, 2013

1214. When the students work harder...



“When students take more responsibility, more learning occurs, and both teachers and learners feel more successful.” (page 11 from Rebecca Oxford’s book). 

This sentence by that expert is very interesting, and worth to read it carefully, and apply it to our classes. 

A way to make students more responsible is to treat with them, to talk with them about the importance of learning strategies and make good use of the time of the classes. / Photo from: www telegraph co uk. family cycling holiday in Suffolk (England)