Friday, January 31, 2014

1610. Communication is the goal to me




Many teachers of English confine their teaching to the course book. 

The course book is an aid, an important one anyway. 

In my opinion I propose a communicative approach (beside the course book). 

I owe this to many predecessors of mine and to some scholars. Because of all that, I wrote on post # 1607 that the conducting of a regular class ought to be in English. It’s real English. 

Maybe you’ll have to go little by little, because the average level of your class is low. Doesn’t matter. Go little by little. Ponder if you have to use their L1 or not – better if you can say all in basic English. / Photo from: foggy forest www ruudviser com. The photo here is just an illustration

Thursday, January 30, 2014

1609. Count on his parents if he's on a borderline case



I’ve got to say something else about the stuff of post # 1608. 

I talked there about what the school and teachers can do. 

However it’s very important to contact his parents. These later ones could take their child to a good psychologist. 

If the family is Christian, I would advise to take the child to a Christian psychologist: the child could lose faith; I’m talking about real cases, where the psychologist or psychiatrist said Christian faith is nonsense. / Photo from: www pgl co uk 

1608. Working on the borderline of abyss



What to do with a student of one of our class-groups that has psychological problems and he can do so little? 

In many schools there are psychologists that can treat this kind of students. 

Ok, but what to do in classes? You might have another student sit next to him, to monitor the exercises, etc. 

If anyone has other proposals, please let us know. 

Sometimes you could mold the exercises by making him stand next to your desk, whilst his classmates are doing the exercises from the course book. 

Or you can go to his desk and mold and explain how to do such or such exercises. 

The answer to the main question is not simple: you have more than 30 students in class and at least one of these borderline students. / Photo from: www pgl co uk

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

1607. All in English is a nice point in their learning



Make use of the daily conducting in classes for speaking in English: about dates, homework, tests and exams, announcements… 

Say those things again, with other words in English or repeat the messages you give to your students. 

You’ll feel the temptation of saying for example announcements in their L1. If you say those points in English, you’ll have advanced a lot, as well as your students. Just try. / Photo from: teacher with students www gtdd vn

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

1606. A language to communicate with anybody?



I’ve been writing about teaching and learning English for long in this post. Ok, but what is the ultimate goal of learning English? 

This latter one is not other than communication among people. 

Today, in 2014, English is the lingua franca for communication all over the world. 

Thus, we’re making our students become people who are capable of mastering English for communication amongst people in all the world, as I said. / Photo from: Perth Sports Physiotherapy for Skiing injuries iphysioperth com au

Monday, January 27, 2014

1605. Sowing seeds for later communicating



For my classes with adults I’ve thought that the main point is for them to speak in English, rather than teaching them a quantity of facts ABOUT the language. 

I’ve thought that the process for my students should be: conveying words, conveying phrases, conveying sentences, conveying longer speeches like a conversation or describing a picture or presenting a topic for 3 minutes. 

And, thanks to God and our struggle (students plus teacher’s), my adults and oldies are giving speeches and talking for long, more or less. Ah, and they need, as learners, to listen to massive speaking by me before they can convey speeches. / Photo from: Sowing Rice www disciplenet org

Sunday, January 26, 2014

1604. How are you today, Mr. Teacher?



The teacher must take care of himself, because he has got to teach for many years and in good shape, if possible. 

He or she should sleep for 8 hours or 7 and a half hour. He ought to walk or do jogging once a week at least, and he ought to go to an excursion for example to a large park or the countryside once a month, I think. / Photo from: skiing winter sports holiday www snowlife org uk

Saturday, January 25, 2014

1603. Renew my classes?



I would tell you, teacher of English or any other modern language, that you should not keep the same yellowish notes for classes from one year to another, one year after another. 

Each class-group is different and you’ve got to adapt your notes and your method to different people, different students. 

Each year is different, and your students can have different needs and expectations. 

When planning a class, bear in mind your actual and real students. / Photo from: teacher in class thscny org

Friday, January 24, 2014

1602. Do you want to ask me something?



The English language teacher must make his students learn and make questions. 

In regular classes students often have got to answer questions. Yet, they must practice asking questions in the various verbal tenses. 

They can ask the teacher, they can ask their classmates. Otherwise they would learn the affirmative and negative sentences but they would never learn or practice asking. 

You could try next class and let us know about your experience. / Photo from: US Navy Air Traffic Controller aboard the Nimitz class air commons wikimedia org

Thursday, January 23, 2014

1601. Are you positive?



There are people for whom every day is the same tale, the same monotonous routine, and when they talk they do it of their sicknesses, the youth are so rude today, prices are rising, etc. 

And at the same office or school there are other people that live with enthusiasm, eagerness, a positive and optimistic view of problems. 

They smile honestly. 

They find reasons to enjoy life, to enjoy every day. 

They attend their work places with a positive attitude. 

They listen to you with interest. Whom do you identify with? / Photo from: good listener listen john do

1600. Teachers and parents before the children



Above all Western society needs values, is looking for values. 

In this blog I have written in my opinion that we could teach values to our students. 

But first at home. 

Or by means of small tasks in the classroom and school. 

However the teacher is the first person that has to gain values and virtues. He influences on his students even in his private life. 

Some values and virtues: joy, solidarity, charity and love, environmental friendship, hard-working, generosity, thinking of others, hard-working, audacity, sincerity, chastity, justice, friendship, humility, obedience, optimism, prayer, holy purity, happiness, penance, poverty and detachment, etc. 

Many people look for exoteric things and religions, and we have a God that loves us as all the moms and dads all over the world together. Europe’s roots are Christian above all, also Roman and Grecian. / Photo from: foto active listening www basic-counseling-skills com

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

1599. Do you ever think?



According to Spanish philosopher Miguel-Ángel Martí, the best adventure ever for man is his own life. He’s the main actor of his life. 

If you consider things in that way you ought to get amazed of the good you can do to other people. 

Man ought to remember to dive into his interior conscience, so as to get excited with his own life and the grandeur of it.  

In other words, and this is mine, many people today should grow and cultivate thinking, pondering things, considering, meditating. Otherwise we can encounter emptiness in our interior part, in our conscience. 

I hope to write further about nowadays’ man’s thirst for values. / Photo from: mainpic www russelwilliams com 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

1598. Debates in class



Currently I teach adults. 

An activity I’ve implemented with success – they spoke for long – lately has been debates. 

We’ve carried out two, the first about whether it’s okay to smoke inside pubs and bars, and the second one about the military service – about 2000 was the date when that service was not compulsory and mandatory in Spain anymore. 

I gave my students some minutes – 10 is okay – to discuss, and before I had split up the class (15 students) into two teams. 

And that’s it: it turned out well. Whilst the preparation some of them spoke in English among themselves and some in Spanish. 

It doesn’t require much time-consuming work for the teacher, except to think of a topic for discussion. 

Another day you can ask some students to recall the conclusions. / Photo from: two girls speaking www pammarketingnut com

Monday, January 20, 2014

1597. Another kind of Super Bowl



I forgot to say something so essential about the student – also I could say the same about his family and his teachers. 

He is on a pathway, he has his biography, he does deeds. 

However he is not only on the world for some years or many and that’s it. After that pathway that person will pass away, he will die – but that is not the end. 

There is a life after the one in the world. 

He will be awarded for his actions and receive a gift (Heaven) or will have gained an eternal and neverending sorrowful  and painful life (Hell). Perhaps he will go to Heaven, okay, however he will have to purify his deeds before entering Heaven (Purgatory). After that purification he will go to Heaven. 

I was going to say something else but I had to open the entrance door and receive a known person and, pooof! , the idea blew and went away. I think it is enough anyway. Have fun. Slàinte! (Cheer up! in Irish). / Photo from: a football player www bubblews com – Enjoy the Super Bowl! 

1596. My students and me



This blog is about teaching and learning English, yet let’s consider the teacher and the student in themselves, as people, as persons. 

Even, and more importantly, the family: the parents and the siblings. 

It may occur that we can only count on one of the parents, because of whatever reason. It also may occur that the student doesn’t have any siblings. Or it may occur that there are both parents and several brothers or sisters.

In any case let’s focus on the persons, on the student. I have written a lot of things. He or she has their biography, personality, circumstances, particulars, experiences, relationships with other classmates and other people. 

The teacher, for example when planning a class, ought to consider that he or she has human beings in their hands. 

Whatever he or she does influences on that student’s life and biography. 

So as to finish, let’s add that that student has been created as a child of God – this is something to think about as well. / Photo from: profesora y alumna www libremercado com

1595. More about different languages



Today I thought that a word similar to Spanish “ilusión” is to be enthused, to be enthusiastic. These expressions mean “estar ilusionado”, among other meanings. / Photo from: skiing skijanje www happy rs

Sunday, January 19, 2014

1594. Languages, languages, languages



Not at all! Don’t worry, I shall keep writing in English. 

A big part of what I write is taken from my book, my experiences, and from research, and from inspiration and perspiration (real life). Slàinte! (cheers! in Gaelic Irish). / Photo from: www redbubble com

1593. Bregando sigo, con mis alumnos



Una nota característica de la ilusión es que esta trasciende al hombre. 

Se trata de algo que se espera en el futuro; por eso, entre otros motivos, trasciende al hombre. 

Para que luego digamos que no tenemos alma, solo una parte material. Hombre, la ilusión tiene su base fisiológica, pero… no sé, sigue trascendiendo al hombre. No la puedo encerrar en el cerebro y ya está… 

Los ángeles. Son seres espirituales. ¿Tendrán ilusión? Lo que tienen, lo que ya tienen es la visión beatífica: ven a Dios, y por lo visto les hace felices, y pueden más que esos otros ángeles que son los caídos: el demonio. 

Me quedo con los ángeles. No quiero cuentas con el diablo. Éste seguro que no tiene ilusiones. 

Me contaba un amigo que su ángel le hace muchos favores, también materiales. / Photo from: alumnos estudiando www tecnun es

1592. Bregando con mis alumnos



En inglés me temo que no existe un término que iguale y signifique lo mismo que la palabra ilusión

Esto no va en detrimento de la lengua inglesa. En inuit existen varias palabras para nieve, porque los esquimales viven entre nieve y hielo. En Jaén, al sur de España, se habla, en orden progresivo, del calor, la calor, los calores, el calorín. Por estas palabras escribo esta entrada del blog en castellano o español. ¿Castellano o español? No quiero entrar en eso ahora. 

Explica el filósofo Miguel-Ángel Martí que no está fuera de lugar hoy tener ilusión, o ilusiones, a pesar de las tribulaciones con las que tenemos que convivir e, incluso, aprovecharlas para la santidad (el que santifica es el Espíritu Santo). 

Incluso con un grupete de alumnos un poco terroristas el profesor puede dirigirse a su trabajo con ilusión, con mucha ilusión, incluso pensando en los terroristas de sus alumnos. De verdad. También son hijos de Dios, y no lo digo con ritintín. / Photo from: alumnas estudiando – no parece que estas chicas de la foto sean terroristas pero no las conozco www asisucede com mx

1591. To work is essential to everybody



To work is necessary and essential to man. 

We need to develop ourselves right whilst working. 

To work is not a punishment. 

Besides if I work, I am assisting and helping other people, even everybody in the world, I would say. Do our students and their families think that way? Maybe we have to also educate adults – which is true, albeit they may think as us: teachers teach kids and their families. 

Education never ends. When can you say you’re full educated? / Photo from: Teacher Teaching August 12 qeco on ca

Saturday, January 18, 2014

1590. Who wrote it, a man or a woman?



I said on post # 1589 that to read is just essential for most of people. 

When the book is one of fiction the author builds the world and the characters as he thinks better or adequate for a purpose. 

It is not a waste of time to read novels or theater or poetry. 

Now I would like to add that also it is of a paramount importance whether the writer is a man or a woman. Their psyche is different, varied, and this feature influences on the novel or drama play for example. / Photo from: Typing Man www old-picture com

1589. Reading is essential for students and teachers



Many students and teachers and parents like to read. 

When reading fiction you accompany the author to another world or to his idea of the world. 

Some people say – not many – that fiction is not worth to invest time at, because it’s made up stuff. However I would tell them that the author is showing his ideas of the world, people, the characters of a novel, he molds the world as he thinks… 

Reading books and e-books – if they are good enough – can be enriching for our students. Beauty is a good educator and makes us transcend and go beyond ourselves. 

Our mind is working then. Intelligence makes us different from animals; reason and mind and spirit make us different too; all of them are interwoven: in few words we have a material part plus a spiritual one, perfectly interwoven. / Photo from: teachers plant seeds www liberalparty org

Friday, January 17, 2014

1588. Kids love stories



Kids love stories. Tell them stories in the target language, English in our case. You can get them from readers. 

Anyway, now with my adult students I make stories up. I give them worksheets with numbered sentences. Each sentence is a short step within the stories. Each sentence is below the previous one. 

With your younger students you all can create a story. Provide the first sentence, for instance with a thriller taste. Ask your kids give you more sentences. Write them on the chalkboard. Though they may be childish to you, accept their proposals – their contributions are important to them. 

Take advantage to teach conjunctions and prepositions: however, but, so, although, all in all… / Photo from: US Navy On duty in the base air traffic control tower commons wikimedia org

Thursday, January 16, 2014

1587. Just common teachers you can encounter



I would tell you that happiness is a consequence of seeking not yourself (only) but the people around you and their happiness: your family, your friends, your colleagues… 

Moreover, if you’re a Christian (or otherwise), remember that we’ve been called to become saints (!). Me a saint? Well the sanctifier is God, and we try to correspond to his help, his grace. 

A full happiness we will have it in Heaven or Paradise, if we correspond, as I said, and thanks to His limitless mercy. 

In a school I worked in, the students might go to the sacrament of penance at certain times in the week or every two weeks. So as to finish: we can be happy when we assert to live as children of God and of his mother (and ours), the Most Holy Virgin Mary. / Photo from: TEACHER.jpg. www slate com

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

1586. Advice to start the work day



Someone said something that in my opinion is just awesome. 

Look. To be a better worker and work better some things are of a paramount importance: doing sport, to take a good breakfast, and to be more assertive (confident, forceful). 

If possible, you could try, and then let me know. / Photo from: plumber www goodhomeplumbing com

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

1585. Working happy



Saint Thomas Aquinas, a monk and an intellectual from the 13th century, possibly the best mind then in Europe, said that when the worker is happy, when he feels happy, he works with more attention and zeal. A worthy statement to pay attention to, isn’t it? / Photo from: mail carrier usatoday com

Monday, January 13, 2014

1584. You influence a lot



If the contact with a person for a few minutes can influence on somebody’s life, how much will you teacher influence on your students? 

It’s a serious responsibility, and grandeur, isn’t it? / Photo from: student in class 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

1583. Love of benevolence



Only students that know and feel they are loved by their educators can be educated. 

I’m referring to love of benevolence: to wish the best for the loved person . / Photo from: www wellesley edu

Saturday, January 11, 2014

1582. Teaching with eagerness



Excitement, eagerness, hopeful anticipation are the translations Wordreference.com give for Spanish ilusión

A learner of a foreign or second language must have those features I wrote above. They have to do with optimism. A firm basement of this latter idea is God plus the learner’s effort. 

Otherwise, without those features I would say we would have never reached the moon. 

Or discovered penicillin. 

Or invented aspirin. 

As well the teacher of a modern language ought to go with that eagerness to the classroom. 

All in all also necessity is a booster for either learning or teaching. 

I do know colleague teachers that attend their classes with eagerness, as well class number 123, not only the first 2 classes, and with their specific students. Anyway, carry on with your career as well as possible, I’d dare say. / Photo from: college students crystalwashington com

Friday, January 10, 2014

1581. When talking in public



Spanish and famous psychiatrist Vallejo-Nágera wrote something about talking in public. 

The first piece of advice was to be naturalistic, to be you yourself, and show as such. Even you can say you are not used to public presentations and you’re going to do whatever possible. 

The second piece of advice was to speak for a short time: your audience ought to become wishing to listen to more but the thing is over. / Photo from: bemidjstate edu

1580. Basics for learning a language



2 basics for learning and acquiring a foreign language: study and memorize the usage of a verbal tense for example, from a text book, and practice: use that verbal tense both speaking and writing. 

The same can be applied for a new word: use it after repeating and memorizing it. / Photo from: Husna Haq Muslim www csmonitor com

Thursday, January 9, 2014

1579. Family and education: they need each other



A cozy atmosphere at home plus politeness in the treatment with one another within the family help our students become good students and learners. 

There exist research that shows the correlation between family and crime. 

One example connected with this: a long time is taken up by reading among the children of a family whose parents (or one of them at least) read novels and non-fiction books, or e-books. / Photo from: mom child read www usborne-books com

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

1578. Do we have the key to success?



As a matter of fact we all teachers and students are using the so called new technologies, right? 

Will they improve our students’ learning? Will the students get better grades? Will it be easier to learn new things? Will those technologies achieve our students read more? 

“The answer is blowin’ in the wind”, I would tell you together with Bob Dylan. 

Now seriously: the answer is Yes, but those technologies, as you know, are instruments. Books are also instruments. For a long view I would say that all that bettering will occur if the students WISH to learn and we teachers carry out our labor to help our students wish to learn. / Photo from: 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

1577. Creativity



Creativity is something human proper. 

The student and the teacher can create for example essays from their experiences and other background stuff. 

Students learn English due to their creativity. 

A human person can also paint a picture. First there was nothing on the canvas. After painting the picture the creative process has been produced, with that human feature that is creativity. 

Moreover there is something divine in that creativity. For example yesterday I saw some planes taking off from Málaga airport. It is interesting and curious people can fly in those machines with wings. We people can create with the help of God plus our science. / Photo from: BA plane taking off 

Monday, January 6, 2014

1576. How to assess our students' progression



I would suggest some points that can help you assess your students’ English. 

Firstly you ought to assess their practical usage of English for communication. 

You can assess your students’ present continuous or their reported speech, but also bearing in mind the practical use your students can do with their present progressive or reported speech. 

Another example: you have worked out in class the three types of conditional sentences. A practical and communicative question or activity you can set is to complete conditional sentences, like for example: “If you had been here a few minutes before …………………………………………………………… We assess and evaluate the actual usage our students can do with the grammar and lexis we’ve worked in class-periods. 

Another practical activity in an exam can be writing a composition in 100 words and including a sentence of the third kind of conditional sentences. / Photo from: students utilizing ipads or tablets www rockwallisd com

Sunday, January 5, 2014

1575. Also adults can acquire a language



Adults can also acquire a foreign language, and not merely learn it. 

A friend of mine, also an English teacher, has acquired English when an adult. 

To be honest I don’t know how much there is of acquisition and how much of learning. The point is that he can speak in English fluently with Chris, a common friend of ours, from Wisconsin. 

Adults, if trained, can acquire or learn a foreign language: they have learning strategies children don’t have, like planning their learning and revising that foreign language. Their learning is more reflexive than the one a child can have, and henceforth they can learn and acquire more quickly than a young child. / Photo from: takeariskmakeamistakelearnsomething englishexams wordpress com