Showing posts from April, 2014

1733. Working with worksheets in classes

Something I do with my adult students for the classes is composing worksheets that we’ll work out on them. 
Thanks to God they like them – they’re great students and with a huge motivation – and even they study them at home albeit I set no homework. 
They are about for example The Airport and Traveling by Plane. 
The point is they should catch useful expressions and idioms that could help them in real life, basically. 
Now they’re at the stage of beginning to speak for long more or less (10 or 15 minutes, though I told them to prepare stuff for minimum a couple of minutes). 
Other times I compose stories, with sentences with a correlative number, on A4 sheet format. 
Well, the best is showing you one of them; I’m trying. Let’s see. I’m afraid about the format thing. Sorry readers, the format thing didn't work fine. At least you can make out what a worksheet is. / Photo from: continuing education. www mnn com

Worksheet # 160
Composed on Monday, February 17, 2014
Washington D.C. 1.When you h…

1732. Writing?

A sound activity for individual or private classes or when training for exams like the ones of Cambridge University is correcting the essays or stories the learner composes. When correcting, the student notices English language forms and structures, and the texture of that language. Typically we non-native speakers of English tend to write with parallel expressions and structures from our first language, and we need somebody would tell us how to write in authentic English. / Photo from: www thedimecolorado com

1731. The second adolescence

At the second adolescence youngsters discover the You. It’s at college or some years before, depending on people. 
It’s the time when they discover a You with plenty of meaning. The You is another person I can treat as such. 
Love then takes other nuances: in young men not only the previous-years sexuality but also the girl has a temper, a personality, a biography, a way of thinking. She’s somebody I have to respect. 
It’s also the age for sacrificing for others, for helping out, for doing something for the other person – it’s the beginning of solidarity and volunteering. / Photo from: college student at library. www dailykos com

1730. The way a mom corrected her son

A Japanese mom corrected one of her sons, Soichiro, when it was necessary: Soichi this, Soichi that. 
If she was upset for any naughty fault she corrected by calling him by his full name, Soichiro. 
However she didn’t correct every fault by him. She let him think on his own about his faults. Once he took 500 yens from his mom’s purse. She didn’t say anything, and in the end, Soichiro gave back the stolen money to his mother. / Photo from: ukulele jap boy. www techinasia com

1729. A marvelous team of teachers

In order to be a good director of the department of languages in your school you must learn to listen to your team of teachers. Put in their shoes. Be positive and open to their initiatives, which you have to moderate perhaps. 
Above all listen to the newbies and novice teachers: they turn to you in search of help, solutions and encouragement. 
As well listen to the veterans: you may learn from them, and you can stir somebody up who has fallen in dead routines. 
Since we spend many hours at school, this one becomes like a second house, and you should be like a father or a mother, or a brother or a sister. 
You will need fortitude to correct their errors and faults, and at the same time you need to be that father or mother I told you about. / Photo from: www good in

1728. The women in our school are essential

Most of female teachers of English carry out their labor fine, as far as I know. 
Women have special features to teach, like intuition. Also women have a special intuition to learn English or another different language. 
They appreciate and observe details. 
When we refer to young kids they have also special traits. 
I am so grateful to my teachers of English. 
I’m not sure, but they have that kind of intuition, they can find out small details from their students. Concerning young kids they know how to teach them fine. 
And their classrooms are decorated in a fine way too, with visual aids that help students learn better. They’re good educators for teaching English to babies as well, because they have a special tenderness. / Photo from: Teacher_with_class_in_background. www aboutourkids org

1727. The new technologies at home

A father told us: our sons and daughters are young and growing up, each one in a different way. We parents cannot demand the same from each child. Each one has some positive aptitudes. 
As well and in general, studying and doing homework (and at the school the same) can be more difficult, because there are more things that can distract them: the computers, videogames, music. 
We have set the computers and tablets in a wide corridor of the house, also because albeit we’ve installed filters to the computers our children could view inconvenient sites. They’re learning what good and bad contents are. / Photo from:children with tablet. theonlinemom com

1726. Preparando para los exámenes de Cambridge

Hoy me dirijo especialmente a mis seguidores de habla hispana que no dominan bien el inglés. 
Efectivamente al preparar a una persona para los exámenes de inglés de Cambridge, opino que si no hay mucho tiempo hasta el examen, se practique la comunicación oral sobre todo. 
Para mí la destreza del listening es la más difícil. 
Tenemos que conseguir que el candidato se suelte, lo más posible, en el habla. En el examen oral debe intentar llevar la voz cantante, para que no sea el examinador el que saque “con sacacorchos” mensajes y oraciones y texto oral; el candidato debe hacer casi descansar al examinador. 
Cuando hay otro candidato más para la parte de conversación, por un lado hay que aprender a tomar la palabra con educación, dejando hablarle, de modo que incluso así le ayudemos; esto es compatible con que el candidato que estamos preparando tome la palabra a la mínima, mejor si es con una sonrisa. / Foto de: alumnos en clase. www lavanguardia com

1725. All in English definitely

Me, explaining some things to my students in L1 (Spanish)? 
Next Monday I will try to explain everything in L2 (English). I’m referring to talking about the presentations they should carry out in English. That is logistics, but even that should be explained in English definitely. 
I make my students a favor if I speak in English: they’ll understand more and more. I will speak in clear and well-articulated English, because some of my students have a lower level of English. I’m going to assist my explanations with the aid of the whiteboard and examples of core stuff of those presentations. / Photo from: at midnight lighthouse in northern norway by Reinhard Pantke

1724. The way you dress, the way you are

Student girls can dress however they want to, but I know a teacher that gives them some ideas about dressing. 
They can dress attractively, but within moderation and modesty. 
The important point is the girl herself. She should win values and virtues, and so they will look attractive too. 
I see it in some girls and women. I see some of them, when talking to them, that they also have an interior life that makes them attractive. If a girl has peace inside, she will show it outside and she will be so peaceful. For Alejandro Palacios Martín: thank you for having included me into your circles. / Photo from: girl student. madisoncollege edu

1723. A hard training for an exam

At present I’m training a candidate for the examinations of Cambridge University. 
His level is too low for First Certificate. However he does need that diploma. 
I train him for the aural parts and writing. The other parts of the examination can be practiced by himself, on his own – he has the keys and answers. 
Albeit he is that low I know I’ve got to train him. In the classes I’m learning that positive motivation is okay with him; instead of letting him know what doesn’t work I encourage him and tell him what correct is. 
Moreover we’re practicing against the clock: the exam can be soon. 
I take advantage of what he already knows, to try to push him up, and create a nice atmosphere. He feels good after such a positive motivation – anyway I make him many corrections. 
One other point is that I’m using British English because the exam is, as I said, for Cambridge University – I don’t mind the change in the variety of English, of course. / Photo from: exam invigilation. www examwatch com au

1722. The aural part of an exam of English

I’ve seen again that I have had many pageviews from Ukraine. I keep praying for you all. 
Today I wanted to say something about the aural skills in an exam. 
For example, when you don’t know a word, you could explain its meaning, and hopefully the examiner will tell you the missing word. 
Before an aural exam or the aural part of an exam, something sound is to read in English for a while before the actual exam. 
Obviously you should speak as much as possible in the speaking part of the examination. You politely can say many things, so as to take the main weight of that part. We examiners like to relax after listening to many students. 
If the speaking part is with another candidate, you should interact with him or her, so cooperate with their speaking. In that case you could add things to what the other candidate is saying, and this would give you more points, and at the same time you’re helping him or her too. 
Finally ask your guardian angel for help and assistance, and also turn to the o…

1721. Vacations in the Holy Week

Here in Andalucía (south of Spain) we have vacations Monday through Good Friday. Plus the weekends before and after. In schools I mean. 
As I have adult students I haven’t set formal homework: they know when and how to study. Well, they should prepare a presentation of a topic their choice, for speaking for 2, 3… 10 minutes in English. Obviously they may speak for longer. 
The vacations are because of the Holy Week: we celebrate and make a memorial in some specific way of the Passion, Death on the Cross, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. / Photo from: lighthouse. www meteo-news gr

1720. Respect in the classroom

One principle of managing the class well could be just to be more engaged into activities. We can have our students busy, and we’ll have fewer problems. 
A “pacifier”? Dictation. 
As well let’s respect our students exquisitely. If we respect them and not shout at them, tentatively they will respect us. 
How so? For example by listening to them when they address us: stop speaking and listen to someone that wants to let us know something, or tell us something. Obviously using this teaching strategy is pretty good as long as we do not overdo it. 
The point is respecting and working, both students and teacher. 
At the rest of the class-period we’ll always respect them, as the most natural thing in the world. 
I’ve seen that when you’re serious for long, they adhere and stick to that principle, and so they alike get serious and respectful. / Photo from: lighthouse. heymudak viewy ru

1719. Ukraine

I’ve just seen I have had some pageviews from Ukraine. My affectionate greetings to that people. I stand by you all. May God bless that country, which is suffering dire straits these days. 
You Ukrainians have visited my blog a lot of times: a big thank you, and I’d love my posts would have helped you out.

1718. Love of benevolence

Love of benevolence. I think to remember that it was Aristotle who coined the term and also the idea. 
As well the first commandment  by God to Christians is to love other people: our students and their families alike for instance. Plus our colleagues. The first commandment is twofold: love God with all your mind, with all your heart, with all your being. 
And it is a commandment for everybody in the world, not solely Christians. 
Love of benevolence is not paid with money. It’ll never be so. To love our students, with this love of benevolence (the only possible love), surpasses all possible salaries. 
You give yourself to your students in class and at tutoring sessions with each one. You pursue the best for The other (and people out of the school). You apply your brain to this love of benevolence (and also your heart, your feelings), and try to help up your student and the things he’s worried about and his eagerness toward something. 
This is specified by means of listening and comprehend…

1717. A love story

A love story. I’m writing about one. 
Parents, spouses love each other, ok? And a fruit of this love is children. 
However parents’ love is not confined to bring children to life. 
The spouses’ role – a natural one – also comprises to grow their children up, to educate them, to make them, or help them to become one-piece people, one-piece persons. The only way to carry this out is through love. 
The spouses love their children and these latter ones let them be educated, because they know and feel themselves loved. One lets another person to educate him when he knows he is loved, according to Spanish author Carlos Cardona. 
Nonetheless to educate today is not like to educate forty years ago. Now it’s more complex, and the parents have got to learn how to educate. In libraries and bookstores and the Internet we can find material enough to learn how to educate on this twisted today’s road of education. 
Something else: it’s of an essential necessity that parents should love each other. And for…

1716. Why are adolescents this way?

Why adolescence is so difficult an age to teach? 
First let’s not exaggerate. All of us teachers have passed through it, and here we are. 
Adolescents are in a period of crisis, which means a change. 
The adolescent discovers him or herself and their changes: they are not children any longer. 
Their body is changing and boys appear as typically disjointed. 
They experience a change in mind too. They wish to be themselves and do not like adults’ rules or authority. 
Some attitudes like just speaking up and shouting, or showing off, or the way they dress are signals of that change: they want to be authentic and often they want to change the world. 
The adolescent creates an inner life, which often is not told to the parents; it is something so personal. They confide and trust in their gang. Now more than in adults. 
It is the period of the discovery of love. They loved before but now love is essentially different. 
In boys the trend of love toward their peer girl classmates is rather one of sexu…

1715. The value of assessing our students

Assessing our students’ work and competences is not just something of mathematics. 
It is a human and humane action. 
Whenever you grade a student for the period of a term or two months, you don’t only grade that work and those communicative competences, but you have an image of the student, and you finally assess that period (evaluation) taking into account his grades at exams and his daily work, and recalling the effort and the conducting of that specific student. 
So you dedicate some time, this is, a period of time, to assessing him or her. 
The point, thus, is to evaluate the whole person: achievements, good and bad days, his growing up, the going upward in effort for example, or going down, his fluctuations, etc. It is a quick but true task of evaluating them. / Photo from: rowing team. cart1 physicsworld com

1714. Thanks to the volunteers

I have lived the following motivating story. 
In this blog I have written about acquisition, right? 
Acquisition is different from learning. This latter one is aware, self-directed, conscious, programmed, following a teacher’s dispositions and way of teaching. 
Acquisition is something livelier, naturalistic, stuck to the relief of a natural and unaware process of acquiring the language and its features. 
Now I can remember a kid, how old was he then? Let’s think of 9 years. It was in a vacation summer course. I used to ask him questions in English, and he responded in English so soon, so naturally, as something almost so ordinary as his own mother language. He was thinking in English. 
Another topic: can we adults acquire the language and not just learn it with a course book, etc.? The answer is a qualified yes. 
I can see the adults I now have classes with, that they speak with one another in English, as the most natural thing in the world; even before the class starts!, plus they greet m…

1713. Running elections at school

Speaking for longer is evidently a more advanced activity than responding with single sentences. 
An activity you could implement isPresenting promises of a candidate/nominee to be voted as the president of your country. 
It’s an activity for advanced groups. The students that can carry out this exercise probably have seen elections in their countries or in other countries. 
Make two candidates prepare their speeches in the class or as homework. 
Onecan be a republican and another a democrat, or a member of the Labor party and another student who is a conservative nominee. 
They have to win their classmates’ votes. These latter students can ask questions to the nominees after their speech, or pose an objection. 
It seems an interesting activity. We have played this game in their mother language and turned out well. I hope it’ll work in the foreign or second language. / Photo from: presentation skills. workplus wordpress com

1712. Listening to foster learning a foreign or second language

Learners of English achieve a lot by means of just reading. 
An activity we can implement in classes is Top-down and bottom-up understanding. It’s adequate from intermediate students upward. 
The goal is for the students to understand single words from listening to a CD or to understand the gist. In other words, to understand details or what the text is about. 
Beforehand you teacher can carry out a brainstorm activity amidst your students about what the text will be about – you had given your students the title of the text. / Photo from: a TV speaker. www businessinsider com

1711. A clear overview

For those students who failed school subjects in June, there were remedial exams in September, before a new academic year started, and after the summer vacations. 
Let’s focus on English. 
Now the students can look at their remedial worksheet in the school web site, for the summer. 
When I was teaching in a school in Jaén, south of Spain, I used to give worksheets about what they have to study in summer – at the end of the course book there were notes about grammar. Also I had to give specific instructions for studying the vocabulary. As well I gave them clues to pass the September exam, like practicing the vocabulary by means of using it in sentences they made up, plus other clues to pass the examination. 
I had to give specific instructions, because the student’s parents could register the kid in a summer academy or center. Or they could have private classes, and it’d be sound for the summer teacher to have specific stuff to teach. / Photo from: www polidate org

1710. Thank you, Teru Clavel, and welcome

Hello Ms. Teru Clavel,

I did not find room to greet you on your web posts, so I greet you now, and I thank you for having included me into your circles. I hope you might find something interesting in my blog.

At your disposal
Fernando Díez Gallego
English language teacher and teacher trainer

1709. Kids adore to read stories

Reading in English is an interesting aid for learning that language. 
Better if the students have to read something entertaining. 
Let them know the bookstore you have taught with the owner to get the books or readers (simplified versions). 
The students can carry out the activities that are at the end of the book, and which ones often refer to the whole book. 
Otherwise they can write a summary of the book, or they can write which character they identify themselves more with. Another activity is to give a different end to the one of the novel. / Photo from: Digging-a-Hole. www plumbreport com

1708. More about class management

Also Daniel Pennac says in his book (see post # 1706) that among those disruptive students and their classmates came a nice group of excellent students, and he writes their names. / Photo from: images77RKQ3BX www telegraph co uk