Sunday, June 29, 2014

1830. A way to have our students focused on activities



Tomorrow Monday I start the short course of English with kids of various ages, grouped according to age. 

Something of a paramount importance is to keep a good class management, ok. I will try the students should listen to me and get them rid of distractions, ok. 

However not always will I keep on telling this student or that student over there to be quiet, sit nice, etc. 

One other way in vacation courses this kind is just roping the students into the games. 

Thus we have a combination of light reprimanding and forgetting for a bit of time about discipline and get the students into the listening-speaking activities. 

I hope to let you know how it worked. / Photo from: Girl Reading. learningcentre com au

Saturday, June 28, 2014

1829. How I plan a vacation course



Next week I start teaching in a summer course, a short one, just two weeks. 

I will teach two groups of different ages, as I said on post # 1827. 

In order to plan the first class I think of several things that help me. 

These things approximately are the following ones, as they come to mind, and with the students’ in mind: discipline, some rules and routines for the conducting of the class; 
I may know some of the students, so they know my ways of making up the class; 
the games we are going to play, for example competitions, brainstorms, etc.; 
I will have to attract their attention toward the games; 
all the class will be in English; 
some behavior considerations; 
the skills we will work on are listening and speaking;
how to welcome these boys and possible changes of the seats they choose. 

And this is it approximately as the big scheme plus small conducting points. / Photo from: Landscape Chinese Wall in the Mist.  www bergoiata org. The picture is just for illustrating sake

Friday, June 27, 2014

1828. Teaching individual and unique students



A few years ago I watched a movie with my family about a rookie teacher at High School. 

When she arrives in the school she stumbles against her students’ mood and painful family situations. 

They don’t work – they can’t work with all the burden they have to carry along. 

So she decides they could write about their lives, also in a diary mode. When she picks up the diaries her students have left in the classroom bookcase then she starts to realize about the problems her students have to face up, their distresses, their problems at home, their frustrations. 

From that point she also changes, and makes herself an appropriate teacher for them. 

She puts on their shoes, and so she gets capable to understand them. 

The end is so positive: her students love her, and they will miss her the following year. She had encountered their realities and tough circumstances. / Photo from: www partimerichs com

Thursday, June 26, 2014

1827. English summer camps



At the summer camp I’m going to attend and help out this summer I will be out of the classrooms. 

The point is there are two teachers from a special center in Marbella, south of Spain, at Costa del Sol. 

And then it’s me. 

I’ll be picking up boys one by one, and make interviews in English with them, right after we've left the classroom door. 

In this way we offer them one more chance to speak in English. 

I said one chance: altogether I expect to make two or three interviews with each boy. 

Although the classes are rather small, it’s interesting to offer another opportunity to speak in English, the target language, at different levels, A-1 through B-1 and some B-2 level students, within the European Common Framework. B-2 is somehow similar to First Certificate of Cambridge. / Photo from: www all-hd-wallpapers com

1826. Teaching kids is very serious



Teaching kids evidently is different from teaching adults. 

Within a few days I will teach a couple of groups of different ages: 10 to 12, and 13 to 14. 

I like both, adults and kids, albeit the method (not the methodology) will be different. 

Basically when teaching kids you’ve got to treat them as grown-ups, although we’ll dedicate the allotted time to games. 

The course is short and the kids will carry out different activities, other than English: excursions, homework, computing, short educative talks... 

You have to take these classes in a very serious and professional way, yet the students are kids. 

Concerning adults, I’ve written a lot in this blog lately; you have the label “adult learners” at your disposal. / Photo from: police officers. www pacsafe com

1825. Something special was scheduled for the next Friday



“Next Friday Luke Wallace will come to our classroom. He is a teacher from Australia. Think of two questions that you want to ask him. Write those two questions in your notebook. Any question now?” could be more or less what I told my students a nice number of years ago, with the aid of the chalkboard and gestures to underline my words. 

I don’t quite remember. 

The presence in the classroom of a native speaker was pretty useful and, why not?, cool too. Besides my students would have a chance to talk with that native speaker. / Photo from: colorado images. world cup watching

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

1824. Do our students know to learn to learn?




There are two ways of teaching. And two ways of learning. Both ways are necessary. 

I mean, the teacher has to present a verbal tense, but also he has to achieve his students learn and acquire that tense on their own. 

Between brackets I remind you of the four logical steps to learn and acquire a tense or any other grammar point: listening, speaking, reading and writing.

The point is that we teachers must teach our students to learn. So they have to learn how to learn. And that’s in our hands. 

They have the means to learn: the Internet, asking their teacher, searching for the grammar point, asking their elder siblings, looking at the library… / Photo from: students reading.   experiencedteaching wordpress com

1823. A fun activity though



José Pedro Manglano tells a story. 

A girl had spent a week in a kind of camp, looking after children with some disability. 

She had fun. 

When her brother went to the train station to pick her up, after the activity, she enthused told him her experience. Her brother said that that had been a bore and a drag. 

Then she thought of it in a distant way: he was right, but she had been focused on that activity, for which she had given herself, and as a result the experience had been fun anyway. / Photo from: entradas a la Alhambra Granada Albaicín alhambra2013 iaa es

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

1822. The teacher who gave himself to his students



The teacher that gives himself, that surrenders himself when teaching will feel enthused with the time passing. 

He donates himself to his students at each class, and finishes the class tired, glad though, because he offered himself to the people he has in front of him. 

The more effort and self-denial, the more satisfied he will be at teaching. 

A colleague of ours told me that you’ve got to donate yourself when teaching – so not just attending a class with routine, bored because classes are very similar and he’s not actually donated to his students. 

He doesn’t care them, and all the students are similar, anonymous, and the important thing is keeping a good class management. And that’s it. / Photo from: chess. josephayi com

1821. It is love



Only love can make everyday things be different, and not just a routine. 

Love to God, love to my family, love to the students and their families… can make everyday things look different. It’s so because you’re focused on doing those things by looking after little things. 

These ones make each class be different, and each student unique and subsequently different. 

Love can make you look after details, which makes classes into something human and humane. / Photo from: daylife com. dublin irish police officers stand guard outside the Bank of Ireland

1820. People who love and believe in their jobs



A friend of mine, a college professor, told me once that my book showed my affection and love for kids. 

It’s true. And also it’s true that kids let themselves be educated and grown up by the person who loves them. This last idea is by Spanish philosopher Carlos Cardona. 

Perhaps you can only teach English or help learn and acquire English if you love your students. 

Maybe and otherwise you won’t be able to teach them anything, and less a language. Among other reasons because you cannot pass on your love for English to your students. / Photo from: markbryant. www suffolk police uk

1819. Our students' rich inner inside



Spanish priest and writer José Pedro Manglano says that animals just see, but man can see and watch and gaze and look at the interior inside of another person, because that interior part is so rich. 

Even a blind person can watch someone’s inner part, because of the other person’s richness and the blind man’s richness as well. 

We’ve invented a variety of signs to refer to the inner part and its richness: shaking hands, hugging, kissing, bowing of the head or body. / Photo from: japanese-etiquette. www tofugu com

1818. Thank you for your Google+



Alejandro Palacios, thank you very much for your Google+ that you are giving me. / Photo from: forest in summer. hdwallphotos com

Monday, June 23, 2014

1817. Every student is unique, bear in mind



Something which is the same for everybody is the capability of loving and being loved. 

Here are not differences according to social classes. 

In that way people, persons can develop as thorough people, thorough persons. 

It doesn’t matter you do not have money to play golf or to go skiing. 

People are unique, and are called to develop that uniqueness. We teachers have to consider each and every person as such, as a jewel we have to labor, we have to give the way for personal development. It’s a grand labor, right? / Photo from: tutoring session. www groupon com

1816. Teens as rebellious



Teens usually tend to be rather rebellious, don’t they? Why not to canalize that thirst for rebellion toward a sane and sound field, like joining a pro-life institution for instance? 

Teens have a lot of energy, which can be canalized to a good field. 

Otherwise they could waste that energy and desires in a bad way or toward bad intentions. 

And how to do it? 

Parents and teachers have a significant role here. We teachers can talk about those things at tutoring sessions, with each kid. / Photo from: high school teens. helpfortroubledteens net

1815. My adult students got it!



This year I’ve taught adult learners of English. 

It’s different from when you teach kids. The adults studied and learned English just because they wanted. 

The result is a group of learners that are like their own engines to learn. They’re kind of autonomous learners: they read, etc., stuff I didn’t set as homework. 

Also another result was that they have gotten to speak in English, say, on their own, just because they wanted to. 

Anyway I don’t mind to teach either kids or adults: just it’s different. / Photo from: adult student. adult college student. www rasmussen edu

1814. I'm back again

I hope later I will be able to write a new post. Keep ready.

Friday, June 20, 2014

1813. Back soon!

Right now, lately I'd say better, I couldn't update my blog. In a few days I'll be back.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

1812. Toward the Finish



What’s my mission in life, many students ask themselves in some way or another. 

Every person has a mission, a vocation in life. 

When I say “vocation” I’m referring to one’s role in life, but alike a vocation is what God wants from me. Not less than that. 

Youth is the period when we make those questions to ourselves. 

And How do I know my supernatural vocation? The way is praying: just ask God. Yes, but he says nothing, you can say. When you would have a habit and costume of praying, you will start to feel and “hear” what He wishes from you, respecting your liberty; your liberty and your responsibility. 

Vacations should be a period when we ask definitive questions, also rather old people like me (I’m 45; I ain’t old but neither young, right?). / Photo from: carrick fergus. www carrickcc org. 

1811. What to do on vacations, man?



Each and every student should make their own vacation schedule. There’s enough time for all, let’s say. 

For example, giving a hand at home; 
fixing and repairing things or parts of the house, like the roof; 
if you’re American: every one doesn’t feel a man without his tool kit box; reading; 
watching interesting movies; 
going out with the gang; 
playing a musical instrument, like the fiddle, which is so difficult; 
prayer;
carrying out any solidarity or volunteering plan; 
swimming; 
taking the motorcycle to the workshop; etc. 

I guess I gave you some hints and clues for vacations, also in other posts, for example, the ones with the label Vacation courses. / Photo from: cycling. www saskcycling ca

Monday, June 16, 2014

1810. A regular gang of friends



I saw that gang of friends. It was hot. We were in a park. Would they be on vacations? Or perhaps with their final exams. 

They were bored. They were doing nothing, let’s say. A couple some superficial and light sex (sorry). 

I thought they had not had the education I’ve received thank God. 

I wanted to help them. 

Once I stopped to talk with some kids that were making a joint (sorry). 

All those people – I don’t judge them – had something in common. For example, literature, books, novels in Spanish or English could help them. They could help them make good use of time, couldn’t they? 

I would like to stop and tell them they’re losing time. Come along with me, I’d tell them, after Love (love to God and clean human love). / Photo from: gente pasando. tecnologiaaldia wordpress com

1809. How to achieve students' affection



Students can follow your directions and instructions for fear. 

However I’d tell you, if you let me do so, that once discipline is settled in a classroom, it’s better your students would follow you because of affection and self-discipline. 

How to attain that? 

Well, first set a few rules and routines, and be coherent, and you will have settled discipline more or less. 

Then treat them with affection, with no strange things, all normal. The way you address each student is a mixture of discipline and affection. / Photo from: students listening teacher. education jhu edu

Sunday, June 15, 2014

1808. A Book All in English!



I think it’s a good thing that non-native teachers of English should read novels and other books or e-books in English, in order to for example learn new words and ways to say things in English. 

Since your students have a sane intimacy with you, they’ll approach your desk, after the class, and will see the book… all in English! 

And they ask you whether you understand it. 

Let them take the book and have a peek at it… all in English! 

In this way you’re helping them get more familiarized with original versions in English, and with the language itself. Great! / Photo from: book and glasses.www uniquetranslations eu

1807. Come on, You Can!



Sometimes our students get choked when we set a bit-complex homework or task. For example: make a presentation. They see to it as though it was a mountain that is going to fall upon them. 

And what you’ve got to teach them (and I) is to split up the whole into achievable steps. 

For the presentation: 1. Brainstorm possible topics. 
2. Choose one. 
3. Brainstorm ideas about the topic. 
4. Select some; about other points they may have to consult the Internet. 
5. Make an outline of the presentation. 
6. Revise and practice by speaking yourself alone or with a listener or with a mirror or with a video camera or webcam. / Photo from: girl-watering-flowers   gardening. shecknows com

Saturday, June 14, 2014

1806. How to be Easy before an Exam



A teacher has trained a candidate for an exam of Cambridge, CAE, Certificate in Advanced English (C-1). The day of the exam has arrived. 

The kid is nervous and anxious. But his teacher, his private teacher has told him not to be nervous and anxious: many, many an hour has been applied to the training and study of the exam. 

His student is smart enough to know that if his teacher told him to be easy, he SHOULD be tranquil. 

The kid thought that that was enough to be easy, and that he had to gently applied his acquired competences and knowledge to be easy and face up with the exam as one more session or class. 

He trusted his teacher. 

He did the exam somehow easy. Now he’s expecting for the grade… / Photo from: student in library. examiner com

1805. Hints about How to Treat Teens



Adolescents like to be treated as adults or as mature people. They aren’t children anymore. 

They don’t want to be children anymore. They wish to be like adults, although they do not know how to behave at some things and events from their lives. 

It’s better not to make a long correction to a kid in the classroom, with his classmates. 

Take him apart, after the class, tell him to accompany you along to the department office, when you go there to change the textbooks for next class. 

Beside talking to him, ask him what he thinks about his behavior: you’ll get surprised sometimes at his thorough and very insight responses. / Photo from: library. www uky edu

Friday, June 13, 2014

1804. Love and Knowledge in the Classroom



Love and knowledge are transcendent to the person. 

They go beyond ourselves, I mean, if I love and if I know, I am setting external relationships. 

Students, as they know more and more, they are growing and educating themselves. 

The same happens with love. If I love somebody, I’m establishing relationships with other people, out of me myself. 

And all that is enriching to the individual person. 

In other words, in plain English, if the teacher helps the students to know more and more, and shows love to his students and these latter ones get to know it, things in the classroom are going the right way. The goal of classes is the enriching of the person, of the student. / Photo from: students. www sri com

1803. Why Not Taking Our Students to a Museum?



We teachers have to teach our students math and history, ok, but as well we’ve got to have them observe and appreciate beauty. 

This latter one is very educative. 

Why don’t we organize and run an excursion to an archeological or fine arts museum? Our comments on a piece of art are pretty educative. They learn to appreciate beauty and what fine arts tell us. 

Kids have to acquire sensitivity toward a piece of art. 

Otherwise they will only appreciate the movies they watch, which sometimes are not appropriate to them, and other things that sometimes are even disgusting, for example from the Internet. / Photo from: an orchestra conductor.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

1802. Do Our Students Think Deeply?



We teachers should foster in our students human capabilities: to reason, to ponder, to understand, to apply your mind to that task, to synthesize, to evaluate, to be creative, to plan and program. 

They’re superior skills of man. 

They too are learning strategies for learning English. 

This is: let’s not confine our students’ working to too easy requirements, but let’s have them think. / Photo from: Marx Brothers. vagabundeoresplandeciente wordpress com

1801. How to Get the Students Quiet at the Beginning of a Class



Imagine the situation when a teacher has to enter the classroom to teach English or whatever subject. The kids are with no teacher in the classroom and so they are playing, making a mess, shouting… 

How to calm them down and reach a situation in which the teacher can teach? 

One possibility is to stay at the door, silent, with a tense silence, gazing and staring at each student, in a firm way. In my case they got quiet and sitting down. 

A teacher told me that he used to address only one of the students and shout at him to get down from the top of the desk, where he was standing. All the others got calm down and went to their desks. 

Choose or invent a way yourself. You may have other plausible solutions. / Photo from: militarized-police-puppetgov. escapetheusatoday com

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

1800. We Have a Class, Not a Cattle




We teachers teach a subject to a class of students, ok. 

However the class-group is not a mass, an anonymous mass, but a collection of individual persons. 

And what is more, each and every student is unique, is different from the rest of the students, albeit all of them could wear the same uniform. 

And we teachers (also individuals) have to treat each and every student the way he is. 

We talk about class management, but what we do is to assist and gently discipline each student. Let’s not forget this truth. / Photo from: Blue-and-Yellow-Fish-school.    www phillaird com

1799. Teachers as Philosophers



We teachers teach various disciplines, ok. And we teach truths, right? 

What is more, we seek and teach Truth. What is Truth? 

Well, truth is from the Appalachians to the fact that the genitive of “pulchrum” is “pulchri” in Latin. 

We teach truths. 

About many different disciplines. 

It is sound and sane to search for truth, or truths. Also truth about Man. We teachers are somehow philosophers, aren’t we? Alike it’s true that God exists. You can reach this truth with your mind and, I’d say, in nature, in beautiful landscapes, in a beautiful woman, in a child’s smile. / Photo from: choir. northchristian org

1798. Am I Too Old to Learn a Language?



It isn’t true that adults and old people cannot learn and acquire English or any language. 

This is my experience. 

Thank God I have gotten that adults in this academic year would start to speak English, and for some minutes long. 

Besides adults can plan and program their learning and acquisition. And they are more perseverant than youngsters, roughly speaking. 

So it must stay clear that adults, even old people can learn and acquire a language. Also it’s true that the older the learner is the more difficult it will be to learn and acquire the language. / Photo from: climbing a mountain. www chamex com