Thursday, December 31, 2015

2728. Are We Close to Our Students?



A teacher should not be an ice model whom students can admire but not imitate. 

A teacher should set examples of a thorough conducting and personality, so he ought to be an upright person. 

He should be close to his students, next to their issues and problems and joys. He should talk often with his students. 

Now I remember a female teacher, a girl, who was so close to her students that some girls used to approach her classroom desk to just chatter with her and tell her about their daily stuff and problems, doubts, hesitations, perplexities, troubles… between classes. / Photo from: Cute-little-girl-in-rain-with-umbrella1 hdwallpapersrocks com. The photo is just an illustration

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2727. More and More in English at School



So the main point when teaching English is training our students at communicating in that language. 

This point will lead us teachers to also speak in English even when we aren’t in a class, but also we could speak in English in other chances and occasions, like for example when picking a student up from the class of math for a tutoring session with us. 

Thus they’ll see that English is a vehicle for actual and real communication, and as well they will get immersed in certain atmosphere of English. This is a nice way of teaching English. 

Even we might start the tutoring session by speaking in that language, as something naturalistic, as the most common thing in the world... / Photo from: www farminguk com. The photo is just an illustration of certain job

Saturday, December 26, 2015

2726. The High-Achiever at Learning English: What's He Like?



I’m spending some days out of Granada, in Malaga, near Costa del Sol, with other professionals, and helping a young man practice speaking for level B1. 

I’m going to tell him that he’s the one who has to ask me for more sessions, instead of me trying to arrange dates with him. 

The person who really achieves to reach such or such levels is the learner that has the need or the initiative of implementing actions directed to learn English. 

He has an exam in February, so he has the necessity of learning and practicing and speaking, and that’s it. / Photo from: www uclaextension edu

Thursday, December 24, 2015

2725. Learning How to Teach



The teacher should recycle his knowledge and practice of teaching and making his students learn. 

The teacher can study some essay on education, for instance. The way of studying could be reading carefully and with attention, keeping the main important points of the text, and making a summary with those main points, either by writing them or mentally. 

This is a way adults may implement learning in their personal studying. The teacher should keep on learning and revising, if he wants to effectively teach. / Photo from: skiing www bocatc org. the picture is an illustration, just that

Monday, December 21, 2015

2724. Doing Good to Many People is Cool!



Love of benevolence. 

This is just key for our job as teachers. So we have to treat our students with affection and with the wish to help them in their needs and lives. 

The more we do, the better. The more people we reach to do good, the better. The better we carry out our job, the better.

Class-periods are chances and opportunities to deliver good and goodness. In this way we better our society and even all around the world. In this way we will be happy and will help other people to be happy. / Photo from: www huffingtonpost com. photo showing a dad with one of his kids

Saturday, December 19, 2015

2723. More and More in English in Spain



One problem I see in my country (Spain) is people are afraid or shy to speak in English - this fact has been so so far, but the thing is changing. 

Now young people on the street in Granada, for instance, can be seen speaking in English with another person or by the cell phone. 

Just you need English if you want to find a job - even sometimes employers ask you to have two foreign languages, for example English and German. 

I can see that if you want to learn and acquire English you've got to plunge into the water and must lose your fear to speak in that tongue. 

You can also see that young people are losing more and more fear to speak in the target language. You have to overwhelm any fear to speak in English - otherwise you will get nothing. / Photo from: www richardsoninsuranceinc com

Friday, December 18, 2015

2722. Works of Mercy



Teaching English is a work of mercy, even more now than ever before, because for example youngsters in Spain do need to be capable of a communicative competence in that language, for example to find a job. 

I will try to post as much as possible, with the computer I have now. 

/ Photo from: www bridgetefl com

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

2721. My Conducting in English in Classes with My Adult Students



My conducting at classes with adults? My students orally contribute for example with a summary of the story I’ve written. 

I say Yes and accept their summarizing the story, so I praise them gently and peacefully, and when they finish I tell them one correction, of an error or mistake; sometimes I correct while they’re just contributing but usually I let them go on. 

The atmosphere is one of respect and comradeship, although I’m their teacher and moderator clearly. 

Yesterday Monday I gave them my congratulations for their contributions and for improving their communicative skill or competence in this term. / Photo from: venues.meraevents.com_227 notable ca

2720. Practical Written Tests and Their Correction and Scoring



Written tests should be practical: simple to grade and score, and practical because they concern communication. 

We teach a language, or to communicate in that language. 

Speaking and listening could be assessed apart and daily, with the aid of a class list, with symbols or small titles, for the grades (or marks). Plus my knowledge of students’ improving and striving. 

In my written tests I included: an exercise about vocabulary, to translate from Spanish into English. 

Next is an exercise to write a sentence with a word from exercise 1. 

Then I include rather practical exercises, like a writing one, to write about a topic or situation, and the students had got to write 100 or 150 words, or the like. 

Assessing written communication, as you can see, is included in the test exercises. I tried to assess their communicative competence chiefly. 

Now, how we corrected the test in a later class. Students used to say the words in English from exercise 1. I or one student gave a sentence with a word from exercise 1. For open questions or exercises I or they used to give examples of sentences or texts. 

It should also be a chance to learn more – also practical because of that. As well those tests were practical and simple to make up and compose by me. / Photo from: www dailymail co uk

Monday, December 14, 2015

2719. We Are Near Christmas ...



Whatever we teachers do for our students is not lost, never lost, as if we talked with the wall. 

All remains. Now soon or farther that action or that small discourse will yield fruit, even more if we carry out things with love to God. 

All one person does for God and for his love stays. Nothing is lost. 

We human people can encounter Him at any time; I would say everybody finds him somehow, or deeply and profoundly and for long. It’s something sweet. 

We’re living in Year of Mercy, proclaimed by Pope Francis, and we can count with Someone who loves us limitless. 

We can act as the prodigal son in Jesus Christ’s parable, to be found in Saint Luke’s gospel, in chapter 15, 11-32. Reading it with an open mind is even relaxing, and compels me to ask God for forgiveness. / Photo from: walking-the-dog-three-common-challenges-you-might-encounter www pets4homes co uk. This picture is just an illustration

2718. Merry Christmas, in Spanish and English



Os escribiría uno a uno, pero sois muchos… gracias a Dios. Que paséis una Navidad con Jesús, Dios y hombre, muy acompañados por él, hecho un bebé, con su madre bendita Santa María y con San José. Y que 2016 sea un año vivido también con Jesús, María y José.

About a bit more than 2,000 years ago God became incarnate and took flesh, as Jesus, true God and true man. May he be with you, together with his mom, Saint Mary, and his dad, Saint Joseph. May 2016 be grand for you and yours too.


2717. Are We Teachers Honest and Upright? Some Ethics



Being an English-language teacher or other school subjects implies and entails some ethics. 

Every job has its own ethics and deontology. For example we teachers do not accept presents and other gifts from our students and their families, lest we would be called corrupted people. 

However in some countries it can be customary for teachers to receive those presents for example in Christmas. 

Also ethics has to do with our attempting to carry out a thorough and outfitted work, for example we could get interested in the fact that all the students would do and reach their best. We have to improve our teaching and teaching our students how to learn. 

Do we ever consult journals or books or web sites for bettering our work? Do we consult our problems with veteran colleagues or department headmasters? / Photo from: www roleplayenguild com

Sunday, December 13, 2015

2716. When Giving Announcements to Our Students



Classes of English, French, etc., should mean and entail immersion in the vehicle language. 

Teens can acquire the language, although they are like adults in learning the language. 

The less we teachers use their native language the better. Even announcements could be in English, French, etc. But here be careful: you ought to be able to assure they’ve understood the announcement. 

Immersion can be the only single way students can learn but also acquire the target language. So don’t be afraid they won’t understand if you use the target language. They’ll do so more and more. / Photo from: Walking-Dog www houstonpettalk com. The photo is just an illustration

Saturday, December 12, 2015

2715. When Assessing Our Students' Work ...



When assessing and evaluating our students’ work for a term for example, we should be merciful. 

Don’t get me wrong. We have to assign each student his grades, but also we ought to bear in mind their struggle and strive to improve, although in some cases their scores may be fail. 

Assessing and evaluating aren’t just mathematics. Well, do as you prefer, evidently. But a veteran teacher told me, when I was rookie, to have mercy on students, taking into account their struggle and effort, if the case. / Photo from: forest-trees-fog-foggy www pexels com

Friday, December 11, 2015

2714. What Is a Valuable Teacher Like?



Let’s remember we teachers we don’t just teach English, French, etc., but educate ultimately, for our students to be thorough and valuable people. 

And let’s also remember they allow to be educated themselves by the people they know they love them, with love of benevolence. 

If the students see their teacher’s work is just routine, and he doesn’t give and donate in classes fully, the students will not valuate him nice, and will not follow his example. So we offer a “product” that cannot be fully paid with money. / Photo from: www manchestereveningnews co uk. the picture is just an illustration

Thursday, December 10, 2015

2713. I Write Stories for My Adult Students



At my English language classes I try my students would speak a lot. They’re adults, with some previous knowledge and practice of English. 

So as for them to talk in English I hand them out worksheets. 

Some oral activities we carry out are making up summaries of the stories I invent and write for them in the worksheets, defining new words and describing pictures from a magazine that includes so many ones. 

And they do speak in English; with errors and mistakes, but we can communicate with one another. I correct one or two errors or mistakes. / Photo from: woman-computer-writing f3y com

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

2712. Make Students Contribute A Lot!



In a classroom there are two parts: teacher and students, ok. 

Both have to participate a lot: obviously the teacher will provide massive input, but we must make the students take part of the class massively – all of them, according to their achievement capability, which could be great in most cases! 

Have them contribute, have each one participate, if possible; and several times, so they carry part of the burden of the class. 

They'll contribute with the answers to a drill exercise from their textbooks, or answers to a question by us, etc. The point is they must participate loads. / Photo from: www wallpaperssnoweb com

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

2711. A Nice Activity for Advanced Students: Debates!



Debates are a good activity for rather English-advanced students. 

It is important that the first team should try to find a point of union with the other team, and from there the first team can convey the two or three points of their message – to defeat the second team. 

I hope to write a bit more about this interesting activity for teens and adults. / Photo from: www youtube com

Monday, December 7, 2015

2710. Your Mission as a Teacher?



Today we have to consider that teacher’s role is not just give knowledge and instruction, but also to teach his students how to reach knowledge and science, isn’t it? 

But, there is a “but”: please remember you have to present a lot of things, useful things, useful knowledge, not just let your students look for information. 

As well you can lead your students, our students – I also include myself – along the twisting pathway of the Internet – because they can encounter mountains of information and they need some guidance. / Photo from: Students-with-iPad ww2 k qed org

2709. When Parents Are Against You as a Teacher



In your daily teaching sometimes you can encounter parents that complain about their son’s grades (marks), and what is more, they state that it’s you the cause or reason of their son’s failure. 

Perhaps you’re their son’s tutor, and they defend that you’re the reason of his bad grades, that you don’t know how to guide and lead that student toward success. 

First you, on your own, can honestly think if there’s any truth in that accusation. 

If the kid is a low-achiever or doesn’t study, you’ve got to declare so: his capability is rather low or you realize he doesn’t study nor practice. 

If the student’s capability is low, you can try to make their parents accept the situation and accept their son as he is. Be tactful: their son could be good at some other abilities different from studying. 

Always be patient, polite, don’t get upset, and stay in their parents’ shoes. 

Always be honest and sincere, and tentatively all the stuff could turn out clear and your struggle to save that kid will be ultimately reckoned. 

I’ve seen cases where the kid was an ace at some manual job and he earned a nice amount of money. / Photo from: selfie diferentiaentre info

2708. The Teacher and His Students? Just a Work-Group



A friend of mine, another teacher, of History of English literature at college in Jaén, told me I should love my students and should have affection to them, because my friend could see this love and affection in the way I said I treated my students, and about what I had written in a book about learning and teaching English as a foreign language. 

And it’s true. Each teacher should love his students – otherwise he can teach nothing lasting. / Photo from: black-teacher-man revolutionarypaideia com

Sunday, December 6, 2015

2707. The Solution: Tutoring Sessions



At school kids learn different school subjects, right? 

Ok, this diversity, some scholar says, like expert Carlos Cardona, that this diversity isn’t good for our students, at whatever period the students are: primary, secondary or college. 

The solution isn’t simple, I would dare say, but if the student talks with his tutor at individual tutoring sessions, this one could arrange all their knowledge within something unitary, with the tutor’s aid and help: we have a whole, which is school education and instruction. 

Because of that, tutoring sessions are so good – always if the tutor is well formed, honest, upright, plus a male tutor for boys and female tutors for girls, for people at tutoring sessions, if these are frequent, take them two to confidence, and we’ve had many problems already in other schools, to add more problems within the relationship of tutor and student: as I said male teachers for boys and female tutors for girls. / Photo from: colegio-altozano

2706. Taking Care and Saving Our Planet



We teachers, of any subject, must educate our students about taking care of the environment and make them get aware and conscious of the climate change. 

First this is also something to learn at home, but we can do some things, as I said, each teacher with his school subject. 

We can make an oral presentation and they write down the main points, or a student can make the presentation, after having consulted the Internet about this serious problem. 

We are the last generation that has the last chance to stop climate change and global warming. 

The students can make work projects about this trouble, like posters that present all this. It depends on the students’ age, ultimately, from making posters with texts in English to a work project with older students, who could make a Power Point presentation, plus explaining on this topic. 

As well when at an excursion to the countryside we can teach some of them to avoid dropping cans and wrapping papers. / Photo from: Our-Planet-planet-earth www fanpop com

Saturday, December 5, 2015

2705. Oral communication above all



In my classes with adults we work on worksheets I compose myself, usually with useful idioms and expressions to survive and live in an English-speaking country or through the Internet, plus a story I invent and make up for each worksheet. 

We foster communication by speaking, so we hold oral communication. 

I have only two classes per group per week, so we focus on speaking. 

To foster and boost speaking we carry out different activities, like summarizing the story of each worksheet, defining words from the worksheet, describing pictures from a magazine that has a lot of pictures so varied, asking questions by me or by the students. / Photo from: cam-college-student-studying-shutter www globesicc com

2704. Be autonomous at learning English and you will achieve it



Since the moment when a student takes and makes initiatives at learning English, French, etc., since that moment, we can say he’s an autonomous leaner and more likely he will learn and acquire the foreign language. 

On the other hand, if the student just confines his learning the language at what they’re studying in such and such unit from the textbook, and doesn’t take any initiative, we can say that person will not learn and acquire, or better said, he will achieve rather little. 

In the process of learning and acquiring a language the student has to be autonomous; must desire and wish to learn and acquire. 

On another day I will write a bit more about learning and acquiring a language: every person at whatever age can also acquire the language. / Photo from: Adult-Student-Engaged-in-a-MOOC-38484312-Ammentorp evollution com

Friday, December 4, 2015

2703. Have you ever contemplated your work and job?



Silence. 

Serenity. 

A teacher of English language or other tongues or other school subjects needs silence and serenity, to think, to meditate, to consider his teaching, also about his students, and the way he teaches. 

The teacher needs to detach and retire from the school to make up a deeper consideration and evaluation of his work and the way he treats his students and how much he can demand from them – it would be a pity the teacher would demand little from students who can reach high. 

The teacher needs also to dream high about what his students can reach, communicating with other people in English, French or whatever language. / Photo from: hikers-north-view www bcliving ca

Thursday, December 3, 2015

2702. Immersion in the Target Language



I don’t know whether we’re aware that we teachers of English or French or other languages are connecting people. 

Our school subject is not theoretical but practical: we are teaching and helping to learn and acquire a vehicle language to communicate with anyone on the other side of the very world. 

Do our students realize of that fact? Some teachers abuse of translation too much, from English into Spanish, and this is the homework, while that text is shouting communication: let our students read and understand that text in the language it was written. 

Some weeks ago I was strolling around some school workshops where you could see different school subjects. One of them was English. It was a school exhibition of what they do at their school. 

The students were young children, and they were connecting shapes with words – the shapes were a triangle, a rectangle, a circle…, and I asked the young teacher aside if she spoke in English with the kids all the time: yes, they were, they were in immersion of English, without worrying too much if that was their native language or not – awesome. / Photo from: teaching-second-language-young-children lifebehindthewall wordpress com

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

2701. Families now



Inside a family we’ve got to combine working out by the two parents mostly plus home care. 

The point may be every member of the family should invest time at home, at chores and at baby care, for example. 

Now fathers cook, take care of the family baby or babies, also changing the diapers (or nappies, in UK) for instance. 

Every family member must provide something, if we want that house turns out good and pleasant to live in. 

Besides we’ll be preventing our kids from playing video-games too much. What they’ve got to do is studying and doing homework and doing some housework as well. / Photo from: o-FATHER-SON-COOKING-facebook www smoothteddy com 

2700. Are you teacher enthused?



Some teachers say their students are demotivated. 

And what I see, and other teachers alike, is that when the students see the English they’re learning is useful for communication in classes, then they get motivated. 

Also depends on the teacher, on his motivation or lack of it. When a teacher is an ace at a school subject and feels enthused, then he can pass on his like to his students. / Photo from: extra practice modernpianoteacher blogspot com

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

2699. Smiling poor kids



When I lived in Jaén, north of Granada but south of Spain, we used to take some school students to visit suburbs of poor houses and shacks. 

We served the families of those neighborhoods, for example visiting them and giving those families a while of conversation. 

They were miserable houses or apartments, or one-floor houses, if we could call them houses. 

We took them some reading for the kids and about these dates, close to Christmas or even in Christmas, we also took backpacks with cans of food. We somehow helped those families, in some cases mono-parental families. 

I guess however the most touched people weren’t the families but the students themselves and we monitors alike: amongst other things you gave more value to everyday stuff, like putting on a clean shirt in the morning. / Photo from: smilesquared com

2698. When planning a class



When planning a class we teachers should consider the class-group we have to teach, taking into account both low-achievers and high-achievers, and the average students. 

When teaching English or French or any other language we should think that a few students can reach less than the average students, and high-achievers can reach further, and for whom we have to avoid they would get bored. 

Sometimes we will sit a good student next to a low-achiever. 

Or we will have to sit a peaceful student next to a hyperactive student, also with attention deficit typically. 

And at tutoring sessions, with individuals, we can help each student as he is, as the way he is. / Photo from: teacher_students www bridgeboffin com

Monday, November 30, 2015

2697. Father to sons, mother to daughters



Parents should talk about sex with their kids, before a rascal friend would tell our children about it in a wrong and confusing way. 

The point is telling our children about sex in the context of husband and wife’s love. 

Also the point here is not just confining to explain biological topics but, as I said, in the context of love within marriage. In the context of love between parents, which is where the spouses express and show their mutual love, to each other. / Photo from: father-son-talking www lds org

Sunday, November 29, 2015

2696. Initiatives By Young People to Improve Society



Now I would like to add something to the previous post. 

I said youngsters have high ideals, and this is not just good, but excellent. 

They should focus on studies and learning, but let’s promote and channel and direct their ideals into something grand, like fighting for peace – a fight of peace and love of benevolence -, 
helping the poor with visits to poor families, 
visiting shacks – we teachers will accompany our students -, 
taking care and being environmental friends, 
taking their friends to the holy sacraments… 

Let’s channel their ideals to initiatives by them – they can have better ideas than us adults – and others like assisting an elderly center, 
taking food to poor families, 
cooperating with Caritas (in Spain), 
giving a meal with the spoon to a disabled old person in an elderly center, etc. 

The more I write, the more ideas come to mind. 

Also youth is an age when we could encounter God and give ourselves to him, in the middle of the world, as regular Christians maybe. 

All this is worthy stopping to think, to think with them. / Photo from: romangomez edu blog

2695. Their Job as Students Now Trains Them for Life



Some posts before I said teens are capable of great ideals, right? 

Now I would like to add that we teachers and parents should help them focus those desires of changing the world into carrying out their studies and learning at the classroom. 

That’s their job or profession now: attend classes and learn at school, and at home or at libraries invest the enough time to digest what they have been explained at school by us their teachers plus the specific texts we have worked on at the classroom. With a more peaceful mood and pace. 

In that way too within years they’ll be capable to face up with daily stuff, with lives as professionals. A kid that studies now will be capable to afford many daily problems. A good student now: more likely he will be an upright and honest person. This is from my experience with the young. / Photo from: magoosh com