Saturday, February 28, 2015

2192. Walking in the rain



I see it in my adult students: they use learning strategies and ploys to learn, and also to acquire English, because 90% or 95% of the class is in the target language, so we create an atmosphere where English is the language vehicle to communicate amid us. 

For example, when they ask me to pronounce a word, I do it several times, and they assimilate the pronunciation of the English word to another in Spanish, their L1. 

We learn languages by using cognitive strategies, and some which we aren’t aware of. And we get it: we become close to bilingual. / Photo from: www hi-tec com walking in the rain

2191. We growns have got to be sincere with our children, haven't got we?



We must say what we think, and think what we say. 

Teens like authenticity, sincerity, honesty, saying things as they are. This is not against their like and necessity of a very interior world. 

When we’re parents of teens should know all this. We can be honest and sincere with them about our things as parents, which doesn’t mean we’ve got to tell them all our worries and concerns. 

Teens hate hypocrisy. 

Once a father and a son of some 13 years were just strolling. 

The father knew his son should know and learn some things about human sexuality. So he was speaking, according to the kid’s age. This latter one looked as though he would be thinking about all this. After some mile, the dad asked, “Well, do you want to ask me any question?” And the kid said, “Yes, dad, are we going this Sunday to see the basketball game?” / Photo from: teen-driver-solo blog allstate com

Friday, February 27, 2015

2190. Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder



There are, we have in our classes, kids with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder. 

The first premise is to reckon that this disease exists, and the kids that have it are often punished and scolded because the teacher or his Mom or his Dad think the kid isn’t doing things right, or just he doesn’t pay attention. 

Students that have success is because they had an angel-teacher that helped them go on, and struggled in their favor and betted for them. 

Steve Jobs, Tom Cruise, Michael Phelps and others had or have this disorder. / Photo from: specialdescope org

2189. Imitation of the native speaker


On post # 2186 I wrote H.D. Brown recommends to imitate the native speaker of the target language, ok, and that you change your behavior when learning a language. I'm impromptuing, but I've got to. Remember you keep being yourself. That's is it. / Photo from: www cinepata com

2188. Do you teach growns?



Not only can adults learn English or another language, but they can acquire it. I can see this in my classes, thank God. 

Adults have the capability of organizing their learning process, which young learners don’t have. 

Moreover they have the cognitive and metacognitive capability to acquire the language, and ways for intuition, which young leaners do not have yet. 

Also they can hold human relationships that young learners cannot construct. 

So I support learning and acquiring a language by adults. / Photo from: adult female with computer smiling www britishcouncil bh

2187. Just joy



Joy is essential. 

And unitive. Because of that capability to join together it’s related to love, to true love. 

In classes we’ve got to create an atmosphere of union, of a work team, with a head and its members. A work team where some students are learning, with their teacher’s aid. 

And joy is essential and nice here and it makes things go smooth, tentatively. / Photo from: banner_smiling_people www colucid com

Thursday, February 26, 2015

2186. Learning a foreign language. A tip



Expert H. D. Brown, whom I had the honor of emailing with, continues below: Few if any people achieve fluency in a foreign language solely within the confines of the classroom […] look at the teaching process as the facilitation of learning […]Learning is a change in behavior […]. Language learning is mainly a matter of imitation. You must be a mimic. Just as a small child. He imitates everything. / Photo from: Happy-People1 linksservice com


2185. You wish to learn a language?



Learning a language? It entails the whole person. 

Expert scholar H. Douglas Brown, of San Francisco State University, puts it: 

Total commitment, total involvement, a total physical, intellectual, and emotional response are necessary to successfully send and receive messages in a second language. Many variables are involved in the acquisition process. Language learning is not a set of easy steps that can be programmed in a quick do-it-yourself kit. 

I will continue soon, I hope. This is taken from: H.D. Brown (2000) Principles of Language Learning. NY: Longman. 

It’s a must-read for teachers and leaners. / Photo from: group-people-talking www handsonsuperhealth com au

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

2184. Love your spouse



Spouses, do not quarrel before your kids – otherwise they could think, Mom is bad, or Dad is bad. It’s something confusing for them! 

Quarrel, and not much, when the kids are in bed, and quarrel not that much, as I said. Cede a little bit, then make the peace and hug each other. – I wrote this post as good as I could. The key thing is you understand me. A part of the post is by Saint Josemaría, founder of Opus Dei, 1902 – 1975. / Photo from: powertochange

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

2183. Families, families, families, as important as that



The best atmosphere where solidarity can rise and grow is family. 

New siblings rise that atmosphere. I would name that solidarity as love and affection. 

And here I include parents, who will love each other and the rest of their family in a nice way. I could include grandparents, even more now in our western society, where the pyramids of growing tend to change in the opposite way: more bulk when we’re ascending in that pyramid, since fewer children are born. 

We have just to put that pyramid upside down, with the help of governments. 

Otherwise, and amongst other reasons, because there will not be enough people to maintain that number of old people. / Photo from: www 1sw org uk

Monday, February 23, 2015

2182. How much are you paid for your classes?



Let’s see something about ethics and morals. 

Your students, their families, society need and deserve your fulfilling your duties as a teacher in a nice way, by working hard. 

As well you’re paid for your work. 

Each case is each case, and maybe you should be paid more than now, or you’re being paid right according to your labor. 

Your labor as a teacher, ultimately, cannot be paid with enough money, since you teach persons for life. / Photo from: roof www roofrepair-longisland com

2181. Learning a language as if by intuition



I think my adult students understand English and subsequently learn that language also by intuition. 
Gestures help, 
eye-contact counts, 
similar words in Spanish help, 
the context as well, 
what they already know is another aid, 
learning what the topic is helps too. 

They hear me and listen to me – the second is active whilst the first is passive. And they are acquainted with my way of teaching and with the worksheets I hand them over. / Photo from: research-shows-that-volunteering-is-good-for-older-adults-health www captel com

Sunday, February 22, 2015

2180. Teachers' merits are just awesome!



Thomas A. Edison was a hard-worker, and he patented dozens of inventions, as you know. He said that for inventing something he needed some inspiration, but most of the work was due to perspiration and stick-to-it-iveness. And there you have the lot of inventions he made. 

Evidently I’m not like him, like his level, but I can assure you that I and so many other teachers of languages follow the same pattern. 

The education system is what teachers do: the main source for classes is the teacher himself. 

If your students are adults, ask them for suggestions for classes – in that way they’ll feel more protagonists, more autonomous. / Photo from: 2009 Australian Mountain Bike Championship www zimbio com

Saturday, February 21, 2015

2179. Thanks to everybody of you, sincerely



I have written a lot in this blog, thanks to Blogger. Also I would thank all my followers and readers, for your attention. 

You can follow and read the new posts or turn to labels and look for your interests. At your entire disposal. / Photo from: beautiful-landscapes-of-the-world-wallpaper kolgdyd com

Friday, February 20, 2015

2178. Building up the edifice of learning a foreign language



Sometimes a student may not know how to do an exercise, for example a drill, in his textbook or course-book. And either he leaves the exercise in blank or asks his teacher for help. 

This latter person should tell the student to not give up that soon. 

We as teachers should educate students in a climax of effort. Giving up an exercise is rather dull. 

Come on, suggest the student to read the instructions as much as he needs to understand what and how to do, with a dictionary in his hand. 

Understanding an activity means to have covered half the pathway. Let him know this. / Photo from: many-people-in-mexico-work-as-construction-worker-n5-mexico-mexico tripwow tridapvisor com

Thursday, February 19, 2015

2177. We need improve our classes, don't we?



According to Swedish expert Inger Enkvist, if the classes are good, if we improve our classes, students’ general level also will improve, even in those cases of low-achieving students. 

Thus we’ll have to invest less money in expensive extra-school classes. 

However always we will have students that will make good use of time in classes and students that don’t want to learn, but with those high-level classes also we will help those latter students. 

So let’s think about all this and let’s plan our next classes, trying to better them. / Photo from: abduzeedo com

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

2176. We can recall our best teachers




A teacher may have “potestas” and also “auctoritas”. 

He may have gained his students because of a moral authority (“auctoritas”): he tries to work well, he’s polite, he knows how to listen to his students, he tries to carry out his labor in a correct way, he dresses properly. 

Likely he’ll have fewer discipline problems because of this authority. 

He also knows when to smile, he meets his students on the street and has the correct answer to their thirst of authenticity, which is usual when the students are teens. 

“Potestas” is how to apply some punishment, class management, discipline, when to clap a correct answer by a student... / Photo from: www topeducationdegrees org

2175. What a teacher we had!



A motivated and learned teacher passes on the like for learning to his class-groups. 

A teacher, like us, I would say, he should read extensively and intensely. A teacher that wishes to pass on his culture and folk-lore to his students will turn to reading, also by participating in the Internet forums, for example. / Photo from: becoming-teacher openjournalism ca

2174. How to enlarge vocabulary. A tip



It’s sound our students have a rich vocabulary in English, the target language. 

How many words do they know? It’s a question we teachers of foreign languages should ask ourselves. 

How to enhance and enlarge vocabulary? I would say by reading abridged or unabridged books and readers, according to their level of English. 

Nevertheless also you can often encounter a lot of new words in their course book or textbook of that language. The students can focus and intake those words, or make a list of new words, or a similar technique. 

The more words they use, the better – and you can accomplish this goal by a slow and attentive reading, both novels and their textbooks. They can use those words by writing original sentences or compositions. / Photo from: child writing www earnestparenting com

2173. How to improve teachers' education and training. Just a tip



According to Swedish Inger Enkvist an educative system is worth as much as its teachers. 

Teachers must study and read about the area they’re teaching and also about teaching and methodologies, and education too. They should be up to date in the area they’re teaching. 

Teachers also ought to be selected. Selected by their grades at college, for instance. 

Teachers should be educated to become better. Because of this I wrote about self-education above, concerning teachers: reading and studying. As well both teachers and students should invest in effort, discipline, self-discipline, and general culture – above all would be language capability. / Photo from: www sju edu

Monday, February 16, 2015

2172. Each student is a person, not a number



We as teachers prepare and train our students for becoming good citizens of our society, now and in their future lives, right? 

Technical and economic progress of our society, any progress and advance, must take everybody into account, each person into account. 

A progress and advance of a country or nation has to consider the person, each person. Otherwise there might be just people in general, not one plus one plus one for these persons, and this is no good. 

In other words and coming to something specific: we should plan our classes by thinking of each student, or in all the class-group, okay, but thinking of them, as real persons, with their strong and their weak points we well know. / Photo from: www lenius it

Saturday, February 14, 2015

2171. How to make students free and responsible. A tip



Our labor as teachers does not confine to teach math, English, biology, etc., but rather it should be a thorough education to make them free and responsible citizens when they’re older, and now alike. 

Okay, but How? 

Try to make them free and responsible in fulfilling their homework, 
in their listening to the teacher and other classmates, 
by assigning them small jobs in the classroom (in my blog there are posts with a “Small jobs” label), etc. 

We’ve got to exert discipline in classes, but ultimately they keep on being free and responsible during the class, in their own. 

A student may be chattering with a classmate during our presentation, or another student’s presentations – it’s then when you can explicitly explain about their freedom and subsequent responsibility, calm and nice. / Photo from: danubio www vienna-alacarte com

Friday, February 13, 2015

2170. Can I still learn a language?



Can adults learn, even acquire, English or another modern language? 

Scholars H. D. Brown, Enrique Cámara and M. Teresa Calderón state a qualified YES. 

Cognitive and linguistic functions and communicative experiences make adults good students and learners of English or another tongue. 

Some people have told me something like “Young children can learn and acquire a language, but me, with a diminishing memory?” 

Well, try hard in this task: I have seen cases (my students for example) that have gotten to speak in English somewhat fluently, or at least somewhat capable. Come on! You can, and your adults the same. 

Well, I have to pinpoint my students already knew some English before – they weren’t beginners – yet they’ve improved remarkably. 

2169. It's my life or a big portion anyway



Each professional tends to focus on something connected with his career: 

a tailor focuses and thinks that person is wearing a nice suit or a tuxedo, 
a shoemaker thinks those shoes are good-quality-like, 
a philologist focuses on the way some person is speaking, and thinks he must be from out of Andalusia because of the way he’s speaking, 
a teacher too has a special feature: those kids are acting out, this hand-writing is so nice, that gang is so playful, that kid looks well educated, and so on. / Photo from: m inmagine com

2168. How to treat pre-adolescents



Pre-adolescents, above all boys of 10, 11, 12… tend to be generous by themselves. 

We parents and grandparents and teachers should make good use of this period to help them grow with generosity: they’re prone to help, to give, to give themselves to others. 

We could give and assign our sons and daughters small jobs at home or at the school, as a practical clue or tip I give you. They’re prone to cooperate. 

Small jobs at home? Mowing the lawn, getting out the garbage at night, walking the dog, setting the table for dinner, making the bed in the morning, washing the dishes, etc. 

At school? Turning off the lamps at the end of the class-day, erasing the chalkboard, picking up balls of paper on the floor, airing the classroom, looking after the bulletin board of the classroom, watering the plants, etc. / Photo from: danubio www catai es

Thursday, February 12, 2015

2167. Kids adore stories



When teaching in Jaén, south of Spain, I used to dedicate one day each term more or less, to the students reading abridged books, with many illustrations. 

I carried a pile of readers and other books in English to the classroom, with a student helping me to carry the books. 

The point was for the kids to take a reader or book that they liked to read. 

Some other times I delivered the readers and books according to the level of English of each student. The experience was awesome: they read a lot in those special classes. The readers and other books were very varied. / Photo from: shkolazhizni ru

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

2166. My lovings

I keep on praying for the conflict in Ukraine. Whoever you are. I have many views of my blog from that loved country. And I feel pain about you all there. As well I have many views from Russia.

2165. Is it good to tell a joke in classes?



Is it good to tell a joke in a class? 

You know, it depends. 

In general, if the students are kids, I think you should not tell any joke, BUT if the class is being carried out properly, you can say something funny or a little joke, to break the ice and have them participate more with their contributions. 

Sometimes it’s even recommended: you could have reprimanded so hard and there's too much tension in the class and you want to implement discipline and a sound class management, it may be recommended to say something funny. 

Anyway, in any case better be prudent and cautious: as we say in Spanish, you give them the edge of the sleeve but they take all the sleeve (“les das la manga y te toman el brazo”). 

Finally and so as to finish: if the students are adults and things are going smooth, from time to time you can tell a small joke, and return to the lesson again. / Photo from: snow-alhambra objetivo granada ideal es. again the photo is just illustration

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

2164. What to do with babies acquiring a different language



Babies can acquire two languages with not much problem. For them there are two ways for calling the same; for example “This is red” or “Esto es rojo”. 

It’s an effort for parents anyway, and for teachers. 

I would advise to have two specific and different periods of time, one in their native language, and one for the target language. 

Some other times the problem is at school. In Spain there’re a lot of bilingual schools, and students have some school subject(s) in the target language, say English for example. 

The thing and the problem is that they can learn history in English and have no idea how to talk about history in Spanish, their mother tongue. Any idea? / Photo from: london-2012-the-official-video-game-of-the-olympic-games-screenshots www g4v com. The picture is just for illustration sake

Monday, February 9, 2015

2163. Kids with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder


This is a problem we teachers must know that it exists. This is the first premise. 

Also we should have some idea about these special kids, whose number is rather high sometimes. 

Something we can do is to sit this student next to a more tranquil and relaxed student. 

Some expert says it isn't a good thing to give them pills against anxiety. These medicines get them kind of drowzier but at the same time they wish to do many things and so they feel worse. 

The best thing nonetheless and evidently is to consult a good specialist. / Photo from: saisonstart-american-football www sueddeutsche de

Saturday, February 7, 2015

2162. Like a book in your hands



Youngsters utilize the Internet and computers in general more and faster than my generation. 

It’s a matter of fact. 

And many a school – nearly all – also use this modern technology which has changed the sources of information and other functions to millions of people. 

I wrote a book about teaching English or other languages, yet I didn’t do much to have it published. The book now, up to some extent, is just before your eyes: my blog. 

By the way that book was an application of my doctoral thesis – which I didn’t write it as such, the contents are in this blog though. I’d be glad to learn many teachers got something useful and helpful in my blog, which I share now with you all. / Photo from: victoria de samotracia ilustracionmedica wordpress com

2161. Calming down your students


Teens as a group can be too talkative, acting out, shouting, defiant... 

It's the way they have to carry out and make up their personality. 

Thus at the classroom the first you've got to implement is to calm them down, to get them more relaxed. You can make a dictation at the beginning of the class. / Photo from: young-boy-in-pool pixgood com

2160. Thank you

I have no means to contact you: Jennifer Coker, thanks a million for having included me into your circles.

2159. How to start to speak in English



I have private classes with a kid of 11. 

The last day we were speaking in English for some time. He’s a false beginner and so we were talking nearly from zero, or at least from a little knowledge. 

The idea was asking him simple questions, and utilizing full color pictures from a magazine as a prompt. Plus helping him when he didn’t know how to say something. 

I think this is a nice way to start to train the student to speak in English. / Photo from: london-2012-summer-olympic-games-mens-high-jump thumtherightcorner com. The picture is a mere illustration

Friday, February 6, 2015

2158. How to use the upper and superior capabilities


We teachers shouldn't replace and substitute the superior and upper human capabilities - all the contrary: to foster them: reasoning, understanding, applying, synthesizing and summarizing, evaluating, creating..., according to scholar José Bernardo Carrasco. / Photo from: olympic games throw cyrushosteller com

Thursday, February 5, 2015

2157. Our most interesting truth



Sometimes we forget about our most interior truth and value: we’re children of God, and He helps us all the time. So we have an ally in our classes, and obviously He also helps our students. 

When teaching in another town of the south of Spain, I noticed the different atmosphere between a class where most of the students had turned to the sacrament of Confession or Penance, and a class where most of the kids hadn’t confessed. 

Well they’re free. Yet this fact influenced in my implementing activities and class management. It was a subtle difference I realized however. / Photo from: football-wallpapers www download-hd-wallpapers com

2156. Granada nevada y otros asuntos



As everybody knows students have several different school subjects. 

The ideal person (man) when ancient Grecians was the one with a vast knowledge, this is, the philosopher (philo-sophia, friend of knowledge), and with virtues, subsequently. 

Also because he was a labored man, a cultivated man, not manually but regards knowledge: so the learned people, let’s say. 

Some people now say that the interdisciplinary nature has proved not to be the best thing at school. 

Now it seems that the ideal man is the efficient one.  

We’re not changing the model now anyway: it seems to be the best solution so far – I mean to have several different school subjects and the interdisciplinary nature. / Photo from: m forocoches com. Granada nevada, con la Alhambra y el barrio del Albaicín nevados también.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

2155. Assessing my labor in order to improve



Self-assessment may be a sound instrument for the teacher to get to learn how he’s teaching. 

He can ask himself three questions for the last period, for example one month: What did I do well? 
What did I do wrong? 
What could I do better? 

As well the teacher can teach his students to make this self-exam or feedback, with the same three questions. / Photo from: discobolo di mirone www frantecommorante it

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

2154. An example of a family and their children's studies



Children’s studies should be a topic and concern for discussion at home, with parents and elder siblings. 

The atmosphere is one of confidence and trust, and each son and daughter can say whatever, in a naturalistic way. 

Then dad or mom can make suggestions. All this can be at dinner, at individual conversations, at family meetings, etc. The way parents talk about work and studies should be positive. / Photo from: healthylifestars org. a dinner at home