Saturday, July 18, 2015

2453. An Ace at Using English



Sense of language. 

When I say that phrase I’m referring to a special characteristic of people who have been learning and acquiring English for many years, and for example they can use a word they learned long ago, because it comes back to mind and is retrieved easily. 

Their language level of English is high. 

It is like another language skill or sub-skill that complements the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. 

It is like another dimension. 

People who have this capability are able to distinguish between two very similar meanings of two synonyms, but one is better at this moment than the other. 

It is something interiorized, it is language in that person. He sometimes doesn’t remember whether he said something in English or in Spanish, his mother language. 

It leads him to reach fluency at speaking and at writing. He has special manners concerning language, and he can adapt his English to a variety of contexts, for instance in the register he uses: it isn’t the same to talk to a colleague than to talk to a vast audience. 

Of course this fact demands a life-long learning. / Photo from: man-reading-newspaper www businessnewsdaily com

2452. Ways to Get Attentive Students



Students in the classroom need a quiet atmosphere for working. Their teacher too. Also that atmosphere or environment should be relaxing. 

I know a retired teacher of the first years of education that used to talk lowly to their very young students, who need to move around, stand up, they’re swift to move, as I said… 

Those students did not move from their chairs at all. 

So we teachers need to create that atmosphere. 

For example, not to start an activity or a presentation until everybody is attentive and at disposal for that quiet work. 

What I do with kids is to keep silent, stare and gaze at each of them or at someone who is chattering with his neighbor till he gets aware of the fault and stops talking. 

And I address each student without raising my voice too much. 

When I want to say something special or important, I also speak low and slow, playing with eye-contact and face expressions. / Photo from: nsp4kids com

Friday, July 17, 2015

2451. Our Kids' Free Time: Important to Let Them Play



A scholar whose name I will not say by now thinks that kids have too much varied school subjects: geography, history of literature, math, PE… and those subjects would block their minds, first intellectually, and afterward in a practical way, so there should be kinda integration of subjects in some way or another, and he follows furthermore by the same way. 

Well, I was not choked at school because of the number of subjects. After grammar we had fine arts, and then something else. 

What rather choked me a bit more was the varied and vast amount of homework we should accomplish, but even at this point there wasn’t any tragedy. 

Ok, it’s a reflection by that expert, worth to take into account. 

Please teachers do not assign too much homework regarding the subject you teach: students may have up to seven or nine (?) school subjects. And they need to get out, play with their friends, some sport (here the king is soccer though we call it football) etc. / Photo from: news discovery com

2450. Language Exchange in Spain Amongst College Students



In Granada, where I live, south of Spain and near Sierra Nevada and at not many miles from it you can reach the coast. That ridge has snow all the year round, at some specific places. 

Ok, and many American college students spend a term for instance in order to learn Spanish and Spain’s culture. You can find and encounter many Americans on the streets, mostly girls, though it isn’t difficult to contact with young men. 

The thing is that often they meet together amongst them, and obviously they speak English. There is a system at college to offer yourself to have language exchange with Spanish young people, and actually you can find American people speaking in Spanish and the other way round concerning Spanish students. 

Should they meet with Spanish for longer, they could learn and acquire more Spanish. 

I’m not blaming anybody, I just tell you what I can see. The same happens regarding Spanish people when they go to an English –speaking country... 

Another interesting point is those youngsters have a lot of fun here. Regards apartments it’s somewhat usual to find girls from different countries sharing it, for example. 

Summing up, this system of language exchange results good. I’ve used it too when I was a student of C2 English in the same center. Teachers are native from the UK mostly. / Photo from: Campus-life_JW-05 www ipfw edu

Thursday, July 16, 2015

2449. A Family Where They Talk Together Stays Together at Dire Straits



Parents ought to talk with their children a lot, listening at what it is important to them. 

Even dad or mom can talk with the family at dinner for example, about some things which could be approved by the members of the family: proposing a place to spend short summer vacations, schedule (or timetable) for playing videogames, small jobs like walking the dog or mowing the lawn or putting out garbage. 

We will not talk about everything, like even economic dire straits and problems – that topic will be discussed by parents and maybe an elder brother or sister. 

The point is there should be common times to meet together and talk. If possible dad and mom should be at home at dinner time, together with their children. / Photo from: familydinner blog gotbeer com

2448. How to Educate with Facts



Our children’s views of life and their deep attitudes are not gotten within the family by means of pressure and prohibitions, but within an atmosphere at home of freedom, and affection and love. This has been written by Spanish expert Gerardo Castillo, more or less. 

However their parents and elder siblings think about those points are passed on to the children. 

Even more than their friends. Nevertheless our children should learn how to make friends that have similar ways and habits as the ones in our families. 

All in all it is sound to take our children to call up and visit the poor for example: our children learn how to value what they have at home and other children don’t. 

I remember in one of these visits to the poor that we stayed with a family whose children had joy catalogs: these brochures were their Christmas joys, and the ones brought from The Three Wise Men! 

The point is educating our children in values, more than solving a problem that is far away from our possibilities and chances. 

Also we spend some time with those families. / Photo from: expertbeacon com

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

2447. Regular Classes: I Love to Teach



With students in certain areas in the city it is harder and more difficult to keep discipline in classes with those students – and sometime I could devote a post to them. 

However with regular teens, say, class management is… also or might be more or less hard and tough. 

A friend of mine told me that in these latter cases we teachers should win them over with labor that would be neat and well carried out: the more you dedicate to the students and to planning classes and thinking about each of them as much as possible, in the end you can hold an atmosphere in classes where the students can work and learn and acquire English. 

They need, we all need a nice atmosphere where all or most of our students can carry out their inner process of learning… and acquiring English. I also have colleagues that teach in public secondary education and are able to teach and make them learn. 

Concerning my experience is along my blog. Just something I’d like to add is that when you love your students with Aristotle’s love of benevolence, in the end can teach them too. / Photo from: nature-landscape-beautiful-photos-best-desktop-landscape-hd-wallpapers-widescreen www hdwallpaperscool com

2446. Within Families. Some tip



Within family each member is (should be) loved for himself or herself. And as they are, as the way they are. 

Only with love could a person grow up thoroughly. I also include the spouses’ love: that love starts the family, because of the children’s birth. 

Ok, but what about quarrels between the spouses? There will be some kind of struggle between them two, but both of them should learn to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. 

Something similar to this latter statement was said and explained by Pope Francis in his last travel to Ecuador – plus Bolivia and Paraguay. I think it’s something to consider. 

I know a family where bad things are forgotten, when one of the spouses asks for forgiveness. I could say more about this point, but let’s stop here. / Picture from: Family-BBQ-1 www weddingelation com

2445. We Had Nice Teachers To Remember!



Families have a nice and indispensable role in kids’ education. 

School just helps, among other things to win knowledge and PRACTICE of technical school subjects: math, sport, grammar and spelling… Also school educates people, more specifically: teachers, we teachers help parents and families in their kids’ education. 

At school you win some values, like solidarity, environmental friendship, knowledge and practice..., as I said. And all what teachers, we teachers can provide, because of our own education, values and virtues: we set examples, either positive or we can show flaws in our behavior. 

I’ll give you two examples. At school we had a teacher that taught us to read the Bible, the New Testament more specifically. Now at my secondary education we had a teacher that unfortunately and pitifully came to classes somewhat drunk, not much, but drunk anyway, at evening classes. 

Fortunately classes of that subject were taught rather well and we students could learn and practice. However it was an exception: we had nice teachers, and they taught us to learn… and to love their subjects. / Photo from: teacher1 www geledes org br

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

2444. Training for Official Examinations



I understand you when you tell me that we teachers of English should adapt our syllabuses to the levels of the Common European Framework for languages, if this is possible in our school. 

And we can find references in the Internet: we can find a lot about those levels. 

Today in Spain many youngsters who are registered in different degrees or they have finished their degree, train above all for B1 and B2, above all but not all of them: some students train for C1 or C2, with the following similarities or equivalences: B2 with First Certificate, C1 with the Certificate in Advanced English, and finally C2, which is equivalent to the Proficiency exam, all of them from Cambridge University examinations. 

So today many candidates for a job train in First Certificate, at least. 

Up to some extent and roughly speaking, the main point is to be capable of speaking in English about any topic, and at a rather high level of English. 

No longer are classes of English focused on other goals, quite often, and more and more. Those examinations are very much demanded indeed. / Photo from: www dailymail co uk

2443. Winning Good Will



Something pretty important for our students is the education of their will. You win will by doing things that you may not like but it’s your duty. Doing things repeatedly reinforces and enhances and creates good will. 

It’s like sport: you’ve got to exert your will by training. So we have to apply our will in little things: I do this because it can help this person who works with me; I tidy up my room because mom likes so, I make up a schedule of my free time, in order to display my study hours; I rise in the morning at once because I have the enough time to prepare to go to school; etc. 

I have written this post which is based and inspired on a book about education of will, by Spanish scholar Alfonso Aguiló. / Photo from: Team www nke at

Monday, July 13, 2015

2442. How to Correct a Student. An option



We teachers should have love of benevolence to our students, and affection too. 

If you got cross and upset for something a student did, for example he acted out, or spoke to somebody else at a test time, say nothing to the student or students right now, when you feel angry. 

At that time you can prompt a bit to that or those students, but wait for longer, for the next day or so, and take the kid when all has happened. You will achieve more with a correction then than quarreling when the wrong thing was just done. 

Also every time leave a door open to the student to leave. I mean, when correcting, we can let him say out something about the wrong fact, on his own, by himself; we should listen, listen to the kid. And he will likely realize of the wrong move. / Photo from: advising-pair cals cornell edu

2441. How to Get the Most From Novels in English



A teacher of English I know is reading an unabridged novel in that language, namely a thriller. 

He reads few pages every day more or less, and after reading and enjoying, he goes back to focus on specific words he didn’t know, at random; also on phrases, not only words. He tries to learn those words. 

With his high level of English and subsequent sense of the language afterwards he can use by writing words he sometime learned. / Photo from: o-TEEN-READING-NOVEL-facebook www huffingtonpost com

2440. Attention Deficit and Hyperactive Disorder: That's What We Have!



If we teachers of languages, like English for example, have students with Attention Deficit and Hyperactive Disorder, we do know those few students will get distracted and unfocused. 

What to do? To shout at them like a military sergeant? 

Something we can do is having him sit down with a more high-achiever student, who works at a more relaxing and quiet way. 

Getting distracted will keep on being getting distracted. We can ameliorate their attitude, very little by little. 

And something of a paramount importance: we teachers should win them over with lot of patience and love of benevolence. In the end the student lets be educated by who is coherent and hard-working, and more importantly, that student knows the teacher loves him with that love of benevolence. 

Sometime we’ll shout in a sane way, and it may be necessary. / Photo from: Online-Student-Collaboration www webanywhere co uk

2439. Trying the Students Would Speak in English



The communicative methodology of learning languages is centered on the student’s process of acquiring and learning English, or another language. It isn’t centered on the teacher, but on each student and how he can acquire the language. 

However, if you want a methodology of this kind the teacher has to prompt and conduct the class a lot, I repeat, a lot, so also we have the teacher is another protagonist. 

He implements activities that make and force the students to speak in English. 

The syllabus or planning of the course is providing grammar patterns and vocabulary that can be helpful and useful for the students to speak further. We teachers have got to plan each class, with an aim (at least), which can be a necessary grammar pattern for speaking about such or such topic. Or such and such vocabulary for talking about for example feelings and sentiments. 

Classes, moreover, could be addressed to train students for TOEFL or Cambridge examinations, because they demand them with the mind on finding a job. 

Thus they could reach a level in which they can speak in English at a job interview. / Photo from: englishproficiencytrainingcentre com

Sunday, July 12, 2015

2438. Tell Me How You Write



When you’re a proficient speaker of certain language, you acquire the sense of language. 

You get info from outside and use it when writing for example. With that sense of the language you can infer that that word there… is not correctly used, although you have never use that word, but the proficiency tells you so. 

Sorry for my mistakes and errors. / Photo from: vintage-woman-writing rabbitmontaut wordpress com

2437. Fun English for Adults



I just said on the previous post that a young kid was able to naturalistically speak in English. 

Alike adults can acquire English, as wise professor H. D. Brown states. And so they can answer you questions in English, by thinking in English. 

Can any grown-up read a story directly in English from a worksheet I usually compose? The answer is a qualified Yes. So they can think in English. They get gently proud and motivated when I tell them these things. / Photo from: english courses in Malaysia www britishcouncil my  

2436. Vacations Fun Classes



A few years ago I was teaching English in another summer course, namely at Asociación Cultural y Deportiva Alayos, with venue and see in Granada, Spain. 

Now I remember one day at class: Rafa was answering a question from me. The class were games in English. You can see post # 259. Ok, he answered me in English, but in a plainly naturalistic way, like another language he also knew. 

For him there were two languages, spoken in different contexts. He was some ten years old then. Awesome. 

Of course I was trying all the class be in English. If they answered in Spanish I pretended I didn’t speak that language – obviously most of them knew I was Spanish, but as if by that time of the day I just spoke English. The thing worked good, thank God. / Photo from: Cute-Little-Kids-In-Classroom www desktophdphotos com

2435. A Vacation Camp with English Classes



In the next English language summer camp I will be in charge of several things, like for example the following one. The point is I pick up each student – we have sixty – and take him to my office or similar. There we will speak in English all the time, which isn’t much unfortunately. 

I will start with the advanced level students. 

I have composed a placement test. Plus the teachers of the center in Marbella, south of Spain, also will try to discriminate each and every student, in order to train them for the Cambridge examinations. 

On my own, during the program, I shall ask them questions. What about? The core thing will be talking about themselves, their families, friends, how the course is going, what they like most and least, describing pictures from a magazine that has plenty of them, their position on the ranking of sport teams – soccer, volleyball and basketball. Also about their new friends at the course, about youngsters today… 

/ Photo from: activities-programhead2-01 www newliferanch com. Although on this pic appears a girl on a nice view, our camp is for boys. Girls have their own.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

2434. Teach Aloud But Don't Shout



When I started to teach classes I got sick in the throat somehow often, hoarse namely. 

And recently when I attended the choir the conductor told us we had to sing from our stomach, as translated from Spanish. 

The point I guess is we have to speak by using the diaphragm, by using our lungs. Teaching isn’t a matter of the throat but from deeper inside. 

You may inspire before you say something to your students, just try a few times, kinda that. / Photo from: www unknown com

2433. A Cleaning Day At School



We teachers have to teach kids to take care of the natural environment. 

For example when we run an excursion we can let them know we don’t drop cans or wrapping papers on the ground. Also if we see a squirrel we cannot cast a stone to it: it isn’t any target of a fair. 

All this stuff can be taught for the time they are at school in the playgrounds too. 

Even we could organize and plan a cleaning day of the school. The students, protected with latex gloves, can pick up wrapping papers, small bags of dry fruits, etc. 

We adults have to fulfill the idea and duty of taking care and looking after our environment. As well we can coordinate this work with interdisciplinary nature, so that work can fulfill the syllabus of different subjects, and after that special day they can write an essay in English about what they have done. / Photo from: sg-naturesclassroom-110713-1 www sarahganzhom com

Friday, July 10, 2015

2432. Just Love



Man has been created to love. 

If somebody is selfish and egoist, and he tries not to love anybody else is destined to suffer solitude and loneliness and more bad things I can’t think of now. 

Otherwise the person who loves God and everybody else is destined to feel happy and with plenitude. It’s so because love projects itself to others, outward. This person makes favors, gets concerned about somebody… But love is ordered: first one’s family, and then for example colleagues of work. / Photo from: o-FRIENDS-BRAIN-facebook www huffington post com

2431. When Our Kids Are Teens



Within family is where a kid is loved for himself, for herself, not for what he or she does or is capable to do. 

Parents and elder siblings must show this affection and love of benevolence. 

When the kid is an adolescent, a teen, he or she must be listened to and with respect and affection. 

If that young person has a low self-esteem, let parents set him short period goals, in the fields he or she is good at. 

And at these ages they may dress in a rather bit strange way, so as to show off. When the girl dresses smart and not in a provocative way, we can let her know: today you’re wearing pretty nice clothes, you’re very pretty. 

The picture is a bit of an homage to The Beatles: after fifty years they sound great… though for our kids they are singers of history, a very old history, isn’t it? On the pic are John Lennon, Paul McCartney and I don’t know the other two, do you? One of them may be Ringo Starr. / Photo from: www pentagramario com

2430. How Babies Acquire a Foreign Language



Babies start to speak about one year and half, but since week number eighteen, the baby in mom’s belly can produce sounds. 

After birth babies listen the same to their parents and adults in general a zillion times, and these adults repeat the same word or phrase, and the infant starts to repeat and pronounce those words, or short phrases, not full sentences. 

You, father or mother, can take advantage of this phenomenon to make your children speak in English. 

In general terms, infants and young kids have their brain forming itself, and at that point of time is when those children can acquire a language – adults also can acquire a language though; you can see the label or tag about acquisition and adult learners. / Photo from: mom-and-baby francesiacussi com

Thursday, July 9, 2015

2429. Do You Understand Her?



When learning and acquiring a language, like English for example, if we have to listen to some presentation or speech, we use intuition, to make out what she’s saying, for instance. 

We can use intuition regards body language, as I wrote on post # 2425. 

We listen perhaps and we just understand the words but we can’t make up the message. I’m referring to an actual and real presentation I saw some days ago on television, a video downloaded from YouTube. 

The presentation was about body language. The captions were in Spanish but I preferred to listen to the girl and try to focus on what she was saying. She was speaking too fast anyway. 

The rest of the audience at home did not understand English, and so tried to read the captions. / Photo from: o-MOTHER-TEEN-SON-facebook www huffingtonpost com 

2428. What to Do with a Teen with Low Self-esteem



When kids are teens one of them can have an inferiority complex. 

This makes him not to go out, have problems of communication with other kids, etc. 

Even he can show off and be arrogant, which are ways to hide his complex. 

I, his dad or his mom, should take him aside and talk to him, presenting him chances to better in something he’s good at. He may have a low self-esteem. 

Let’s talk to him, and help him shoot what hurts right inside himself. Let’s help him be honest and sincere. 

Moms for example, and also dads, usually know enough “psychology” so as to assist him. Some ideas are taken from Spanish scholar Teresa Artola. 

Oh, and have him do things and favors to others. 

He needs you, dad and mom! / Photo from: mother-daughter www stetsonkpatton com

2427. Training for Approved Exams in Summer



Today I have talked with the principal of the English language summer camp we run within few days. 

We have sixty students and three teachers. 

The point now is to prepare and train candidates for Cambridge examinations. Let’s see if there are candidates for B1, B2, C1. I hope so. 

Thank God Spanish students have changed their mind: the point now is to really learn and acquire English. It’s a serious thing. No more just general English. 

As I said, minds are changing and they take learning and acquiring languages in a more serious way. 

Their age? They’re fourteen through sixteen or seventeen. Things are changing. / Photo from: www flowenglish com

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

2426. What a mess!



What can we do with so many different school subjects the student has to face up? 

Biology, History of Literature, English, Math, World History, etc. 

And as well he has to face them at home, with homework. 

Some schools make projects of interdisciplinary nature. 

All I can today tell you is that in the subject of English there are interesting textbooks with texts of varied nature: archeology, sports, customs, history of medicine, about squatters, stories, about resorts and facilities at skiing stations at high mountains. / Photo from: olympic swimming reachforthewall com

2425. Just body language



Body language. Non-verbal communication. 

There are people that communicate also by postures and gestures, maybe more in women’s case tan in men’s one. 

Anyway, when we speak to our audience, our students, we can assist what we’re saying by postures and gestures, which pinpoint and emphasize the main points. / Photo from: handgesture philosemator wordpress com