Saturday, October 31, 2015

2653. Come on, praise your students: positive motivation



Positive motivation. That’s the point. 

We teachers can and should praise our students when they do something well, like a quick answer, a correct one to a question by the teacher, after a correct exercise or activity. 

It works with my adult learners. As well it works with kids. 

We win more with positive motivation than without praising our students, whatever age they are. All in all the praising should be gentle, not too much praising, I would say. / Photo from: Cricket www tophdwall com

Friday, October 30, 2015

2652. When problems within marriage



Within a marriage there should be a fluent communication. 

I’ve found that many problems within marriage have to do with lack of communication. 

And the point is that what is interesting for the other spouse should be interesting for me. If I am not interested in her interests, I should make the effort of getting to know about for example her professional project or what dress to wear that night; it is worth the try; I’m building my marriage. 

Many problems within marriage are complementary also with politeness. 

I should be delicate in the treatment with my spouse, my wife in this case. 

This entails communicating with her, although I may be tired. It’s worth the try. I might tell her I’m done today but tomorrow I shall listen to her. And I fulfill it. I could say many more things but I’ve got to stop here. / Photo from: www yourfoundation org

Thursday, October 29, 2015

2651. How must I treat my students?



Let’s talk a bit on class management, discipline, authority. 

Etymologically this latter word means and implies the wish and desire to make the other person a better one. 

We teachers should treat our kids a little better than they actually are; otherwise they will not reach to be better. 

Think in tutoring sessions for example, or through the daily conducting of classes: let’s treat our students with a delicate respect and deference. All this isn’t against a sane class management: they are learning, and we are teaching them new things. / Photo from: girl-playing-guitar 7-themes com

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

2650. How to teach English to oldies



A colleague of ours has told me some points about his teaching English, which work fine. I also will refer to his students, adult ones. 

Their textbook is a collection of worksheets he composes, which some of them are taken from a conversation guide English-Spanish, plus some stories, also composed by him. 

When in the classroom he asks his students to read up the numbered sentences or the story paragraphs he sometimes says “please” after the student’s name. 

He shows a natural respect toward his students. And they appreciate this attitude. If you’re correct in addressing your students, they will likely respect back to you. 

He has achieved his students would speak in English for example at summarizing the story, defining new words, describing pictures, etc. At the end of each class he thanks his students for their attention. I’ve got to stop here. / Photo from: Liam-playing-the-guitar www farpop com. the picture is just some illustration

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

2649. Do I know my students in their unique way of being?



We teachers should get to know each student we have. 

Each one is unique. 

When assessing and evaluating their work we should have enough knowledge in order to give them the grades (marks) they really deserve. 

Why so? Because we do not confine their assessment to the written tests, but we take into account for example their effort. But (somebody could say) I have about one hundred students entrusted to me; so how can I get to know each one? 

Well, try your best. Each student’s knowledge by us teachers could be seen “in ictu oculi”, this is, at an immediate impression, at a mental glance – within the individual’s complexity. / Photo from: Amy www playbuzz com

Monday, October 26, 2015

2648. Reading? Great!



Reading? Just great for us teachers and for our students. 

If our students read good literature, they’ll have more instruments to express themselves and their feelings and sentiments, and also for writing and speaking better, more accurately. 

Reading will make them think, contemplate, stop to ponder their circumstances. 

Reading will be kind of a vaccination for many problems of life. Even more if they read literature classics. 

Plus they will respond better at examinations. / Photo from: learnenglish247 net

2647. How do I treat my students?



If we teachers of languages or whatever school subject treat our students with politesse and politeness, and we address each student somewhat tactfully and with respect to him, it could happen the students themselves could treat us teachers with the same attitude. 

The first premise is to learn to manage the class, but when the students become focused every time we say something in a class, they can respond also with respect. 

When I began to teach in a school I was kind of a sergeant. 

Today I wouldn’t conduct in that way. 

The point and second premise is to gain and win our students to ourselves teachers, with a mix of deference, respect and politesse. They tend to behave as they’re treated. / Photo from: ironmanlancebike endurancesportsflorida com. the picture is just an illustration

2646. Have fun in classes!



Expert in communication José Ballesteros De la Puerta (2002) states that the best way of learning is fun. Or that you must have fun so as to learn. 

On the other hand in this blog I have said that learning and acquiring a language is something so serious and stern, although on post 259 and others I have written about games for the classroom. 

Apparently they’re opposite, but going to the head of the matter they’re sort of complementary. 

When the class-period is easy and the students are focused and concentrated, we can have some fun, why not? Even from time to time the teacher ought to break the ice so for the students to relax. / Photo from: kids-music-class bigdave1996 blogspot com

Sunday, October 25, 2015

2645. How to communicate effectively in a foreign language



Communication strategies. When trying to speak in the target language, English in our case, we can use communication strategies, like: 
saying the meaning of a word we don’t know or remember; 
gestures; 
asking the interlocutor for help; 
using the mother language, Spanish in our case; 
giving synonyms; 
giving paraphrases; 
giving examples so as to approach a word we don’t know; 
using circumlocutions; 
drawing; etc. 

This is partially taken from Canale. We can teach our students about this point, and practice with them, for example for giving the definition of some word. 

Even we can try to elicit more strategies from their own. / Photo from: Rugby-Championships-Big-Hit www rugbydecalle com. the photo is merely an illustration to the post

Saturday, October 24, 2015

2644. Thank you, TeacherLingo

Thank you very much. Today I got a nice surprise. 

Lately I was sharing my stuff with other people by means of Google networking and the circles thing. That was the new way Google offered to me: sharing. 

I definitively thought my posts wouldn’t be published in TeacherLingo anymore. However I have seen my last posts in TeacherLingo web site today. 

2643. A tutor is necessary for the student, I assure you



Fortunately in the school where I taught before we had tutors for the students, so these ones could talk individually with their tutor, at tutoring sessions. 

Thus we could help each student. 

Each tutor teacher had a number of kids entrusted, and went to their classrooms to pick up one of them so as to talk in a small lounge. 

Each kid had an aid for his studies and for maturing from his experiences. 

Tutors were taken from known upright teachers, so most of the school teachers. The school was single-sex. 

There grew some friendship between the tutor and the student. Helping them was something real you could observe in them. They used to improve and better. There was another school for girls, not far from the male school. 

We kept in touch with their parents or families, in order to make good interviews, worth enough. / Photo from: money usnews com

Friday, October 23, 2015

2642. Hitting the target of a foreign language



In my opinion it’s better to have immersion in the class of English than translating a new word of the new vocabulary from their mother language. 

Give it a try. Use the whiteboard or whatever as an aid. 

Even tell some classmate to explain to someone who hadn’t understood, on his own words. If he says the word in their mother language, you could say ok, and now try to say it in English. 

Thus we create an atmosphere where English is the vehicle to communicate to one another. / Photo from: 2012 London olympic-games-throw cyrushosteller com

2641. How to assign each student to a level of English. An example



Sometimes we need a placement test to assign each student to a specific group, depending on the level of English he shows. 

For example at summer camps, but not only at that circumstance. 

Now I’m offering an example, which has worked at our summer camps. You can apply it also to a regular academic year. 

1. A box for translating vocabulary, including low level words with advanced ones, like “alumno” and “poyete de ventana”. 

2. To write a sentence with a word from exercise 1. I’m combining easy exercises with more advanced ones. 

3. Unjumbling or unscrambling a sentence, this is, to write a sentence into the correct word order. 

4. Some other exercise maybe. 

5. Write about you in approximately 100 words. This latter exercise allots the students to each level class; at once you can find out the students’ level of English or of another language. / Photo from: student_writing www2le ac uk

Thursday, October 22, 2015

2640. How to connect people in a foreign language



We teachers of English or another language are making something grand, which is to set an instrument to communicate with other people. 

Because of that, tentatively classes should be in English, so as to foster real communication. 

In our today’s global world our students soon will have to communicate with people from other countries, not necessarily with English as the first language. 

Thus English is a vehicle for that communication. 

We can have our students think of all this, for them to realize that English is something useful. Conduct all the class in English. Even if you have to announce something, do it in that language. This is ok with levels of some advanced grade or fluent linguistic competence. / Photo from: www handstrack com

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

2639. They are prone to participate in class



My students are smart and work hard. I’m referring to the adults I teach. 

On Monday and Wednesday I sometimes can arrive at class at 9:30, other days near 9:45; I have some stuff to do before classes. I don’t tell them anything, but they study the worksheets I hand them out. 

Today at the end of the class I had to hand out the worksheet # 178, the next one. 

I hadn’t thought of handing them out, but it’s the students who want to learn and acquire on their own. It’s nice to teach students this kind. 

All the class is in English, except for some sentences, but as I said the class is some 99% in English. Even before and after the class they tell me things in that language! They’re prone to practice too. / Photo from: www gemt org uk

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

2638. Adults also like stories in English



Adult students also like to read stories. I also like to write them. 

With my old students I compose worksheets, about topics like the restaurant, the airport, etc. 

From last year I have started to write stories, simple ones, and included on those worksheets. Since I write in European format A4, the tales must be short. So a story can take me several weeks to write, and besides my students are expecting to learn the end. 

As well I ask them what they think it’ll be the continuation or the end of the stories. 

At present I’m writing a simple love story between two teachers, young ones, and he is rookie and she already is a veteran though young, as I said. This morning I finished the second part. 

We don’t use a textbook but those worksheets. Making up these stories do not take me much effort. And the result, thank God, is the students like the tales. 

2637. Read this article if you're a bit distressed



I knew a teacher that told me one day he couldn’t face up with that day’s classes, and he felt distressed because of his students’ behavior – some of them, maybe a few of them, coming to the head of the problem, were disruptive, while most of the other students worked regularly. 

He told me he jumped over that day’s distress by thinking: “I cannot leave my students: now they’re teens but I have enough experience to see how and what he become with years passing: they found a family, they become competitive professionals… I’ve got to head for the classroom; they deserve my help to learn English, let’s go, however I feel!” / Photo from: www sciencedaily com

Monday, October 19, 2015

2636. Toward excellence at school...



On post # 2632 I told you about a school where things are going right. 

There’s an atmosphere of trusting, freedom and responsibility. It isn’t a utopia. 

The class is a team, a work team, both teachers and students. They’re in the same boat. Students can really learn inside this atmosphere.

The teacher respects his students tactfully, and the students tend to respect their teacher, they learn how to respect him. 

This latter one attends classes somewhat dressed up, and with a tie. Also the student dress formally, in a uniform. / Photo from: www huffingtonpost com. the picture is just an illustration: walking the dog in the park

Sunday, October 18, 2015

2635. Can you understand me?



I would tell you that it is sound for you teacher of English to speak rather slowly, a bit slowly, not too much, and clearly to your students. 

In this way your students get used to listening to English. 

Later on they will understand a native speaker talking at a normal pace and rhythm, if they keep on learning and acquiring that language or whatever language. / Photo from: appalachianmagazine org 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

2634. Words are essential to communicate in a foreign language



If you read massively in a second or in a foreign language, you’re making up a tank of words, which will flow out when writing or speaking; maybe words you saw just once! 

This happened to me recently, with the word “impoverished”. I wasn’t aware I had learned that word before. 

Perhaps it was part of my passive vocabulary. 

The active vocabulary is the one you can use. 

The passive vocabulary is the one you can understand when reading, but you don’t use it. 

Memory can be trained, more if you're learning a foreign or second language. / Photo from: autumn-5 www playbuzz com

2633. A message to TeacherLingo



I’m afraid my posts now do not go to you and your marvelous web site, TeacherLingo. 

What I do with Google is sharing my posts with many people. 

I’ve tried to contact you, TeacherLingo team, but it didn’t work. 

I don’t know if you can keep on generously publishing my posts in your web site. Best wishes for you team and for all people who publish their achievements and stuff in your web site. / Photo from: build-the-perfect-teacher-team www weareteachers com

2632. Trusting in the students?



I have read in a magazine about a school which has two pillars where it stays: freedom and trusting. 

It’s an English school. 

The context of its education is trying to reach excellence. 

The students feel free and their teachers trust in them, the teachers give trust to the kids. 

For example a teacher puts a student in charge of a task, and the teacher forgets (in some way) about it: he trusts the student will carry out that task or small job. They have reached that situation. 

The students are free and responsible, and the atmosphere created upon those principles is one of trust and excellence. The name of the school is The Cedars. It is in London. / Photo from: cedars www beinutritriffle com

Thursday, October 15, 2015

2631. The first concerning of a teacher is the teacher himself...



If you’re stressed out because of classes, confine thinking of them to the classes themselves and to planning them. 

Anyway you can also think of students, individually but when planning classes please. Don’t let classes get you disgusted and disappointed and distressed. 

Your family, and your hobby or hobbies are important, then and always. Let the stuff of classes not invade your personal time. 

Family, family, family is your concerning, or your girlfriend and how to make her glad and joyful. By the way sport is also important, for your body and mind, how about swimming, or jogging in the park? / Photo from: Family_Playing_Golf_at_Elk_River_Community elkriverclubnc com

2630. They are the protagonists of classes



Yesterday and today I’ve said to my adult students that it’s them who are the protagonists of classes. 

It’s them who have to learn, so also study, follow the classes, study my worksheets… 

I also told them that I’m the protagonist too, because I’m going to help them and more specifically to make them speak in English. 

I don’t attend the classes just to teach, but they attend the classes to become their own engines. I will make them participate a lot, though these first days I’m speaking myself close to all the time. It’s sound to listen massively, so as to make them speak on coming days. They’re good students. / Photo from: www haroldleidner com

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

2629. Do you love them? (II)



We teachers have to love our students with love of benevolence: we have to wish the best to and for our students. 

And we teachers have to teach our students to love, with also love of benevolence. This is education, and much more. 

We are free if we love the others, and we love only if we’re free. 

We love our students: their parents have entrusted us with them. 

If I love with love of benevolence I’m free. If I am free I can love the others. 

These truths are natural ones: every person can reach them. 

Nonetheless this love to the others has been revealed to us people, human beings; revealed by God Himself; cfr. The Ten Commandments of the Law of God. This love has been revealed because our nature and mind have been impoverished because of sin. / Photo from: British-Virgin-Islands-31 www satellitesportsnetwork com

2628. What English should we teach... It's not clear



What English should we teach? What variety? As you well know, English is spoken nearly all over the world. 

Is it Queen’s English the one we should teach? Why not American English? 

English is a vehicle language for many people, often between people where no one is native, so… what to do? 

Currently you can find an article about this point in British Council web-site. You have a link in my blog, at right hand. 

We teachers maybe should teach a variety that everybody would understand – I don’t know well. 

Until last year I taught English in American English, yet my adult students preferred British English, because they said they would understand better (?). 

So for this year I’m going to change into British English – I don’t care too much in what variety to teach, don't get me wrong. Anyway I’ve started the course with them by speaking and reading aloud in BrE, or close to – I’m a non-native teacher so my English has something of Spanish influences, right? / Photo from: www wired com

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

2627. Doing your best?



We say in Spanish about the fact that the teacher of English “tiene que ponerse en juego a sí mismo del todo”, which means that the teacher must invest his best efforts and creativity while teaching the class, and when planning the class. 

He’s the main source, the main activity source, plus he must have clear that he doesn’t teach English but he helps his students to learn English or any other modern language. 

He’s a booster. 

This is not opposite to the idea for example of making a presentation, sometimes presenting a verbal tense… Other times he will teach a verbal tense in a more naturalistic way. / Photo from: irish-mirror-tipperary-kilkenny guaranteedanmarie com. playing hurling, an Irish game

2626. I love to teach, and you?



We don’t teach group-classes, we teach individual people, persons. 

You cannot educate a mass, you can educate people individually. 

Each person is unique. It's like a diamond that you've got to work on. 

I think it’s an idea to bear in mind. Education, teaching, must be personalized, addressed to individuals. Let’s not forget this notion. 

Some of the ideas are from Carlos Cardona and others. / Photo from: cute-girl-fishing-hd-wallpaper www expertpops com

Monday, October 12, 2015

2625. Día de la Hispanidad



¡Qué bien! Hoy es el Día de la Hispanidad. 

Soy muy malo para escribir en mi lengua, en mi idioma. Cuando lo haces en inglés se perdonan más los errores. 

Hoy se celebra el día de todos los países en que se habla, español o castellano, como prefiera usted. 

Me alegra que tanta gente hable castellano en el mundo, sobre todo en España y América. Y es una suerte hablar dos idiomas, el castellano y algo el inglés. 

Ahora, ¿qué podemos hacer por estas naciones, incluida España? Pienso en concreto una cosa: que cada uno esté en su puesto de trabajo (o en el desempleo) y tratar de hacer el bien. Detrás de estas palabras hay más pensamiento, pero basta con esto. ¡Vamos a sacar la Hispanidad adelante, cada uno en su puesto, siendo honrado! / Foto de: armada-entrega-despachos-8-7-b a nuevos suboficiales www galiciaantradadigital com

Sunday, October 11, 2015

2624. Do you love them?




Am I optimistic about today’s education and youngsters? Yes, I am. 

Because I believe in freedom and responsibility. And love, love of benevolence. 

Furthermore I am optimistic because I’m Christian and I believe in God and his help and his love to us. God is not far away, where stars in sky sparkle. He is close to us, and he’s concerned about our things. 

Also teachers can love. Even what is more, educating has a lot to do with love of benevolence, this is, to wish the best for the other. 

All this is inspired from philosopher Carlos Cardona plus my own stuff. / Photo from: photo by Gamble Denims

2623. A key point concerning education



Parents and families have to consider that school is not the first place for their children’s education, but home is. 

School is an aid, a help, to teach students math, science, literature, history… subject matters parents and families don’t have to know about. 

The school is not the place for “parking” children and pick them up after classes. The labor of school is instruction, not simply education. 

Children must be educated at home, inside family. 

A consequence of this could be parents and families should have periodical tutoring sessions rather often, for the child’s tutor to tell things and update parents and families. 

In this context we can consider the labor of the school also as educator, but in a second place, after parents and families. 

The core points of this post are inspired by philosopher Carlos Cardona. / Photo from: Skateboarding_wallpapers_71 skatehigs24 blogspot com