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Showing posts from June, 2016

2926. A Council of Students to Help Their Classmates!

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Something practical for today. At the school where I worked before, in another town of the south of Spain, namely Jaén, until 2002, we had a student council, which turned out so fine. Every group-class had one. Now I live in a different city, in Granada, since 2004. The student council had three representatives. It was so fine an idea, for they could reach farther than what their head teacher could reach. Each head teacher had such a student council. Each class had a student council. They moved around within their classmates, and even they were able to help their classmates better than what their teacher could, up to some extent. They had been voted and elected democratically by their classmates, at the beginning of the school year. It was so helpful a team. Besides they were learning to work as a team, something pretty useful for their lives as grown-ups over time! Their head teacher used to meet up with them from time to time, at an office, and they could inform their head teacher (…

2925. How to Be A Gentleman or All A Lady

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I can see you TeacherLingo teachers provide with a lot of interesting material and lesson plans, and that’s so interesting for our actual classes, definitely. I would like to provide you with rather more humanistic topics and issues, practical they may be though too. Something I’m concerned about is for the teacher to be human and humane, sympathetic and nice, toward his students and colleagues as well. And this is something to apply at every single class he teaches, for instance. Technical solutions are necessary and okay, and they’re so welcome, but you all know that teaching implies (has to imply) being a bit warm or nice, and rather close toward the youth – or the elderly, or grown-ups alike. I would like to add one more point, essential it is, even more today. We have to be elegant and at disposal for persons the other gender, but definitely and you’ll agree with me I assume, that we have to be delicate and cautious in order to avoid any bad comment we could hear about a too clos…

2924. Taking Advantage from High-Achiever Students

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Today I’ll say something about our high-achiever students. We have to care and look after them. From my experience I can say that they can progress so big at the learning and acquiring of English. They can go fast, for they’re pretty concerned about their learning and acquiring. We should be cautious: they could get terribly bored and disappointed and distressed for they see they don’t progress, because all what’s taught in the classroom they already know it. I used to give them extra material, for example from Cambridge examination texts and drills, especially from First Certificate (B2 level in the CEFR, Common European Framework reference for languages), and even Advanced (C1). I’m referring to students aged about 14 years. They got extremely motivated. They worked out this stuff at home, but also it might be handed out when those students have finished what assigned to do at classes. Something so nice about these students is also that they can become so motivated when helping low-…

2923. Getting The Best from Our Dear Students!

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We teachers obviously have high-achiever students and also low-achiever ones. The ideal would be to have individual tutoring sessions, where we could help and assist low-achievers (and high-achievers too!). Tomorrow I could write about high-achievers and what we can do for them so as not get them bored and disappointed because they’re learning nothing new – at the school subject of English or a second or another foreign language. The core point here now with low-achievers is understanding and comprehending them and their poor situation. I think that in low-achievers’ case we have to praise and get those students awarded with pass grades always counting on their effort and struggle to progress as far as they can. In some way we should evaluate their effort, and if they need to get pass grades we perhaps could push them up a bit and give and award them with a pass grade. There are some cases in which they cannot give more, and we could, as I said, push their grades a bit so as to pass. …

2922. The Right Way of Keeping Class Management

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Probably many of you are on vacations now. Okay, teens, adolescents often don’t like imposed rules, right? So something we can do is explaining the reason why such and such rules should be followed. I knew a teacher… well, honestly it was me, anyway. In an English summer camp some years ago, a nice number of years ago, in Málaga, Costa del Sol, south of Spain, one of the first class days I said to a kid that he had to leave the classroom, because of some serious disruption, now I don’t remember what... However he wouldn’t leave the classroom. I think I repeated the mandatory order, but he kept sitting at his desk. Now I guess I would do different from that. Kind of I would set some rules, okay, and in such summer courses I would try to empathize with the kids as well, out of the classroom alike. And I’d try to know them well. And in the class itself I would try to carry all the conducting more peacefully, always in a respectful way toward the kids – besides they’re spending part of th…

2921. A Way to Enjoy Work at Home

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I would say homework is just necessary. All of us had homework when at school, didn’t we? Someone said that if the kid is attentive in class and makes good use of time, he has 60% of the learning already accomplished. For the school subject I teach, English, revising, studying, reading more peacefully, doing drills and more creative work… are just necessary, as I said. However we teachers should take into account that the kid has other school subjects to work on! Some teachers leave time in the classes for the kids to carry out their homework, and they only have got to do it at home if they couldn’t finish at school. Nevertheless at home, at a peaceful place, the kid can progress a lot. If his parents help him do that assigned homework, they ought to know they have to let their son (their children all) do homework on his own, little by little. I know a family where the eldest kid has changed and shifted school some few months ago – they had to change the school. Okay, this kid is seve…

2920. The Class like A Nice Concert!

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The teacher, for example an English-language teacher, is like an orchestra conductor. He has to have his students contribute and intervene to the class. He must otherwise cut off every disruption spark, when that one shows up for a little bit. He will try for every student to contribute at a precise moment. He should have every student to participate, and not only those who are eager to participate, say for instance high-achievers. At the same time he will take these latter ones into account. When I was teaching kid classes, sometimes I used to give extra material to high-achievers lest these ones got terribly bored and disappointed and even a bit distressed perhaps, for they were learning nothing new! For example I gave them material – texts or multiple choice drills – of a B2 level of English, namely from the First Certificate in English of Cambridge University. B2 is the intermediate level, since there are three letters A, B and C, according to beginners or false beginners, interme…

2919. What Are Our Students' Learning Styles?

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The mechanical action of copying a phrase or a word is useful for learning them. Or writing a sentence with that phrase or word. Or several other sentences. The more things we learners do with them the better. Some other students take like a picture of the phrase or word and just memorize them. Those words get very well stuck in their memory. Different students or learners use different learning strategies. Each learner uses his unique way or group of learning strategies, in order to learn for example some specific words. We can say that there are as many styles as learners there are. We will never find two identical students or students’ styles of learning. When teaching English we can vary the ways we conduct in the classroom, so as to give chances to different learning styles, or otherwise some other teachers prefer to follow identical and the same procedures always, so as to set a way each student can recognize and notice and know what will be next. If we have individual tutoring …

2918. Apply Some Convenient Therapeutics!

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Today I publish again a previous post, which I consider as pretty critical and important mainly for free-lance English-language teachers, or other modern language teachers. Here you are: (it may be useful for any teacher anyway! I have included some minor changes)
Both at private tuition and at group classes we English language teachers should expect and somehow demand a change on the working rhythm and mode of our students.
For example private tuition should be like a health-care therapeutics – in some way. We teach our students how to work, how to learn, how to improve, and eventually and over time we ought to expect those changes, because they’re actually improving and we try each class be a step forward.
We teach for instance how to face up a textbook type of exercises, and over time we must expect an amelioration and improvement at those exercises. / Photo from: learnenglish247 net. The picture merely is an illustration

2917. A Willing and Eager Learner, like Me!

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I’d like to give you some more useful and helpful tips about the critical task of learning and acquiring the foreign language lexis, for example for a non-native teacher’s case, like mine: my mother tongue is Spanish and my target language is English (and the one I teach). I think I can face up the reading of a novel. I could for example write down words I don’t know and which ones prevent me from understanding some interesting details about the novel. After the reading session I can go to my computer and proceed to look up those few words in an online dictionary, like for example Wordreference. Those words enrich my vocabulary. Maybe I shall re-read and revise them on coming days. I can write the translation of those words into Spanish. Fantastic, I’m forming a pool! Besides I let those words linger in my mind, to form that nice pool of words. If I read a novel in English, since I read massively, I’m going to think in English, a nice point! Reading an unabridged novel implies levels …

2916. A Nice Way to Learn Many Words of A Foreign Language

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On post # 2901 and # 2915 I’ve written about how to learn vocabulary of a second or a foreign language, okay. And I said that the best he can do can be learning a single word each day or a few words per day. Today I wanted to tell you that another way to learn and acquire and memorize vocab is for the non-native teacher to read massively too, for instance a novel or a non-fiction book, a web site, an e-book, etc. In that way he will also feel the texture of English (it’s my case), will learn words in an unaware way – for later retrieval –, will face up with a long text to be thought in English (or whatever the language is)!, will become more able to speak in fluent English (or French or…), and will have more fun and more feeling he’s learning a new language. As well he’ll learn language linkers (like conjunctions), which are like the articulations of the language, as if this latter one would be a body. Alike he’ll be immersed in a task he shares with his dear students – his students a…

2915. How to Learn Vocabulary of A Foreign Language

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On post # 2901 I wrote that something sound the non-native language teacher can do is to learn one single word per day. But learning more words per day can also be sound and clever, always if the words are: not many, gotten stuck into memory by “taking a picture” of those words, and finally by using them or doing any useful memory activity with them. If you use them, likely you will remember them, you will be able to actually use them when they’re necessary for such or such an occasion! Your memory will increase and augment! Something I’ve noticed is that pretty often come to my mind some words I had read and learned previously, even not being aware of the process of learning and acquiring them. The main and principal point is the teacher should be open to learn new vocabulary. In that way he will learn rather a vast lexis plus he will receive and feel a nice emotion of being able to become a good learner of a language, like English in my case, as you know. You can feel kind of being …

2914. ¿Libertad en el aula?

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Today I’ve written a post about our dear students’ freedom. I talk about “dear” although we may get worried and upset about their misbehavior… I wrote it in Spanish and here it is: I hope it be useful for many teachers and educators anyway. Calvo Serer propugna una fuerza creadora de la libertad. Yo lo traslado a nuestros queridos alumnos, que pienso que es extrapolable. Nuestros alumnos tienen que ser libres. No quita que haga falta una disciplina, que no permite mal comportamiento, sino que ayuda a un ambiente de trabajo. Y de aprendizaje. Crea una serenidad, en la cual sí se puede trabajar y aprender. Y ser libre. Es una disciplina enraizada en la autodisciplina, en la libertad de nuestros alumnos, que eligen la autodisciplina, con ayuda del profesor, que educa en libertad. La idea de la libertad como fuerza creadora es del pensador, periodista, escritor y profesor español Rafael Calvo Serer (1916 – 1988). Es crítico con el gobierno del Generalísimo Franco en España (1939 – 1975), …

2913. Getting Our Students Pretty Focused

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Some teachers, many I would say, implement warmers at the beginning of classes. I guess they’re even essential: in that way we help our dear students focus on the class and shift into learning and acquiring English, which is my case as you know, as a teacher. Okay then, a nice warmer is a dictation: keeping our students writing serves the purpose of getting them so focused on English. It’s amazing how they concentrate and center into a nice conducting which will make them more able to communicate in English! Just give it a try! The point is that writing also helps them concentrate because they are also mechanically centered in a single task – their bodies are also focused on that task. I think I learned this kind of trick from an expert at teaching languages, whose name now I can’t remember. / Photo from: Guidelines-For-The-Great-Day-Of-Fishing www bradleyennisphotography com. the girl is pretty focused on fishing, isn’t she?

2912. Toward A Successful Teaching of A Language, like English!

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Here are the main points from a talk I gave in 2010 when training for the C2 level of English. We had to make a presentation about a topic for later discussion. I hope it be of any use. We attended classes at Centro de Lenguas Modernas, which is part of Universidad de Granada, Spain. I spoke about teaching (and subsequently also learning) English. I have explained what some acronyms mean: you can see them below.
Theme: What makes a good teacher of English? My experiences and research on TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language).
1.Self-introduction, and introduction to the presentation.
2.The goal of teaching English: communication, communication, communication.
3.For that goal: help the learners become autonomous learners. Who actually learns English? The learner who wishes to learn. The two protagonists of the class: the teacher and the learner. The successful learner is the one who utilizes learning strategies.
4.Class management: the best discipline? Self-discipline: the learner wh…

2911. The Best Class Behavior Ever

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We teachers have to manage the class regarding our students’ behavior, and try to keep discipline, okay, but also let’s not forget that our students are free to behave as they think it’s okay. I’m trying to explain it, let's see. Alike we know that sometimes some of them can be disruptive, but in some way we have to respect their freedom. Perhaps it’s a matter of balance. We have to educate them in a sane and sensible way, and also we must teach them how to work and how to behave, but ultimately they keep being free, and we don’t want to have automatons or robots: they have to learn how to behave setting off from their being nice and polite youngsters, and we teachers will help them become those nice and polite people. And they will behave in a free way: they must learn they have to carry out their work in a sound way, and in a free way too – this is the authentic discipline! / Photo from: iq intel co uk. the picture is just an illustration but it shows a responsible person that w…

2910. Our Teens Need to Be Listened to!

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We teachers have to teach our students’ parents how to listen and talk with their children. Sometimes, maybe often, our students don’t have anyone who would listen to them, because their parents are very busy and when at home they just want to relax and not much else. I don’t mean all parents are that way, no. However we teachers often have to educate those adults too, and not only their kids. All we do helps people educate themselves, and it would be a fault by us not to pay attention to those issues. Someone told me about a kid whose parents were so busy, up to the point they wouldn’t listen to him. On the other hand that kid made friends in some way to the condo doorkeeper, and they used to talk about the boy’s things. Even one day somebody asked that boy whom he loved the most, and then he said that the doorkeeper, just because he knew how to listen to his worries and other teens’ typical age problems. Perhaps this anecdote was told me by Alfonso Aguiló or I read it in one of his …

2909. Doing Our Best is Necessary

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Each class is unique. It’s a period of time that will pass and won’t happen again. What I mean is that each class is a step forward for the students… and the teacher alike. We have to get the best of each class. We teachers work shoulder with shoulder with our students. That said we should plan each such a unique class, though the real class, say, will turn out however we can accomplish and our students can too. We should have some few goals for each class, few ones, remembering that the main class resource is the teacher himself, plus what our students can give with our help and assistance. We should finish the class having tried to do our best, otherwise if we think we didn’t get the most of that class, we will anyway gain a valuable experience! Oh, in that way we also will do our best for our society. / Photo from: working-mom www telegraph co uk. the picture is just an illustration

2908. Yes, I'm Rather Optimistic

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As I’ve already written before, all what’s good ultimately comes from God – plus our human effort, of course. I’m rather optimistic, regarding our treatment with young people, for the foundation and basement of my optimism is God, so a strong one – anyway we teachers have a great labor to be carried out… I would say we teachers and educators should be rather optimistic in our labor and we too could help by praying for our students and their families. Even we can offer the prayer of a small sacrifice. Man and woman are essentially open to pray to God, this is, to talk with God, who is our common father, with a dad and mom’s tenderness and care and affection to us. And concerning our students we should ask about their issues, about what they tell us, and accompany that conducting with a smile and affection. As well we teachers should try to remember what our dear students have told us, what they’re concerned about! – in some way their things are ours too, aren’t they? / Photo from: new …

2907. When English Turns Out to Be Meaningful!

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When I am with my senior students I try to speak all the time in the target language, namely English, as you know. And not only for the typical contents of classes to help them learn and acquire English, but also for regular conducting. For example, if I had got to announce them about the conversations with the three American girls we had, I tried to speak in English too – we had three volunteers for conversations in English, Katherine, Diana and Natalie, to whom I’m so grateful. The point is there should be immersion into English all the time, because my teaching methodology is a communicative approach, and it has turned out okay last school year once again. To be honest I’ve turned into Spanish a few times, but my purpose is to use English all the time, as I said. So the regular conducting of classes is in the target language. In that way my dear senior students can see English is a useful and meaningful instrument, and it’s not only for activities and exercises. You should meet the…

2906. Both Teacher and Students Embarked in the Same Boat!

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The teacher and the students so should be like a work community: all of them are embarked in the enterprise of learning and acquiring English (in my case). So if the English language teacher is non-native, in some way what he’s learning and the way he’s doing embark him in such a marvelous task too. His students will notice, sooner or later, that their teacher is also learning English himself, in a life-long way, and they will become more committed in that enterprise of learning-acquiring the foreign language. It’s a collaborative team, both the teacher and the students. It’s a language learning community. The teacher, maybe in an unaware mode, passes on his own wish of learning the language. Even more, all this effort, by the teacher plus his students, will enhance and reinforce a nice rapport, no doubt! Besides this teacher will have fewer behavior class problems, for his students are also on the same boat! / Photo from:Working-on-Laptop theplan theaucklandplan govn nz. The picture …

2905. How to Start Nice Conversations in Classes

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The center of a foreign or second language class cannot be the teacher himself, but rather the teacher PLUS the students. We English-language teachers for instance don’t “teach” classes, but classes are held where students learn and acquire the language. With the teacher’s help. Anyway the teacher also should present grammar points for example – what I mean is that the teacher also has to contribute to the class, even in a massive way, while also he helps his students learn and acquire the foreign language. English language classes should be ones where the students contribute a lot, and they participate a lot, prompted by the teacher and their classmates. I’m now thinking of the classes where I got the C2 level of English (proficiency): our teacher made us his adult students speak in English a lot; he achieved we would speak a lot in his classes (OUR classes). We had pretty interesting conversations in the classes, where for example each student wanted to give his opinion about certai…

2904. How to Start Creative Classes

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The private-tuition teacher should realize about his student’s problems at the school subject of English, if the case. When a few classes have been taught or held, the attentive teacher will learn what’s occurring to his student. Often the student doesn’t know how to face up with the textbook, and eventually and as a result he cannot make good use of his book for instance to learn grammar. He cannot study the grammar boxes, and the teacher will help him learn how to study them, and learn from them subsequently. The sentence examples the teacher will give him should be part of his student’s life and likes: a sentence with a meaningful content can get the student to realize that he can use that grammar for everyday life situations. His teacher will let him study on his own, little by little, so that the student can study and use his memory autonomously. Private tuition is like crutches: the student needs them to walk but his teacher will teach him to walk without them, so in his own, be…

2903. How to Gain Prestige

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Some, maybe many, teachers have moral authority, incarnated in their persons. A serious one. Gotten over time and with perseverance, only in that way. Derived from your well-doing and hard work. You’ve seen it all before. It’s deeper than just a vociferous authority. It’s prestige. Only then do you get a lot with little effort, in the classroom, concerning authority, discipline, class management. You’re grave. You have lived through dire straits when a younger teacher. You’re serious. You get keeping your students silent… and working because of that your authority. It gives you prestige. With that prestige, which is not selfish, you can do a great good around you. You’ll likely achieve a hard-working atmosphere. This moral authority and serious is combined with real and thorough listening, understanding and comprehending your students: you are close to your students and their stuff; even you’re nice and kind. You’re admired and in some way imitated because of your hard working: you pa…

2902. Just Learning from People with Sense of Humor!

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We all often have problems, which accompanies human life. But people with a sane mind know how to defuse and take the drama out of the situation. Even they know how to laugh at themselves, in a kind and nice mood, and even they’re able to crack a smile! They know how to avoid to get choked by the circumstances. We all need not to take ourselves that seriously. After this exercise of defusing and self-laughing they get prone to immerse into their work again. They for example say to themselves such things as “That’s very, very, very bad for me, this is the end, this is going to fall down…”. They know how to conduct among the pains and sorrows of every human life and biography. They know how to take the heat out of the situation, to downplay the issue, to brush off the trouble as not a big deal – do you all understand what I mean? We could learn from them, and prevent from seeking ourselves in a rather selfish way, and afterward all that makes us capable of assisting and aiding our colle…