Monday, October 31, 2016

3023. Teaching Our Students to Have Creativity


 
Something characteristic and peculiar only of human people is they can think and express and utter the ideas they have. In other words they can communicate with one another, they can speak with other people.
And that precise principle must be carried out in our classrooms: we have to make our students think and express their ideas, their findings, their problems, their joys, and we will try to help them out.
It is convenient we teachers should carry out conversations in the second or foreign language, if we’re language teachers, which is my case, as you well know. It’s convenient we in classes should talk in English, our dear target language.
So we will practice conversations, turn-taking, presenting some point or thought or idea. At the beginnings our students will not be able to participate in a conversation or dialogue, but we teachers will assist them to participate in those nice conversations.
It is also convenient our dear students would not only answer questions, but they should learn how to present a topic or point of interest, or just to take part in those marvelous conversations. Thus we will achieve a human and humane goal: to set communication among people, among persons.
We should foster everyone could intervene and contribute to the conversation, and we also will make everyone would participate, each one with his uniqueness.
You want a clue to make them all participate or facilitate this communication? Look in your students’ eyes, maybe saying their names, and you’ll be inviting them to communication. Another clue? Ask them questions about the discussion topic, easy ones and cleverer ones too. All this nice activity can be implemented with children, teenagers and adults. I have very nice experiences! / Photo from: teacher-assisting-student-at-chalkboard www wisegeek org

Saturday, October 29, 2016

3022. We'd appreciate politeness from our students, right?


 
When our students are honest and think correctly, or they’re adults, if there’s some lack of discipline and they for example talk when their teacher’s talking, we can gain their discipline by talking about their chatting, about that precise bad habit, and so we’ll make them think.
We can ask them what they think is better, as I said, when their teacher’s speaking. Sometimes the habit of keeping quiet demands a repetition of actions. That repetition of actions create a habit. A habit is gained and acquired when the students repeat actions.
The teacher has to respect his students, and that’s fine, but our students have also to learn to respect their teacher. In this process of acquiring politeness the repetition of actions shows they’re of a paramount importance.
The students have to learn to respect adults and as well for instance when they’re in the subway or a bus and there’s a venerable old person they have to offer their seat to that person.
They are politeness habits that are basic and everybody should learn to keep. It’s something we can appreciate a great deal. Another example is for a technician, when he comes to our house to fix something, we would appreciate he be polite, wouldn’t we? / Photo from: Autumn-September 2014-Ontario www plus google com. the picture’s just an illustration

Friday, October 28, 2016

3021. Why Are You Joyful?


 
We have to conduct according to our dignity, and we teachers have to treat our students according to their dignity, don't we?
And this common dignity is not less than we are children of God. And we can treat Him with the tenderness we treat or treated our dad and mom, because He loves us with the love all dads and moms in the world can love their children.
And all this prayer permeates our daily work, and the activities and routines we carry out.
It is good for us to know we aren’t alone in this world but we have Someone that takes care of us! A person with this knowledge can endure daily dire straits and minor pains better.
Think of the sorrows many people are having: earthquakes, hurricanes, wars, diseases… We have to learn about these disasters, because they’re our brothers and sisters.
Also we can celebrate our joys with Someone else.
There was a teacher, quite many years ago, who was suffering in a classroom with rather naughty students; well then he at once remembered also he had a mom in Heaven taking care of him: Saint Mary. That helped him quite a lot! And as I said we can have these helps at our daily teaching, and as well at our treating our students and our colleagues too! / Photo from: Rays-Fire-Station-Wish-238-PR Rays of Sunshine London fireman squad. As I said we are children of God at daily work, like the one firefighters may have to fulfill.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

3020. Helping Become Happy!


 
I’m translating the following assertion into English: “La singularidad supone ayudar a cada persona a ser consciente de sus posibilidades y limitaciones: ayudar a conocerse para ayudar a aceptarse.”
We teachers don’t just teach math or English but also educate our dear students.
I saw that statement some few days ago in a book magazine-catalog-newsletter, and it sounded okay with me. In English it would read something like “A person’s uniqueness brings about and implies to help him or her be aware of his or her strong points and limitations alike: education is to help know yourself and so to help accept yourself as you are.”
If a person accepts the way he or she is, that person more likely will be able to be happy.
And we teachers here can do and make a lot. This personalization has to be so, person by person, and we ought to have individual tutoring sessions at school, with each and every student, better if male teachers help boys and female teachers assist girls.
We teachers have to contribute to foster and boost our students’ personality, I mean the good things they have, which can be many and very positive ones. But all this according to their parents, so we should also have tutoring sessions with them, as frequent as possible, maybe every month or every two months! / Photo from: fall rainy day www pinterest com. the picture is a nice illustration for the blog

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

3019. Grown-Ups in My Classes Are Great!


 
With my adult students we work out worksheets I hand out to them. And we take good advantage of them indeed!
I read them out, then they do so, I present the words they don’t understand, and which ones are new to them. Other exercises and activities we carry out are saying the meaning of words in English, or the other way round: I say the meanings and they give me the words, after we’ve read the worksheet several times and they have a clear scheme of that worksheet.
Also they summarize the worksheet and now yes, they translate Spanish expressions into English ones from the worksheet, so I ask them “How would you say… in English?”
The point is for my students to get a nice communicative competence. And this school year as well I’m presenting grammar points, also for a communicative purpose: they learn and/or revise ways of saying everyday things in English.
The classes, as you know are in English, tending to 99% in that marvelous language. The class-group should be small, say 8 to 11 students each class-group. 11 students is rather much, and 8 or so students is a nice number, for they can participate and contribute more often. The minimum number for nice communication in English would be 6 students.
I also teach them collateral lexis to the words of the topic the worksheets are about. In few words we work from worksheets I compose or texts from different books I copy. And remember the goal: communication, communication, communication. If you want to learn more about my classes, let me know. / Photo from: Dad-and-Daughter. A fantastic photo shot

Monday, October 24, 2016

3018. Nice Contents for Your English Language Classes!


 
We language teachers can teach for example general English, and that’s ok, but we may have to teach ESP, this is English for Special Purposes, which demands a lot from us teachers, because we’ve got to recycle our English and learn how to say many things in a sort of variety of English: business English, science English, etc.
But the result is magnificent: we make possible to set communication among people from all over the world. We English language teachers build bridges among people, and what was an obstacle, English, becomes a bridge for communication between people, isn’t it great?
This also happens with Spanish: many people from America and from Europe, namely Spain can communicate in that marvelous language. We in our center have a new teacher from Chile and we teachers can talk with her in Spanish.
The human person only grows well if he’s in contact with other people, because man and woman only develop their potentials when living in a society, I mean with other people.
And the person is destined to love, with benevolence love.
So we already have that people have to live and work together, and they have been created for love of benevolence toward others. Love of benevolence is to wish what is good for other people.
Persons only develop their potentialities when living inside otherness.
And another consequence of this social contact and communication learned and acquired in school classes is that companies and corporations will be able to get in contact from different countries.
Think of another example of communication, which is so prominent here in Granada: tourism. Another example of communication we language teachers facilitate is academic relationships among students from different countries. All those communications are awesome and gratifying, no doubt about that.
So as to finish I will cite another example of the need to learn English and/or Spanish: globalization. Just think of it, because you know a lot about it! / Photo from: planting-tree una pagina un minuto wordpress com. The picture shows an example of communication, a nice one, between a grandfather and his grandson.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

3017. Creativity from the Teacher and from the Students!


 
So I have written about immersion in English, the target language, and also about acquisition and not mere learning, this is, in other words: our students learn English, but as well they are acquiring it, in some way the same as infant children do when they learn their mother language.
However I’m presenting grammar points in my old students’ classes. Is that opposite and contrary to the valuable unaware acquisition?
Well think this way: grammar presentation – and grammar elicitation from my students – boosts communication in the classroom and out of the classroom, because this grammar gives them the tools and instruments for later communication in the classroom, both with me their teacher and with their classmates.
This grammar presentation boosts my students’ communicative competence and enhances it.
Moreover my students like to have this grammar presentation at classes: also because they can contribute with the knowledge they already have – they’re adults and have studied about all this. Alike I will present some grammar points they have never studied yet, because they pertain to a level of English which is higher than the one they have now.
Thus I would advise you to present grammar points in the classroom, if possible in the target language but if they do not understand you, then try in their mother language. / Photo from: MIT libraries. The picture is just an illustration for the post.
Something else I’d like to add is that I beg my students’ pardon if I inflicted some humiliation or the kind in classes during my first years as a teacher because I had scolded a student in public too much. I wouldn’t do same way now. I also regret from any faults I might have committed during those my first years of teaching.
 

Friday, October 21, 2016

3016. Immersion Now!


 
Sometimes at classes when I realize I’m speaking in Spanish, our common native language I shift into English again, because I intend to create a nice atmosphere where English is the vehicle for discussions and communication in general.
Today one of my students took his turn and spoke in English for a lot, about two texts from a worksheet I’ve handed them out, number 195 already.
It has two texts, one about family relations and another one about the rise of the bicycle in the 1890s. Two very interesting texts, with a nice number of points for discussion. One is B1 and the second is C1, to provide material both for low-achievers and high-achievers too.
So when I am aware I’m speaking in Spanish I beg their pardon and change back into English, our target language.
If I produce a lot of output in that language I give my students chances and opportunities of acquiring English and not only learning it.
And all that with a smile, maybe a small laugh and a bit of sense of humor, good things for the lubricating of the class.
The point, remember is to create immersion into English, and it turns out fine. Awesome, I mean from my students. At present I teach adults but I hope I will teach kids pretty soon as well. / Photo from: Steps-To-Fly-A-Kite-With-Your-Kid. The photo is just a nice illustration, isn’t it?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

3015. Artículo en español, sobre dar clases


 
¿Pueden ustedes creer que me cuesta un poco desarrollar un texto en español o castellano?
Estoy acostumbrado a escribir en inglés, desarrollando artículos. O quizá sea simplemente que tengo que pensar; bueno, eso pasa también en inglés.
El español o castellano, como prefieran, creo que es la tercera lengua más hablada en nuestro querido mundo. Primero el chino, después el inglés – qué suerte tienen ustedes de saber inglés porque sea su lengua nativa… – y en tercer lugar el castellano o español. ¿Alguno de ustedes tiene otros datos? Porque el árabe es también muy hablado, y el ruso también. Pueden opinar, por supuesto.
Ah, y qué suerte tengo de saber español.
Pero iba hoy a escribir sobre el arte de la docencia, o de enseñar, o de ayudar a otros a aprender. Sí, yo lo considero un arte, y una vocación, en definitiva.
Me alegra enseñar, o dar clases, como decimos, incluso cuando tengo que dar clase a niños o adolescentes, incluso cuando tengo que dar clases de inglés a niños en un campamento de inglés, en verano, cuando sé que ciertos individuos van a reventar la clase, con perdón por la claridad.
Por otro lado sonreír a los alumnos es importante. Vaya que si lo es. Tener sentido del humor, reír un poco en clase, por ejemplo con adultos. Romper el hielo, para seguido retomar el hilo de la clase.
Es un arte, que se aprende con el tiempo. Estoy en ello. Yo suelo decir que no se dan clases de inglés, sino que se tienen. Queden ustedes con Dios. / Foto de: uvillage nd efu. Chaveas jugando con la tierra: ¡les encanta! ¿A alguien no le gustaba eso cuando era niño?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

3014. Is A Movie An Interesting Topic to Investigate?


 
I’ve already written about the “flipped classroom”, and you may know about that new interesting way of learning.
Instead of the traditional way of teacher teaching and presenting the contents of classes, the students would get the information from the Internet, encyclopedias, books, surroundings and thereabouts, from people that know about the specific contents, etc.
Is then the teacher an unimportant person? Not at all! The teacher could filter the information that is meaningful, really interesting and relevant. Also he would lead up the way to the convenient sources and would in some way help find the best contents for the unit or topic.
The teacher keeps being of a paramount importance! He also provides a critical eye: he can tell about the relevance or not of some specific sources.
The class is then a working group or team, together with their dear teacher. This latter one can set the student working teams or they all can discuss in the classroom how to make up the groups. Then the teacher would act as a moderator – otherwise the class students could be discussing about how to make up the teams for a never ending long time.
As well the teacher would organize and run the group turns: when the different teams would present their topic and material. I guess it’s an interesting way of learning but I’d like to have more feedback from real classes which are working that way. You may have heard of this learning style and have more knowledge than me, or even can be working that way! / Photo from: charles chaplin in love with blind girl City Lights 1931 movie. Could a single film be an interesting topic or theme to investigate about? Think of it! Maybe something more ample and broad?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

3013. Contact with Beautiful Literature at the Classroom


 
For some people in Spain English is an obstacle for communication with other people, although more and more people are learning English now.
So it’s an obstacle to connect with other people; well then, for us English language teachers and for our students it is a bridge! And this is more and more, according they are progressing in their communicative competence of that language.
In our classrooms English is a link between students and the teacher and among students. The more they acquire and learn this communicative competence the more we can make up an atmosphere where that language is a vehicle for communication, both at the school subjects of English and maybe at another school subject like history, science…
Many people here can’t read a novel in English, but our students are winning that capability and skill. Let’s allow them read and enjoy the marvelous stories novels can show. Let’s not be so boring so as to work out the reading activity that much: enjoying the story can be better than too much focusing on grammar, vocabulary, specific lexis, error and mistake correction.
Let’s give our students the instruments to understand and enjoy reading those stories. Classics, for example in abridged and simplified versions can open a very educative scenario of human values and virtues: courage, endurance, love, generosity, sincerity, friendship, patriotism, working hard, order. / Photo from: car53. The photo shows a real WWI ambulance. Some stories can take place at a warfare scenario.

Monday, October 17, 2016

3012. On Anxiety, Class Management and Tutoring Sessions


 
When I was making part of my doctoral dissertation some years ago I came across one topic which was students’ anxiety – I didn’t finish my doctoral dissertation but I wrote a book on its topic: Success at teaching English as a foreign language, and that theme in some way has been developed along this blog.
Students may suffer anxiety.
However during my first years at teaching young students I didn’t find any anxiety case or there was not much anxiety among them, my students: they were okay at my classes, and at other teachers’ classes too.
Before I forget it I would advise you not to shout at your students: they can get so scared. Some, little very little shouting can be okay at certain moments, even it can be something educative, but very very very little shouting.
What I did find among some students was a bit of bullying, but thank God at our school we had tutoring sessions with our students and they could give vents to their sorrows and pains, and joys too!
Sometimes letting other people learn about our joys is pretty necessary!
I could write on bullying on another day.
Something else I could now tell you: when coming from today’s classes I thought that we teachers could let get ourselves influenced by our students’ chatting in the class, and we teachers could teach among noises.
I’ve told you about class management for long, and now I would tell you just to get silent when your students are talking among them: sometimes it’s okay with just staring at them, and they will start to be quiet because of your silence and waiting for you to go on – silence may be so eloquent! / Photo from: 2016 www formula1 com. The picture is just a nice illustration but I have comrades and students that like Formula 1 so much.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

3011. Teaching with High Professionalism


 
When you teach English to grown-ups, you may realize that you have to also talk with them for instance to check out whether they can understand you in classes.
And you can do this in English too, at a basic and easy-to-understand level, because there might be (likely so!) different levels of English and different grades of achievement.
But if you discern that you need to speak in Spanish (their mother language) about this point you may speak in this their mother language, in a discussion mode, and collaborative too!
With adults you have to conduct in another way than from kids, evidently!
Although they’re adults likely they’ll put themselves in your hands, and they, well, some of them, will accept whatever you tell them: they will be content with whatever you do in classes. Let’s be honest and morally correct: let’s give them a lot, and avoid giving them less than they deserve. They deserve good and very professional classes, ones taught with a lot of professionalism.
Not all these students will feel content with whatever you do at classes: some of them in some way can be very critical and questioning. The point here is listening to them and more now than ever before try to do your best, and from time to time you all in class can discuss about how things are going – some or many or most of them are very collaborative and friendly!
And always, and remember this point, we teachers, with grown-ups, have to be affective and concerned about themselves. Summing up, be prone to listen to their needs and expectations and wishes, concerning classes. Just one more point: plan your lessons – they will appreciate your commitment in a great way! They just are great! / Photo from: boeing 777 wallpaper zone. As you all know, pilots work with a great deal of professionalism.

Friday, October 14, 2016

3010. How to Set Nice Communication among Students


 
I’ve seen that committed teachers plan their lessons with their actual and real students in mind!
The ideal point would be for us teachers to plan lessons, and to plan lessons with our specific students in mind.
The list of students should be worked out quite much by us teachers. In that way we would plan lessons which match our students’ needs plus expectations.
I’m now thinking of my English language students: when planning my lessons I should bear in mind that some can understand more English than others. Also in that way I will plan activities that match my students’ level of English; even more, I think I will have to plan activities of different difficulty grade according to the real students I have in our classroom.
Or at least I will implement activities at different levels in the classroom: I can demand more from some students and I can demand less from some other students.
An example could clear up the point: today I asked them to say the meaning of some words in English by using a couple of words I gave them beforehand. I remind you that some of my students are adults, and now I’m referring to them and their classes.
Well so I asked a student to carry out that activity but he could use any words he could think of, and not necessarily the ones I gave him: this student has a lower level of English and I can’t demand from him the same as other students. His communicative competence is lesser and smaller than others’, and in order to achieve a nice communicative competence he can use the resources he has at hand, which are different from other students’ ones. / Photo from: facts-about-ducks www thefactsite com. The picture is just a nice illustration.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

3009. How to Get Feedback from Our Dear Students


 
So we’ve seen that in our English-language classes we should have immersion, and an atmosphere of immersion and communication in English, our target language, even right before the class, when you arrive at the classroom.
So immersion, okay… but they, the students should understand us teachers… How!? Explain well: utilize the whiteboard or chalkboard or smartboard,
give your students examples of what you’re teaching and saying,
get feedback from them,
ask them,
get feedback from facial expressions, so as to check out if they’re understanding you,
speak clearly,
stop to clear up doubts and questions,
use graphic material,
project material on the wall from your computer,
speak clearly,
vocalize,
use cognates or similar words both in L1 and the target language,
use drawings or diagrams,
one student can explain what we’re saying in his own words,
ask them if they have any question, etc. Make sure they can follow you, maybe not all but a sensible and sound quantity from your speech. So remember to get feedback from your students! I’m writing about grown-up students but the same, even more, in the case of kids could be said! / Photo from: african-children-playing-football www artsmarthauxcombat com. The picture is just an illustration.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

3008. Why Not Writing a School Magazine!


 
A great idea may be to have a school magazine. And it is so motivating for the students to collaborate with contributions in the languages they’re learning, for instance English, French and German.
And you teacher can correct very few errors or mistakes, so as to publish articles they actually composed. All this is very motivating, because the students obviously like to have their articles or contributions published. The students could send you their articles, just-for-fun jokes, curiosities, insights, science articles, sports like the school soccer league, pastimes, etc.
Some of the school parents can contribute to the expenses of the issuing by means of their corporation ads.
I’ve carried out this activity with other teachers in my previous school and I can assure you it’s a grand thing.
Even we could use the magazine for class activities, starting with just reading and saying the errors and mistakes they can see out loud. Over time they, the students, become more and more eager to participate, and maybe you’ll have to make a selection of contributions, or even a group of them could make the selection!
Talk with other teachers to carry out this enterprise, and try to publish for example three times a school year, or more… It is a very positive activity and the students can see that what they’re learning is meaningful and useful, so they’ll try to learn more, and they’ll learn from their own errors and mistakes. Just start, together with another teacher: the main thing is to get started! / Photo from: tour de france 2011 stage 15 www cyclingweekly co uk. The students can write about current news.

Monday, October 10, 2016

3007. Communication among People!


 
My classes with my adult students began today. And it was okay.
I told them I’m going to teach them grammar also, which I will present in their and my own mother language, Spanish, as you may know.
Why grammar, if my methodology is communicative? You may ask me. Well, they need grammar, because it is like the skeleton of language, so also it is okay with communication amongst us.
Scholar Susana Pastor Cesteros convinced me that that presentation of grammar can mean a booster for later communication.
I’m giving you an example. Okay, you can row in a boat, but if you have sails and can count on winds, much better, right? We may have communication, but if they can use grammar learning, they can advance faster. Grammar presentation is like winds: my students can go faster.
Definitely I will present some grammar. As well some of my grown-ups demand rigor, and grammar can provide that rigor to our classes. This grammar presentation makes classes different from other past years, when I focused only on communication.
Grammar presentation definitely boosts communication, because we will use that grammar for exchange of information and communication amongst us. / Photo from: postman electronpencil com. Mail carriers carry communication among people.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

3006. Our Students as Experts about A Topic!


 
Oral presentations by students is an interesting activity, because they have to speak for longer than just when answering questions we teachers might ask them.
They have to talk about a topic and not only reply a question by their teacher. We can advise them how to work out this activity, what steps they can follow. First they can produce a brainstorm of possible themes, and then choose one by eliminating the rest. After that they can write two columns: one with the things they can talk about in English, their target language, and one for the things they cannot talk about in that language. They can receive help and assistance by the teacher regarding these latter points, or from one another.
Later they can write about all those points, with the help of the Internet for getting information about their topics, if necessary. When they’ve written and developed all those points by writing about them they have a span of time assigned to each student in order to talk about their choice topic.
We can carry out this interesting activity three times a school year. So they could have to talk about, say, for three minutes, six minutes, ten minutes each time of the school year.
When having to present a topic the students have to develop different strategies and skills than when only having to answer a question or prompt from us their teachers.
As well they have the chance of speaking about topics they like and they may know quite a lot about: they can be experts at those themes!
I’ve implemented this exercise also with my grown-up students and I can just say it’s a really interesting activity, though for some students all this could mean an extra effort, because they can be shy and they even could experience some anxiety – another day I could talk about students’ anxiety.
They mature their learning styles in a significant way.
Their classmates can ask them questions after the actual presentations or otherwise the presenters can ask their classmates, who had been listening presumably.
I’ve had nice experiences about this point: for example once two high-achiever students aged fourteen presented a topic together for a whole class-time, this is, one hour or fifty minutes!
The students should know when they will have to present their topics beforehand, with some days of time and according to the group-class list of students. Obviously if they wish they can make up a poster about their topic and the best ones can decorate the classroom for a period of time. I’ve learned about this significant activity from Mrs. Mary Jane Amaya, our foreign-language school adviser. / Photo from: www planwallpaper com

Friday, October 7, 2016

3005. Learning as Something Beautiful


 
I’ve told you that we can learn English (the target language), and also we can acquire it; let’s say, learn it in an unaware way, like infants do.
Okay, then I can tell you that when we are reading a novel massively, page after page we can be acquiring the language in an aware way: we acquire the words, idioms, ways of saying things in English. It has happened to me, and may happen to anybody!
And those words and expressions will come up inadvertently whenever we need them to express our ideas. As well we can be acquiring English when we are listening massively to music, to speaking by native speakers, watching a DVD, listening to a website, etc. And all that although we may be adults.
At that time, at those moments we’re learning as infants do, or at least in a similar way.
All this about learning and acquiring a language, like English, is a nice thing: always learning and acquiring a language is something beautiful, and you’ll like it more and more!
And all that learning and acquiring will lead you to be able to communicate with other people, and it will connect people to one another! / Photo from: russell-westbrook-2016-nba-all-star-game www marketingdelosdeportes com. the picture is just a nice illustration

Thursday, October 6, 2016

3004. Our Students as Autonomous Learners!


 
We teachers teach our students, and we should present our school subject contents, okay.
But remember also that we teach our dear students for them to learn how to learn: our students would learn how to learn, how to become autonomous learners, how to wish to learn!
There’s a teaching methodology, which is called flipped classroom. You may have heard about it. Our students would search for the contents of our school subject – science, English, math, physical education, Christian roots of Western society, etc. – and also for the different topics or units of our syllabus.
Okay then. The students, on the next step, would present their results before the rest of their classmates, and these ones would learn from them.
However let’s remember we teachers, in my opinion, and I’ve been a teacher for a nice number of years, also should present topics ourselves, for example a grammar point, like the usage of present perfect in order to convey our experiences, in English, the target language.
These grammar points, as explained in the students’ mother language (Spanish) oughtn’t to take a lot of the time allotted to our school subject: I propose there should be a lot of immersion into English. The methodology I postulate is communication, communication, communication. Tomorrow I hope to tell you about massive reading in English and acquisition! / Photo from: PerthDiamondJubilee www cittaslow org uk. The picture is just a nice illustration.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

3003. Do You Plan Your Lessons?


 
I don’t know about you but I prefer to plan lessons at some peaceful moment I may have.
I don’t know if you plan your classes at all – maybe you did so at the beginning of your career, but since all I see in TeacherLingo’s website you all prefer to have nice material and lesson plans, right? That’s fine. What I wanted to say today is that planning lessons seems sound, and we can’t expect an ideal moment to plan those classes, as you can reckon.
Sometimes, along all history, great books have been written at unpleasant situations, like on the hump of a camel while riding. It’s true that many grand books of humankind’s history have been written at peaceful and inspiring places, but we teachers will have to take advantage of any more or less easy time we may have to then plan our lessons.
Planning lessons can also be carried out, let’s say, from ample view angles, like while walking, and as I said, then thinking from a wider or more ample view: What can I expect from kids that age? What can they bear as fruits according to my teaching style and their learning styles? What ideals can they have, as young people they are?
Remember youngsters are prone to have ideals. Otherwise you may think about their thirst for the genuine – the way they dress for instance, coming to the head of the matter, shows their desire for what’s genuine: they wish to dress different from their parents and adults in general, don’t they?
So as to finish, and also about lesson planning, remember what I said yesterday, about the thing of keeping a diary: we can try to scribble or write down ideas that come to mind about activities which would match our students’ way of being or activities that just would be interesting to implement for them, for the specific students we have opposite us in the classroom. / Photo from: bicycletimesmag com. The picture is just a nice illustration, but it might be showing a teen, like our students.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

3002. To Keep A Diary


 
Something that can be useful for us teachers is to keep a diary, yes you’ve read well.
Not only will we write dates and events, but also we could write about teaching insights, for later moments to go back to the diary to refresh those nice ideas.
Also learners can find helpful to write a diary, but here on this post I wanted to focus on us teachers and educators.
So we can write ideas we can have about teaching, other teachers’ insights and ideas, things that happen, topics for presenting to our students, exams dates, even bright ideas from wise people. Some other times you can write down ideas which come to mind or things you listen to at a lecture, or from teachers’ blogs and websites.
Thus to have a sheet of paper or a diary at hand can prove to be a clever idea. Most of the ideas I write in this blog have appeared on my own diary; otherwise I couldn’t have written so much so far. / Photo from: www stocksy com. The picture today is just a nice illustration

Monday, October 3, 2016

3001. Communication from The First Class-Day!


 
Today I implemented the placement test for our new adult students, for me to find out about their level of English, and place them into the corresponding group-class. Also there were veteran adult students for whom I wanted to assess their level after the long summer break.
What I intend to explain and remark here on this post is that the main point about the exam was that I wanted to assess their communicative writing competence. I suppose that we foreign-language teachers should foster and boost and enhance our students’ communicative competence, because we teach English for communication sake: these marvelous grown-ups are used to traveling and at those trips they have got to use English to “survive” in different countries where their English will be very convenient and necessary indeed.
Well, I set the test today and this evening I will have to have a look at their test sheets. This school year I set three exercises within the test: one about vocabulary – both easy and advanced level lexis –, one exercise where they had got to use one word from that first exercise, by writing a sentence with it, plus a final exercise where they had got to write about their city, namely Granada, in approximately 100 words, by telling whatever they wanted to say about that city, where we live.
Most of the students I guess have written about Granada’s beautiful monuments and landscape.
As I said the main point was to set communication between them and me. So as to finish I shall say that also the main point with this test is to place our students into three levels: false beginners, intermediates and advanced.
When you read those tests, typically you easily find out whether the students have one of those three levels. Tests should provide one more chance to establish communication! / Photo from: Alhambra-de-Granada. This is Alhambra palace, one of the inspiring monuments of Granada, the city where we live.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

3000. Content-Based Instruction: What Is It?


 
I was thinking to tell you that the class contents should be meaningful and significant for our students.
Oh, yes, you could say, but I’ve got scheduled stuff and a syllabus to cover and teach. Well, I would tell you, try the examples and contents of that verbal tense you’ve got to teach be meaningful and significant and relevant for the kids, this is, we should teach and give examples related to their persons as unique ones.
For example I’ve got to teach present perfect of English. Well, okay, let's give them examples with their own proper names and things they have ever done and connected with their worries and growing-up process, even with stuff related to class concerns: exams and tests, safety in case of a terrorist attack inside the school, a fire in the school, their school subjects, their family relatives, going to McDonalds burger place for dinner, a day spent at the fun fair, their expectations for this school year, their future jobs, taking care of pets at home, chores, etc., each school would have its own regular topics. Think of them please.
They should be respectful topics, proper and adequate to their being human persons. Also some transcendent topics, like for instance everyone’s thirst for happiness and God. / Photo from: moto_gp_francia computerhoy com. They may like GP motorcycle races, or even we could take advantage of their nation history: Spain’s recent history, USA, Europe, Christian roots of Western Society…