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Showing posts from September, 2018

3445. On Teen and Adult Learners

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On last post I told you that communication in English (the target language) is one of the main goals in my classes. Communication among intelligent people. 
Also I told you we teachers should know our students to make them talk at the discussions about the points they know from their experiences. I teach adults at present. 
Okay, then, I can tell you that also those discussions help me learn about my students, as may happen with your classes as well. 
The point is to have our students talk about what they know about. Or about what they’ve been working on – think of the flipped-classroom model, on which you can see further by clicking on its label from the right column of my blog. You decide if you could implement it or not: it might work with you, maybe yes, maybe no... 
We as teachers may in the classroom show a serious and affectionate attention to what they may be talking about. 
In teens’ classrooms we should take into account that normally teens can learn a lot from the activities and…

3444. More on Communication in the Classroom

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I’ve been thinking. If I make somebody talk, which is the case with the one-to-one classes I’m teaching lately, and that person, or that class of students, actually speak, all the thing is gotten! 
I mean, I implement a communicative approach to teaching English. If the students actually speak, all the work has been achieved, or nearly all. 
Also I could teach and make them practice functions too: apologizing, asking for, promising, offering help, etc. Yet that teaching functions will be for another day of classes. 
If I implement warmers at the beginning of my lessons and those warmers serve the purpose of talking in English… okay then, objective accomplished! And if the warmer takes one fourth of the lesson, I’d say the purpose of my classes has been gotten, right? 
When I plan my lessons I write “discussion” attached to other activities, for example describing photos in English. And then at those activities of describing pictures I try and make my students talk, and the goal was achiev…

3443. Are You a Motivated Teacher?

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Up to some extent the secret of successful classes is: happy and motivated teachers, fostering a sane and sound students’ self-esteem, education in art and beauty. 
I read about this on ABC Spanish newspaper, some days ago. 
If teachers are content and therefore their students learn better, the former ones become more motivated and content and satisfied. 
I said a bit more about this point on last post too. 
Thank God also that is part of my experience plus what I’ve seen in other teachers. And many of you, readers, as well are committed teachers, because you seek how to improve your teaching. Bravo for you. 
All this takes us to a personalized education, where each student is considered as someone unique. It is like producing diamonds: the jeweler takes care of each diamond. Have a nice week. / Photo from: Tintin El Orden Mundial

3442. Making Our Students Think!

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We teachers have to be careful: we may be too much over-focused on teaching strategies (this is, how to teach) and somehow forget to make our students think, ponder, reason, discern, meditate. 
I mean, of course we have for example to teach a second or foreign language but our students also have to learn how to think. 
As well we should teach them beauty – in a landscape, a poem, a piece of fine arts… – plus the fact that any person is unreachable and some mystery: any person is someone great. 
As well we should train our students at speaking in public, solving problems as a team, holding a nice conversation, explaining some concept… 
And before that, before all that, or at the same time, we teachers have to practice at thinking, reasoning, pondering, meditating… In few words: teaching is great and learning as well! We may be teaching our school subject, of course, but let’s remember to make our students think! / Photo from: commuter_reading

3441. How Flexible Are You as a Teacher?

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I was telling you about warmers, on last post. 
Okay, you may have planned your lesson, but we teachers have to be flexible. I mean, we may see that another collateral activity we took on may be turning out to be just fine. 
Well, we can take that collateral direction if we see it’s okay with our students, plus appropriate for their learning. 
With discernment we can change, shift, implement and keep on with that other activity that seems it’s convenient for them. Flexibility may be a positive value. And discernment whether to shift into another activity may be so positive. 
Also, and on the other hand, if we see that a planned and scheduled activity in the classroom doesn’t fit well and is not turning out fine, well, then, we can change at that moment and stop pushing against the wall... 
Leave that exercise which seems absolutely inconvenient for your students. We teachers are up to facilitate our students’ learning and being happy, let’s not forget it! / Photo from: les-aventures-de-tin…

3440. How to Start a Good Class. Some Hint

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We teachers are not supermen or superwomen. Anyway, we peacefully try and do our best, right? 
That’s great from you, teachers. And people may be so grateful to you all, if you peacefully strive to do your best. 
Today I was going to say something very human and humane. Briefly. At the starting of the lesson we can make warmers, to connect with our students. 
Warmers are that activity that we implement at the beginning of the lesson to connect with our students and make them plunge into the lesson. 
A couple days ago I realized, while teaching the first activity of an English one-to-one class with an old gentleman, that I had to precisely connect with him and make him rather think in English and speak in that language. 
I had planned other activities but then I had to gain him in order to get him to speak in English. He’s an excellent student and learner. So we got to make some discussion, maybe from some activities, vocabulary and topics he had done some exercises with, from his textbook.…

3439. Meeting Our Students' Needs

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We second or foreign language teachers are prone to teach that nice language, and that’s ok. Now, something so important is to meet our students’ needs and expectations. 
Otherwise we would be like plowing in the sea. 
We need to know what our students need the language for. 
So we could draw and make up like a questionnaire to find out about those needs and expectations. Is it academics, general English, business English, computing English, for tourism, for commerce…? 
Also we should take into account that anyway those our students may have to learn general English as a matter of fact. And then, with that load of English they will be able to understand for example computing English. General English will be okay to deal with that specific English. 
If you’re teaching young students and they don’t know what they’ll need English for, you can anyway pass a questionnaire to those people in order to find out: previous experience, any talking experience in that language? What language skill are …

3438. Getting to Know Our Students

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We teachers have to plan our lessons and carry out our job by doing our best. I know most of you do so. 
We teachers have to be loyal to our students. I have met teachers – male ones – who were friends of their students’. And the same in the case of female teachers. 
They were in-some-way friends. They used to listen to their students. 
They won their students to, for example, working well or trying so. 
This being friends does not mean they were lenient to their students or they were their buddies. Not at all. What they did was getting to know their students. They were interested in getting to know the students they have in front of them in the classroom. 
They in some way donated or dedicated to their students. And thus they got happy in their generosity and made their students feel happy too. They ran the middle of the way to their students so their students had to run the other middle way. 
I mean it: they were not their buddies and they treated those youngsters in a prudent way, yes in…

3437. Getting Our Students Motivated

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We teachers have to work fine and to teach our students to work fine too. 
For example their notebooks, books and iPads have to be clean and neat. Discipline at working neatly is very educative, indeed. 
As well we will teach them to think, to ponder, to meditate, to reason. And most of the topics and issues we teach are suitable for making our students think about them. 
Even when talking to them we can leave blanks in our speech in order to make them think: silence can help think a lot – it pushes you to think and reason. 
Most of our students are used to playing videogames too much maybe: let's also help them think about abstract topics, even more when they already are 10 years. When they’re 10 years, for instance they can understand syntactic and grammar concepts, when teaching a second or foreign language. 
Before that age approximately we have to use visual aids for teaching a language: flashcards, posters, realia or real objects, cards with words, drawing on the smartboard or ch…

3436. Do Your Students Talk with You?

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I also have other nice experiences. You may have them too. 
We teachers may treat many kids every single day along the week. 
And we would like for them to be mature people, right? Well, you know that when we treat them in a mature way they will likely respond in an also mature way. And we can find this both along the school as well as at tutoring sessions. 
We teachers ought to have available time for tutoring sessions. About their studying, working and learning. 
Some schools do have them and their students conduct better and better. 
Also I know some teachers that before and after lessons their students naturally concur toward their desks, just to talk about their stuff. And then those teachers can educate those kids very nice. In accordance to their parents’ ideas and in accordance to human dignity. What a responsibility we teachers have! 
For example right after a class some girls could concur at their female teacher’s desk just to talk about women’s things, and then precisely that tea…

3435. For Enthused Teachers but Not Only Them

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Teaching is so great. 
If you’re a teacher, you can think of what took you to that profession. 
If we teachers teach with our heart and we seek to make our students great persons, great wise ones, great citizens, then we will get them very grateful. 
Why so? Because our students are not stupid and they know how to thank the teacher that invests his or her heart at the job. 
Ultimately and eventually those students will be pretty grateful to us their teachers, although now at present they may provoke some headache to us teachers because of their behavior in the classroom. 
Keep on teaching with your heart. / Photo from: niña-con-guitarra

3434. Some Relaxing in the Classroom

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If you realize about that, teachers’ and students’ everyday work entails taking care of little things. 
In the classroom and out of there both the teacher and his students must take care of little things: tidiness, keeping the class schedule, arriving on time and being punctual at every class and other dates, tidy classrooms with maybe students’ small jobs to take care of those school places, loyalty, joy, industriousness, etc. 
It is kind of a constellation of little things that are necessary for everyday conducting at the school. 
Even more, the only way for the students to learn is a peaceful atmosphere in the classroom. Anyway sometimes music for example can help our students learn, but my own experience tells that only when that nice quiet atmosphere is created in the classroom and along the school can the students learn and grow up nice and with no strident notes at their personalities. 
Students need peace. Teachers need peace. 
And all those little things we’ve been writing about a…

3433. Do You Really Listen to Your Students?

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I learned in my former schools to treat my students not just as students and that’s all, but somehow friendlily. 
By no means do I intend I’d be my students’ buddy. 
The point is respecting them and treating them as human persons, and not merely as clients of my teaching. 
As well today’s trends in education is conducting and leading that way. 
Therefore I would treat them all with exquisite respect and deference. 
Another consequence we could draw is we should listen to them seriously. 
You know, they have a great dignity as persons, some biography, some way of being and some personality, some family, some personal context and circumstances… they deserve all my respect, both if boys or girls, both men and women. 
Another consequence would be teaching them in the classroom with also exquisite respect and deference. In the classroom, I mean it. They are intelligent persons and merit some teaching that should be improving day after day. Have a nice day! / Photo from: deporte y mujer. Selección…

3432. Practicing the Four Language Skills Is Great

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I told you on the previous post that reading is good for learning and acquiring a language. 
However, we must also practice the other language skills, namely: listening, speaking and writing – plus reading, remember. 
Also we have to dedicate enough time to the grammar, which is kind of the skeleton of the language. 
In other words, for learning a language we have to interact with other people, for a language is something communicative. We learn a tongue for communicating with other people, right? Have a nice day! / Photo from: British Council. That institution or corporation teaches English at home and overseas.

3431. How to Learn a Language Rather Easily

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We second or foreign language teachers may love to teach, but we may be non-native, so… we need to refresh that language. And learning it… is quite a life-long learning. It is, indeed. 
Something I usually do to keep learning and acquiring English is reading novels and also non-fiction. And it works. 
I keep learning and acquiring vocabulary. I learn but also I acquire the language, in an unaware way. It may be words I come across while reading. You know, I get them into my head and while writing I can use some words I have ever come across. Even perhaps on this very post. 
It’s words and also phrases and ways to say something in English. You know, it’s great! 
And when reading sometimes I come back to what already read so as to fix some words I have devoured while reading. 
Other times I carry on reading just to delight in reading itself. 
Other times I look up some words in the dictionary. 
Other times – often – I deduce the meaning from the context, and also then I think I acquire the wor…