Posts

3618. On Expanding and Enhancing Our Students' Memory

  If you are placed in the northern earth hemisphere, you may be on vacation. Maybe not. Anyway, today I wanted to say that our students must be, at any level we may be teaching, the protagonists of their own learning. No protagonists, no significant learning.  I saw it last school year: I’m thinking of a particular student who has significantly improved his English – I teach English to adults.  Why so? Why has he lifted off a great deal at English language learning? Because he has strived hard to learn it… and he is like a strong and powerful engine that does a lot on his own.  When I say that our students have to be protagonists, in no way do I mean that we teachers have to come down to foolishly create an atmosphere where they do just what they feel like doing by looking down their teacher. No. The teacher is the teacher and his or her students are right there as students and learners.  Perhaps if we teach a modern language we have to read through Rebecca Oxford’s learning strategie

On Correcting Our Students: Some Clarification

  Today I've learned the actual meaning of 'scolding'. And it means to correct and blame somebody angrily and noisily. And I have used that word to mean 'correct' on previous posts. We teachers can correct our students for their good, but I think that in no way should we scold them, for they have a great dignity as human beings. I have already written about this latter idea on previous posts. Have a nice day.   

3617. Learning from Our Own Errors and Mistakes in Class as Teachers

  You as a teacher want for your students to learn and work a lot? So do I.  Now I can tell you something that works with us. I teach English as a foreign language. And in class we carry out diverse and varied activities, so the thing turns out as something interesting. All I can tell you about is something I owe to others.  As well I try to give some doses of pushing my students upward in their learning process, in class and outside.  For example I write something as a group or class email I address to all of them, and there I insist on some points, like set and assign some homework, I let them know what is working better lately in class, etcetera.  I address those emails to them as blind copies, so their email contacts keep protected.  As well some of those doses are directed to foster learning in them, to arouse their learning. For example I tell them about some learning strategies they can use to learn English, and which ones are taken from my own learning English of from Rebecca O

3616. Are You Flexible when Working in a Team?

  Every job on earth seems to have a relational nature: we do things that may help and serve others. A teacher’s work is relational as well. Obviously.  And what can we say about working as a team, as a teacher team?  Some weeks ago I read somewhere that creative work is primarily something of a single spirit, so we are creative when working alone, yet here I’m going to say something about working as a team of teachers. Also when we work as a group we may be creative.  First premise is that that teacher who is going to work together with other teachers has to be open to the others: open-minded, open to respect others, open to love others with benevolence love, which is seeking what is good for those others.  All this is brought together with smiling at those others plus being nice and kind and cooperative. If I work in a team, I have to listen to them so I try to see from their viewpoints as well. And I will try to provide my best to that working team.  Even I will try to learn from th

3615. Learning a Language by Reading: My Experience

  Many of us English language teachers are non-native speakers… and we have to provide with a lot of that language to our students. And we perhaps are life-long learners of English. It is my case.  To learn a foreign or second language you have to practice the four language skills plus learn grammar plus vocabulary.   One way of approaching one of those language skills – reading – is by reading graded readers and full-version books.  Now I’m telling you how I proceed lately with reading, in case it may help you.  At present I’m reading a novel, which brings language you can hear on the street. I enjoy reading it. And that’s quite important.  As well and on top of that I would say that I study the pages I read: I have gotten accustomed to focus and pay close attention to the few pages I read each time.  I attentively read the lines and kind of mentally collect a lot of interesting expressions and ways to say things in English. I like it.  Then, after I’ve read a few pages I go backward

3614. Working on Texts in the Classroom: My Experience

  Here I am again with you.  Man is a person who naturally tends to work. We have been created to work. And also naturally we tend to work better and better, with perfection. Not with some insane perfectionism. But with perfection.  So we teachers naturally would wish our students would learn. Right?  And now in the northern earth hemisphere we are close to finish another school year. And we may be tired. Our students may be tired. So we foreign or second language teachers have to pull our students upward, until the school year is over. Even we could think of the work our students might carry out through the summer.  I was thinking that one way to help our students to reach the end of this sort of race is assigning to work on texts of their interest. It’s something I do myself. And those texts can serve the purpose of prompting a lot of spoken language in the classroom.  We for example English language teachers might be expert at arousing to provoke conversations and discussions in the

3613. Are Your Students Autonomous Learners? How to Work It Out: Some Hints

  Time flies. And thus we have less than three months left of classes. Today I wanted to give you five more points or tips about our lessons, in case it might help you to attain successful foreign or second language classes. I teach adults, yet all this may be carried out with high school kids too.  1. Next Wednesday one student will give an oral presentation – a simple one – on phonetics, phonetic transcription and the IPA, or international phonetic alphabet, because a learner of for example English should know how to interpret the phonetic transcription of a word he might look up in a dictionary.  2. We have no course-book properly, yet I use a B1 textbook to find and learn about examples of activities I could implement in class. B1 is lower-intermediate level.  3. I take texts from that book to implement listening activities, for my students need to practice that language skill. I carry out lead-in activities before the listening proper, and follow-up ones always.  4. On my emails t