Tuesday, July 18, 2017

3236. Training for Exams? What to Do


 
Maybe often we have to train candidates for B2 or C1 levels of a foreign language. Those levels are upper-intermediate and advanced respectively.
How can we sure we’re doing well? We can imagine we ourselves have to pass those levels and we’ll know what to do! And we’ll have clear ideas that we have to practice listening, speaking, reading and writing, plus grammar and vocabulary.
What would we do to train those language skills plus grammar and vocabulary in order to pass an exam? And so we will be able to train our candidates for those levels.
Thus when planning our lessons we could think: What have I to do to improve for example at speaking or at listening? And we’ll go for it in a practical way. For me listening and speaking are the most demanding and difficult skills to improve. As well we can think about what we did when we had to pass B2, C1 or C2. This latter level is the highest one in a language, and when we get a thorough C2 level, that means we are bilingual users of the foreign or second language.
The core points for learning and acquiring a language are both practicing and studying. Practice, practice, practice, and studying, studying, studying. And let’s keep a lot of track of our students, so as for them to really advance and progress!
Oh, and remember that each step forward, each word learned, each verbal tense learned, is a step forward: a house is made by many bricks – we make houses by laying so many small bricks! / Photo from: london-underground-notting-hill-station    persquaremile com. That large station was made by many many bricks!

Monday, July 17, 2017

3235. In an Atmosphere like at Home!


 
Our students should be educated in both freedom and responsibility. There are few rules. Also there’s a schedule or timetable. They’re treated as persons, with freedom and responsibility.
In that way they can grow without stridencies. In that way they can learn and study just because they want to, helped by their teachers. Why a schedule or timetable and a few rules? For their happiness, ultimately: we want they should grow up in an atmosphere of calm and fortitude.
If there’s a problem we will correct that kid aside; in other words we’ll try he should realize about what’s wrong. With freedom and responsibility they can learn, work and study in a nice and pleasant way: they wish to learn.
All of them feel at home, and the school is a prolongation of home and their families: those parents entrust their kids to us teachers: they don’t delegate their thorough education in our hands but we help those parents and families educate their offspring.
Students love their liberty and they learn to respect other students’ ones. Every student is respected whatever his social background is. And they also live a thorough friendship: their talents are invested to help others. / Photo from: mars-surface-eva-drilling NASA. The picture is a curious illustration.

Friday, July 14, 2017

3234. Our Students Like Stories!


 
Reading texts in the target language is a nice and suitable activity, which one we have to exploit a lot: reading makes you learn that target language.
And better if those texts are meaningful to our students. They must be meaningful and interesting to them. But also providing texts that seem not to be interesting for our students can be a challenge to those people… The condition is that those texts may be interesting per se, in themselves, and might increase our students’ culture, because, as I said, they’re interesting per se, in themselves. And we teachers must help our students increase their culture.
Those texts deserve an extra effort from our students, and we’ll have to lead in those scripts, by making some lead-in activities, like eliciting vocabulary or ideas about those texts that are new to our students. That extra effort may mean some challenge by the students.
We teachers might explain positive points about those scripts, so the students may get attracted by those new topics. Even those texts may ultimately be motivating for those people, in the end. Both fiction and non-fiction are great for reading! And as I said, reading is a language learning booster. / Photo from: Paisaje-de-Carretera-de-Ferrocarril_Hermosos-Paisajes-Naturales. That picture might be the background of a thriller text...

Thursday, July 13, 2017

3233. What a Scenery!


 
I rarely write about environmental friendship, and it’s quite important. Well I’ve written something before.
And we have to achieve our young students would gain some respect and a nice attitude toward our beautiful planet. We’re educating future citizens, even present citizens!
When we take our students to an excursion we teachers have to set an example and teach those kids to litter garbage into garbage containers. As well we can teach our students to admire a beautiful landscape. By educating our students in beauty we’re helping them become more human and more honorable. And we’ll see this improvement even at classroom behavior. For sure.
We can also teach them how to recycle plastic, glass, paper, oil, etc. I remember quite many years ago we had an English reader-book about recycling, in English, which is the school subject I teach. It was pretty interesting, and we had nice discussions about recycling.
This subject matter can be an interdisciplinary nature to be studied among different school subjects: science, English, social studies, history, physics, chemistry, morals and ethics… It’s nice.
We shouldn’t forget about reducing the CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions. In other words we should educate our kids in a sober and rational way of living and loving nature, animals, plants, minerals, environments, landscapes… Of course not forgetting, in the first place, loving human beings, from the nasciturus or unborn child to the elderly. / Photo from: phuket-islands-thailand-wallpaper-61746

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

3232. More to Boost Motivation in the Classroom


 
We second or foreign language teachers have to speak massively to our students, okay. And sometimes we’ve got to make an oral presentation about some issue, okay.
Something that boosts, enhances, and fosters massive speaking is… massive reading. Also for our students, before an oral exam in that target language, it could be useful to read massively too. Also for improving the speaking skill massive reading creates the soil where you can grow the plant of the language.
And reading what? It depends on the subject or issue you’ve got to speak about, but on the Internet you have lots of texts for learning English or any other common foreign language. As well our students and we teachers have textbooks, novels, articles, news, etc.
So remember, before an oral exam or an oral presentation read rather massively: the more you read the better. Why does reading help speaking? Because you think in the target language and also because it provides you with language “weapons”: vocabulary, grammar patterns, idioms, ways of saying things in that target tongue, the texture of the second or foreign language… / Photo from: teach nice edu

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

3231. How to Motivate Our Students: Some Hint


 
Self-motivation is adequate for learning. Of course! Some geniuses, like Edison, Einstein and Steve Jobs weren’t motivated and good at regular learning at school. Otherwise they were motivated for the knowledge areas they showed they were so good...
Also we teachers have to be careful and prone to discover the areas or skills our students are good at.
And what can we do to help our students become motivated about the school subject we teach? Maybe we can make them work at the area or subject we teach and eventually they’ll become motivated, when they see they’re progressing.
If our students are not motivated, we have to gently praise the small achievements they make, and little by little they will become motivated and happy at our school subject, math, science, English as a second or foreign language, religion, sports, grammar, history…
I had a student, at private tuition, who was poor at that school subject (English), and over time, by praising his achievements, he eventually became better and better.

I said “praising”: okay we can do it with our students but we have to avoid flattering or adulating. Also we can contribute to our students’ motivation by talking with them, both at tutoring sessions and in the classroom: often when we explain to our students what is right they adhere and stick to what is good for them. In other words, we have to make our students think, reflect and ponder about what’s good for them and for society.