Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 30, 2010
One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “When you talk with him, in scheduled tutorials or in the very midst of a hall of the school, you both can deal with concentration in the class, also about how to better follow the class - the thread of the class, how to come back to the thread of the class when he was in the clouds, how to be more active in the class, how to accomplish an exercise from the coursebook, how to take out the most of the class – each class is a step forward, how to utter his ideas with the help of the vocab you are studying in the unit or in past units. Oh, fellow, yesterday I thought to remind you of keeping in mind that you have to pass your students on the idea that they are learning English to serve humankind, starting with the people closer to them.” / Photo from: milkman raisethehammer org
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
It’s their parents who have to direct these great sentiments, respecting their sons and daughters’ freedom and responsibility. And we teachers, could help their parents’ role. We can translate big abstract, non-defined ideals into feasible ones. But do not suffocate their huge capacity to carry out big things, to dream high. In the tutorials we can help our students’ ideals come true in ordinary life. One example is helping one another in the class.
Do not impose ideas to them, let them think of ways to specify those ideals. Do not impose – instead, show ideas. You can orient them with your advice, affection, experience, grace of state, their parents’ views of life – don’t do anything contrary to their parents. If you don’t agree with their parents’ view of life, maybe all you can do is to stay quiet. Something else, male teachers’ tutorials with boys, female teachers’ tutorials with girls: that works neat.” / Photo from: loqu com
Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “In my opinion we teachers of English should present a grammar point, systematically, with the aid of the board, whilst our students are writing down notes and examples. Other times we can facilitate our students to infer the grammar rules from what we are saying, and asking our students.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
One day teacher of English A said to teacher of Englsh B, “Present, explain the grammar point of the unit you are studying lately in the classes. Break down that grammar pattern, let them comprehend it, write down notes, examples, the pattern or structure of that verbal tense, study it at home. Our students expect and need this real presentation in the class. Make them listen to you. The grammar point you are pesenting must get clearly set in their minds, how? Understanding plus practice (drills and later something more naturalistic, albeit they will make mistakes).
One more thing: often at home it’s when the students have the most scope for interiorizing the grammar.” Eugenio M. O. M. wrote a comment. Thank you, Eugenio. His blog is on the right column of my blog. Read nore about his writing. In his comment he said he had studied in that very hall of the British Library, in 1996.
Photo of the British Library, below, post # 517.
Photo of this post from: student-studying rockford medicine uic edu
Friday, December 17, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “We teachers need to train continuously. I’m now referring to reading: books, websites, teacher forums on the Internet, reading journals, watching videos on YouTube, reading other teachers’ blogs... Reading and studying form a storage, which you may not realize of, yet it helps you become more competent.
We need to recycle our methodology. We can also write down notes, keep a diary to have feedback. We can ask us ourselves: How do I teach my classes? Are my students progressing? Do I think of everyone? Of the class as a whole? Wise teachers teach with passion. When a teacher does his or her labor, that teacher transmits what he or she has deeply in.” / Photo from: old british library room thegogglesdonothing com
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “If we correct some mistake we make at certain moment within the class, if we strive to work well and repeat what we mean instead of the wrong thing, we are helping our students a lot. Because they note this bettering, they see that you care about accuracy of grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. I’d even tell you not to succumb to using L1.
This way of working transmits every of them a fine struggle to learn sooner, more and better. As well I have seen some good teachers that look up one word (for example) a student asked him or her, and this teacher didn’t know at that moment. The next day the teacher reminds the class of the question and the found answer. This sets a nice example to them.” / Photo from: serc carleton edu
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “We need fortitude to teach classes of English. It’s simpler you decide what to do and how to carry it out, say for example an exercise or activity. It’s harder to make them engage their brains and move their will and creativity. But if no creativity, no process of learning and education. Don’t recoil your responsibility. Do not tell them every step.” / Photo from: flyingcolours org uk. Egyptian students.
Monday, December 13, 2010
“Adolescence has its own peculiar value, which entails a way of living. Its function in everyone’s life is: self-discovering and discovering the others (Me and You); widening his or her horizon at the uppermost, deploying all his or her capacities before the ultimate choice which will show the approaching maturity; planning the essential attitudes to face life.” By pedagogue Maurice Debesse. / Translated by me into English. / Photo from: arcobosque com
Sunday, December 12, 2010
One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “A few students in our large classes may have serious problems and flaws to catch up their classmates and they may be left behind. And with the passing weeks they will be more and more left behind. I knew a teacher trainer, Mrs. N, who taught me something. She was in my class, watching me teaching the class. At certain moment I assigned my students to do an exercise from their coursebooks. And she was sitting close to Luis, and helping him mold the responses to the exercise, mold the way he had to face the activity. I hadn’t at all realized of this way of helping him.” / Photo from: a scene of Le petit Nicolas (2009).
Friday, December 10, 2010
This is a reply to a teacher of English who published a post to ask for help to teach private classes. I don’t remember his specific problems. Now I post my reply to him, if it could provide anything useful. His post and mine appeared on www.teachingenglish.org.uk, British Council - BBC’s website for teachers of English, at the end of September 2010. (I have corrected small things and left some mistake).
Hello jack and cmftrier,
I'm writing some things in case any of them could help you out, jack. Here I'm referring to private classes, to help a male student to learn mainly grammar and vocab for an exam within some days! And we started a few days ago! It's like a S.O.S. situation.
1. Listen to the student at a first short interview. We both are Spanish. Find out what he is in need of, to pass the exam.
2. Approve any small target he hits, for example when doing an exercise from the text book. This action by you will boost him up. Make him think whenever he fails by writing or saying the correct answer. Say nothing to him for a short while, make him think.
3. Assign, by negotiating, the amount of time he's going to spend studying on his own. The classes are not enough.
4. If he did not reach the assigned time, for example he didn't reach the set span of time just for 5 minutes... tell him he has to study 5 more minutes today, adding to the assigned time. But sort of a cordial accomplicing or cooperating, sort of something challenging. Recognize when he reached the time alloted to his personal study.
5. Make him clear the date of his exam at school is approaching!
6. Help him how to fill the assigned study time with stuff of his opinion plus some help from you - he might not know what to do in 45 minutes.
7. Believe what he tells you about his study at home. Trust is essential. All in all, and this not lack of trust, you be realistic whether he is proggressing or not.
8. Send him emails, not many!, to show him you are concerned and thinking hard how to help him.
9. Plan every class: 'I had thought for today to do this and that, but, N, what do you think about what we should do today?' He will be somehow amazed and happy you are really after his passing his exam.
10. With all this treatment it is more likely you both will reach a nice rapport: you two are in the same team, though he is the protagonist of this 'game'.
11. Positive motivation. Let him see his progress. But also, and in a realistic way, let him see what he lacks to learn and practise yet.
12. Tell him about your remembrances when learning yourself, in a slight funny way.
Sorry for the long list. You could pick up a few points, or whatever you think.
Fernando M Díez Gallego
Teacher of English and teacher trainer. Granada, Spain.
/ Photo from: Le petit Nicolas (2009). The mom of the family is starred by Valérie Lemencier, the dad by comedian Kad Merad, the sweet and 60’s-typical teacher of the school by Sandrine Kibertain.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “A student of mine has told me a trick he utilizes to learn new phrasal verbs and verbs with following prepositions and adverbs. He says each preposition or adverb which follow a verb have common meanings: up and down refer to directions. However this can be dangerous, but it helps some way. Can be too risky because you can say something you really don’t mean, in some cases! Yet he thinks that the meaning of each word - away, off, up, down, out, in, into, on – helps. Some examples of clear-meaning phrasal verbs, and others not that obvious: take off, put away, put on, get up, look down, check out, break in, break into, put on, get on, get off, check in, break up, break down, look up, kick off, fill in.” / Photo from: vagabundeoresplandeciente wordpress com
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Here is a comment by Eugenio M. O., whose interesting blog is at the right column links. Thank you, Eugenio. I did know you would like this post about Beowulf. Also thanks for the information you give us about this jewel of early English literature. If you don’t mind, I publish your comment as a new entry, as well because I receive hardly any comments... - this blog is followed though.
Well, Fernando, you might very well expect my comment on this lovely entry. Oh yes, Beowulf is one of the very first text from the Old English period, and probably the jewell of Anglo-Saxon literature. But did you know that it was about to be lost, devoured by fire? You can see the borders of the manuscript are charred. It was kept at Sir Robert Cotton's library, which was almost destroyed by fire on
/ Photo from: North by Northwest (1959). Interesting thing that the tiltle of this film was translated as Con la muerte en los talones in Spanish. Stars: Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint. Director: great Alfred Hitchcock; source web-site: html rincondelvago com
Friday, December 3, 2010
HWÆT, WE GAR-DEna in geardagum,
þeodcyninga þrym gefrunon,
hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon!
oft Scyld Scefing sceaþena þreatum,
monegum mægþum meodosetla ofteah,
egsode eorlas, syððanærest wearð
feasceaft funden; he þæs frofre gebad,
weox under wolcnum weorðmyndum þah,
oð þæt him æghwylc ymbsittendra
ofer hronrade hyran scolde,
gomban gyldan; þæt wæs god cyning!
Sorry German people, for I published a picture frm Casablanca on post # 505, and I’ve realized the bad guys in the movie are German. It might had bothered someone.
English is a sister tongue within the Germanic family, in which we have German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian – do I forget any?
The text above is from the beginning of Beowulf, one of the first texts in Old English.
/ Photo from: engl2220 wordpress com
Thursday, December 2, 2010
One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “For your speaking classes you say? You told me your student already has some near to fluency or ability to speak about something, right? Bear in mind that he’s got to listen to you speaking in English, but more important than that is he should speak. Let him speak. Don’t interrupt him, do not butt in his discourse, while he’s trying say something. Bear with your trend to correct every mistake or error! Listen with an honest interest in every statement he says. Ask him so as to clarify some point, or to deep into the matter. Show your interest: praise his effort, the thread of communication with you.” / Photo from: Northern Kentucky University aelp nku edu
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “I’ve been thinking lately that movies and literature show men and women’s yearning for happiness. You can think of the matters of the movies: love, personal redemption, forgiveness, big adventures. Even if a movie shows a gray and sordid future, it’s showing something concerning human nature. So, I’d recommend you to assign novels and watch some movie in the class. Be prudent, anyway, when choosing the movie: your students are making the biographies of their lives, and, evidently, you want to help them preserve and foster their human dignity. Will I say it? We all are children of God, to be honest: that hits the target of our dignity.” / Photo from: japanese school news bbc co uk
Monday, November 29, 2010
One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “Be firm, speak clearly in the class. Something that will help you keep discipline in the class is that you should speak clearly and give clear instructions to your students, in English. Wait for them to follow and fulfill those instructions. Explain how to do an exercise from their text book, clearly, slowly, waiting for them to understand, waiting for them to follow you. Something disruptive in the class is them talking and being funny while you are explaining how to do an exercise. Speak clearly, then keep silent, speak again, and so on.” / Photo from: lg_australia_cool_collectors_cans bevnev com
Saturday, November 27, 2010
One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “The day before yesterday a friend of mine asked me again what else she could do to learn English. And I told her, I think it’s like a summary of my experience, ‘Look, Carmen, speak in English and enjoy learning English.’ ” / I liked this picture, above, as many others I have posted on my blog, from movies. Photo from: Casablanca (1943), directed by Michael Curtiz; main stars: Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Website source: notodoeskippel blogspot com
Friday, November 26, 2010
One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “Yep, assign small tasks to your students. Look, some days ago I asked Rodrigo to please pick up the pieces of paper from the floor, when his classmates had left the classroom after the last class. I suddenly though I could make this task smoother to him if he saw me also pick up some balls of papers. ‘Would you mind, Rodrigo, doing this task for your classmates?’ You know, I thought the small job would be less humilliating to him. Okay, the thing turned out to be good, and he rose to that occasion himself: great!” / Photo from: ben-hur-crowned onlygoodmovies com
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “Be coherent when you set some small punishment. I would say that you should set some punishment only if necessary. Before reaching that step, carry on the way you conduct your classes: making your students become aware that they will learn English if they work with perseverance. If you assign punishment to a student because he committed a discipline fault for example, this punishment should be educative, never revenge from you.
Don’t loose your temper: don’t set the punishment at the moment, if you got mad, wait for the next day. And when you finally set the educative punishment, be coherent: your student ought not to see you are despotic and weak and change your mind. An educative punishment could be fulfilling a small job as a help to keep the classroom neat.” / Photo from: www transportesostenible com
Monday, November 22, 2010
One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “If our students read massively, books, readers, novels, dedicating hours along a term for example, they absorb many English expressions and words that are different from Spanish. Also they can write some of those expressions on their notebook, for later revisions, periodically. After having read some pages of the novel on a single day, they can go back to the already read paragraphs and then focus on specific expressions, at random. In this way they absorb new expressions and take like a mental photograph of them. They create a storage of expressions that rise during their writing and speaking, without a special effort.” / Photo from: fotoscine com. The Return of The King episode of The Lord of The Rings, 1991, directed by Peter Jackson.
Friday, November 19, 2010
One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “It’s a good idea to set some homework to them. Even more, it’s necessary. It’s convenient our students would study and do homework the seven days of the week, or six days. With this drop-by-drop working they nurish their English. The language continues to be alive. Set some homewrork for the summer vacations [or winter!], to keep alive their English in their minds. They can read a simplified reader, exercises from the text book, writing compositions, listening to the section for learning English from the BBC website. Oh, do not assign too much homework for each day.” Many more tips can be found if you type “homework” on Search / Photo from: denofgeek com. Will Smith portrays the only human left alive in Manhattan after a virus-attack catastrophe. The film is I’m legend (2007).
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
From www.teachingenglish.org.uk , British Council – BBC website. valentina02 asked a question and I replied. For this entry of my blog I have corrected some mistakes. / Photo from: breakfasttiffanys gothamist com
Submitted by valentina02 on
Is it advised to use L1 when teaching English? What do you think?
I would have to get to know your case to offer something really useful. However, I'm telling you what I do. Sorry for referring to myself, but hopefully it might help you out.
I do not use any L1, namely Spanish. All I say in the class is in English, absolutely everything, although my students beg me to use Spanish, ‘un poquito’.
My students are false-beginners and have nearly no capability to speak in English. Well, "It's own their business": they have got to say something, for me to "understand them". I pretend I know no Spanish at all; they know I'm Spanish like them, but at the class-time, all through it, the only language used is English. It's fun. It's like a treat and they accept it. A sort of English-speaking atmosphere is created among us all.
I think it is very important, first of all, that they would listen to me speaking, massively, so that they hear the more-or-less new language.
I give them prompts to respond something in English. If they cannot say anything, I tell them not to worry, helping my message with gestures and making faces.
This is the beginning of real communication, this is already communication, in a wide but authentic sense.
Thus I'd tell you this suggestion, if you let me so: all in English. Little by little they can even hold some conversation, with the help of the grammar and vocabulary they are learning. I'm firm at this resolution: only L2.
If they don't understand me, I'll try several other ways. They appreciate this interest from you.
Finally, I’d say I congratulate them whenever they say one word in English, whenever they struggle to make themselves be understood by me.
More ideas on post nº 492 from my blog. Sorry again for quoting myself; I owe a lot to other fellow-teachers.
Teacher of English and teacher trainer. Granada (Spain)
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “In my school we have individual tutorials with each student. When I ask a student how he is doing at other subjects, sometimes he gives vents to his disappointment and disgust to a teacher of this or that subject. The student doesn’t tolerate the teacher’s bad manners, and his bad responses although the kid is struggling to do things nice. I listen to this student. I let him speak. But I do not criticize the teacher, albeit he objectively does some things wrong. I keep what the student told me. I try give him some advice I guess it could help him out. Children and teens have a big sense of justice. As well I think about my own conducting the classes.” / Photo from: the musical-film version of Oliver Twist (1968), directed by Carol Reed.
Monday, November 15, 2010
This is a worksheet I composed for my students last school year. When some quicker students finished doing their exercises of the text book, they asked me for a worksheet. The students were about 10 and 11 years. Spanish. I have changed some small details. You can set the formatting as you wish or just take some idea. / Photo from: www itfgo southcom mil
Worksheet nº 84
Written on Friday,
1. Alfonso Jiménez has asked me to interview you for the newsletter of the school.
a. How long ago did you arrive to our school for the first time? ...................
b. What is the subject you like most? .................................
c. What extra-timetable activity would you like to start in our school? ....................................................................................................
d. A colour. .............................. A taste. ........................ A smell ........................... [These interviews appeared in the school magazine (or newsletter) and were very popular: everyone wanted to appear, with his photo].
e. Talk about a dream you can remember or invent one dream. ........................................................................................................................................................................................................
2. What is this object? It’s electronic. We keep food inside to conserve it. Also there can be drinks. You can buy it in MediaMarkt.
3. One-odd-out. Brown, yellow, large, deep, strong, short, fat, green, black, white, high, fast, abundance, violent, stupid, profound.
4. Look: ‘present’ is pronounced as /’prezƏnt/, and ’look’ is pronounced as /luk/. What are these words: /’wepƏn/, /’jelƏw/
5. Translate into English: Froehliche Weihnachten und ein gluckliches Neues Jahr! [it’s a joking question]. ........................................................................................................................................................................................................
Prisoner / Safe
Skyscraper / Strong
Skyline / Beautiful
Film / Skillful
Girl / Blonde
Guy / Tall
Carpenter / Scary
Jail / Dangerous
7. Describe ‘car’ by using these words: wheels, vehicle, petrol, people.
Copenhagen / Ireland
Moscow / Russia
Dublin / Denmark
Rome / Greece
Athens / Italy
Sunday, November 14, 2010
One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “Your students can learn a lot by carrying out project-works and making up posters, about one topic they’ve chosen.
They work in pairs.
In the class you can make a brainstorm of ideas from them, for possible projects, related to their likes and interests.
So they´ll suggest topics, with your help.
Next, they make some simple research, on the Internet, in English: sport, current news, science, a film, skiing and resorts in Sierra Nevada (Granada), our natural environment, hurling international league, history of Britain, customs and dresses, cuisine, 3D cinema, dinosaurs, the house of the future.
They can write a summary of an interesting text found on the Internet. And the last step is pasting their summaries – very brief ones! – and some pictures on a card poster, to be hung on the walls of the classroom; for example, you might select four posters.”
/ Photo from: dezeen com. A project by Norman Foster.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Hi my followers, just to tell you there was a problem on my blog, I don’t know which one. This morning I composed a new entry for the blog, namely the text of post # 493. After that I opened my blog to copy and paste the new entry when I saw that in the section of Followers there was a warning by CanguroNet and so I couldn’t see your photos. I’m sorry. (Usually I write the new entries on new Word documents).
/ Photo from: zonadvd com. The Stage Coach, starring a young John Wayne. This film launched him as a starting brilliant actor. John Ford, as you may know, directed the film. The movie is known in Spanish as La diligencia. It was released in 1939.
Here is a summary of points that may be considered when teaching a language, in my opinion. I have also taken them from my former blog. Any useful? I mixed some ideas of mine and some by scholars, like for example pedagogue Víctor García Hoz.
1. Learning a language should be a profoundly human process.
2. It serves communication among people.
3. The teacher can explain to his or her students the foundation of communication: Emissor-Message-Receiver. Give examples.
4. Learning a language is not only something technical, but human.
5. Communication offers a message which can enrich me and the other(s).
6. Communication helps to learn how to live with other people. We have to learn how to live with others, how to get to know the others.
7. In the classroom there should be real communication. It enriches us as humans.
8. Debates as well are interesting: the students give their opinions and learn to listen to others.
9. Learning grammar and vocabulary is an instrument to communicate. Drill-activities teach us the tools for communication.
10. Games need and create communication.
11. The teacher should help the students learn how to work well and neatly.
12. Should make them engage their minds, solve problems, think. Should include texts with substance: historical, biographies, ethical, philosophical, scientific, technological, etc., if those texts are in accordance with their parents’ ideas.
/ Photo from: oregonlive com
Sorry: I have been obliged to hide the list of followers, I’ll tell you why ;-)
Friday, November 12, 2010
One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “Active listening: when the students listen to you as explaining in English how to carry out an exercise from the text book or a game, they are actively listening to you, not simply hearing something.
For example this active listening can take place when you (or a student) present, explain the meaning of a word they’ve got to guess, and which one they’ve already learned.
Each student has their unique way to grasp the hints.
They may, for example, catch one word - from the presentation - they already know.
Another word sounds as something which resembles a term of their mother tongue, albeit this term has got a very different meaning in English.
The students listen carefully, and gaze at any visual prompt from the teacher.
They stare at the quick and short process of drawing the object on the board.
Uncounsciously they link chunks of information, making up a scheme of the meaning, although later they can get confused and lost, because there are some words that distract their effort to understand.
They connect the description with already known concepts of objects, without being aware of this step of the process.
Summing up, this activity in the class is a nice step forward in their learning a language.”
/ Photo: Wimbledon, from Top10inlondon web-site.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “Some moms that come to tutorials in the school are a tad bit worried about their adolescent sons: He doesn’t love me so much now. Now he arrives home and closes his door, music up and plunged into the Internet. I’m also worried about the relationships he can have by the Internet – now you can hear so crude and obscene stories about relationships through the Intenet; what about my son, if he... He does not correspond to my affection. Now what his friends say seems to be the only authoritative rule to take.
I think yes, right, that’s sure. Only one clue now for those worried moms, and dads. To educate today is not that simple as when they, his parents were educated at home and at the school: their parents get to learn how to educate today, they get to read adequate books, selected with discernment and according to what they think is convenient.” / Photo: httpactiverain.comblogsview932924february-events-in-lebanon-missouri-free-or-low-cost-
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “Yesterday I again noticed the door of one of the boys’ bathrooms squeaked. Then I thought I had to fix that problem myself once and for all, and had to go to take a spray of lubricant. But I thought a boy could do that small job. We both, teachers and students have to straighten the school up a little. If the things of the school work nice, that tidiness educate the students, and the teachers. Also it’s the nice thing for their parents to see when they visit the school.
Then we two went to the workshop place to look for a spray. I sprayed on the hinges, commenting on the carrying out the operation. I asked Miguel Ángel to take some bathroom paper to clean the remaining oil. After that, I asked him to make swing the door: no more noise now, ok. The last thing I told Miguel Ángel was to give back the spray.
The point is I want the students feel one of their duties is to take care of the building, where they live many hours a day.”
/ Photo: 2001-odisea-en-el-espacio – Directed by Stanley Kubrick. Released in 1968. photo from giseglh wordpress com. Original title: 2001: a space odissey.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “You can advise your students to read something in English for a while, a long one if possible, right before an oral exam. This reading prepares the candidates to have more resources to express their ideas. The candidates arrive at the examination place as already trained, as practiced, like when before a sport game. Their English is fresh, their mind more adapted to think in English. They are already like in their own land, ready to respond in English in a fluent way.” / Photo: pilote_dans_cockpit_A320_01 . Credits above.