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
Monday, November 29, 2010
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.
Monday, November 8, 2010
One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “On post # 486 you said – in the title – that our mind has a powerful capacity, right? I know your titles are puns and the like. Anyway, is it not a bit arrogant to say that human mind is so stack powerful?” replied teacher A,
“Uh huh, more powerful than what you think.”
When I began my career I made the firm resolution to keep in mind always that our capacities have been given by our Dad in Heaven. God has a love to you, more than your dad and mom when you were a child, or even more tenderness than all the dads and moms on earth together. Hencefore bear in mind that God wishes you to enjoy your daily work, and to be happy, joyful, and cheerful.
He is close to you when you are teaching and your students are learning, from you.
If you lead yourself that way, you’ll help out your students and their parents – or parent, be happier.” / Photo: una_noche_en_la_opera_0_02_08_000 www zonadvd com
Sunday, November 7, 2010
I have copied a post of my former blog and pasted it onto a Word document, and then I’m trying to set it on this very blog, as a new entry. There could be some format setting problems. I have changed minor things from the text published then,
October 9, 2007. / Photo: nigerian-student factmonster com
More about effort in learning English
"Mistakes are easy; mistakes are inevitable. But there is no mistake so great as the mistake of not going on."
This was written in 1876 by Jex Blake, and I assure you it hasn't lost its value in our time. In Spain, my country, experts say that children today have more than ever before, but many times lack in receiving affection and also lack in discipline and effort: everything is at hand just in a blinking of the eyes.
Notwithstanding, as I proposed in previous posts, effort is crucial. That is, the firm resolution to do it, to learn English. That person, with that quality, wins the battle always. What is worth to gain implies effort. Best students enroll themselves in a program of a school or an academy, precisely to be demanded by a teacher. In my doctorate research I also used other terms that try to round up the concept of effort---think of them, because they constitute a help to the learning process of a language: willingness, energy, self-control, desires to communicate in the target language, self-involvement, initiative, responsibility, self-planning (Oxford 1990), studying, creativity, constancy, to intervene and participate in the class, autonomy, capability of intuition (Stevick 1989), discerning, perseverance, the more you dedicate to this process the better.
In other words Thomas A. Edison said:
"The three great essentials to achieving anything worthwhile are; first, hard work, second, stick-to-it-iveness, and third, commonsense."
OXFORD, Rebecca (1990) Language Learning Strategies. What Every Teacher Should Know. Boston: Heinle & Heinle Publishers.
STEVICK, Earl W. (1989) Success with Foreign Languages. Hertfordshire: Prentice Hall International.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
One day teacher of English A said to teacher of English B, “I’ve been lately thinking that school should be, has to be, more than instruction, you know. I mean, not only instruction in history, biology, speaking in English, math, and so on. Consider what I’ve copied for you. Here you go. Look. ‘A recent historian has termed Harvard in that period [the fifties] an Eden, a truly collegial place where the life of the mind was valued and everything needful was at hand. An enriching contribution to our teaching, I think. You can keep the piece of paper.” The quotation is from John T. Bethell, Harvard Observed: An Illustrated History of the University in the Twentieth Century, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1998, p. 210. – [Excuse me, L, I’m so sorry, my apology! I keep at your disposal]. / Photo: The Matrix emezeta com
Friday, November 5, 2010
A worksheet for my students.
Benvenuta, Laura, ti ringrazio diventare sostrenitice dil nostro blog (scusi se io sonno commettito cualche errore; ho studiato italiano nella mia facoltà, a Siviglia, ma molti anni prima).
As you can see their level is very low. But they are learning, thanks to God. This current school year one of the students – the only one I have - and I speak all the time in English, the half hour of the class-period. I “don’t understand” Spanish, so he’s got to tell me the things however he can do. I make faces, trying to understand him. I catch the words he says, and make out what he means. It’s funny, because he “invents” some words; if they are too similar to Spanish ones, I keep on not understanding him, and ask him to carry on to explain his message.
I composed the sheet below for the private use in the small group then (3?), yet I didn’t write the source sites. Anyway, these pictures appear on previous posts. Sorry for the formatting bugs – this is a Word document and I’m trying to copy and paste it on this new post. In question 3, I wrote “Cono”; it’s a school subject: Conocimiento del Medio; about natural science, geography and social matters.
Worksheet nº 98
Written on Wednesday,
1. General culture quiz. True or false?
a. Romans made many buildings in Spain (Hispania): bridges, theatres, circuses, aqueducts, temples, roads.
b. Muslims arrived in Spain in 1492.
c. America was discovered in 1492.
d. The Internet is a military invention.
e. Elephants are the unique animal which can’t jump.
2. What are the meanings of these words?
a. Tomboy A commnado of soldiers
b. Defence Money I have in a bank
c. Squad Action of repelling an attack
d. Bank account A girl who acts like a boy
3. Correct the errors.
a. In 2005 I had 6 years.
b. Most of my friends has skates.
c. She are making dinner.
d. I have an exam of ‘Cono’ on Wednesday.
T C T O R A R
A R E O L P E A N
5. Match: humour, Niagara Falls, history
(I'm sorry, I gave up, I could not paste the three pictures. Anyway, they are The Parliament with The Big Ben tower, Buster Keaton putting his head into a cannon on a railroad car, and Niagara Falls).
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Kad Merad is the actor on the pictures on the two previous posts. And on this one above. Here he is having a meal with his mail office employees, in a café in the small town of Bergues. He stars also in El pequeño Nicolás, (Spanish v.) now in DVD in Spain. This latter movie was directed by Laurent Tirard. The mother of the protagonist family is Valérie Lemercier, a reputed comedian. / Photo from the movie Bienvenue ches les Ch’tis, and I got the photo from moblog whmsoft net
Just I wanted to make something clear: the main actor on the picture post # 482 is not Dany Boon. Do you know the former actor’s name, on the photo? Here you have the technical data of the film, as taken from Wikipedia.
Réalisation Dany Boon
Acteurs principaux Kad Merad, Dany Boon, Zoé Félix, Anne Marivin
Scénario Dany Boon, Alexandre Charlot, Franck Magnier
Production Claude Berri, Jérôme Seydoux
Budget 11 millions d’euros
Pays d’origine France
/ Photo above: bienvenue-chez-les-ch-tis-27-02-2008-2-g toutlecine com. Two of the protagonists: the mail director and his wife.
I published the following post on a former blog of mine. It was composed on
The teacher will try to promote in his/her student the attitude to learn vocabulary, by talking with him or her, so that this student will become cheerful to find out how to say more things in English, to communicate with native speakers or practice new things with his or her teacher in the class. The teacher will try to create necessities to communicate new things in the class. It's like a game. A friend of mine is all the time eager to communicate with English-speaking people. Once we were in a plane of the British Airways, and at once he politely tried to speak with the flight-attendants. This Spanish person is willing to always learn new words. A person like that, with such an attitude, is the kind of person that wins the war of learning a language.
/ Photo: welcome-to-the-sticks-bienvenue-chez-les-ch’tis-4 thecia com au. A funny French movie. Released in 2008. Dany Boon, a French humorist actor is one of the protagonists. The film is in French and in Ch’ti; the latter one is a dialect of French.
“Le film raconte les aventures de Philippe Abrams, directeur d’une agence de
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
You can keep this in mind when teaching your students: “The difference between good and bad students of the same intelligence capability is in the use of the strategies to learn. Good students are aware of the factors that influence on learning and aware of a correct applying of those strategies.” (41) Translated by me from: José Bernardo Carrasco (2004) Una didáctica para hoy. Cómo enseñar mejor. Madrid: Rialp. / Photo: Male-student-studies news rutgers edu