Tuesday, September 19, 2017

3264. Some Hint on Educating to Be Happy

We teachers maybe tend to teach our students knowledge and skills, and it is okay, of course. However we have to remember that we’re educating people, persons, to be happy, ultimately. And it serves the purpose if we educate people, persons, to be mature. Psychologically mature.
Reason and will should dominate affections, feelings and sentiments – these latter ones may be good, of course. A happy person is the one that balances his reason or intelligence with his affections, feelings and sentiments. In other words his reason dominates his affections, feelings and sentiments.
It is not enough to teach him to have a nice communicative competence in English (for example, and which is okay, of course), but we must point at educating thorough and accomplished people, persons.
Affections, for example, should be oriented to what is rational and in accordance to human dignity. Even more, ultimately toward what makes that person happy. When I say happy I’m not referring to superficial gladness, like the one a healthy person can feel, but a profound and deep happiness, which includes all the arch of happiness, also gladness, and this latter may be good too.
We teachers must teach our students, since the age they’re young, to emit judgments about what they’re feeling right now and what they should carry on, toward happiness and plenitude.
Those kids must reason and then operate in the way that is in accordance of them as happy human beings and in accordance to human beings’ dignity too. In that way we’re doing things well, I would say. / Photo from: family-child-posting-a-letter-1903 Antiqua Print Gallery

Monday, September 18, 2017

3263. How to Relax on the Spot

Relaxing on the spot? Is it possible? It is, indeed.
I’ve told you all about relaxing in bed. We can do the same or similarly when standing in the school!
When in bed, and it is something that helps you get asleep, you can do the following operations, in order to relax. Feel your body as if it was so heavy. Relax your arms and legs and your back as if they were rather heavy on bed. Breathe slowly and profoundly.
Then relax the muscles of your face, because inadvertently we can have those muscles so tense during the day. Repeat the same operations, slowly, rather slowly. And slow down the rhythm of your thoughts. Also you can try to listen to silence, the one surrounding you, if possible, or at least slow those ideas down.
Feel all your body in a more and more relaxing way, by means of those operations. Breathe slowly and profoundly.
Over time you will be able to do all this more quickly and more effectively. In a few minutes you’ll achieve to have your body and mind more relaxed.
When all this is very much interiorized, you’ll also be able to relax even when standing in the school: you’ll get more relaxed on the spot, and better if you also can be a bit humorous about yourself and defuse alarming and so tense situations. / Photo from: wallpapers de paisajes.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

3262. Fall is Approaching with Some Big Hope

Today is Sunday and I didn’t want to post about teaching and learning English. It’s a day for resting and relaxing and spending longer time with our families. You know, we’re closer and closer to fall. We in southern Spain hope it’ll rain in that season a lot: the reservoirs have not much water now. Let’s hope it’ll rain profusely.
I like fall days, when day light is diminishing and it gets dark earlier and earlier. It’s being cool lately but no drop of rain so far. I pray good Lord for raining this fall here in southern Spain.
Tomorrow I expect to write on how to relax on regular days, even at work. / Photo from: wallzoa com

Friday, September 15, 2017

3261. Are Our Students Really Learning?

Obviously it is great we teachers plan our lessons in a thorough way. Okay.
Some days ago I read on the newspaper that a college professor said that he strived to teach well but he noted his students got bad grades... When he realized about this point one thing he did was to post videos on YouTube so his students could view them and learn better.
He pinpointed his students’ learning processes.
So we could ask ourselves: Are my dear students actually learning? Are they grasping and acquiring the knowledge and practical skills that are contained in my school subject? How are they learning?
Maybe now it’s the right time to pose this important point. Even something pretty good we could do is posing this point aloud to our students in the classroom, to find out if they’re really learning. Be honest and sincere and talk with your students about the relationship between teaching and learning; even more, tell them that you’re worried and concerned about their actual learning, and give them solutions and learning strategies.
You for sure will get interesting feedback and learn how they’re learning… or not. Devote some time to think about this important issue. It’s worth to do it! / Photo from: BBC. The picture is just a nice illustration.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

3260. Our Work Makes Us Better, No Doubt!

All of us want to work well and carry it out fine at this beginning of the school year, right? And all this blog is about trying to teach effectively and how to learn effectively too.
I can assure you that our work makes us better persons. Even and because we have a spiritual part of ourselves we can elevate that work to a transcendent sphere.
We can do it with supernatural “lenses”: we can offer it to God our father. As simple as that. And the consequence is that we are transforming that work into something that not only makes us better but also makes us saints in everyday life – remember we have elevated that nice work into something supernatural and we can count on his supernatural help.
So we can be happy while working, though we may have some problems, even dire straits. And also we can hold an interior conversation with our dad God while working.
I mean, from the ordinary and regular things that occur to us we can tell him about our problems and joys, and in some way or other he will tell us something. / Photo from: Insight India Voyage. I posted a picture that shows so an ordinary place to work as a simple office.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

3259. Sense of Humor Plus Love of Benevolence

I can see all of you teachers try to do things well. I know so because you view other teachers’ blogs and stuff. For example TeacherLingo.
If you try to do things okay, sooner or a bit later you will gain some nice prestige. And that prestige will lead you to good consideration both by your directors and your students. Also by their families.
One important point when treating other people is sense of humor, sense of humor plus elegance. I’ve seen it in other teachers: they had success because they treated their students with love, with love of benevolence, which means to wish what’s good for our students.
Although sometimes you’ll have to be like a sergeant, the core point is anyway treating those kids politely and respectfully. Always by treating them as intelligent beings and persons that deserve all our respect anyway. / Photo from: police-dogs WonderList. I tried to post a picture that showed a police officer with elegance and smiling. And the dog is okay too anyway.

Monday, September 11, 2017

3258. How to Amplify Necessary Vocabulary

A second or foreign language teacher, unless he’s a native speaker, must learn the language too, together with his students.
Also he must learn many words, to be able to communicate with his students in that language, for instance. And he will learn words if he sees them in a context; otherwise he will not gain those words, if they aren’t in a context.
Because of that it would be perfect if that teacher would read for example a fiction book in that language, English in my case. Thus learning words directly from a dictionary seems that it’s not appropriate nor sufficient. It's my experience, at least.
As well the students will be able to gain more vocabulary if they see those new words also in a context, for example in a simplified and abridged reader or short book.
When learning words is a habit then if you read a novel, you also acquire words: they get stuck in your mind inadvertently and when writing for example they come to mind unexpectedly! It is my own experience. You are creating a vocabulary tank, from which you can retrieve necessary words for communication, which is the goal of that school subject of a second or foreign language. / Photo from: mailman Boston Herald. Those nice workers make communication effective among people.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

3257. Being Creative and Flexible at Teaching the Lessons

We’ve just started the new school year and we have nice and serious resolutions. And we’d like to improve here and there as well, and this and that and so many other things!
I would advise you to have one goal per day.
And at the end of the work day we could examine whether we got it or otherwise that must be next day’s goal again. Also we should have one goal per class, per lesson, one goal concerning our students: they need to improve at getting focused on what I’m saying, or they need to improve listening for the gist in English, our target language, or even more specific: Let’s start teaching when I’ve accomplished to get them attentive, maybe by means of a warmer activity, like a dictation for example.
One class, one goal.
And the objective must be something we can really achieve, not something too utopic and chimeric. In that way we’ll be trained at also advising our students to make up some achievable resolutions when talking with them, both at tutoring sessions and when addressing the whole class! / Photo from: Grand National Horse and Hound. We are like at a race so we must have clear and specific goals!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

3256. How to Motivate Our Students: Some Hint

Our classes should be interactive. Not just attending them, writing or typing some notes and passing the exam.
What about reading something, like a book, journal, article from the Internet, and also discussing about the issue in the classroom? Of course the teacher should present some point, but the students also and this makes them protagonists of the classroom and they can present some point too. This demands some nice effort by them.
Okay, you can try and find out what is best for your lessons and students and their needs.
However if the students take a positive and active position they will have to use nice learning strategies, like planning their work, summarizing and synthesizing, interacting with their classmates, learning how to talk in public for their classmates and the teacher to be able to understand what they just presented.
Thus the class will be some nice discussion about topics and their inherent points, and our students will strive to learn actively. Anyway you should tailor your lessons the way they work better for your own students. All this stuff has to do with the flipped-classroom methodology and is like a concretion of it. / Photo from: Castillo_de_Javier_Turismo_Navarra Turismo en Navarra. There are thousands of topics that are educative for our students, like history: maybe it seems it is useless, from a pragmatic point of view, but if you don’t know your own history you know nothing, and you can’t learn from the past to avoid present and future problems.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

3255. How to Treat Our Colleagues and Students

So remember that we teachers must have some nice rapport both with our colleagues and with our students.
In Spanish we say kind of “good chemistry”, but the meaning is the same as in English “rapport”.
With all those people, with whom we’re about to spend so many hours together, let’s have and show cordiality and affability. Even more that rapport should be love of benevolence, as Aristotle said. And it means that we have to seek what’s good for the other people.
And much of that love is about learning to listen and observe the other people. A teacher must have good ears to listen to his colleagues and students alike. We’re going to spend so many hours together this starting school year.
So rapport… with prudence anyway, for we may be also treating persons of the other genre and we do not wish ugly gossip all around nor doing things bad. So prudent rapport it should be, for we’re going to work together pretty many hours. / Photo from: Guardia Civil. That’s a special Spanish police body, rather very popular in our country.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

3254. How to Empathize with Our Students

I repeat on purpose: our students should be easy and somehow relaxed in the classroom. But at the same time some nice and sane tension helps them learn! They may be eager to participate for example. And some challenge is necessary to learn! Great history deeds by people have been done because of some challenge or problem to solve…
In the classroom the atmosphere should be quiet and predisposed for learning, listening, reading and studying. We teachers in some way should be like fine self-help books. In other words we have to have some psychology, often due to experience and learning from other teachers and psychologists.
The atmosphere, as I said, should be peaceful. For that objective we teachers should empathize with our students, and also should try and understand them.
Last summer I was assisting at an English camp for boys. One of the boys had the disease of solitude. He didn’t like rumors and noise, so frequent at a boys’ camp, right? This kid wanted to be alone and preferred to read a book at the school hall than participate in a loud sport session of soccer for example.
Well thank God I achieved to somewhat empathize with him and even sometimes he managed a smile. Why? I guess I got to put in his shoes and kind of that. His monitors also accomplished to treat him nice. Since I had some experience at treating persons with mental illnesses I got to help that aforementioned kid. / Photo from: female-associate-dentist-ltr 123 Dentist. Dentists also must have some job psychology in order to treat their patients.

Monday, September 4, 2017

3253. Anxiety and Sense of Humor

The important point now that we’re starting with the new school year is for our dear students to be happy.
That’s not against discipline and some sane classroom management. When the thing is set and we’re teaching nice, at this beginning school-year time, we can use some sense of humor and some more cordiality, which will help us hold some nice treatment with our students.
If we’re fair people and honorable or we try to be so, even upright, we’ll get some nice discipline, because we’re serious and delicate teachers. If we work with professionalism and try to be a bit better every single day, more likely our students will respect us.
I repeat on purpose: the chief point is for our students to be ultimately happy, deeply happy, which entails some nice anthropology. I try, with God’s help, to behave as I am, a Christian. And that implies some very nice anthropology. My blog is a sample of that. That is compatible with some not too proud position by me: I'm just a regular English-language teacher. / Photo from: kindergarten. I posted a picture that might show some nice treating the students, full of professionalism.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

3252. Content-Based Instruction as Something Great!

Many of us teachers believe that the communicative approach to teaching/learning a second or foreign language is okay, or among the best ones. But that way of teaching and learning is not confined to just conversation.
Wait, wait, conversation is okay, and very necessary and a core point at that approach, but also we should give that way of teaching/learning both a functional and notional stroke too.
And it isn’t very difficult. You can think of focusing on ways to express functions, like suggesting, discussing, pleading, etc., plus dealing with topics and their vocabulary: at a restaurant, talking among friends, at the airport, shopping, etc.
Think of everyday situations your students will encounter.
I insist on purpose: conversation anyway is pretty important for this way of teaching and learning, and if you achieve to have nice conversations in the classroom, that point solves the rub, up to some extent.
So as to finish, our role in the classroom is not just patching up, but programming functions and notions. Oh, and let’s remember the main thing in the classroom is for the students, both grown-ups and kids to be happy with our teaching methodology! / Photo from: ConceptoDefinicion de. When trekking we need to know the way up, also in the classroom we must know the way we teach.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

3251. Alleviating Our Students' Pains Is Necessary

We teachers cannot separate nor split being a teacher and being concerned about each and every student of ours.
More than being worried about them, any of them I mean, we should be concerned, and we can think how we can alleviate our students’ sorrows and concerns, and share their joys as well.
They expect that from us, up to some extent. Although they may be troublesome sometimes or even often.
Now I’m remembering a teacher I had at my secondary school. I was fourteen, and one day I was kind of worried, serious or a bit sad in the classroom. I was holding my head between my hands. And that teacher, Mr. Miguel Ponce, a nice priest, asked me, at the beginning of one class whether I was fine or not. And I answered something not very polite or elegant anyway.
After some time I realized he had been nice with me and not me toward him. I had replied as a teen that doesn’t like to be asked by an adult. It was a nice thing by him – I don’t know what is about him, or even if he has departed. All a gentleman of him. / Photo from: HireRush Com. That picture fits here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Help for Texas and Louisiana

I bear you all in mind and keep praying for you, people from Texas and Louisiana. I have some friends mainly in Houston and I’m worried and concerned about you. God bless you, J.L. I stand by you.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

3250. Teaching and Learning with the Right Stuff!

Oh, you know, I’m not sure at all but quite many people now bet that the flipped-classroom model is okay for learning.
You may know about it. The students would firstly read from the Internet about some topic they have to learn about, and they’d do so at home, and also they would kind of visualize the topic also at home, as I said, or in libraries.
And in the classroom they with their teacher and their classmates would gently discuss about their findings.
Some people state that it’s a revolutionary way of learning and it’s great, in few words. But I put a question: is it not okay first for the teacher to say something about the topic or topics before the kids seek and search for stuff about those issues?
Anyway their teacher could help his students look for valid material, this is, he would help focus the topic or topics, because on the Web there’s plenty – actually too much about this or that theme, is that right? I think the teacher should assist in some way the searching by the students at home or in libraries. / Photo from: YouTube

Sunday, August 27, 2017

3249. Affection toward Our Students Is Necessary

Our dear students have to create and make up their communicative competences in the target language, okay. And the chance they have is in the classroom proper, right?
Sometimes we talk about either a second or a foreign language, but English in Spain is somehow a second language, because so many things are in that tongue in real life. So English might not be a foreign language anymore, but a second one, with a qualified certainty. In Spain now you can hear more and more English on the streets. Or at least in some cities, like Granada, the so much touristic Granada.
Coming back to the classroom I can tell you that with my adult students my experience is that you can have that special atmosphere in the classroom all the time, also before and after the English lesson, because all or some of my students ask me questions in English when I just entered the classroom, which curiously is a library.
Summing up I can assure you my students are developing nice communicative competences or skills. We focus on communication and merely sometimes on correct and neat grammar.
The important point is communicating in English, this is, producing messages that are interpreted by me their teacher and by their classmates. Summing up again it’s worth to create that atmosphere in the classroom, where English is the language amid us. They associate me with English, and thus they address me in English! / Photo from: Zastavski com. For today I chose a nice picture as an illustration. Sunday is for God and for relaxing, and riding a horse is okay with that week day.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

3248. Communication in the Classroom? Essential!

So we have that we second or foreign language teachers have to train our dear students to communicate in that target language, English for example.
Great Rebecca Oxford (1990) offers some learning strategies that are useful for communication, both by speaking and by writing – also by listening and by reading. For example: switching to the mother tongue; getting help; using mime or gesture; adjusting or approximating the message; coining words; using a circumlocution or synonym…
If we think of them they’re great for communication in English or any other language!
The point for us teachers is creating a nice atmosphere in the classroom where English is precisely the vehicle language for understanding among ourselves!
And here we’re referring to the grand language-learning-and-acquiring approach which is the communicative approach. Here we have to also consider the “Importance [which] is given to learners’ personal experiences and situations, which are considered as an invaluable contribution to the content of the lessons.” These latter words were taken from a website on the communicative approach: http://blog.tjtaylor.net/method-communicative/  
And so we could speak about the students’ learning and learning strategies in the classroom, maybe in English, if possible. / Photo from: Voyager 1 Gobierno de Canarias. I posted that picture of Voyager 1 because it still COMMUNICATES with us people on earth, after 40 years after its launching!

Friday, August 25, 2017

3247. Having Fun by Writing Fiction Compositions!

The new school year is about to start, right? And we teachers will get so committed with our students and our classes.
We will try our students would make good use of the class time. But is it sensible to assign homework, or otherwise it is okay with the school lessons and that’s it? How much homework should we teachers assign?
I would tell you that homework is necessary, just necessary. For example if we are second or foreign language teachers, our students need extra time at home when they’re easy and relaxed to re-read texts we have worked out at school. When our students are relaxed at home – hopefully they’re so! – they should dedicate some time for re-reading, doing some drill exercise, some more fiction writing or non-fiction essays, focusing on some grammar point and practicing by using it in meaningful contexts…
So the answer is a qualified YES, they should have SOME homework.
However let’s consider that those students of ours have other school subjects – math, science, history, chemistry, philosophy… - and they should have enough time for those other subjects: let’s not assign too much homework.
I was thinking of our case, second or foreign language teachers: our students do need time at home to study, to reinforce their communicative competences by using the language for creative writing and enjoying it, by interacting with us their teachers through online computer writing, etc. / Photo from: Castillo de Santa Barbara Ayuntamiento de Alicante. I posted that pic because it might be inspiring for writing fiction compositions.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

3246. Are You Excited before the New School Year?

The committed teacher! The committed teacher will for sure dedicate some time – which may be not paid anyway! – to think of some basic general points about the school year that is about to start.
It depends on the teacher but some of them are used to thinking about that new school year afresh, starting from some general points toward something more punctual. And when thinking in general, he will think: What can I expect from my new students, or from the students I had last year? Or also: What main aims should I have before the new school year?
And he’ll think of one or two general goals. And he will also dream high about his doing and what his students are going to do. And he can think of these points while strolling along a park or the countryside or wherever, or when right opposite his computer, before planning that school year.
What I mean is that before the actual planning he should ask himself what he has to do and what his students have to do, at the view or sight, an overall sight, from his experience last year. What was fine? What do I have to do to improve such and such things that went odd or bad?
Let’s shed a fresh light on my professional work. And that certainly means he’s a very professional teacher, on whom the school can rely! / Photo from: Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Monday, August 21, 2017

3245. When Our Students Are Great!

Our students should get some communicative competence, I said on last post. Some communicative competence in the second or foreign language, I referred to.
Communication in the target language should be predominant in the classroom. I bet we teachers should foster that communication, even when giving announcements in the target language, announcements about school logistics and other school stuff.
The point is creating an atmosphere where English (our target tongue) is the vehicle language for dealing with all in the classroom. Even grammar points could be presented by the teacher or by the students in English, making sure those students can understand well! And for that we have to use clear and properly vocalized language.
Also we will illustrate the grammar point with sentences the students can understand. So let’s hinder the temptation of using the mother tongue. Even we could elicit example sentences from the students, as they’re understanding the grammar point which is being presented.
All this I’m saying may be demanding, but we’re creating the humus or soil where our students can learn and acquire English and therefore grow their “target language plant”. They can acquire English even if they’re adults. But for that we should output and convey massive speech in English!
Try and carry out all this to find out if it works! Mostly our students are great! / Photo from: XciteFun net. The picture may be showing something about conveying messages, as those kids look they’re kind of shouting messages.

Friday, August 18, 2017

3244. Fostering Communication with Our Students!

We second or foreign language teachers should promote and train our students to gain a communicative competence in that language. We do not confine our teaching to language facts. No, we train our dear students for a communicative competence.
That said, focus on providing a massive output from you, for your students to have and receive a massive input and intake. If no input and intake, no language. And for that I advise you to teach at the communicative approach: communication, communication, communication.
Not many language facts but communication in the classroom. So immersion will be fine for our students.
Please pray for us Spanish people, for yesterday August 17 we suffered a big terror attack in Barcelona. Thank you! / Photo from: history-teacher All Education School

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

3243. Before the New School Year!

Welcome if dropping by my blog. I was thinking that we teachers should be very human and humane with our students, maybe now and always, maybe right now that we are about to start a new school year. But always we have to be that way.
Our students do need us.
And we have to be very attentive to what they wish to tell us, even by jotting down some notes, at tutoring sessions and everywhere. Also we can help them all with our affection, care, sense of humor, joy.
As I’m Christian also sometimes I try and give someone some spiritual and supernatural advice – I try and give them Jesus Christ, loving Jesus Christ.
We can offer them our being near them, our affection and attention, like I said. Alike our prayer and understanding them. Soon I’ll try to write about gaining a communicative competence by our students, in the second or foreign language we teach.
Oh, also I would add that if we're attentive to our dear students we'll eventually gain prestige and authority before them. / Photo from: sailing courses in dublin www inss ie. The picture is a beautiful illustration.

Monday, August 14, 2017

3242. Thinking of the New School Year

Some days ago I wrote: “Even in a hostile atmosphere you can gain authority. By working with commitment, dedication, affection, and benevolence love.”
I wrote that for posting today. And I guess it is true. Think of it. I’m thinking of my colleagues in secondary schools or Spanish “institutos”, where often it is not simple to teach. You have to gain your students to your side by affection, commitment, dedication and love of benevolence.
Also I’m thinking of a movie where a rookie young female teacher gained her students in a high school by putting in her students’ shoes by making them write diaries about their lives, sorrows and pains... and joys alike! She learned about her students in that way. She could think in her lesson plans by putting in her students’ shoes. / Photo from: read-a-book-day-fun Time and Date

Friday, August 11, 2017

3241. He Achieved Some Nice Authority!

How to manage a large classroom? I was thinking of the summer camp I helped out at, last July. One day one teacher had a session with more than thirty teens. He had to set them working in teams! He achieved to rope all the boys in the class. He leant on a PowerPoint presentation. He addressed each kid in some way.
The most important point was that he had moral authority: those kids respected and loved him. He treated the boys with interest, affection, gravity, respect, formality. He had something special, ordinary though, at the same time.
He is an experienced teacher, and experience makes the difference. Also I would dare say that he was honorable, honest and upright, and he has devoted his professional life to teaching teens. It’s something you notice soon, pretty soon. Up to some extent the students could “smell” he’s a committed professional. And I’ve seen this in other teachers too. / Photo from: Animalia Life. The picture is just a nice illustration.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

3240. Are You a Charismatic Teacher?

Some useful and interesting points for today. I know about a man that used to say that the more you study something the more you like it! And that’s something we can explain to our students. The more you learn about something the more you’ll be interested on it.
He had chosen the degree of Medicine, kind of by chance. However he had applied all his energies to studying that degree and really he became a prestigious doctor in Spain, Eduardo Ortiz de Landázuri. He died in 1985.
He also said – he as well became a college professor – that being a kind-hearted and good-natured teacher was not against being a teacher that could achieve to lead a class of students. Kindness was not against classroom-management and discipline.
Alike I know a teacher that even smiles often to his students, and his students have a big respect toward him! He has kind of some charisma, yet he’s normal. / Photo from: Today I Found Out. The picture is just an illustration.

Monday, August 7, 2017

3239. Preparing the New School Year

I was thinking of the English summer camp I arrived from some days ago. Oh, it’s been so great. We’ve had fun and also the kids have learned so much English and practiced listening, speaking, reading and writing. Great.
Also they’ve learned and practiced other competences or skills, like working in teams, speaking in public, debating and discussing… Even they’ve learned to make their beds in the morning. And all of them were nice, in spite of a few punctual behavior problems. When you treated the boys aside, they reacted in a nice way.
At the cafeteria or canteen as well they’ve learned to eat their meals nice. I was also thinking that these boys are our future citizens, the ones that will lead our lives.
Some also nice anecdote was that we visited Gibraltar, which is a nice piece of the UK at the south cape of Spain. Even they’ve learned to treat God as a You, as a person, as a dad, with a limitless love like many dads and moms together.
What may they be doing now? Their families also have noticed the nice change in those kids. They’re better sons. And we teachers and monitors have also learned quite much from them. Last but not least they’ve approached levels B1, B2, C1… each kid the level he needs to pass. Remember that B1 and 2 are intermediate and C1 is advanced. / Photo from: campusa ie. That picture is not of our summer camp

Friday, August 4, 2017

3238. Learning for Life Itself!

We teachers have to educate our dear students for life, right? For life now and for their future lives, as citizens, parents… adults.
And something they must learn now is to work as a team. The next activity can be carried out by small teams in the classroom – three members I’d say – or the class as a whole, if this one is not too large. They have to choose four objects they would take to survive in Terranova in winter for six weeks.
They give from the best they have when working in teams. This is an activity we carried out in the summer course I’ve been with boys from Eastern Andalusia, south of Spain, at Costa del Sol. / Photo from: Earth Times

Thursday, August 3, 2017

3237. Back with You Again!

Pheeww! I've been to a summer camp with boys. It's been awesome. On coming days I will post further. I hope so. Sláinte! (Cheers, in Gaelic).

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.