- For Teachers
Another training article. Something my trainees weren't doing very well -drilling. Not very exciting, but someone might find it useful.
I recently watched an inspiring talk given as part of the TED 2008 conference by Dave Eggers, a philanthropist and teacher-at-large (as they describe him). The talk shows ways in which dedicated one-to-one teaching can be provided to pupils who would not normally have access to this sort of personal tuition. What's more, the students seem to lap it up.
The successful and growing network of professionals volunteering their time to shine their light on local students of all ages is only part of the story. His novel approach to teaching and the way he makes learning fun should be an inspiration to all of us.
As Time puts it: "Many writers, having written a first best-seller, might see it as a nice way to start a career. He started a movement instead."
As an aside from my usual topics about using computers for language education, recently I am involved in a teacher training programme and would like to share an article I am working on to assist new teachers to plan a lesson.
As part of the course, trainees need to present evaluation lessons using a grammar based syllabus prepared with PPP.
I hope this will be interesting to other teacher trainers and helpful to trainees, and I would like to hear your comments and criticisms.
I'm writing this article to express some of my thoughts on photography and share with you their educational value. I have started to use photographs in my English classes. I use them as a means to spark discussion and prod my students in producing language.
The physical body speaks language and is a wonderful tool to draw on to teach young learners English or anyone for that matter. I use physical gestures, emotions, actions, movement, voice, and eye contact to teach language to my young students. In no time, young learners begin to physically respond to language and understand its meaning.
When Richard Flynn of Using English approached me to write lesson plans for the site, the idea of putting together a primer sprung to mind.
There comes a point at which understanding and studying language from a top-down perspective is just about impossible without a good understanding of the details. In this way, a bottom-up approach to foreign language study is necessary. This is not easy, however. In some instances, it requires looking closely at grammatical forms that are used less frequently and that might be more complicated. It also requires learning and teaching vocabulary with a lexical approach. A bottom-up approach to ESL/EFL learning is further complicated by reduced forms, or reductions, which occur in the everyday speech of people whose first language is English. Students might feel that English is quite mysterious and complex. I think it is not often enough that a bottom-up approach is used in the ESL/EFL classroom. The opportunity for a bottom-up approach to learning and teaching English might not present itself in all its forms in the first place. One has to allow bottom-up to present itself. This will begin to assist students in unlocking the mystery. The ESL/EFL classroom can, at times, shelter students from the reality of how English is used. Guidance from an ESL/EFL teacher with an objective viewpoint and whose first language is English is, therefore, indispensable to the ESL/EFL learner.
Cross cultural awareness training should be part of any English language instruction (more so for adult language students) since culture teaches us what is appropriate to say and do. Culture provides a frame of reference and explains why things are done the way they are. There's a strong connection between language and culture. Helping English language learners see the connection can help them understand more clearly the meaning of language and help them to communicate more effectively. Is it really necessary? I think so. Just learning vocabulary and grammar isn't enough. Language students should be given opportunities (role-plays are good for this) to develop an understanding of the culture and the society in which the English language is used.
I'd like to thank UsingEnglish.com - Learning English as a Second Language for the opportunity to share with its membership the EFL Teacher Postcard Project, a collaborative project between myself and Takayuki Nakahara, a webmaster.
A while back I introduced a fairytale play in my classroom. It is called "The Magic Sieve" and is based on a Japanese folktale. It came from the book Just a minute: Ten Short Plays & Activities For Your Classroom by Irene N. Watts.