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February, 2010:

Text Your Knowledge (by Nick Jaworski)

Part of the series: Stuff All EFL Teachers Should Know

As a manager I interview a lot of teachers.  One question I always ask is about reading texts.  If you have a short reading text, what are some different ways in which it can be used?  I am constantly surprised by the lack of responses I get to this question.  Candidates most often give one of two responses

1)      I have the students read the text and then I ask them questions about it.

Ok, this is standard and nothing wrong with that.  We want to check to see that the students comprehend the text, but this is generally quite boring and is really more of a test than teaching reading skills.

2)      I have the students read it out loud.

Sadly, I have seen this used a lot in classes at well.  I’m sitting and observing a class of 15 students and the teacher asks one student to read out loud while the others follow along in the book.  This has to be one of the worst wastes of time for a class.  One student is speaking and the other 14 students are bored out of their mind and not paying attention.  Additionally, the one reading isn’t comprehending the text because they are too focused on speaking correctly.  The only thing being worked on here is pronunciation of the one student reading the text. (more…)

I Only Thought I Knew My Students (by Ric Murry)

Part of the series: Lessons Learned from Students

THE BACKGROUND:

2008, I returned to the 7th grade Social Studies classroom after a seven-year hiatus in Computer Applications and the Media Center.  I wanted back in the classroom where I could work with a smaller number of students and develop a long-term relationship as a teacher and mentor to those who chose to see me this way. (more…)

Things I’m happy to know (by Tamas Lorincz)

I jumped at the opportunity to contribute to what I believe to be one of the best blogs in the EFL  blogosphere.

I allocated an hour to writing this post, and even after 12 hours of fruitless toil, I am none the wiser.

The fruitless attempts wordle

http://wordle.net

What should every EFL teacher know?

I have been trying to find the answer to this question for twenty years. I always believed that I knew what it was and then I lost it again and had to look for it anew. But now I have realised that this search was the answer. (more…)

Teaching language or teaching through language? (by Tatiana Sobral)

10 Tips from a Brazilian Bilingual Teacher

I’ve been teaching at the primary section of The British School of Rio de Janeiro since 2002. About 80% of our students are Brazilian Portuguese native speakers, and the other 20% come from many continents across the globe, mainly Europe, North and South America. A percentage of the teaching staff are native English speakers who also come from overseas.  I am bilingual but I teach all subjects in English, which languagewise makes me feel I’m a full time EFL teacher. My experience working in an international school has reinforced my belief is that language should work as a vehicle for learning, as opposed to being the learning objective by itself. (more…)

Crossing the Physical and Linguistic Divide (By Catherine Cabiness)

As an educator for over 15 years at the intermediate level, I have experimented with a variety of methods to engage my students in their learning.  My latest endeavor involves introducing different kinds of technology to enhance the teaching of Medieval World History.  Through a professional networking site, I came across a request for international pen pals.  I thought, “Why not?”  My kids are learning about world history, why not try to meet other students from those very cultures?  And that’s how I came upon PikiFriends and Jeff Dionne.

(more…)