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April, 2012:

New song worksheets from Marsha Goren

In her previous post, Teaching Songs and Chants in the Classroom, Marsha Goren shared a set of worksheets she had created to accompany the songs on the first GiggleBellies CD. This morning, Marsha sent me a message and attached a new set of worksheets to go along with the second GiggleBellies CD. (more…)

Because We All Love a Good Story (by Kevin Stein)

Some ideas on why and how to use short stories in the language classroom

This morning, while I was greeting students at the front door of my high school, Miki-Chan, a second year student in the International Course, came up to me with a book in hand. She slapped her palm against the cover and said, “This is a horrible story to read in the morning. It says, ‘people were cut up like meat.’” I’m not sure exactly how she wanted me to respond. She was reading a Sherlock Holmes story from a collection in a lower-intermediate level graded reader. We had read the first half in class and students had to finish the story as homework. While I was thinking of an appropriate reply, she huffed off. (more…)

Village updates

First, an explanation about a couple of changes that I’ve made in the past week. You may have noticed that the last couple of posts had a copyright statement at the bottom of the post, and if you subscribe to Teaching Village in a reader or by email, you certainly will have noticed that you now receive a snippet rather than a post. Plagiarism has always been a bit of a problem, but it was manageable. However, Sue Lyon-Jones’ post about copyright and plagiarism was reprinted (without permission) more than was manageable. Luckily, Sue is waaaay more knowledgeable about this stuff than I am, and she helped me make changes here that will keep everyone’s posts safer. If you’d like to read more about snippets vs. full posts, Sue has written another wonderful post about that topic over on Marisa Constantidides’ TEFL Matters. Now, if my posts were the only ones being copied, I don’t know that I would have made the change to snippets. I like getting full posts myself, and as a coursebook author I’m used to living with copyright infringement. However, I’m also responsible for being a good steward for the Villagers who share their writing here–78 guest authors representing 33 countries, and counting. I appreciate your understanding about these changes. (more…)

More than six ways to encourage collaboration in language class

Telling teachers to collaborate is a bit like preaching to the choir. Collaboration is the norm for teachers working together in social networks. Every time a guest author shares a post on Teaching Village and then interacts with readers in comments, we are collaborating in our own learning. However, bringing collaboration into our classes is often a different story. How do we include collaboration in classes where we have a syllabus to follow, or in a school environment that doesn’t encourage different ways of teaching? (more…)

Copyright, Plagiarism, and Digital Literacy (by Sue Lyon-Jones)


image credit: PugnoM on Flickr

Copyright is a pretty a hot topic in the ELT world at the moment, and many people are discussing it and blogging about it.  The law that applies to using lesson materials or blog posts written by other people is complicated, and teachers often find the various issues surrounding copyright confusing. This post sets out to explain some of the main aspects of the law relating to copyright and fair use as it applies to uploading, sharing and remixing materials for educational use, and seeks to provide guidelines for good practice in acknowledging, referencing  and attributing online sources. (more…)

Large Teenage Classes: some strategies to enjoy the lesson! (by Valentina Morgana)

Note from Barb: A few days ago, I wrote a short post for the iTDi blog about teaching large classes. I was fascinated by the Englishometer that Valentina mentioned in her comment, and asked if she’d consider sharing more of her ideas in a guest post here. Lucky for us, she agreed!

About ten years ago (when I graduated), if you had told me I would spend a significant part of my life teaching English to young people, I would have been surprised, a little shocked. To be honest, at that time teaching English was not my dream. I always loved the language, the culture and the literature, but never before had I thought I could be a teacher.

It didn’t have anything to do with the language, I was just afraid of managing thirty young boys all together, only me and them in one room. So I started working in a big international company. My role was to implement communication plans and run workshops for managers.

After two years I realised I was not getting anything back. In terms of values and human relationships, I mean. So I decided to go into teaching. Basically it was moving from an impersonal environment into a strong human-focused one. (more…)

Teaching Songs and Chants in the Classroom (by Marsha Goren)

I am an American who has been teaching English in Israel for 32 years. I have found my work very challenging and rewarding as most children in Israel really strive to know English. I recently retired from the formal school system and am still working in an afternoon school program called “America English School.”

Normally, according to the ministry of education, regular classes start to acquire English as a second language in the fourth grade. However, many schools in Israel allow teachers to begin English in the second and third grade. Teachers usually teach the oral skills through games, drama, songs and visual aids. The written skills are usually taught at a later stage after the reading stages. (more…)

More than six ways of dealing with large classes

From time to time, I recommend blog posts that I think readers might enjoy or learn from. The International Teacher Development Institute (iTDi)  has started a blog that puts a “think tank” twist on the sharing. Every two weeks they ask six teachers to write on the same topic. The first round of posts dealt with error correction, the second round of posts dealt with with homework, the third round dealt with getting students to use English outside of class, and this week’s posts are all about strategies for dealing with large classes. The writers all represent different teaching contexts in different parts of the world, which makes the answers quite interesting. (more…)