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…)
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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…)
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Wacky facts I’ve Learned from teaching cross-curricular lessons.
(The information contained in this article was originally presented as a Pecha Kucha at the JALT National Conference in Tokyo, Japan in November 2011.) (more…)
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Whenever I teach, I do all I can to present language so that it comes to life for the students. As an English teacher, I instantly become an actor in order to convey meaning for any new language being taught. I recall the first time I was teaching in a classroom in Taiwan, where every student spoke the same language. In order to communicate with beginning and elementary level students, clear gestures and the use of realia were essential. These helped create a context for the language so the students could grasp the meaning. (more…)
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What is the meaning of life? To be happy and useful.
- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama
A real authentic smile of a student is worth every single minute you spend on giving them a reason for it. (more…)
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Teaching high-level children can be a challenging endeavor, fraught with various drawbacks and difficulties for a teacher. Students who are returning from an English speaking country, who have become bilingual through intensive children’s language programs, or those who come from a household where two or more languages are spoken require a program tailored to their unique needs. Designing lesson plans and implementing them effectively will allow the students to continue to develop their language skills. Using a number of approaches and activities in the classroom helps to keep these high-level elementary students engaged and on the right path. Sharing opinions, debating, writing stories and various other writing styles, expanding the curriculum to include other subjects and moving beyond vocabulary lessons, will allow students to continue their development. (more…)
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I have been teaching teens for 20 years and finding effective strategies to motivate them is something that I have always been interested in since it has really helped me with my teen classes. The best strategy in my bag of tricks is CHOICE.
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As a teacher in an English language school with a strong cross-curricular focus, I always try my best to bring authentic materials into the classroom. Humans learn more when they can experience the real thing, instead of just looking at pictures of it in a book. Of course, it is not always possible to bring everything you want to teach about into the classroom, so it is beneficial to occasionally take students to a museum.
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Creating a positive learning environment with few discipline problems is a goal of any teacher. We all want to give our young learners the best opportunity to succeed, but sometimes we forget that building this type of environment, much like tending to a garden, takes planning, effort, consistency and a fair amount of time and patience. Any missed step can lead to a reactive environment, or a garden full of weeds. (more…)
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