About 25 years ago, my co-author Ritsuko Nakata taught me how to make cubes out of milk cartons, and I’ve been using them in class ever since. I love recycling things and coming up with new ways to use them in lessons. I know that a lot of you do, too, so I’m beginning a new category for Teaching Village so that you can share your own ideas for creating and using inexpensive or free teaching materials. Recycling always makes good sense for the environment, and in tough economic times it also makes sense for our classrooms. (more…)
Note from Barb: Patrick first wrote this for Teaching Village in 2011, but it’s such a great post for St. Patrick’s Day that I decided it was worth sharing again
The real St. Patrick is shrouded in a deep mist (like many of his followers). Legend has it that he brought Christianity to the Emerald Isle while simultaneously banishing snakes. Both these are clearly true. We still have some Christians and no snakes in Ireland. But what can language teachers learn from this Fifth Century Zero to Hero?
This month, Let’s Share is all about reading.
Reading is arguably the most important skill we can help our students develop. While we assume that speaking and listening will be important in our students’ future lives and careers, we don’t honestly have any idea how much opportunity they’ll have to talk to other people in English. Being able to read in English, however, opens windows to the world. All of our students will have access to the Internet, and English is likely to remain the lingua franca online for the foreseeable future. Not being able to read in English limits our students to only that small part of the Web that is in their native language. (more…)
The Great East Japan Earthquake that struck on March 11, 2011 directly impacted people living in Miyagi, Fukushima and Iwate prefectures, but it affected people all over Japan. Over a period of about a year, I did a series of activities with my junior high school students related to the earthquake. (more…)
I had a recent reminder of the power behind this blog’s simple motto: We’re better when we work together.
To get some guidance in preparing for an upcoming webinar about working with large, small, and mixed-ability classes (part of OUP’s Let’s Share project), I put a request out on my facebook page. The webinar is only an hour long, and I want to be sure I touch on the topics that matter most to teachers. I really hate wasting anyone’s time (more…)
A book is like a garden carried in your pocket.
January in Brazil means lots of rain and children on vacation fretting about not being able to play outside. At least, when I was a child that’s the way it was. I remember imaginative stories told to keep me entertained, such as the sky being washed and all the water cascading down as the rain. (more…)
I am Shrishti Choudhary. Professionally, I’m an IT engineer, but the job I relate to more is teaching English to government school kids. With my technical academic background, you might be wondering what compelled me to go for teaching English. Well! It’s a story of a school girl who actually generated the passion in me to want to do something of worth, not only for her but for other students like her. Would you like to know her story? If yes, here we go….. (more…)
Note from Barb: If you’ve been over to the iTDi blog this week, you’ll know that the theme is What I’ve learned in 2012. I was thrilled when Ratna suggested a post on the same topic for Teaching Village since our Villagers are always learning from each other. I think a lot of you will be able to relate to the lessons learned by Ratna this year, and by Scott, John, Yitzha, Ann, Divya, and Chuck (in their iTDi posts). I know I did!
What have I learned……
…….and am still learning, I must say. My oh my, what a “box-of-chocolates” this year’s been for me! Full of surprises and beyond what I would’ve possibly envisioned. 2012 has, indeed, been so productive that I count my blessings everyday for each moment and opportunity that’s knocked on my door. And this gently nudges me back to the question : so, what have I learned from The Wise Master 2012? (more…)
It’s a great pleasure to share affective listening activities here at the Teaching Village. I call them affective listening activities because emotions are very present in the movement, suspense, and laughter they produce. These activities also promote an engaging atmosphere that sparks creativity, enhances attention, and activates students’ memory. Last, they present alternatives to include pronunciation, intonation, and imagination through listening in our classes. These guidelines can be used with recorded stories, movies, and even with songs. (more…)
If you’ve read my About page, you know that one of my day jobs is co-author of a coursebook series called Let’s Go, for children learning English as a foreign language. I’ve worked with my co-authors Ritsuko Nakata, Karen Frazier, and Carolyn Graham for more than 20 years. We’ve shared many “firsts” during our long partnership, quite a few involving technology. We got our first computers in order to write the books, and our first fax machines in order to share drafts of units (because the Internet was still off in the future). When e-mail finally came along, our first messages were sent to each other. Our books have given us amazing opportunities to share what we’ve learned in workshops with teachers around the world, and to learn even more from working with those teachers. (more…)