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Activities

Child Learning Through Child Play (by Marco A. Brazil)

10 Great Games that you can do with your Paper Cups, Paper Plates, Toilet Paper Rolls, Clothespins, and Bottle Caps

The best way to develop speaking skills in very young learners is to get the children to talk, but to do that very young learners need exciting experiences so they will have something to talk about. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to create these experiences. The materials for these games are all free or very inexpensive. (more…)

The Role Play App

I got an email recently about a new iPhone app from Edublogs, which is the platform I use for my class blog. Since today is the day I teach at the community center (no Internet except for my phone) and I had planned to have students review language, it was a good opportunity to try it out. While it isn’t really an app for role plays, that was the use I had in mind for today’s lesson. (more…)

EFL Teacher’s Kit for Surviving Kids (by Shelly Sanchez Terrell)

When I first began teaching very young English language learners in Germany, I went a bit insane! Kids climbed the walls literally and flew the paper airplanes I had actually thought would be a creative lesson plan. With 14 children running around and yelling, “Shelly Belly” I nearly quit.  At least they were using English, right? My extensive years of teaching had been to English speaking children who were much older and to English language learners who were in their teenage or college years.  I did a lot of research, because I love a challenge. The tips I learned are included in the Glogster below, which you can click and explore! (more…)

Thoughtful language practice

I’m always looking for ways to add a “thinking” dimension to class activities, and if I can do that with a lot of speaking, and reading, and writing practice then I’m a happy teacher indeed! (more…)

The iPad in the ESL/EFL Classroom (By Kevin Cozma)

Are you an EFL/ESL teacher?  Have an iPad?  Want an iPad?  Have 10 minutes to kill?  Read on.

playing with the iPad

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Fun, in practice

At the end of January, I wrote a post inspired by Volkswagen’s Fun Theory competition. (If you missed the original post, it’s here: The Fun Theory in Language Learning) As often happens, as soon as I had “fun” on the brain, I started seeing posts and information related to this topic all around me in cyberspace! (more…)

Cat and Mouse: Reinvention of a Traditional Game (by Marco Brazil)

In the US, they call it Duck Duck Goose.  In Bulgaria they call it Pesek, while in Ghana they call it Antokyire.  Children across the globe call it many different names, and in the Philippines we call it Iring-IringIring is a Bisaya (Filipino vernacular) word for cat. (more…)

The Fun Theory in Language Learning

This morning, a friend shared this video on facebook. It’s one of the entries for the Fun Theory award, which recognizes ideas and inventions that prove that fun is the easiest way to change behavior for the better. Wouldn’t you want to take the stairs if they were this much fun?

Of course, I immediately shared the video with my friends on Facebook and Twitter :-)

I wasn’t the only one who thought about what the Fun Theory could do for English class.

Just think. No matter how you package it, it’s hard to gain much fluency in a foreign language without a lot of repetition, which students often see as the learning equivalent of taking the stairs. Given the chance, students will choose the escalator every time. But, if repetition were fun, would students beg for more? Probably.

Of course, in the back of my mind I was thinking that applying the Fun Theory to learning tasks could mean a lot more work for already busy teachers.

Kim Takeda came up with a wonderful solution:

What a brilliant idea! Let the students solve their own problems! The process itself could be an excellent language task. Students can identify which tasks they dislike, and suggest ways to make them more fun (but still as effective). It would be interesting to see how students and teachers see the same tasks.

Do you think your students would change anything? If so, what?

Meeting Challenges in the EFL Classroom/ Part 2: Using technology (by Christina Markoulaki)


You can read the first part of this post
here.

The outline of the presentation with all the links can be found here.

Moving on to the second challenge all teachers around the world need to face at some point, I am going to refer to the constant use of books or anything that comes in paper. Yes, all printed material is extremely useful and informative, but hasn’t it become too predictable these days? Students invariably expect that photocopies will be handed to them, that they will play some kind of board or card game at the end of the unit and that they will have to submit their homework on a piece of paper. This will come as a surprising statement from a fanatic book lover and proponent of using coursebooks in the classroom, but I have finally realized that if we want to truly attract students’ interest, then we need to think of unique ways to spice up the learning procedure. (more…)

Meeting Challenges in the EFL Classroom/ Part 1: Read-aloud activities (by Christina Markoulaki)

Branko M., Assistant Professor of American Literature of the English Department (Faculty of Humanities in Serbia),  has been so kind as to give me the opportunity to present in a webinar some of the challenges teachers worldwide need to face if they wish their teaching to result in efficient learning on the students’ part. Although I feel fortunate to have been trusted with students of all ages and levels, the difficulties posed on the way have been numerous, also allowing me to take delight in their resolution. (more…)