Teaching Village Rotating Header Image

English

Bringing Happiness to the Classroom (by Vladimira Michalkova)

What is the meaning of life? To be happy and useful.

- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

happiness newA real authentic smile of a student is worth every single minute you spend on giving them a reason for it. (more…)

Teaching High Level Kids (by Randy Poehlman)

Children's literature

Photo: Anyaka

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…)

Because teachers matter

Soon after I moved back to Japan, I had coffee with Kazu Nakamura, the new (at that time) president of Oxford University Press Japan. During our conversation, Kazu outlined his goals in regards to OUP’s educational mission. Part of the conversation, paraphrased in my memory, went like this:

Kazu: I want us to provide teacher training workshops in all areas of Japan.
Me: OUP  already organizes workshops every year in all regions. How would this be any different?
Kazu: I want to send authors and trainers to the rural areas that don’t usually get attention. Even if only a few teachers attend, that’s OK. I want teachers to know that they matter.
Me: That’s nice.

I smiled, and gave Kazu credit for having his heart in the right place, but really didn’t expect to hear anything about his idea again. (more…)

The Treasures of Teaching (by Joanne Sato)

Joanne SatoHi. I’m a British woman who has been living and teaching in Japan for thirteen years. I have lived in Fukushima (yes, THAT Fukushima) city for the last ten of those and work at a women’s college. I have an MA in TEFL from the University of Birmingham, England. I am currently days away from giving birth to my second daughter and getting ready to leave the city I have come to regard as my home and embark on a new life in Sendai city. Here are five, very small, contextually specific observations/things I wanted to share on my life as a teacher. I hope you find them of interest. If not, I hope you come up with your own and ask Barbara to share them here. (more…)

Teaching English in Europe and the U.K. (by Sandy Millin)

I’m a native Brit who loves languages. I did my CELTA during my final year of uni when I was studying French, German and Spanish. Once I’d finished my degree I decided to head straight to Europe and start my English teaching adventures, but rather than going somewhere where I could already speak the language, I took the plunge and went to the Czech Republic, a country which I didn’t really know that much about, but where there was a job available at a good school.

(more…)

Are we going too global? (by Yitzha Sarwono)

Some people fear that in the race to make Indonesian students more global, they may be losing the sense of what it means to be part of the Indonesian nation.

August 17th is Independence Day in Indonesia. Just like other countries, on this day we celebrate the history of how Indonesia became a nation. When I was a student, I felt like I was drowning in nationalism, even when it wasn’t anywhere near Independence Day.

(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

(more…)

How to plan an exciting EFL museum trip (by Lesley Ito)

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.

Meeting at the museum

(more…)

Tell a story! (By Christina Markoulaki)

Here I am, back from a short-term holiday and ready for my summer lessons! It is customary in Greece for the winter courses in private language institutions to end around May; towards the end of June schools resume preparations to welcome those students who are willing to finish one more English-language class by taking an accelarated course in the summer months. The point is that the Greek weather is rather an impediment to studying since it is invariably scorching hot and sunny, calling for some soothingly cool sea bathing rather than having language lessons! Therefore, the question that immediately troubled me was: what can a teacher do to help these students start learning on a positive note?

(more…)

Proactive Discipline–Tend to Your Garden (by Eric Kane)

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…)