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Why I love Teachers 2014

I'm in love with teaching

A few years ago I wrote a simple little post about the reasons I love Teachers. Since then, I’ve had a chance to work with some amazing Teachers through the International Teacher Development Institute. So, I thought it was time to bring the post out,  dust it off, and update my list of reasons. (more…)

Teaching Pronunciation that Matters (by Nina Septina)

Nina on guitar

Pronunciation is like an art to me, and I’ve always enjoyed it. It is like learning how to play guitar, where we have to figure out when to use different picking strategies or strumming patterns to produce the desired sounds. In pronunciation, we also need to use many different techniques and tongue positions in our mouth to produce the right sounds. Another similarity is that we’ve got to know when to change how hard or softly we should hit the guitar strings when playing a song. The same thing happens when we have to figure out how hard or how soft we should stress certain syllables in words, or some words in sentences when speaking. Finally, there’s the use of rhythm as the main component that shapes the flow of the song, just as it also shapes the flow of the speech in pronunciation.
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Where do your stories come to life? (by Malu Sciamarelli)

A book is like a garden carried in your pocket.

(Chinese Proverb)

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…)

What I’ve learned and am still learning (by Ratnavathy Ragunathan)

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…)

XXIII Rules for Student-Centered Language Teaching (by John F. Fanselow)

Note from Barb: 25 years ago, John F. Fanselow published Breaking Rulesencouraging teachers to really see what was happening in their classrooms, and then considering alternatives. John’s work had a powerful, positive influence  on my own teaching, and I’m thrilled that iTDi is working with John to offer a truly unique five-week course starting in November: Breaking Rules Live. It’s a rare opportunity to work interactively with someone who is certain to challenge your thinking, revitalize your teaching, and inspire you as an educator. (more…)

Little teacher me in the big ELT World (by Yitzha Sarwono)

Note from Barb: I know that attending an international conference is a major decision for teachers — big conferences tend to require a serious investment of both time and money. Since some of you may be facing similar decisions, I thought you might appreciate Yitzha’s reflections about her first international conference experience. (more…)

Upon reflecting on how I became an EFL teacher in Venezuela (by Miguel Mendoza)

“Sometimes the slightest things change the directions of our lives, the merest breath of a circumstance, a random moment that connects like a meteorite striking the earth. Lives have swiveled and changed direction on the strength of a chance remark.”-Bryce Courtenay


I have been teaching English for more than 20 years. From teaching children to adults; from teaching students to training teachers; from EFL to ESAP; from using board and chalk (I still do!) to computers, flipcams and smartphones; from teaching F2F to emoderation; from being trained to teach able-bodied students to “training” myself to teach and care for functional diversity students; and from contemplating a career in arts to choosing my second best: teaching English. And from this last revelation, and maybe you sitting on the edge of your seats, you might be wondering how I ended up taking the road of teaching – and not exactly the one less travelled! Sorry about that Mr. Robert Frost and Sir Ken Robinson. No regrets, though. (more…)

More than six ways of motivating our students

Motivation

Image: rosipaw (flickr)

This week, the iTDi bloggers are talking about motivating students. As always, they come at the topic from different angles, and (as always) they gave me plenty of ideas to think about. (more…)

More than six ways of using technology in language teaching

This week, the discussion question over on the iTDi blog is How do you use technology in your classes? I’ll be honest … I sort of expected that all of the posts (except for my own) would gush about the wonders of technology in teaching. I know that’s a dreadful generalization, but almost all of this week’s authors are digital natives, and quite tech savvy. This generalization sounds worse and worse, doesn’t it, especially when I know that the whole digital native and immigrant distinction is rarely worth the space used to describe it. But sometimes, in online networks, saying anything cautionary about using technology in teaching seens about as popular as saying anything favorable about coursebooks :-) (more…)

Community, Collaboration, and Leadership at Nakasendo 2012 (by Chuck Sandy)

Every once in a way you hear someone say something so true that everything inside you shifts a little. Lights go off in your mind. Pieces of things you’ve been thinking about for years suddenly get tied together, and all at once you wind up with a new frame for the window you use to see the world.

This happened to me a few years ago when I heard community activist Bob Stilger say, “every community is full of leaders just waiting to be asked to step forward”. Those words from Bob helped me to reframe and redefine my thinking, the same way that Steven Herder’s now famous statements about collaboration did. When I first heard Steven say, “Anything I can do, we can do better (together)” and “collaboration provides just the right amount of pressure to get things done” similar bright lights went off inside me as a new framework took hold. It is now not too much to say that these statements have come to define how I think about community building, collaboration, and leadership. (more…)