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?
Last night, as I browsed through the latest “status updates” from my Facebook friends, I was struck by the fact that over 60% of my friends are non-native speakers of English (NNS). Their mother tongues range from Arabic to Zulu, yet almost all of them regularly communicate with me in English. Additionally, many write blogs in English, attend webinars, use Twitter, run PLNs, and carry out other activities in English.
This set me thinking… How are NNS using English these days? Who are they communicating with? For what purposes? (more…)
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…)
Back in the sepia-tinged days of 2010 when I was still very much finding my way around blogs and Twitter, I was virtually introduced to Barbara and she kindly offered me the chance to do a guest post here on Teaching Village about how I used PowerPoint in class. 18 months on, we again get the chance to collaborate as part of the EVO 2012 Digital Storytelling for Young Learners team along with some other fantastic educators, namely Shelly Terrell, Özge Karaoğlu, Esra Girgin, Jennifer Verschoor, Michelle Worgan, and Sabrina De Vita (full details are included at the end of this post). (more…)
I’m here to tell you about how a simple acronym – EVO – changed my life and was a true turning point in my professional development. When I joined the Electronic Village Online for the first time to take the online session Becoming a Webhead (BaW), I had the feeling it was special in the sense of learning something new, understanding more about this online world, and connecting to like-minded educators for a period of time. Never could I imagine that the Electronic Village Online would be way more than my initial expectation. The Electronic Village Online was a new beginning of renovated passion for my profession as an educator, of lifelong learning and the joy of being always connected. It was not about a definite time, it was about constant feeding and improvement in who I was as an educator and person. (more…)
I teach in an International School in Bangkok. The “internationality” of the school is an interesting term, as there really are two languages spoken here — English and Thai — and not necessarily in that order.
There used to be signs posted around the school saying, “Proud to be an English-speaking only school,” but when I went to find one today, hoping to include a photo of it in this blog post — I couldn’t find any around anymore. Curious. (more…)
My teaching History
Hello. My name is Tomoe Wakui. Please call me Tomo. I am a high school English teacher in Niigata, Japan. I am very happy to have this opportunity to introduce myself here in Teaching Village.
Let me explain my teaching history briefly. I became an English teacher in 1989. I worked at a Girls High School. Except for only having female students, it was just a normal high school. (more…)
In September 2003 I got a phone call from my former primary school teacher offering me a part time job in the old primary school I started my education in. I felt extremely excited!
It was my first real job offer and I was supposed to work with teachers who had taught me the alphabet as colleagues! At that time, I was still a student at a university but as I had already completed my pedagogy and methodology courses, I was more than welcome in Szkola Podstawowa in Tuchom, Poland. (more…)
It’s difficult to pinpoint the precise moment when you become a professional in your area. Some will say it’s when you start your degree, others when you finish it still others will say it’s when you start working. Even more people feel that they need years of experience in order to consider themselves a so-called professional.
In my case, I don’t know when I became a teacher. Maybe it was when my parents hung a blackboard behind my bedroom door. Maybe when I first arranged all my teddy bears and my little cousins as my first students. It might have started many years later when I wanted to drop out from my dreary Economics degree and I bought books about teaching, but I didn’t have the courage to actually follow through on my instinct (fate, desire, willingness) at that time. Maybe it happened when I left my bank job, went to Yemen and by chance ended up in front of 20 Yemeni men teaching them English. It might also have been when I came back to Spain from living in Laos and I studied Education. Or maybe it started a month and a half ago when I got my position to work in a primary school in a village in my home region of Extremadura, Spain. (more…)
Imagine a persistent traveller who suddenly sees an ominous mountain in front of her obstructing her way.
A photo I took on the island of Santorini.
Determined to arrive to her destination, she climbs up the steep slope, ignoring the surrounding thorns and other invisible dangers. What is her eventual reward? She has reached the peak right on time to feel the calming effect of a most memorable sunset.
This is how I personally perceive teaching to be: its initial joys give way to responsibilities, potential trouble in class and special needs to cater for. But every single time the teacher has the chance to witness the progress her class has made, all efforts are justified and there is a soothing effect on the soul. (more…)