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Images à la Dogme (by Chiew Pang)

I must admit that when Barb invited me to submit a guest post, I felt I wasn’t worthy of such an invite. Later, I thought… if she’d felt that I had something to contribute, well, then I couldn’t very well let her down, could I? Besides, one has to step out of one’s comfort zone every once in a while! (more…)

How culture matters

If you walk into a neighborhood in my part of Japan, you’ll see a display like this somewhere near the entrance. It’s a map showing all of the houses in a neighborhood, and the names of families who live in the houses. Do you have something like this where you live? (more…)

Lexical Chunks for Kids (by Mark Kulek)


Mark left a comment on a recent post of mine (How Context Matters) that intrigued me, about using lexical chunks with his young learners. I asked him to expand on his comment in a guest post, and Mark was kind enough to agree. ~Barb (more…)

Students Picking Pics (by Randy Poehlman)

When students are able to choose which images best represent the content of the lessons, they are instantly more engaged and they become far more active. Students can tailor the themes to their particular interests, or the general interests of their classmates, far better than a teacher can select relevant photography and illustrations. This bottom up learning style is particularly useful in encouraging visual students and passive students. It has the further benefit of allowing them ownership of opinions and sparks creativity. (more…)

Personal experiences of a new TEFL teacher (by Anna Greenwood)

Sand Mandala

Image: Henryart

I thought that a one month TEFL course and the fact that I am a native speaker of English would be enough to equip me to teach English. As I started to teach in Nepal, and later in India I slowly learnt many lessons myself. The most important lesson I learnt was to be genuine and honest with the students. Teaching is not simply about entertaining the students, but guiding them honestly and directly through the maze of learning ahead of them. As a teacher we are imparting more than just knowledge, we also impart wisdom. As we stand in front of a class day after day the children witness our behaviours both good and bad. The teacher has the task of showing them how to learn effectively, and so the teacher must look to herself (I use this to mean both genders) first and at the methods she employs in developing and presenting both the lessons and herself. (more…)

How Context Matters

What are these? How are they used?

bricks

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Teaching in a Buddhist Monastery in India (by Anna Greenwood)

I am teaching in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery school in India. The area surrounding the school is rural; we have fields of ginger and coconut trees. The school is provided for the monks that live in the monastery and is entirely funded through the monastery. I see the students for one class a day. There are no out of school activities; these students study Buddhist subjects both before and after school. (more…)

Rocco’s Day: A student-generated story activity for literacy practice

Though experience and through language we learn. Experience needs language to give it form. Language needs experience to give it content.

~Walter Loban

Children learning English as a foreign language tend to develop oral language skills before they become literate. In countries like Japan, where the grammar structure and writing system of English is so different from students’ first language, students can sit in English class for years before having to deal with anything beyond the ABC song. (more…)

Classroom Management: stuff they didn’t mention in teacher training (by Marc Helgesen)

marc helgesenThe way to become a teacher is to be a teacher.

 

It is a truism in education that the way we become good teachers is through experience. The things we learn in certificate programs and grad school help, of course, but it is the act of teaching that gives us the skills we need. (more…)

My Perfect Classroom (by David Deubelbeiss)

boy-on-laptop“The problem with our profession is that there is too much teaching and not enough learning”.

I said this recently during a discussion and I think it is such an important point to understand about “teaching” a language – that we have to get away from delivery systems that are teacher directed and more towards models where students are self-paced, self-motivated and learning independently.  The future IS learning not teaching. (more…)