Welcome to the Teaching Articles page, where you’ll find articles, essays, ideas and tips of special interest to teachers in general and teachers of English in particular.
In the dogme approach new metaphors are used to describe English language learning. Two of these metaphors are called affordance and emergence.
Traditionally input was seen as all words, contexts, and other forms of language to which a learner is exposed. Input in this sense is said to provide a basis for acquiring proficiency in first or second languages. The problem with input in the context of language acquisition is that it should be slightly above the level of the learner. Krachen in his Input Hypothesis noticed that providing comprehensible input …
Learner centeredness is a key element in Dogme approach. The learner is taken into account, freeing him from the dictatorship of the published textbooks. The focus is on conversational communication between learner and teacher and any material introduced must be relevant.
The following presentation, by Nick Robinson, introduces the principles upon which Scott Thornbury builds the Dogme Approach. It also tries to answer the question of the relevance of the Web in the classroom:
Making it relevant: Dogme, the Web and business English materials from Nick Robinson
Because teaching has become too lightweight, too frivolous and not rigorous enough, High Demand Teachers call on for a tweak in the current methods of teaching. They contend that we should ask more from our students, push them further and ask them to work harder. Demand High Teaching is just probing a bit more and exploiting opportunities for deeper learning and language acquisition. It is not a method or approach; it’s about demanding a better quality no matter what approach or method teachers choose.
In the following presentation, Jim Scrivener explains …
What are some cultural shifts in our fast changing world, that have an impact on our own learning as educators? How can we start thinking differently about learning?
Learning2learn from Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano
One of the most important requirements for optimal language learning is to provide the appropriate environment for learners to develop language skills. Such environment must include appropriate (and necessary) language input for learners. Teacher talk in the classroom constitutes one major source of this input. There is, however, an ongoing debate on how much of this talk is necessary and on whether students be given enough room for reflection on and use of language.
The evil part of a high TTT
Why are some teachers talking too much?
Let’s look at some …
Suppose you are an EFL learner, would you learn anything with a teacher who uses a language you don’t understand at all?
The answer is straight forward learning takes place when we have enough clues about the message being intended by the speaker! It would be a waste of time or worse a demotivating factor if a teacher is reluctant to help learners by providing a language slightly above his level, a language that is comprehensible but at the same time provides new learning possibilities.
This is a video in which …
What is 21st century-learning. What will be our priorities? How shall we deal with learning and teaching? Will the methods have to change? What about technology?
21st Century Classroom from ISU Workforce Training
Traditionally, grammar is taught first; it has primacy over vocabulary. Vocabulary items were just vehicles to explain grammatical structures. In other words this kind of teaching gives primacy to form and uses lexical items simply as a way to give examples of the structures taught previously. That’s why, in most traditional textbooks, grammar comes first and it is only later that reading and vocabulary are introduced.
Recently, however, meaning has become of paramount importance in language teaching (or shall I say learning) process. As Widdowson, H. G. (1990: p. 95) points out:
Wallwisher is a web 2.0 application that enables users to share brief notes, pictures and videos in the digital classroom. It is a really easy way to connect your classroom with Web 2.0. Wallwisher is located at wallwisher.com.
Wallwisher can be used to teach in different ways:
Ask a question and let students provide answers.
Let students discuss a topic. Make the wall a free zone where they can argue about a topic, convince their peers, or simply have their say.
Web 3. 0
What does web 3.0 really mean?
Web 3.0 or the semantic web is explained in this presentation that I found on slideshare.net. It’s an interesting explanation but not a thorough one. Have a look!
Web 3.0 explained with a stamp (pt I: the basics) from Freek Bijl
What is Scaffolding?
In its literal meaning scaffolding is the use of a temporary metal or wooden framework that is used to support workmen and materials during construction. Likewise, scaffolding in education refers to a temporary structure which provides assistance to learners when needed in the construction of their learning. It makes it possible for learners to accomplish a challenging task that necessitates help.
The rationale behind scaffolding comes from theoretical arguments as well as from practical reasons. In fact, Based on Vygotsky‘s ideas about the Zone of Proximal Development, Jerome Bruner …
Here is a presentation that focuses on techniques to manage your class and to teach different language skills.
Teaching Techniques from Lucy Castanon
Gagné was one of the first educational psychologists to tap the secret of the science of instruction. His work during World War II focused on how to better train pilots in the Army Air Corps. He developed a series of studies and works that simplified and explained what he and others believed to be good instruction. Although the original formulation of the theory had military training settings as its point of departure, the theory has been applied to the design of instruction in all fields.
Five types of learning
Gagné identifies five …
Autonomy in language learning
The main idea behind learner autonomy is that learners should be able to take charge of their own learning. Being dependent on the teacher wouldn’t help the learning process. Students should be encouraged to construct knowledge from direct experience through hypothesizing, experimenting, acquiring, transforming and transferring learning. Ideal autonomous learners are people who:
are willing to take risks,
have insights into their learning styles and strategies,
and are willing to revise and reject hypotheses.
Approaches To Learner Autonomy In Language Learning
View more PowerPoint from Erin Lowry
Are Humans Rational or Irrational?
Behavioral economist Dan Ariely, the author of Predictably Irrational, uses classic visual illusions and his own counterintuitive (and sometimes shocking) research findings to show how we’re not as rational as we think when we make decisions.
How can these ideas relate to learning and teaching?
As teachers should we continue to drive hard-hitting facts into our students heads saying it’s reality?
Humans are much less rational than we are given to think. So how can we urge our students to question any accepted ideas and concepts? How can we …
Teaching very young learners, those considered to be between three and five years old, may be a challenge because of many reasons. To start with, it is usually very hard to keep these learners 100% concentrated. They may easily feel bored and you will have to find a way to keep them focused. In addition, an EFL or ESL teacher will find it daunting teaching a language to very young learners in the same way older learners are taught.
Characteristics of very young learners
They need to feel safe.
They have short concentration …
Grammar teaching is a tricky enterprise. What is for some a straightforward rule may be for others a controversial issue. To make matters worse grammar is defined according to whether we have a descriptive or prescriptive view of language. Prescriptivists think that the objective of grammar is to state whether a construction abides by the set of grammar rules of a speech community. Descriptivists, however, view grammar as a description of how people do speak rather than how they should speak. In addition, while some believe it is best to …
This is a list of 2011 best posts. They are mainly about lesson plans and teaching methods. Some readers were also interested in class management and student-teacher relationships.
Situational Language Teaching
The importance of lesson plans
The Audiolingual Method
Communicative Language Teaching
The Direct Method
Why do teachers need lesson plans?
Grammar Translation Method
The Lexical Approach
The Natural Approach
Ten ideas for a fresh school year strat
Should L 1 be used in EFL classrooms
Explicit or implicit grammar teaching?
Glossary for ESL and EFL teaching
Teach with love and logic
The main reasons for lesson plans
The silent way
Practical tips for giving instructions
A shift from teaching to learning
Research on language learning strategies has been a result of the changes that occurred in language learning methodologies and approaches. Focus was no more on the teaching techniques but rather on the learning processes. The centrality of the learner has become more important than the domineering role of the teacher. The teacher’s role has shifted from that of the sage on the stage to that of a guide, a counselor. This change has brought language learning strategies to the center of attention for some educators.
Stop teaching! That’s what I say to myself when I feel I’m too invasive in my teaching, when I interfere too much in the classroom activities, when I jump at every hurdles that my students encounter. Being invasive is mainly due to my quest for perfection, when I want every little bit of my teaching to be perfect. We have been told that teaching is being actively involved in everything. Being constantly active is considered as a value.
Lately, I have read an article about not interfering in the teaching by …
Reflective teaching is a kind of action research, a reflective process of progressive problem solving led by teachers to understand their practice and improve the way they address issues and solve problems. It helps teachers become aware of what’s happening in the classroom by identifying common problems and hypothesising about possible causes and solutions and attempting to apply an action plan.
Many of our impressions about our teaching practices necessitates systematic thinking. If students seem to have problems with a certain lesson, if a certain misbehavior arises in the classroom, or …
Robert Mills Gagné was an American educational psychologist. In his book Conditions of Learning he developed studies about what he considered to be good instruction. Robert Gagné first worked for the air force with pilot training. One of Gagné’s main contribution was the model of “Nine Events of Instruction”
Nine Events of Instruction
Gagné created a nine-step process called the “Events of Instruction” which are closely related to the learning process and lead to different learning outcomes. These events are the following:
Capture the attention of learners by asking questions or …
New teachers might be busy thinking about what they should do to manage their first year in the profession like how to prepare lesson plans, how to involve students in the learning process, how to deal with low achievers etc… Although these concerns are important, I think new teachers should also be worried about what they should avoid doing in order to spend a peaceful and rewarding school year. Here are some examples:
Getting too friendly with your students
Students must be taught discipline. This could be done only by respecting a …
Bruner’s learning theory is very influential and has direct implications on the teaching practices. The main ideas of the theory can be summarized as follows:
Learning is an active process. Learners select and transform information.
Learners make appropriate decisions and postulate hypotheses and test their effectiveness.
Learners use prior experience to fit new information into the pre-existing structures.
Scaffolding is the process through which able peers or adults offer supports for learning. This assistance becomes gradually less frequent as it becomes unnecessary.
The intellectual development includes three stages. The enactive stage which refers to learning …
How parents should deal with children’s failure
Failing in the final exam is not an end in itself. It is always the result of a malfunction at different levels. In fact, failing in the exam often suggests that a child does not have the skills to move to the next level. These skills can be both educational and emotional. To deal with the situation, parents should show an understanding and sympathy with the child instead of entering into an open war with her/him. It is therefore important that the parents themselves …
What is experience?
Experience refers to an event or occurrence that leaves an impression on someone. Experience is an essential element in learning. However, experience is not exclusively identified with schools. It is part and parcel of life outside school. and it would be a huge mistake to exclude the importance of experiences our students undergo outside the classroom in the learning process.
John Dewey was the most famous proponent of experiential education. Students in experiential education become more actively involved in the learning process than in traditional education. Dewey advocated that education …
John Dewey was an American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer. He was born in 1859 and died in 1952. His ideas have been influential in education and social reform. He was one of the early developers of pragmatism and functional psychology. The following are some of his ideas about education and society.
Education and Democracy
John Dewey considered two principal elements to be fundamental in strengthening democracy, namely schools and civil society. According to Dewey, it is not enough to extend the voting rights. It is of paramount importance to form public …
Exam Success Tips
To be successful in exams students must take into consideration factors that affect success before and during exams. But before presenting some tips for exam success, it is worthwhile noting that success requires motivation. In fact, no real exam preparation can be undertaken by a demotivated student.
Ten Tips for Success
Students need to plan and organize in an orderly way.
They need to set preparation timetables and set measurable, attainable and realistic goals.
Each subject should be given its due importance.
Students should use mind maps, short notes summaries to revise lessons.
What affects exam success?
There are various factors that affect success in an exam. This includes subject knowledge, exam preparation, exam practice, writing skills, use of time and attitudes towards the exam.
The better students know their subject the easier it is to succeed. Knowing the subject will help them:
Have self-confidence and reduce stress.
Manage time effectively.
Recognize what is significant. Therefore, They will understand what must be included and what can be left out
Identify links and connections between different aspects of the subject. These associations will help students have a global view …
Stress in student’s life
Being able to cope with stress makes students stand a better chance of exam success. This would be possible only if students recognize stressful patterns of behaviour and find healthy ways of dealing with them. It goes without saying that the first thing for students to do is to recognize that they have a problem. Students face a lot of difficulties and burdens at school and in their personal life. This affects negatively their abilities if stress becomes dangerously chronic.
Realization of the problem and quick fixes
Admitting that …
As a teacher you may sometimes be stuck or trapped in unpredictable circumstances, it is advisable to plan beforehand for these kinds of situations. Knowing exactly what you will introduce in your lesson will relieve you from so much stress and will undoubtedly give you a clear idea of what may go on during a lesson.
Hints for lesson plan
Prepare more than you need.
It is advisable to have an easily presented, light reserve activity ready in case of extra time .
Be prepared to cut down some parts of your lesson.
These are the most read English language teaching articles of the year 2010 in this blog. As you may notice readers seem to be interested in English teaching methods the rationale behind preparing lesson plans.
Situational Language Teaching
The Audiolingual Method
The Communicative Approach (Communicative Language Teaching)
Grammar Translation Method
The Direct Method
The Importance of Lesson Plan
The Total Physical Response
Why do teachers need lesson plans?
Glossary for ESL and EFL teaching
How to learn?
From the generation when information was in the teacher’s head and today’s generation where a Tsunami of information is available, a long path has been taken…From the time when information was scarcity, to the time when information has become incredibly abundant, a lot has been done in the educational approaches.
New ways to learn?
New approaches on learning take into consideration that failure is part and parcel of the learning process. Allowing students to take risks, not to care about the right answers but about the possible answers, and be …
Practice makes progress. But without an instructor to coach a learner how to practice and guide her/him towards excellence in his learning, nothing can be achieved. Being a skillful coach counts a lot in any teaching situation, be it teaching swimming, driving, etc… Students may become independent and autonomous only after they have been guided to practice in the right direction. No sailor would make his way in an ocean without first been instructed how to use a compass and other useful sea tricks. Autonomy comes after when your students …
Have you ever had a difficult class? How was it? What makes a class difficult ? How do you define it? Well here are some of the answers you may come up with:
Violent, angry, belligerent, combative behavior
One would suggest that a difficult class includes one or some of the above characteristics. Well what if a class has all of the above?
This year, I moved to a new high school. It ‘s located in a poor neighborhood. I have six classes. All of them are critically problematic. You …
Teaching is a very special job. We as teachers deal with many variables simultaneously. We deal with students needs, their achievements. We are also concerned with communication with parents and our colleagues. We care about the environment where we work and our professional development. Yet, sometimes, teachers face issues that constitute a hindrance to their job. Here are seven enemies that I thought of while reading Lindsay’s post about six villains in language teaching.
Boredom is one of the greatest enemies of successful learning. This happens , mainly, when students …
Are they really interested in what we teach?
In spite of this changing world , we have the impressions, as teachers, that our students learn the way we used to learn, to be interested in the things we used to be interested in. The fact is that what we are really doing is producing a boring environment in our classes.
In the twenty-first century, is the statement “I teach, therefore you learn” a valid one? Do they really learn what we teach?
This presentation shows how the twenty-first education must be different from …
Which incentives to opt for?
It’s really a question of paramount importance if you want your students to do well. Should you use extrinsic or intrinsic motivation? Which one works best? Which one has long-term effects on learning outcomes and creativity?
Let’s first define extrinsic and intrinsic motivation!
Incentives motivate learning. They include privileges and receiving praise from the teacher who determines the appropriate encouragement for a desired behavior.
Internal motivation is longer lasting and more self-directive than is external motivation. The learners who learn faster are those who feel an internal …
It all started with a rant
A recent rant by Karenne about a tweet by @billgx about distance learning, made me think a little bit about the usefulness of using technology and the extent to which technological tools can improve our teaching and learning. The rant started an online discussion about the topic . Here is the tweet in question:
I fear the push towards online is economically and not pedagogically driven. #edchatTue Aug 10 16:45:31 via SeesmicBill Genereux
Face to face or online education
Well, let me start by this: the fact …
Back to school
Back to school! The summer holiday is over. Teachers are preparing their bags, lesson plans, notebooks and worksheets. But the thing that marks every teacher’s feelings every new school year is the endless feeling of repeating the same endeavors to enlighten their students minds.
In fact the situation of teachers back to school is very much like the situation of Sisyphus’s eternal toil. Sisyphus was compelled by the gods to roll a huge rock up a hill only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this …
This article is about instilling discipline and disciplinary action in the classroom. For a definition of discipline and the causes of indiscipline visit the link below:
Definition of descipline and the causes of indiscipline
In a previous article I defined discipline as a code of conduct that both teachers and students agree upon and cooperate in its enforcement. As I said I insist on cooperation and agreement in classroom management because when the rules are set by all learning and teaching participants, it will be hard for them to deny or …
Importance of discipline
Discipline is paramount for every learning . It is very essential for any teaching. It is also very important for peace and harmony in any learning environment: peace between students, teachers and administration. That’s why it is always necessary for discipline to be instilled in the classroom to get the best out of your students.
In this article I will present a definition of discipline and the causes of indiscipline. In the next article I will suggest ways to instill discipline and how disciplinary action should be undertaken to …
Shaping the way we teach English
What is the goal of learning strategies?
what are the different learning strategies?
How can we understand and facilitate learning for students of all ages?
Difficulties to develop communicative tests
If teaching is carried out according to the communicative approach, then tests must be designed accordingly. However a lot of teachers believe that communicative tests are hard to prepare. In fact various challenging difficulties emerge when teachers develop communicative tests.
One crucial concern is the problem of developing useful assessment instruments which can be employed accurately and efficiently in a range of typical classroom situations.
Another challenge is to develop a framework which is based on attending to the theoretical requirements of both communicative teaching goals and test …
Acquiring two languages at once?
This is a question I have been asked many times. Is it harder for a child to acquire more than one language at the same time?
There is no evidence to suggest that learning two languages at the same time is a hard task for a child! If parents and/or the people in the close environment of the child are regularly speaking with him or her in both languages, the child will have no difficulty learning them both. This is true for every child regardless of his …
Blooom’s taxonomy refers to a classification of the different learning objectives. It was first presented in 1956, but many changes were later added to the initial classification.
Bloom classifies educational objectives into three domains, namely:
the affective domain,
the psychomotor domain,
the cognitive domain.
Bloom focused on the cognitive domain leaving experts to identify the categories for the other domains.
The cognitive domain
The cognitive domain refers to categories related to knowledge, comprehension, and critical thinking of a particular topic. Bloom classified these categories into six levels, moving through the lowest order processes to the highest:
Recalling facts, …
Preparing for an EFL or ESl school year
For EFL and ESL teachers the first day of the school year is crucial. It can be stressful but experienced teachers know that having a clear and global view of their job will contribute to the success of their mission. Preparation must begin in the early days of the year. It involves thinking about and planning the school year in advance.
To start with, teachers must have a clear view of what they will be teaching. Preparing the content involves choosing the best EFL …
The Pygmalion effect, or Rosenthal effect, refers to the phenomenon in which there is a parallel between teachers expectations and the student’s performance. The effect is named after a narrative by Ovid in Greek mythology in which Pygmalion is a sculptor who fell in love with the ivory statue of a woman he had carved.
In education the Pygmalion effect is said to play a crucial role in the students’ performance. Good or bad, what teachers expect from students they generally get. For example negative expectations, which are often based …
Why most people fail and how you can succeed to learn a language?
This is a great slideshow that describes why most people fail to learn a language and how it is possible to learn it using specific strategies.
Language Learning: Why Most Fail and How YOU Can Succeed [COMPLETE]
View more presentations from John Fotheringham.
The English language has thousands of idioms. Being a fluent English speaker entails being able to understand and use English idioms.
Facts about idioms
These are some facts about idioms (source: Wikipedia)
Although some idioms may have a universal dimension, idioms are first and foremost local, pertaining to the target language culture.
idioms are not generally translatable
People also have a natural tendency to over exaggerate what they mean sometimes, also giving birth to new idioms by accident.
Many idiomatic expressions are based upon conceptual metaphors. (cf kick the bucket, face the music, keep a …
What it means to be a teacher…
Have you ever asked yourself what it means to be a teacher? Teachers with a vocation know that it means hard work. But not everybody knows this truth. Not all parents. Not all students. Sometimes, you suffer not from the stress but from the ingratitude, not from the piles of students sheets on your desk that need marking but from the things you missed to teach, not from the lesson plans you have to prepare everyday but from the unmotivated students, not from your …
Do really boys fail at school?
You may not be surprised but yes, they are in academic trouble.
I have recently been interested in the issue of academic success of girls and boys in our school. In fact, I have noticed that girls do better than boys. They score higher in the baccalaureate exam and are first in many academic fields. I have done a research on the internet and, to my surprise, the phenomenon is worldwide. I have found for example that Richard Whitmire has already discovered that boys were in …
Inconvenient truths about teaching
Yes, there are truths about teaching that one may not be comfortable with. Although teaching may be one of the noblest professions, teachers are the first to be scapegoated when something is wrong. Teaching may also be the cause of so much heartache. No matter what a teacher does, no matter how hard he works, only few people will see the difference he/she can make in students lives.
In spite of all the hard work that teachers do, they will always be subject to criticism. If the …
One of the most salient characteristics of new methodologies of English language teaching is the focus on tasks and real-world activities. Syllabus designers are concerned more on how to satisfy learners needs to be able to communicate appropriately in real-world context than on only insisting on the accurate linguistic use. Most textbooks now include tasks and activities that have a communicative outcome as well as language exercises that yield accurate use of language.
What is the difference between tasks and exercises?
An English language teacher must be able to distinguish between …
Communicative language teaching was developed by teachers and applied linguists as a response to the shortcomings of the audiolingual and grammar translation methods. one of the distinctive points of communicative language teaching is the focus on communicative activities that promote language learning. These activities use real life situations to trigger communication. They encourage and require a learner to speak with and listen to other learners. Communicative activities have real purposes such as finding and exchanging information, breaking down barriers, talking about oneself, and learning about culture.
Advantages of communicative activities
Silent reading and reading aloud
I’ve always distinguished reading aloud from silent reading in my teaching practices. I rarely ask my students to read a text a loud. If I do, it’s only for only ONE purpose in mind: to practice pronunciation.
I just don’t get why reading aloud should be assigned at all in ELT apart from the above reason. Why does a teacher need to ask students to open the textbook and tell one of them to read a text on a certain page while the others are not necessarily …
Successful reading is determined by many factors including automaticity of lexical access and the ability to store vocabulary knowledge in semantically related networks (schema theory.) These theoretical postulates have many interesting implications for the teaching of both reading and vocabulary.
Automacity in reading
Reading relies so much on the knowledge of vocabulary and the ability of the reader to automatically recognize the vocabulary items. In fact the facility with which a reader can access the known vocabulary and their meanings represented in memory determines the success of reading .
The schema theory …
Reforming the reform
The Moroccan officials started a reform of the educational system in 2000 which was scheduled to end in 2010. A charter for the reform was agreed upon. But in 2009 the ministry of education was already aware of the failure of the reform. So a new emergency plan was devised to save the reform.It’s a sort of reform of the reform. But let’s consider first the reasons of the failure of the first reform.
An Educational reform doomed to failure from the start
Yes it was a big mistake to …
Success or failure, this your choice
As the baccalaureate exams in Morocco are approaching, some of my students are still unwilling to start preparation no matter how I try to motivate them. The reason they give for their behavior is:
The scapegoat is almost always them.
“It’s them not us.”
“It’s the system”
“We can’t follow because we have never been given the tools and the opportunities to succeed.”
“What is more, even if we try, the future of graduates in Morocco is gloomy. They can’t even find a job. So WHY TRY?”
Easy answers. Ther …
The future of our students
This is a vision of a K-12 student:
How technology will be more and more a part and parcel of 21st century children
What sort of education they will need?
What should be done to teach them to think, analyze and apply?
What should be done to engage future students?
How different tools of technology will assist their learning?
What sort of jobs they will need to be prepared for?
Why most teachers don’t follow the trend?
Why is memorization is denigrated?
In modern education memorization is seen with a critical eye. Some of the reasons advanced to denigrate memorization include the following points:
Why memorize? You need an information, search the web or look it up.
Memorization is a painful difficult activity.
Being able to memorize doesn’t mean being smart!
What is important is how we get to content not content itself.
This common view is sadly found less. Memorization is not without merits! Kids need memorization because it delivers unique cognitive benefits.
Advantages of Memorization
memorizing is important for many reasons:
A good memory …
The way teachers talk to students, the manner in which they interact is crucial to both successful learning and teaching. Perhaps the most important point that determines how successfully students will learn is the way instructions are formulated and sometimes it is this point which distinguishes good teachers from bad ones. It is important, therefore, that teachers directions relating to academic activity and behaviour are clear, precise and effective. It goes without saying that the best activity in the world will turn into a disappointing failure if students don’t …
Physical Lay out of the Classroom
Teachers shouldn’t be afraid of changing the room’s physical layout. The arrangement of desks, for example, may make the classroom a more attractive place to study.
Most of the classroom space is devoted to the arrangement of desks. although most teachers preferences may vary, nearly all of them agree that the days of the desks lined in neat rows and facing the teacher’s desk are long gone. Instead teachers now are more imaginative in terms of classroom setting. Here are two of the most widely …
Boredom in the classroom
Boredom is one of the greatest enemies of successful learning. This happens , mainly, when students predict what will happen next in the classroom. Students frequently know what will occur next because it will be the same as what happened in the previous session and a whole string of sessions before. This predictability is the deadening bullet that classroom vitality may receive.
How can teachers avoid this boredom?
Seven tips to avoid boredom
Teachers need to violate their own behavior pattern.
If a teacher normally teaches in casual clothes, he should …
Preparing for Exams
Helping our students learn how to study for exams can determine their success not only in the exams but also in their lives. Examination needs careful preparation if students are to do well. Everyone feels nervous on the day of the exam but with careful revision and good examination technique they should succeed.
This article will help focus on the essential points students need to take into consideration while revising their lessons for the exam, why some of the students fail and the right skills they need to develop …
How to use a mind map
A mind map is a graphical tool used to represent words, ideas, tasks, images or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea. In other words, it is a visualisation of what happens in our minds. It helps people to:
and classify ideas,
It is generally used in
Tony Buzan, the British popular psychology author, presents in this video his ideas about mind mapping. He says that the brain is radiant; it thinks centrally and explodes in all directions. …
Learning how to learn – basic strategies
This slideshare gives your students some starting points for their own research and study. It will lead them into learning how to learn and tries to answer particularly these issues:
How should our students study?
Why should students know their own learning style?
View more presentations from ncurrant.
Are lesson plans necessary?
Although lesson plans constitute a major part of being a teacher, they are dreaded and sometimes their importance underestimated by some teachers. Some teachers even advance the unpredictability of some events in the classroom to discredit any attempt to provide any strict planning of what occurs in the classroom. Although this might be true, it should be noted that a lesson plan is a project of a lesson. It’s not (and cannot) be a description of what will exactly happen during lesson delivery. It provides, however, a …
Why is lesson planning important?
Why is lesson planning important?
How is lesson planning important for the teacher? For the learners?
What do you take into account when you design a lesson plan?
What constant components are there in your lesson plan?
This slideshow tries to answer these issues:
View more presentations from tarakbr.
The integration of problem solving skills in education seeks to produce competent problem solvers who are willing to take action and come up with creative ideas. In fact, encouraging our students to be able to come up with new original solutions to problems is one of the key elements in any successful educational system. These skills constitute a major step in training learners to face the challenges of the real world. Here are some tips that can help learners in the process of generating better ideas.
How to come …
English teaching and globalisation
English is part of globalisation. English plays a vital role in global trade, media, communication, movement of people, and many other areas. It is not just a system of grammar, words and pronunciations; it is also a tool to integrate countries both politically and economically into the global community.
However a question has to be answered. What type of English do we want our students to learn?. The three alternatives generally offered are
centred varieties of English, such as US and British English;
English as an international language or lingual …
Do you use a blog to teach?
This is a very informative, valuable slideshow that covers key concepts. It presents all the advantages that a blog can bring for teaching.
Do you use your blog or website for teaching? How can a blog contribute to the teaching process?
Please have a look at the slideshow and submit your comments!
11 advantages of using a blog for teaching
View more documents from Frank Calberg Services.
What is Brainstorming
Brainstorming is a combination of a relaxed, informal approach to problem-solving and lateral thinking. People are asked to find ideas and thoughts that can at first seem to be a bit irrelevant. The idea is to use some of these ideas to form original, creative solutions to problems. Even some seemingly useless ideas can spark still more ideas. The goal of brainstorming is to direct people to new ways of thinking and break from the usual way of reasoning.
The most important thing about brainstorming is that there should …
A bilingual person
A bilingual person is someone who speaks two languages. Speaking more than two languages means that you are multilingual. Multilingualism is not a rare phenomenon. It’s the norm for most of the world’s countries. A lot of people know and use three, four, or even more languages fluently.
Becoming a bilingual
Bilingual people acquire two languages at the same time in childhood because of many reasons:
Children from immigrant parents are exposed to their parents native language at home while receiving a lot of target language input from outside in their …
A classroom management issue
“Why Do You Let Others Control You? ” said to a student may be a clue to ending a fight in the classroom according to Larry Ferlazzo’s experience with a bad class. Instead of using punishment, this kind of straight forward strategy can work perfectly to solve classroom management problems. It focuses on the psychological outcome, on valuing the self, humanizing the students and building a tolerant peaceful personality.
What would have happened if Larry had sent them out? AN OTHER FIGHT. The secret to successful classroom management …
The age of paper
When I was a student, I had sometimes to save my pocket-money to buy books. My only resources consisted of these few books and some newspapers and magazines. Our teachers were the holders of the truth and we had to be attentive to every word they utter. Now things have changed and will undoubtedly change ever more. Technology has entered every room, fulfilled every human need of knowledge and made our lives interwoven with information. So shall we, as teachers, stick to the conventional ways of teaching …
What makes a good teacher?
Let me start by saying that there is no right answer. Learners differ in the way they learn and a good teacher depends on individual learners stand point. I remember that the teachers who left a salient impact on me were different. Each had his own footprint on my education in his own way. This doesn’t mean that there are not any common characteristics of good teachers.
But first, what is it that all teachers must be able to do?
I think we need to know the …
EFL and ESL Articles
This is a list of mybest 2009 posts. The list contains posts that attracted some comments but also those that I consider worth being republished here. The topics range from classroom management and teaching tips to lesson plans.
Motivation - Be motivated to motivate!
Teach with love and logic – Breaking the ice!
Teachers and teaching quotes
Teachers, parents and homework (1)
Teachers, parents and homework (2)
Hell is the classroom
Writing tasks! Are they time-consuming ?(1)
Writing tasks! Are they time-consuming? (2)
Why do teachers need lesson plans?
Repetitions and recycling in EFL and ESL …
Use of L1 in EFL classes
The use of the mother tongue in EFL classes is debatable in the foreign language classroom. Advocates of the monolingual approach suggest that the target language should be the only medium of communication, believing that the prohibition of the native language would maximize the effectiveness of learning the target language. However, some teachers believe that the use of the mother tongue can be helpful in learning new vocabulary items and explaining complex idea and grammar rules. They contend that teachers who master the students native …
Web 2.0 and EFL and ESL teachers
This is a video by Nik Peachey explaining what web 2.0 is all about and how it can be useful to EFL and ESL teachers.
He first starts by presenting what was the internet like before web 2.0 and then he shows how the internet is now a richer and more powerful tool at the hand of both teachers and students, enabling them to connect and share information in an unprecedented way.
Concerns about using web 2.0 tools
Nik Peachey also presents the dark side of web …
Standard or Global?
English has now acquired the title of the world’s leading global language because it is used for business, science, and politics. Using the word “English” , I don’t mean an agreed upon standard English, the one used in the United States or Britain. In fact, it is misleading to think that these are the only varieties of English that exist. One cannot exclude, for example the English used in India, Singapore, Nigeria as being “non-English” forms of English. There are even other varieties of English that emerged with …
The importance of repetition and recycling in ELT
Scott Thornbury Explains that repeating and recycling language points in different forms fosters language learning and long-term memory.
Do you use recycling and repetition in your language class?
Watch the video.
Scott Thornbury Explains that repeating and recycling language points in different forms fosters language learning and long term memory.
Most of us would agree that a second or a foreign language is learned not as much by direct instruction of its rules as by using it in meaningful context, especially when the students’ experience, interest and knowledge of the world are involved. Content based instruction offers the possibility to use language as a medium of learning. Instead of teaching language in isolation from subject matter, teachers should integrate language development with content learning.
A cognitive approach
According to current development in cognitive psychology, information is stored in memory in two …
Why the environment in EFL and ESL classes?
The urgency of environmental problems has led to a quantum leap in the attention paid to green issues. The environment has become the subject of newspaper and magazine articles, radio and television reports, documentaries and feature films. In this post I present the rationale behind incorporating environmental issues into language teaching.
EFL/ESL and the environment
What have environmental issues got to do with language teaching? Shouldn’t language teachers confine their concerns to the teaching of grammar, vocabulary and communication skills? Well, there are several compelling …
Which grammar teaching method?
In ESL and EFL grammar teaching methods are debatable. Some see grammar as the backbone of languages and learners should be presented with explicit grammar courses. Others, however, think that knowing the grammar doesn’t necessarily lead to language mastery. They contend that focusing on explicit grammar teaching produces unsuccessful language users. Which one of these methods is the right one?
Explicit grammar teaching
Teachers who focus on language forms presentation, explain the grammar rules and practice through drilling hold a traditional view of language teaching. They equate language to …
Teaching students with learning problems
As teachers we provide our students with the best of ourselves because we want them to succeed. We choose the most appropriate methods, the best tools and wrap up our courage to deliver our lessons effectively. We are concerned about their academic development and are enthusiastic when we spot any positive change in their behavioral and cognitive development. However, we get depressed when are faced with students with learning problems who fail. We are lost and feel our efforts are useless. This happens because not all …
Teachers professional development
Teaching is a life long profession that demands constant improvement of techniques and pedagogies. Professional development goes beyond the terms training and learning skills. It includes a definition covering formal and informal means of helping teachers not only to learn new skills, but also to develop new insight in the pedagogies and their own practices, and to explore a new or advanced understanding of contents and resources, and the use of technology to support inquiry-based learning.
One of the core elements of professional development is collaboration, where two equal …
What is intelligence?
The definitions of intelligence are dogged by controversy and disagreement. While there are different definitions about intelligence, they all share some common features.This includes a wider range of areas:
The ability to learn and apply knowledge to manipulate environment.
The ability to reason and have abstract thought and to comprehend complex ideas..
Adaptability to a new environment or to changes in the current environment.
The ability to understand, make judgments and take decisions.
The capacity for original and productive thought.
The ability to learn from the environment and from experience.
The ability to comprehend relationships.
Intelligence is the ability to see relationships and to use this ability to solve problems. Creativity on the other hand is the ability to come up with a range of possible new original solutions to a given problem. What makes us differ in dealing with a problem is the strategies we follow to come up with these solutions. Geniuses are unique because they use both their intelligent minds and creative thinking to tap the secret of the problems they encounter. Geniuses like Einstein, da Vinci, Edison and Aristotle shared a …
Songs are useful in EFL / ESL classes because of so many reasons. They contain authentic language and are a goldmine for language teaching points like grammar, vocabulary and a nice and joyful activity for fostering listening skills. They can also provide invaluable information about cultural aspects of the target language. Some key reasons songs can work exceedingly well in the foreign language classroom include the following:
Ten reasons teachers should use songs
Songs contain authentic, natural language. This gives students a break from the contrived, stilted language found in many textbooks. …
Dictation is one of the oldest language teaching activities. It is perhaps for this reason that it has been neglected recently by teachers, claiming that it is too teacher centered, uncommunicative, boring and old-fashioned. But is dictation without any merit? Is it really old-fashioned and uncommunicative?
What is dictation?
Dictation is a decoding-recoding activity. It is the act or process of dictating material to another for transcription. Oller (1979) defines it as a “psychologically real system that sequentially orders linguistic elements in time and in relation to extralinguistic context in meaningful ways.” …
Assessment includes everything from nationwide accountability tests to local learners evaluation to everyday classroom quizzes. Some teachers contend that over use of any kind of testing may hinder the very process of learning, claiming that we shouldn’t teach to the test but rather teach to the standards. While this is true, we can not deny the importance of testing in gathering information about learners. The more information we have about students, the clearer the picture we have about achievement or where gaps may occur. Hence the utility of summative and …
Learning strategies or study skills determine the approach for achieving the learning objectives. The strategies are usually tied to students needs and interests to enhance learning and are based on many types of learning styles. However, not all of our students develop strategies to deal with their studies spontaneously. Sometimes teachers need to make students learn how to learn. Here are some strategies that can help your students be successful in their studies.
Set small, achievable goals
Encourage students to start with small steps to reach higher targets. For example, for an …
Textbook are designed to enclose different units based on different topics. Because of the constraints of time or fear of being boring we follow the order of the units of the textbook. We rarely go back to previous units to recycle the linguistic elements studied before. This, of course, may have terrible consequences on the learning process as what we teach is retained in our students memory only for a short period. I suggest in this post that we deal with language textbooks differently: using them in a circular way, …
The new school year has indeed started! Starting the New Year can be both exciting and daunting , with new students, friends and challenges. So to redress any feelings of back to school fear, I thought of 10 simple tips to help make school great this year and to get your year off to a good start. Be ready, the bell is about to ring!
Prepare yourself: be prepared psychologically to the new school year. Think of all the things you love about school, your friends, teaching and learning new things. …
Glossary of terms relevant to the English teaching profession. This glossary includes terms related to English, ESL, EFL ,TESOL, TEFL, and pedagogy.
The ability to produce grammatically correct sentences. Fluency is an other term often associated with accuracy. It refers to the ability to produce language appropriately, effortlessly, and efficiently without necessarily paying too much attention on accuracy.
Acquisition is the natural way, paralleling first language development in children. It refers to an unconscious process that involves the naturalistic development of language proficiency. According to Krashen acquisition is possible only when …
Born when her mother was 47,Boyle was briefly deprived of oxygen during the difficult birth; she was diagnosed as having learning difficulties. She says she was bullied as a child, and was nicknamed “Susie Simple” at school. After leaving school with few qualifications, she was employed for the only time in her life as a trainee cook in the kitchen of West Lothian College for six months, and took part in government training schemes. She visited the theater from time to time to listen to professional singers, and performed …
Angela Maiers has raised in her post “Can We Please Get Some RESPECT?” a problem that has become so pressing lately in many schools around the world. In fact a lot of teachers complain about the disrespect they get from their students and nothing seem to help. Punishing or suspending them doesn’t work. Parents don’t care. So for some teachers “hell is the classroom.” Some blame it on television. Others contend that the youth are just trying to adapt to a new era where violence is part of their every …
Homework must be part and parcel of any learning process. The classroom is just an artificial setting and classroom tasks are only starting points. They provide guidance, assistance and purpose. However, more tasks should be dealt with in the outside world. These tasks should meet some criteria in order to be effective. These criteria may be linked to the teacher and learners, to the tasks assigned, or to the parents roles.
Teachers and learners
Students should see the usefulness of homework. Teachers should explain the purpose both of homework and of individual …
Teachers and teaching quotes
Sometimes success and self actualization lie in sensible words that we hear. Words that function as a stimulant, the air that we breath, the fuel that keeps our lives on the right track. I want to share with you some of these inspirational words. So here are some of the finest quotes about teachers and teaching. I hope the content encourages you and inspires ideas and thoughts of success.
he can never tell where his influence stops.
What nobler employment, or more valuable to the state,
than that of …
We assign homework day-in-day-out. We tend to think that it is part and parcel of our job and our students’ duty. We never question or discuss homework policies and practices. However, there is clear evidence of the importance of raising our attention to an insightful reflection on homework especially nowadays that technology has entered majestically into every home, making so many more resources available to learners outside the classroom.
This post is one in a series of two which will try to answer the following questions:
What is a homework?
Why should we …
A lesson plan is a lesson “project” written down on paper. It is only a “project” because a lot of unpredictable events occur in the classroom. It is also a dreaded part of instruction that most teachers detest. It nevertheless provides a guide for managing the learning environment. As one of the teacher’s roles is that of designer and implementer of instruction, the preparation of lesson plan will ensure the organization of the English lesson according to some criteria. Regardless of the format, all teachers need to make wise decisions …
Although tests are the dreaded learning part for our students, they are considered an important teaching tool. They create competition within the classroom, provide feedback and give a sense of success to the learners.
What is a test?
A test is a method of measuring a person’s ability or knowledge in a given area. It is obviously a set of technique or procedures that samples performance but infers competence and which takes into consideration the testee’s previous experience. Some fundamental characteristics of a test are the following:
It is a measuring of ability …
Although writing tasks can be time-consuming when assigned in the classroom, it would be a huge mistake to reduce the frequency of its assignment. On the contrary teachers should try hard to make it part and parcel of every classroom activity as they offer an opportunity to gain feedback, learn more about our students and lead them to reap the fruit of creativity. In my last post I promised to share some time-saving writing tasks that can be integrated with other language activities. Here the are!
Hear me, what I am …
Apart from the fact that it is an opportunity to have a feed back, writing activities are productive tasks that bear some incredible positive learning results. It is a window through which we learn more about our students. Not only their level of language mastery, serving as diagnosis , but also their personality, their interests, their way of thinking … It is an open mine of information that the teacher shouldn’t miss for any reason.
The downturn is that writing tasks take too much time that most English teachers reduce the …
Some EFL and ESL classroom activities don’t work all the time or they may work for some classes but fall apart for others. What is certain is that flexibility and professionalism may be of extreme importance. There are also some techniques that may help teachers overcome teaching breakdowns.
Be aware of learning styles
Prepare interesting material.
Prepare material that meet learner needs
Don’t expect immediate retention
Learning occurs by doing
Every activity should revolve around a well-delineated set of steps.
Learning from scratch is a discredited theory. Take time preparing the learners schematic knowledge. Remember that …
A brief history of ELT
The adventure of English language teaching is quite outstanding. From the early grammar translation method to the new trends focusing on communication, English language teaching has drawn from theories and approaches that have enriched the profession in so many ways. Teachers acquired some understanding of the nature of language and the best ways to teach it. They have become able, at least, to ask the right questions about ELT, as Brown (2000: ix) notes,
“Our research miscarriages are fewer as we have collectively learned how to conceive …
“Of teachers and students”
It is one thing to be a knowledgeable teacher with a supreme authority and a prevailing dominance of the classroom; but it is another thing to be a successful teacher with interactional skills that would facilitate the learning.
In fact, many of the problems that arise in the classroom day-in-day-out are related to person-to-person interaction rather than to cognitive failure. Alleviating tensions and providing a stress-free environment would be a major step in the learning. When I say stress-free environment, hear me I’m not advocating an uncontrollable non …
My teaching experience
If teaching is stressful, financially less rewarding, why do teachers teach? It is a legitimate question!
In the beginning
I remember being forced to be a teacher. For a poor young person with no other alternatives to earn a living, teaching was the only solution. At that time, in my home country (Morocco), the only way for a graduate to find a job was to enroll in public utility jobs. The opportunities were slim. So I passed an entrance exam with flying colors and was appointed in a very far …
There is nothing more central to learning effectively than these three words: motivation, motivation and motivation. It is a real challenge to motivate your students. As the old saying states it, “you can lead a horse to water - but you can’t make him step in it! ” Nothing is more heart breaking for a teacher than realizing that his students are day dreaming and bored in his class or simply not ready to take a step forward to help himself or herself in the learning process. There are some …
Hi! Welcome to My English Pages blog.
This blog ,which is part of www.myenglishpages.com, will be dedicated to teaching, especially English language teaching, but I will certainly be looking at general issues related to the profession.
I will be dealing with EFL methodologies, techniques and approaches.
I will also tackle many of the intricacies of the classroom.
The audience will be teachers … well especially English teachers. But many posts will be of interest to the teachers of other disciplines!
I will be adding posts about every Saturday.
And I’m doing this because:
I love my job,