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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Each student with each learning style! Does it matters teachers?

Sometimes we’ve experienced that there are some teachers who used to focus only in one specific language area, e.g. some just focus on reading, others on writing, a few others on grammar, or on listening. Have you ever noticed that on your teachers?

Sometimes it’s kind of complicated find teachers who work in more than one technique or apply their work in more than one learning style, however there are a few of them still. Besides, some of them have been doing their best, in most cases when schools have great teachers they cannot do as much as they would like because of their limit of time which doesn’t allow them to extent the learning areas.

Nevertheless, there are teachers who time is never limited! Are you teaching right now? Or Would you ever teach? How would you like to be remembered as a teacher? As a good one or as a boring one? Are you a teacher who used to speak during the entire class without any students’ participation? I’ve experienced most of these cases and I assured you that you have too. Well, as a teacher, have you already understand that each student has his/her own way to learn?

As teachers we should know how to lead students in their correct learning style. You could argue that time and tools are not enough to teach each student in a different learning style! There’s no enough time for each one! However, how could we achieve one goal like this?

In agreement we can say that there are a lot of activities to do as group or sometimes there is a “no homework time”, this moments are excellent to be approach. For example, if we’re having trouble with some students who have not caught up the grammar, vocabulary or staff like that, so it’s time to let them some extra activities to do at home or to let it to them in an activity at school. Be careful, as teachers we can notice the needs of our students, and most of us have access to any kind of interesting tools for them. If we really want to help them in their learning we’re going to provide them the correct material to study or to work. It wouldn’t be fair for those students who don’t like to work in teamworks, who hate to read, or who prefer to write inside of speak, or for those who prefer to give an explanation, try to crush them only in one boring activity!

So, if you have already lived and experienced these kinds of boring learning techniques you can obviously modified them and try to change them into interesting and helpful tools to let them to your students. Moreover, why not try to role as much techniques on learning styles as possible at class? As a teacher you will have fun and you would never get bored with the same path of working moreover your students will benefit of it!

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Posted by on 26/04/2012 in TKT HOMEWORK

 

Unit 10:EXPOSURE AND FOCUS ON FORM

Which is the best way to learn: exposure or focus on form?

Unlike babies, adults need to focus on form plus being exposure to a new language. When we were babies, we learned our L1 by exposure, e.g. hearing everybody around us, then we picked the words up. In this way most of everybody learns L1.

Nevertheless, for adults is not the same, when they want to learn an L2 they have to focus on form, it’s not enough by being exposure and pick up some words, they need more than that! It’s necessary for them to notice the pronunciation of words, its grammar, vocabulary and its use. But while they are learning using these both ways they need to interact with people in order to practice what they have learned.

Let’s see what else is involved in this topic by using and practicing some new vocabulary!

Here you’ll find three main ways we learn a foreign language: find them out!

YOU WILL FIND THE NEXT VOCABULARY ON THE FOLLOW EXERCISE:

Exposure Grammar translation method Learning style Focus on form
Paraphrasing Interaction Working out Silent period

EXPOSURE AND FOCUS ON FORM

 
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Posted by on 26/04/2012 in UNIT 10

 

Unit 9: Motivation

Hello folks!

As I wrote the last time, motivation is essential if you want to do or learn something, it doesn’t matter what it would be! However, talking about learning and teaching, motivation has to be showed by both sides. The extrinsic motivation depends on the teacher while the intrinsic motivation depends on the learner.

There are a huge bunch of factors that can influence motivation, let’s see some of them that can influence in our learning motivation (the information belongs to the TKT BOOK, keep it on mind). So, the question would be: What can motivate learners to learn a new language?

  • Because they want to achieve a goal, e.g. get a better job.
  • Because learners are interested in the target language culture, probably because they want to become part of that culture in some way, by moving to the country.
  • Feeling good at learning a new language, some kind of people are really good at picking up new activities, and it’s easy for those people to achieve as much as they want.
  • Because they are being encouraged by their relatives, or friends. In some countries learning a second language is helpful and highly valued.
  • Because they want to communicate with foreign people, maybe they will have a business parter, friends, a relationship or relatives who speak another language and in order to communicate they want to learn it.
  • Because they enjoy attending classes with their teachers because of the classmates, the teachers, the environment, the group discussions or the course book , like the topics which they talk about over there.

So, we can see that there are a lot of reasons to feel motivated when studying. Which one is yours?

Let’s practice some vocabulary and see some strategies which can affect learners’ motivation:

You already know what to do next (click on the icons!)

MOTIVATION CHART

YOU WILL FIND THE NEXT VOCABULARY ON THE FOLLOW EXERCISE:

Feedback Praise Task Needs
Encouragement Rapport Demotivated Confidence
Achieve Unmotivated Motivation Goal

MOTIVATION VOCABULARY

 
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Posted by on 26/04/2012 in UNIT 9

 

Discovering your personal learning philosophy!

Hi learners!

During our lives we’ve experienced learning and learning styles too. I’m surprised because I didn’t know that each student develops a new style to learn. However there are a lot of comments about learning styles.

The most interesting for me is that students learn in an own way, it doesn’t matter how many kinds of learning styles are, because each learner can use more than one to learn. For example in my case I test myself (on the next link: http://www.engr.ncsu.edu/learningstyles/ilsweb.html here you can find out what kind of learning style you have. This link was taken from the TKT book). And I found out that I’m a visual learner, something like that because I’ve already read about these styles and I notice that I used to pick up some other techniques while learning!

There are nine learning styles in the TKT Book registered; however the most common could be the Visual, the Auditory, and the Kinaesthetic. Well, I found out more videos about those ones that the other ones that are registered on the book.

Now, it’s your turn, try to find out what learner style you are!

In the next Prezi there is a video about these learning styles. I laughed a lot while watching it, I hope you will too. Have fun and enjoy it!

As I told you before, I prefer to learn with tangible things, silent time to think, e.g. after learning new vocabulary, moreover I love to do flash cards, maps, figures that can help me to remember things, games which help me to memorize, and I used to practice as much as possible .  Moreover, sometimes I like to practice English on speaking activities, e.g. group discussions. I think I’ve been using more than just one learning style!

How could it affect your teaching? Will it affect to learners? Yes, of course! It is said that most of the teachers used to teach in the same way that they learned.  Furthermore, let’s consider the Past language learning experience. For example, somebody could learn by practicing writing but if someday he/she joins to another class he/she might have problems if there the teacher doesn’t care about writing and inside of that the teacher prefers to practice by speaking. It will happen in the same path with more than one learner, it is because of the learning experienced they have had.

So, these kind of things will affect each learner and its learning style too!

 
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Posted by on 24/04/2012 in TKT HOMEWORK

 

Unit 4:Functions…Do I use them?

Hello there!

Everybody uses them! We use them as the principal reason to communicate. Everything that we say has a purpose or function.

In accordance with the TKT BOOK functions are:  a way of describing how we use language. When we describe the functions of language we focus on the use of the language and its meaning for the people who are in the context where it is used.

Let’s see some example of functions.

Click on the next Hot Potatoes Icon and practice them. Enjoy it!

*Each time you click on the exercise you will obtain different functions, there are 28 differents…

YOU WILL FIND THE NEXT VOCABULARY ON THE FOLLOW EXERCISE:

Accepting an apology Attracting attention Pleading Making a toast Beginning an anecdote
Interrupting Giving advice Talking about dislikes Talking about likes Talking about fear
Suggestions Speaking about hopes Making requests Making predictions Responding to offers
Making offers Declining Accepting Making invitations Setting a time
Suggesting Asking to meet Introducing yourself Greetings Complaining
Disagreeing Strong agreement Agreeing

FUNCTIONS

THE INFORMATION WAS TAKEN FROM THE SCRIBD PAGE.
 
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Posted by on 19/04/2012 in UNIT 4

 

WORKING IN A TEAMWORK?

WORKING IN A TEAMWORK!

Hmm! I have heard that word since I was a kid (many years ago…)! And being sincere I had never liked this kind of learning technique. In my last TKT class, which was the last March 31, Saturday, Ellen let us to organize in teamworks and she asked each group to work in a specific topic, my team’s topic  was “The Krashen’s Theory of Second Language Acquisition”. What was it? Now I was dealing with a new topic which I had no idea what it was for and as a group we had to divide the information, organize what each of us would search for, when we would add the information without any contact during holydays, organize the introduction and conclusion plus the bibliography among the three of us …Oh! It was horrible!

Moreover, sometimes teamwork doesn’t result as most of us hope! For example, some classmates used to spend less than five minutes searching for the information just cutting and pasting it without reading it, or worst there is always someone who doesn’t care about the work and prefer to pass with a great grade without collaborating! Unbelievable!

Cooperation and Teamwork in Hong Kong, Photo: Philip McMaster_0294

Cooperation and Teamwork in Hong Kong, Photo: Philip McMaster_0294

I have to admit it, it was frustrating it! But finally, after “five hours” (it was just like thirty minutes) of complete pressure Ellen told us that the teamwork wasn’t real! So, we wouldn’t have to search anything in group, or at least work like that. Awesome! I was so relieved! Oh, I almost forget what I’m telling you that I was so happy, plus the frustration of working in teams we had to work with the Google Docs, something that was horrible for me. Some weeks before Ellen provided us a new way to practice the IPA, which would have to be practiced with Google docs, but I had a problem with my computer or with the program (I don’t know) and I could never open it! I felt so frustrated and disappointed because I couldn’t work with it, the worst for me was that I spent more than three days trying to open it, wouldn’t it make you feel exasperated? So, there was again the way to practice and do homework using it.

Nevertheless, Ellen just wanted us to feel the same pressure that students feel when they have to work in this way without any teacher’s instructions or teacher’s help to develop the developing of the work!

She loves to pressure us! Ha!

That was so horrible but understandable!

 
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Posted by on 17/04/2012 in TKT HOMEWORK

 

MOTIVATION? WHO SHOULD FEEL OR SHOW IT, TEACHERS OR STUDENTS?

Have you ever felt motivated? I think most of us had felt it.

Sometimes we have experienced this feeling when we want to practice a new sport, when we want to learn a new language or when we want to do something new in our lives. In the TKT BOOK Motivation means:

 “The thoughts and feeling which make us want to and continue to want to do something and which turn our wishes into action. Motivate influences:

    • Why people decide to do something
    • How long they keep wanting to do it
    • How they work to achieve it.”

But the most important in this post is when TEACHERS AND STUDENTS FEEL MOTIVATED TO TEACH AND TO LEARN! Motivation depends of both sides.

First of all, teachers should feel motivated to teach, they should emanate passion while they’re teaching and this passion would turn into motivation to students. In most cases when students notice the motivation when teachers have it, they feel with the same sense to practice it, to learn new things, to attend all classes without missing one of them, but why? Is there a difference when a teacher doesn’t show motivation?

Five well-trained and motivated teachers helping children reach their potential

Five well-trained and motivated teachers helping children reach their potential

In my case I had seen, felt and lived it. Once I had the amazing opportunity to have a really good teacher, (however he wasn’t the only one, actually I’m living a new experience with an awesome teacher, so there are inspiring and excellent teachers still) going back to the main idea…most of his classes used to be fun, we used to laugh a lot, but at the same time we used to practice the language! There was an excellent motivational environment, I had the opportunity to interact with all of my classmates, in only one month, we used to practice a lot, even that we made a lot of mistakes, however my teacher used to help us with the correct pronunciation or he used to tell us what the mistake was. It was awesome! I never miss any of his classes, I was always exasperated to start a new day and go to school just because I knew that I would have a great learning class. Moreover, my teacher used to provide us enough material to practice, furthermore that month we had at least to learn how to write! In only one month? I remember that I had to write a lot during it, and it was exhausting for me, but finally I loved to write! Unbelievable!

On the other hand, what about the students? Does it really affect the teacher’s motivation? Yes, of course! As in my case, as I told you, I never miss one of my teacher’s classes. He motivated us a lot during writing, searching about topics that we would like to write about. He used to give us further practice, and it was amazing that during his classes there was no one who could say that we didn’t want to have homework! Incredible! When most of the students hate homework, it didn’t happen with my teacher! Moreover, sometimes he organized us in teamworks, once he was always to catch up the mistakes that we did during the activity, he was paying complete attention when we made a mistake on pronunciation, like in word stress or vocabulary. He was always able to explain us new grammar, even that he would have to do it twice, furthermore he answered all our questions, he always looked up for new words that we didn’t know (most of the time the questions were related to words that he didn’t know or understand even in Spanish, because he was from Texas so he had to search for the words in both languages), nevertheless he was always prepared for classes! He taught a lot about being an excellent teacher!

Young, active, motivated students! I love them!http://www.flickr.com/photos/sputnikoflickr/3817100365/

Now, you can understand how much a teacher can affect in your life, how much you can learn from them but the most important: How important is to motivate students and be always motivated as a teacher. Great!

Never give up motivation. Sometimes teachers quit this beautiful job because they forget that motivation is important not only for students but also for teachers.

Here I added a google doc about the motivational techniques that are important in a teaching class. This doc was made as a Venn diagram, which was divided among an ESL class, a class or classes that I used to attend and what would I do as teacher.

Click on the Google’s Icon to see it.

 
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Posted by on 17/04/2012 in BOOK'S REFLECTIONS