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Category Archives: BOOK’S REFLECTIONS

Part of the information of this section was taken from the TKT book:
http://www.cambridge.org/mx/elt/catalogue/subject/item382398/Teaching-Knowledge-Test-%28TKT%29/?site_locale=es_MX

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

 

REFLECTIONS ABOUT :Lexis

LEXIS

What is lexis?

Lexis refers to individual words or sets of words, for example: tree, get up, first of all, all’s well that ends well, i.e. units of vocabulary which have a specific meaning.

What kinds of meaning can words have?

These past days I had learned that words can have more than one meaning, for example there are at least three different meanings for one word (obviously it depends of the word because some of them can have more than one meaning).

Some words can have a Denotative meaning: which is when the meaning describes the thing behind the vocabulary, and we speaking this way. There is Figurative meaning which is an imaginative meaning.  The last one depends of the Context of the sentences or text.

But, there is more. Some meanings come from the form of the word, for example there are affixes which are added to the base form and they are called prefixes (which are added at the beginning of a word) and suffixes (which are added at the end of a word)

But also, we can find more different meanings of the words:

Compound nouns: two nouns link together with a different meaning from the base form.

Idioms: fixed expressions that can’t be changed, however their combination of words doesn’t mean as their individual meaning.

Collocations: words that often occurs together. (Clear skin, take a holiday, etc)

Synonyms: words with the same meaning.

Antonyms: words with an opposite meaning.

False friends: words which have the same or similar form in two languages but different meaning: Embarrassed is not the same than Embarazado.

Homophones: words with the same pronunciation but different meaning.

Homonyms: words with the same spelling but different meaning.

In my opinion, students should know the different meanings of the words, obviously it depends of the ages of the students, but in case of adult students, they have to know how they can use the words in different ways.  However, students could learn the different meanings and new vocabulary step by step. Teachers can make exercises using as much grammar or vocabulary as they want. An advantage that teachers have is that they know the abilities or disabilities that their own students have to learn new things. So, they have to choose the best tools to teach students in the best way they can learn. Even that some students can learn just by translating vocabulary, they can’t do it during their entire learning because in a future they would like to do the same forever.

Would you let your students search words in an English dictionary and their meanings? I would, because they could see the root of the word, the transcription, part of the speech, example sentence, the definitions, and more than that on it. Probably at the beginning they could feel a little overwhelmed but if they practice the words as much as possible they wouldn’t forget them. Sometimes there is no choice about read and memorize, because there is no another way to learn, the difference is how would you learn it? Only by memorizing? Why don’t understand it and practice? After a hard work students would be able to apply their knowledge in a test.

Let’s make the difference in learning!

 

 
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Posted by on 10/03/2012 in BOOK'S REFLECTIONS

 

REFLECTIONS ABOUT: Grammar

Describing language and language skills.

What is GRAMMAR?

Grammar refers to how we combine, organise and change parts of words, words and groups of words to make meaning.

There are nine parts of speech in English:

  1. Nouns: to name people, places, things, qualities, ideas, or activities to act as the subject/object of the verb.
  2. Verbs: to show an action, state or experience.
  3. Adjectives: to describe or give more information about a noun, pronoun or part of a sentence.
  4. Adverbs: to say more about how, when, where, etc. something happens by adding information to adjectives, verbs, other adverbs or sentences.
  5. Determiners: to make clear which noun is referred to.
  6. Prepositions: to show the relationship between a noun, noun phrase or pronoun and another word or phrase.
  7. Pronouns: to replace or refer to a noun or noun phrase mentioned earlier or about to be mentioned.
  8. Conjunctions: to join words, sentences or parts of sentences.
  9. Exclamations (interjections): to show a (strong) feeling-especially in informal spoken language.

For further practice you can visit the websites that are going to be added on mi sidebar.

Here there are some teachers’ comments, which I would like to know which do you agree with and why?

1. My students say learning grammar is really boring and doesn’t help them speak.

2. Children don’t learn grammar when they learn their first language but adult who learn a second language really need to.

3. We need to learn grammar terms to help us learn a language more easily and quickly.

In my opinion I agree with the second one, because it doesn’t matter which language you speak, the problem is when you want to explain it to people, even if you’re a native speaker I assure you that you couldn’t be able to explain it.

So, if we are not able to explain grammar of our native language, it could be very hard try to explain grammar of a second one. So, we must  have to learn grammar , that’s why  I’ve been studying it, I had never studied grammar before, and now I’m learning new things and how hard it’s when you’re trying to keep on mind all of the rules to speak it and improve it.

However, when you have good teachers who most of the activities are fun and homework is not hard or boring to do, you can easily learn new things. So, have fun when you study and when you teach!

I left you some pages above that have exercises and you can check them if you want to entertain a little bit and you want to improve your grammar.

Have a nice day!

 
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Posted by on 09/03/2012 in BOOK'S REFLECTIONS