March 2002 - issue 3/02
Welcome to the March Newsletter
Thank you to everyone who has been completing
the Poll on the Front Page of the site. If you haven't seen
this, it's to find out who you are teaching. The categories
to choose are general adults, professionals, teenagers, younger
learners (7-12), even younger learners (3-7) & other teachers.
At the time of writing, we have had 192 people take the poll
with the following results:
general adults - 33%
professionals - 21%
teenagers - 23%
younger learners (7-12) - 14%
even younger learners (3-7) - 4%
other teachers - 5%
We'll keep the poll up for a while, &
we'll be adding more polls. If you haven't visited please
stop by & let us know who you teach. Thanks.
This month's newsletter takes feedback on written work as
its theme with Seamus O'Muirchartaigh contributing his seminar
notes. There is also a new Books section & we begin with
a review of 'Knowing Me, knowing You' by Jim Wingate, the
review being written by David Holden. There are some new articles
& plans up on the site, some teaching links, plus the
usual PS section of computer/internet links. Hope you find
it all useful.
Please e-mail a friend the Developing Teachers
See the note in the bit at the end about
1. THEME - giving feedback
on written work
2. THE SITE - lesson plans
5. E-MAIL COURSES
6. TEACHING LINKS
8. WEEKLY TEACHING TIPS
9. TRAINING COURSES
9. PS - Internet/computer-related
10. THE BIT AT THE END
1. THEME - feedback on written work.
see the article
Here are a couple of writing articles from the site:
use of a process-oriented approach to facilitate the planning
and production stages of writing for adult students of English
as a Foreign or Second Language' by Nicola Holmes
the accompanying lesson plan
Letters for Everyone: Ideas of why and how to bring formal
letters into every classroom in fun, interactive ways' by
Back to the index
2. THE SITE
There are some more excellent new articles on the site this
month. Thanks go to Jeanette Corbett & Dimitrios Thansoulas.
Corbett's article this month finds her experimenting with
intonation in the classroom. The article it 'Raising student
awareness of intonation at discourse level'
an accompanying lesson plan designed for Camb. Proficiency
level. Her aims in this lesson:
To develop student's listening strategy,
by raising their awareness of intonation at discourse level,
particularly pitch level
Exam focus: develop their listening strategy
for listening tasks - matching
a) Practise reading for gist and for specific
b) To develop student awareness of voice
patterns in a dialogue between native speakers, highlighting
the features of natural discourse e.g./ topic management,
turn taking etc.
c) To develop student awareness of the use
of fillers in natural speech
Dimitrios Thansoulas has a new article 'Constructivist
Learning'. Here is the beginning of the article:
Only by wrestling with the conditions of
the problem at hand, seeking and finding his own solution
(not in isolation but in correspondence with the teacher and
other pupils) does one learn.
John Dewey, How We Think, 1910
As a philosophy of learning, constructivism can be traced
to the eighteenth century and the work of the philosopher
Giambattista Vico, who maintained that humans can understand
only what they have themselves constructed. A great many philosophers
and educationalists have worked with these ideas, but the
first major contemporaries to develop a clear idea of what
constructivism consists in were Jean Piaget and John Dewey,
to name but a few. Part of the discussion that ensues grapples
with the major tenets of their philosophies, with a view to
shedding light on constructivism and its vital contribution
to learning. As a revealing gloss on this issue, it could
be said that constructivism takes an interdisciplinary perspective,
inasmuch as it draws upon a diversity of psychological, sociological,
philosophical, and critical educational theories. In view
of this, constructivism is an overarching theory that does
not intend to demolish but to reconstruct past and present
teaching and learning theories, its concern lying in shedding
light on the learner as an important agent in the learning
process, rather than in wresting the power from the teacher.
read the remainder
If you've given a course or seminar or have
a lesson plan & would like to give it a public airing
then do send it to:
ADVERTISING - If you are interested in advertising on the
site or the Weekly Teaching Tip & this Monthly Newsletter
then please get in touch at:
Back to the index
Word Change - this warmer really gets your
students thinking about grammar. Write a lengthy sentence
on the board & volunteer a student to come out to the
board with the pen/chalk. The class & the student have
to change the sentence word by word but the sentence must
still make sense. One word at a time can be changed - keep
the original sentence on the board & write the new word
below the one it changes. And any word can be changed any
time, even the new ones. The key is to keeping grammatical
For example, with this sentence:
I went on holiday to China during the summer
and found the people very friendly.
Change 'China' for 'Norway' >> change
'friendly' for optimistic' >> change 'went' to 'came'
etc each time writing the new word below the word it changed.
Works well for conditionals too.
You must have a favourite warmer! Send it in & we'll publish
it here & put it in the warmer list on the site.
A new section in the newsletter & on
the site. We will be occasionally recommending books &
David Holden has a review of 'Knowing me,
Knowing you - Classroom activities to develop learning strategies
and stimulate conversation' by Jim Wingate (Delta Publishing).
Read before you buy. David is a teacher trainer at the BLC
can see the review
If you would like to review a book for us
do get in touch.
Please don't forget to go through the
books page when you want to buy from Amazon - we get a
little bit & you pay the same. Every little helps to keep
the newsletters free. Thanks.
Back to the index
5. E-MAIL COURSES
Maximise your time by getting started on
a quality personalised teacher development course. There
are a couple of sample pages to view.
6. LINKS FOR TEACHING
A very nicely updated site full of useful
'stuff' for both learner & teacher.
Lexical Freenet - a comprehensive 'connected
thesaurus'. I typed in 'language' & was given 128 paths
to follow up, & it narrows down the more you continue.
'Welcome to LangPix, your portal site for
photos to use in your language lessons and lots more! All
photos on this site are available for you to use free of charge
for educational purposes.'
'Welcome to the HyperGrammar electronic grammar
course at the University of Ottawa's Writing Centre. This
course covers approximately the same ground as our English
department's ENG 1320 Grammar course
.This package is
designed to allow users a great deal of freedom and creativity
as they read about grammar. In addition to the regular navigational
links (``up'', ``next'', ``previous'', ``home'', etc.) HyperGrammar
allows users to create and follow their own lines of thought.
On its first appearance on any page, every grammatical term
is linked to its definition. A user reading about nouns might
jump to the simple subject, and from there to subordinate
clauses -- users are not required or even encouraged to use
this material in order.'
A very comprehensive site devoted to the
writing skill. Lots of advice & handouts. Worth a dig
Back to the index
If you are a children's EFL teacher from
US, UK, Canada, or Oceania, and can teach adults too, Foreign
Language Training and Consulting Center in Beihai, China,
can offer you wonderful opportunities to travel (Vietnam,
Hainan Island, Guilin all close by) and enjoy the sunshine.
Your job will be to get the students talking
and having fun through games, music, props, puzzles, art and
whatever resources you enjoy using/can bring along. You will
always have a helper and class sizes will be under 20, ages
4 to 16. To work in our school, just love the kids and tolerate
their parents. Have a grateful attitude and be self-motivated.
We're not looking for whiners and crybabies, except as students!
The school is new, the building is new, and
the city is new. The classrooms are huge, and your free apartment
will be surprisingly spacious. You can have internet free
all the time, and when the kiddies are gone you can be at
one of South China's cleanest and most attractive beaches
(Silver Beach) in
ten minutes. Send your cover letter, resume, references, and
date of availability to BHLTCC@yahoo.com
. If we telephone you, you may choose your contract option.
Airfare is paid. You will make from 3 to 5 thousand yuan,
but must be experienced.
Teachers can post CVs on
the site & employers can post job adverts - both are free
services at the moment.
8. WEEKLY TEACHING TIPS
The Tips that we've had recently include:
- An individual approach - ideas for catering
to the individual within the group.
- Arouse, confront, dare, stimulate, provoke...
- about creating 'challenge' for your students
- Love & money are in the air! - a Valentine's
Day plan based around an article about the money that's ploughed
into the day.
- Hopeful Haikus - using these Japanese verse
- Running Around - running dictations
To see the
To sign up to receive
Free weekly practical teaching tips by e-mail.
Back to the index
Train in Spain - Courses running in the near
future at the British Language Centre in Madrid:
CAMBRIDGE CERTIFICATE IN ELT - CELTA
Part-time twelve-week course, April >>
Full-time four-week courses, April, May &
CAMBRIDGE DIPLOMA IN ELT - DELTA
Two month full-time course: July & August
Reasonably priced accommodation can be arranged
for the duration of all courses.
You can see brief descriptions of all of
the current courses on the BLC web site http://www.cospa.es/blc/TED/ttframe.htm
The postal address of Teacher Education at the British Language
Centre is Calle Bravo Murillo 377, 2, 28020 Madrid, Spain.
The phone number is (00 34) 733 07 39 & the fax number
is (00 34) 91 314 5009.
The e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Back to the index
10. PS - Internet/computer-related links
'Hello, my name is Joe, and I'm a new economoron.
That's my catchy name for people who find themselves in my
current situation, an economoron. Kind of like an alcoholic,
except I bought into the New Economy.
I got fired from my job last week because I was unmotivated.
I had been unmotivated ever since the stock market "correction"
in April. That was six months ago. As a result of that correction
(and some fancy paperwork by the Chairman) the options I held
in my company were reverse split by a factor of six to one.
That meant that the 15,000 options I once had were cut to
2,500 options. ' And the story goes on.
Like the Hunger site you click to donate only this time your
click provides Joe with about a quarter of a French fry. He
finishes his entertaining essay, 'And tell your friends
we're running out of gourmet coffee.' At the time of my visit,
he had collected $27.79 with the Amazon Honor system &
as for food the equivalent of three cigarettes - only one
click a day allowed.
"MultiDesk is a virtual screens application
that allows users to have multiple virtual screens on one
monitor. It is like having multiple desktops. You can organize
applications into different desktops. This way, your screen
will not be cluttered with fifty-six opened windows, and you
will be able to find an application quickly. The next best
thing to multiDesk is a shovel."
'Maybe you are a geek girl and maybe you
just suspect you are. Stranger things have been true. I have
created this website for geek girls everywhere--present, future
and potential--so we can explore our geekhood together, and
see what we can find out about it. Geek girls, geek women--we're
out there, and we need to see that we're not alone.'
Modern living - nice site.
A free utility that helps you get over a
Windows drawback - print the directory of your folders, subfolders,
files etc. Right click in Explorer & print off a copy
of any directory.
Watch our fearless hero in a flash movie.
Worthless words of the day.
From the beginning of recorded time -man
has been influenced by color. Newborns are nurtured by them,
calmed those by baby blues & baby pinks. Even our use
of colorised language categorises our nature. We talk about
having "Blue moods". .being "Green with envy"
or "Red with embarrassment"
... or even "Seeing the World through Rose Colored Glasses"
In this respect our lives are contingent on colour. We are
all products of our past and colour plays a dominant role.
By choosing various colors, in order of preference, from a
color spectrum, it is possible to ascertain various characteristics
of a person at a specific time. It has been found that people
with similar traits have predilections for specific colors.
And according to ones moods at a particular time, one's outlook
on life will change
These color preferences compound
a profile which is amazingly accurate.. Try it
be fascinated and above all amazed.'
Well, worth a look anyway.
11. THE BIT AT THE END
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Disclaimer - all of the recommendations for
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