Showing posts with label students. Show all posts
Showing posts with label students. Show all posts

Monday, October 26, 2015

Tips for Helping Adult Students Blossom in the EFL Classroom

It is our role as teachers to instill a fruitful learning atmosphere. However, how can we build a learning environment in which adult students will lower their affective filter, generate rapport and blossom? Here are my top beliefs. 

1.    Personalize your classes by giving examples using what you know about your students. Instead of saying, “John wakes up at 7.00”, why not change John for the name of a student in class? Much more meaningful and inductive, besides showing they are important for you.

2.    Believe your students can be fluent. They are there because they believe and when they believe they work harder. So do you. When you believe your students can make it, you will start thinking of ways to help them improve their learning process and this might make them trust you.

3.    Provide students with meaningful feedback on how they can improve their English or the best practice for them to be a successful language learner. Show them you care.

4.    Praise your students even for little achievements. Show them you’re taking their improvement into account. Tell them you know they can do it, and when they get there, make sure you point it out. This way they will see that you are attentive to their progress.

5.    Be a Role Model for your student. Students usually look up to the teacher, so don’t speak Portuguese. The moment you resort to Portuguese to explain something, you’re allowing them to do the same. Challenge students to understand and communicate using the English they have.

6.    Sympathize with your students. It’s not easy to learn a new language at adulthood. It takes a long time for you to be in control of your life, and then when you start learning a language, you don’t have a voice. How frustrating is it? Show understanding and encourage them to keep on track. 

7.    Share your story too. Let your students know about yourself. Illustrate an explanation with examples of your life too. They want to feel you are approachable and, luckily, there can be some interaction too.

8.    Value their expertise – let your students show their expertise in their field. It can be something simple like explaining how easy stand up paddle is, for example, but let them feel valued and show they can collaborate too.

9.    Lighthearted classes are fun, time flies and you want to be there again. Make your students have a good time with the right mix of responsibility and humor. A friendly atmosphere engages learners.

10.  Add your tip here so we can make 10.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Reading your Students

“Reading” is a skill you will find yourself cultivating in your students from day one in the classroom until the end of the semester. They use reading to find the right classroom, to register the date and their teacher’s name, to find the Resource Center or the Coordinator’s Office. Reading ability will determine the ease (or difficulty) with which the students interpret written instructions to an exercise or participate in a scripted dialog in a textbook.

Reading may one day lead your students into enlightening research, the expansion of comfortable dimensions of knowledge, the tingle of literary adventure or romance.

But….are you “reading” your students?

Many teachers begin a semester with intense concern for the lesson plan, the materials they will use, the technologies they will employ in the process. Have they reliably led the class from point A to point D, with demonstrably positive results (evident in the students’ overall performance)?

In following the trajectory of a prescribed teaching path, the instructors become so intent on the intermediate and end goals that they may overlook the signs that indicate how the students - on a less obvious level - are absorbing or reacting to the class in question.

Are you (the teacher) attentive to the following “reading” signals: 

  • Willing and consistent eye contact 
  •  Alert and energetic posture (vs slouching and lounging)
  •  Precision in repetition (vs relatively soundless mouthing, avoidance) 
  •  Interested, forthcoming collaboration with fellow students
  •  Alacrity in response to task initiation and follow-through (vs sluggish foot-dragging that results in frustrated task completion) 
  •  Tone of voice (confident vs timid) and nature of attitude (positive projection vs reticent or somewhat surly rejection) 
  •  Choice of seating (outside the teacher’s peripheral vision or within easy visual “reach”) 
Reading accurately and with sensitivity; it can make a difference in task success, and an even bigger difference in classroom and lesson management.

Katy Cox

Friday, May 03, 2013

Reminiscing on IATEFL 2013

An international teachers' conference makes room for quite a hectic audience. There are English teachers
coming from all corners of the world, all in search of professional growth, new academic ideas and technologies and the acknowledgement of being on the right track regarding teaching and teaching methodologies.

Although there are not many new proposals regarding TEFL for the current tendencies, there is still a lot we
can learn about the teaching of English. In fact, there is always something to learn or recall. One of the lectures I attended and enjoyed very much was Edmund Dudley's "High-achieving Secondary Students". Mr. Dudley is a teacher and teacher trainer working in Hungary. His main concern is to teach the student as a whole. In this process, he focuses on the environment of the class so that it can "nest" students positively and help them overcome any obstacles they may have in the process of learning English. However, he has stated such obstacles may actually not even refer to difficulties in assessing language. It has been the object of Mr. Dudley's studies and involvements the fact that there may be lack of motivation for learning even among those students considered high-achievers. Among the many aspects of teaching pointed by Mr. Dudley, he has suggested that our attitude towards the learning situation be able to bring out the challenge, the relevance, the value and the novelty of lessons. In his presentation, each of these topics was associated with an array of examples and ideas on how to promote creative learning.

Another presentation which was highly motivating for me was Gavin Dudeney's piece on technology. Still a
bit of a challenge to me, technology is more present in our lives on a daily basis than we even realize. Just
as we turn lights on and off, start the car, use the dishwasher, the air-conditioner or heater, or simply change
channels on TV, for example, in quite casually habitual, if not automatic daily attitudes, we also make use
of technology in a much more routine-like manner than we can acknowledge. Most people start their days
making use of the cell phone, smart phones, connections to social networks, or the accessibility to intranet
at work or the Internet for more personal endeavors, to name a few only. Our day is filled with opportunities
for using technology, being the classroom the one place which offers the most fruitful chances for efficacious,
audaciously creative teaching and learning.