A culturally responsive school starts with a great school/home connection. However, many teachers struggle with effective ways to establish such connections. Here are some tools for teachers to connect with their kids’ homes.
Nancy Schoenfeldshares her recommendations for making communicative grammar activities successful in the classroom. Nancy is an English language instructor at Kuwait University, where she strives to make learning enjoyable for her students. She is also a series consultant for Q: Skills for Success, Second Edition, and developed the Communicative Grammar worksheets that are available for every unit.
Have you ever tried to use a communicative grammar activity in class only to have it flop? Have you ever stood helplessly by as students look blankly at each other and then commence to talk with one another in their native languages? I have. It is an unpleasant feeling to watch your students have an unsuccessful experience in the language that they are trying to learn, especially when you chose the activity. I admit, too, that after such an experience I’ve thought that communicative activities just don’t work.
Fortunately, I have…
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What do you think of when you hear the words, “classroom management?” Do visions of misbehaving students come to mind? Or do you picture a well-stocked, well-organized classroom? Or something all together different? I’d been grappling with the term, and then I came across The Glossary of Education Reform which has a definition that makes sense to me. No wonder I was uncertain what was meant by classroom management. It refers to the wide variety of skills and techniques that teachers use to keep students organized, orderly, focused, attentive, on task, and academically productive during a class. When classroom-management strategies are executed effectively, teachers minimize the behaviors that impede learning for both individual students and groups of students, while maximizing the behaviors that facilitate or enhance learning. Student behaviour is part of classroom management but if all elements of classroom management are addressed, behaviour should not be an issue, generally. An important…
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Currency conversion is one type of real-world maths example that parents use with their children. So when a survey asked 1000 parents about the problem above, it was a surprise to learn that more than half of the parents interviewed couldn’t answer the question.
£1 exchanges for $1.60. Ashley returns from holiday with $20 having spent $60. How many pounds did Ashley start with?
The poll was commissioned to see if parents in the UK were prepared for the country’s new maths curriculum, which was launched in September. As half of those surveyed didn’t know that there was a new maths curriculum at all, it’s fair to say that they weren’t particularly prepared. In light of the new maths curriculum which is going to be compulsory next year in Australia, this may be something we should worry about too!
Curriculum aside, the study illuminated some of the struggles that parents faced. Almost half…
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How do teachers decide whether to go online in the EFL/ESL classroom? Chantal Hemmi suggests that a hermeneutical process to finding out about student progress and future needs can help. Chantal teaches at the Center for Language Education and Research at Sophia University. She is also a series consultant for Q: Skills for Success, Second Edition, advising on online integration.
A hermeneutical process is all about being a good listener and observer of student progress over time: ‘Essentially, hermeneutics accords an important role to the actors and demands sensitivity and ability to listen closely to them’
(Young and Collin, 1988:154).
With increasing learner access to both authentic materials as well as materials written for language learners online, teachers are faced with a question: Shall I go online in class or not? The same goes for homework. One way to make this informed choice is for teachers to think critically…
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It can be tricky to test classes of students who come from very different learning backgrounds. Stacey Hughes, teacher trainer in the Professional Development team at Oxford University Press, offers some advice.
Testing and assessment are important in any classroom. In addition to the obvious goal of finding out if students have learned what is required for the end of term or year, assessment also gives teachers information about what students might need more work on. It can also motivate students to study, giving them a sense of achievement as they learn (Ur:1996).
A multilevel class poses additional challenges to the teacher. It could be argued that all classes to a certain extent are multi-level. However, for the purpose of this article, multi-level will be defined as those classrooms with students who come from very different learning backgrounds, or those in which students have very different levels of proficiency. Assessment…
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Age is often considered the critical variable in determining the success of L2 learning. In this post Victoria Murphy, Professor of Applied Linguistics and author of Second language learning in the early school years: Trends and Contexts, introduces her forthcoming webinar on the subject and looks at other factors that influence L2 learning in classroom-based contexts.
For the past few decades there has been a growing interest in child second language (L2) learning, particularly evidenced by the fact that increasingly around the world children are required to learn a second language in the primary school classroom. For example, Qiang (2002) reports that as of 2001 English language became a formal taught subject in the Chinese primary curriculum beginning at age 8 (grade 3) in order to increase the English language skills of China’s population. Similarly in the UK, Modern Foreign Language (MFL) learning has been re-introduced into the English primary curriculum after a…
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Margaret Brooks, a co-author of Q: Skills for Success, Second Edition, offers some tips to help your students take notes in class.
Whether in the context of taking a phone message or listening to an academic lecture, note-taking is an essential skill for most language learners. In order to help learners acquire this skill, it is important to consider first the special challenges language learners face when trying to listen and take notes.
One of the most self-evident issues is that it takes a language learner longer to process audio input than it does a native speaker. One reason for this is that a person’s short-term memory is shorter in L2 than in L1. People employ short-term memory (usually measured in seconds) when processing audio materials. For example, when listening to a long sentence, the listener may need to hold the whole utterance in his mind and…
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We always think of speaking and reading when thinking of and preparing for language lessons, but a key skill we often overlook is listening.
About two and a half years ago I wrote a blog post entitled, Decoding skills: a neglected part of listening comprehension? In the time since then it seems that many of us have stopped neglecting those poor decoding skills, and that an interest in how decoding can help develop both listening and reading skills is on the rise.
A recent question posed by Mike Harrison on the IATEFL Facebook page about developing (rather than testing) listening skills led to a flurry of useful links in the comments, which I list below:
A series of Listening Skills books written by Sheila Thorn (which I have mentioned before but which have…
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A statement that made me ponder.
I agree with it. Saville-Troike (2006) mentioned that much of a person’s L1 acquisition is completed before one goes to school, and development normally takes place without any conscious effort. The child’s innate ability takes a big part in a child’s language acquisition whatever language that may be. Other than that, experience or interaction should also be provided for the child to acquire a certain language. With these mentioned, I must say that L1 acquisition naturally happens without too much effort given by the learner.
On the other hand, as what I understand from the materials, L2 is acquired through a deeper, more complicated instruction. From Saville-Troike’s book (page 17), L2 development needs feedback, aptitude, motivation, and instruction. It means that a learner should put more effort to acquire another language. It does not happen that easily. It is studied and practiced to be better…
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