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An inspirational quote.

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An inspirational quote.

 

I recently found this picture and I thought it may be interesting not only for TEFL students, but also for teachers in general. There are two ways that we can be inspired by this picture.

Firstly, the quote. Benjamin Franklin may have not been a teacher, but from his quote we can suggest that he was thinking ahead of his time. Nowadays, active involvement of the students to the learning experience is crucial. For instance, a good idea is to use personalized tasks for it has many benefits: the students always have enough things to talk about as they dive deep to their experiences and memories or their beliefs and thought. Other examples of actively involving a student to the learning process actively is using role play, games etc. So, according to Benjamin Franklin’s quote, teaching is inadequate when there is not active involvement from the learners’ side.

Another way to see the picture is technically. We have a picture which visualizes the words of Benjamin Franklin. If we look on the internet we can find thousands, maybe millions of pictures with quotes which are food for thought. As teachers, we can select a few of them and use them as teaching material for speaking or writing tasks. Also, we can allow the students to go on a short Web quest and look for a quote themselves and then either write what they think about it, or bring it to class with their comments in order to discuss it. The possibilities are endless and we all benefit from it.

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Coming soon: David Crystal: Language and the Internet

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I recently had the pleasure of attending a lecture by the world renowned scholar and linguist, professor David Crystal. The topic of the lecture was Language and the Internet. I put together the main points of the lecture and I will share them with you in two parts. The first part will be a summary of what professor Crystal talked about. The second part will relate these to Technology in TEFL.

The lecture was very interesting and I thought I would spread the knowledge, as what Professor Crystal talked about is useful both from a linguistics aspect but also from a TEFL aspect. We can be inspired by his theories and decide what is best for our classrooms.

Stay tuned!

17th March: Saint Patrick’s Day.

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Saint Patrick’s Day is a big celebration originating from Ireland. People celebrate it all over the world were major Irish populations can be found (of course Ireland, U.K. and America).

Below, you will find a link for a reading activity were you can learn more about this celebration.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nu-zMKGPM5CDUcSHbKqPJDJxEUpQRUMvhmOaOPvopTg/edit

FYI: The activity appears like a worksheet. Please contact me if you want to use it.

Facebook or Fakebook?

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Social networking entered our lives just a few years ago, but Facebook in particular has become part of most people’s every day routine. Facebook has changed the way we interact with each other and it can also be a useful tool for educational purposes. On the other hand though, students can be easily distracted when going online, some of them (especially the younger ones) may not have registered with Facebook and generally, there are many implications that can occur by the use of Facebook in the classroom. One alternative suggestion is Fakebook.

Fakebook is an online tool for teachers, which is identical with Facebook in terms of appearance. What is unique about this tool is the fact that the teacher can modify every piece of information that is displayed. The teacher can add images, text and video in order to create a fake Facebook profile which will be accompanied by a variety of activities. As long as the teacher is creative and imaginative, there are no limitations for the use of Fakebook. Fakebook:http://www.classtools.net/fb/home/page

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Below you will find a link of an example of a fake profile I have created.

The idea is that the students watch the William Shakespeare mini-bio video. The teacher can ask comprehension questions, teach the new vocabulary or engage the students into role play (Interviewer – William Shakespeare). Also, there is a synopsis of Romeo and Juliet with which students can work on a reading activity.

Link:http://www.classtools.net/fb/70/gERHG2

How To Do A British Accent.

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The use of various technological means in the EFL classroom is constantly gaining popularity. More particularly, the use of video is a fun, entertaining and engaging way to learn. The teacher can select from a wide range of clips available online and provide the learners with activities which can be adjusted according to their level and needs.
In this particular clip, we learn about some distinctive characteristics of the British Accent. A clip like this can be very helpful in order to improve the learners’ pronunciation. In many cases, the teacher may not be a native English speaker and clips like this can digitally bring a native speaker in the class to teach phonemes . In the clip there are a few examples, but one might as well find a specific video according to the learners’ need, especially when different foreign languages form phonemes that may not exist in the English language.
Some activities that can follow this video tutorial:
1. The teacher can prepare a list of vocabulary that is taught in the video and ask the learners to listen the pronunciation and repeat.
2. Use the vocabulary in role play activities. The teacher should monitor and give feedback on errors, so he/she makes sure the learners have learned how to pronounce the phonemes.
3. The teacher can have two students who have succeeded in producing the phonemes, to use them in simple sentences and maybe intentionally make some errors. The rest of the class then is asked to identify the mistake (for instance if the pronunciation of “r” is incorrectly used).
Overall, there are many ways in which a teacher can reclaim the use of video within the classroom and tailor it to the learners’ needs.