Correcting English language students' errors
2013-04-30 13:10 by Graham Meadows
So why do lots of teachers not do it? I guess it took me years to master this technique. An old colleague convinced me that every error a student made should be corrected there and then. How many times have I heard "but it might upset them, stop the flow etc....." so many teachers tell me this. Rubbish. Students should be stopped in a nice, kind and friendly way when an error is made, and encouraged to self correct in the first instance. In many cases they can do this. If not, another student is usually able to help out. I think a teacher should correct if students really can't do it. Learning is by doing as they say. They are many techniques to do help students such as facial expressions, hand techniques etc. I have asked many students if they want me to do this and 9/10 they do. That's why they use to learn English. They prefer it. I guess the only time I wouldn't do it regularly is with the low levels. We just need to keep encouraging teachers to do this much more often because students need and want it.
70 different ways to learn English
2013-04-25 14:22 by Graham Meadows
70 is a lot and it is true there are many different ways of learning English. Here are a few ideas to get you going;
A great one, find yourself a boyfriend or girlfriend and spend hours practising your English on them! Many a happy marriage has been formed from these experiences!
Why not put your Ipad, Ipod, or phone settings into English. Since we all use these devices all the time, this will be a great way for you to enlarge your vocabulary, and improve your reading.
Diary writing has been around for ages so why not do this or even write a blog in English, which is very easy to set up online.
Are you into comics? If so, great since comics contain short sentences that can be easy to follow. Why not search for information online in English. Have you seen a film in your own language? If so, then why not read its book in English. This will help you follow the story much more easily .
Another interesting way is to say what you are doing in English as you are doing it. Try it, It might work.
I think when I was learning French I tried most of these ideas and little by little you get there.
Paid work placements
2013-04-17 12:06 by Graham Meadows
Over the years of being in this business students of 18+ have been looking for working UK. Finally, we have managed to get two courses together. One will be a hospitality course and the other a tour guide for our summer centres. Basically students will have a two week training programe. Part of the course will be on professional and customer service covering areas such as team building, problem solving, intonation etc. The second part of the course is split into specialised segments - how to lay a table correctly, how to serve drinks correctly. I am trying to get the first one off the ground for 6 May, becuase once word has got round, it will be a busy and popular course. The tour guide idea comes from the desire to improve the summer trip programme. It all looks promising...
English teachers and interactive whiteboards
2013-04-15 10:27 by Graham Meadows
We had the whiteboards installed a few weeks back, and now the real work of teaching the teachers to use them well has begun. Every week for 30 minutes there will be a short session to help everyone. These boards are powerful and need to get the most out of them. Once started with the boards it would be very difficult to go back to an old fashioned whiteboard.
Both Karyn and me did some observations last week. The same areas are weak across the board and this is like this since my previous job. The main areas are error correction, setting up of activities, concept checking, pronunciation. I have only seen one teacher who did this constantly. I observed her several times and had nothing to comment on; it was almost perfection. The sad thing is that since she is Polish, she had difficulty getting long term work as a tefl teacher and I believe had to drop out of the profession. I see so many missed opportunities to help students further. Therefore we are having a fortnightly training session to help teachers get better to deliver much more engaging lessons.
English Student Pictures etc
2013-04-11 12:41 by Graham Meadows
One of our previous teachers, Ian, thought of a great idea which was to take a picture of the students. The students then have to think of a word, sentence or phrase in English and then write in black ink on an A3 piece of paper. This has proved to be very popular. All our students from 2012 are in nice photo albums which get looked at a lot in the main reception area. Since Ian has gone we no longer have a professional photographer around but it hasn't stopped this great idea in 2013. Karyn now takes some great pics with her own camera and gets them printed. Again, they are proving as popular as ever with pride of place on a nice red noticeboard in the reception. We have taken it a step further this year by having small group pictures. In fact, it was the students who wanted to do this. A simple but great idea. Aren't the best ideas always the simplest?