On the quest for validation, I have to agree with you here that we can sometimes get sidetracked about what is really important.
In addition to the potential causes your mentioned, I think it can also be the result of a lack of peer discussion other than through technology. Other sources of validation may be successful completion of formal study, co-teacher feedback, or the outcome of positive appraisals by supervisors or inspectors.
When we pull back from the heady Web 2.0 world to our real teaching situation, the only votes that count are those of our students and ourselves.
Recently, one little moment stood out for me. I was filling in for a colleague with a grade 4 elementary EFL class and had prepared to teach a song to practice some new sentence patterns. Unfortunately the CD was scratched and the sound kept skipping. With some quick thinking I used that to my advantage by turning it into a rap, complete with typical street rap gestures. Well of course the students couldn't hold back the laughter, (partly because I'm in my 50's too, I guess) and joined me in the fun. What I'll never forget is looking around the room about ten minutes later and seeing the broad smile on the face of one student who was still forcing back a laugh from that 'mistake' I'd made earlier.
That was all the validation I needed for the entire week!
Posted by: Greg Quinlivan
| August 01, 2010 at 12:49 AM
Greg Quinlivan (11:51:10) :
For me, student motivation comes from within and not from the teacher. We can only create an environment which nourishes learning, and with patience, support and encouragement, slowly draw them out into communicating and learning. Additionally, as Jason points out, the idea of ‘push’ is teacher-centred and takes no account of the interests or needs of the students.
The term ‘push’ reminded me too much of what mother birds do to baby birds. If the push out of the nest is successful, they fly. If not, they die. I can’t afford any dead students.
As a teacher of young learners I particularly appreciate the work of James Asher on TPR. He reminds us that when learning a first language we are not forced to speak, and in fact, don’t for a long time. However, when our understanding builds, or our confidence, or our needs, then we start blurting out something vaguely understandable which becomes the basis for further refinement, etc. Often, either because of our own impatience or the dictates of our employers, we “push” our learners too soon into productive language use, only to be surprised when they don’t meet our exacting standards.
I am also a reluctant language learner and I can confirm that if a teacher tries to ‘push’ me beyond a certain point, I push myself out the door.
I think learning can occur outside of pushing, particularly in the context of curiosity. If we have something of interest to offer, students will naturally be drawn to see what it is. Finally, nudging them (thanks Leahn) on through challenges, games, friendly team work using some of the approaches you mentioned will be received more favourably, particularly by the young.
Posted today in response to an article by Scott Thornbury at http://scottthornbury.wordpress.com/2010/07/11/p-is-for-push/#comment-1511
Based on a post by Dave Sperling about the difficulties ELL's have with reading material, I wrote the following comments: I suspect the Dogme way will result in severe regurgitation. It can have that effect in other contexts too, but that's better kept for another discussion.
And yes, I'm prepared to confess that it once took me eight hours to put together an Ikea single bed. Of course, I had to nip out and get some tools Ikea didn't provide.
Jason, you are certainly right when you say there's more to reading than knowing the vocabulary. Without context, cultural knowledge, and in some cases technical knowledge, students may be unable to comprehend entire passages. Good teachers will know this and provide appropriate scaffolding, or alternative readings.
You reminded me of the strange outcomes I hear when some Chinese phrases are translated into English. They have great significance within the culture, but to me simply sound like nonsense. The movie title "Lost in Translation" comes to my mind.
As for the cooking, my expertise doesn't extend far beyond barbeques and making toast, so I'd recommend getting some expert input elsewhere, sorry. Otherwise, three weeks of take-aways will be very expensive and not good for the diet.
Good luck with your mammoth task.
Posted by: Greg Quinlivan
| July 10, 2010 at 01:49 AM
http://jasonrenshaw.typepad.com/jason_renshaws_web_log/2010/07/easy-says-who.html is where you'll find the original article and comments.
Great set of purposes there. I'd like to see something on life-long learning also. Finally, you might consider expanding it further by offering some 'hows' to the abilities where appropriate. You might get further ideas from http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS...
though this is more focused on the teacher-end rather than the student one.
Comments posted today at http://edte.ch/blog/2010/07/10/what-is-the-purpose-of-your-schools-curriculum/ .
I agree that we ought to use local models for songs if available. I would assume many of these can be found on YouTube, or by asking the students themselves for favourite artists.
Of course, we should also recognise that the musical tastes of our students will vary too. While some might like a particular singer, others might loathe them. Some might love 'rap' music and hate 'pop'. Either way, it will reduce possible cultural imperialism slightly.
For lower level, elementary school students one has to be careful of the music chosen not just on cultural grounds, but from a number of other aspects. As popular songs are not written generally for classroom use, adaptation and explanation will often be required. For example, I haven't heard Rain's ABC song yet.
I would argue however that it won't completely eliminate cultural imperialism, as many locals simply copy the styles of Western artists. I have yet to see any videos of Korean musicians using traditional instruments and singing traditional Korean music in English. That WOULD be someone special!
I'll check out the International Music discussion link you provided shortly. Thanks.
Originally posted at http://eflclassroom.ning.com/profiles/blogs/culturally-specific-music-for?xg_source=shorten_twitter
For those of you who don't use Twitter or don't follow me there (@gregqbear), here are the tweets and re-tweets I posted between March and today.
You will find literally thousands of ideas and resources in them. Enjoy. Comment.
RT @TESConnect: It's not an Apple, but the TES iBoard is the greatest fun you can have without touchscreen technology
RT @ShellTerrell: Great ideas using mini-whiteboards at @pysproblem81's place http://bit.ly/9WDNE5 #esl Also, with my own ideas in comments.
“The Internet!” Infographic | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... http://ht.ly/27mXm Fascinating details on the size of the Web NOW!!!
RT @Larryferlazzo: Nice language learning/teaching resources from @CASLS_NFLRC http://bit.ly/ai9hs9 Consider subscribing for more articles.
Just joined the Education community to keep track of the best experts. Join me here: http://mrtweet.com/c/education?v=jt
I Want to Use Technology, But ... - http://ht.ly/26N4o Looking for help in using IWBs. Please leave ideas. #edtech #efl #edchat #elearning
100+ Google Tricks That Will Save You Time in School – Diigo http://ht.ly/26Kp9 Searches, gmail, docs, cal, mobile, chrome, etc
RT @marynabadenhors: @gregqbear try this link http://bit.ly/bypFXT for the gifted teacher video. Thanks to all great teachers everywhere.
RT @barbsaka: Beautiful site full of original images for #teaching #English http://bit.ly/98Woir Plus grammar, vocab, pron., convers., games
RT @Larryferlazzo: Can language shape how we think?, Fascinating article http://bit.ly/a8pgfS
RT @ShellTerrell: Problem Solving Games http://bit.ly/b3iLuG gr8 list! #elearning #edtech
137 Tech Resources For Teachers and Students | SoYouWantToTeach.Com http://ht.ly/24GAq
@thornburyscott: New article "T is for Taboo"; now with 5 comments, including my own. See them at http://ht.ly/23MP3 #elt #tesol #efl
RT @sywtt: To all teachers out there - thanks: "You have made a difference" http://ht.ly/23LhO #elt #tesol #musiced
@cybraryman1 You could add http://www.pdfgeni.com/ which covers PDF ebooks, manuals, catalogs, sheets, forms and docs. #elt #edtech #musiced
My 'as is' upper elementary to int. book reviews, stories, jumbles & more to share at http://ht.ly/23KVT #efl #elt #tesol Enjoy! Adapt!
Wallwisher – 105 Classroom Ideas « Sean Banville's Blog http://ht.ly/23JoY Heaps of uses for this great little app. Love it! #efl #tesol...
RT @marynabadenhors: Free illustrated story starters for Early years Literacy http://www.meddybemps.com/9.700.html Thanks again Maryna.
RT @marynabadenhors: Fab ideas and resources for little kids Literacy, monthly themes etc. http://www.littlegiraffes.com/
RT @sywtt: 52 Habits of Highly Effective Teachers - http://bit.ly/csTXUC Many ideas to explore here.
RT @tomwhitby: RT @isteconnects: Good foundational article on theory of PLNs, why/how they work, learning futures http://bit.ly/16THuy
Why don't more teachers have a PLN? #edchat #efl #elt - they don't know what ... http://twextra.com/38bc5n
rt @livesofteachers FAQ & provoking answers. | TDSIG http://bit.ly/aE8mLu (from 'critical friend' series) #IATEFL +MY THOUGHTUL COMMENTS
Google Scholar Blog http://ht.ly/1ZzsU New from Google. First post on 'alert' service. #efl #tesol #edtech #musedtech
@web20classroom File sharing - I'm going to try www.opendrive.com. They offer 5Gb's.
RT @web20classroom: RT @AngelaMaiers: A-Z Cool Tools http://ow.ly/1XPsS Like the organization of these! <--Cool stuff! Tchr friendly sites.
RT @lclandfield: Seen this? V. clever spoof movie trailer. Potential for critical analysis of Hollywood plot devices! http://bit.ly/9wTVr8
RT @tomwhitby: His PLN is built/revolves around Twitter, Ning, Linkedin, Delicious, Facebook, My Blog, Skype, EDU Conferences & his classes.
@i_to_iTEFL My funniest - when CD started to skip so Ss & I began to stammer the words & robot dance. Some Ss still tittering 20 mins later.
RT @ralphvandenberg: Any noun can be turned into a verb just by adding -ing. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Cute! but a bit scary ;o)
@web20classroom We DO expect tech, but in many EFL countries it's just not there or not usable. #edchat
@tomwhitby Tom, you're preaching mostly to the converted. Here we need to preach to government, ministers & admin's. #edchat
@web20classroom The more you read about reliability & validity the more holes you'll see in the way assessment is done in schools.
All stakeholders to be involved in lobbying for ed. reform, not just tchrs & admin. Unions should focus on conditions, not policy. #edchat
RT @paksorn: Office Web Apps With Free Doc Editing + 25 GB Storage http://j.mp/d4GQFh It's a good deal. Incl. Word, Excel, PPT, 1Note, 25GB
RT @SeanBanville: RT @bbettger: Just about everything you ever needed on classroom management, this huge list has it! http://bit.ly/3hpVz
RT @thornburyscott: RT @livesofteachers: Interview with joy egbert - engagement, tech. and flow http://bit.ly/cLY7zj Good for ESL teachers
RT @paksorn: How to Access Your Computer Files Over the Internet from Anywhere http://j.mp/9eL2KV You can add box.net to this - I like it.
F is for Flow « An A-Z of ELT by Scott Thornbury http://ht.ly/1Uqu2 Now with comments by me.
Needs a little work for ESL, but great! Smories - new stories for children, read by children http://ht.ly/1UpQP #efl #tesol #edchat
Consider taking survey. Global practices in Teaching English to Young Learners (TEYL) http://ht.ly/1UpFx #elt #tesol #edtech #edchat #efl
My 'as is' Intermediate plus grammar worksheets: definitions, adverbs, common verbs, tense recognition. http://ht.ly/1TwTu #elt #tesol #tefl
Techno Constructivist: Building Your Own Personal Learning Network http://ht.ly/1TTyg Good intro. with useful PLN tool ideas.
RT @SeanBanville: The most popular video for teaching ELLs. http://bit.ly/dtLc0n W&G's Close Shave and others with s/titles & PDF guides.
RT @SeanBanville: RT @kfbunny: Trends in Language Learning: What's hot, what's not http://wp.me/pNAh3-5o Good, short, sharp, commonsense.
RT @tomwhitby: Now a cornucopia + my own assumptions. Impediments to educational reform: Feast of Assumptions. http://bit.ly/ajjKVw #Edchat
Whatever social network you use, great resources for parents & teachers re safety Bebo Safety http://ht.ly/1T1co #efl #edtech #education
@cybraryman1 Accountable parents? More admin support? YEAH! YEAH! YEAH! Oh sorry, it's only a suggestion. Doh!
@cybraryman1 Not surprising re rotation problems. Tchrs at good schools unwilling, I'd say, to move to tougher ones.
@cybraryman1 Not a fan of final summative tests. Too many validity/reliability issues e.g. nervousness, illness, confusion, etc.
@cybraryman1 Tchr evaluation should be on test score TRENDS not raw scores (+ other items). If trending up then OK.
Elizabeth Gilbert on "Nurturing Creativity" http://j.mp/XWJRV Tks @jeremycowart A creative person can benefit from insights. #musiced #efl
RT @paksorn: It isn't a homework assignment until someone cries... and it doesn't have to be the student! - Ed. Week http://j.mp/bMqA6n #efl
RT @tomwhitby: Digital Pointers? http://bit.ly/86CKmb. Great article. Now includes my 'thoughtful comments' too. #edchat #education #edtech
RT @russell1955: Absolutely amazing sets of free pintable Flash cards. Out of this world. For all languages http://bit.ly/bHhI15 Says it all
Twtpoll :: Create Online Polls and Web Surveys. Social Media Feedback. http://ht.ly/1Qyfp Good for engaging students outside of textbook.
@ShellTerrell Not sure if this is relevant, but I like getting kids OUT of the classroom and into the outdoors, esp. for EFL. #edchat #efl
RT @TheEngTeacher: Sir Ken Robinson - Bring On the Learning Revolution: http://bit.ly/dcWSh9 Where ed. needs to go now - GREAT TED vid. #efl
RT @mhuskerfan: huge free collection of Mp3 stories and poems http://su.pr/1Ohayx Includes sound, text, pdf, lesson ideas, curric. obj etc.
RT @kalinagoenglish: Rip-roaringly-funny new-ELT-blogger at http://tiny.cc/yq1fe Yes, lots of laughs here - and often cause they are true!
RT @TheEngTeacher: How to Create a Jazz Chant by Carolyn Graham via @barbsaka http://viigo.im/3Btw Really practical & clear video.
@SimpleK12 I read a recent article that declared there are no such things as learning styles. Am I mistaken or is there still disagreement?
@SimpleK12 In Brunei two years ago I was offered a blackboard & I had to buy my own chalk! And that's a wealthy country! #edchat
@tomwhitby I assume admin. observations are based on pre-set criteria or proclivities of observer. Best to ask BEFORE being observed. #efl
@tomwhitby Some argue in favour of banning certain info from kids. For adults, what about bans on bomb making instructions or hate messages?
English Raven: Where do we go now? http://ht.ly/1N7GN Read Jason's article & my equally interesting comments on ELT in 2020. #efl #ell
RT @NikPeachey: The accent girl video!! http://bit.ly/beMw7I She is Brit, Fr, German, Aussie, Kiwi & Yank, etc. No Asian/Afr/SAmer though.
RT @NikPeachey: huge collection of sounds to download or embed http://bit.ly/8Pk4sP #elearning #edtech #tefl #esl
@francoiseleste Should kids love going to school? Hard question. I think as teachers we should facilitate it. Are you saying they don't now?
@tomwhitby We don't necessarily support the use of grades, but we don't necessarily get the choice to do something different either. #edchat
@djainslie Unfortunately administrators also see tests as end of learning cycle & use them to judge our effectiveness. #edchat
@tomwhitby Cross-marking is more an issue of reliability. If all else is equal, markers trained & have clear mking scheme it should be OK.
@tomwhitby Working at 100% of ability IS an achievement. Whether kid fails depends on purpose of test. Can we graduate doctors who fail?
@posthhs Basic content know. tests problematic - nerves, design, adequate coverage of material, rubrics, fairness, preparation, time allowed
@tomwhitby We are responsible for failing students so long as we make all the assessment & curriculum decisions. Until then, no. #edchat
@tomwhitby Grades vs learning achieved - in short term grades get into univ. etc; long term world needs learners. Reality vs ideals? #edchat
@tomwhitby Well, portfolio assessment is much richer, more thorough, less a snapshot & more reflective of actual ability. No nerves either.
@TheEngTeacher @teacherlingo Perhaps basic problem is having the tests. Why not quiet, continuous assessment? Keeps 'm on their toes.
RT @TheEngTeacher: Squeezing the joy out of a thing via @kalinagoenglish http://viigo.im/3xr2 Includes my comments. Worth remembering ideas.
RT @shighla: 50 Free Collaboration Tools That Are Awesome for Educ. http://icio.us/dnvjxu Wikis, social networks, other resources. Explore!
@ShellTerrell Not using gaming in class - slow Internet, old & not enough computers, firewalls, not sure how helps in EFL, gambling assoc's
English Raven: Back to front http://ht.ly/1LAY2 Great article & discussion on pay & status inequalities. Also, my own comments. A good read!
rt @BPScience: Dan Brown's "Open Letter to Educators". Are schools making themselves irrelevant? http://bit.ly/cyCGQY #education #efl
RT @TheEngTeacher: Quick Question: High expectations of great teachers? Includes my own thoughts. Add more at http://bit.ly/cYDTuU
Great resource by Inma Alcazar: Sharing Learning: 20 Free Online Libraries & Reading Rooms http://ht.ly/1KtlE Now you've got s'thing to read
Free beginner level phonics kit resources for teaching children http://ow.ly/17m7Xz
RT @englishraven: Free beginner phonics kit resources for teaching children http://bit.ly/9lRgXZ Used these in Korean elem. school - v. good
Kideos.com - The Online Kids Video Network | Safe Videos for Children http://bit.ly/bgIXBp Check out "Techno Chicken" - very classy!
RT @Larryferlazzo: ”The problem is that the teachers don’t have to listen to us” http://bit.ly/9YbgN0 Thoughtful article & with my comments.
@Larryferlazzo I agree we can learn from anyone, including military, but we can't paint a glossy one-sided image of them either. Warts'n all
RT @TheEngTeacher: “Top 100 Youtube videos for EFL” http://bit.ly/c9WT3N via @larryferlazzo Great selection for all levels & needs.
RT @marynabadenhors: Tools to convert docs pdf <->word, convert videos, rip mp3 from videos, resize photos, etc. http://bit.ly/2pYC9q
New 5-stage model for work & learning by J. Cross. Feeds neatly into PD & LLL.#ell #tefl #tesl #elt Workscape evolution http://bit.ly/cWNhLD
RT @Marisa_C: RT @ddeubel: Great stuff by @gcouros http://bit.ly/buzJkB What Makes a Master Teacher - EFL teacher qualities relate to this.
@tomwhitby A number of my students try to impress me with their unconcious learning. I often wonder if it's not actually just sleep!
@Marisa_C @ddeubel @gcouros Great list. EFL teachers need exactly the same "master" qualities. They have added issue of being understood.
@tomwhitby #edupd Involve teachers (esp. EFL ones) in choice of topics. Too often impractical or irrelevant to situation at hand otherwise.
How about 4,604 books in English, kids' ones with sound? Try Logos Library - Logos Translations multilingual library http://bit.ly/cQ3KFI
Could be good for ESL class collaborative group work too. HootSuite Gives Groups More Twitter and Facebook Tools http://bit.ly/ahnDm8
To my Korean teaching friends. Now you know what you've been doing wrong and how to fix it. Thanks to English Raven. http://ht.ly/1H96F
Free Guide Making Videos on the Web - Creating videos is one the activities that my students really enjoy doing. T... http://ow.ly/17g2Ad
RT @ShellTerrell: RT @EnglishProfi: 100 free short stories for ESL learners http://bit.ly/duZZ8t Includes text, audio, quiz for high beg.
@tomwhitby Well the kids will lead us anyway. What we shouldn't forget is that teachers are only a small influence on kids anyway.
RT @marynabadenhors: Download and use free interactive thinking tools http://www.exploratree.org.uk/ #elearning #edchat #edbrunei
Well worth browsing. Inspiring Teachers - resources, tips, articles, newsletter, books, webinars, & free web pages http://bit.ly/acEmqP
Can we do this in #EFL? RT @NikPeachey Challenge bsed learning 'focus...on test scores or on engaging students?' http://bit.ly/cZwU1Q (pdf)
Just joined http://edupln.ning.com. The Educator's PLN is for teachers to network, share, exchange ideas etc. Lots of groups, including EFL.
@tomwhitby Re life-long learning. I agree, but your Friere post answers this. It's not only teachers but school policies discouraging them.
@englishraven Teens media use needs parental oversight re time limits & balance with physical activity. Teachers can't do ALL the depriving!
Some ideas for your EWB/IWB/SmartBoard/Wiimote Whiteboards in different subjects - Uses for the Wiiboard http://bit.ly/9kj0ko
@web20classroom Doing what's best for ss, not what's comfortable? Need principals & govt reps to hear this. Only possible issue is job loss.
My recent post @tomwhitby re use of IWBs in EFL classrooms.http://bit.ly/bZ9rws Online #Edtech #esl
RT: @englishraven RT @ShellTerrell: Destinationism - why is it this way? http://bit.ly/at3PUg (So true - for Lego AND language learning!)
@burcuakyol @ShellTerrell MWSnap is also a simple, free capture program at http://www.mirekw.com/ for saving in any image format. Good luck!
@englishraven Thanks for article on TEFL woes in Taiwan. I'll pass on to others teaching here. I agree with it, sadly.http://3.ly/T0Wh
@NikPeacheyIs there any reason to let them use the Internet if it isn't to complete an assigned exercise? Are L1 only sites OK for example?
@TEFL Thanks for keeping us honest and for a timely reminder that a textbook is only one of many resources we ought to use in our classroom.
@cybraryman1 Well, in the case of poor countries, rich ones could send some technology to use. Then THEY could get on board.
Yes, they are a great low-tech tool and students love using them.
Here in Taiwan at elementary school they seem to come with a set of lines for writing practice on one side and blank on the other.
I have used them for students to practice learning to write new letters of the alphabet before putting them into their exercise books. It makes their books neater and they gain in confidence.
They are also good for pair work. An example is answering jumbled words or sentences and being quick to display their response by raising the board above their heads.
There are many uses for this simple tool.
Thanks for the other sharings also.
Pasted today at http://classroom201x.wordpress.com/2010/07/06/back-to-basics-mini-whiteboards/#comment-112
You will find many more ideas for using mini whiteboards at this site and the included links.
OK, so I've been reading about the benefits of using interactive technologies in learning and, as a teacher I get it. Like many others I have also been building my PLN so that I am locating the best sources of information, sharing ideas, asking questions and offering opinions. So what is the problem?
The problem is that my school environment does not support me. Although IWB's/SmartBoards are cropping up all over the place, and I have started to learn and be trained in their features, my circumstances conspire against their effective use.
This is where I'm hoping you can offer me some advice. How can I use SmartBoards in my teaching?
Here is my current situation: I work as an EFL teacher in elementary education in Taiwan. I don't have a computer for my own use loaded with SmartBoard software. I can share one of the school computers which do with a few other teachers, but obviously this has time limitations. Also, when I use a school computer, both the operating system (either Windows 7 or XP) and the SmartBoard software are usually set to Chinese (which I can't read). Since I don't have my own classroom I have to travel to 22 different ones each week. These classrooms may or may not:
(a) have a computer available (the classroom teacher might want to use it),
(b) have an overhead projector,
(c) have a SmartBoard,
(d) have batteries in the remote control for the overhead projector,
(e) have external speakers loud enough for students to hear the sound, or
(f) various combinations of some or all of the above
I could anticipate some of these issues by bringing spare batteries, speakers and a portable projector with me, but I'd have to carry these in addition to my teaching materials, stationery, etc. and lose precious lesson time setting them up.
My solution would be to be given a dedicated English classroom with an English-based computer and speakers, and set up with an IWB. Am I being unreasonable? Is this asking too much? Should I just be happy with a low-tech. solution? Should I develop two or more sets of lesson plans based on the available technology in particular rooms?
I'm finding the challenge of learning new Web-based tools enough in English, let alone having to learn them in Chinese as well. So, I would greatly appreciate any comments or ideas which might help not only myself but others in similar circumstances.