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Is it possible to self-learn a language? YES, it is!!!

9 May

Many of you may already know Tim Doner, but I just came across his video explaining how and why he has managed to self-learn 20 languages!! That is amazing, right?

For a while I self-learned Italian because it is quite similar to my mother tongue (Catalan). I watched films, listened to music and tried to practice it with real speakers. Now, I am able to understand Italian quite well!!! However, I am not a fluent speaker… I need to improve that 🙂

I really like the main reasons why Tim Doner enjoys learning languages, and I share them with him! Speaking other languages opens your mind to different ways of seeing the world and understanding it. Isn’t that wonderful?

How LANGUAGE shapes the way we THINK

11 Feb

As I was watching the video I was thinking to myself “that’s true, depending on the language I am speaking I have to adapt to it”. I speak 3 latin languages and 1 germanic language, and the biggest difference always comes when speaking the latter. However, I also have to adapt the way I say certain things when talking one of the latin languages since each one has got its own particularities.

Languages are so magic and I am so grateful to be able to speak more than one! They do broaden your mind a lot 🙂

// Collaborative Learning \\

31 Jan

 

project-working-group

So I was on Twitter this morning and I saw this great article by Edutopia. Why did it catch my attention? Well, as I was reading I felt very related to most of what it says about certain schools that have left behind the traditional method. I am very lucky to work in a school very similar to the ones mentioned in the article and it is amazing to see how your students get involved in their own learning process.

If your school is trying to find new ways to engage your students and actually see them learn by doing, this article is perfect for you!

 

click on the image to read the whole article

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10 LANGUAGE mistakes that drive British CRAZY

21 Jan

When we speak a foreign language, we always try to speak it the best we can to avoid sounding unnatural. However, when we speak our mother language sometimes we relax a bit more and end up making mistakes. Does this happen to you?

I found this video where Lucy tells us 10 mistakes British people make when speaking in English. This made me think of what mistakes I may make when speaking in my mother language and probably I am not aware of!

10 MODERN English words YOU should know

18 Nov

Thanks to globalization, the English language is now being spoken all around the world. That means English is more alive and evolving faster than ever.

New English words are everywhere now. Our vocabulary is constantly growing, becoming more colorful and more diverse. Some new English words are ones which have existed for a very long time, but are now used in unique combinations or have developed completely new meanings. Other new English words appear out of nowhere, being invented by creative people or being modified by other languages. Even more new English words are coming from the Internet, which is a powerful force for communication and creation.

1. Earworm

A song or tune that, once you’ve heard it, is stuck in your head.

Use it: “That new Taylor Swift song is such an earworm!”

2. Staycation

Spending your holiday in your hometown rather than travelling abroad. Often spent relaxing around the house or doing activities in the local area.

Use it: “I’m having a staycation this summer, as I’m trying to save money.”

3. Webisode

An episode or series created exclusively for online viewing. This can be part of a web series or used to promote a television series.

Use it: “There’s a new Breaking Bad webisode online, have you seen it?”

4. Crowdfunding

Funding a project or business venture by asking a large number of people (typically online) to invest a small amount of money – usually via websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

Use it: “We raised enough money to launch our business using crowdfunding.”

5. Glamping

Glamorous camping! Avoiding any rough conditions with luxurious facilities and accommodation, such as a yurt or cabin.

Use it: “We’re going to be glamping at Glastonbury this year.”

6. Lookalike

Something or someone that closely resembles something else, often used to describe someone who looks very similar to a celebrity.

Use it: “Have you seen the Prince William and Kate Middleton lookalikes over there?”

7. Handover

This word has a more political significance, in terms of gaining land or ownership. However, its modern usage is commonly in the workplace: The act of passing over control or responsibility to another person while you are off work on holiday or leaving a job.

Use it: “I’ll send my notes in a handover email so you can continue the project while I’m away.”

8. Meh

When something is a little uninspiring or dull. Also a word you could use to describe your lack of interest or indifference. It’s basically a verbal shrug.

Use it: “The film was a bit meh.”

9. Binge-watch

Watching multiple episodes of a TV show, one after another, in a single sitting. Usually with a DVD box set or using online streaming.

Use it: “I’m planning to binge-watch the entire series of Game of Thrones this weekend!”

10. Bae

An affectionate term for a girlfriend or boyfriend, short for babe or baby. Some say it’s an acronym for ‘before anyone else’.

Use it: “See you later, bae.”

INFORMATION TAKEN FROM: WWW.ENGLISH.COM

Classroom Tips for new ESL teachers

28 Aug

Resultat d'imatges de esl teacher image

Some of you are already back to school, others like me are enjoying our last holiday days. Which means I am getting mentally ready for “La Rentrée” by organizing my own thoughts.

Next, there are some tips I would like to share with those starting this adventurous career.

1- Classroom rules:

It’s a good idea in the first class to establish the ground rules. The key to this is being consistent and fair. For instance, it is a good idea to set up a points system with a reward for the winning team (for example at the end of term). You can allocate points for winning games, being active, speaking in English, behaving well, etc. By putting students into groups for this, students will be encouraged to take responsibility for their classmates’ behaviour as well as their own – thus relieving some of the pressure on the teacher!

2- Dealing with fast finishers:

It’s always good to have supplementary materials at hand such as crosswords, word searches and general vocabulary exercises, such as matching words to pictures etc. This way your students won’t be wasting time doing nothing, or worse still disrupting others. Another option I really like (and they seem to like it, too) is to let them help other classmates, it works very well!

3- Group work and pair work:

It is important to use a mixture of pair work and group work. Your students may proclaim that they are too tired to move and that they would prefer to stay in groups with their friends. However, getting students to work with different people not only helps to improve their English, but it also keeps things interesting. You may choose to put stronger students with weaker students and at other times you may wish to put the stronger students into a group so you can work with the weaker students more closely. Be aware of the dynamics of your group and take note of who works well with whom. Sometimes it is necessary to keep some students apart if their personalities clash!

4- Using their L1 and English:

At an elementary level, students will of course need to use some of their own language in the classroom in general. However, in controlled practice activities and freer practice activities, students should be using only English. You will therefore need to make it clear to students that in these activities they must only use English. It is a good idea here to implement the points system whereby students can lose points for their team if they don’t use English (you could appoint some monitors to help you catch naughty students out).

5- Giving instructions:

One of the biggest challenges of teaching elementary students lies in setting up activities. As students know barely any English, giving instructions becomes a difficult task! It’s a good idea to demonstrate activities with one pair/group first (choose strong students to do this). Also getting the students to repeat directions back to you is a good way of checking students’ understanding.

Helping Kids Understand Conflict and Self-Control

26 Jul

It has been several weeks since my last post. I have to admit I have been enjoying my days off! However, I also like using my free time reading some interesting educational articles.

I mentioned “BusyTeacher.org” on my last post and this time I would like to share another website I really like because of its articles on education: MindShift. The article I found deals with giving children some tools to help them understand conflict and self-control. Personally, I think it is very urgent to help our students deal with these aspects.

Imatge relacionada

4 Tools To Help Kids Understand Conflict and Self-Control

Let’s face it: Kids have diverse opinions and they’re bound to disagree with one another. Today arguments occur not only in the hallway or classroom, but online as well. And whether or not these conflicts escalate can depend on how well students recognize and manage their emotions.

There are many ways to help build self-control in the face of rising frustration, whether students turn to meditation or build constructed arguments on the fly. Since we live in a democracy that values passionate and polarizing views — especially in our educational systems — it’s all the more important to know how to help kids manage their feelings responsibly.   

Here are some tips and tools for seamlessly integrating self-control and life-skills-building into the classroom.

Mars Gen One

 

Mars Gen One: Argubot Academy

One way to promote healthy debate is by showing students that good arguments are based on thorough preparation. This game lets students select claims and evidence to become more persuasive. Once they learn the art of the argument, students can debate some tough topics online or in class. By practicing the game’s techniques, students will be ready for that next conflict with facts, and not have to resort to underhanded tactics or name-calling.

 

Listenwise

ListenwiseA website filled with podcasts covering current events, Listenwise is a good platform for students to practice patience when confronted with controversial ideas or opposing views that appear in the news on topics like race, politics and religion. As students listen, they can describe and rank the strength of their emotions as the story progresses. Then, they can analyze how their reactions changed over time, reflect on how diverse opinions made them feel, and make a strategy for being mindful in the future.

Twitter

Twitter

Twitter has been a go-to platform for teens and adults to air grievances, and the consequences can have a lasting impact on people’s digital footprints. Twitter is also a valuable communications tool that can be a great way to share ideas and engage in conversations. Kids need to understand the risks of social sharing and can be taught the importance of using the tool conscientiously by seeing some of the consequences of tweeting emotionally or impulsively. Students can tweet about a topic from class. But before it goes out into the world, they can write out how they think people will react to it.

 

Smiling Mind

Smiling Mind

Smiling Mind is an app that helps students practice meditation through breathing exercises and visualizations. Practicing some of these self-calming skills have been shown to help kids focus at school and at home. Smiling Mind can help kids learn lifelong skills to cope with stress and stay calm. Hopefully the next time they get into an argument, they’ll remember to just breathe.

 

 

 

FIND THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE: https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/47772/4-tools-to-help-kids-understand-conflict-and-self-control 

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