I want to share a great opportunity given by British Council and TRT ( Turkish TV Channel) in Turkey. Here are all the details ;
“Word on the Street” is an exciting new English Language teaching programme co-produced by the BBC and the British Council. Word on the Street looks at real everyday English and also introduces viewers to different aspects of U.K. youth culture. It is broadcast on TRT Okul every Sunday at 22:25!
If you’re a learner of English, now it’s your turn!
Just like ‘Word on the Street’, which introduces the U.K. to you living room, we know that you have lots of stories to tell about the people and places in your street.
Visit LearnEnglish site to see videos from Word on the Street to get some ideas. Tell us about your street on video… Share it on Facebook… Have the chance to see your video on national TV and win exciting prizes… It’s time to be famous!
If you are a teacher of English, help your students participate in this fun competition!
As an English teacher, you may sometimes find it difficult to demonstrate to your students that English is not just grammar, grammar, grammar but a living skill that they can use in real life. The My Word on the Street competition is a fun and motivating way to help them practice their English.
If you’d like to help your students participate in the competition, we have prepared a sample lesson plan for you to use in the classroom. You can also visit LearnEnglish site to see the videos from the original Word on the Street TV series to give you more great lesson ideas.
2 weeks ago I attended a course in Istanbul that was given by Joe Lambert, the founder of Digital Storytelling Center. It all started with my PLP (Personal Learning Plan). I aim to learn all about digital storytelling and I googled it and there, I found the workshop and it was in Istanbul, by Joe Lambert!!!! And because it was a “Digital Storytelling with iPhone/iPod/iPad” workshop, it was more attractive.
4 days later I was there, in front of Istanbul University/Beyazıt, main gate, meeting people from around the world; Amsterdam, Ankara, New York, Malatya, İstanbul, Los Angeles… We were 12 people from different professions and with different expectations… What gathered us under one umbrella was storytelling… We all loved stories… Stories for ourselves, stories for our customers, stories for our students…
After meeting with my group we went inside Istanbul University, the school I was graduated from. It was great to be there after so many years. We got together in a meeting room that was in one of the historical buildings within the campus area. After introducing ourselves to the group, Joe Lambert gave us a brief talk on applications we could use. I used ReelDirector as the video editor and Hipstamatic and Lemeleme for phography.
Unlike most storytelling workshops, we were NOT asked to come with a story/ idea on mind. The aim was, to figure out the story while walking around Istanbul and taking pictures with İphones/İpods/İpads. So after a brief talk we went out, to the streets of Istanbul that are both ancient and modern at the same time. We walked about an hour and a half, taking pictures and recording sound which we might use with our stories. And then we went to Grand Bazaar, sat at a historical cafe and in turns, talked about what might be our story and why. The most important part was “Why”. Because we were all expected to connect our stories with ourselves. There were great ideas and stories… We listened to each story/idea and we were allowed to add/ suggest ideas to other stories as long as we start with “If it was my story….”
When we all finished our story circle, we went on walking in streets of Istanbul. We were in Sultan Ahmet, Eminonu, Karakoy, Galata and ended up at a cafe under Galata Tower, exhausted. Joe Lambert, asked us to write a draft for our stories. We all sat there, under the beautiful tower, drinking tea, and wrote our drafts.
Next morning we met in Ortakoy and had another story circle, but this time, read our stories to the group and exchanged ideas on the stories, the language used and the feeling they gave. And then we were given an hour to finish writing our stories, read and record them on our iPhones. I read and recorded my story in a park, full of children, because I was telling the story of working children in Istanbul. When we were all finished, we walked to Beşiktaş to take a boat to Uskudar and then back to Eminonu and then Beyazıt, where it all started. We made the most of beautiful, sunny weather and took some more pictures but this time, different from the previous day, knowing what to shoot. Because we all knew our own stories. Finally, we were back at Istanbul University. We all worked individually on our stories, made a movie out of the pictures and sounds we had during two days. But we were not free to use any number of photos or any length of text. We were restricted with 10 photos and 2-3 minutes video as a final product. It was hard and technology doesn’t always help, but we all had great stories at the end. I think, listening to other stories and looking into Istanbul from a totally different perspective were the best things I had during 2 days. I think the “moral” is “We are all different but at some point, exactly the same… ”
Here’s my Digital Story;
Today, we were playing a game in pairs when I heard a cry and saw one of the most silent girls on the floor. Although I could guess what has happened, I asked the girl. Yes, it was her partner who pushed her down. At first, I took care of the girl, asked if she was alright, and calmed her down. She was soon feeling OK so it was time to talk with the boy. I believe, whatever the problem is, the best way to talk to a student is one-to-one. So, I took the boy out of the classroom and talked about his behavior. He agreed on his bad behavior and apologized to her for pushing her down.
If you are teaching young and very young learners, it is likely to have such things in the classroom. There are some things I do to deal with such kids. The first thing as I mentioned before, is to take the child out of the classroom and talk one-to-one. When you do so , the kid gets the feeling “This is serious!” and still you don’t embarrass the child in front of their friends.
Sometimes it takes more than a talk with the student. If the kid insists on bad behavior, another way is to make them sit away from their friends and tell them to think about their behavior. 5 -10 minutes later go back to the kid, ask what they figured out and discuss about it. You can also role play the situation both in a negative and positive way. (What is done and what should have been done?) When role playing, you should be the bad behaving one to emphasize how the other one is feeling so that the kid can empathize.
If you think the kid’s behavior is becoming chronic, you can start an award program to emphasize and support the positive behavior. This may be a sticker program, where the kid gets stickers when well behaving or you can also let them help you for a couple of situations. You can ask them to call the roll for you or take the books back you to the library. They will like being an authority and will work really hard to keep it.
There may be some kids to whom none of these techniques work. If nothing seems to work, then of course, you should better share the problem to the Guidance-Counseling Department in your school and ask for some help.
Above all, the most important thing when you deal with behavior problems is to inform and involve the parents, so that you can get support and the process may be shorter and easier.
Crossposted in SEETA , 16 December,2010
*Routine : As a course of normative, standardized actions or procedures that are followed regularly, often repetitiously. (wikipedia)
Every evening, my daughter, Ella, puts on her pajamas, drinks milk, brushes her teeth, kisses daddy good-night; I draw the curtains in her room, play her CD(always the same one), she gets into the bed, we read a story, I kiss her good-night, turn off the lights and she sleeps. This is what exactly and with no change, happens every single night.
Why do I tell you this? These are my daughters “Routines” and she feels very uncomfortable and has trouble falling asleep when we can’t do some of the routines for any reason. I believe it’s the same in class. Routines make kids feel more comfortable, secure and prepare them to the lesson easily. In my classes, I have all routines set at the beginning of the year and we do them all through the year, everyday. This may sound a little bit boring but think about children! They love routines and for sure, learn easily when they repeat.
I start my lessons by greeting my students with a “Hello” song and then we do rhyming about the weather. There’s a monthly calendar on the wall and every day one student draws the weather, for instance if it is rainy, they draw clouds and rain drops… I have them repeat the days rhyme, which also has TPR activities. After we talk about the day, we sing the seasons chant and dance. Finally we enjoy singing the months song.
The routines can be more, like talking about the daily routines, or less. It depends on the level, energy and age of your class. Another important point is which lesson the kids had before yours. If they have been doing reading time with their homeroom teacher, then you should better let them do the routines standing, dancing and singing loud so that your lesson won’t get disturbed due to the high energy level collected during the reading time. Vice versa, if the kids are coming from P.E and you ask them to stand, dance and sing the routines, you will probably have a snoring class.
It is vital to set a comfortable and fun class that meets students’ needs and for sure routines are a good way to start…
Here are some examples:
Reach and run day
Tap your shoes day
Stretch and bend day
Twist and turn day
Jump up high day
Pat your body day
Rest and sleep day (They all pretend sleeping and we sing “Twinkle Twinkle” then “Are you sleeping?” to wake up again)
Seasons: (Make up your own dance and tune)
I like spring, I like summer
I like winter, I like fall
I like all the seasons
Summer, winter, spring and fall
Summer, winter, spring and fall
Summer, winter, spring and fall
I like all the seasons.
Crossposted in SEETA , 15 DEcember , 2010
Once upon a time, we were all children. Maybe naughty, maybe shy, maybe as bright as a star in the sky… But we all loved stories. When I think of my own childhood, I remember that I enjoyed the stories and especially the fairytales my mum told. When I listened to a story I felt the words were swinging in the air, and I could step on them to reach the sky. As the years passed some things changed, except a few, and stories are one of the remaining. I still love stories but nobody is telling me any but the good thing is, now I am telling stories and I am lucky enough to have a very enthusiastic audience.
While telling stories, I like to liven up and pass every feeling to my students. Choosing the right story and the language level, using mimics and gestures at the right time and correctly, the right tone of the voice, bringing extra and surprising materials to class seems to work quite often. Most of the students really enjoy stories and can focus very easily. But sometimes, there may be some kids who have difficulty on concentration or just don’t like to sit still. When you have such kids in class, the absolute silence, which is “vitally” important for those who are listening and enjoying the story, will fall off and you will lose a part of your audience or worse, all of them. The storytelling will probably turn into a “Shhhh!” or “Listen!” and will never give the impact as you expected it to.
The question is not “What to do?” but is “How to do?” “How to turn it in favor of yourself?, When you know the ones that have such problems beforehand, you can plan your lesson accordingly. If there is a kid who can’t sit still and needs to move during the lesson, why not involve them into storytelling? You will see how eager they will be once you let them “gallop” whenever you say “Prince”, “clap” whenever they hear “rainy” or even “snore and snooze” whenever you say “lay still in a deep sleep”. Even if it is your first time in that class and just figured out that there are such kids, you can still ask them to sit next to you to hold and change the story cards, or to make like you during the story.
The most important thing about storytelling, I believe, is time management. It doesn’t really matter how nicely you tell a story, use your mimics and gestures or all the things I mentioned before, if you keep it too long. The story should be long enough to let the kids ask themselves some questions during and find the answers as it flows and short enough to leave the sweet flavor of the imaginary world so that they desire and can’t wait for the next time…
Crossposted in SEETA , 14 December 2010
It was 8 years ago when I first entered the classroom as a teacher, and realized that I was not a student any more. I had a black skirt and a white blouse on so that I could look more serious. Yes, I was a bit nervous and yes, I was as cool as a new graduate could be. I thought I could have all the control and power in front of a class. After introducing myself, I asked kids to open their books and started doing what was written in the teacher’s book. After a while, I realized that my lessons were as boring as can be and the kids were not learning as much as I expected them to. It was that moment when I quit playing being a teacher. I thought of my very own learning experiences. I thought of when and how I was learning. And there, the answer was in front of me: when I have fun! Then I discovered that when I have fun I learn better and when I learn better I love my teacher and when I love my teacher I learn a lot better… Sounds a bit confusing? Here’s what I mean simply;
Realizing this, has made me less boring, less self-centered, and less dominant, but more entertaining, more loving, more observant, more inspiring, and more encouraging both in class and in life. Now I know, as a colleague of mine says; “When there is fun, there is hope for learning.”
The more they……..…….. the more they…………………..and …………… .
You can fill in the blanks looking at my teaching philosophy cycle. Whatever you write, I accept your answer
Crossposted on SEETA ,12.12.2010
I had a funny text from a friend and wanted to share. Have fun!
The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby
English will be the official language of theEuropean Union rather than
German, which was the other possibility.
As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that
English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5-
year phase-in plan that would become known as “Euro-English”.
In the first year, “s” will replace the soft “c”. Sertainly, this will
make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard “c” will be dropped in
favour of “k”. This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have
one less letter.
There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the
troublesome “ph” will be replaced with “f”. This will make words like
fotograf 20% shorter.
In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted
to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.
Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have
always ben a deterent to akurate speling.
Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent “e” in the languag
is disgrasful and it should go away.
By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th”
with “z” and “w” with “v”.
During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary “o” kan be dropd from vords
kontaining “ou” and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl
Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi TU
understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.
Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in
ze forst plas.
If zis mad you smil, pleas pas on to oza pepl.
If you are teaching to very young learners, you have to find several different ways to communicate with them. One of the best ways is using puppets especially with the ones you are having problems.The idea may sound ancient to you but when it is very young learners, puppets are brand new for them (like most other things!) and a very simple and effective way to build a bridge between. There are some different ways to use puppets:
-Child: I was sitting there.
-Puppet: He was sitting….
-Child: And then Ella came and sat next to me.
Puppet: Ella sat next to him…
-Child: Then she pulled my hair.
-Puppet: Ella pulled his hair…
After reflecting/reporting the student’s words, you should explore his/her feeling(s) and say it through the puppet. So the example may continue like;
-Puppet: Oh! You are angry with Ella!
When you are using puppets it is a lot better if you change your voice and keep the energy level of the child and the puppet the same. If the child is bashful or silent; an excited puppet will not surely be a good idea!
Nursery Rhymes: Nursery Rhymes are very important especially when you teach very young learners. Very young learners develop memory and recall skills as they sing and dance. There are thousands of nursery rhymes and the best ones are the classic ones. You can always find a nursery rhyme that fits your subject and lesson plan. You may think that nursery rhymes are too old fashioned but they are brand new for a toddler!
Obsessive Teacher: Don’t ever be obsessive about anything when you teach very young ones since (at some point) you may go mad! Always remember that they are very young, still learning life itself as well as their mother tongue and English as a second or a foreign language. Do not always correct their mistakes. Observing, giving feedback and repeating the correct forms as much as possible will help you and your kids!
Parents: Research shows that children are better in school when there is communication between parents and teacher. Rather than relying on the scheduled parent-teacher meetings, tell your parents to contact you as much as needed. Why not collaborate with the powerful and reliable ones?
Quantity or Quality: Putting a lot of things may look nice on your lesson plan but when it comes to reality things change. Very young learners need to repeat as much as possible to learn and luckily they don’t get bored. Rather than teaching many things at once, you can concentrate on one or two subjects and teach them properly and fully.