Using the discovery technique for teaching grammar

Introduction
What is the discovery technique?
Grammar can either be taught explicitly or implicitly. When we talk about an explicit approach to grammar we are talking about stating directly, usually at the beginning of a particular activity, what the grammar is. For example, “Today we are looking at the third conditional.” On the other hand an implicit approach to grammar is one where the students are ‘led’ to the grammar through a series of steps – this is what is meant by the ‘discovery technique’. In other words, the ‘discovery technique’ aims to lead students towards a generalised grammar rule or pattern.

Isn’t that the same as task-based learning?
No. Certainly task based learning is one form of ‘discovery technique’ but not the only way. In task-based learning the focus is on carrying out communicative tasks without specific focus on form. However, it is possible in the ‘discovery technique’ to be predominantly concerned with the form. The idea is that students will ‘discover’ the grammar through a series of steps (these might be tasks, language awareness activities, pictures, questions etc) and will deduce both the form and the meaning from the context(s). (more…)

Twenty Practıcal Uses Of A Computer For The Efl Professıonal by Chris Elvin

Twenty Practıcal Uses Of A Computer For The Efl Professıonal
by Chris Elvin
This paper is a list of the uses that I have for my computer as a high school teacher of English as a foreign language.
This is not a how to guide. Nor do I offer an evaluation for of any of my teaching ideas; suffice to say that none of the suggestions is particularly groundbreaking, and that if they have not yet been tried and tested, similar activities have.

1) To make worksheets
I start with perhaps the most obvious use of a computer, to make teaching resources for classroom use. Some worksheets that I make are to support the language learning aims of the syllabus, while others are made to more closely meet the students’ needs or wants, by allowing them to be part of the resource creating process.
For example, to review a topic, or a language structure, I hand out slips of paper and ask students to write down two or three questions that they would like to ask their classmates. In a preformatted Excel page, it is a relatively easy task to quickly type, sort and edit the students’ questions, before pasting into PageMaker and printing. These questions can be used for pair work, group work, quizzes, class discussions, or to play board games such as Snakes and Ladders, or its Japanese equivalent, Sugoroku. Similarly, student generated word lists can be used to play TV games such as Blockbusters (see Cribb, 2001) and Attack 25 (on Japanese TV).

2) To play DVDs
You can, of course, play DVDs from a DVD player. I use my computer to play short interesting sections of DVD movies that have a clear language learning point worthy of study. The advantage of DVDs over videocassettes is that you can choose whether or not to show subtitles, and also choose the language in which the subtitles can be viewed. Generally speaking, my students learn best by watching first with no subtitles, then with Japanese subtitles to get the gist, and finally with English subtitles to focus more closely on form. (more…)

Six facts you should know to empower your teaching

Six Facts You Should Know to Empower Your Teaching
As parents and teachers, we need to enhance our abilities to create a relationship of trust with the students or the children we interact with. The task sometimes seems hard and we often feel discouraged.  Fortunately, there is hope with the vision that both teachers and children can discover the joy of learning.Empowering children with self confidence and strengthening your capabilities to teach will become second hand as you integrate the following six principles or beliefs. It’s a sure deal.

1. The map is not the territory. Wherever you travel and whenever you use a map, you know that this map doesn’t show exactly the whole territory. Some things are just not included on the map. In the same way, our view of the world doesn’t show the complete reality. When children, as well as each one of us, experience the world we give it meaning, which is often distorted. This fact help us understand that we need to listen to better understand children’s interpretation of the world and thus help them grow in their view of the world, not our own, which is also only a map. (more…)

Top 10 Worst Things a Teacher Can Do By Melissa Kelly

Top 14 Worst Things a Teacher Can Do By Melissa Kelly, About.com

Here is a list of items that you should avoid as a new or veteran teacher. I have only included serious items in my list and have left off such obvious offenses as having affairs with students. However, any of these can create problems for you as a teacher and if you combine two or more than just expect to really have a hard time gaining student respect and finding your profession enjoyable.

1. Avoid smiling and being friendly with your students.
While you should start each year with a tough stance and the idea that it is easier to let up than to get harder, this does not mean that you shouldn’t have students believe that you aren’t happy to be there.

2. Becoming friends with students while they are in class.
You should be friendly but not become friends. Friendship implies give and take. This can put you in a tough situation with all the students in the class. Teaching is not a popularity contest and you are not just one of the guys or girls. Always remember that.

3. Stop your lessons and confront students for minor infractions in class
When you confront students over minor infractions in class, there is no possible way to create a win-win situation. The offending student will have no way out and this can lead to even greater problems. It is much better to pull them aside and talk to them one-on-one. (more…)