We all strive for independence in our lives. We want to make our own decisions and have the right to control what we do. Countries also strive for independence, but what does this term exactly mean? The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English defines independence as "political freedom from control by the government of another country". Being free from control, that seems to be at the heart of the word.
But with independence, comes increased responsibility. Responsibilities such as obeying the law (including traffic regulations) and paying our taxes are not always seen as part of independence but they are. July is a good month to help your students reflect on these and other values, and how they are closely related to the love we feel for our country. Also, read The Tip section for an extended opinion on values in the class.
Another idea connected to independence is the use of patriotic symbols. You can encourage learners to think about what these mean if you try the activity we share with you in the Ideas that inspire section. Enjoy it!
This month we are proud to bring you an article that will make you think about different methods and approaches put into practice in the world of English Language teaching. The article, a kind contribution of Cesar Klauer, professor at Universidad de Piura, can be found in the Academic Corner section.
We would also like to thank Ruth Bonifacio, from Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola for her contribution to The Quote section.
Technological tools can make learning tasks available to students at all times. They can also save time by providing instant grading to interactive activities. See how you can supplement your face to face classes with these resources, in the Techno Teacher section.
Also, the Hot off the Press section brings you information about our newly published course for teenagers. With a learning platform included, it is something you can't miss!
As always, you can find out about conferences and celebrations in the What's happening? section. Don't forget that you can send contributions and let people know what you are up to. (See "contributions" at the bottom, right-hand side of this newsletter)
Cecilia Rodríguez Jadrosich
Learning Solutions Coordinator
Teacher skills in today´s classrooms
Universidad de Piura
Since the beginning of language teaching there has been interest in finding the method or approach that will help teachers teach and students learn in the best possible way. The history of language teaching is rich in examples of methods that promise to deliver the desired results. These methods or approaches, though different and even opposed in their views of language, language learning or acquisition, and theories and procedures have all influenced the classroom and the teacher´s role in the class.
Since each type of methodology requires certain skills and training in putting them into practice, it follows that the teacher must possess specific qualities and skills that will match the method s/he uses in the classroom. In this article, we are going to review the variety of teaching/ learning methodologies by grouping them according to the focus of their proposals, as opposed to the traditional historical fashion.
Did you know that in the American continent, Canada, The United States of America, Venezuela, Argentina, Bahamas, Colombia and Peru celebrate their national day in July? France, Belgium, Slovakia, Algeria and Rwanda, among others, also have their independence day in the same month.
At school, students can commemorate this special date by reflecting on the values of freedom and love for our country. They can write about why they love our country on small cards that they can use to decorate the classroom for Independence Day.
This is also a time to revisit the national symbols and their meanings. The flag is surely the most popular one, so not only is this is a good chance to learn about why and how it was created but also to get students to learn about flags from other countries.
Start by asking students where they generally see our country flag (At main squares, at the government palace, at school, on the top of houses in July, etc.), and where they can find other country flags (at hotels, convention centers, at the airport, at embassies, etc.).
Help pupils reflect on the use of flags and have them draw pictures or use the internet to download images of flags from different countries. Display the pictures in class and have children write the name of the country beneath the flag.
Students can also comment on the American Flag, which they have very probably seen on TV, and explain American well-known patriotic symbols such as the eagle and the Statue of Liberty. Then help students develop their creativity by designing a new American flag and explaining its meaning. Find a model here.
Later on, they can repeat this process with our own flag.
May 28th, Susan Hillyard visits Trujillo
Susan Hillyard, international speaker for Pearson, visited teachers from El Cultural and Cesar Vallejo University and presented the workshop 'Teaching for Diversity'. This was a great opportunity for them to learn new ways to teach and motivate their students. It was great and they enjoyed it!
June 5th to 7th 5th City Wide Seminar for English Teachers,
CBA Sucre - Bolivia
Teachers from Sucre, Oruro and Potosi discussed about the importance of 21st Century Skills and how to incorporate them in our teaching in order to help our students become better critical thinkers. Pearson speaker, Gabriela Martínez shared the presentation: Is it all about technology? and provides some tips for maximixing the use of technology.
Supporting initial learning moments with technological tools
Some teachers may be overwhelmed with the great number of technological resources on offer. Blogs, wikis, learning management systems, just to name some, have been around for a while now and the truth is that, these are just tools. They do not guarantee that learning will take place. Learning is a process, and every process has stages. Also, every lesson has stages. There is an initial learning moment when the class starts, there is also a moment when students need to practice and focus on becoming proficient. And there is a moment when we need to assess whether learning has taken place or not. We can complement each of these stages with different technological resources. In this article we will give you some ideas to support the first moments in a learning session. In coming articles we will provide you with more ideas to support other lesson stages.
The first thing you need to be clear about is your course objectives. These will guide you through the whole process. They are so important that there is even a method for planning called Backwards Design or Understanding by Design framework, created by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe. (ASCD, 2013). This consists of identifying first, what exactly our students should know, understand and be able to do. Then, thinking about the way in which teachers will find out whether students have achieved the desired results or not and what will be used as evidence of student understanding; and finally deciding what activities, sequence, and resources are best suited to accomplish their goals. (LOPEZ, 2013)