Teaching English As A Foreign Language – 7 Tips For Using Popular Movies

Movies and Videos in the EFL Classroom

If you’re looking to expand the role of movies and videos in your EFL classroom, what better way to expand the learners’ communicative skills, grammar and vocabulary than by using clips from popular movies? Try using these seven tips for stimulating learner motivation while enjoying a favored pastime of children and adults alike, watching short scenes or clips from popular movies.

1. Use pre-viewing activities

Before the video, warm up your learners to the theme and grammar using pre-viewing activities. A variety of these might include puzzles, photos and images, short games like “concentration” or TPR activities, a story or anecdote, or activating the schema of the learners’ in a number of other ways.

2. Have learners complete a chart while viewing

While they are watching a short video or movie segment you might have the learners fill in key information in a chart. Items like names of characters, occupations, family relationships, clothing and settings can be easily recorded this way. This allows the learners to focus more on the communicative aspects and less on actually writing.

3. Select a grammar point repeatedly demonstrated in the movie clip

There’s no need to leave grammar out of a video-based lesson or stage. If a useable grammar point or structure is repeated or prominent during the movie clip you plan to use, all the better. Just remember to pre-teach that grammar or structural element, even a class or two before the video, so that it will be recognizable in context.

4. Have a list of six to eight lexis

Select a list of from six to eight or ten vocabulary words, idioms and expressions from the movie clip or video you plan to use. Pre-teach these during the pre-viewing stage of the lesson. When the learners then hear them used in context during the video viewing session, the lexis will have added impact.

5. Make use of visual input

A popular movie clip is an audio-visual experience, so use it as such. While learners are watching and listening for general and detailed spoken information, include visual aspects for them to skim and scan for as well. How many? How much? When? Where? Who? How and why are good starters for capturing visually-presented information from the movie clip or video segment.

6. Allow learners to select their preferred movie clip

It can be quite a dilemma. There you have perhaps two or three or more movies from which to choose, but you’re not sure which your learners would prefer. So I have an idea, do you choose, let them do it. Take three movies for example, show the learners only the first five minutes of each, and then let them choose which they’d like to work with. If you have a clip in mind from each of the movies, show each clip and give them a choice. You can work up your activities and lesson stage plans confident in having your learners’ interest and motivation.

7. For post-viewing discussion:

If not addressed during pre-viewing activities, now is the time to talk about favorite actors, actresses, similar plots and stories from other movies, and what might be different or better outcomes for what as seen. Stage re-enactments, altered dialogues and plot twists your learners might come up with. Be imaginative, be creative, be bold or even funny, but get them communicating about their experience.

Prepare a Worksheet

You can prepare a one or two page worksheet to be photocopied and used by the learners for the video session. Alternatively, learners can copy the format into their notebooks. Just be sure to plan your pre-viewing, while-viewing and post-viewing activities well and your English language video clip-based lesson is sure to be an award-winner.

12 Helpful Tips to Pass the CELTA or TEFL Teaching Preparation Course

As a Trinity College of London post-graduate diploma holder in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) when a co-worker seriously queried me on the rigors and requirements of taking a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification course for teaching English, I recommended an upcoming CELTA (Certification in English Language Teaching) teacher training certification program at the British Council. After several conversations with him I thought,

“Why not give the prospective CELTA trainee some advice right from a proven source?”

Having such teaching certification opens doors internationally for English teaching positions, enabling certificate holders to work in scores if not hundreds of countries worldwide. But the more reputable and highly-regarded 120+ hour programs are intensive, stressful and difficult regardless of the experience and amount of preparation trainees may have.

So, I contacted Nathan Jones, a CELTA graduate I knew and asked, “Look, can you do something for me? I’m tutoring someone to enter the CELTA training course like the one you did. Would you please give him some insight as to course requirements, the schedule, themes, difficulties, etc.? You’ll be able to provide this prospective CELTA trainee with some idea of what he’s in for this summer if he takes the CELTA.”

Sure enough, Nathan, the CELTA grad, offered some insights as to what might be in store for a CELTA trainee during the five-week intensive regimen. With my insight also included, here’s what our advice consisted of:

We offer you these tips for preparing to take the CELTA or other TESOL certification program. Try to remember these valuable key points:

1. Read everything you are given thoroughly.

This includes handouts, course outlines and requirements, etc.

2. Use your peers to assist you in every aspect of your

training. Get to know your directors, teachers,

administrators, and other personnel on the course

program

3. Complete every course program project on time – or early, if

possible.

4. Be open to being challenged and mentally exasperated, take

copious notes, and share them freely with other trainees.

5. Find another trainee or a small study group you can gel and

work well with.

6. Seek out the person(s) who have had friends or family

previously in the course, because they will likely have a

head start in completing course program tasks.

7. Get lots of sleep. You’ll need it. Don’t fall asleep in

class or get “burned out from stress and exhaustion. Take

some “relax” time daily.

8. Practice your teaching techniques regularly, whether

assigned or not.

9. Try to learn from the students you will be teaching.

10. Follow the required texts, books and materials explicitly –

ask questions if you doubt or don’t fully understand

anything. Make sure you understand the processes of what

you will be learning. This is crucial to your success.

11. Do everything in organized steps or stages and be

consistently persistent.

12. A few final Key Points:

o Ask questions – even the “stupid” ones

o pay rapt attention – everything is important

o follow directions explicitly

o listen carefully at all times

o study regularly, plan your time well – resist the urge

to “goof off”

o prepare well daily for each class or input session

o practice what you learn – that’s what your partner / study

group is for

o get help wherever and whenever you can – don’t allow yourself

to fall behind

Be sure to enjoy the experience and have fun. These people will be your friends for life. Remember that a course alone, while preparing you to enter an EFL / ESL (English as a Foreign Language / English as a Second Language) teaching career, does not in itself make you a teacher. Continue to grow, develop and learn throughout your TEFL teaching career.

Good Luck

Parenting Tip – How To Teaching Sharing To Children

How to teach sharing to your children:-

“The miracle is this; the more we share, the more we have”- Leonard Nimoy.

We share the earth with human and other species. Sharing is a vital life lesson we should teach our children. It’s our duty to imbibe values that egg on co-operation and giving out since childhood. Don’t force them, demonstrate them model sharing. Kids are possessive about their bags, clothes, colours, accessories, food even parents. When the second child is born, kids dislike sharing their parents with their siblings. If it’s difficult for you, seek help from teachers, schools, classes and various educational centers. Teach by examples the benefits of sharing through bedtime stories, examples, poems, your thoughts on givers, group activities, positive reinforcements, playing sharing games, positive reinforcements, songs, etc. Out of all, my favorite way is through narrating stories about sharing and co-operation. Narrating stories will help them to imagine the characters and boost their resourcefulness and listening skills.

Here are two rousing stories:-

1. Once a young girl Tanishka went to a small town with a priest. At the town people were quarrelsome and angry; when they asked for some proposals he immediately suggested them to stay together forever. When they reached another village, the environment was exactly the opposite. People loved, caring, joyful and cooperative. The priest blessed them and advised them to leave their town and spread out across. The surprised girl Tanishka asked the priest why he gave different advice to them. The priest said, “My girl, a few days ago, I read great words of Buddha which said, “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared”, he further added, and “Agrumentive people can never share happiness only joyful people can do that”. He concluded that sharing not just belongings and possessions but also cheerfulness multiples long-term satisfaction.

2. Here is a story of the greedy prince which I am sure we all must have read in our childhood. A little greedy prince had every toy he wanted but was never satisfied. He even wanted children of a poor family to share their toys with him. Once a toymaker came too his palace and promised to invent wonderful toys for him, in fact, a new toy every day. The prince was thrilled and excited but the toymaker asked the prince to promise that he will play with each toy every day to which he spontaneously agreed. For the first few weeks, the prince was super happy as he had a new toy each day and played with the older ones as well. But after a few months, the collection went on increasing and he had too many toys to play with. He had little time to sleep, eat, talk, bath, play outdoor games. In fact, he couldn’t get sufficient time to play with many toys which made the toy maker angry. One day, he noticed a few poor children happily playing with their toys. He called them to his palace and decided to share his toys with the needy ones, he even asked them to take each them home. The kids were delighted and so was the price. The prince enjoyed his few toys now and concentrated on other things.

Moral of the stories: – “Happiness is not so much in having as sharing. We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”- Norman Mac Ewan.

Teaching Tips – The Three Types of Homework and Teaching

One of the hottest topics in education today is the issue of homework. It affects teachers, parents and students alike. Homework does have a purpose but in recent years teachers have abused its application. If teachers would return to the proper use of homework, I believe homework would no longer be such an ugly word.

So, what is the proper use of homework?

Well, first let’s discuss what homework isn’t. Homework isn’t a way for the teacher to make up for not having taught properly during class time. It is the teacher’s responsibility to teach, guide and finish the lesson. If the teacher doesn’t finish, it shouldn’t be dumped on the students as homework. The teacher needs to re-evaluate the situation and adjust her plans.

Although, homework is abused by many teachers to make up for their lack of preparation or ability to teach. There are legitimate uses for homework.

Such as:

  • Support
  • Practice and
  • Prepartion

Support homework are assignments like answering a set of prepared questions, completing a crossword puzzle or writing sentences for the latest spelling words. Support homework should be short and should reinforce what has already been done in class.

Practice homework would be assignments like math problems, chemical equations or flashcards that give extra practice in a certain skill. These types of assignments serve a very important purpose and a teacher should never misuse them.

Preparation homework would be reading assignments or maybe an internet assignment preparing your students for the new up and coming topic. The teachers expectations of the assignment should clearly spelled out so there is no misunderstandings.

All three of these are legitimate uses of homework. However, the teacher needs to keep the assignment short and specific. Large amounts of homework are usually signs of a poor teacher.

If you suspect that your child is getting excessive homework due to the teacher’s poor classroom performance. Don’t run straight to the principal. First, approach the teacher and let him know that you feel your child is receiving to much homework. Then, if you and the teacher can’t solve the problem take it to the principal. But always give the teacher the opportunity to correct it himself.

Homework done properly is wonderful teaching tool, but when it is misused it creates nothing but trouble.

Piano Teaching Tips For Highly Motivated Music Teachers

Are you a music teacher who intends to improve himself and gain professional growth? Well, read on as this blog aims to cite and identify some relevant and effective piano teaching tips – applicable to all music teachers out there.

Music education as well as learning various musical instruments has become more and more interesting, competitive and in-demand. Aside from arts, science and technology, music generally has turned out to be both the passion and the profession of most music teachers, musicians and music educators. With this, music teachers around the globe are motivated and inspired to learn new tricks, strategies and techniques more than to what they are used to. Here are some of the useful piano teaching tips that can make you both effective and efficient:

Time and stress management. Music teaching as well as teaching any other subjects requires time, effort and other resources. When you leave your classroom or private music studio, your work doesn’t stop. Sometimes you bring your work along with you at home – accomplishing unfinished businesses, unchecked and unrecorded activities, worksheets and quizzes. With these tedious tasks, you need to learn how to manage your time and organize your workloads. Proper time management draws you closer to a more successful and happy teacher life; thus, eliminating risks and chances of getting stressed out.

Continuous learning. Music teachers enhance their skills and achieve professional growth through various workshops, seminars and conferences. These series of training sessions help them in building enough self-confidence and self-esteem in teaching individuals from different ages with different lifestyles. With the kind of professional development they have, they have become fully-equipped with the right skills, knowledge and expertise. Also, they tend to update themselves with the latest piano teaching tips as well as the newest and most effective music teaching strategies.

Professionalism. This term has a wide array of meanings and significance. From one level to another, this needs continuous learning, dedication and passion. This also refers to good and reliable customer service, work ethics, and business integrity that are often grouped together and mixed up in other people’s minds as one big concept. Others see this as one’s personal commitment to anything that he does, thinks, says and feels

It is true that music teaching is one big responsibility and noble profession; thus, it requires much time, effort and resources. To be tagged as a professional, music teachers must learn how to handle different kinds of learners, situations and circumstances with all composure, character and fairness.

Consequently, music and piano teachers must willingly improve themselves for more effective comprehensive, innovative and interactive teaching strategies and techniques – making their students appreciate and love both learning music and music as a whole. As music educators, remember that you can inspire your students in many ways and touch their lives as well – more than just motivating and encouraging them to learn.

The above piano teaching tips allow many music teachers around the globe consider themselves professionals and have become worthy of respect, trust and appreciation at all times. So make yourselves equipped with the right weapons to make your students and parents realize that teaching is both your profession and passion – teaching music by heart.