Archive for the ‘ESOL’ category

Motivation and me: the challenges

motivationI was recently asked ‘Why do you do what you do? Why do you get out of bed every morning?’

Big Questions! But something teachers should continually ask themselves.

The IFL’s final survey of teachers found that

“More than anything, it seems that the central motivation for teachers in FE and skills is the successful achievement and progression of learners.”

I recently did a ranking activity on skills and attributes of a teacher. The list was referenced to such places as The Sutton Trust Toolkit, OFSTED and the Education and Training Foundation, and contained words such as enthusiasm, inspiring, passion, high expectations & knowledgeable. It was a great discussion activity and an opportunity to have the time and space to think about such BIG QUESTIONS. Read more ►

Journals: week in the life of ……

I’ve had two journals drop through my post in the past two weeks.

InTuition: the journal for professional teachers and trainers in the further education and skills section. (what a title!!) and
Language Issues: the journal of NATECLA.

InTuition has visited a few table tops in my house. It sat for a while by the front door. Then it lounged lazily on the kitchen table. It had a brief trip to coffee table before heading back to the kitchen table. Read more ►

iPads: student explorations 2

Feeling inspired from last week’s lesson, I was glad that I had a week to think about how to follow up. The biggest challenge I found in thinking of something was the level of my students and what language they would need to review their apps. It took me a while to think about how I could simplify this enough & give them the language they would need.

Another chance corridor encounter meant that I was peer observed during this lesson too, & I know following this that this tutor has now used the iPads with her students too so I’m looking forward to chatting more about this & seeing what we can learn together.

Here’s an outline of the class: Read more ►

iPads apps: student explorations

I was (am) still feeling a little overawed with the class set of iPads. I am still taking the eight iPads into class every Monday, and most weeks they get used. But I have really focused on letting the students self-direct with using Google translate or images to check any new words or I have continued to experiment with using the app Ask3. Beyond this I was feeling a little stuck for inspiration and a Bit Daunted by the huge amount of apps available.

A chance corridor conversation gave me the nudge I needed I needed. My colleague has been using the iPads with her maths students. She told me she had initially introduced the iPads and spent some time letting the students explore the wide variety of maths-specific apps available. Now in class, she plans a 15-20 slot where students can self-direct their studies and she’s getting an informal idea of which apps they like by which ones they return to. (She also told me she had an evening student that was considering moving to the daytime class, but when she found out the iPads were not available in the daytime she decided to stay in the evening!!) Read more ►

a dash of differentiation & a huge helping of peer support

I had a thoroughly enjoyable 16-18 class this week. Gasp, shock, horror I hear you cry. It’s been such a long time since I posted about my bemusement of the younger age group it’s hard to figure out where the time has gone.

So what exactly have I been grappling with? Moody teenagers – check. An unknown curriculum – check. Trialling some new technologies – check. No wonder I’ve had No Brain to write!

I think I finally have a grasp of the (dreadful) PSD portfolio-building assessment & the iPads have taken on a routine-usage. As for the moods – just gotta swing with those. Read more ►

iPads and Course Books

At the last regional NATECLA conference I spent some time with the lovely Julia, who was staffing the OUP stand. She demo-ed the wonders of iHeadway and talked a good talk about the benefits of a course book.

On the whole, as an ESOL teacher in the UK, course books have played a pretty minor part of my repertoire, they always seemed to take so much adapting it was hardly worth it. Read more ►

crime, criminals & keeping your online presence private

crime/criminal

crime/criminal

I have reflected previously that I would embed the topic from PSD into developing the students ICT & digital literacy skills, however as the end of 1/2 term approached I felt that it was becoming increasingly challenging to keep the students engaged for 4 hours on a single topic. So today I have changed tack and had two distinct sessions: 2 hours of PSD and 2 hours of ICT.

Over the past couple of weeks I have also been increasingly aware that the iPad project has been dominating my thoughts and my planning with this group so I was keen to have a more balanced lesson this week. Read more ►

search, crop, insert

I actually enjoyed class today. I know – only 4 weeks in, and 4 weeks of stressing and nerves and over planning – but today I felt relaxed and ready to take on the 16-18 tech challenge. I could grow attached to this group.

I had a colleague, from my Teaching Triangle, come to class today and I few things stood out for me from our discussion. Read more ►

The fog lifts

Attribution: Image: ‘White sunset’ http://www.flickr.com/photos/22705478@N03/6831414535 Found on flickrcc.net

I may actually be starting to get my head around my new 16-18 ESOL group. I definitely spent the first two weeks in a kind of fog where I felt every thought I had led down the dark alley  of cluelessness.

The first week was a pretty traditional ESOL-y first lesson, with getting to know you activities and a college induction and class rules. So far so predictable. Except it wasn’t predictable. I wasn’t at all sure how the lesson would go at all – as it turns out the much over planned college tour using QR Codes and iPods was a Big Flop while the ‘draw a good student/a bad students/a good teacher’ went fairly well. Read more ►

I’ve done it. A lesson with iPads

September 23, 2013ESOL, reflections, teaching
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I was so incredibly nervous at the start of lesson. I knew this week I had plenty of tasks to keep the pesky ‘wizz though everything fast’ 16-18s so it wasn’t that. I think I had the groups pretty well sorted out so it wasn’t that. I have to put my hands up and say it was the tech. I know I was nervous at the beginning of the Tech for Learning course, but after the first couple of weeks this soon went & I wasn’t ever bothered by the ‘tech’ issue.

So it’s probably been good for me to be reminded of what that feels like. To have butterflies about trying something new, with technology. I’m pretty sure this is a lot of teacher’s default positions. Read more ►