Monday, May 6, 2013

What's your philosophy of education? I got it down to four points.

This post is dedicated to two of my favorite administrators of language schools, Tony and Leslie.  They have inspired the best in me.

Principles that I try to use in classes
a) find out what each student wants to learn
b) have an overall plan for the class
c) but serve each student when possible
d) make sure every student speaks often

Search "cnn student news"

in an English language class
find out what the students want to learn
deliver it
create a culture of learning and self-pushing
make each day a possible 

I'm re-reading Mary Finocchiaro and i like her list of twelve
a) to know intimately
the students
 and the
community in which
they live
"should"s or principles from 

I particularly like the first principle.

a) to know intimately the students and the community in which they live in order to relate new language and cultural materials to probable experiences and interests of the students.

other points... (highlights, excerpts)
b) to broaden students' experiences through discussion of music, art, hobbies and other areas of interest in the school curriculum or in the community.
c) to enrich the students' vocabulary
d) to teach as quickly as feasible the formulas of English
e) to present all new vocabulary in easily demonstrable situations
f) to exploit every language learning activity so that it will reinforce and facilitate communication
g) to proceed from tightly controlled drill to freer, more authentic creative expression from the very first day of the language program.
h) to reintroduce structures and vocabulary of high frequency as often as possible
i) to add authentic, meaningful language activities and sort, two or three line dialogues for frequent dramatization.
j) to suggest or encourage students to suggest alternative sentence sin the dialogue utterances so that they will not always expect the responses they will have learned in the original dialogue.
k) to modify the sequences and order of materials in textbooks so that questions o all kinds and the pronouns I and you are introduced and practiced very early.
l) to remember that understanding the meaning of any utterance depends on knowing its single elements of pronunciation, of grammar, of vocabulary and of culture.
Finocchiaro, pages 74-76, recommended by Mario Llorente

I post this list on the wall so students can say, "Hey, Steve, you didn't do numbers h and j today."

How does this approach translate into a class?  What procedures do I use?  What stages are set in the class?  

1.  There's a plan, a grammar point, some dialogue, pronunciation practice, an interesting reading point and something to listen to from CNN perhaps   

2. i like the studentnews transcript that is available each week

I found it easily by typing a search without spaces  "cnnstudentnews"

3. My job is to present materials for learning and then adjust to each student's needs and requests.  I'm a concierge.

4. I arrange time to meet with each person and get their goals on paper in the first day.

Other points of interest and inspiration (see part 2)

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