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INNOVATIVE ELT

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Eight Tips for Fostering Flow in the Classroom. It’s every teacher’s dream to have students who engage deeply with their lessons, want to learn for learning’s sake, and perform at the top of their potential. In other words, teachers want their kids to find “flow,” that feeling of complete immersion in an activity, where we’re so engaged that our worries, sense of time, and self-consciousness seem to disappear. Christopher Futcher Since psychologist Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi (who first coined the term) started studying flow, it has been linked to feelings of happiness and euphoria, and to peak performance among workers, scientists, athletes, musicians, and many others. Flow is valuable in school classrooms as well. Research by Csikszentmihalyi and others has found that flow deepens learning and encourages long-term interest in a subject. (For more on the benefits of flow in education, read “Can Schools Help Students Find Flow?”) But how can teachers encourage flow?

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Spontaneous | Worldly Winds. How Emotions Affect Learning, Behaviors, and Relationships. We need all of our emotions for thinking, problem solving, and focused attention. We are neurobiologically wired, and to learn anything, our minds must be focused and our emotions need to "feel" in balance. Emotional regulation is necessary so that we can remember, retrieve, transfer, and connect all new information to what we already know. When a continuous stream of negative emotions hijacks our frontal lobes, our brain's architecture changes, leaving us in a heightened stress-response state where fear, anger, anxiety, frustration, and sadness take over our thinking, logical brains. Neuroplasticity/Feelings Neuroplasticity is the brain’s capacity to rewire, strengthening pathways between neurons that are exercised and used while weakening connections between cellular pathways that are not used or retrieved.

Rewiring our brain circuits is experience dependent -- we can change the synapses or connections that are firing by changing a perception or behavior. Questions for Educators 1. 2. All Things Linguistic. Richer Speaking. Eight Tips for Fostering Flow in the Classroom. Beware of nominalizations (AKA zombie nouns) - Helen Sword. Lesson idea: Star Wars crawl creator. Security Check Required. Rhythm helps your two lips move | the hands up project. Rhythm is the longest word in English without a vowel, and because of this it can be a tricky word to spell. Generations of schoolchildren have remembered its spelling through the mnemonic ‘Rhythm helps your two hips move’.

Rhythm does help your hips to move of course, but it can also help your lips to move, or rather it can help us to use spoken language in ways which are fluent and natural. Ever since reading Implementing the Lexical Approach (Lewis 1997) in the late nineties, and being strongly influenced by the book’s ideas, I’ve tried to incorporate rhythm, in the form of chants, into my classes to get the lips of my learners moving. ‘Phonological patterning is one of the ways we store items in our mental lexicon; it is easier to remember a tune than a sequence of notes…Devising chants -several similarly patterned lines and a contrapuntal last line..- is lexis made memorable and fun’ (Lewis p. 129 ) One, two, three!

I’d like a cup of tea. Four, five, six! Seven, eight, nine! 4 Principles Of Student-Centered Learning. 4 Principles Of Student-Centered Learning by TeachThought Staff A Definition of Student-Centered Learning In our view, student-centered learning is a process of learning that puts the needs of the students over the conveniences of planning, policy, and procedure. Like any phrase, “student-centered learning” is subjective and flexible–and only useful insofar as it ultimately supports the design of learning experiences for students. For example, arguing for a “student-centered approach” to creating curriculum frameworks that center the authentic knowledge needs of each student makes sense, while creating a “student-centered” classroom that gives students little choice in content, voice in product, or a human necessity for creative expression does not.

Student-centeredness uses an actual person as an audience, and designs learning experiences backwards from that point. With that in mind, here are 4 principles of student-centered learning to consider as you design curriculum and instruction. How Improv Can Open Up the Mind to Learning in the Classroom and Beyond. Long before Amy Poehler became famous for her comic roles as Hillary Clinton on “Saturday Night Live,” and as indefatigable bureaucrat Leslie Knope on “Parks and Recreation,” she was a college freshman looking for something to do outside class.

During her first week on campus, she auditioned for the school’s improvisational theater group, “My Mother’s Fleabag,” and discovered a passion. “Everyone was getting to act and be funny and write and direct and edit all at the same time,” she writes in her memoir, Yes, Please. “My college life sort of exploded in happiness,” she adds. What Poehler found liberating as a performer — the free-wheeling, creative and judgment-free nature of improv — is what makes it an appealing way to learn. The first rule of improvisation is “yes, and,” meaning that anyone’s contribution to the group discussion is accepted without judgment. Improv enthusiasts rave about its educational value. A Student’s Perspective Improvisation Exercises. The Round | Great for educators, fair for authors. Moral Dilemmas. Process writing: mixing it up. As the name suggests, process writing is an approach to writing which focuses on the process rather than the end product.

The argument goes that, just as writers in the ‘real’ world go through a process of editing and revising what they write, so should our students. The typical structure for a process writing lesson might be: 1 Brainstorming ideas. 2 Plan the structure of the writing 3 Write first draft 4 Get feedback on first draft from teacher or peers (or self-evaluation) 5 Write second draft (and third if appropriate after feedback) I think there is a lot to be said for taking a process approach to writing: Feedback Generally speaking, whatever colour ink we use and whatever correction code we use, we often might as well have not bothered marking written work.

For most students, once something has been written and handed in, it’s over: out of sight, out of mind. Students also develop their ability to self-evaluate, which is something they can go on to use independently. Task repetition. Krashen’s theories of language aqusition- do they still have value in the ELT classroom? | The TEFL Show. Robert William McCaul and Marek Kiczkowiak debate the merits of Krashen’s theories on second language acquisition.

Can second languages be learned in the same way in which young children pick up their first language? What implications does this have for the ELT classroom? How much formal grammar should we teach learners? An old debate but an important one… What do you think of Krashen’s theories? Let us know in the comments section below. Don’t forget that the podcast is also available on a number of music services. Like this: Like Loading... Related Language learning myths Continuing with our myth busting theme from this podcast about teaching methods and this one with Russ Mayne, in this episode of The TEFL Show we use our own language learning experience to debunk some of the most common myths and misconceptions about learning languages, such as that you need talent… In "Learning languages" ALC Newsletter - December 2015.

There is no better way of learning about a country than through its culture; I did just that with my pupils, and they loved it. We did a cultural project that lasted a whole month, with a different English-speaking country presented each week. The United Kingdom (UK; to include Great Britain and Northern Ireland), the United States of America (USA), Australia, and Canada were our destinations. Each of the countries were assigned a guide: The UK was guided by Roberta Vucinic, dressed like Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter book series; the USA was guided by Valentina Alincic—or the best Minnie Mouse on this side of the pond; the Australian guide was Vanja Vucinic, or a famous cartoon character Felix the Cat; while Canada was presented by Mirjam Golik, or our own Atomic Betty.

The Guides Each country had a grand opening, with the opening speech in both English and Croatian so that all the pupils and teachers could understand it. National animals and official flowers Famous landmarks. Go Green in Your Classroom: 16 Resources for Environmental Lessons. Take a walk through the woods or spend an evening soaking up the sight of the night sky. Planet Earth is chock full of gorgeous things, but the functionality of the planet depends on complex ecosystems that are suffering because of mankind’s abuse.

How can you help your students love the environment and inspire them to contribute to building a sustainable, clean future for the planet? The following resources may fit the bill. Resource Compilations and Lesson Plans to Get You Started Image via Flickr by NASA Goddard Photo and Video When you’re cultivating an interest in the environment, you battle a culture in which everything is disposable, even nonrenewable resources. Earth Day rolls around every spring, but you don’t have to wait until the flowers bloom to use information about the holiday to get the ball rolling with your students. Instill a Love of the Planet and Inspire Thought Image via Flickr by woodleywonderworks Spur Your Students to Action.

Challenges and Changes – Are You Ready? – iTDi Blog. By Priscila Mateini “We don’t grow when things are easy; we grow when we face challenges” – Joyce Meyer I had set some plans at the beginning of year 2015, and as the year progressed, that plan faced three levels of difficulties. The first one was quite easy – I had to adapt some materials for my son’s school – and I successfully overcame it. Then, towards the middle of the year, the second challenge that I had to deal with was working with the schedule routine of my new school. At the beginning of the school year, I got a great group of students to teach. The problem was that I had never before worked with so many people and schools in such a short period. In my life, I have learned a lot from both bad and good experiences, which has enabled me to grow as a learner and as a teacher.

Being a special needs teacher requires quite a lot from us – patience, competence, as well as continuous professional development. Teaching is not an easy job; what we do goes beyond what many people think. University Life. My (little) reflective journey today | 4C in ELT TYSON SEBURN. For me, the end of a calendar year and the beginning of the next comes a distant second to the beginning and ends of academic years in opportunity for reflection and goal-setting. I may be in the minority that way, but a different type of reflection organically comes then: one of classroom-based pedagogy.

Having said this, with some lovely time off from work, I intend to do some broader humanistic reflection and goal-setting also, the first foray of which has transformed into a little experiment I’m going to do as I write. To begin, over the past week I read a few reflections on 2015 from the PLN, various reflective practice texts, and boards of education. I collated probably around 25 questions that piqued my interest, but ultimately remixed, mashed-up, and pared these down to 4 that arguably elicit perspective from four corners of my professional life. What do I consider to be my most important professional accomplishment?

Here’s the reflective journey to be taken… Like this: A wish list for ELT in 2016 | Reallyenglish Blog. I asked teachers, teacher trainers, Directors of Studies, materials and methodology writers, and the President of IATEFL to make one wish for the English Language Teaching profession. Here are their wishes: “Can I have three wishes, please, like in all good fairy stories? (1) I wish we could shake free of the creeping colonialism of testing – help learners learn rather than preparing them for the test. (2) I wish we could restore more decision-making to teachers rather than trying to control them ever more closely. (3) I wish I could live long enough to see my other two wishes fulfilled.” Alan Maley, author “I’d like language teachers to create stronger links with subject teachers, in order for students to do more cross-disciplinary projects, e.g. “My wish is for people to stop arguing about whether we should use course books or not, and accept that, like everything else, they have pros and cons.”

“My wish for the future of ELT in 2016 is a UK based one. Like this: Like Loading... 16 Books About Learning Every Teacher Should Read. 16 Books About Learning Every Teacher Should Read by TeachThought Staff Ed note: This post has been updated from a 2013 post. In the age of blogging and social media, is there still room for books? Of course there is! While digital content is handy and accessible, many of the issues we face as educators are deeper than any single post–or series of posts–can adequately address.

Note, there are scores of incredible books about teaching and learning, from When Kids Can’t Read by Kylene Beers, to seminal works from Tomlinson, Marzano, and Atwell, to “new learning” stuff like The World is Flat, and classic works we don’t even begin to cover from Thorndike, Dewey, Piaget, and others. If you can add to this list in the comments section with other books teachers might consider and why, your colleagues would certainly benefit. 1. This short book offers 4 standards for prioritizing in your classroom: Rigor, Thought, Diversity, and Authenticity. 2.

What Are People For? 3. 4. 5. An excerpt? 6. 7. 8. 9. How To Prepare Students For 21st Century Survival. 7 Skills Students Will Always Need by Jennifer Rita Nichols Ed note: This post has been updated from a 2013 post. As educators, we constantly strive to prepare our students for the ‘real world’ that exists around them. We teach them how to read, write, and calculate. We want to prepare them to lead productive and successful lives once they leave us and enter into the realm of adulthood.

Tony Wagner of Harvard University worked to uncover the 7 survival skills required for the 21st century. We may not know exactly what lies ahead for our students in the future, but we have the advantage of knowing what skills they will need once they get there. Skills #1: Critical Thinking and Problem SolvingPreparation: Students will need to develop their skills at seeing problems from different angles and formulating their own solutions. Skill #2: Collaboration Across Networks and Leading by InfluencePreparation: Not every person is born a natural leader.

8 Characteristics Of A Great Teacher. Sir Ken Robinson: Creativity Is In Everything, Especially Teaching. 10 Examples & Non-Examples Of Differentiated Instruction - How to Give Your Students Better Feedback in Less Time. 5 Questions on the Nitty Gritty of Tech Integration :Educational Strategies | Teaching Resources.

Learning with 'e's: Why schools shouldn't ban smartphones. Using Old Tech (Not Edtech) to Teach Thinking Skills. The 5 Best Times to Use Technology in Class. The 37 Best Websites To Learn Something New. The box (Videotelling) The box (Videotelling) 5 Infographics to Teach You How to Easily Make Infographics in PowerPoint [Free Templates] Learning | Luke Meddings. CELTA and Technology – With or Without it? | TEFL Matters.

Educational Media and Technology. ISTE. Untitled. Mental Health and ELT. Reflections on Innovate ELT.