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Resources And Discussion

Online Course Management System - FREE. Would you use it?

Started by ddeubel in Teaching and Methodology. Last reply by Mitchell Lee Feb 12. 7 Replies

I'd like to know how many teachers would use a completely free course management system , if offered here? Meaning, you can create a course there,…Continue

Tags: atutor, technology, online, ecourses, elearning


Started by ddeubel in Websites / links / access to new resources / communities.. Last reply by Nadeem Nawaz Jul 16, 2019. 102 Replies

We are now in our 3rd edition of "Site of the Day"! Hundreds of the best sites for teaching/learning. See #1 and…Continue

Tags: collection, list, web 2.0, resources, websites

ABCs - Alphabet Resources or Ideas?

Started by NEWS NOW in Teaching and Methodology. Last reply by Amelia Meirizka Jun 20, 2019. 73 Replies

I guess the alphabet is our bread and butter.Got any good ideas for teaching it or using it…Continue

Tags: children, abc, kids, phonics, reading

Learning Designs

Started by Elise in Teaching and Methodology Mar 27, 2019. 0 Replies

I was wondering what you all thought of learning designs pertaining to English language teaching? What are the ways in which you design your lessons to achieve better learning in your students?Continue


IN Praise of Slowness...

If there is one piece of valuable advice that could fit almost ALL teachers - it would be to "S L O W D O W N!"

One area of course is in terms of speaking speed. Teachers need to let students process language and really suck the communicative juice out of words. They need CI along with their O2! Comprehensible Input in the form of being able to follow the speaker and let the gears of their LAD (Language Acquisition Device) grind them bones and make the bread.

Teachers need not slow their actual speaking speed but like any good public speaker they need to pause. And pause often. Students need time to think about the content of which the words deliver. Only through pausing can teachers really help their students to both become "thinkers" and also use the language they model for language acquisition. People trying to process language, need a lot more time than native speakers. If you think you are pausing too much, you are probably pausing just right!

However, there is a much greater reason to S L O W D O W N. Learning.
Yes, that's right. Teachers try to do too much! And in doing so, they do less. Teachers need to slow down and not try to accomplish so much. Stick to that one objective, all else is naught, in the lesson plan. Just bells and whistles and empty wind. Stick to the one objective and relax! Enjoy your students, bring humanity and quality to the fore and let quantity hang out at the backdoor, spinning in circles.

Learning is not "going somewhere", it is not cumulative nor exponential. It is human and the relating of the individual to the world. At all times it is atemporal and against that slave master time. Teachers need to let their students enjoy, let their students soak up the connections and relationships everywhere. With language, students need more time actually playing with the language, producing it and just hanging out with it - instead of pounding it into death with quick strokes of the hungry and heavy plated hammer of memory and destruction.

And why do I say this? Well, language as Chomsky so often related is GROWTH. It isn't something born quick, it is to be watered slowly and not built with a jackhammer and speeding dump truck. It is organic and needs time, water (the teacher) and sun (love/the human relationship).

I'd recommend this video (Yes, another TED talk from me! I use our player avidly!) by Carl Honore. He makes many valid points about our lives and which equally apply for teaching. Just note though, how he misses the boat by actually delivering a speech about "slowness" in supersonic speed! He'd of done well to convey his message in the actual process.....however, still a good talk.

Lastly, while writing this, I was reminded of this poem of one of my favs - Irving Layton. "There were no signs". I think I'm reminded of this poem because it speaks to me that learning is not a destination. Learning is the destination!

There Were No Signs

By walking I found out
Where I was going.

By intensely hating, how to love.
By loving, whom and what to love.

By grieving, how to laugh from the belly.

Out of infirmity, I have built strength.
Out of untruth, truth.

From hypocrisy, I wove directness.

Almost now I know who I am.
Almost I have the boldness to be that man.

Another step
And I shall be where I started from.

Downloads: 1532

Comment by Ellen Pham on January 26, 2009 at 7:18pm
first response to the poem...
shit :D (I say this with good humor) not that it is shit, no no, rather shit, here I am back where I started! Funny joke : )
Comment by Ellen Pham on January 26, 2009 at 8:08pm
Notes while watching the video...

It's interesting... I can't go fast, I get overwhelmed almost immediately. Too much sensation coming in before I can process it. I have to retreat.

David, is this a yuppie point of view of the world? It's almost like you're still trying to fill yourself up with something... have better food, better sex, better... more... just by doing it slowly this time.-

I didn't make my kids do homework from k - 8. I made sure they could read and understand basic math concepts, then let them play. I did appreciate the discipline that came from their father- with the boys, he made them take tae kwon do until they got a black belt (then they could choose if they wanted to go on, one did, one didn't), and I made sure they became beautiful swimmers, something they have for the rest of their lives, almost no matter what happens. I probably did take the lack of structure too far, but they all came out free... more free in their minds than most young adults, not likely to fall into a pigeon hole, in thinking or being. And none of them give up easy... at all.

And each of them, especially the boys, has this goal in life, to be a good father and husband, to have a forever mate, no matter what happens, and to give everything they have to their children... it is so sweet, and so sincere. I did not encourage this view of life, I swear! Marriage is difficult and often, for me, painful and unhappy (though in the end, very good and rewarding, it is so nice to still be with the husband of my youth, as the old testament says somewhere. It's like we get to be 12 years old again). Being as good as I could be to my children has been the most challenging aspect of my life, and not without failure (I say, you do not know what monsters lurk inside you until you have had children- it is in the not being able to escape part when you are at the end of your patience- that is when the character building really kicks into gear!)

It is like my family has been wrought out of the will of Chuck and I... sometimes just pure will. We did it. It is sweetly funny that this is what our children aspire to : ). Is this good? Who knows. I guess this is the way Chuck and I put our mark on the future... hopefully our children will make less mistakes with their own (more gentle and happy, less stressed), but I think no matter what else happens, the devotion will carry through. But there are lots of other ways to be...

Another step- and I shall be where I started from :D

Comment by ddeubel on January 26, 2009 at 10:59pm
Oh Ellen, I agree completely with the yuppie comment! Want your cake and eat it too.... Still, I put up the video and was reminded of it because he does make some good points. The stuff about a "slowness" movement and all that is just grandiose hogwash. I don't believe in "movements" unless it is of the bowel kind. Same goes for revolutions...

Yes, with family, kids, life - it is not about speed/acquiring but in the "flavor" by which we sprinkle our actions. I know for sure you've passed on that spirit. I 've always kind of regreted the fact that my parents never made me or introduced me to a musical instrument. Just so I could appreciate music on that level. I think all parents, much like your own efforts with your kids and swimming, should nurture some qualitative skill that they can have as their own piece of "grace" no matter whatelse in life...

But you do what you can in that proper spirit and bingo, nelle ho!

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