EnglishCentral      Weekly Magazine         Read The Latest Newsletter       New Resources        Member TESOL Certificate           Gif Lingua Books

65,000+ Members! Join Us!


What We Offer

Video Lessons Player

                             Study Music


  • Add Photos
  • View All

Our Weekly Magazine

New Content

Project Peace


Resources And Discussion

Learning Communities

Started by Allan Richards in Teaching and Methodology Oct 27. 0 Replies

Hey everyone!I am new to the forum and am curious how you feel learning communities benefit educators when it comes to developing a collective responsibility as educators. Do you feel a forum like…Continue


Started by Christina Shepherd in Teaching and Methodology. Last reply by ddeubel Oct 26. 1 Reply

How does implementation help you out throughout the year? I am curious to know what things have worked for you and what things have not worked for you through an implementation standard.  Continue

ABCs - Alphabet Resources or Ideas?

Started by NEWS NOW in Teaching and Methodology. Last reply by ddeubel Sep 19. 74 Replies

I guess the alphabet is our bread…Continue

Tags: children, abc, kids, phonics, reading

Top 5 Game

Started by susie silver in Teaching and Methodology. Last reply by ddeubel Sep 17. 14 Replies

Hi David Maybe its obvious to some but I'm not sure how to play and I also want to create a top 5 game as well. What is the point of it. There are always 5 answers. Do the students guess according to…Continue

Tags: 5, top




Learning WITH your students!

I've always been one of the guys screaming for a more student centered focus in language instruction. Especially with such a "human" and "deep" subject as language -- a social oriented subject -- this has to be the case. We learn language by social interaction - the research is unequivical on this point. If a baby has no social interaction or little, their language skills are dramatically effected -- same with the L2. If you learn a language in a very direct, teacher centric fashion, your acquisition of that language will be stunted. We learn by interacting/doing and so I'm going to continue cheerleading task based, communicative based, project based, student focused lesson delivery.

But I will go further and suggest that it is the "little" and very subtle emotive and human things we do when teaching that really make the difference in our student's learning. Little micro teaching details that bring us closer to the learners/students and make teaching less about preaching and more about social interaction and LEARNING WITH THE STUDENTS!

Charles Leadbetter a few years back wrote an incredible article on this very topic. He's a guy I've followed/read over the years and nobody says it better....A must read and especially for his recommendations for teachers.

There are some things a teacher can do to lessen social distance and stop the direct instruction, teacher in front of the class syndrom. Here's a preliminary list.

1) Use a name! Studies have shown that when students are addressed by name, their brain lights up and is much more perceptive to learning/input. Much More! Just using a name can make a difference, even a nickname. Seems that when we hear our name, our ego is inflamed and because of this "connection" cerebrally, we learn and connect the input better . One caveat -- when asking questions, don't use the name first! Address all students with the question. Then repeat and direct, using a name a second time. This way all students first , become attentive and take in the question.

2) Inductive Teaching! Let students play in the sandbox that a classroom can become. Turn your regular lesson upside down and start with the "Activate" portion of the lesson. In groups, just give them the materials and let them figure it out! Try it, it will take the pressure off you and you can at the end, summarize and direct, but only at the end.

3) Bend down! When addressing students, sit in a chair or get on their level. This decreases social distance and brings emotion and intimacy into the instruction. Simply put - we learn much better when on the same level as the one we are learning with!

4) Amplify and emote your voice! Get a microphone. It is so simple to plug in a microphone to a CD player's external jack and use it in the class. Your students will hear much more clearly and this will decrease social distance because they will pick up on the emotion in your voice much better. Recent studies have confirmed that just by simply improving the audio in classrooms - student learning DRAMATICALLY increases.

This is just a preliminary list, much more you can do to learn WITH your students...think about it and start to make a change if you haven't already!

Direct instruction is a dinosaur and we have to bring our students into a more socially filled and dynamic learning environment.

Views: 164

Comment by Ellen Pham on November 18, 2008 at 2:58am
I really enjoy it when you write about teaching, David. Your words are affirming for me.

The only one I don't understand is #4. The only time I have used a microphone in class was in a sub job, and it seemed to depersonalize the interaction. Perhaps I just didn't need it; I have a loud and emotive voice, especially when I am happy and excited. Maybe I would try a wireless mic, so the kids could get in on it too- that would be great, and solve the problem of too quiet voices when some students are presenting/ responding.

Still, I think the warmth of a human voice without amplification is special and reassuring : ).

Add a Remark

© 2017   Created by ddeubel.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service