Suggestopedia

6 07 2007

It caught my attention the oral presentation about Suggestopedia. If music makes easier and nicer the English learning process, I want to know more about it. So, I decided to read more about this topic and I found an amazing material on internet, it is an interview with Dr Georgi Lozanov, the founder of Suggestopedia.

 Dr Georgi Lozanov

According to Dr Lazanov, music is importat but is not the key :’(   We have to be careful because he says that many people misunderstand what Suggestopedia is.  At the beginning he developed a method of teaching which he called Suggestopedia, which was used and tested extensively for teaching reading and math to children in Bulgarian primary schools in the 60’s and 70’s. It had tremendous results. Children in the Suggestopedia classes were learning to read up to five times faster than children in the control classes where standard methods were used – and these results were verified by a team of UNESCO moderators.  

Then, he developed with Dr Evalina Gateva a language learning method, and this method is what most people call Suggestopedia.  Dr. Lozanov says that “many people are doing things and calling them Suggestopedia which are definitely not part of my method. Neuro-Linguistic Programming, for example, is not Suggestopedia. Multiple Intelligences theory is not Suggestopedia. Brain Gym is not Suggestopedia. You cannot mix these things with Suggestopedia.  Relaxation exercises are not Suggestopedia. Many people think that students have to go into some special trance state in order to do Suggestopedia. This is not so. Students in my classes are alert and awake. And I would like to say that hypnosis is definitely not part of my method. Hypnosis is about taking away people’s freedom – Suggestopedia is about giving people freedom. I was under house arrest in Sofia and unable to tell people outside Bulgaria what Suggestopedia really was”… how about that?

So… what is the real Suggestopedia? The suggestion given by most traditional learning methods is that learning is hard; that the only way people can learn is if the teacher breaks down the information into very small chunks so that they can understand it. The deliberate impression given by Suggestopedia, by comparison, is that learning is fun and easy – which is the suggestion in the name. Teachers give much more material than in a traditional class, with the clear assumption that students will be able to learn it without difficulty.

Once againg, music is important but is not the key. What is essential is that the students feel relaxed and happy. They are relaxed because there is no pressure to speak or to do anything stressful, and also no homework, by the way (yuupi, personally, I don’t have problem with this).  Suggestopedia is also nothing to do with anything that has been written about the Mozart Effect. This method uses classical music because it does not have words that will interfere with listening to the texts. Teachers need to be specially trained to teach Suggestopedically. The behavior of the teacher, the voice of the teacher, everything the teacher does has an impact on the students and their learning… the success of the method depends on having exceptional teachers.  We don’t believe in good or bad students, only in the importance of excellent teachers”.

If you want to read the whole interview, click on                             http://www.etprofessional.com/content/view/528/5/





Online Magazines for ELT

6 07 2007

Hi everybody, here you have two great online magazines with several articles and resources related to ELT…

English Teaching Professional  http://www.etprofessional.com/

WordChamp  http://wordchamp.com/lingua2/Splash.do





Reaction to my

5 07 2007

 Well… in general terms, I think it was ok.  However, I have to work a little bit more in my self-confidence and creativity.  I know that experience plays an important role in both of them, so, I cannot wait more… if I want to make a connection with my students from the very beginning and give them a good impression, I have to be more self-confident and creative.  These to factors will help me a lot in my teaching performance.  Besides, I have to promote more oral practice during the class sessions because if students practice with others mates (and with the teacher) right after having learned the grammatical rules, they will assimilate the information given easier and with long-term retention.  I’m already aware of this point, now I have to put it in practice in every class… in every opportunity.  Now, you tell me, how was my demo class?





Personal view of ELT

29 06 2007

Teaching is a wonderful career.  I would say that it’s the most humanistic profession in the world.  And, at the same time, it’s one of the most difficult jobs because of the responsibility that every teacher must carry on his/her shoulders.  Teachers are crucial in the development of a nation; therefore, in their hands lays the future of a country. 

Teaching is not an easy task; it requires a special talent and sense of vocation. I think teaching is a creative act, and every teacher has his/her own style of performing.  In the same way, teacher must respect the individuality of their students in the realization that everybody learns through his or her own perceptions.  

Now, why do I want to teach English as a Foreign Language?  Without any dough, English is the current lingua franca around the world.  English is the international language of business, science, technology, aviation and diplomacy.  Because of this, many people in Venezuela want to learn English.  Some people want to learn English for personal reasons, such as to communicate with a variety of people from other countries; some others want to learn the language for professional reasons, perhaps to get a better job. Whatever the reason is, I think it’s interesting and challenging to be part of a learning process that affect many people’s life. 

In spite of the fact that English language is the current lingua franca, many people, especially high school students, still reject to learn this language.  Believe it or not, in many schools intrinsic motivation towards English is low, and English seems to be not relevant.  Students just study English because it is a compulsory subject of the curriculum.

So, it’s our responsibility to open students’ eyes and make them realize how useful could be for them to learn English language, and the sooner they learn it, the better!





ERROR CORRECTION

29 06 2007

To correct or not to correct, that is the question…

http://cache.gettyimages.com/xt/200407890-001.jpg?v=1&g=STK&s=1In his book Mistakes and Correction, Julian Edge (1989) says that when we teachers decide to correct our students, “we have to be sure that we are using correction positively to support learning.”

We can see a gradual shift in classroom practice, from the immediate correction of every error in older methods based on behavioral theories of learning (e.g. audio-lingualism) to a more tolerant modern approach. Yet error correction remains one of the most contentious and misunderstood issues in the second and foreign language teaching profession. 

H. D. Brown (1994) offers the following distinctions. A mistake, he says, is “a performance error that is either a random guess or a ‘slip,’ in that it is a failure to utilize a known system correctly.” According to this definition, a native speaker could make a mistake in her native language. Errors, on the other hand, are problems that a native speaker would not have. Brown defines an error as “noticeable deviation from the adult grammar of a native speaker, reflecting the interlanguage competence of the learner.”  

The following approaches have given teacher good if not magical results:

ü       Deal with errors as natural consequences in the struggle to learn.

ü       Develop in learners a positive attitude towards peer correction           and teacher correction.

ü       Give students self-confidence in their own resources.

ü       Give them “powerful” feedback.

ü       Trace back or explain why errors occur using scientifically sound          but simple, comprehensible explanations.

ü       Provide individual help with tasks requiring the use of the problem item.

ü       Joke without sarcasm about why errors occur, establishing a friendly, loving, competitive, and cooperative classroom atmosphere. 

To succeed in the eradication of errors, learners should first detect then, eliminate their fossils, while enjoying the process. 

Some web site where you can find more information about Error Correction: 

http://exchanges.state.gov/forum/vols/vol38/no4/p20.htm

http://exchanges.state.gov/forum/vols/vol33/no3/p20.htm

http://exchanges.state.gov/forum/vols/vol32/no4/p38.pdf

http://exchanges.state.gov/forum/vols/vol31/no1/p42.htm

http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/think/methodology/error_correct.shtml

http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/think/methodology/error_correct2.shtml





Self-Intro…

24 06 2007

Hi everybody! Mi name is Mireya García.  I am 28 years old.  I live in Caracas, Venezuela.  I’m a student in the English Language Department at Pedagógico de Caracas, where I have been studying since 2003.  I love music; music has an important place in my life.  Since I was a child, I have been studying music at Escuela de Música Juan Manuel Olivares, Florida, Caracas.  I play piano and cello and I would like to learn to play a woodwind instrument too, such as oboe or bassoon.  The aim of this blog is share with you information regarding ELT, ICE and other topics related to Methodology syllabus.  Enjoy your reading!





Do you know what ICT means?

8 06 2007

ICT means “Information and Communication Technology”, often referred to as “Educational Technology”

 

 

The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) provides students of English as a second language with a broad perspective on the nature of technology and how to use and apply a variety of technologies in English language learning.

The aim of ICT is to offer new learning opportunities in which students of EFL have the chance to be in contact with the target language in real context.  For example, they can:

  • To read web sites in English.

  • to chat with natives or others students of EFL.

  • To design a blog with the purpose of interacting in English

 

Besides, ICT is also an excellent tool to be used for English language teaching.  It’s highly recommended to include technology in the process of English teaching because for students technology can:

  • be very motivational. 

  • be the source of a significant amount of English material.

  • be fun – and when it’s fun students learn.

  • help them to practice the target language, especially by using the internet.

 

 

 Regarding ELT Methodology and ICT, there are many interesting web sites about these topics.  Here are some links…

  • http://www.englishraven.com/methodology.html  This web page has a lot of information related with our ELT Methodology program. Here you will find information about the oral presentation topics as well.

  • http://exchanges.state.gov/forum/vols/vol40/no4/p2.pdf  This is an excellent article written by Mark Warschauer, Vice Chair of the Department of Education at the Education at the University of California.  Dr Warschauer’s research focuses on the role of information and communication technologies in second language learning and teaching.

 

Well…. I hope you have enjoyed, please send me your comments!

 








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