Sunday, October 4, 2009

English and English learning

I asked my new class what comes to their mind when they hear the word 'English'. This is what they said:

And this is what comes to their mind when they hear the word 'English learning'. (I like BetterThanMaths ;-))

We did this survey in paper form and in groups (it's anonymous, you are welcome to fill it in too). Some of the answers that brought a smile to my face are:

Q: What do you remember from your English classes best?
A: A view from the window.
(Great idea for next Clasrooms Across the Globe topic, isn't it? Literally sharing views from our classrooms ;-)).

Q: Is perfect English necessary for successful communication?
A: Good is good enough. Perfect is unnecessary.

Learning English is important - English is the language of international communication, the language of the Internet, the language of many films and songs we love. It's the first foreign language at our schools and it's good for us to be able to successfully communicate in it. That's more important than worrying too much about mistakes we make along the way. According to our little survey, we teachears here seem to be guilty of focussing rather a lot on grammar and mistakes learners make... But if our students find it difficult to see the forrest for the trees we are missing the point, aren't we?

My new students' advice to me and fellow English teachers?
- If possible, invite native speaker guests in class. (Kay, Bob, have you read this? :-))Make class activities meaningful. Allow students to use language to express themselves. Involve students in class discussions. Do fun group activities. Encourage student interaction. Make classes communicative.

Here's the advice Wordle:

Looking forward to another year's learning. :-)


Natasa said...

Your students are great and they have said so many important things here. I really think we can learn a lot from our students if we just ask.
I had a good laugh while I read some of the things mentioned in the three wordles.
I love the questionnaire. The questions really make the students reflect on their learning experience.

Saša said...

Hi Nataša,
happy to hear you enjoyed it. Do let us know what you get if you do something like that with your class. :-) It should be fun to compare our results.

Nathan Grimm said...

Dear Sasa,

I really appreciate your collection of information for teachers on the Cybermill website, Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your EFL class.

There are a lot of great ESL blogs to keep up on so I made a widget that would aggregate all of their feeds. It would be a useful widget to install in your sidebar or mention in a post so you and your readers can view up-to-the-second conversations that teachers are having without needing to leave your website.

I tried to make it as easy as possible to install the widget. You just copy the code from right below the widget and paste it onto your website. Let me know if you have any issues with the installation or feedback on the widget.


Nathan Grimm
SR Education Group - Program Manager
Follow me @n8ngrimm
(425) 605-8898
123 Lake Street South Suite B-1

Saša said...

Thanks, Nathan, for dropping by and enlightening me about the guide to onlie schools. I'll try it. :-) Warm regards from Slovenia

suzain said...

I hope you enjoy being here I look forward to seeing your posts :)