{November 22, 2009}   Good Practices in the classroom

Doing some googling, I came across a site called “Don’t Give Up”.

Don’t Give Up! Is a European Union language project that has written a book of 48 best practices for every level of language educators (schools, managers, teachers). The best practices will help improve the motivation and the results of language courses for adult learners.

The project spent 2 years researching and analyzing the problems of adult learners, language educators were asked their opinions and ideas, as well. The results of the research were combined with the project team’s ideas and experience.
The best practices cover aspects of managing language schools and classes, enhancing lessons, engaging and motivating students and dealing with many aspects of the problems adult learners face to learn a language. This book can positively contribute to the results of your language courses.

The summary of these best practices can be read here and may be really useful for teachers who want to improve their daily work.

Have you ever thought about giving choice homework to your students?

Think about different activities on the same topics (you can prepare them going around multiple intelligences, learning styles or Bloom’s taxonomy! – wow, I do remember names!) and prepare different cards or a poster with them.

Then, tell your students they will have to choose one activity to complete in a week’s time (let’s say you present the activity on Monday, so they will have up to the following Monday to hand it in!).

Think of activities that engage your students! For example, I’m designing a 3-Choice Homework chart for the following weeks:

Activity one will consist on making some poster or drawing on the story we are working with.

Activity two will be the most challenging: students will have to prepare new lyrics for Michael Jackson’s Thriller, writing a summary of the story we are reading

Activity three will have to do with writing a letter to someone they admire, telling him/her what they have learned from the story

The three activities will be done by ALL students in different weeks ( I will recommend weaker students to start with the easiest one) and this will help students see what they have learned!

– I took this idea from “Differentiation in Action” by Judith Dodge. It’s a fantastic book to read!


Some months ago, I bought a DSi and started looking for information on the different available games. Not only could I choose some classic games to have some fun and some totally new games (I mean, games that I find really difficult to play) but also I found really interesting games to learn and practice different languages.

I have to admit I’m a language geek who loves learning: I bought My Japanese Coach and My French Coach. The games are kind of expensive here, but, the DSi fits in any bag or pocket, you can use it everywhere you go, plus you can easily translate and understand some basic phrases in other languages. My idea is not to get proficient in Japanese* and French (though I’d love to!) but I’m doing this more like a hobbie really. If the games improved their level of language (come on, people do not talk just in present!) I’d be really glad to use the English version of the game with my geeky little students who also have this game console. What is true, is that these games are a really interesting way to make children practice and enjoy learning a language.

*What I found really interesting about the Japanese version of the game was all found here.

{November 12, 2008}   Extra Reading

If you have some minutes to spare, read chapter XV from Civics and Health, a book written by William H. Allen in 1909 – almost 100 years ago. I found it really interesting and was amazed at the author’s choice of words.


As it is introduced in Chest of Books,

No one can read this volume, or even its chapter-headings, without surprise and rejoicing: surprise, that the physical basis of effective citizenship has hitherto been so utterly neglected in America; rejoicing, that so much in the way of the prevention of incapacity and unhappiness can be so easily done, and is actually beginning to be done. The gratitude of every lover of his country and his kind is due to the author for his interesting and vivid presentation of the outlines of a subject fundamental to the health, the happiness, and the well-being of the people, and hence of the first importance to every American community, every American citizen.

More information on this book:

Many Books



{September 15, 2008}   A little bit of reading

I spent the whole day resting, and as I was really getting bored I picked up the first book I found and read it thoroughly. “Inside Secrets of Finding a Teaching Job” was the chosen one.

My opinion about it? I think it’s nice to kill time, but unless you are looking for your very first teaching job, you won’t get much from it. What I really profited from was the teaching tips chapter.

Personal Rating: 4/5 stars =)

et cetera