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Weird celebrations in the classroom? Why not?

Since our classes have become more multicultural, sometimes we have kids from all over the world; a special celebration for Christmas for example is not always suitable.

So how about organizing weird day celebrations or events that would make children happy and learn at the same time? Here are some ideas I have used over the years:

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Exploring Cultural diversity in language classroom

We often deliver typical ‘festival lessons’ during our teaching. Festivals can provide great themes for learners and help to bring in a great deal of diversity in lessons in terms of vocabulary, colloquial language, storytelling, interesting reading material; folktales, epics, food, colour and a lot more. Many standard course books include festivals and themes that are pretty western and euro-centric with Christmas and Halloween appearing more than others.

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Observing Others and Being Observed

When I first started teaching EL at the university, I visited several lessons conducted by my own former school teacher. Here are a few new insights which I learned as an observer.

• How to parcel out various topics; how much or how little we may fit into 45 minutes; how to stop myself from sharing ALL my own knowledge of a current theme at once so as not to overload my students. I appreciated how much she knew, and how effortlessly she doled out information so as to involve her class in the process but not overwhelm them.

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WhatsApp and English teaching-learning

Teaching happens when there is two way communication between teacher(s) and class/students. The 21st century has been hijacked by digital devices. Our students are netizens held captive by these digital tools. Their range of knowledge in using these digital tools is mind boggling. In order to march along with our students, we need to match them stride for stride.

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Using the free digital tool Flipgrid: an incredible experience

I have my own YouTube channel containing more than sixty videos, in Spanish, about free digital tools for teachers, a kind of digital tools for dummies.

However, of all those resources, there is one that stands out among the rest, that is Flipgrid, and I can tell you that I don´t have any kind of commercial interest in saying so. As I told you, I just use the free version.

Let´s try to define this wonderful tool: Flipgrid is a free collaborative platform for video sharing in a private context.

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Celebrating Traditions

With globalization and technology growing ever so rapidly, individuals crossing borders and local issues becoming international ones, the need to understand cultural differences and traditions becomes an undeniable one. As such, it should become a crucial part of any classroom, if we hope to see a future of tolerance and appreciation of those with different life experiences and different cultures than ourselves. Culture can be brought into some of the most common ESL coursebook topics, like fashion, food, movies, towns and so on.

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Readlang to the rescue

I learnt Mandarin for a number of years and my teachers encouraged me to read online newspapers and magazines. But sometimes I’d be reading articles with lots of words I couldn’t understand; feeling a bit overwhelmed about having to look up dozens of words in a dictionary. Readlang to the rescue!

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The ‘superpowers’ of the graphic novel

By the 1970s, comics were paperback stories crammed with superheroes and villains and easily acquired for a few coins. It was Will Eisner who would first use the term ‘graphic novel' to describe the long-form comic book story. This new name boosted the comic status and consequently made it more attractive to the publishers, who had not taken it seriously until then. A few years later the graphic novel was filling bookstores’ shelves and accepted by the public. A new literary genre had been introduced.

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Instagram during classes

Posted by Raquel Ribeiro

One fact that motivated me to use this particular social network was the growing number of users. Instagram brings a visual engagement and dynamism that appeal to young people and adults.

First step

Create a unique account for your role as a teacher for educational purposes. I suggest leaving the profile open because the students can find us easily and interact even if they choose not to follow us. https://www.instagram.com/accounts/emailsignup/

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