TeachingEnglish
Thinking Skill: Distinguishing Different Perspectives - part 1

I began teaching 'Distinguishing Different Perspectives' on Monday...I've had a problem with my 10th grade using the word, 'nigger', since the beginning of the year.  They only use it in a non-vicious way but I felt that it was inappropriate anyway.  So, I grabbed the Ethiopian liaison in the hallway and asked him to give a talk to my class on the Ethiopian immigrant experience.  He agreed and his talk was riveting.  First he asked the pupils to voice their preconceptions of Ethiopia and Ethiopians. For the country, they called out things like 'no technology', 'jungle', 'no schools', 'no food' and 'primitive'.  For the people, they named some food items like injira and chow (Ethiopian bread with a sauce) and 'Kiryat Melachi' (been in the news because there have been reported incidents of racism there) and of course, big families. Then, he told us some personal stories that really touched us.  He described how, in Ethiopia, the men of the household are treated like kings.  No one would dare to check what time they arrived and left work, or question them about their decisions.  However, when they arrive in Israel, they must integrate into a society where everyone has to work - and hard too. They feel like they are at the bottom of the pile because they don't have much of a formal education and they feel lost because of the language.  To top it off, the kings are literally dethroned when the second generation pick up the language, go to school and easily integrate into society.  A question for you:What activities would you do after this to demonstate this 'Thinking Skill'?I look forward to reading them!

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Comments

lusinestepanyan's picture
lusinestepanyan

Dear New Immigrant,What do you mean when you say thinking skill. I think we can discuss it more profoundly if you tell us more about thinking skill.

naomishema's picture
naomishema

You are teaching a life skill, not just a thinking skill for acdemic purposes. This will go well with the story of Mr. Know All, by the way, as the narrator looks down on those who aren't British!Keep up the good work!

lusinestepanyan's picture
lusinestepanyan

I think teachink thinking skill is definietly mandatory for Englihs teachers as language is a way to express the ideas. If we do remember that the generation nowadays is not looking for some new rules and vocabulary but they are looking for an opportunity to express themselves, this is where the teachers's role is becoming excessively important.

New immigrant's picture
New immigrant

Hi lusinestepanya,Thinking skills are the different strartegies used to analyse situations / literature / the world around us, in a deeper way.  Using these, leads to better understanding and therefore better decisions and conclusions.  In terms of EFL, they are catagorised HOTS applied to texts.  The Israeli Ministry of Education used Bloom's Taxonomy to come up with our list of Thinking Skills but other methods are valid too.

New immigrant's picture
New immigrant

Hi Naomi,I read 'Mr Know All' with a near-native speaker.  She understood the language but missed the point entirely.  How did you get your class to understand (also, how else can we explain the twist in religious schools - she was cheating on her husband!)?

lusinestepanyan's picture
lusinestepanyan

Dear New Immigrant,It is really interesting that Bloom's taxonomy has proved to be really useful to apply to teaching as we use it in planning the lessons to develop an independent learner.I would suggest to discuss how the nowadays learner is different from the learner in the past. What do you think about this?

naomishema's picture
naomishema

I haven't gotten to "the point" yet with my students, I will certainly report their reaction! I have heard from other teachers though that they focus on the chivalrous behaviour of Mr. Kelada and simply stick to the line: the woman did not want to her husband to know who gave her the pearls. They don't open that as a topic for discussion. Don't know how that would work in religious schools - ask others!