Blank page syndrome: the mental block on creative writing

Posted by Ingrid Mosquera Gende

People nowadays don´t write as before, the whole idea of writing has changed. We have to find new ways to motivate our students towards writing. And it is not an easy task.

Most of our students find it hard to write, even in their mother tongue. The task acquires incredible proportions if we ask them to do it in English. Many of them will write in their mother tongue first and then translate it: a decision that always results in a disastrous Spanglish text.

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Managing differentiated learning in traditional language skills activities

All students are different from each other. We are all different from each other: different personalities, different tastes, different hobbies, different backgrounds, different dreams or different learning styles.

However, when we enter our classroom, we tend to bring one size fits all activities with us. Therefore, it will be difficult to reach all our students, either from a motivational or from a language level perspective.

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Don't forget why you became a teacher in the first place

Sometimes teaching is tough.

Sometimes you don't feel like getting up and going back again.

Sometimes you think it doesn't make sense.

Sometimes you feel as if no one cares, as if nobody appreciates your work, your effort, your extra hours of dedication.

Sometimes you are drowning in piles of exams and bureaucratic paperwork.

Sometimes you are so stressed that you are completely blocked.

Sometimes.

Some days.

Some moments.

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Language and culture: two sides of the same coin

Due to the communicative nature of learning a language, I would dare to suggest that, at the same time as working with the four main skills (writing, reading, listening and writing), it is unavoidable to develop cultural knowledge. Because of its close relationship with language, cultural knowledge continuously influences linguistic skills and vice versa. Furthermore, if we left culture out, what would our students read about? what would they talk about?

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