Rachael Roberts - Motivation

I recently started to brush up my German. I last studied German many years ago at school and I can’t say that it was a great success. In fact, I failed the exam and had to retake it. Hardly surprising, as I seem to remember spending a good portion of the exam time writing out David Bowie lyrics!

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Blog topics for November 2015

Hi everyone

Apologies for the late posting of this month's blog topics! Here they are. 

Promoting 21st Century Skills is one of the professional practices in the British Council’s new Continuing Professional Development (CPD) framework. But what exactly are 21st Century skills and are they the same as digital literacies?

In two recent articles written by Gavin Dudeney, he explores the four key digital literacies: focus on connections, on language, on information and on (re)design. He also looks at the distinction between these and 21st century skills. 

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Capitalising on the Differences in ESL Classrooms

Like most Indian classrooms, my classrooms were a cross-section of the larger diverse Indian society. Students from varied cultural, religious, social and economic backgrounds mix in the classroom space. As a teacher, I strongly believe that this diversity can be capitalised in order to build a society of citizens who treat each other with respect. Especially during our times when people hate and kill each other in the name of differences of faith, colour and region, we language teachers can make a difference in our classrooms.

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Discipline Problems

Discipline and motivation are the staples of our life, the ever-present topic of any educational discussion. I used to treat them in a very simple way. One, I have never had any discipline problems, or if there were some I could always cope. Two, motivation was not an issue since I could always learn what a student needed and create an individualized approach.

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All learners are diverse

I live in the academic research community with a large number of research institutes, a well-known state university and several schools. Until recently most students would come from families of scientists and teachers. Both parents as well as grandparents having a Ph.D. degree is still rather common. It is often said that there are more brains per square meter in our town than anywhere else in the country.

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The golden mean rule

People say that being a teacher means a lot more than just getting ready for the lessons, making the process challenging and affordable and conducting careful feedback. Everything in the teaching process is logical, well-laid and organized. We as teachers can skilfully hold needs analysis, create a program and put it into life. But besides being a well with knowledge, optimism and never ending enthusiasm,we quite often have to perform other functions and exercise other feelings.

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Are we just language teachers or are we Teachers?

Teaching a language, and especially English which is the language of the whole world, has always been a quite demanding task. Language teachers always seek new methods and means of teaching and are always cautious of how to teach a language without insulting some other culture. This by itself is a very challenging task and one that increases the workload of a teacher. But in our times, this is not enough. We live in times of crises. There is a moral crisis, a financial crisis, family crisis where most children grow up in single parent families, employment crisis and so on.

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Beyond Language

As teachers, our responsibilities to our youth do not include only language or content teaching, but also the education of the future generations, and education goes beyond the coursebook. It includes life skills, personal development and character education, and these are areas for which the scope with higher level students is tremendous because they have gone beyond basic language skills, and are ready to venture into the more abstract, or the more creative realms of learning. 1.

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Mentoring student tutors

Thanks to a university initiative, every year we recruit several students in later years of studies to help our new first years succeed on their English degree. It is a valuable opportunity for those recruited to develop new skills, learn about work life and to obtain essential work experience for their CVs. Not to mention receive financial compensation for their efforts.

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