Too many games!

Beware of turning your class into gameaholics

"I'm really starting to take a dislike to this class," my colleague complained in the teachers' room. "All they want to do is play games, and it's not even like they're a bunch of kids.


Teacher talking time

What happens if the teacher does a lot of talking in the classroom?

As an English teacher, when I teach, I see to it that my students do more of the talking in class rather than I doing it because I am already good in the language.


Jolly Phonics songs

Songs that are standing the test of time

The Jolly Phonics songs have been around for over two decades now and although they have become a little dated, as a Synthetic Phonics teaching aid it has impressively withstood the test of time. I wish I could say the same for the scheme too but unfortunately it falls well short of the reliability of the songs themselves.


Teaching 'with' students, 'to' students and 'at' students

Sometimes I decide to just look on the funny side of trying to teach

I've been teaching in various capacities almost two years in Thailand now, and the differences between teaching students who want to be with you versus those who must be there are quite clear.


How to motivate your students

An extract from a new book on teaching English to Thai students

Many studies have been undertaken to determine the reasons why South East Asian students have problems learning English. I would add to the list: weakness of the curriculum design, limited school resources, class sizes, poor course design, and course-books not always being relevant to the student's own environment.


Notebook concerns

How to get your students to use their notebooks effectively

Friends of mind say that they give importance to student notebooks by grading them, giving stickers to those who have a complete set of notes , stamping them with positive comments - and giving points as part of their grade to those students who have complete, neat, and beautiful notebooks.


#atweetaday

Organising a social networking project for students

Wouldn't it be great if students could use some of thier social networking time to develop their English? This was the thinking behind a project I started with my Mathayom 3 students - 'A Tweet a Day'.


Teachers playing games in class

Is it a case of too much monkeying around?

Games can reinforce what has been taught earlier in a lesson and can be used as a filler or as a reward for good work. But to expect foreign English teachers to spend the majority of their time entertaining students, especially adults, is, to me, just not right.


On having an English room

The advantage of having your own classroom space

I consider my classroom to be an extension of my house. After lunch, I can lock the door and take a little nap. Or I can watch my favorite movies and news broadcasts from The Philippiness. It's so different from the days of old when I didn't have a room and I had to bear the heat and noise of the library or the clinic or other 'makeshift classrooms'.


Thai students and the fine art of copying

I couldn't believe what was going on in the classroom

I come from a society and a culture where the copying of anything in or out of a classroom is simply looked on as cheating. Not only cheating the whole idea of education but cheating oneself out of any possibility of learning, not to mention a total disrespect of the student who goes to the trouble of learning the correct answers in the first place. So I was appalled beyond measure when I saw my first example of copying in my classroom at my first school in Phuket.


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