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Saturday, January 12, 2013



It´s important that teachers help students to develop speaking and oral interaction skill. The goal is students can communicate in simple and routines tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar topics and activities. They must be able to maintain a simple conversation.
To facilitate the development of these skills teachers should pre-syntactic conversation structure rather than grammar sentence structure; a conversational mode both provides interactive examples and exchange models of FL. Moreover, teachers can provide visual (and general non verbal) support (pictures, gestures, facial expressions, etc.); they are crucial to help comprehension of the new language and possibilities to interact.

How to organise a speaking/oral interaction activity
1.      Contextualise the activity and engage the learners
2.      Revise (/Teach) the language the learners will need to produce in the activity
-          By modelling the language
-          By drilling the language (words, phrases, sentences)

3.      Give instructions for the activity
4.      Distribute hand-outs
5.      Organise groups/pairs
6.      Let the activity start
7.      Monitor the activity
8.      Provide feedback
9.      Get learners to reflect on the activity

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Phonics is a method for teaching reading and writing the English language by developing learners' phonemic awareness—the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate phonemes—in order to teach the correspondence between these sounds and the spelling patterns (graphemes) that represent them.

The goal of phonics is to enable beginning readers to decode new written words by sounding them out, or in phonics terms, blending the sound-spelling patterns. Since it focuses on the spoken and written units within words, phonics is a sublexical approach and, as a result, is often contrasted with Whole language, a word-level-up philosophy for teaching reading.
The phonetic method of teaching how to read is employed by many schools all over the world as it is the most effective method to teach kids how to read. Reading and phonics are deeply related to each other, and this method makes use of that link to help a child in picking up the basics of reading.

The phonetics method of teaching to read concentrates entirely on the sounds made by alphabets. By using the phonic system of learning, children learn to associate letters with sounds, which are then linked to sounds of speech. This method thus enables a child to be able to read faster and on his/her own.
Since the phonics method concentrates on sounds rather than words, it is easy for children to grasp the proper pronunciation of a word, its enunciation, as well as it articulation. Reading and phonics have always been closely associated. The human brain processes information through two basic pathways. They are the auditory path and the visual path. The auditory pathway has a short term memory and is used to learn, understand, and use the various methods of teaching.
Some educators who support the phonic method believe that when children master the pronunciation rules, they can read on their own. 
Educators who oppose this method believe knowing the sound without knowing the meaning of the word does not work. Some educators do not teach the pronunciation rules; words in books are read aloud in class. The children are supposed to remember how each word sounds one by one as they encounter them in the context of a story or other reading materials.

There are several types of phonics instructional methods and approaches:

·         Analogy phonics

Teaching students unfamiliar words by analogy to known words (e.g., recognizing that the rime segment of an unfamiliar word is identical to that of a familiar word, and then blending the known rime with the new word onset, such as reading brick by recognizing that -ick is contained in the known word kick, or reading stump by analogy to jump).

·         Analytic phonics

Teaching students to analyze letter-sound relations in previously learned words to avoid pronouncing sounds in isolation.

·         Embedded phonics

Teaching students phonics skills by embedding phonics instruction in text reading, a more implicit approach that relies to some extent on incidental learning.

·         Phonics through spelling

Teaching students to segment words into phonemes and to select letters for those phonemes (i.e., teaching students to spell words phonemically).

·         Synthetic phonics

Teaching students explicitly to convert letters into sounds (phonemes) and then blend the sounds to form recognizable words.

Here we want share with you this video that is about jolly phonics. Jolly phonics is a fun and child centred approach to teaching literacy through synthetic phonics. With actions for each of the 42 letter sounds, the multi-sensory method is very motivating for children and teachers, who can see their students achieve. The letter sounds are split into seven groups as shown below.

Communicative approach

The communicative approach is the theory that language is communication. Therefore the final aim of CLT is communicative competence.

The principles of the communicative approach:

  • Learners learn through using it to communicate.
  • Authentic and meaningful communication should be the goal of classroom activities.
  • Fluency is an important dimension of communication.
  • Communication involves the integration of different language skills.
  • Learning is a process of creative construction and envolves trial and error.
So, what is the teacher's role in this?

The teacher has two main roles:
  • To facilitate the communication process in the classroom.
  • To act as an independent participant within the learning-teaching group.
The teacher is also expected to act as a resource, an organiser of resources, a motivator, a counsellor, a guide, an analyst and a researcher.

In practical terms, what does that mean?

It means that we need to concentrate on the following:

  • Teacher-student activities.
  • Activities.
  • Materials.
Here, we post a video about communicative language teaching:

Monday, January 7, 2013

Foreign Language Anxiety

We have consider important to reflect on the role of anxiety in foreign language teaching.

At first, it is very important to understand the concept of foreign language anxiety:

With other words:

The components of FLA are:

  • Communication apprehension: the fear of communicating in the target language in front of others.
  • Fear of negative evaluation: the worry about how others view the speaker.
  • Test anxiety: consider oral production as a test situation.

We think that the following teacher's interventions can help to reduce this anxiety:

  • Attack negatives thoughts: many anxious students actually provoke their anxiety by setting unreasonable standars for their performance.
  • Students-centered lessons: teachers should take into account if an activity may be embarrassing or anxiety-provoking for students.
  • Create opportunities to discuss anxiaty: it is beneficial to know that other people experience this kind of feelings.

Classroom management

Hi everyone! We have decided to share with you this scheme that summarize the main ideas that involve an effective classroom management.

We consider that Classroom management is very important because students learnng, lesson planning and effective teaching are not possible without effective classroom management. Classroom management and management of students conduct are skills that teachers acquire and hone over time.