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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Babylon's Initiative in Support of Bloggers


I've been invited to join this initiative and decided to accept not only because of the valuable opportunity of being awarded a free one-year licence of the translation software but also because of the consideration of bloggers as "the true voice of the Internet". As a teacher of English, I've experienced the benefits of writing posts and of reading my colleagues' articles. The former has given me the chance of reflecting on my teaching practice whereas the latter has contributed a lot to my professional development and to the improvement of my classes.

Babylon points out the relevance of bloggers to foster freedom of speech and I'd like to add that blogging is a great way of communicating one's views to a wide number of readers all around the world.

I'd like to share the link to this initiative for other bloggers to join and enjoy the benefit of trying this helpful tool: Babylon's Initiative.

Monday, March 28, 2011

My Blog As A Word Cloud

I wasn´t able to attend Dave Dodgson´s (@davedogson) presentation at the VRT11 conference but thanks to Cecilia Lemos (@ceciELT), I've been able to learn about it. Cecilia wrote an insightful post in her blog, Box of Chocolates, about Dave's presentation on the use of word clouds in the classroom and accepted Dave's challenge, which she shared in her post. Well, I've accepted joining it and this is the result:


 Wordle: My blog
It's been funny to see the result, which is mainly based on the song I shared "Hey, Soul Sister".
I guess, in a way my messages are directed to my soul sisters (or brothers) among my readers.
"Cecilia" and "Vicky" also appear, my Twitter soul sisters. The word "students" is also highlighted, 
which is suitable as I often have my students in mind and I do my best to motivate them to learn.  
"Learning" stands out and it shows my attitude in life as a life-long learner. "Teacher" is seen several
times and it reflects my inborn vocation. "Languages" and "Challenge" have similar importance in the cloud.
I love languages and learning languages is a challenge.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Are Educators Life-Long Learners?


If we, educators, love teaching then, we love learning as the former
implies the latter. As Vicky Loras (@vickyloras) expressed in one of her latest posts "Number three-What do you believe about
learning?- The 30 Goals Challenge", A good teacher is also a good
learner. Vicky has been writing insightful reflections on The 30 Goals Challenge created by Shelly Terrell (@ShellTerrell), both of whom are colleagues and mentors of mine and I feel thankful to them for being so supportive, personally and professionally.

Many times we forget how a student feels when they start learning a new language and it's difficult to gain insight into the language learning process from scratch. Imagine I started learning English when I was 6 years old and even if I can remember my classes, my memory is not so weak, I don't have any idea as to the way I felt in those times. So as to be able to be in my students' shoes, I've decided to start studying French. When I told my students about it, they looked at me in surprise but I guess it's a good way of showing students that it's never too late to learn a language and that teachers can also be learners. The line between teaching and learning is fragile and movable.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hey, Soul Sister by Train

This is the link to the tasks described in my previous post:


I hope your students enjoy the song.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Song To Welcome My Students


My group classes are about to start and I've prepared a song to
welcome them and to motivate them.

I've chosen: Hey, Soul Sister by the band Train as it offers lots
of possibilities to prepare tasks to develop listening, writing, reading
and speaking skills.

My plan to deal with the song is the following:

1) Introduction of what we're going to do: Name of the song and band.

2) Questions to motivate my students:
Have you heard this song?
If so, do you like it?
If you haven´t, What do you imagine the song is about?

3) I've devised a Glog with information about the band "Train": The Band Train

4) Brainstorming of ideas connected to the phrase "soul sister". There's a link where
the students can read about it: Soul Sister

5) The students watch the video in silence and write ideas that describe what the song is about. After that, they share those ideas in pairs and write a summary of the story.

6) The students watch the video while listening and write words and phrases from the lyrics.

7) Last exercise: listen to the song and insert the missing phrases:
the way you move who's one of my kind be myself now finally
blow your mind I don't want to miss
my heart is bound to beat a single thing you do

that Mr. Mister on the radio the only drug I need
I wouldn't forget you I'm dreaming of I'm so glad
gave my life direction smell of you in every
left side brains


Hey, hey, hey

Your lipstick stains on the front lobe of my …………………………………
I knew ………………………, and so I went and let you blow my mind
Your sweet moon beam, the ………………………single dream I dream
I knew when we collided, you're the one I have decided ……………………
Hey soul sister, ain't …………………………, stereo, the way you move ain't fair, you know!
Hey soul sister, I don't want to miss ………………………….....tonight
Hey, hey,hey
Just in time, …………………..you have a one-track mind like me
You ……………………………, a game show love connection we can't deny
I'm so obsessed, ……………………………….right out my untrimmed chest
I believe in you, like a virgin, you're Madonna, and I'm always gonna wanna …………………………………

Hey soul sister, ain't that Mr. Mister on the radio, stereo, ………………….. ain't fair, you know!
Hey soul sister, ………………………….a single thing you do...tonight
The way you can cut a rug, watching you's ………………………………
You're so gangsta, I'm so thug, you're the only one ……………………..
You see, I can …………………………………, in fact there's nothing I can't be
I want the world to see you be with me

Hey soul sister, ain't that Mr. Mister on the radio, stereo, the way you move ain't fair, you know!
Hey soul sister, I don't want to miss a single thing you do tonight,
Hey soul sister, I don't want to miss a single thing you do...tonight
Hey, hey,hey

Tonight

Hey, hey,hey

Tonight


Students can be encouraged to prepare their own glogs connected to the song as a final step.