Author Topic: Your Most Important Teaching Tool  (Read 7214 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

RebeccaG

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 503
  • Karma: +13/-3
  • Gender: Female
Your Most Important Teaching Tool
« on: April 02, 2005, 11:46:12 PM »
Hello out there to all current and future teachers!

I have been turning over and over in my head the \"things I wished I knew\" before having started teaching and thought a fun thread would be this one... a simple list of your most important teaching tool/resource. Something that you just could not live without.

Let's forget the obvious like a speaking voice... if you were starting all over again and preparing to come to Spain to teach, what one thing (or things) would you have brought with you? Let's hear it from you!

I'll start!  :)  Starting all over again, I would bring current model laptop computer. Ok, I'll admit it, I am a technology freak. My newest is going to class with my PDA where I have audio files recorded on a memory card. I play the files in class using a pair of portable speakers and my PDA. Maybe that's a bit over the top, but it sure beats hauling around a cassette player!  ;)

Before my PDA, I took my laptop from class to class. On my laptop I had all my audio files recorded and could also use it to show a film, powerpoint presentations, play CDs, etc. Of course having the computer at home I use it to access the internet to search for authentic material for use in class... newspaper articles, audio files, music, etc. For me, it's indispensable.

What about the other seasoned teachers out there? What do you use?
PASS IT ON! Has the information on this board been helpful to you? If so, please pass it on! Tell others about the website, share your comments and insights! If we can improve, please tell us!

RebeccaG

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 503
  • Karma: +13/-3
  • Gender: Female
Your Most Important Teaching Tool
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2007, 04:15:31 PM »
OK, I am reviving this thread and making an addition...

Apart from the techno-geek that I can be, I also like having fun in my classes which means that I try to make boring exercises into games and competitions. Using a bit of creativity, you can turn anything into a game or challenge with the following equipment:

a set of dice
play money (i.e. monopoly money)
egg timer

For those who teach in-company, I cut my teeth there, I recommend always going prepared with a dry erase marker (for the whiteboard), a water based marker (for the flipcharts). Invariably you will be stuck in a training room with a flip chart and or whiteboard but no markers...or markers that are dried out. Be prepared!  ;)  
PASS IT ON! Has the information on this board been helpful to you? If so, please pass it on! Tell others about the website, share your comments and insights! If we can improve, please tell us!

SRedw

  • Platinum
  • ******
  • Posts: 250
  • Karma: +14/-4
  • Gender: Male
Your Most Important Teaching Tool
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2007, 01:20:21 AM »
I'll jump in on this one, Rebecca.

a. A book of those cheap crossword puzzles
b. Play food that we had as children
c. A deck of cards
d. Comics from local newspapers
e. Some board games (Monopoly, Candyland, Clue)

Yes, there are many things that we can find in Madrid, but who wants to pay the high price for them?  

Shawn

SRedw

  • Platinum
  • ******
  • Posts: 250
  • Karma: +14/-4
  • Gender: Male
Your Most Important Teaching Tool
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2007, 02:25:54 AM »
One more thing to add that dawned on me today.  I am collecting, in the Richmond-Times Dispatch, little activities called KIPSPOT.  Although they are meant for kids in the US, these actvities can easily be tailored to EFL classes in Spain.

All in all, if you are thinking about coming to Spain, collect these items and they will surely come in handy when you start teaching.

Shawn

RebeccaG

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 503
  • Karma: +13/-3
  • Gender: Female
Re: Your Most Important Teaching Tool
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2008, 04:57:39 PM »
With a whole new group of Language Assistants about to descend upon Spain, I thought I would bring the topic to the forefront once again.

I am in the process of updating materials that I have in my office, which includes board games, books, DVD's, magazines, etc... anything to make the learning more interesting and fun.

I just spent over an hour on Amazon.com looking for new board games to challenge my clients. I was really hoping to find one geared towards businesses, but the best I could do was an updated version of Monopoly which is excellent for developing financial terms and number skills. It is a continual favorite with all of my clients...old and young alike!

A new "tool" that I added to my collection this past year is a ball which I use in my conversation classes and exam prep classes.

Some official exams such as the CAE and FCE require group interaction between the examinees and their ability to start and maintain a conversation. How many of you have engaged in one-sided conversation? Where you were the only one participating.... or could never get a word in edgewise because someone else always drew the conversation to him/herself. Well, I use the ball as a reminder that the students have to "pass" the conversation to someone else in the group. If someone asks them a question, they need to answer it and then return the favor by asking someone else a question and engaging them in conversation.

It's a basic concept but one that is difficult for language learners to deal with as they are struggling with the vocabulary, question formation, etc...they are often too intimidated to continue the conversation and "let the ball drop"... so the ball is a reminder for them not to let it drop.

Any other ideas floating out there?

I love Shawn's idea of the plastic food. That would be especially great when working with the kids!!
PASS IT ON! Has the information on this board been helpful to you? If so, please pass it on! Tell others about the website, share your comments and insights! If we can improve, please tell us!

SRedw

  • Platinum
  • ******
  • Posts: 250
  • Karma: +14/-4
  • Gender: Male
Re: Your Most Important Teaching Tool
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2008, 09:09:39 AM »
Thanks for bringing this topic back.  I, too, was thinking of things that I could use in classes, especially with my little kids, but I have the whole summer to plan for that.

As soon as I have some ideas, I will report back here.

Shawn

Cadiz chica

  • Regular Member
  • **
  • Posts: 19
  • Karma: +2/-0
Re: Your Most Important Teaching Tool
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2009, 02:43:55 AM »
Hi,  I´m currently trawling back through past headings, looking for ideas to help me teach (even!) better, now I´m back in Spain.
It seems such a shame some exceptionally good threads have fallen by the wayside!!
 Now there´s a whole new group of language assistants soon to arrive from the U.S. so, alongside all the threads about their new locations couldn´t we revive this thread and offer some useful tips, to add to those already listed? Certainly, I´ve already added some of those items to my own collection of ´must haves´for teaching purposes!   

My own additional item would be a laminator - I brought a small portable machine complete with plastic sheets of differing sizes with me from England to Spain - it´s proved to be so useful for producing sets of cards for language practice using games, as well as being used to safeguard ´realia´items including postcards, leaflets and tickets

 I´ve made themed sets re. food, sport, places, colours, animals, famous faces, landscapes etc.  I simply cut out magazine pictures or download from the internet suitable images and laminate them, before storing in a portable file -box. The possibilities for use across all four skills - reading, writing, speaking and listening - are endless!

As an occasional ´substitution´teacher, I know I can always improvise a lesson using just one or two of these images, if necessary - I rarely find that the ´regular teacher´s had time to write out a lesson plan for me, in advance of going sick!

´sa luego,
Cadiz chica

Nos vemos - here in Cadiz it´s usually pronounced minus both /s/ sounds!!
Cadiz chica

Expat_teacher

  • Global Moderator
  • ***
  • Posts: 76
  • Karma: +6/-0
Re: Your Most Important Teaching Tool
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2012, 06:19:08 PM »
Rebecca, I am reviving this old thread because I still think it's relevant for today's classrooms.

One thing that I teach is telephone English and telephoning skills. For these classes I always have my mobile phone and a mini voice recorder that has a USB plug. I put the students in two different training rooms, if possible (usually not) or have them sit back to back to simulate the telelphone role play. As the students work through the roleplay, I record their efforts with the mini recorder and then send the audio to them via email in MP3 format so they can review it for their errors, etc. We also review the recordings in class with all the students giving their feedback.

It's always interesting to see how people react to the sound of their recorded voice -- especially when it's in a foreign language!

halydia

  • Guest
Re: Your Most Important Teaching Tool
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2012, 10:12:40 AM »
As a language assistant, I felt like my most important tool was technology.

To show my students my home, I used photos I had uploaded to the internet before coming here.
To play games, we used either interactive online games or game boards I printed out from various websites.
To plan my sessions, I combed the internet for ideas, adapting them to our reality.

I brought a bunch of things over my first year, and they ended up being things that took up a lot of very valuable room in my suitcase. For new arrivals, things like dice and small toys you can almost definitely find in your new towns/cities at one of the ubiquitous dollar store-style stores. I think I've used my maps/brochures/postcards in one lesson over four years. This might be something interesting for private classes.

lemonrob

  • Regular Member
  • **
  • Posts: 1
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: Your Most Important Teaching Tool
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2013, 03:12:28 PM »
I use stories, sometimes my own and others stories i created for teaching special things.

 

Sitemap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18