how to teach nowadays
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how to teach nowadays
various opinions and approaches about teaching and learning.
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ABOUT EDUCATION - ABOUT EDUCATION - A Call for Teaching Morals and Ethics in Schools -

ABOUT EDUCATION - ABOUT EDUCATION - A Call for Teaching Morals and Ethics in Schools - | how to teach nowadays |
SHOULD the schools teach morals and ethics and, if so, how? President Reagan and William J.
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Cherish Plagiarism < Richard Olsen's Blog

Cherish Plagiarism < Richard Olsen's Blog | how to teach nowadays |

"At yesterday’s presentation at the QSA Conference I suggested that we should cherish plagiarism, and that over the top concerns about copyright and privacy/cyber bullying are the ugly evil twins trying to stop technology-driven pedagogical transformation. There was pushback from some, and unfortunately we didn’t have time to finish the discussion. So here is why I think plagiarism is fantastic, crucial for learning and should be encouraged and celebrated, and why schools’ obsession with copyright and attributing is so harmful."

Via anna smith
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Response to chapter 11 in Alvermann's book

Response to chapter 11 in Alvermann's book | how to teach nowadays |

I quite agree with some statements in this article, for example: "world of the Internet is a highly democratized world in which one's identity and one's capacity to become whatever one wishes to be are limited only by the conditions of one's access and one's own productive capacity, and not, it seems, by one's social, cultural, economic political, or eduational history."


However, i was a little bit confused by the thesis statement of this article. I know the author wants to talk about the social and cultural reproduce theory and i thought the author would support this theory by offering a wonderful case of six students. Then as i was reading further, i found that the author's real intention was to peruade us that there is possibility for us to avoid this theory.


In addition, in my opinion, social and cultural reproductive theory has its own reasons to exist and i do agree that there is some connections between the level of students' print literacy and technical usage ability, but the thing is that whether the instructional practices as the author described on page 225 is realistic under current situations.

Finally, the author admitted that it is not possible now for schools to open more times and spaces to let students use the Internet and other computer technologies for their own individual purposes and thus educational reform seems to still have a long journey before we finally achieve equality in education.

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Characteristics of an effective program

Characteristics of an effective program | how to teach nowadays |

1. supportive whole-school contexts

2.high expectations for language minority students, as evidenced by active learning environment that are academically challenging

3.intensive staff development programs designed to assist ALL teachers in providing effective instruction to language minority students instructional leaders and teachers

5.emphasis on functional communication between teacher and students and among fellow students

6.organization of the instruction of basic skills and academic content around thematic units

7.frequent student interaction through the use of collaborative learning techniques

8. teachers with a high commitment to the educational success of all their students

9.principals supportive of their instructional staff and of teacher autonomy while maintaining an awareness of district policies on curriculum and academic accountability

10.involvement of majority and minority parents in formal parent support activities


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Building context, text,and disciplinary knowledge

Building context, text,and disciplinary knowledge | how to teach nowadays |

Reading to learn:

1.students need to know something about the topics they will encounter in the text to make connections to the ideas and elaborate their prior understandings.

2.students need to know how to read the conventions that direct the reader through the author's ideas to access different types of texts.

3.students need to know about the customary ways of thinking, and therefore reading, that constitute the practice of science, history, math, and literature.

-arouse schema: give one,get one.

-text knowledge: text schemata, cloze passages.

-word knowledge: survival words

-disciplinary knowledge: motivation and new conceptions of history expository text schema through previewing and graphic organizers content knowledge through extensive reading of multiple texts



Schoenbach et al.: Chapter 6 Building context, and disciplinary knowledge


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Technology doesn't improve education, teachers do

Technology doesn't improve education, teachers do | how to teach nowadays |
There are few technology buzzwords in education that get more attention than One to One or BYOD (Bring Your Own Device).  The desired outcome from each concept...

Via anna smith
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RSA Animate - Changing Education Paradigms

This animate was adapted from a talk given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA's Benjamin...
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The role of translation in students' academic learning

The role of translation in students' academic learning | how to teach nowadays |

     In schools, students' discursive practices they engage in their daily life were largely underestimated and students' rich linguistic ans communicative repertoires are also untapped. Martinez and his colleagues piloted a research showed us that in analyzing students' translation activities, we can help students approach academic skills which they need in schools with meta-linguistic awareness found in translation.

    "Culture modeling tradition (Lee, 1993;1995;2001;2007) offers a different way of linking home and school practices." Martinez's reserach was built upon this model which enable them to identify parellels between the skills envolved in translation and more formal academic literacy skills.

     several strategies shifts were found in analyzing students' translation (writing) works. first of all, researchers realized that students will use different grammar structures to convey their ideas when facing with different audiences; second, the argument structures differed when students were addressing to different people. For example, students usually apply neat, clean and sequentially organized structures in the letter to district officals while in the letter to their friends or classmates, they often envolve more personalized familiarity and informality structures. Third, establing common ground. Students have been aware of the importance of the recognition of each audience's values, beliefs, and worldviews,and thus they will try to create a common ground with them on purpose to better persuade their listeners. Last, the shift in lexicon was the most common strategy employed by students as a way of shifting their voices which means students chose different vocabularies in order to better communicate their opinions to the audiences.


     Martinez,R.A., M.F. Orellana, et al. (2008). "Found in translation: Connecting translating experiences to academic writing." Language Arts 85(6): 421-431.

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Announcement for TESOL articles

Announcement for TESOL articles | how to teach nowadays |

All the articles about TESOL 2012 conference were summarized based upon the Powerpoints of the presenters. Due to the large volume of their names, i did not list them one by one.

If interested, please visit their official website to look for more information.

Thank you.

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Music in teaching!

Music in teaching! | how to teach nowadays |

Music : social activities to create things better

1.language: listening/speaking/reading/writing

2.culture: power/discourse/community of practice skills/cultural meaning/affect /aesthetics/preference

4.individuals: age/background/identification


Karaoke in an adult English Class


2.vocal production

3.phonemic and prosodic elements of pronunciation

4.cultural contexts support learners multiple identities and communities of practice


6.real word possibilities for use


Integrated approach:

1.communicative purpose

2.motivationholistic: using body and expression to integrate pronunciation

3.culturally relevant

4.addresses and builds an effective components of vocal productionverbal

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Jun Liu's advice for those future TESOLers

Jun Liu's advice for those future TESOLers | how to teach nowadays |

Abilities of future TESOLer:


1.make constant and effectie changes

2.learn and speak at least one other language

3.teach less to maximize learningteach English in at least one subject area

4.familiarize oneself with new learning and teaching modes

5.ensure learning outside the classroom

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Electronic device role in learning

Electronic device role in learning | how to teach nowadays |

1.relationship between student and device

-students engage with their devices on a very personal level.

-educational content competes with any and other activity that the student might use the device for.

2.relationship between device and content

-get familiarity with the mediums that students use in their everyday lives.

-content needs to leverage the capabilities of the device

-you would not use a television to display a newspaper-don't try to force print media onto digital devices

3.relationship between technology and environment

-think about what resource needs and environmental pressures

-will your solution to viable in the areas you want to implement it?

-indonesia & facebook

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Learning of foreign languages enhances the brain

Learning of foreign languages enhances the brain | how to teach nowadays |
Learning of a second foreign language is particularly beneficial not only for one’s curriculum but also for the brain, according to a new scientific research.

Via Gust MEES, anna smith
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Condoleezza Rice-a memoir of my extraordinary,ordinary family and me (Part I)

Condoleezza Rice-a memoir of my extraordinary,ordinary family and me (Part I) | how to teach nowadays |

Before she went to the college.


In her memoir, Rice praised highly about the impact her parents have put on her. Born as black, many African-Americans easily became the “victims of their circumstances”; However, her parents were convinced that education was “a kind of armor shielding her against everything-even the deep racism in Birmingham and across America”

“…my parents believed that you could alter that equation through education, hard work, perfectly spoken English, and an appreciation for “finer things”in “their ‘culture’…if you were twice as good as they were, they might not like you but they had to respect you.You should find a place for fulfilling and productive life…”


Her Grandfather worked in a church and supported educational evangelism which compelled him to go to door to door impressing upon parents the importance of education. “His sermons were intellectually sound and biblically based…He was zealously committed to education because he believed that it had transformed him, and he was determined to spread its benefits…”

Rice’s parents respected her from the very early age and this could be shown from the fact that “my parents tried to involve me in family decision making from a very young age”. Her parents’ observance to their family “ritual” which was singing the Mickey Mouse song together was seldom compromised by any kind of things including their business.


Her parents also invested a lot on her music talent development. Children’s interests should be developed at early age and this could be achieved through home-schooling and even playing. Rice learned to play piano when she was very young. Another hobby such as skating was also encouraged later in her life by her parents. Charmin’s Chatty doll taught Rice an early lesson in the fun of being multilingual.Having been home-schooled, Rice did not fall behind other schooled students, instead, it seemed that home-schooled children are cleverer.However, parents should be cautious of whether they had such a strength or not and Rice’s mother was a fabulous English teacher.


Parents’ protection from unhealthy information is also essential in order to assure children’s healthy growing. For example, Rice’s father kept reassuring her mother when Rice was sent to a Santa for gifts. Because that Santa held back black children while put white children on his knees, Rice’s father was angry and successfully let the Santa feel his vibes so that when Rice went forward, the Santa held her.Life for black children was not optimistic and Rice sometimes came across with some behaviors which would hurt her at very young age. Fortunately, her parents knew how to protect her from being emotionally hurt.


Proper interference from parents are necessary. For instance, Rice decided to give up learning chemistry because she just did not have the right chemistry for this endeavor; however, her mother responded her with “you are not old enough or good enough to make that decision. When you are, you can quit.” Be aware of this kind of interference because if not being used appropriately, children will be severely hurt.

In terms of choosing school, Rice’s parents were meticulous because they had to consider the social and academic competence of their child so that Rice would not be frustrated by any disadvantages.However, sometimes parents’ urgent expectation would not produce good results. Through her academic study life, Rice’s parents set in motion events that challenged her to grow up very fast. So when she entered college, she was only 16. I think pushing children to grow up is not something helpful and i would rather recommend that kids grow up regularly together with the development of their abilities.


“we love you and will give you everything we can to help you succeed. But there are no excuses and there is no place for victims.”

Rice showed enough confidence when she was young and this was benefit from her parents’ proper reassurance. For example, after she found her mother was trying to put one Easter egg in her basket so that she would not be embarrassed by the failure, she responded with rejection because “I am smart enough to find a stupid egg if i want to…”Another example is that when she was about to take the audition, she felt very nervous about whether she could be twice as good and her parents’ words “you are indeed twice as good” encouraged her to a large extent.


Learning to challenge the authority and further exploring things were also what Rice was taught.”i was never told to simply accept anything on the face of it, and my constant questions were always engaged…”Her father’s personality also influenced Rice at this regard due to her father’s love to make people uncomfortable by testing the limits of their intellectual tolerance.


Failures and unpleasant incidents are necessary for a child’s growing. Rice was challenged by St. Mary’s principle because of her relative poor achievements. However, she did not become self-doubt by this incidence because her parents’ affirmation has shielded her and help built her own sense of self-developed. In addition, failure could act as a good teacher for her to understand “practicing eight hours a day will not produce the same result as practicing one hour a day for eight days”. Rice’s parents also made mistakes and one of them would be the procrastination problem. She gave an example of her assignment which should be finished before Monday, but she totally forgot. At last, her parents help her together finish the assignment so that she was not punished by teachers; however, this gives her a sense of dependence on her parents’ assistance with homework. She admitted that if her parents had not help her with that and instead let her face the problem, then she would not develop procrastination problem because she learned a lesson by herself.

(to be continued…)

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Freeland for talking

Freeland for talking | how to teach nowadays |

Scoopit is awesome and i really love it! i will explore more web 2.0 tools to keep track of my professional learning~For example: Edublogs!

I plan to use it during next semester and i won'd discard Scoopit!!

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For Keith S. Folse-a humorous but enlightened speaker about grammar

For Keith S. Folse-a humorous but enlightened speaker about grammar | how to teach nowadays |

I heard his presentation about how to teach English grammar to ELLs when i was attending the 2012 TESOL conference. He impressed me a lot by humorous speaking and enlightened thoughts. Recently i received a book written by him called-Keys to teaching grammar to English Language Learners.

Some of his words really inspired me:

"Untrained native speakers are not in any way prepared to teach their language to a non-native speaker. The fact that you may be a native speaker of English does not automatically or remotely qualify you to be a good ESL teacher...It requires detailed knowledge of ESL grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and cross-cultural issues..."

"All languages-including English-have patterns of usage, and those patterns are what make up the grammar of that language. In fact, that is what grammar is-the systematic patterns of any language."

Indeed, grammar is often regarded as minor importance when i interacted with some native speaker in China and their reasons of saying so was that "as long as you can make yourself understand by them, that's fine." For me, grammar is not something i like when i first knew English because it suffered me a lot. But as i know grammar more and more, i found that without grammar, you will be doomed.



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Features that made English hard to learn

Features that made English hard to learn | how to teach nowadays |

Features that made English difficult to learn




Syllable structure

Unstressed vowels

Stress timing

Connected speech




Functions of auxiliaries

Modal verbs



Phrasal verbs

Word derivation

Size of lexicon


4.Differences between spoken and written English



5.Varieties of English

The lack of a uniform international standard for the language poses some barriers to meeting that goal

Basic Global English

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response 10-science classroom identities

response 10-science classroom identities | how to teach nowadays |

I was overwhelmed by the detailed explanation in this article. It is true that different academic disciplinary identities are needed and students all bring in their personal identities before they come into separate classrooms. How to reconcile the contradictions or how to better utilize the harmony became essential in order to let students be successful.

However, i was a little bit irritated by the two girls' stories. Carolyn was regarded as not serious enough merely because her teacher judged on her based upon the conversation segments and behavior he heard and saw. Heather was not encouraged to go to the honor class by her teacher although she has done well simply due to that she did not correspond with her teacher's values upon chemistry.

I was confused that why teachers in this article have to put strict standard on their students regardless of students' actual learning results? I mean different student has different learning styles which may be not fit that well into the values of their teachers. In my perspective, biology is an interesting subject and group activities are necessary in order to better digest the content. You cannot say a student is not active simply because she/he observes a lot while act less. How to define “cooperative” and “active”? She observed carefully and sometimes even gave some suggestions but were neglected by other team members. Carolyn has her own ambition and she does not hate biology. It’s just because she may be into another learning style other than cooperation work which happened to her teacher’s preference.

Heather, on the other hand, was not recognized by her teacher because of her explicitly words “this class is stupid”. She is fond of solitary reflections and taking notes rather than addressing the importance of organization which was favored by her teacher. I cannot deny the impact of that accident but as long as she could do chemistry well even though she cannot tell the reason of some chemistry principles. Because of the discordance between Heather and her teacher’s styles, some of her advanced learning may be compromised. Student’s need cannot be responded by teacher while the teacher cannot understand student so that student cannot be motivated to think more. Finally the teacher thought this student had trouble with building self-questioning identity. the whole process is interlinked with each cause and result.

I acknowledge the author’s claim that the relationships between teacher and student as well as that between student and student are critical in the success of a student. We do need to provide multiple participant structures to satisfy students’ various needs. As teachers, we want our students to success so their voices should be listened. Instead of addressing a frigid standard line for students to observe, teachers should be open-minded and flexible in order to realize that students may need different guidance. After all, their ultimate goal to be successful does not conflict with yours.

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Discussion about the research i was in

Discussion about the research i was in | how to teach nowadays |

   There are two branches in the whole research project: control and text. The control team where i was in mainly deal with the issues in levels of word and sentence. We tried to make students feel special by offering the lessons about Frederick Douglass. No deep structures were discussed because we wanted students to be involved with the authentic text through working with writing.

   While in the text team, people focused on the specific aspects like 4ps. Students need to identify themselves by comparing, contrasting and linking their own experiences.

Writing is a bridge to better understand the content. The whole research project was designed to help students to first select the information, then organize them, and next manipulate them and finally personalize the information in their own ways. The procedure here was based upon the structure principles of educational psychology which is helpful in analyzing the detailed effects of writing. The content will be more memorable if you personalize them.

    Students reflect their own experiences about 4ps in their own life and when they were reading Frederick’s story about how he finally overcame the difficulties in his life, students could think of their own.

Interestingly, students in the text team created posts about the topic while in the control team, they did not.

    We are still waiting for the results to come out.

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CALLA Model-one of the presentations i have heard during TESOL conference

CALLA Model-one of the presentations i have heard during TESOL conference | how to teach nowadays |
The Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach is a method of teaching through instruction in academic language, content, and learning strategies...
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The most impressive music lesson I have ever watched! The PS22 Chorus, featuring the one and only Denise on lead vocals, smash Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" out of the park!! LOVIN...

Via anna smith
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Teaching listening skills

Teaching listening skills | how to teach nowadays |

What makes listening a tough task?

Vocabulary used in speech and written format :



Phrasal verbs:

go in/enter


Modals and semi-modals:

have to/must


Oral discourse makers:

So/but/and… I mean… ok…gonna/wanna


-Pronunciation training:

students who are taught about English prosodic patterns often report improved understanding of speech on TV, in movies, and in face-to-face conversation (Gilbert 2008, p6)

word level:

oral Vs. written formstressed (and unstressed) syllablesword endings


sentence level:

1.contradictions and linking in connected speech (a couple of times)sentence thythm and intonation

2.thought groups, focus words, contrastive stress



-Texts for listening practice based on authentic communicative events:

1.conversations, talks, interviews: recount-retell events or incidents from the past, describing them in chronological order and reflecting on their significance for their listeners

2.stories, tales, narratives: story-telling-tell a story formally or informally by explaining the setting, the characters’ actions and motives, a problem or crisis they are involved in and how it is eventually resolved

3.commentaries, explanations, instructions, demonstrations: language-in-action: talk about an action as it takes place to provide greater clarity for their listeners or add a dramatic effect to an event.


-Extensive listening:

1.peer listeningtask

2.facilitated independent listening

3.listening buddies

4.authentic interview


-How to help students recognize words?

1.Development of sound perception and word segmentation skills

2.Choosing texts with spoken language

3.Brief discussion of the research

4.Methodology for development of sound perception

5.Activities for sound perception skills


-A meta-cognitive approach:

1.explore person knowledge

2.enrich task knowledge

3.examine strategy knowledge

4.enhance strategy use

5.explore the process of listening


Explore the process of listening

In class:

1.develop a sequence of process-based listening activities

2.combine listening tasks with meta-cognitive activities


Outside the class:

1.offer scaffolding and support for extensive listening activities

2.self-directed listening


-Multimedia facilitate L2 listening development:

1.Visual component can facilitate comprehension

2.The role and use of subtitles/captions in listening development

3.The usefulness of support options

4.Best use multi-media to develop L2 listening

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Minding language (incompleted version)

Minding language (incompleted version) | how to teach nowadays |

the focus is on learning: people learn by making and exchanging meaning (M.A.K. halliday)

how do you mean and how does language as a meaning-making resuource fit into the various ways of meaning-making?


minding language

knowledge about language suited to the challenges of the bilingual turn; specifying a meta-awareness about language for “talk about language”; understanding how knowledge in the disciplines and professions is shaped in and through and with language


minding language

two questions touch on the notion of “a grammar” in an English and literacy classroom in a fundamental way.

what is it that someone-whether teacher or student learner-in an English and literacy classroom needs to know?What are the social characteristics of those who are in the classroom, and above all, who are the students/learners?

The first question is concerned with what the “content” of that grammar might be. The second, more profound in its implications, asks whether traditional notions of grammar can contribute to be used when the social environment is such that conventions around representation no longer “hold”; when student learners assume to themselves notions of agency which undercut the power relations and forms of authority on which notions of grammar have traditionally been based.


minding language

toward a functional theory of language

language is what it is because of what it does, which means, of what we do with it.Language is a resource for creating meaning…a meaning potential…The context for the meaning potential-for language as a system-is the context of cultureThe context for the participating instance-for language as processes of texts-is the context of situation

linking context and wording


in terms of three meta-functions of language

ideational-field construes our experience in the world in terms of meaning

interpersonal-tenor enacts social roles and relationships

textual-mode refers to diverse textual features that present the construed and enacted meaning ad a flow of information in oral and written texts


minding language

toward a meta-awareness about language through genre.

Genre: staged, goal-oriented, social activity types

Staged: more than one meaning phase to work through

Goal-oriented: unfolding phase toward meeting expectations

Social activity: occur in social settings and are interactively undertaken

The moves of genres-obligatory and optional

Story genres: abstract, orientation, complication, evaluation, resolution (Labov and Waletzky)

Macro-genres, micro-geners. E.g. letters

Primarily oral genres, primarily written genres

The genre of education. The genres of literature, the genres of public life and the professions lead to blurred genres. E.g. infomercials

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