Cool Cat Teacher Blog: Why you should set soft goals for your classroom this year

I realise that most of us are just  beginning to enjoy our summer holidays, indeed some  may still be working, but I thought I would share this blog post which should give us something to think about when we start to plan for next year.

http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com.es/2013/07/why-you-should-set-soft-goals-for-your.html

Time to rethink our approach to education?

Earlier this week I was working as an interpreter at a conference about new approaches to education which was being held at my school. The main theme of the conference was the development of critical thinking skills in our students, shifting the focus of the class from simply acquiring knowledge to learning how to process the vast quantity of knowledge which our students are exposed to today. This shift requires us as teachers to move away from the idea that we are the primary knowedge bearer in the classroom, and although this may seem difficult for many of us, in reality it frees us up to work on higher level thinking skills as our students learn to process, filter and apply the information which they acquire outside the classroom.

It also gives us the opportunity to  focus on developing the social skills our students will need in their future professional lives. The fact is that with the ever increasing pace of change today, the best way to prepare our students for their futures is not by giving them specific knowledge, since many will probably work in professions which have not yet been developed. Faced with change, it is better to equip our students with the skills they need to be adaptable enough to take full advantage of what the future has in store for them. This is the chalenge for educators in the 21st Century.

As part of the conference, we were shown a version of this extremely thought-provoking video, which I decided I would share here.

Can English native speakers adapt to a lingua franca world?

Here is an article which discusses the position of the native speaker in an ELF world. A very interesting perspective.

ELFA project

Academia is a world of its own. Linguistic controversies are fought among scholars with little interest from the outside world. There was outrage in response to early propositions that English used as a lingua franca (ELF) should be studied as a legitimate form of English in its own right, and not as perpetually deficient “learner language”. Yet, the ELF world outside kept communicating, and 15-or-so years since the pioneers of ELF research fought their early battles, academics are gradually recognising the uncontroversial and obvious linguistic reality around them.

While academia moves at the speed of, well, academia, I’ve always had more hope for business. English as a lingua franca of business (BELF) is nothing new, and as with academic ELF, there are English native speakers in the mix. How do they adjust to their ELF surroundings? People in business are motivated by money, which motivates efficiency, which motivates doing things…

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6 great things to do while you’re commuting | Teach them English

Here are some great ideas for time management from Adam Simpson. Happy Friday!

http://www.teachthemenglish.com/2010/10/6-great-things-to-do-while-youre-commuting/