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I agreed to teach in Russia, but it's looking sketchy
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1831

PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you go to Google and enter something like
TEFL present perfect simple vs present perfect continuous
then you will usually find 5 or 6 takes on the subject by practitioners such as 'Grammar Girl'.
If you prefer a volume, then get Parrott's Grammar for English Language Teachers. (A bit heavy for taking abroad, however.)
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expatella_girl



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 216
Location: somewhere out there

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think teaching is a gift. A gift I do not possess. And it's not just technical knowledge nuts-and-bolts stuff.

If I think about effective teachers I've had, I suppose they've all had some traits in common--

~They were entertainers. They captured my attention with their wit and antics and expertise. I was captivated by their lessons and their energy.

~They were extroverts. The best teachers always inhabit some characteristics of the class clown + the local politician.

~They had a passion for communicating and illustrating the lesson, whatever it may be. Whenever I've found a good teacher, I've taken every class they offer no matter what the subject. A good teacher can teach anything. It's kind of like being a salesman in a way.

~they were a good judge of the student and the student's abilities. Perceptive of their audience you might say.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1831

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't disagree with anything you've said, Expatella Girl (except possibly your self-assessment). However, lesson preparation and gradually getting to grips with the nuts and bolts of the grammar is also necessary. For a while, charisma carried me through, but I was still more effective when I knew things like 'continuous tenses' don't go with 'state' (e.g. love) unless you advertise for MacDonalds.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9031
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm. I'm not too sure about this, Expatella_girl. Yes, effective teaching is largely based on natural talent, I think - and some people just do not have it. Charisma, rapport certainly help. But 'antics', 'class clown', even 'entertainers', are not what I would say constitute this mysterious x-factor that is natural teaching ability.

Not to mention a firm grounding in dialectical materialism!
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expatella_girl



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 216
Location: somewhere out there

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie wrote:


Not to mention a firm grounding in dialectical materialism!


"dialectical materialism?"

--Googling furiously--

My god it really does exist and has a definition. Sasha, you floor me. I thought it was made up carp!

(Unfortunately after two sentences from Wikipedia about Marx & Engalism my eyes have already crossed and glazed over)

Reduce it to something comprehensible. You can't expect me to plow through something as obtuse as that Wikipedia page. Really.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialectical_materialism

Get outta here. If I still have the stamina I'll try to read it tomorrow. Hopefully it has something to do with teaching effectively? Wink Whatever it is......

You people are something.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9373
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been teaching European students for over 15 years, including a heavy mix of Russians (currently about 50% of our student body).
I'm considered a pretty effective teacher, according to over a decade of student evaluations.....

I think expatella girl is mixing language learning and content lecturing - two different beasts entirely!

In language learning, we want the learners to actively work throughout the lessons. Their active involvement is how language is learned and practiced.

Entertainment is NOT necessary (at least not often, when teaching European adults). Clear relevance of what you're trying to do IS - this is about motivation.

I'm not an extrovert by any means. Lessons are build around what the students do - they are the ones on the stage in my classes - though I may highlight/contextualize, etc occasionally. What you are calling illustrating the lesson, I think.

But any lesson that becomes THE TEACHER SHOW is not an effective LANGUAGE lesson.

The entertainer approach works ok in content lectures - if you're listening to an economist speak, for example, of course you'd prefer to listen to an entertaining speaker.

But language learning is not meant to be Teacher on the Stage, and the students are not an audience; it's the students who need to do much/most of the work.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1831

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, if one overdoes it, the students do not do enough work, especially talking, themselves.

Dialectic materialism: in the dialectic, human affairs develop as thesis, antithesis and synthesis.
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teacher X



Joined: 13 Feb 2013
Posts: 148
Location: Super Sovietsky Apartment Box 918

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadly, I have a couple of teenager classes which have to become the TEACHER SHOW due to their complete refusal to interact in any productive manner.
Today they completely refused to do any activities which involved grammar or writing. So I attempted to get a discussion going, which managed to gain the involvement of 40% of the class.
It was only when I completely gave up trying to teach them anything and started telling them about my drunken exploits and the humorous consequences that I managed to gain their full attention. It's times like this that my ability to entertain like a stupid clown comes in useful.

But you get this with teenagers. They refuse to do any homework, turn up to only half the classes (and then wonder why they fail the tests) and generally cause me to lose the will to live.
You have no idea how many different ways I have tried to 'trick' them into learning English. Ahaha, sometimes it's successful and they don't realise that they have learnt some grammar. Other times (like today) I fail miserably.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1831

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the reality check. Yes, sometimes teenagers can be awful.

At times, you can use the 'consequences' game. You wait until you have their considered attention and tell them, look your folks pay for this and they are going to be very very nonplussed at finding that at the end of the year, their supposedly clever son/daughter/gendertransferred kid is going to fail his test. Perhaps an early warning to ma/pa now might save said ancestors some money.
(I.e. scare the daylights out of the little so and sos, then be hard for a lesson or two and then maybe agree to lighten their lives with some fun activities to follow, and only to follow, useful work.)
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9031
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

File a full report with their immediate supervisor. Have parents fully involved. Make sure the little cretins know this is happening. Use moral force to subdue them, backed up by real threats of having individuals expelled.

Acting the clown is not going to help. No more than trying to be their friend would.

Again, the answers lie in dialectical materialism...
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1831

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does that include time in a camp?
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9031
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just in summer Very Happy
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teacher X



Joined: 13 Feb 2013
Posts: 148
Location: Super Sovietsky Apartment Box 918

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie wrote:
File a full report with their immediate supervisor. Have parents fully involved. Make sure the little cretins know this is happening. Use moral force to subdue them, backed up by real threats of having individuals expelled.

Acting the clown is not going to help. No more than trying to be their friend would.

Again, the answers lie in dialectical materialism...


Wow, you must live in an ideal world. I have never worked anywhere in which such a thing would happen.

1. The parents use school to get the kids to *beep* off for a few hours every evening.

2. It's a business, not a public school. Nobody gets expelled unless they attempt to kill the teacher.

I am not the first teacher to teach them. They have been coming for several years. The parents are generally informed of their kids being a pain in the ass every 6 months. The parents know that their kids are little shits, which is why they are happy to pay us to keep them for 6 hours each week.
We are more than happy to take the money of the parents.
It's also nice to know that I'm not the only teacher who finds them to be a complete waste of breath. Teachers who are much better than I have also found them to be generally unteachable. Their previous teacher occasionally took a newspaper into the lesson and would read when he gave up trying to teach them.

You see, the parents are happy because their kids have gone. The school is happy because they have money. The teenagers are teenagers and therefore generally apathetic towards all things.
The only person who has any issues is me and I'm probably the least important aspect of the entire equation.

Next week is Christmas (at least it would be if I were not in Russia and didn't have to work) so I have told them that next week is "I don't give a shit about teaching you week".
They were very understanding and were extremely enthusiastic when I told them that for the entire 3 hour lesson we would be watching DVDs while I eat chocolate.

Sometimes...sometimes, the fact that neither the parents nor the school care can work out to my benefit.
'Scrooged' with Bill Murray is a great Christmas film, so I think we'll watch that. I'll put on English subtitles so that I can pass it off as a reading and listening comprehension exercise.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9031
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where on earth do you teach, Teacher X?
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9031
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

expatella_girl wrote:
Sashadroogie wrote:


Not to mention a firm grounding in dialectical materialism!


"dialectical materialism?"

--Googling furiously--

My god it really does exist and has a definition. Sasha, you floor me. I thought it was made up carp!

(Unfortunately after two sentences from Wikipedia about Marx & Engalism my eyes have already crossed and glazed over)

Reduce it to something comprehensible. You can't expect me to plow through something as obtuse as that Wikipedia page. Really.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialectical_materialism

Get outta here. If I still have the stamina I'll try to read it tomorrow. Hopefully it has something to do with teaching effectively? Wink Whatever it is......

You people are something.


Dear respected Expatella_girl

It has come to the Party's attention that you may be labouring in the darkness, unaware of the glories perfected by the great Marx and Lenin. Therefore, we would like to invite you to a series of "Dia-Mat" lectures. There is no fee, but attendance is compulsory, as is the oral test afterwards.


With Communist greetings!

Sasha
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