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Headway?
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sarasoucie



Joined: 25 Nov 2004
Posts: 8
Location: toronto

PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 4:11 am    Post subject: Headway? Reply with quote

Are most of you in Chile using the “Headway” books? Are most of you using this book as a basis for your class curriculum?……just wondering…….I taught in Spain in 1999 and that was the standard then. I was just wondering if it is the same now in Chile.
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Don Alan



Joined: 11 Dec 2004
Posts: 150
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting question, I hope someone teaching in Santiago will try to answer it.
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Dennis Parish



Joined: 09 Nov 2004
Posts: 18
Location: santiago de chile

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They don't like Headway here because it's British and more difficult to obtain. Almost all schools go for the New Interchange series which, frankly, leaves a lot to be desired but Cambridge has a lot of push here. I try to use Headway anyway and my students love it but the schools are geared towards New Interchange.
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Don Alan



Joined: 11 Dec 2004
Posts: 150
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have used Headway a lot in Spain even for private classes, one to one it can be easily adapted. What book do they use for Business English there?
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eileen



Joined: 15 May 2004
Posts: 71

PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iīve seen Market Leader, First Insights into Business and New Insights into Business. There are likely more, but I donīt do too many business classes, because many of my business classes are actually at Universities. We use New Interchange, and some work with the Letīs Talk series, which is pretty hit or miss. For teens itīs Super Goal and for kiddies itīs Domino. There are some others, but I canīt think of them at the moment.
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moonraven



Joined: 24 Mar 2004
Posts: 3094

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aren't there any teachers in Chile who teach without a textbook?

If not, let me suggest that you give it a try. Your students will be MUCH more interested in learning, and you will develop as a teacher.
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Don Alan



Joined: 11 Dec 2004
Posts: 150
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teaching without a text book would mean a lot more preparation unless you already have a structured course memorized in your head. I know you are a genius moonraven!

An
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moonraven



Joined: 24 Mar 2004
Posts: 3094

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't used a textbook in years, as there are none out there that I am aware of that really speak to the Latin American experience. I believe in student-centered teaching and learning and I put what I believe in practice.

More preparation is required to paint an original painting than to paint by numbers, too. One of the things that you should have received in your teacher training--if, in fact, you had any training--was the orientation towards analysis of structures and how to employ your creativity in the classroom. You also should have learned how to encourage creativity and critical thinking on the part of your students--and, more than anything, how to trust them to be responsible for their learning.

Actually, once you get used to creating a dialog in the classroom instead of following a textbook, you will find that the classroom becomes a real learning environment, where the students are doing most of the work.

You should never have what you call a "structured course" memorized in your head. No group of students is exactly like another group, and they all have diferent interests and needs--which you should be supporting and addressing, not throwing a canned course at them.

Being a genius has nothing to do with creating an exciting learning environment--and I am not claiming to be one, anyway. However, I am a very experienced teacher and a very experienced trainer of teachers--and I can tell you that you will learn more about teaching from your students than you will from a text book!
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Don Alan



Joined: 11 Dec 2004
Posts: 150
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thatīs great Moonraven.

When I say about having a structured course, i refer to having some type of syllabus. I think its important to look at your studentīs needs and then try to meet them. Itīs obvious that you have to have some sort of course plan but at the same time to be flexible and adapt whatever materials you are using. Obviously, for example, if students need to pass English exams they need to cover the syllabus and that requires a degree of discipline.

I donīt have much experience teaching in South America but I did teach in Spain for four years. I used my own ideas and designed my own courses to meet the needs of my pupils, carefully selecting materials from existing text books or creating my own. We all know that text books have good and bad ideas but why not use the good parts. I don't have enough time to write my own text books nor do I presume that those writing them have nothing to offer.

Maybe you donīt have pupils who need to pass exams but if you do its usually necessary to use some type of text book as a base for the lessons.

Havenīt you ever benefitted from a good text book brought to life by a decent teacher?

I'd like to comment here that in my experience of learning Spanish Iīve really benefitted from ' A new reference to modern Spanish grammar' by John Butt. And I am sure many Spanish speakers who learn English are very indebted to the Cambridge books etc.

In an ideal world it would be great just to write poems and smoke the funny stuff where the reality of exams etc didnīt appear, but this isn't a hippy paradise!
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moonraven



Joined: 24 Mar 2004
Posts: 3094

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't appreciate your tone. It would be helpful if you put your attention to improving your teaching skills rather than to insulting my poetry, accusing me of drug use or referring to me as a hippie--which by the way, I never was. Name-calling is a very low form of negative propaganda.

As for exams, I have been designing and teaching TOEFL courses for 10 years now. I have also kept track of student progress in those courses over those same 10 years. The first time I gave a TOEFL course I relied heavily on textbooks for exam preparation, and the final average of my students (after all but 2 dropped out!) was less than 500.

Either I became a lot better teacher or students have become a WHOLE lot smarter since then, as my final student average (using essentially the same program but gradually ditching the texts) over a 5 year period climbed from that less than 500 (493 to be exact) to 698. That means that many of my students scored well over 700--and in fact did better on both the TOEFL and on the U of Michigan Certificate Exam than most of the teachers who were working for me!

Since that five year profile was drawn using the same program at a language school here in Mexico, I have put in place 4 other TOEFL courses in different schools (secondary and university), and even under conditions where there was not a homogenous program in place for students over the course of their English learning, the average exam score has been right around 600.

You may not feel that my student-centered method is effective for exam preparation--the numbers, however, indicate that you are wrong.

Personally, I have never "benefited from a good textbook brought to life by a decent teacher". I am a kinesthetic learner--as are 25% of your students in any group; kinesthetic learners are the least likely to tolerate a textbook approach to any kind of learning. My lack of interest in textbooks as a student--and my insistence on primary sources--did not preventing me from getting a PhD in English with a 4.0 (straight A) average in 1972.

I always create a syllabus for every course I teach. I always end up the course asking the students to evaluate its usefulness (what should be scrapped, what should be added, because nothing should be cast in bronze), and the most consistent evaluative comment by students has been along the lines of the following: "It doesn't matter what the syllabus contains; what matters is the trust we have had with our teacher."

Frankly, I feel that you owe me an apology.
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Don Alan



Joined: 11 Dec 2004
Posts: 150
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First point: I didn't say you personally smoked the funny stuff

Second point: If you have had success thatīs great and I congratulate you. I had success also.

Third point: You should realise that the only person who has done any insulting was you in your previous message when you suggested I didn't have any teacher training. I await your apology. I do have the bits of paper but I believe experience is the most important thing.

Fourth point: I am not here to enter into conflict with people. If you want a fight go to the nearest mirror and fight yourself.

I think you should bear in mind that you are a teacher who has a lot of experience but there are many teachers who need to lean a little on the text books. Also we are all different, your way might be good for you and your personality but you shouldn't presume that its the best way.

The impression I get from your messages is that you think you know it all. The beginning of wisdom is to be humble and to realise how little we really know, that way we learn.
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moonraven



Joined: 24 Mar 2004
Posts: 3094

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no intention of apologizing to you in regard to what I said about
your teacher training--my if clause was neutral, as many EFL/ESL teachers have had no training whatsoever.

If they all arrived at their jobs trained, I and other teacher-trainers would have never had jobs.

You strongly implied that I smoked "funny stuff"--to whom else was your commented directed--Santa Claus? What you have written to me constitutes abusive language on this site.

Teaching is not about doing "what's good for your personality" or for mine: It's about doing what's best for the STUDENTS.

I do not think I know it all. I am learning every day. But I DO know more than you do--not because I am a genius, but because I make educating myself a 24/7 activity--and have done so for 60 years.

If there's anyone who could stand a bit of humility, it's YOU.
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Don Alan



Joined: 11 Dec 2004
Posts: 150
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go to the mirror if you want to keep fighting.
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moonraven



Joined: 24 Mar 2004
Posts: 3094

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know what? You may think you're in primary school, but I am not there with you. It was never my intention to fight--but simply to contribute something from my experience to this thread. (That's what these threads are for.)

You seem to be threatened by that. Probably you have good reason to be. Otherwise you wouldn't have used abusive language and wouldn't have accused me of being a drug user.

That, apparently, is the only firepower you have. Good luck!
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Don Alan



Joined: 11 Dec 2004
Posts: 150
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just got better things to do than argue over nothing.
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