Overall many or most schools have not kept pace. In fact, they are in most cases far behind the times.
I am not talking about simply having smart boards or tablets. Having these things just to have them doesn’t mean you are keeping pace.
I mean I have seen a lot of teachers trying to incorporate something involving technology just so that they can tick the box off that they have indeed done something.
That is absolutely the wrong approach.
In the ESL/EFL world there are some great apps and sites that are one time, occasional or skill specific solutions.
Though I am obviously a fan of our software and think it’s fun and intuitive UI, UX and overall tools and resources are a incredible I am also very curious… what do you use?
Kenta was an upper intermediate student.
He had an extremely high vocabulary with very accurate sentence structure and grammar.
He was also able to recognize when he made a mistake and consistently self-corrected.
His delivery … well that was another thing altogether.
Kenta’s fluency was the one thing that made him sound like a beginner particularly if you never knew him or had only taught him once or twice.
He had all the skills in the world but struggled to express his thoughts and deliver them fluently. He had his own opinions and ideas but just couldn’t put them all together.
Fluency is a skill that can be worked on and improved with a variety of drills and exercises.
There are also a number of reasons why students are very high level (vocabulary, grammar and comprehension) but cannot clearly deliver what they want to say.
Sometimes it is a matter of being shy and introverted and as a result afraid to make a mistake and reluctant to speak.
Other times students are trying to translate the words from their mother tongue into English.
Of course there are other reasons as well.
One of many methods that have been very effective for me is using our flashcards. That is actually the primary reason that they were developed; to get shy students speaking.
It’s pretty simple really.
Choose a flashcard or sequence of flashcards.
First get your student to brainstorm words that they associate with the picture.
After creating a list elicit synonyms and antonyms (where possible) from the words that the student came up with.
Ask them to use every word that they brainstormed (including the ones that you elicited synonyms and antonyms)
*Give students a few moments to think about their story. Depending on what skills you want to work on this can also be a writing exercise.
I have watched students improve considerably from doing this exercise over and over. From beginner to advanced it will help develop a number of skills.
Give it a try!
Just like many things in life, good things come to those who wait.
And that definitely is the case with the software that we have been hard at work developing over the last 6 years.
We love teaching and we are crazy about technology.
We would rather spend our time teaching what we know students need than wasting time guessing.
We make looking at and analyzing data easy, effective and fun. Not confusing and dull.
We have combined our favorite things to make teachers, students, administrator’s and school owner’s lives easier and more productive.
Don’t get me wrong. We aren’t finished and we still have a long way to go. This is just the beginning.
The traditional classroom has arguably been one of the slowest things to adapt and progress with technology.
Over the last 5 years especially I have heard numerous stories how many schools in Japan and all over the world are equipping students with tablets and computers with the very false assumption that this will in and of itself revolutionize the classroom.
NOTHING could be further from the truth. And I am not even sure it’s a step in the right direction.
Without a sound platform teachers and students alike will be left uninspired and at a loss.
Enter Pocket Passport.
We are confident that our tools and resources will make all aspects of teaching and learning more effective, efficient and fun.
We look forward to continuously adding tools that match the times.
Follow this blog if you are looking for ways to make a difference in the classroom. We will be sharing tips, thoughts and insights into how to effectively incorporate technology in the classroom.
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