Do conversation-driven lessons make any sense? – Part 3

“But, quiet, my fair lady. I shall now tell the tale of the brave Sir Dante. This brave knight travelled great lengths to seek his justice and help his king defeat an evil wizard who had overthrown the king and sent the princess far, far away, to a land where no one had ever returned…

Translating machines and (Language) Teaching

On January 5, 2013, the magazine The Economist published an article on simultaneous translation by computers and one of the first questions it asks readers is How long, then, before automatic simultaneous translation becomes the norm, and all those tedious language lessons at school are declared redundant? The very first thing that sprung to mind…

Where’s the change?

We’ve moved yet one more year into the 21st century. Yet one more year towards the future. ‘Tis not a future with flying cars or the Jetson’s robot maid Rose cleaning your house; no, we haven’t gone that far. However, there’s seems to be no denial we’re in the middle of a very important revolution….

Consumers, reproducers and producers

If there’s one thing that has changed in education with the advent of new technologies and, chiefly, the web 2.0, this has got to be how easy it is now for us to shift from consumers of information to producers of data. There’s absolutely nothing new in this statement, and any report or information sheet…

Recycling and autonomy

Autonomy has become a trending topic in the world of education. To be honest, the way I hear some people talking about it makes me wonder whether this hasn’t always been the case, really. “Oh, I know it! How about trying to make ourselves, teachers, less needed as students progress in their education?” I mean,…

Quick reminder about teaching

Are you sure you’re focusing on what really matters most, or are you going to focus on the smallest part and assume that’s enough? If you think that: TESTING = TEACHING Then you also think: INFORMATION = KNOWLEDGE Which means: TEACHER = INFORMATION SUPPLIER = ENCYCLOPEDIAS & INTERNET SOURCES Which will soon lead to: COMPUTERS…

Dear teacher

” Dear teacher, You once meant the world to me. Among all the people who were there to teach me something, I believe you were the one who had it all figured out. You enticed me with your love for the new, you lured me into a world of learning, but yet, I now feel…

The tipping point or missing the point?

Any teacher that can be replaced by a machine should be! Arthur C. Clarke (1980) Why is it that there’s still such heated berate concerning the use of computers, tablets, smartphones and other gadgets in schools? Those who know how to use such gadgets point out dozens of advantages and benefits for enabling learning. On…

A tale for a change

This post has been cooking for a while now – a long while, to be honest – as I haven’t exactly had the proper state of mind to write recently. However, as I’ve just finished reading Brad’s post on the matter, I decided to finally revisit my thoughts and give it a go. Perhaps something…

Why should we take it so personally (or not?)

On her last blog post, my dear friend Cecília posed a question that may intrigue many teachers out there. Are we indeed that humble so as to concede all merits for learning for the students, and yet be as worried as one can be when a group is not doing so well? Why is it…