Thank you my little princesses

30th July 2022

We just finished an extra, four-week summer school, which meant working from 8.30 – 10.30, then coming back for two evening classes, 17.10 – 21.00. This schedule, for all of us, was exhausting.

However on my last day, three girls gave me some presents: two notebooks and some chewy sweets. The sweets soon went the way of all flesh, but I will use the notebooks for ideas, songs and lyrics.

Thank you so much. A teacher NEVER forgets any gift from a student.

“Because it’s my nature.”

2nd June 2022

The fable of the frog and the scorpion

One day a scorpion was out walking when it came to a river. The scorpion, who couldn’t swim, wanted to cross the river, and saw a frog resting on a stone.

“Hello, frog, can you carry me to the other side ? I can ride on your back.”

The frog refused.

“You are a scorpion. You will sting me.”

“Why would I do that ? We would both die,” asked the scorpion.

The frog thought, then agreed. The scorpion climbed onto the frog’s back.

However, half way across the river, the scorpion stung the frog. The frog, in pain, asked the scorpion,

“Why did you do that ? Now we will both die.”

“I know,” replied the scorpion, “I couldn’t help it because it’s my nature.”

A modern day tale

Classes of students who are undisciplined, disrespectful and physically or verbally abusive.

The centre makes rules. The students start each lesson reciting them.

Rules such as not saying, “No,” to a teacher when asked to do something, not calling a teacher by a disrespectful name, no running, no eating in class.

Yet, forty minutes later, masks are off and half the class are eating, running in the halls, shouting. Students say, “No,” to polite requests, and call teachers disrespectful names.

They have been told if they break these new rules, they will be sent home, and if the offense is repeated, they will be expelled. Still they continue.

Why … because it’s in their nature.

Mr Orson Welles in ‘Mr Arkadin’ 1955

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

Young Teens: Three British Legends

13th May 2022

Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, UK

You have read about three famous people from British history.

Question 1: Who are they ?

Here is a short video about Robin Hood.

Watch it twice, the second time write down any words you don’t know. I want at least five words.

Question 2: Returning to our three famous people, who was real, who was based on a real ruler and who is maybe only a legend?

Question 3: Match the pictures with the legends. EXAMPLE:

Sir Lancelot is part of the King Arthur legend.

Now … Your turn

Picture 1 is Friar Tuck

Picture 2 is Black Bess

Picture 3 is the sword Excalibur

Picture 4 is Maid Marion

Picture 5 is the Green Man Pub in London

Picture 6 is Sherwood Forest, Nottingham

Picture 7 is Camelot Castle

Creative Time – which character do you like most ? Which one would YOU like to be ? Alternately, tell me about someone from YOUR country’s history.

Write a short story, and feel free to draw and colour. You may make a comic book, if you like. If you can’t draw, no problem, just write.

Vocabulary bank:

brave / cheerful / cruel / dangerous / disrespectful / greedy / honest / intelligent / legendary / loyal / punish / ruler / ubiquitous /

extremely / amazingly / unbelievably

I wish I could be … // In my dream, I would be …

Goodbye from Robin Hood

Answers

1 – King Arthur / Robin Hood / Dick Turpin

2 – King Arthur was based on a ruler but probably a Duke, not a King. Dick Turpin was real, while we are still not sure if Robin Hood was real.

3 – Robin Hood / Dick Turpin / King Arthur / Robin Hood / Dick Turpin / Robin Hood

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

Zoom Rules Revisited

11th September 2021

A polite note for your consideration

The employer is responsible for providing a safe working environment for staff.

In the physical workspace, the teacher should not be physically or verbally harmed in any way.

Kicking, hitting, being jumped on etc are unacceptable, and the offender needs to be punished.

In the online workspace, the teacher should not be expected to work with an unreasonable amount of background noise.

TAs and senior staff need to be more proactive in both recognising and addressing these problems.

The situation is clearly very stressful for all involved.

Let’s work together and make classes a fun, happy and, most importantly, appropriate place for learning.

Suggestions:

Any student in a noisy environment should have their mic muted.

Any student who interrupts the class on a regular basis will be placed in the Waiting Room. Repetition of the offense will result in the student being barred from the class.

Postscript

I have happy to report that my centre has taken action, and changes were implemented within a few hours of this posting. My Manager is pretty amazing that way – your help and input can not be overstated. Thank you.

Lockdown Lessons: A respectful reminder.

11th February 2021

Image result for online learning

Firstly, may I wish you all …

Image result for i/en|chuc mung nam moi 2021

Due to the return of COVID to Sai Gon, schools and language centres have been closed down, and online classes have restarted.

A big shout out to the staff at my centre. Instead of taking things easy in the build up to Tet, and enjoying time with their family, they had to work all hours to prepare for the change to distance learning.

To make these lessons work, we need students, and their parents, to follow these simple rules:

Respect your teacher and your teacher will respect you

tôn trọng giáo viên của bạn

You HAVE TO turn on your camera. If your camera is not working, you HAVE TO inform the centre.

Answer your teacher when you are asked a question.

Please control your background noise. No music, computer games or talking. Try to find somewhere quiet for the class.

Let’s work together and make the best of this situation and hopefully, we can all meet at the school in the near future.

Stay safe, stay well

To my IELTS students: An open blog.

14th January 2021

International Students Should Switch Off Phone During Classroom -  FreeEducator.com

I met an old class on Tuesday for a speaking test, and one of the students asked me why I stopped taking that class. I thought the reasons were pretty obvious, however if you really need me to explain, how about these:

I was absolutely sick of one of the students sitting directly in front of me, ignoring everything I said because she (yes, you all know who she is) was too busy on her phone, even bringing in a power-bank to make sure she had enough battery for three hours.

‘Student’ Care have mentioned this to her, and once even sent a representative to the class to tell her to stop. It had NO EFFECT; she continued using the phone each and every lesson.

I stopped calling on her to answer in class, as I only ever saw the top of her head. No doubt someone had posted a picture of a coffee or a cat to which she absolutely had to react, immediately, or risk losing a ‘friend’ that she probably hasn’t even met.

During the test I asked her to explain the centre rules, which she totally agreed with … in theory. I followed this with asking why she broke the rules. She replied that she, “Was bored.” She claimed that she was unaware that such behaviour was disrespectful.

Furthermore, I realised that with one exception, nobody was learning anything more; the class seemed happy at their level, and were not making any effort to expand their knowledge. Every lesson I stressed the importance of pronunciation features. I didn’t detect even 1% improvement, nor even the desire to improve.

Well, how did that work out for you in the speaking test ? Not so great, hey ?

Finally, I set a ‘test’ in my last two classes with you. Remember ? I gave you speaking practice then, instead of walking up and down monitoring your activity, I treated you like responsible adults. Instead of working, out came the mobile phones and English was replaced by the less than euphonic sound of the Vietnamese language.

Previously, I had given students one-to-one help. Instead of being thanked for this individual guidance, I was greeted with, “Me, again ? I spoke to you last week.”

I hope that answers your question.

Moving onwards or downwards, my Wednesday class. Talk about laid-back, I need to check if they still have a pulse.

Bored Of Education: Students' Feelings Towards High School Mostly Negative,  Study Finds

I’ve dispensed with social pleasantries such as, “How are you ?” as I was receiving answers such as, “I’m tired,” or “I’m exhausted.” Just what a teacher wants to hear before a three-hour class.

DRINK SOME GODDAMN COFFEE

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I made it perfectly clear, in the first lesson, that I am NOT here to entertain you. YOU are here to pass IELTS, which is a hard subject and requires active participation on your part. This means SPEAKING.

If your teacher asks you a question, damn well answer

Answer loudly and clearly, not just mumble begrudgingly. I told you last night, I am here to help you, I am not the enemy. If you refuse to speak or practice you are only hurting your own prospects.

At least last night, one of the ‘students’ admitted that she lacked energy or enthusiasm but, the punchline … she wants to be an English teacher.

65+ Are You Serious Memes That You Can Relate To - GEEKS ON COFFEE

Now we come to tonight’s class, which contains three young men.

Your behaviour over the last weeks has been unacceptable. This is a Cambridge IELTS class, not a Beer Club, certainly not a Kid’s class.

So, here are the rules:

NO SHOUTING IN THE CLASSROOM

SPEAK ENGLISH

NO CALLING OUT STUPID ANSWERS

LEARN THE NEW VOCABULARY – YOU WILL NEED IT TO PASS

NO FIGHTING IN THE CLASS – YES, I ACTUALLY HAVE TO WRITE THIS

Not too much to ask or to expect.

If you do not comply, I will stop the lesson and refuse to teach your sorry asses

I will not let you schmucks ruin an otherwise lovely class

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“My way or the highway.”

iTalk Lesson Structure: What to expect

7th August 2020

For my iTalk customers, there have been some changes to the lesson structures.

The lessons will focus on vocabulary and pronunciation. We want you to sound like a native-speaker and that means hard work.

From now, the lesson will be arranged as follows:

A quick warm up to practise recent phrases or vocabulary, and to pass the time until all the students arrive.

This will be a chance for you to do some extended talking to develop sentence-building skills, incorporate idioms, expressions and prepare yourself for a speaking lesson.

The main lesson will be the handout ONLY.

Firstly you will learn new vocabulary and practice:

pronunciation, stress and intonation

Next there is usually some listening so you can hear native speakers use these words. The recording will be played two or three times for you to hear and copy.

Next up is the main language of this lesson. You will repeat these expressions several times and test each other. During this time, the teacher will listen and give guidance.

The idea is for you to sound like a native-speaker. You will ONLY achieve that by practice and practice.

Finally, the remainder of the lesson is for YOU to practice using the language, in various scenarios. I recommend changing speaking partners. Practice means repeating and improving.

Practice does NOT MEAN saying the text once, as quickly as possible, then declaring, “Teacher, finished !”

The teacher is here to help YOU learn.

We are not here to entertain you.

I will not tolerate any sarcasm, rudeness, insults or disrespect.

In the event that I have been insulted or disrespected, I shall end the lesson and you can answer for your actions to the management

I do not plan these lessons – it is just my job to deliver them and help your pronunciation

YOU chose the lesson … if you are bored, that is not my problem. This is a language school not an entertainment centre.