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THEEDUCATIONALIST ACT-ELC MAGAZINE

FEATURES:

WHAT’S UP WITH THE SAC? Things to remember…. Lets Cerebrate ??? ARABO-LINGO...

DECEMBER

2012

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The SAC… page 8

ACT-ELC’S VISION

Classroom Blogging… page 3 Things to remember...page 10 Cerebrations … page 12… Useful info…. Page 17 Moodle uploading [reprint]… page 18 Teaching ...yoga… page 32 Arabo-Lingo ...page 35 Sayings of Muhammad…. Page 36

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TEAM BUILDING SKILLS TEAM BUILDING SKILLS Issue 1 / ACT-ELC EDUCATIONALIST 4


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For more information see http://www.onlineuniversities.com

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S

elf Access

WHAT GOING ON IN THE S. A. C CO O RD I NA TO R

KIRSTEN GEAR

...is back

T

here is an adage that says “When a door closes, a window opens.” In the case of the SAC, we can say that „we closed a door and the students studied.‟ I am referring to the decision made to use only one main entrance for both men and women. Along with liberating the empty bookshelves from their role as barrier, implementing a single access point with a designated registration system were two of the slight, simple yet extremely significant changes that have made the SAC the studious area that it has become this 2012 fall semester. I highlight these seemingly infinitesimal transformations because it is often the trivial that will make the greatest differences. Supporting these students on their journeys to becoming independent learners has been a small battalion of Language Counselors (LCs) who have dedicate a set amount of time each week to guide students as required. These volunteers understand that the SAC represents a pivotal foundation for the academic study of our learners because it teaches them the value of „fishing‟ as opposed to being given fish.

The SAC in the ELC at ACT, in its provision of feedback that is essential to the learning process, will promote academic as well as workplace success by improving independence and motivation in study skills for written and spoken communication to allow students to become informed, interested, interesting, active and productive members and leaders of academic, professional and vocational local, global and glocal communities.

...please encourage your students to “hit the SAC!”

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GOT THOUGHTS? Please share your ideas, stories, research, best practices or skills with us.

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D E N N I S H E N DE R SO N Pr o f e s s io n a l De v e lo p me n t

When conducting a speaking exam Oral communication is something that is essential in conveying necessary thoughts and ideas. It is pretty much a survival instinct that needs continuous nurturing, especially when trying to conquer a new language. Therefore as an evaluator during a speaking assessment it is crucial that one reflects on ones self, meaning, allow yourself to LISTEN well. Our complex brain has a default filtration system . Say what? Huh? Exactly. When it comes time to listen to what a student is saying , allow yourself to adjust to that person‘s voice before making a split-second assessment on whether or not he/she can perform the task . So, how to avoid having predeterministic ideas about a student‘s capability? Well to answer curtly -its like fishing- but in a structured way of course. By using a

remember is not to be intimidating. As the interviewer, it is your responsibility to set the tone . Surely, I am not talking about filling the air with frankincense and while playing a flute. Just Be Reassuring! If you find that a student is nervous or paranoid, just set the tone with positive feedback. Setting the tone , as well as, time management is key. In order to assess well, one must not interrupt the interviewee unless it is to guide them by reframing the questions. True it is nice to have a ―kick-back‖ conversation with a student; on the other side , its probably a good idea to stay the course so that the evaluation of the student is fairly appraised. The last thing that one should re-

question bank of some sort, this question bank isn't the be –all to end-all. However, it is used as a probing guide or a lure with bait. After doing a little prospecting or poking

member is that when working with a coevaluator, is to be considerate and a team player. You are both in the trenches together regardless of your moods that day. Team-

around with a stick to see if it moves, you should have a hint of how to gage a student‘s ability to complete the necessary task at hand.

work is the epitome of any organization and it makes work-lives run much more smoother.

Students can be enigmatic at times. Therefore, another important thing to © Melis82 | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos Issue 1 / ACT-ELC EDUCATIONALIST 10


CEREBRATIONS THOUGHTS|REFLECTIONS|INVESTIGATIONS

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Anonymous

The biggest challenge as an educator is teaching in an environment where it is apparent that the bench marks set for teachers and students are not aligned in way that supports hitting its targeted goals. The lack of motivation and willingness ―to know‖ may have something to do with it, specifically for the learners. For non-English speaking students living outside of an English speaking country, English is a foreign language, but expectations placed on them equal those of second language learners [those learners that are living in an English speaking country]. There is a difference between ESL and EFL. We need to remember that college is the only place where many students are exposed to the English language. They do not speak English to their parents or friends; they do not order food in a coffee shop in English, etc. Yet after 4 unevenly divided semesters spent in groups with more than 25 (sometimes more than 30) students, they are expected to reach the level of proficiency which will enable them to study their main subjects in English. Some students may excel, the majority get by. As far as lack of motivation, I am not sure if this results from not having solid family support, primary/secondary education or what I call ―lack of fear‖, or maybe all three. In my experience, parents are hardly ever really involved in a studying process. Quite a few of my students come from an illiterate household. This leads to a family being busy trying to just get by in order to support themselves: making money is the priority! Therefore, students are in a dilemma between the college = future & family issues = now. They are challenged to achieve in just 4 semesters what was missed out on their primary/ secondary education. When there are cases where students are used to just getting by.

This programs a student to believe that this is good enough. A student lacking in motivation and enthusiasm are passive, blame everything and everyone for their circumstances, and often come up with many excuses. Whatever the reason is, this generation of college students do not have ―hunger‖ for knowledge. While living in the moment of ―now‖. Also some are not worried about not getting a job in the since in some way they are supported financially by the government, parents and extended family. So, here I am, a lecturer with almost 20 years of experience. The question still remains: How to hit targeted goals while dealing with the motivation factor. I would love to hear from the readers their solutions to this problem. Perhaps the editorial staff can set up a blog were others can reply.

? © Diego.cervo | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime

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From reading to learning to motivation Sergio Abdus Salam Scatolini

Reading for pleasure has been described as ‗a form of play‘ (Stephenson, 1964 & 1967; Nell, 1988). It is a ludic, or playful, activity which, as any other kind of play, is its own reward. Conversely, reading, like any other game, could also become mental torture if and when people are forced to engage in it without having a knack The testimony of former students whose lives for it. After all, football or cricket is great for those who love playing it, but if it is not your thing, even watching a were affected by what they learnt or failed to learn at college might also be a valid motivational strategy worth match will feel like a real drag. pursuing. One of the most commonly heard complaints Does the above mean that English teachers should among English teachers in Oman is that our students are not in the habit of reading. Although some argue that they let go of the wish to see our students reading and loving do read —the Qur‘an, for instance—, it remains true that it? Not necessarily. At ACT, we experimented this sethey do not do much reading —if any at all— in English, mester with extensive reading. In level 4, we read Treasespecially off campus. Besides, however laudable devo- ure Island. First, a recording of the text was used to pace tional reading may be, it will not help our students to di- the students‘ silent reading (10-15 min.), after which they rectly develop the language skills needed in an English- were given an equal time slot to do their own reading, for instance, to go over the text again at their own speed. medium Omani College of Technology. My experience has been that students did enjoy Teachers to whom reading is a joyous experience the weekly hour allotted to this project. Moreover, they should probably remember that billions of people on earth survive and do well without ever reading books, let often asked for permission to take the book home to conalone having the pleasure of ludic reading. Our students tinue reading it and to read it out to their younger brothers or sisters. Their enjoyment was only compromised must also get real. College means reading. They can try when the word quiz was mentioned. Suddenly, reading and keep it to the bare minimum, but they will have to for pleasure became reading for learning, more exactly read one way or another. Since college reading is for learning, their motivation for reading will be proportion- for a test. This surely encapsulates some lessons for us. ate to their motivation for learning. If they want to learn, they will read. And if they wish to learn more, they will also read more. The pleasure will be found first and foremost in learning, not necessarily in reading for its own sake. That is why I believe that our colleges should explore new ways in motivating our students to want to learn. Together with them, we should see what makes them tick and tap into that.

References Nell, V. (1988). The psychology of reading for pleasure: Needs and gratifications. Reading Research Quarterly, 23(1), 1-50. Stephenson, W. (1964). The ludenic theory of newsreading. Journalism Quarterly, 41, 367-374. Stephenson, W. (1967). The play theory of mass communication. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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You Are Careless

Amani Saif Hamed AL-Jabri

To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart. ~Eleanor Roosevelt Being the longest serving first lady of the United

―I feel unimportant". I started sending SMS to my absent students to ask about their health and whether everything is fine with them or not. They usually showed up very early for the next class, alert and ready for a big day. They also presented a

sick note in hand. Whether they did that because they felt States, she must know what she is talking about leaders, they are being followed or cared for is sometimes a questrainers, lecturers and public speakers are more effective tionable issue. However, the lesson learnt is; asking about when they address people's emotions. If fact, they are so students' health and emotions make them regular(?). My companionate in comparison to target-oriented people like need of being important was fulfilled that way. I have a statisticians, nurses or engineers who are more full house for most of the lessons. practical. There is no clearer evidence of the truth of her In contrast, being ignorant to student feelings hurts saying than what Adolph Hitler did. His speeches were them deeply even when they don't show it. I remember magically emotional as he was able to waken up the enonce I lost control as students were too busy talking when thusiasm, loyalty and sacrifice in his own people. They I wanted to explain an important grammar point. With a were ready to die for his ideas no matter how insane or big smile I shouted, ―would you shut up for a minute, inhuman they were, and that is a clear proof of his high level of emotional intelligence. However, emotional intel- please", the students laughed a lot which made me feel ligence also means understanding ones feeling as well as they took it well. However, a week or two later, they were working in groups practicing the use of ‗should‘ and others which allows us to control and lead both.* Do we really understand our own feelings? How many times have we said to our students, ―You are carless" when we were actually angry because we felt disobeyed! How many times have we said, "You are disrespectful" because we wanted more respect and the feeling of being disrespected was killing us. Won't it just be more practical if we said, ―I feel disobeyed" or‖ I feel disrespected" and stopped blaming others for our own feelings? I personally believe it will save our sanity, blood pressure and heart from going out of control especially if we will continue to have the same attitude as long as we are still teachers. Mind you, students don't believe what we say. For them, it is a mere unfair accusation by an im-

‗shouldn't‘ by setting up class rules. To my surprise, most of the groups wrote, "The teacher shouldn't say shut-up", for one of them, it was rule number one. At that time I clearly understood how deeply they were hurt though it was said in a funny way that made them laugh. Probably their laughter was out of surprise rather than acceptance. On the other hand they wrote ―Teacher should bring chocolate to class everyday" which made me realize how they truly feel good about themselves when they get chocolate after doing well in class. Emotions are a very complicated issue to understand, control and extremely difficult to lead. The good news is; it can be improved. I wish we all can be emotion-

patient teacher. Forgetting things at home happens to eve- ally clever one day, not only to be good teachers, but good rybody -even teachers- and talking to friends doesn't mean disrespect. “Emotional intelligence refers to how well we handle In contrast, understanding student feelings can serve our goals being met. A clear example of that is my experience with students‘ attendance. I honestly hate it when students don't show up to my class simply because

ourselves and our relationships, the 4 domains. Selfawareness, knowing what we’re feeling, why we’re feeling it, which is a basis of, for example, good intuition, good decision-making. Also, it’s a moral compass.”, Daniel Goleman

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CEREBRATIONS Technically speaking ...

THOUGHTS|REFLECTIONS|INVESTIGATIONS

Abiodun Abbey Abdul

I have fun My teaching experience spans 15 years with the first half without using technology in the classroom. However, the second half was with using technology in the classroom; and I have to say there was quite a contrast with the two. For one thing, projecting images on the board instantly made my classes differentiated for different learning styles.

Dennis Henderson

Think-Pair-Share * read –speak– write + This work well in a way to give students the excuse to pair up , read and talk. I have used it often and it works well for any type of reading,

This tool was really handy for systems classes, particularly

problem-solving strategy follow-up activity.

vocabulary for lower level students. It was also really good

Jump-In Reading * 1 sentence reading +

for skills classes such as reading.

This works well with mixed reading levels. It keeps

When teaching skim reading, I project the text on

readings lively and allows shies to feel at ease to

the board and show the students examples of what they are

read single words or short passages. It’s a reading

supposed to be circling i.e. num6ers and proper nouns with

merry-go-round!

Capital Letters, italicised and boldface words (you see what I did there!) This also makes sure that students in my language class were rarely lost about where we were on the page considering the exercise we were reviewing was projected up on the board.

Know-Want to know-Learned: (KWL) – It involves three overlapping events in 3 column note page: students brainstorm what they know, record what they want to know, and then list what they learned about the chapter or topic. This

It is truly amazing thinking how quickly the students can grasp the concept of a new teaching point this way, minimizing the presenting portion of the lesson and maximising the practice portion. Thus I recommend to all teach-

is also teacher led with class board discussion. So student make their own learning outcomes. More information visit :

ers that they try and integrate some technology into their classrooms.

http://www.projectcriss.com/ Issue 1 / ACT-ELC EDUCATIONALIST 15


www.edx.org

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The Cornell method contains a structured approach for students to take notes. There are basically 3 sections that provides space to spatialize ideas through symbols, abbreviations and reflective composition. The main notes section, the notetaking column, is set aside for the live lecture or teaching– here students can add points of ideas or simply paraphrasing longer ones. It‘s a good idea to inform students to use short brief sentences, even better some type of short-hand symbol(s). Key phrases or words can be added to the cue column, as a way to trigger quick remembrance when it is time for them to study and review the noted at home. It is important to mention that the same day a student writes the notes that he/she must summarize and revise with questions pertain to what they wrote down in class. This approach is helpful for students to record what has been discussed in class. Hence, a student portfolio.

Image credit: The Cornell Notetaking System - How to use the Cornell notetaking system. Retrieved November 30,2012, from http://lsc.cornell.edu/Sidebars Study_Skills_Resources/SKResources.html

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DENNIS HENDERSON Professional Development Coordinator

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FIND FREE SCHOLARLY ARTICLES ht t p

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REMEMBER Š Socrates | Stock Free Images &Dreamstime Stock Photos

Don't forget to breathe deeply Walk for 5-10 mins Drink water Simply laugh out LOUD ...only then you may find a solution

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Teaching Yoga for Anxiety and Stress

© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division To see our complete selection of Yoga teacher training courses, please feel free to visit the following link. http://www.aurawellnesscenter.com/store/Teacher-Courses/

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Teaching Yoga for Anxiety and Stress Friday, November 30th, 2012

By Faye Martins

Once again, a potential student approaches you about private lesson because she is experiencing chronic stress, but she‘s not sure Yoga works. Did your Yoga instructor training course prepare you for this? Maybe not, but we have solid research for the skeptics in your life. We hear about Yoga being good for stress, but now we have scientific research to back up the claims. According to the Anxiety and Depression Organization of American, anxiety disorders affect approximately 40 million adults in the U. S. each year. Although highly treatable, only about one third of those 40 million receive medical care, and costs range about $42 billion for those who do seek help. Research Says Yoga Helps Fight Anxiety • In March, 2012, the Boston University School of Medicine and the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons published the results of a new study suggesting that Yoga can be an effective means of treating people with psychological and medical conditions related to stress. Among these illnesses are high blood pressure, cardiac problems, depression and anxiety. Based on the theory that stress creates an imbalance in the autonomic nervous system and lowers levels of neurotransmitters, an alternative treatment like Yogic exercise seems like the perfect complement to traditional Western medicine. After all, Yogic techniques balance the nervous system and raise the levels of neurotransmitters.

• Additional research completed in 2012 by researchers from Brigham and Women‘s Hospital and Harvard Medical School examined the possibility that Yoga training might prevent anxiety in teens. Students were given psychological tests for issues like resilience, anger, mood swings, anxiety and mindfulness at the beginning of the study. At the end of the study, students were tested again. Researchers found that some students who took regular PE classes did not score as well after 10 weeks while some of those who practiced Yogic techniques scored higher than they did initially. The remainder of the students‘ scores remained the same before and after the study. Teens who took Yoga also reported fewer negative feelings and reported liking the classes. Around seventy-five percent said they would like to continue taking classes, giving hope to the chance that Yoga may be used to prevent anxiety and depression in adolescents. • In 2010, the “Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences‖ published research showing that female patients with PTSD, or post traumatic stress disorder, showed significant improvement in symptoms after taking a series of eight Hatha based classes. The women reported fewer disruptive thoughts and calmer nerves. Their heart-rate variability, a key indicator of the capacity to selfsoothe, also improved. With the growing number of suicides among adolescents and military veterans, the need for a safe and affordable alternative to treatment should encourage scientists to continue their research.

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S our c es of En r i chm en t

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ARABO–LINGO YOUR PASSPORT AND TICKET, PLEASE? JAWAZ SAFARAK WA TAZ-KARATAK MIN FADLAK? HERE‘S MY PASSPORT. TAFADAL JAWAZ SAFARI.

HOW LONG WILL YOU STAY HERE? KAM AL MUDDA ALLATI SATAQ-DIHA LADAINA? FEW DAYS. BEDA’AT AYAM. ONE MONTH APPORXIMETALY SHAHR TAQREEBAN ONE WEEK ONLY ASBUU ‗ FAQAT. I DO NOT KNOW EXACTLY. LA A’REF BEE AL TAHDEED. IS THIS THE FIRST TIME YOU COME HERE? HAL HAZEEHI AWAL MARRA TA’TI FIHA ELA HUNA? YES NA’AM NO ...ITS THE SECOND TIME. LA, INNAHA AL MARRA AL THANEYA. NO … I CAME SEVERAL TIMES. LA, HADART MARRAT KATHEERA ARE YOU COMING FOR BUSINESS OR TOURISM ? HAL ANTA QADEM LI AMAL AW SEYAHA? NO… I AM COMING FOR MEDICAL CHECK.

NO...ONLY TRANSIT.

LA ANA QADEM MEN AGL AMAL FUHUSAT TEBBEYA.

LA, FAQAT TRANSIT

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The best of all dealings is the one which is moderate. ——— Prophet Muhammad (s) as reported by Baihaqi. Make things easy and convenient and don’t make them harsh and difficult. Give cheer and glad tidings and do not create hatred. ——— Prophet Muhammad (s) in Riyadh us-Saleheen, Volume 1:637.

―Whoever recommends and helps a good cause becomes a partner therein, and whoever recommends and helps an evil cause shares in its burdens― ——— The Holy Quran, Chapter 4, Verse 85. © Alexshebanov | Stock Free Images &Dreamstime Stock Photos

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ACT-ELC Professional Development ACT-ELC MAGAZINE WOULD LIKE TO THANKS ALL CONTRIBUTORS ON ITS FIRST INITIATIVE PUBLICATION. WE HOPE TO HAVE MORE CONTRIBUTERS IN THE NEAR FUTURE. ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS MAGAZINE EFFORTS OR IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE PLEASE CONTACT US .

ELC.ACT@GMAIL.COM ELCACT.WORDPRESS.COM

ISSUE 01 December 2012

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