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Page history last edited by Julie Gyftoula 3 years, 4 months ago




Goal: The goal of this activity is to get to know each other. Participants will receive an email invitation to join the wiki and do the first workshop activity: “Introduce yourself”.



Teachers will be able to:

1. Share information about themselves (name, school, years of teaching, reasons for joining the workshop).

2. Use the “Add comment" button” of the wiki.

3. Familiarize themselves with the navigation bar of the wiki.

You are asked to post an introduction of yourself, either as a new comment or as a reply to a colleague's introduction.

1. Write your name, school, years of teaching, reasons for joining the workshop in the "Add a Comment" box below.

2. Click "Add Comment" to post your message.

3. Use the "Reply" button to reply to a colleague.


Module one assignment


 Read the following articles:

1. The Challenge of Teaching Children (Read) Read_Challenge_of_Teaching_Children(1).pdf  and 

2. Ten Helpful Ideas for Teaching English to Young Learners (Shin) Shin_10_Helpful_Ideas_for TEYL(1).pdf


Post your comments on one of the questions below, using the "Add Comment" button below


1. Try to fill in the spidergram found in Read's article and share your vision of working with young children with the other colleagues. What do you feel is the most challenging aspect of the trade?


2. Which of the ideas proposed by Shin do you usually adopt when you teach YL or you consider the most useful?



Watch this video titled "What makes great teachers" and reflect on your own  perception of it.





Now you can continue with Module 2


To go to Module 2, click here.


You can go back to the wiki Front Page by clicking on the wiki button, on the top, horizontal bar.

Comments (0)

Comments (Show all 44)


at 10:30 pm on Oct 11, 2014

Hello everyone!I'm really looking forward to this workshop! I've taught English in the Private and Public Sector with adolescents and young learners. During the last twenty-two years I've been teaching in Primary schools. I think that in these difficult times we need something new and refreshing to give us new motivation! So, Good Luck to everyone!!
Evi pati - 127 Primary School of Athens

Angelina Lada said

at 11:43 pm on Oct 11, 2014

Hello. I wish everyone a fruitful school year and an enjoyable learning journey here. My name is Angelina Lada. I teach English at Ralleios. Experimental Model Primary Schools. Having been a member of a few PLNs so far, I have to say that the excellence and commitment of language teachers never cease to amaze me. Young learners are of special interest to me because their profile has considerably changed in recent years. Take their entry level of English for one thing. Other areas of interest to me include peer coaching and building student learning networks. I am looking forward to this workshop to put my methods to the test and to share approaches to teaching and learning.

Dimitra Tsolakidou said

at 6:12 pm on Oct 12, 2014

Hello! I'm Dimitra Tsolakidou and I've been teaching English in the public sector since 2005, mostly in Technical Vocational schools. Since 2012 I've been teaching in primary education (what a contrast!) and I'm currently in the 1st Experimental Model Primary School of Athens (Marasleion). Working with young learners is a fulfilling experience but also a demanding job, since we are responsible for building up their basic knowledge of English along with creating a cosy environment where children will feel creative and ready to explore many aspects of their personality through language learning. Although I am on a leave of absence this school year due to having a new baby I find this workshop an excellent opportunity to get new knowledge on topics relating to teyl, share practices and exchange opinions with other colleagues over this matter. I can't wait!

Anastasia Tassopoulou said

at 6:35 pm on Oct 12, 2014

Hello everyone. I'm Anastasia Tassopoulou and I've teaching English in the public sector since 2000.I am currently in the 6th Primary School of Ilioupolis.
By taking part in this workshop ,I would like my students to view the class as simply another fun daily activity and encourage them to develop an interest in learning English. I want to create a safe, stress free environment that everyone can enjoy learning in.

susan hunter said

at 6:55 pm on Oct 12, 2014

Hello to you all! I'm Susan Hunter and I've been teaching English in the state school system since 2005, in the Primary sector. This year I'm at the 9th Primary School of Athens. I hope to learn more about teaching young learners as it's an exciting and challenging area as well as one in which I've little theoretical background.

ranniagov@yahoo.gr said

at 12:00 pm on Oct 20, 2014

Hello Susan and hello to you all! I'm Rannia Govari and I 've been teaching English in the Primary Sector as a full time English teacher since 2009. However, my teaching experience with Young learners started in 2003. This year I'm not teaching because I'm pregnant and I have to stay in bed. The reason that I'm joining this workshop is that I don't want to lose my contact with the school and because I always want to learn more about teaching Young learners, as they are a very demanding audience and I have to be creative all the time.


at 11:37 pm on Oct 12, 2014

Hello! I' m Christina Mitroussi. I' ve been teaching English in the primary sector since 1992 for almost 22 years. I currently teach at 39th P.S of Athens . By taking part in this workshop I hope to enrich my teaching methods with new, fresh ideas and inspirations, so as my students will be more creative and happier.... through English language learning.

anastasiapasia said

at 8:41 am on Oct 13, 2014

Hello, my name is Anastasia Pasia and I’m a newcomer in the Primary Education after 15 years of teaching experience in the Secondary Education(Senior High Schools). I moved from Secondary to Primary Education in September 2013. I want to enrich my knowledge concerning the methodology of teaching to young learners, to share ideas and practices and become more creative as I find extremely challenging the idea of teaching 6-12 year old children. Needless to say that I had to readapt my teaching methods and try to find books, to become a member in creative Learning Networks like this one, and shape a new teaching strategy. I know that I’m going to find everything I need in this place because the two project coordinators guarantee the success of the seminar.

christina popota said

at 6:18 pm on Oct 13, 2014

Hello dear colleagues, my name is Christina Popota and I have been teaching English in primary schools since 2004. I have taught all grades from 1st-6th and I like working with them. This year I am at Makrichori primary school outside Larisa. During these years of teaching I think that our profession is challenging and this course will give me the chance to explore new ideas and new paths to successful approaches towards young pupils.

Julie Gyftoula said

at 8:27 pm on Oct 13, 2014

Welcome eveyone! I feel so lucky I am part of this exchange! I would like to inform you that the material you are going to study and comment on was included in the 10-week online course I attended last year with the American English Institute of Oregon University. I hope that you will find it as rewarding as I did and I am certain that by the end of this course you will have realised the value of collaboration and sharing with people of our trade. Please don't hesitate to contact me for any questions you may have. I can't wait to learn from you all!

Vivian Kalthani said

at 10:16 pm on Oct 13, 2014

Greetings everyone. My name is Vivian Kalthani and this year I teach English in the 3rd Primary School in Galatsi. I had worked in private schools for 3 years before I was appointed in the public sector in 2008. Having worked most of the years in junior high schools and senior high schools, I wish to learn a lot of useful things from this workshop. May this also turn out to be a joyful experience as well!

Dimitra_Panagakou said

at 12:43 pm on Oct 14, 2014

Hello! My name is Dimitra Panagakou and I am 19 years old. I am a second-year university student of English Languge and I have been working as an English teacher for almost 2,5 months. When I was informed about this workship I thought it would be a great chance to enrich my teaching methods and find effective ways to give motivation to my students. Moreover, since this workship has to do with teaching English to Young learners, I considered that it would be ideal for me as I basically work with students from seven to 11 years old.
As far as the assignment is concerned, I chose to answer the first question, which concerns the completion of the spidergram of Read's article:
1.Variety of activities focusing on the use of language which consist part of their routine and as a result Children will feel secure.
2.Approve children's work and include activities involving physical movement, which raise the level of movement and excitement. It is also essential to choose an effective way to help Children learn a language by choosing appropriate activities.
3.Take into cosideration, not only the children's language development but also their whole development (eg. emotional development)
4.Children are actively involved in the learning process and their valuation should be a product of their co-operation with the teacher's participation, as well.
5.Choose activities which are "stirrers", so as to raise level of noise and excitement.
6.Cultivate a co-operative environment, which gives a sense of Community as well as one of security, and encourage Children to participate an the learning process.
To conclude, i

Dimitra_Panagakou said

at 12:49 pm on Oct 14, 2014

*I feel that the most challenging aspect of the Trade is to find ways to motivate Children to co-operate with each other and also develop their learning abilities through this process!


at 8:39 am on Oct 15, 2014

I chose to answer the second question which concerns the ideas proposed by Shin. I adopt the following ideas:

1.Total physical Response T.P.R - Story telling -songs teach language, related to any kind of movement or physical action.

2.I move from activity to activity so as to mix up the types of activitiies and create a balance between them.

3.I teach in themes. Actually their course book is based on themes as well.

4.I establish classroom routines in English.

5. I use L1 as a resourse when necessary.

I consider the most useful of all is to move from activity to activity because young learners have short attention spans.

mariza@live.co.uk said

at 11:14 am on Oct 15, 2014

I've just finished reading both articles and my impression is that the underlying principles are more or less similar,though in Shin's article they are more explicitly stated. Being an 'old' but wiser (I hope!) teacher and having been involved with VYLs and YLs, I must say that I have applied, or at least tried to apply, all 10 of them interchangeably.What we should always bear in mind is that we have to be flexible and open-minded and always keep a bank of plan-Bs because there comes a time when they come in handy. YLs ask for the 3Rs (rules, responsibilities and routines) which we can be sure they get if we adopt Shin's ideas.However, getting close to the end of the article,I got the feeling that the last 3 ideas are not yet applicable despite some people's hard efforts to use them and really make the difference. I've always been faced with Greek teachers being rather unwilling (not to say hostile) to collaborate since they consider what we do and the way we do it unconventional and the prospect of asking for the community's contribution as a threat. I know for sure that communication with TEYL professionals and the sense of belonging to a community can work miracles and help us deal with the challenges that every classroom poses every single day. I think that if openness, collaboration and sharing are our guiding principles, learners of all ages will find meaning in the learning process.

paparouna2011@yahoo.gr said

at 6:21 pm on Oct 15, 2014

Hello everyone!
I am Elena Molasioti and I teach English In the 111th Primary School Of Athens. I have been teaching English for fifteen years. I am happy to be here and share views on teaching primary learners. I read the articles and I couldn't agree more with the views shared above. I agree with Mariza that in most Greek schools Greek teachers lack flexibility and consider our ways too unconventional. As far as the two articles are concerned I really liked Read"s article. I agree that we are mostly educators rather than merely language teachers. Joan Kang Shin's ideas are also followed in my lessons using realia, visuals either readymade or made by us with the help of the children ( I also prefer it because then they feel responsible for them), we mix activities from noisy to silent, different skill developing, group work-pair work-individual, even in-outside the classroom, e.t.c. Teaching in themes is also important and I think that makes things easier and learning flowing undisturbed. We use L1 when necessary although pupils most of the times ask us to use English more-especially 3rd graders. I would like to be in a school where people from the community, actors/actresses, storytellers, grandparents, parents and others could become helpers. My personal experience is that school principals are reluctant to welcome people outside the school staff and are not open to the community. Lynn Wilson's ideas are also helpful regarding routines, the only thing i don't agree with is when it is proposed that we should make pupils marching as Smart Soldiers to line them up when we enter or leave the classroom. To conclude I must say that it was good to read the articles as a resource, revising ideas that I actually use in class. I think what is more challenging for me in the trade is to keep up with what's new, what's worthy and what can be inspiring for my young learners. If I want to keep their expectations high I must first keep our expectations high.

penny said

at 7:20 pm on Oct 15, 2014

Hello everyone,
my name is Penny Papoutsaki and, this year, I'm teaching in the 4th Primary School of Kesariani and the 104th of Athens. I've taught English in nursery schools (as a university student), private schools, secondary and primary education. I'm happy to be here and work together with everybody else. I hope this web seminar gives me new ideas, enriches my methodology and, hopefully, help me get over this burnout feeling I've been having for the last couple of years.

Julie Gyftoula said

at 9:00 pm on Oct 15, 2014

Wonderful and to the point remarks!The way children differ from teenagers or older learners is very often an apocalypse especially for teachers who are accustomed to teaching the language to older learners. If you ask me I can't but mention children's limited world knowledge bank, the variety of motivation levels and the fact that the younger children are rather more teacher-dependent. I would like to add the aspect of personality and different learning styles which in my opinion greatly affect their engagement in the language learrning process. Catching the eye of six or seven-year-olds is a daunting experience, indeed. The success of the teacher-learner relationship is determined from the very first moment they meet in class and it is very hard to maintain (of course most of the work load falls on the teacher's shoulders).That's why
I totally agree with Carol Read and support her idea about her general guidelines about “the easiest way to create a relaxed and child-centered teaching/learning environment is by working systematically and persistently to establish clear parameters for behavior.” This is very true, because the key here is not to change the rules of the classroom every now and then or being very strict with one of the rules and later on be easy with it, this may cause a big confusion to the children and may not lead to the happy and relaxed class that we want. One more thing I totally agree is “Catching them Being Good” CBG. This will encourage them to do more positive things, NOT only giving notice to their negative work or behaviour. If you are interested in finding more about the YL profile and needs have a look at the site of PEAP http://rcel.enl.uoa.gr/peap/articles/genikes-didaktikes-odigies
If you haven't done it yet you can register and gain a lot from the material you can use in class or the training modules offered.

Dimitra Tsolakidou said

at 7:32 am on Oct 16, 2014

In relation to Shin’s article all ten ideas proposed are very useful when teaching young learners. The ones that I use more often are the following:

Supplement activities with visual, realia and movement: In order to keep students’ attention and make them more involved in the learning process I use toys, puppets, objects, pictures, drawings etc to reinforce the vocabulary taught in class, especially in the first three grades of primary school. Furthermore I encourage them to bring along everything relevant to what they have been taught. Gestures and movement in class are also used during the learning process which has proven to be a very effective part of the lesson.

Move from activity to activity: Children cannot concentrate for a long time that’s why it is important to provide them with a variety of activities and tasks so that they don’t feel tired or bored. There should also be a balance in the activities done, for example a quiet followed by a noisy one or a listening activity followed by a speaking one.

Teach in themes: Connecting the activities with each other to make a whole meaningful content is very important for young learners as it helps them understand the common relation and thematic unity of the language input.

Establish routines in English: From my experience I have realized the importance of establishing routines while teaching English, especially for older children of primary school. Following a pattern, some basic steps and having a specific program in the learning process is something that helps them cope more easily with the course of the lesson and reduces the stress factor, as they more or less know what to expect.

Use the L1 as a resource when necessary: This is something I tend to do, especially with very young learners who can’t understand basic words and expressions. It helps them feel confident and participate more easily in the learning process. As learners get older the use of L1 is eliminated.

mariza@live.co.uk said

at 9:58 am on Oct 16, 2014

Watching the "What Makes Great Teachers" video was really comforting as it illustrates how educators, who believe in every single learner's potential and are really committed to making learning an absolute joy, can become a source of inspiration and safely guide learners through the mysteries of learning! It's not a matter of personality, degrees or experience. What really counts is being ready to acknowledge mistakes you might make and acquire flexibility so that you can always compensate for a lesson which might go wrong. After all, nobody is perfect and, like our students, we can learn from our mistakes.

Angelina Lada said

at 12:27 am on Oct 18, 2014

Assignment 1_ Response to Question Topic 1
I would like to specifically draw on Read’s proposition which states that “we help children learn language when what we ask them to do is meaningful” because, in my opinion, it encapsulates the ‘whole learning’ approach to young learners’ pedagogy. This assumes that: a) the pupils bring into the classroom knowledge and skills from the outside world (the home, the multimedia, other curriculum subjects etc.) which can be developed and enhanced by relevant new language knowledge and skills, b) the class consists of individuals with diverse ways of knowing (Logical, Auditory, Tactile and Kinaesthetic), different learning rates, interests, strengths and weaknesses and, therefore, they should be guided to contribute differently to assigned tasks, c) teaching materials are informed by and build upon previous relevant background knowledge (e.g. the lesson starts with a ‘real life’ activity such as filling our picnic basket) and incorporate a multiplicity of communication channels, media types and technologies, and d) learning takes place through problem solving and negotiation of meaning inside and outside the classroom, which is how individuals construct their view of the world and their place in it.
So, the implication and indeed the challenge for the teacher is to be able to create a pragmatic need for learning within a teaching scenario which a) presents new language thematically, b) allows for both linguistic and cognitive processing to take place and c) involves pupils in applying new knowledge creatively and purposefully.

Mairi Karolina said

at 7:47 pm on Oct 19, 2014

I agree wholeheartedly with you! This idea of " meaningful" learning I find to be the most essential towards developing life skills in children first as well as heightening their emotional intelligence! Read emphasizes that we are educators first when teaching this age range of students along with being language teachers! Therefore Whole Development is crucial in order to help develop children into well rounded characters ready for life first.

Julie Gyftoula said

at 9:18 am on Oct 18, 2014

Right Angelina!Creating a real context for communication is definitely a characteristic of "great teachers".Learning is more successful when it happens in favourable real life enviroments and I must admit that even though creating them means a lot of extra work for the teacher it is surely rewarding. Classes run smoothly, purposefully and active participation is triggered. Enjoy the weekend!

susan hunter said

at 10:40 am on Oct 18, 2014

Response to Shin's 10 points.
All of the ideas seem useful, although some are more practicable than others in the Greek State Primary classroom! I find the use of realia especially motivating with VYLs (pulling things out of the pillowcase/box can be a reward for the most effort or improvement made in a particular area) and visuals are a help for all classes (I'd add music, too for 'audio' types). TPR is the greatest with VYLs and ties in with the use of routines,too. The 'stand up/sit down' game where Ls react to the Ts saying something wrong or right by remaining in their seats or standing up (It's a cat, while showing a dog, for example) is easily adaptable and doable in a crowded classroom. Then, balance with 'quiet' activities is necessary and links with variety,too. As for themes, we're lucky that the PEAP material provides us with ready-made 'topics'. The advantages of liasing with class teachers about what we're covering presumes a willingness on their part, too; something which makes all the difference. It would be nice if this led to team teaching/CLIL. The idea of inviting L2 speakers from the community to be involved in classes is an area where I feel we fail to use available resources - I've had English speaking mothers wanting to contribute, for example, to hear Ls reading or as 'classroom assistants' to help when craft activities are being done. The idea that everyone outside school is the enemy seems to permeate too many schools. (It's ok, Julie, I'm stopping there. I'll go and do the ice bucket challenge!!!)

Aggeliki Kapsali said

at 8:13 pm on Oct 18, 2014

Hello to all from a late comer! My name is Aggeliki Kapsali and I've been teaching English since 1998. In 2005 I started teaching in the public sector as a secondary education teacher but in 2013 I moved to primary education and I am currently working in the 39th pr.sch. of Athens. Teaching young learners for the last 2 years, I realized how wonderful and rewarding it is to work with young children. The whole learning process, no matter how demanding it is, makes you feel alive again! What I expect from this workshop is to enrich my knowledge concerning TEYL, exchange ideas with colleagues and therefore be more efficient and helpful to the little ones.Good luck to everyone.

Julie Gyftoula said

at 9:23 pm on Oct 18, 2014

Great remarks from you all! Susan, I will be watching out for your ice bucket challenge video!Variety of short tasks which cater for all learning styles and preferences is another very important aspect. As young children have very limited concetration span we should try to keep our class activities short and move from practicing one skill to the other in a smooth and well designed way.Here is an example of using flashcards in class (one of the many you surely have in mind!). When I taught weather words to my 4th graders I tried to keep this principle in mind and that's what I did: I started my lesson by welcoming the kids and asking them the usual routine questions (how are you today? who 's not here today with us?etc) Then I introduced the What's the weather like today question? Instead of waiting for their answer I asked them to choose from a collection of flashcards showing weather conditions. We chose the right flashcard and then I handed them out (had made copies of them so every pair had 3 to 4 different ones). We played BINGO with me calling out weather conditions and the pairs trying to see if they have the relevant cards. After the game, I asked them to work in groups of four, gave out a copy of the map of the UK (the one in the book appendices) and asked them to prepare their weather report. Every team presented and it was quite fun having all these weather men and ladies talking! Variety may guarantee that less active pupils take part and use L2 as it is more likely for them to spot an area they can do well. Furthermore, I can't agree more with the giving explicit directions and support the YL. But how can we do that more effectively and what happens with the use of L1 at this point? Do you think it should be used more than L2 since we are at the very early stages of learning L2 or avoided? Why don't you have a look at http://www.cambridge.org/servlet/file/store7/item2422007/version1/PrimaryColours%20LALL%20TT%20EnglishMotherTongue.pdf ?

Julie Gyftoula said

at 9:23 pm on Oct 18, 2014

You might also find some more food for thought here http://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/en/parents/articles/how-children-learn concerning the YL profile

Aggeliki Kapsali said

at 11:10 pm on Oct 18, 2014

Assignment 2 - Shin's article
I too agree with most colleagues that all 10 Shin's points are extremely useful in a YL classroom. Moreover, I couldn't agree more with what Scott and Ytteberg say that "their (YL's) understanding comes through hands, eyes and ears" . So, what I consider to be vital and always work with my students is the use of colourful visuals and realia such as flashcards, puppets and real objects which catch their attention and involves them the most. TPR songs are my favourites and also contribute to the learning process a lot, since they are fun and allow the children to move and release their physical energy.Variety in activities also keeps the learner's interest and teaching in themes is something I recently found how helpful it is,through the PEAP's material. To teach children themes that are of their interest is I guess smth not negotiable ,yet, not applicable in many Greek books of English! Classroom routines not only bring a structured and secure environment for the children but they also create an opportunity for language establishment and development.For example, having kids great you in a certain way as you enter the classroom ( and altering it from time to time), has always been very joyful for my young students. Finally, I believe that bringing helpers from the community and collaborating with other teachers in school, are quite difficult to be applied in Greek schools for the time being.

christina popota said

at 11:50 am on Oct 19, 2014

Regarding Shin's article, I found all the ideas described helpful and I try to incorporate them as much as I can in my lessons with the kids. They learn better when they see, listen and do things so I use visuals, realia and movement. With my 1st-2nd grades we have the class puppet which I bring it in classes and it welcomes children, helps them repeat words and sings along. For presentation of the new vocabulary and stories I have flashcards, toys of my niece or pupils' toys. I agree that the peap team has created very useful material. Moreover, in previous years I had photocopied the black and white characters of magic book, gave them to kids to color, made them puppetsl. The students love TPR too. I also think that keeping the activities short and balanced and teaching through a syllabus that is theme-based is important for the pupils to be focused. Another idea proposed in the article which I always adopt to manage the class is establishing routines. For example, at the beginning of the school year we have the class contract with my 11-12 years old. I teach common classroom language instructions in the first lessons but the use of L1 is sometimes inevitable for me. Lastly, collaboration and communication with other professionals will always be a reason for joining a workshop like this.

Anastasia Tassopoulou said

at 4:11 pm on Oct 19, 2014

Assignment 2 - Response to Shin's article.
I believe the use of realia and visuals such as puppets and flashcards makes the learning experience memorable.When I bring real objects ,my students' excitement level rises.This can help encourage interest in L2.By grouping different activities into themaric units , makes it easier for the students to follow. I also try to establish simple classroom instructions and routines in order for students to operate in a group classroom setting.This provides them support,a sense of security and reinforces their positive attitude depending of course on the students' level.Finally,the use of L1 (especially with young learners) may be used as students will be less tense if they know that they can ask and possibly receive explanation in Greek.

penny said

at 7:09 pm on Oct 19, 2014

I find both article very interesting and although, not totally new, it is good to be reminded of the importance of certain things . Just like every other EFL teacher I get into many different classes and it is always the ones that have a very well organised Greek teacher that work the best. And by "well organised" I mean that he/she has established a routine. So, as you can guess, I find Shin's "Establish classroom routines" point extremely useful. I also cannot even imagine a lesson without visuals and realia for 1st-3rd graders. As I come from secondary education it was good to be reminded of the fact the YLs need to move fast from one activity to the other so as not to get bored. I will also have to agree with everyone who has already mentioned that getting the community involved is very difficult, if not impossible, in Greek schools.

Mairi Karolina said

at 7:40 pm on Oct 19, 2014

Thank you! Indeed we are so close! I look forward to the course, and, perhaps, we will meet in person one day!:)

kateazel@... said

at 8:27 pm on Oct 19, 2014

Hi! I'm Katerina Karahaliou and I have been teaching English for around 16 years both in the private and the public sector. Currently I've been positioned at the 89th Primary School of Athens. I love working with young learners and I've joined this web seminar to get ideas and improve my teaching techniques.

Vassiliki Decaristou said

at 9:06 pm on Oct 19, 2014

Good evening to all dear colleagues!
My name is Vassiliki Decaristou and I am a primary school teacher for 10 years and more. Before I was appointed to state education,I used to work in frontistirios and also did some substitute and part-time teaching in various primary schools. Currently my post is the 94th Primary School of Athens. My reasons for joining this workshop is primarily my desire to be kept current with the latest trends in education and learn new things by doing, just like we opt for our students.

kateazel@... said

at 9:26 pm on Oct 19, 2014

I've just finished reading both articles and found them very interesting. I feel that some of the ideas in Shin's article have been applied to in the Curriculum and I agree with my coleagues who have mentioned the great work the Peap team has done. In my classrooms I always try to establish a routine right from the beginning, a routine concerning both target language and behaviour, so that children feel safe and know their boundaries. I also use TPR a lot because the youngsters have a good time and, as a music teacher visiting my classroom commented, "they all participate". Generally speaking, I agree with those who have mentioned that the teacher of the L1 classroom has a crucial part in our lesson too. My teaching experience so far has shown that whenever there is communication and cooperation among the various teachers of a particular class, the work done is much better. Last but not least, I feel that workshops like this are important, because we exchange ideas and sometimes feel better seeing that we are not the only ones facing difficulties and problems.

Mairi Karolina said

at 10:01 pm on Oct 19, 2014

Read's emphasis on our being educators as well as language development teachers in the Primary School is of utmost importance if one comes from a higher level of teaching as I had taught high school in private schools years ago. The idea of Whole Development is crucial I believe at any level, more so for young learners.

As regards the video, I loved the synoptic presentation of the three key characteristics of greatness in a teacher! I would agree with all three, and, in my mind, all three are not only at the top of the list of successful learning, but they also note the importance of the teacher's decision making and his or her flexibility in the teaching process catering to the needs of individual students as well as a class as a whole without sacrificing any goals that have been set. I think the newscaster at the end of the report sums it up well when she thanks the teachers who made learning an absolute joy for and believed in her!

As far as Shin's ideas, and question 2 that I would like to answer, are concerned, I try to adopt the third one regarding the movement from activity to another and create a balance as Scott and Ytreberg suggest, mixing up " the pace of the class and the types of activities" as much as possible and as far as practical constraints do not interfere. All ideas are useful and should be incorporated of course to the extent that a variety does not get out of hand and the course book is completely forgotten in my opinion.

I was delighted to read about and discover the story mentioned, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" in the thematic unit planning idea, number 4, as well as the chant in the sixth idea on establishing classroom routines in English. I copied it down and hope to share with the learners tomorrow! To tell you the truth, I am thinking of not only using it with the third graders but also with the sixth graders in order to establish a fun intro to our lessons!:)

Vassiliki Decaristou said

at 10:38 pm on Oct 19, 2014

Assignment 1 - Question 2
Shin's article contains sound ideas and her TEFL Community Triangle matches the aspirations of our Ministry of Education for a New School that is open to community, that collaborates on a national and international plane and that shares practices with other educationalists. All's well but we have a long way to go.
I agree with the colleagues that stressed the value of using visuals and realia and establishing classroom routines. This actually reminds me of Mrs Chatzigiannoglou's tip to make flashcards of classroom management rules. I did make them this year and I have just introduced them to my students. They are simple black and white pictures showing: 1) We sit down, 2) We do not speak, 3) We do not shout, 4) We do not interrupt, 5) We raise the hand, 6) We work and 7) We listen. The students seemed to like them at the time. I'll keep you informed about how it goes.
My school is not EAP yet so I teach 4th and 6th graders this year. I really like the cross-thematic approach but the time spent in class (3 sessions per week) does not lend itself to systematic attempts. We just finished an "Energy in Greece" week but alas most of the material from DEI (ΔΕΗ) was in L1. It did require a lot of extra work from my part. My reward the attention paid by the students and their deeper comprehension of the content. I have plans for next year to invite a geologist from DEI and parents (why not?) and have a lecture on energy with videos/powerpoint.
Finally, I hold the belief that the cornerstone of effective learning is the differentiation in the structure of activities and a quick pace. I have to admit that I still struggle with both. In all the lesson observations I have attended my fellow teachers were able to exhibit both so I need to step up.
That's all for now. See you all in Module2


at 11:09 pm on Oct 19, 2014

Both Shin and Read had great proposals most of which I already use in class. Especially with VYLs colourful realia, constructed by themselves, puppets, balls, drawings are very helpful. TPR songs are happily welcomed by both VYLs and YLs because they help them relax. YLs also like projects such as create a poster in collaboration with the Art Teacher or/and the Environmental Studies Teacher. Luckily, in my school,I collaborate perfectly with the Greek Teachers.! I also agree that routines, responsibilities and rules are very important for YLs since they make them fel secure and confident!. What is very difficult for my clesses is the use of L2 most of the time.This happens because there are many pupils with serious problems such as dyslexia, or even low IQ.So I have to use L1 more than I would like to. I also agree with everyone else who mentioned that Greek schools are not ready for helpers from the community and they are very suspicious when we make such proposals!

anastasiapasia said

at 8:36 am on Oct 20, 2014

As I have already mentioned in the presentation of myself, it’s my second year in the Primary Education and I feel there’s a lot to learn…
As far as concerns Read’s article I can’t agree more with his ‘’ softly- softly’’ technique, as it is mentioned in the article. I mean, I have observed many times in class, that especially with very young learners, of the first or second grade I have to proceed slowly and gradualy , use a soft voice and in some cases extend or prolong the ‘’ honeymoon period’’, build a solid positive relationship with them, a condition that will allow me to manage the class positively and teach effectively. The challenge that lies behind teaching young learners concerns a variety of different skills from the teacher’s part:
√ to spark their interest and attention and adopt a certain pace in following different types of activities, since their concentration span is limited
√ learning has to combine fun and different types of games
√ you have to use visuals, realia, etc,
√ they definitely have to work on their social skills, therefore it is a really fruitful experience if they work in teams. That way they are going to sharpen their democratic skills, since they are going to learn how to share, to respect and to actively participate in a team.
As far as concerns Shin’s article I have to say that I found his ideas very helpful and I use them in my classes. For example the use of my puppet, Froggy, is a very familiar figure to the students of the first and second grade and whenever something ‘’inappropriate’’ happens in class, Froggy expresses his feelings to the kids and all of a sudden everybody tries to ‘’comfort’’ Froggy, by adopting the right behavior. Definitely the use of realia makes understanding of new words more comprehensible to young learners, but whenever kids are involved in the creation of visuals or realia then the interest and participation in class is skyrocketed.

ranniagov@yahoo.gr said

at 1:59 pm on Oct 20, 2014

Shin's article proposes very useful tips for teaching YL. Some of them are already part of my teaching methods as I usually do supplement activities with visuals and movement, we very often listen and sing songs in class with my students. I also involve them in making visuals that help them engage in the learning process and I usually collaborate with other teachers in school when there is a Special program in progress. Finally, I think that moving from activity to activity is an easy and good way to keep my students' interest.

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