Using Social Networks for Language Teachers

 In 2007, the British Council conducted market research into how the Internet has affected the preferred learning styles of young people wanting to learn English around the world. The results of this research suggest that if teachers are to remain relevant and effective, then they need to use ‘learning technologies’ to help students reach the world outside the classroom.

The research done by the British Council showed that students who felt they were getting enough opportunities in their lives to socialise informally were also successful in their learning. You might wonder how a student finds time both to study and socialise as much as they want. Well, it’s important to understand that successful students combine studying and socialising, and that combining the two things helps them to be successful at both.

In consequence of advancement in technology, people nowadays are utilizing social networks for variety of purposes; such as exchanging photos, audio and video clips and other information. In this way, social networks  are mostly used for entertainment  and less beneficial purposes.

Even though I am not totally against using the social networks for these sort of entertainment stuff, but I am contemplating ways of using them in more useful ways. Especially for teachers whose responsibility in so far as education is concern is so great and important. For example, teachers can build a page of achievement files in Facebook. There they can post mind maps, worksheets, cross-words puzzles, flash cards audio and video clips as well as lesson plans and many more. There are a number of sites which have software to help them create these teaching aids such as mind maps.

In connection with students, they are mostly interested in games and entertainment and fun. They usually spend long time in these activities. Instead this unnecessary waste of time, they can dedicate some of their time for educational purposes such as exchanging ideas about current lessons and assist each other to solve learning problems they may encounter. Also for students of English they can write short stories and composition about their experiences and post on the Facebook page

and in so doing they may improve their writing skill.

Facilitating learning for adults

Learning a second language for adults might not usually be the same process as children acquire language naturally. It is generally observed that children acquire language unconsciously without thinking about grammatical rules and still like that with adults .

Adult learners for example, return to school here in Saudi Arabia for many reasons. Each has his own, but some of the most common relate to increasing their outcomes .

But there are many obstacles and challenges which we will try to focus on next paragraphs .So what are challenges adult learners face and how can we solve them.

First of all , Adults will learn only what they feel they need to learn . Because of that, Adults must feel the material they are learning is relevant, and that it will have an immediate effect.

Secondly ,adults try to avoid failure . Because of that Adults are much less open to the trial-and-error approach than children are. For that teachers should encourage them not be annoyed when they make any mistakes .Teachers should support them to try answering and correct mistakes if they were happened .

Thirdly , adults do not all learn the same way , so teachers should verify their teaching methods to fit their students’ needs .

Fourthly, adults need immediate feedback concerning their progress ,because of that we have to make frequent quizzes to give them feedback if they are on the right track or not .

Fifthly ,adults learn by comparing past experience with new experience, So we have to respect this point while we designing course book for them.

Any comments relating to this post will be received gratefully .


Better To Give “Short story”

A young man, a student in one of the universities, was one day taking a walk with a Professor, who was commonly called the student’s friend, from his kindness to those who waited on his instructions.

As they went along,they saw lying in the path a pair of old shoes, which they supposed to belong to a poor man who was employed in a field close by,and who had nearly finished his day’s work.

The student turned to the professor, saying: “Let us play the man a trick: we will hide his shoes, and conceal ourselves behind those bushes, and wait to see his perplexity when he cannot find them.”

“My young friend,” answered the professor, “we should never amuse ourselves at the expense of the poor. But you are rich, and may give yourself a much greater pleasure by means of this poor man. Put a coin in each shoe, and then we will hide ourselves and watch how this affects him.”

The student did so and they both placed themselves behind the bushes close by. The poor man soon finished his work, and came across the field to the path where he had left his coat and shoes.

While putting on his coat he slipped his foot into one of his shoes, but feeling something hard, he stooped down to feel what it was, and found the coin. Astonishment and wonder were seen upon his countenance. He gazed upon the coin, turned it around, and looked at it again and again.

He then looked around him on all sides, but no person was to be seen. He now put the money into his pocket, and proceeded to put on the other shoe; but his surprise was doubled on finding the other coin.

His feelings overcame him; he fell upon his knees, looked up to the heavens and uttered aloud a fervent thanksgiving in which he spoke of his wife who was sick and helpless, and his children without bread, whom this timely bounty, from some unknown hand,would save from perishing.

The student stood there deeply affected, and his eyes filled with tears. “Now,” said the professor, are you not much better pleased than if you had played your intended trick?”

The youth replied, “You have taught me a lesson which I will never forget. I feel now the truth of these words, which I never understood before: “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.”

Abdullah bin Abbas (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (sallAllahu alaiyhi wassallam) said that encouraging good, prohibiting evil, lifting the burden of the weak person and removing an offensive thing from a path are all acceptable prayers to Allah.
[ibn Majah] .The source of this story is here

The sound clip for this story

“Better to Give” Short Story

2011 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 24,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.