Speaking English outside the Classroom

One of the major problems EFL learners encounter is the lack of opportunity to improve their speaking skill. They study standardized text books in school and understand grammatical rules but unable to speak English in real life situations.

 While I was studying English at College, I suffered a lot because it was really difficult to find someone to speak English with outside the classroom. I remembered how I tried to practice on my own. However, I sometimes visited some of my lecturers in their offices just to chat with them in order to improve my English. Also, whenever I met English speakers I made use of the chance to speak with them as much as possible. After I graduated, one of my friends advised me using Yahoo chat. I then started chatting in Yahoo chat rooms but without much success because most of them considered me a spammer.

 Now, as an EFL teacher, I am very concerned about my students’ progress in speaking English since they live in same environment as me with limited access to speak English out of the classroom. I realized that my students are of two groups; the first are those who use technological devices such as smart phones and tablets and the second group have very limited access to technology. What I am contemplating presently is how to motivate these two groups to speak English outside the classroom.

 For students with access to technology, I am encouraging them to make the best use of these tools to advance their English. With the internet, there are thousands of applications such as vocabulary games, audio and video programs with which they can considerably improve their speaking skills by listening and viewing these repeatedly. Moreover, through Skype, students can get live conversations with native speakers and may thereby develop self-confidence to speak effortlessly. Teachers can even organize cell phone conversations with other students.

 Nevertheless, before the age of technology; many students all over the world have excelled in language learning by using the limited resources available to them. Because of this, we should not neglect those of our students who lack technological facilities even in this age of technology; but we should motivate them to achieve success. This can be done by introducing them to books with short stories and many conversations of different situations. These short stories can be dramatized into plays with students acting designated roles. These can be videotaped and they can view themselves and may easily correct their mistakes.

 Furthermore, it has been proved by educators that the best way to improve speaking skill is to read as many short stories as possible and listen to tapes of the same repeatedly. This method it said is very effective in improving the speaking skill. If you know of any other method by which students can speak English easily, your suggestions are welcome in the comment section.

Can we ensure Students’ Safety?

Is there dispute about the necessity to ensure a safe and conducive environment for our students at school?  No sensible being will indeed dispute that. Parents and teachers unanimously agree that in  order to achieve maximum success in the educational process, we need to ascertain that not only educational materials are provided;  but also an organized system must be put in place where in students are free from any kinds of fear. What should be done to achieve this? These means of safety is what I am going to look at in further details.

In a particular school, could you imagine that the Bus Driver who takes the children to school was so passionate about snakes even at expense of the children’s safety. On a fateful day, he was so careless that he took a box containing a big snake with him in the Bus. As he was waiting while the children are embarking the Bus, the snake suddenly jumped from the box.  This incident sent the children in complete commotion that resulted in some minor injuries of some of them. Fortunately, this is the type of school always maintain a school-guard. This guard quickly moved to the children’s rescue and immediately killed the snake. In as much as complete order was eventually restored and the children were finally driven home; but how fast do you think the traumatic feeling will be cure on those children and what should be done to that driver who exposed them to such children?

The above is just a tip of the iceberg, however; there are many types of dangers school children might be exposed to. For instance, school building should be built strong to prevent any unexpected collapse of any part. It must be well ventilated so that children are not exposed to suffocation. In the event of any danger like fire, dangerous animals or whatever, emergency exits should readily be available as means of escape. Moreover, teachers should receive training and educational programs about how to deal with emergency situations. They in turn should educate school children about what to do in cases of emergency. It is however, pathetic to note that most teachers do not even know how to use fire extinguishers. These are basic safety tools that one should know its operation.

Furthermore, students are sometimes exposed to other forms of danger, such as bully, racial discrimination, physical, emotional and sexual abuses. Therefore, school administration should set rules and regulations that prohibit these abuses and signs showing weapons on any sort are not allowed in school in school should be displayed. These signs would serve as a general awareness to ensure students safety. In addition, there should be appropriate punishment for those who are guilty of violations.

In conclusion, we should all come together to spread the awareness of students’ safety, so that we can have safe environment suitable for students learning free from any form of harassment. If you know of anything we can do to promote this safety, your suggestions would be most appreciated.

Does Technology make Students less Motivated?

Is technological advancement making how students becoming less interested in course books and the traditional method of learning? Nowadays, Students are mostly interested in electronics devices; spending hours using them.  I am encountering this problem with my students of English as second language and moreover they do not even want to use the course books.  Most of them lack interest in learning and so I have used various methods to get them participate including corporal punishment without success. However, I changed my strategy and my new approach seems to be yielding good result. In this article, I will be discussing how about this approach works.

I have realized that as human beings we have strong desire to be recognized and distinguish among others (being famous). Therefore, I told my students that I am introducing a system of granting them points with regards to their participation in class in answering questions, doing their assignments, as well as being well disciplined in class. At the end of the month, the student with the most points will be declared and honored as the star of the month.

When I commenced this competition among them, I observed that those who are now participating and are interested in learning English jumped from 20% to about 60% of the class. If this success is a lasting one, I think they will be motivated to learn English by themselves. Do you think of any means of getting students motivated to learn English as second language? You comments on this will be mostly welcome.

Don’t miss the Golden Time !

As you know lectures in Universities usually have a break time between them. A lot of students don’t know how to get benefit of those break times .So, we are going to discuss in this post my experience which I like to share with all of you.

First of all, before experiment’s Day I slept late because of that I was tired ,then when I get up at 5:00 a.m. ,I performed Al-Fajr prayer as usual .Then I go to University .

On my way to the University there are too much traffic on the way in that day. Because of that I went to Medical college where I study with a bad mood and nervous .Then I took two lectures which discuss difficult topics .After that I went to hospital for practical lessons .I got a lecture for two hours .Then I decided to revise my notes because I have another lecture which was very important one. That means  I should make a revision .But, because of the lack of sleeping ,I couldn’t revise it very well.

Now, I can’t focus on reading or understanding while I was try to understand .Because of that ,I decide to take a nap for one hour .Then after I get up, I look at my watch. I was shocked because time is up. Then I went to my last lecture which is very important for me to attend .

After ten minutes left from lecture time .I start asking lecturer about information that he was already explain before .Unfortunately ,I did that many times .After that my friends made fun of me and they asked me” what is your problem that cause you to be absent minded” .Actually ,I feel ashamed to confess that I sleep very late.

At the end of the day, What is your advice in dealing with situation like this.