Part of the series: The 30 Goals Challenge, Goal 25: Plant a Seed
(picture from www.veezzle.com)
Marisa Pavan from Argentina shares this post about her journey with Goal 25: Plant a Seed and how she planted a seed with her students….
A couple of years ago inspired by the members of my Personal Learning Network (PLN) via Twitter (@Mtranslator) I decided to start using technological tools in my group classes. I teach English as a Second Language to 15-16-17-year-old teenagers who have intermediate and upper-intermediate levels. My thrust has been the relevance of helping students become independent, life-long learners. Although my students lack the necessary maturity to value the significance of becoming autonomous, I am convinced that I have planted a seed. I have received the approval and support from the director of the school of language where I work and parents’ compliments. I have noticed how motivated my students feel in class when we use, for example, videos of movies to practice past verbs like in http://moviesegmentstoassessgrammargoals.blogspot.com/2010/02/coraline-past-perfect-x-simple-past.html or when we play vocabulary games, such as http://www.smarttutor.com/home/lessons/Vocab_PrefixSuffix_L3_V1_T3a.swf. I have devised blogs and wikis in which I upload the links of the material we use in class so students can reuse the material at home, projects the students can develop at home and tasks for further practice.
As Shelly Terrell has expressed in her publication of the 30 Goals, it is not easy to keep the faith. However, I am a persevering person and I am not going to give in even though when I ask students if they have visited the blog/wiki to play language games I upload or to do a listening task, they reply negatively. When I show them those links in class, students express enthusiasm but it fades away quickly. I am sure that my students will need technological skills in their future careers and will give the importance to this opportunity in the future.
Like Shelly, I believe in passion and I feel passion for teaching English. However, I know that as a teacher of English I am not only helping my students develop language skills but also contributing a great deal to their growth as social beings. It is essential for them to learn how to be independent responsible members of society. For that reason, I need to make it clear for them that I am a guide, a facilitator, an assistant in their learning process but that they should assume responsibility for the goals they want to achieve. Besides, it is necessary for me to confer self-assurance to them so that they become strong to face their challenges.
What seeds (values) do you feel you have planted in your students?
Marisa Pavan holds degrees in translation, interpretation and teaching from Instituto Superior Nº 28 “Olga Cossettini”, Rosario and has two decades of experience in teaching English as a Second Language. She has over 6 years experience working as a freelance English-Spanish/ Spanish-English translator. She is skilled in languages, translation, interpretation, training students to develop listening, speaking, writing and reading strategies, CAT tools and communication. You can also find Marisa on Twitter, @mtranslator.
Try Marisa’s challenge and plant a seed in your students whether it be through using or a methodology!
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