Mérida (Spain), September 2010
My Dear Students,
I would like to welcome you all to this blog! As a teacher, I’m excited about the opportunity to get to know each of you, and I’m looking forward to making you enjoy a happy, effective and productive school year.
I will be teaching two different types of groupings and fields:
The Communication Field in Level 2 (Modules 1 and 2) in COMPULSORY SECONDARY EDUCATION FOR ADULT STUDENTS.
A course named “Introduction to English for Adult Beginners” (non-compulsory education, which gives me a high expectancy of motivation on your behalf, my dear students).
As some already know, concerning ESPA (Compulsory Secondary Education in Adult Schools), curriculum areas of the COMMUNICATION FIELD will focus on Spanish Language and Literature and, of course, ENGLISH Language (and literature???).
Students are required to bring the following supplies to school before the academic year starts: one notebook (but, in the case of ESPA STUDENTS, two notebooks instead: one for Spanish Language and literature, and another one for English), pen, pencil, rubber, and some highlighting pens,... in short, STATIONARY.
Additionally, for ESPA students you will have this suggested coursework:
NIVEL II DE EDITORIAL SAFEL: Ámbito de la Comunicación: Lengua Castellana y Literatura.
NIVEL II DE EDITORIAL SAFEL: Ámbito de la Comunicación: Inglés + CD Audio.
In the second term of CURSO DE INICIACIÓN AL INGLÉS, we might be using a Burlington edited workbook. We just need to see how we are improving in class.
My homework policy is “TRY TO DO YOUR BEST, but DO IT”, just as simple as that. it is by no means a chance that I emphasize this paragraph by quoting a well-known saying, presumably attributed to Confucius: "I see & I forget. I hear & I remember. I do & I understand." This is perhaps the philosophy underlying our in-class lessons, in which, ACTION is regarded as fundamental. DO NOT BE AFRAID OF MAKING MISTAKES, errors are part of the learning process. ONE THING I WANT TO EMPHASISE HERE IS THAT YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE OF YOUR OWN LEARNING PROCESS. KEEP THAT IN MIND. So, please, I ask that any coursework or task MUST BE handed-in in the agreed date, no sooner, no later than the day I ask you to hand-out any activity of such kind.
In my grading policy I will take into account, not only the examinations, but also homework, classwork, the attitude, participation in class, the interest and motivation, the organisation of your notebooks, among others..
Additionally, classroom policies, will be agreed on at the beginning of our academic year, taking as a basis the official NORMAS DE CONVIVENCIA provided by the Chief of Studies of this School, Mr. Luis Rodríguez.
We can discuss other behavioural procedures, if necessary, in class, with the aim of arriving at a common and sensitive agreement.
Special classroom events that may be planned for this academic year include “international days, poetry compositions and readings, etc. Additionally, we can do special activities and discussions in our lessons, according to the following calendar:
17th of October: the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty;
20th of November: World Day of Prevention of Child Abuse & the Rights of Boys & Girls;
1st of December: World AIDS Day;
10th of December: Human Rights World Day;
30th of January: School Day of No-violence & Peace;
8th of March: International Women’s day;
15th of March: World Consumer Rights Day;
21st of March: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination;
7th of April: The World Health Day;
23rd of April: International Book Day
5th of June: World Environment Day.
Please mark those dates on your calendar. A good idea is to get a personal diary (agenda) so as to take notes of exams dates, the above dates, homework... in this way, you take RESPONSIBILITY OF YOUR OWN PLANNING.
You may wonder why I decided to prepare a blog, specifically for English this year... Well, my dear students, we all know that LEARNING English is considered very important today since it makes a twofold contribution, in providing linguistic experience as well as human/social experience. Don't you use language when you want to order something?? you do! Sometimes, it is body language, but mainly we use linguistic signs to communicate. What if you decide to start travelling? Wouldn't you like to be able to communicate with people from other countries?? Furthermore, we live in Mérida, a gorgeous and touristic Roman town which is always crowded with tourists all the year round. Come on!!! We have a great opportunity to practice!!!to learn and to improve!!!Let's take this opportunity as a present!! What if we have a chance to get to know these people?? and how about those of you who work in shops, museums, bars, pubs and public services in Mérida?? What happens when some non-Spanish-speaking tourist orders a coffee in a cafeteria, or just asks you for directions,... wouldn't you be willing to help??? Of course, you would. I'm sure! You still need more reasons??? There are many more reasons but, I will focus now on the USAGE OF THE World Wide Web: wouldn't you like to understand many web pages which are in English???????? So, my dear students, we NEED effective communication in English, no matter we live in Mérida, Trujillanos, Arroyo de San Serván, or any other location because we must not forget that we are PART OF TODAY'S SOCIETY and the society of the XXIst century is characterised by three fundamental features: first, globalisation; second, massive usage of technologies of information & communication; and last but not least, ‘multilinguism’. Let's live together in this multilingual (and multicultural) society in which interchanges of all kinds (personal, sentimental -imagine you fall in love with someone from the UK, Belgium, Ireland, Iceland, or from anywhere else from Europe! WOW, how beautiful-, labour -yes, WORK!! Why not taking the chance of working abroad, or working in our country with businesses which have partners associates in other countries-, economic reasons,...) are more & more frequent everyday.
Well, if this is not enough, in class, I will try to at least convince you about how important learning English is! I'm sure, you will agree in some points with me!
If you have any questions or concerns or if you would like to visit our classroom tutorials, schedule a meeting, or volunteer to help out with an innovative activity, SUGGESTIONS are welcome: you can contact me at school from Monday to Friday: Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, I'll be at your disposal in the mornings; Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I'll be available in the afternoon-evening shift. The best times to reach me are in TUTORÍAS: I will be your tutor and counselour one day per week per group, that is, one day for the ESPA students (Level 2, class B, that is evening-afternoon group), and one day for the students of the Beginners Level English Course for Students.
Additionally, I will inform you of any EXTRA-SCHOOL ACTIVITY that the coordinator of such activities may be organized. I hope you will make it a priority this year to attend as many school-sponsored events as possible. Let's live as a community!
Once again, welcome to OUR SCHOOL. Let’s work together to make this the best year ever!
Marina, from now on, your teacher.