quinta-feira, 28 de fevereiro de 2013

Language Learning: How To Overcome A Block



by Emmanuelle Archer 

So, since it’s so easy to get stuck while learning a foreign language, here are a few pointers to get you, well, unstuck. Because after all, that’s what you came here for!


Three steps to overcoming your language-learning block



1. Please try your best to forget all the language-learning myths you’ve heard over the years.
I know, they are many and they are persistent. Forget them nonetheless!
“It’s much more difficult to learn a foreign language as an adult.
Mandarin (or Thai, Arabic, Finnish, Hungarian) is just too hard for foreigners to learn.
You can’t learn by yourself, you have to take classes.
Classes are a waste of time, just wait until you get there and pick up the language by osmosis.”
Blah blah blah…
I could debunk these myths one by one, but that’s beyond the scope of this post. For now, all I can tell you is, don’t worry – the human brain is wonderfully resourceful and resilient, and it will rise to the occasion if you really want to learn.

2. Identify precisely where you’re stalling
To put it another way, what’s the step you’re not taking?
Why is this relevant? Because it will give you an important clue as to where the underlying issue is – not the excuse you’re making up, but the actual resistance.
For instance, let’s say you get stuck after the 6th Spanish lesson and just can’t bring yourself to play the darn CD-Rom yet another time. If I were to ask you why, you might tell me that you’re bored, and that there is too much grammar.
But if we went a little deeper, we may find out that what’s holding you back is the fear of not mastering the grammar – fear of failure – or the thought that if you cannot even get through the 6th lesson, then it’s hopeless and you will never get to the end of the CD-Rom – being too hard on yourself, or fear of not being good enough.
But maybe you got stuck much earlier than that – maybe you haven’t even purchased the CD-Rom yet, or you’re making all sorts of excuses not to go to the Goethe-Institut and sign up for German classes.
That’s clearly a higher level of resistance. It could be that all the tangled-up negative emotions are too much for you to take right now. It could also be that you unconsciously refuse to learn the language – and this would be a good opportunity to explore whether you might be resisting the move itself.
If you come to the conclusion that change and transitions are hard for you to handle, you may find What is your relationship with change? helpful.

3. Treat yourself gently, goshdarnit!

When you’re stuck, putting additional pressure on yourself is pretty much the worst thing you can do. Force yourself to sit down and study, and watch your resistance levels go through the roof!
I always find it interesting that we choose to treat ourselves much more harshly than we would treat our friends if they were in the same situation.
Imagine that your best friend, who is about to move away, tells you that no matter how hard she tries, she just can’t study and that she’s afraid to even open her books. What would you do?
Would you heap blame on her and insist that she strictly adhere to a rigid study schedule from now on? (well, you can if you want, but don’t be surprised when she doesn’t invite you to visit next summer and forgets your upcoming birthday – that’s what you get for being a lousy friend).
Or would you be genuinely concerned, try to understand what’s going on and find out how you can help? Yes, that’s what I thought.

So please, don’t be a lousy friend to yourself. Extend the same concern, compassion and care to yourself as you would to others. Ask yourself what you need, and find a way to let yourself have it.
Hint: what you need has little to do with external, material stuff. When you’re trying to overcome an emotional block, you have to work on the emotional level. A new grammar book, coloured markers or more time to study won’t do the trick.
But if you know that what’s holding you back is fear of change, and what you’re craving is reassurance, then how can you give yourself what you need?
Would a talk with your partner help? Or would you feel better if you already made a few contacts with fellow expats in your new country? Ask for what you need. Schedule the talk to make sure you won’t be interrupted. Get on a message board or on Twitterand make a few connections.


What happens next?


By not working on the problem but around the problem, you’ll make it much easier for your emotions to disentangle themselves. You may find that your motivation and desire to learn have returned, without your having to fight and push and force yourself. And then you’ll naturally start moving forward again, only without all that horrible pressure on yourself. Doesn’t that feel better already?
Oh, and if you’re really, really stuck, or if you’re not used to self-work, you may want to drop me a line. I have some great techniques to help with procrastination, and we can uncover and shift a lot of resistance in just a few sessions. You know, two heads together are better than one and all that good stuff.
And of course, comments are open, so don’t hesitate to share your thoughts!
Emmanuelle


segunda-feira, 25 de fevereiro de 2013

Go Further: The Challenges and The Frustrations


Ser proficiente em um idioma é não apenas atingir um nível " fluente" no estudo de uma segunda língua; ser proficiente é buscar uma melhoria constante em seu estudo, expandindo seu conhecimento da língua, lidando com o fato que nunca saberemos tudo sobre o idioma e reconhecendo que isso deve ser um trampolim para continuarmos estudando e não uma barreira de frustração nos impedindo de melhorar.  

Rutth queria aprender mais. O que era estranho, pois muitos learners no nível dela deixariam de estudar, por já ter conseguido falar bem o suficiente para trabalhar ou viajar, ou seja, atingira o nível que todo aluno de um segundo idioma sonha about. However, ela queria mais, queria estudar para os certificados do idioma.

- Quero tentar o Proficiency Certificate, teacher - ela me disse - Será que eu consigo? 

- Of course ! - respondi - Mas... Esse estudo exige um cuidado.

- Que cuidado? Estudar mais e ... muito?

- Sim e também, mas há something else:  é preciso ter cuidado com as frustrações naturais de estudar um idioma estrangeiro mais further. Ao adentrar esse mundo do inglês mais acadêmico, você vai voltar para um território em que você não terá tanto domínio assim com as centenas de palavras novas, construções formais bem diferentes do jeito que você já se habituou a falar e regras gramaticais um tanto surrealista. A falta de domínio desse conhecimento novo vai te abalar um pouco emocionalmente e você terá que ser forte o bastante para não desenvolver nenhum tipo de bloqueio com o inglês que você já sabe falar.

- Fica tranquilo, teacher! Darei de conta.

- If you say so... Let's do it !

Começamos o estudo e percebi que a cada nova dificuldade que surgia nos exercícios, a confiança que Rutth começava a ser abalada. Diante de novas palavras como: "to be prone to" ou "come to terms", ela ensaiava um passo além da sua zona de conforto de domínio, mas voltava rapidamente para dentro dela, dizendo para si mesma: eu nunca vou aprender a usar isso.
She was prone to get frustrated com aquela bola de neve de decepções e ela precisava come to terms com isso, por isso, pedi que ela fechasse o livro e olhasse para mim.

- Rutth, pare de se frustrar por não conseguir absorver todas essas palavras novas e não conseguir acertar todas as respostas dos exercícios. Every learner is prone to make mistakes. Não é uma competição! Lembre-se: estamos apenas iniciando o seu aprendizado. You need to come to terms with that - aceitar que você não vai conseguir controlar tudo all the time.

- Mas eu estou sentindo que não aprendi nada em inglês. 

- Você aprendeu o suficiente para se expressar bem em qualquer contexto. Agora, você está going further para um conhecimento acadêmico e precisa entender que é um território novo e compreender que você precisa extrair suas lições dos erros que está fazendo.

- E se eu não passar no exame? 

-  Tenho certeza que você tentará de novo.

-  Sorry to let you down, teacher, mas é que eu nunca vi nem ouvi essas palavras antes, parece um outra língua. 

- E é- disse mais duramente, porém, eu precisava ajudar Rutth a recobrar a sua vontade de continuar - Shall we continue?

Ela respirou fundo e suspirou um " yééé" e continuamos o estudo. 

Na segunda aula, foi pior. Na terceira foi horrível, mas ela continuou firme e foi pouco a pouco se convencendo que realmente não precisava dominar bem tudo o que estava aprendendo pela primeira vez. 

Um mês depois, ela finalmente conseguiu ir bem em um dos exercícios e sorriu novamente, pois compreendeu que essa jornada do Go Further é ousar mesmo ir além daquilo que ela sabia. Rutth sabia disso agora e tinha come to terms com a realidade que se aperfeiçoar exige que todo learner duvide mesmo da sua capacidade no inicio da travessia, mas todo bom learner está prone to ser sucedido. 

Seu exame será em março, mas Rutth já é uma aluna proficiente por não sucumbir as frustrações que o novo desafio trouxe para ela e esse nível de proficiência no estudo do inglês, certificado nenhum conseguirá lhe dar.

sexta-feira, 22 de fevereiro de 2013

The Adventures of You: Self-Study - an introduction


- Brazilian English, right? - perguntou You quando o vi, na primeira aula do ano.
- Yes! Would you like to speak Brazilian English with me?
- Why not? - disse You rindo - mas teacher, preciso te contar algo antes. Estava conversando com alguns amigos sobre isso e eles caíram matando nessa teoria, depois das milhares de piadas e ridicularizações, eles disseram que isso é uma grande bobagem, pois somente o inglês americano é o aceito pelo mundo corporativo e pelas universidades.
- What a pity! - eu disse - eles perderam a chance de aprender com você.
- É pode ser...
- E é, You! Não existe língua certa, só se fala.
- Ein?
- Naturalmente, a língua teórica aprendida vai sendo estruturada dentro da gente e quando você vê...
- ...
- Quando você vê: você fala!
- Mas ninguém quer falar errado, né teacher?
- Ninguém deveria ficar bloqueado por não conseguir falar certo, You.
- Eu já passei dessa fase - disse You - hoje em dia, right or wrong, eu speak mesmo.
- Essa é a idéia, You, a brincadeira da fala, a mistura, usar o português para dar base e depois se soltar pelo idioma estrangeiro. However, esse livre falar não é uma desculpa para permanecer falando errado. O erro pode ter sido o auxilio, mas pode ser um entrave também.
- E o quê podemos fazer para evitar isso?
- To study is the key, right? Self-study is always the best remedy for our excess of mistakes and confidence.
- Mas, teacher, esse negócio de self-study é bonitinho na aparência, mas na hora em que tentamos colocar em prática é que a porca torce o rabo.
- How do You say...
- C'mon, teacher, " porca torce o rabo"? I have no idea.
- You see, that's a good subject for you to research about. Don't you think? A great topic for homework. Can you do it?
- To research " a porca torce o rabo" ?
- Yes!
- Ok, I will try.
- Try not...
- Ok, teacher, I will do it or do not...


TO BE CONTINUED...

quinta-feira, 21 de fevereiro de 2013

Study Tips and Techniques




There are different approaches towards the act of studying, where each one will have their own way of memorizing text and formulae. Learn some study tips and techniques if you find it hard to follow a method of your own when it comes to studying.


When it comes to studying or learning, every student prefers his / her distinct pattern that suits their speed, grasping capacity and other academic abilities. However there are certain studying techniques that can aid the learning process to a great extent. Taking notes in the class, reviewing the notes, rewriting the study material can seem too intimidating at times, here is a step by step guide that you might find helpful if you are in the process of chalking out your own study plan. First of all you need to acquire some useful study habits to follow a good study plan.

Study Techniques for Students

Attending Classes
Classroom knowledge is interactive, as well as important. The amount of knowledge that one can grasp in a classroom is extremely valuable for students. Make it a point to attend the classes regularly so that you don't miss out on the important points and topics mentioned in the class. Often teachers mention important topics and subjects that might come in handy while cracking the class tests and exams. Attending classes will help you to understand and remember each and every concept clearly and clear out any doubt that you have regarding the subject. No amount of reading or self-study can match up to the level of interactive study that is a distinct feature of classroom sessions.

Maintaining Organized and Comprehensive Notes

Yes maintaining your notes is another essential element of studying. One simple process to have comprehensive notes is to include the following steps:
Take Notes in the classroom.
While reviewing the notes during self-study, make your own additions to sum up your understanding of the topic.

Research further to include additional data to your notes.

A well-organized set of comprehensive notes is the key to studying correctly. Also make sure the notes are clean in terms of writing and presentation; avoid scribbles in your final notes. It is always preferable that you type your notes and maintain them online or take prints. Having a soft copy of your notes always works well since you can take prints if and when required and in addition to that you never have to worry about losing your notes. However don't worry if you do not own a computer or if you prefer writing you notes on paper, you can maintain files or notebooks as well.

Self-Study and Research

It is a common misconception that self-study can begin only after a particular topic or chapter is taught in class. You should start preparing for the class in advance when you After attending the classes, it is of utmost importance that you have time to review the notes that you have taken during the class as well as try to read more about the subject on your own. Be it reference books, or e-books, try to hunt for more information about your subject so that you have a comprehensive view of the topics taught under your syllabus. Often while reading and self-studying, it happens that you come across doubts or questions that did not occur to you in the classroom. Try and answer these questions yourself with the help of books or the Internet, however in case you fail to fins and answer jot down these questions so that you remember to clarify the questions in your next class.

Group Discussions, Debates and Conversations

Yes, one of the important habits that one must acquire to enhance the studying process is indulge in-group discussions, debates or simple conversations about the subjects that you are studying. Group discussions can be a great way to broaden your perspective over important issues since group discussions give every group member a chance to voice their understanding, which might not necessarily be alike. Group discussions are thus a healthy and a rather informal way of exchanging information and discussing issues. Many teachers encourage the group discussion technique in their classroom as well.

Regular Planning

No matter how much people frown upon the planning process and the timetables, it is a known fact that having a clear and detailed plan makes it easier for a person to reach the goal. According to your convenience, make a daily/weekly/monthly planner for your studies. Although the monthly planning process might seem convenient it is always better to have a weekly or a daily plan, so that abrupt changes in class schedule or any other changes can be taken into consideration accordingly.

Balanced Study

Yes, there exist some species of students who burn the midnight oil, and slog it out every single day. The studying process should be such that it leaves enough room for a student to indulge in recreational activities and relaxation. Always chalk out a schedule that will not hamper your sleep, your health, your sports / recreational activities and other routine tasks. Also studying a single subject at a stretch (like an entire week or so), can get boring, hence plan a schedule that helps you switch from one subject to another in sufficient time.

Build the Right Attitude

Normally students get too caught up with the grades, the percentage and the entire marking system. Always remember that if you study with the aim of acquiring knowledge, the grades will be brighter by default. However if you just aim for the high grades, there is a chance you might get the grades, but you will miss out on acquiring comprehensive knowledge on a particular subject. Always study with the right attitude, and you will never have to worry about your grades. Knowledge is way beyond the grades and percentile marking.

Efficient Note-taking Techniques

While you are in the classroom, it is very important to pay attention to your lecturer and attempt to grasp every single thing that is being said or discussed. Since students cannot solely rely on their memory to retain all the information, note making is an essential part of classroom studying. Here are some note-making techniques that can make the process of note-making much more convenient and hassle free.

The Cornell Method

This is one of the best methods for writing your notes. It is precise, comprehensive and most importantly it does not include too much re-writing and can still be clean and organized. While using the Cornell method, all you have to do is, rule your paper with a 2 ½ inch margin on the left which leaves a six-inch area on the right. While in a classroom, take down your notes in the six-inch area. For every significant bit of information, write a cue in the left margin (the 2½ inch area). When the lecturer/teacher moves to a new point, skip a few lines after the earlier notes. Once the class is over what you will have is succinct notes with cues in the left margin and space below every point where you can expand the point and jot down the subject in your own words. While reviewing the notes make use of a card to hide the notes, leaving the cues exposed. Now, say the cue out loud, and then reproduce as much as you can of the material underneath the card, and move the card to see if what you said matches the written content. Rest assured that if you can say it, you know it pretty well.

The Outlining Method

The outlining method involves listening and then writing important points in an organized pattern that is based on space indention. The major points will be written farthest to the left, whereas more specific points will be written following the main point but will be right aligned. The distance from the major point will indicate the degree of importance of a specific point. The indention can be labeled with Roman numerals, or even decimals. Although this system is well-organized, requires minimum editing and is easy for reviewing notes it does have some disadvantages. Disadvantages of this system are that it requires strong concentration level in the class to achieve accurate organization and hence may not be easy to use in a speedy lecture.

The Mapping Method

The Mapping method is a rather graphic method to jot down your notes and hence helps you to visually track your lecture. This system can be easily used in speedy lectures as well since it requires minimum thinking. The mapping method also makes it easier to edit your notes by adding numbers and color-coding. Also, while reviewing your notes, the mapping method will require you to restructure your thought processes which will in turn mean that you will recheck your understanding in the notes.

Extra Study Tips for Students

Make sure the place where you will be studying is free from all sorts of distractions. Ideally it is always better if you study in a quiet environment, however for people who prefer studying with some music playing in the background, it is better to keep the volume very low.
Do prepare for your classes in advance which will help you understand the things taught in the class better.
Attend the classes regularly so you have an idea of what is being taught in the class.
Reading the borrowed notes, or textbooks will not match the classroom learning.
Make it a point to research the subject further after the class is over. Do not limit yourself to the syllabus; always focus on obtaining comprehensive knowledge of a subject. Shallow understanding can get you good grades by chance but comprehensive knowledge will enrich you in the true sense.



quarta-feira, 20 de fevereiro de 2013

English Teachers - Episode 3 "Hail Mary"

Tensions rise as the news of Be Yes closing drives a wedge between the staff. As a hail mary attempt to save the school, Sawaguchi calls on someone from the school's past.



Created/Directed by Anthony Gilmore
Produced/Edited by Ryan Seale
Production Design by David Mazzucchi
Written by Ryan Smith, Brandon Kennison, Cameron Smith and Kelly Quinn
Cinematography by Yoshinobu Hayano

http://englishteachersseries.com
http://facebook.com/englishteachersse...
http://twitter.com/englishseries

segunda-feira, 18 de fevereiro de 2013

English Teachers - Episode 2 "(Un)equilibrium"

With everyone running on auto pilot, the Be Yes staff is easily distracted. However, when Sawaguchi delivers bad news, the school's endangered future has their full attention.



Created/Directed by Anthony Gilmore
Produced/Edited by Ryan Seale
Production Design by David Mazzucchi
Written by Ryan Smith, Brandon Kennison, Cameron Smith and Kelly Quinn
Cinematography by Yoshinobu Hayano

http://englishteachersseries.com
http://facebook.com/englishteachersse...
http://twitter.com/englishseries

quinta-feira, 14 de fevereiro de 2013

Happy Valentine's Day



Mistake 2


33 Ways To Overcome Frustration

by Dragos Roua


I have a huge experience with frustration. I experienced it in so many ways, at so many times in my life, that I feel like I’m some kind of a specialist. If you wonder why I have this huge expertise, here’s the answer: growth ever happens without it. The more frustration you are able to harvest, resolve and overcome, the more growth you’re experiencing. Avoiding it, hiding from it, deluding the game, none of these strategies will make you a better human being. On the contrary.

What follows is a list of tools and approaches I used to solve my own frustration and limitation episodes.

1. Accept Reality

Yes, something bad happened. Don’t spend your day imagining how beautiful life could be if it wasn’t for that stupid incident or mistake. This is it. It is frustrating, no doubt about it, but rejecting this reality will not lower the frustration, on the contrary, will make it stronger and stronger. Accept reality.

2. Shift Your Focus

It’s so easy to get caught in a spiral of anger and despair when you’re frustrated, and I know that first hand. Shift your focus by engaging in small but demanding activities. Get involved. Do take the necessary steps to get over the frustrating situation, but do not ignore everything else around you.

3. Talk About It With A Friend

Find somebody you trust and talk about it. Let it out. Don’t let it grow inside yourself until you explode. Most of the time, when you reach this point, it’s too late to make a meaningful change that will restore your reality. Let your worries and your tension fly. After all, this is what friends are for, right?

4. Journal It

If you don’t keep a journal, start now. Write down all your fears, all your sensations and describe them in great detail. Do it until you feel you can’t do it no more. You’re going to feel incredibly better. Writing has this side effect of lowering what you write about, making it more manageable. Just try it.

5. Write A Letter About It

Imagine you’re on a desert island. Sit down and write a letter to somebody who could potentially rescue you. Be verbose. Imagine how your life will be after you leave that desert island. Because if you can’t describe that, you will never leave the island. Then destroy the letter.

6. Write A Worse Case Scenario

What is the worst thing that may happen to you right now? List everything from physical loss to emotional imbalances. Try to foresee every little detail of a worst case scenario. What life will you live if everything will turn out as bad as possible? Then read it. It won’t look as bad as you thought.

7. Identify A List Of Possible Actions

What exactly will make the situation acceptable again? What are the things that you could actually do to improve your current status? Make a list. Try to identify every possible action, as improbable as it may seem, and put it on the list. At the end of this, you’ll feel much better: you have work to do.

8. Sleep Over It

Most of your unconscious life happens while you’re asleep. Try to go to bed with a clear thought of resolution. Don’t try to find a solution, just prepare yourself for getting out of that frustrating circle. During the night your unconscious mind will find resources to make you stronger.

9. Be Your Own Avatar

Try to look at yourself from “the outside”. Write on a piece of paper what an observer would see at you. How do you behave? How do you talk, how do you act? The more you’ll do this exercise, the more you’ll differentiate yourself from the frustrating persona and take control over it at the same time.

10. Read Something Funny

This will not solve your problem, most of the time it will only switch your focus to something else, giving you a temporary break. Do not mistake this technique with avoidance, just use it as a chillout session, then get back on track and solve whatever you have to solve.

11. Stop Blaming Yourself

Maybe you did something really wrong, and your current situation is the result of that mistake. Take responsibility but don’t blame yourself. It’s all in the past. You’re in the present now and you can do something about it. Blame will only put weight on that past and drag you down. Avoid it at all cost.

12. Take A Walk

Even on the wild side, if you like the wild side, but do take a walk. The mere action of moving will set you up for action and hopefully will make your mind a little clearer.  Walking always helps me put my thoughts in order and let off the steam a little bit. And it’s free of charge.

13. See It From The Future

This one goes hand in hand with number 6. Try to describe your current situation and look at it from the future. 1 year from now, your problem will be as  big as it is right now? How about 5 years? Or 10 years? Putting your frustration in a larger context will usually weaken it or at least make it manageable.

14. Cook A Delicious Meal

As simple and mundane as it may seem, cooking is an art. And every time you perform some sort of an art, you’ll see the world through your intuitive mind. You’ll summon your way out of frustration rather than find it through logical inference. And cooking is the cheapest – and tastiest – art one can afford.

15. Go To A Party

Not to be abused and transformed into some sort of escapism but extremely useful to lower your shirtiness. Go out, mingle and see if you can wipe out your frown from your face. You can get back to your problems later, when your body and mind will be more balanced. After the hangover, of course.

16. Write About Your Past Successes

You don’t have to keep a journal for it, you can just sit down at a table and remember all your breakthroughs. Or only the most important ones. Seeing yourself succeeding will definitely weaken all that frustration you feel right now and will also give you some hints about how to completely overcome it.

17. Borrow Some Enthusiasm

Stay around energetic people or get involved in active projects. Choose to be part of something that exhales a lot of energy. Get involved in fresh projects. Being around enthusiastic people will lower the frustration to the point where it can actually become manageable. And it will make you just feel better.

18. Soak and Dry

Let it flow through you until you’re completely overloaded. Just be sure not to do something during this stage. Isolate from the world and allow yourself to be frustrated. Then slowly wait for the frustration to dry out. Sometimes, this “all you can eat” approach is the only way to deal with it in a healthy way.

19. Go Watch A Comedy

As an alternative to number 10, “Read Something Funny”. Giving yourself permission to laugh will lower your anger and hopefully will make things easier to handle. Also, seeing people in strangely hilarious situations will make your own frustration seem awkward. Through a good laugh at it.

20. Attack It With The “Why?” Weapon

Another writing exercise, in which you start to find the root cause of your frustration by asking “why?” questions. “Why am I broke?” – Because I spent too much. “Why did I spent too much” – Because I’m feeling insecure. “Why?…” You got the idea. At some point, something will click inside.

21. Volunteer For Something

Frustration is closely related to your ego, or the part of your being that is concerned with those big phrases starting with “Me…”. If you volunteer to do work for somebody else, you’ll stop feeding your ego with energy. The weaker that part gets, the stronger your authentic and powerful part will be.

22. Stand Up And Fight

Be a soldier. Give yourself orders and follow them. Instill some rough and unquestionable discipline in your life. Get up early in the morning, do your work as if you’re on a battle field and then go to sleep. Repeat until your problems become just situations you can solve by following an easy sequence of new orders.

23. Stop Blaming Others

Similar to number 11, only this time your attitude will turn towards other people, in a desperate attempt to avoid feeling hurt. Just stop it. Although it may seem like a relief, blaming others it’s just a temporary hack, it won’t last. In 99% of the situations, what we experience is the direct result of our own actions.

24. Do Small, Repetitive Tasks

Borrow the behavior of a machine. Do those tiny little things you avoided so much because they seemed so boring. Now it’s the best time to start working on them. Slicing your time and focus will dissolve the pressure. Frustration will slowly dilute in this sea of tiny, repetitive tasks.

25. See It From The Past

Alternative to number 13, looking at your own frustration from the past will color it in a new, fresher light.  Most of the time, the feeling triggered by this perspective is: “I’ve been through though times before, I can get over this”. And this is more often than you think true: we have a huge life experience, we just don’t trust it enough.

26. Read Similar Stories

You’re not alone. And even if you find it difficult to talk to other people you can always do this by yourself: just scorch the Internet using descriptive keyphrases about your own frustration. You’ll discover that you’re not alone. Somebody else have been there too. And now he’s so over it.

27. Assess Progress

Every second of your life changes something. Look for the small steps you’re doing and assess them. The first item on this assessment list may be: “I’m starting to assess my progress and this is in itself a huge step forward”. The more you write, the bigger your progress will seem.

28. Disguise It

Put a mask on it, make it look like something else: “I’m feeling frustration right now, but this is a mask for…” and replace with whatever quality you want to build: discipline, personal power, endurance. Transform it. I usually use the caterpillar – butterfly image: it’s bad now but look what it can become.

29. Contrast It With A Worse Situation

Try to identify a related situation but with a significantly higher degree of damage. If you’re in debt, imagine how it will be to be bankrupt. If you’re having a relationship hickup, try to imagine how it would be to live on a desert island for the rest of your life. Be grateful for what you experience, because it can be worse.

30. Dilute It With Meditation

I don’t preach meditation as an all-in-one cure, but from my personal experience, it does help. Meditation will not only shift your focus from your current situation, but it will also clean your thoughts and help your body regain a subtle energetic balance. Remember you’ll still have to take action, meditation will only dilute it.

31. Get Physical

Start an aggressive exercising routine. Getting physical will make it easier to embrace action and to do it with vigor and determination. A side effect of exercising is the “endorphin effect”: the induction of a well-being state generated by your own body.

32. This Too Shall Pass

Impermanence is at the core of our human nature, is our curse and escape: we’re prisoners of time and everything we experience is bound to it. Laughter and sadness, joy and depression, everything will fade away in time. The same will happen to this frustrating period too: it will pass.

33. Write A List Of 33 Ways To Overcome Frustration

This is an incredible exercise. As funny as it may seem in this context, it’s actually a very powerful standalone approach. Just sit back and try to imagine 33 ways to get over your current frustration. I bet that around number 20 your problem will seem smaller than you thought it was.

domingo, 10 de fevereiro de 2013

English Teachers - Episode 1 "First Days Suck"



Tom Kellerman's first day as a teacher at Be Yes is one he'd like to forget. However, when an attractive new teacher arrives at the school six months later, he has a bad case of deja vu. 

Created/Directed by Anthony Gilmore
Produced/Edited by Ryan Seale
Production Design by David Mazzucchi
Written by Ryan Smith, Brandon Kennison, Cameron Smith and Kelly Quinn
Cinematography by Yoshinobu Hayano

http://englishteachersseries.com
http://facebook.com/englishteachersse...
http://twitter.com/englishseries

sexta-feira, 8 de fevereiro de 2013

Every Student Can Succeed


Quick Teaching Tip


It is important to believe that every student can succeed. If you believe it, students will realize it and work harder. When a teacher doesn't truly believe that each student can succeed in his or her class, this comes through to the students and can truly be detrimental. On a personal note, one year I told my students that I knew they could get the complicated concept I was teaching, and I continued working until I truly felt that they all got it. One student in particular came up to me after class and said, "I can't believe I understand that. Thank you." That was an awesome moment for me as a teacher. 


Regards,

quinta-feira, 7 de fevereiro de 2013

Top Reasons to Become a Teacher


Teaching is a special calling. It is not a job well-suited to everyone. In fact, many new teachers leave within the first 3-5 years of teaching. However, there are many rewards that come with this oft maligned career. Here are my top ten reasons why teaching can be a great profession.

1. Student Potential

Unfortunately, not every student will succeed in your class. However, this fact should not keep you from believing that every student has the potential for success. This potential is so exciting - each new year presents new challenges and new potential successes.

2. Student Successes

Closely related to the previous pick, student success is what drives teachers to continue. Each student who didn't understand a concept and then learned it through your help can be exhilarating. And when you actually reach that student that others have written off as being unteachable, this can truly be worth all the headaches that do come with the job.


3. Teaching a Subject Helps You Learn a Subject 

You will never learn a topic better than when you start teaching it. I remember my first year teaching AP Government. I had taken Political Science courses in college and thought I knew what I was doing. However, the student questions just made me dig deeper and learn more. There is an old adage that it takes three years of teaching to truly master a subject and in my experience this is the truth.
4. Daily Humor
If you have a positive attitude and a sense of humor, you will find things to laugh about each day. Sometimes it will be silly jokes you will make up as you teach that might get a laugh from your students. Sometimes it will be jokes that kids share with you. And sometimes students will come out with the funniest statements without realizing what they've said. Find the fun and enjoy it!

5. Affecting the Future

Yes it might be trite, but it is true. Teachers mold the future each day in class. In fact, it is a sad fact that you will see some of these students more consistently day-to-day than their parents will.

6. Staying Younger

Being around young people everyday will help you remain knowledgeable about current trends and ideas. It also helps break down barriers.

7. Autonomy in the Classroom

Once a teacher closes that door each day and begins teaching, they really are the ones who decide what's going to happen. Not many jobs provide an individual with so much room to be creative and autonomous each day.          
8. Conducive to Family Life
If you have children, the school calendar will typically allow you to have the same days off as your kids. Further, while you might bring work home with you to grade, you will probably be getting home close to the same time as your children.
9. Job Security
In many communities, teachers are a scarce commodity. It is fairly certain that you will be able to find a job as a teacher, though you might have to wait until the start of a new school year and be willing to travel within your county/school district. While requirements might be different from state to state, once you have proven yourself a successful teacher, it is relatively easy to move around and find a new job.

10. Summers Off

Unless you work in a district that has a year round education system, you will have a couple of months off in the summer where you can choose to get another job, teach summer school, or just relax and vacation. Further, you typically get two weeks off during Christmas/Winter Holidays and one week for Spring Break which can really be a huge benefit and provide much needed rest time.


Quando Chega...



Quando chega, chega assim uma alegria, como se todas as crianças do mundo cantassem ao mesmo tempo essas canções divertidas que fazem cócegas em nossa alma. 

Quando chega, essa energia revela tudo aquilo que é velado e todas as perguntas ganham respostas, pois compreendemos que tudo está conectado. Tudo ganha sentido pois a energia mostra que sabíamos de tudo o tempo todo, mas essa certeza única não se manifesta no plano da dualidade em que vivemos, pois aqui tudo é dois: fé e dúvida.

Quando chega, vejo claramente os Orixás, esses deuses dançarinos; vejo as asas da Grande Ave que culturas cristãs chamam de Espírito Santo; vejo os flocos das partículas divinas que o nosso povo chama de prana, Chi, Ki ou Maná.

Quando chega, ouço todos os 72 nomes e outros 72 que eu não conhecia e os nomes se multiplicam de acordo com o número de pessoas, pois cada um chama essa energia de um jeito, eu a chamo de papaizinho.

Papaizinho, pois diante dessa força, só me resta ficar quietinho para escutar e bem moleque para sentir. E o que eu escuto é a canção das estrelas que ecoa em meu corpo e vira teoria na mente e o que eu sinto...ahhh...o que eu sinto só faz sentido para mim, por isso, deixo você assim sem te explicar tim tim por tim tim o que é perceber o Deus que habita em você se revelar em mim.

How to organize your study time better



Before we begin

I know, sounds odd, huh? But before you even crack those books there are some simple steps you can take which will dramatically increase the efficiency of your study time and decrease the number of hours you have to put in. As strange as it seems, the psychological factors are just as important as the physical ones in determining our attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. When you approach your work in a well prepared space mentally, you'll be more receptive to information, pay better attention and remember more than approaching the task haphazardly. What you need is to work smarter, not harder.
Most of these techniques are not secret and are generally pretty simple, so what's the catch? People don't do 'em & they don't work if you don't do 'em. Often, with complex topics or advanced material people feel that there needs to be a more difficult way, but really the basic techniques are the same and can be tailored and adapted to just about any subject or learning style.
So that's the good news, the bad news - you really have to do all these things, I don't mean religiously, but consistently. The research has shown that periods of spaced, massed practice, or in English, lots of little learning episodes to be a better technique for learning and retaining information. So, much like with physical fitness training, a few minutes everyday will pretty soon build your stamina, an once you get going, learning is actually usually pretty enjoyable for people - mostly because as adults there are less likely to be required subjects we can't stand, so ther's usually at least a passing interest in the material. As with going to the gym, you have to keep at it, but it eventually becomes self reinforcing and the sense of mastering a topic/aspect of some material is what keeps legions of academics slaving away.

Getting started
So, you've decided to go back to school? - or you've never left, either way you need a way to maximize your study and minimize the drama.Here are some tips which should help you make the most of your time.
1. Make the space
So, first things first - the space. Whether you're a full time student or just taking a couple of classes, the first thing you need is a quiet, comfortable space with minimal distractions - if you don't have a separate room, use a corner of your bedroom, or the kitchen. I wrote most of my dissertation at a kitchen table because that's where it was most comfortable to work (and believe me, there wasn't a whole lot of cooking coming out of the kitchen at that time). Your workspace is more than a place to study, you need to make sure that when you enter that space, you know exactly what comes next - work, and only work. Don't use the space to catch up on your bills or phone calls unless you have no other alternative. That way it prepares your brain to expect and focus on only one task.
2. Make the time
Switch off your phone, block the time off in your day planner, call your best friend to tell them that from 3-5p you will be studying today - you need to train other people as well as yourself (and the act of telling someone you plan to do something also increases the chances you'll follow through & let's face it, sometime we need all the help we can get). This is your time to do this task, if you're trying to write a paper and it's just not flowing, take a 5 minute break, take a walk, stretch, eat something, but go back and sit there until your time is up for that day.
3. Have everything you need
There is no better excuse to short circuit a study session than a broken pencil - make sure there is no good reason for you to leave your space. You need plenty of paper, pens, pencils and whatever other stationary you'll need. If you don't have a desk, put your stuff together in one of those tote boxes and give it a specific place to live. That way it's always there when you need it.
4. Keep organized
One of the most difficult aspects of a self study program is pacing. Use whatever works best for you - a planner, desktop, pda - anything that you always have on you and look at regularly. Write down assignment due dates, break down projects into sections and plot out what you need to do each day, make task lists and tick them off, but keep on top of stuff. When you are stressed your brain is in survival mode, not writing a term paper mode and you just don't think as clearly. Anticipate deadlines, approach projects in small chucks - and don't forget to reward yourself for a job well done!
5. Determine your learning style
How do you learn best - by hearing information? by reading information? Most of use have one of these as a dominant style, find which one suits you better, or combine them. Some people are primarily tactile (they learn by feeling the shape, texture, weight of the object) or kinesthetic (these people need to move around when studying so using tapes while you're at the gym may be a good strategy for this learning style. While you should focus on your dominant learning style,the best way to encode information and make sure it stays there is to use a combination of strategies. Read the keywords/phrases out loud to yourself, consider taping lectures so you can just listen & ask questions in class, later make notes from your tapes.. 
6. Keep it interesting
Do whatever it takes, if you like colors, color code, if you're crafty, make yourself a desk organizer, get a cool notebook or binder - or get a pen you really love to write with. Being in a space which is organized and attractive is likely to make you want to stay there longer - and the more effort you put into something the more you are likely to get out, so put some time into creating your space, your organization system and your mind set so you only have to do it once. Much of our times wasting comes from interruptions, procrastination, misplaced objects and not having the correct tools at hand. Get these out of the way at the beginning and you'll find that you maximize your productivity and minimize your study time - and that's good, 'cos it means more me time.

Got the place, got the space - now what?

There are 3 basic elements to a successful study plan:- organization, planning/time management and effective study techniques. So, what exactly are good study techniques? We often assume, especially if people are beyond high school, that people have learned good study techniques or they wouldn't have got this far, but the fact is that many people, even those with advanced degrees don't really know how to study.
To be effective you need to know yourself - are you a night owl? great study at night; an early bird, perhaps 5am is your time. Be aware of the times you feel most and least energetic and try to schedule study time during these hours. Some people like to study in bath - and if the laundromat at 6am works for you, you'll have clean laundry too. You are going to be the most valuable tuning and tweaking tool. Just make that space work for you.
What is intimidating for many people about studying is that they don't know how to approach it and are put off by high volume. When approached systematically, there is virtually no material that cannot be broken down and learned over a period of time. Remember too, this is a process of conditioning your brain and strengthening associational links between neurons - yup, you actually lay down a physical trace when you learn something, you physically alter the brain - and the more you repeat the learning, the bigger the path gets and the easier it it to find and negotiate, but Rome was not built in a day - you have to put in the time, but frequent, regular practice makes almost anything conquerable - remember how hard it was to learn to drive a stick shift?

The nuts and bolts

  • Break your study time into ½ hour blocks, study for 25 minutes, rest for 5 minutes, increase the break time by 5 minutes for each additional 25 minutes, so at the end of the next 25 minutes, take a 10 minute break, after the next 25 minutes take 15 minutes. You probably shouldn’t have to spend more than 1 ½ to 2 hours a day on homework/studying, 3-4 at the graduate level. If you feel that you are doing more than this talk with your teacher or re-examine and tweak your learning plan - it's not set in stone, it's an organic, flexible guiding system..
  • When studying, highlight the key points in a different color
  • Keep an organizer – one organizer where you write all your school assignments, notes, appointments etc.
  • Decide on your filing system. Carry one binder, or notebook with different sections. Get one that has pockets in between the sections so you can put papers you haven’t filed yet in there. Carry your organizer in one of the pockets and you will have everything in one place.
  • Color code things for different priorities e.g.: red for all tasks you need to do today, green for things you need to do this week and blue for things due in more than a week.

Mind maps

So, how do you approach the intimidating 300 page textbook? just how do you break the information down? The best place to start is usually your index or table of contents as this provides you with the initial skeletal structure for your material. It may help to use a large piece of paper so that you can connect different sections. This not only gives you an overview (literally), which helps in tying information together and structures your thinking, but as you develop your topic, you'll begin to see links between aspects you didn't notice before.
Another benefit of this method- it's called associational or deep learning, is that the brain encodes the information better. Just like the paths we talked about earlier, the more connections and meaningful associations (and it can be meaningful only to you) you make to the material, the better it is encoded, retained and retrieved. Mind maps are a technique described below that uses this method.
  • Begin in the center with your topic
  • Write down everything you know about that topic branching off from the center
  • Review your notes
  • In a different color add in facts you missed
  • Try to link each fact with another one e.g.: Renaissance means rebirth, so what was it a rebirth from? The dark ages, what happened? The industrial revolution and the invention of the printing press significantly changes social, economic and political factors. How did they do this? Information was translated into the vernacular or common language so all people could understand. Previously it was all in Latin and generally only priests or the very wealthy could read, this limited the exchange of ideas and information (one of the reasons that the period before this was known as the dark ages), with more access to information, people began questioning what they had been told by the church (as they could now read the bible themselves), this led to a shift in social structure from the feudal land system. This also influenced politics as the church lost much power as people began to realize that ’buying forgiveness’ was not necessary, despite what they had been told by the church. Two of the best illustrations of the Renaissance spirit of inquiry and search for knowledge are Leonardo Da Vinci and Michaelangelo (from here go on and fill in what you know about each of them).
  • Each branch should contain a central fact, key word or short sentence, which links to the next one and the next one. That way, each piece of information will trigger other pieces of information. This makes it much easier to learn large chunks of information.
  • Try to use different colors for different themes or topics
  • Put the mind maps on pieces of card stock which you can tack up on the wall so that you can see them, that way you will constantly reinforce your learning.
  • You can also write the summary words on 3x5 index cards, so that you can carry them with you and review them when you need to.

Mnemonics


This is another technique which helps you remember large chucks of information. Both mind maps and mnemonics are often useful for subjects like History or Social Science where you often have to learn large amounts of information. For example, if you were trying to learn the information above, you could try something like this:
Renaissance means rebirth
Renaissance followed ‘the dark ages’
Industrial revolution & printing press
Vernacular increased availability of knowledge
Increased focus on science and technology
Clashes with corrupt church
Change from feudal land system
Leonardo Da Vinci and Michaelangelo
Take the first letter of a key word or phrase and try to make it into a word. The stranger the word the more likely you are to remember. So, for the above information you could make the word CCLIVRR (clever)
Clashes with a corrupt church
Changes in the feudal land system
Leonardo Da Vinci and Michaelangelo
Increased focus on science and technology
Vernacular, or common language used leading to increase of knowledge
Renaissance means rebirth
Renaissance followed the ‘dark ages’
  • Using this method, like with mind maps you only have to remember a small piece of information, and then each piece of information helps you link to another piece.
  • Using either of these techniques will also help you to see the overall picture of a subject. People who pay a lot of attention to detail, often miss the overall sense of a situation, so using these study methods should help you in that area too.
  • These techniques should also help you with planning and organization as there is a specific method to follow. You can break down almost any block of information this way.
  • You can also use the mind map in reverse where you use it to create something – like the plot for a movie. Just follow the same steps, putting everything you think of down, even if you don’t think you will use it. This method often helps people be more creative as it works much more similarly to the way our brain works.
  • If have a project, you can use this system to help organize your thoughts and prevent getting overwhelmed by information.
  • Put your topic in the center
  • Break down the sections of your paper – if it’s a scientific paper you probably need a section for hypothesis, observation, discussion, conclusion etc, for social science you might break it up into an introduction, description of the event or people, what happened, what was the impact, how did this change things etc.
  • Put down the key words you associate with each section and then branch off from these. Link similar concepts with color so that your paper flows well.
  • Other activities that can help to build your attention, concentration and memory are crosswords, word searches, memory games or Suduko etc. Even doing one of these things a day consistently will improve your memory and attention.