I want an interesting English Language lesson

If your English Language Teacher is boring or if your classes are not interesting, please mail this page to your teacher.  You can print the pages and put them in an envelope and secretly put it on the windshield of your teacher's car.  Or you can mail it to the school and address it to "ATTN:  ________ (teacher's name)"
Dear Teacher,
You are receiving  this letter because one of your students wants you to do something new in your class.

I'm thrilled at the opportunity of sharing our communication method with you.
Recently, I asked my students,  "How do you remember a new word?"  and "Why do you remember a new word?"
For example, how do you say SALMON? 
Well, we have Salma in the class (she's from Germany).
1.  I know Salma, she was in my class
2.  I heard Steve say her name.  SAL  ma     but the fish is SA  mun  like CAT sun
3.  then Steve pointed to the map and talked about salmon fish and what is special about the fish (they put their eggs in a river, and a bear catches them, then we learned that BEAR is like HAIR to pronounce)

It looks disorganized, but these are associations that most brains build on, with audio and video memories.
Education comes from "E" (out) and "ducare" (lead) == the facilitator, or teacher leads out of the students the answer.
We facilitate, we make the learning easier.  (facil = easy)
We create opportunities for students to talk, to discover, to find out for themselves.

The key is to let the students speak more.

1.  ask the students to read the instructions in the book.
2.  ask other students to correct the pronunciation before you give the answer.
3.  when a student asks a question, ask if another student knows the answer.
4.  Student:  "Teacher, tell me -- what is HATE?"
Teacher:  "Give me a synonym." 
teacher:  "What is the opposite?" 

Here is the secret:  do not give the answer.  Ask a question to get the other students to explain.

There are dozens of strategies.  Tell half of the class to leave the room or to go on a tour of the hall and ask a Japanese student to explain the posters in the hall.  (Shinsenkan is "fast Lane" train...)  Tell the second half (B) a story.  Then bring back the first half (A)  and the B students tell the A students the story.  Then the pairs write the story together.  They turn in what they wrote and you have some written work to grade them.  Put the mistakes on the board.  Ask the students to write the correct word.


Their very happy in there new house.
They're house is very big.
Put the box over their.

The key is communication.  Can we get the students to produce, in writing or in speaking? 
What can make the student feel special?  (Let the student be the focus of class' attention)
-- "tell me why you want to learn English"
-- "do you use English in your job?  What is your job?  What special English do you want to learn.?"  OK, class, let's all write three questions for Jacob and he needs to answer these questions tomorrow in writing.

THE KEY IS TO SHOW THAT THESE "RANDOM" questions are actually supporting the lesson plan.

Why do students remember some words and not others?

a)  the word is INTERESTING to them (maybe useful, it's something they want to learn)
b)  the association is PERSONAL and special for them.

Maybe it is because the teacher stood on the chair and turned around and asked, "What am I doing?"  Then someone twirled a hand, and someone said, "Pin"  and someone said "Srin" and finally someone wrote "SPIN" like "PIN or IN". 

In other words, there is not ONE way to remember a word.  Each student builds their own associations.  We just give a start, we are facilitators.
I began my work as an English teacher thinking,  "I know the language, the information about the language goes from ME to STUDENTS." 

I learned that I was just lecturing them.
I gave wonderful lectures, with pauses and I wrote stories with blanks on the board.
I went to the B____ch and I went into the w_t_r and I ____ (see)  a sh_ _ k  (music, da dum da dum daum)  [and I drew a shark fin...]

But eventually the students got tired of the lecture.
Now I tell a story to half of the students or I begin a story and ask pairs of students to finish the story.  "Please use these words in your answer..." 
I give new vocab words that they have learned from the previous day...
this is a way to build PAIR WORK, which is the whole reason why we start the class.... to build into PRODUCTION by the students in PAIRS or THREES ....

Go to
Steve McCrea.com
This is a list of some of my services 

Wedding Video Service, retail value $575

I offer DVD, VHS and video on CD viewable on Computer (CDs are easily and quickly duplicated quickly).  The additional feature of my wedding video service involves lending 3 additional digital cameras to other guests to take photos and short movie clips which can be integrated in the final photo CD.  Turnaround of the DVD and VHS transfer can be arranged within 3 hours (or sooner if a compatible video player can be provided).   Original videotape is on digital video mini-DV.  The service includes the entire wedding ceremony, shot from two angles, and at least two hours of tape from the reception. 

Clients have included J. Pedersen, whose 1985 wedding on Long Island featured McCrea trademark “over the groom’s shoulder” video angle during the reception line.  Nothing reminds you more of that special day than viewing (10 years later) what your guests told you minutes after you said, “I do.”

I will travel anywhere for a wedding …just cover the travel expenses, $300 per day travel time, and put me up for the night.  This service includes two copies of the burned CD.  One copy of the video footage on DVD and VHS masters will be available within 48 hours of my return to my home studio.  Faster service can be provided if I can have access to a DVD burner and a VHS recorder.  (I travel with the CD burner.)

GET YOUR BOOK PUBLISHED, retail value $900

Get your life story in print.  Publish that “tell-all” whistleblower story that you’ve been meaning to put on paper.  This auction item includes one copy of your book, barcode (ready for bookstore) and the  editing service by Kayman McCrea Creative Services (publishers of Sundial Press).

Samples of this “publish it yourself” service include my workbook called
ESL, English for a Successful Life in the USA, available on Barnes and Noble…   search “English for a Successful Life,” and there it is!  Nice color cover, right?  It was made from a digital photo.  See  www.stevemccrea.com for further information.   If you supply the manuscript and the drawing of your cover, I’ll get it published for you…and I’ll give you my professional editor’s opinion of what should be changed to make the book more readable and eye-catching.  Free focus group analysis is included in this auction item.   Do you have an action adventure in your head?  A detective novel?  A collection of poems?  A cook book?   This quote includes up to 12 photos (supplied by you) and the text and photos will be printed in black and white.  Full color cover.    Questions?  954 646 8246  globalcooling@comcast.net . 

Get a web site with your own domain name.  RETAIL VALUE  $175

LEARN HOW TO MAKE A WEB PAGE and 2 hours of instruction by telephone or in-person  with 5 hours of post-cruise support.  VALUE:  $175.    The goal is to set you up for do-it-yourself maintenance of your own web page.

To speed the time for your learning, please do two things:  a) search for possible domain names before starting the DIY lesson and b) register for a yahoo.com account.  The lesson takes 2 hours to select and register your domain name, set up the oocities.com account.  For further infomration, contact me at 954 646 8246   ... Let's get your ideas online!

If you have some wonderful techniques, ideas, philosophies, suggestions for the classroom, quotes, etc. that help students, please send them to me!  If you want me to link to your web page or to submit information, please tell me you web site address!
Go back to "Grammar and Vocab on the Internet Travel Sites"
Click here to continue to the second page of this list of suggestions.
Send me your e-mail address and I'll send you a funny story two times each week. Write to me at englishlesson@mail.com
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