Friday, December 22, 2017

The Passive Voice, the easy way

It is true that the passive voice is most talked about by our students. I think we can go beyond the formal grammar rules and deal with it in the funniest way. That's -between us- a sort of word games. Let's enjoy talking about the passive voice in the absence of Mr R.G.R (Rigid Grammar Rule). We will be back biters for a while, yet I hope in the benefit of both The Passive Voice and our students.

Let's make one of the old so missed rules our starting point. The rule says: the object of the active sentence is always the subject of the passive one. But before all let's see what does the active sentence look like before the operation then go to discuss the process the doctor follows during the operation and examine the patient after the operation. It is not an easy work to do, I admit it.

<<The passive voice of any transitive verb is made by combining its past participle with the appropriate tense of the verb "to be" >>, the teacher said. He means that the verb “to be” is always the doctor who can operate on the sentence successfully in a "passive voice" surgery. Take this so called the patient active sentence, for instance,

Someone plays the piano every night

             This sentence is composed of a subject: (someone), a verb: (plays), and an object (the piano). And the latter is the organ that gears the whole operation. It is the most important part of the utterance to make the operation feasible. 

The question of using the passive voice in writing


Many teachers are not resolute vis-à-vis the question of using the passive voice in writing. Most of them even avoid mentioning the passive voice style while teaching writing. This is either because they regard it as a minor issue and argue that there are other focal things in writing which disserve much more concentration, or because they wouldn’t like their students to be ‘politicians’ for the reason that politicians are said to be known for the excessive use of this dead style. Still, there are teachers who advise their students to avoid using the passive voice while writing because they deem it is redundant and bulk. Nonetheless, they keep silent about the “why not?” To my mind, they would at least let them know that this self-imposing style on the students is confusing and message breaking down when the reader cannot decide who did what?! It brings about ambiguity and misunderstanding.

Friday, November 17, 2017

From One Paragraph Writing To Five-Paragraph-Essay


         If the students could follow the gradual evolvement of their temptation to write, they would surely come out with quite good production. Their problem is that they want things done quickly. Writing in particular is known for its toughness for the learners; that’s why they need to be patient and systematic in their endeavour to master this complicated skill. Engaging in writing is preparing oneself for consuming extra time and energy.

         Extending a paragraph into a five-paragraph essay needs some steps to follow. When a student learns how to write a paragraph, he normally could extend it to make it an essay. Each paragraph has got only one idea to talk about. Generally the topic sentence should state it plainly, and all that remains are supporting details about the topic. If the readers are not interested in the idea stated in the topic sentence, they have only to skip reading the whole paragraph. However if the topic of the paragraph interests the readers, it is quite imperative for them to examine the details, I mean the whole paragraph.

          This paper intends to show how to develop an action plan and how to manage writing a more detailed five-paragraph-essay. It is a practical way to make the transition from one paragraph to an essay very smooth, concentrated and effortless. Still, writing remains a long recursive process and a relatively tough skill. Writing is known for its exigency in terms of time, concentration, background knowledge, patience and savoir faire.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Emojis for improving skimming and scanning skills


           Emojis have already had a widespread influence on the teens’ evolving new culture today, so it is really out of hard-headedness to resist and reject them pretending they are only good for pointless chat sessions on social media.

            Emojis can be of great assistance in facilitating skimming and scanning for better understanding, as well as controlling the amount of time spent on reading comprehension assignments.

            In connection to a previously published article on using “Emojis for teaching English as a foreign language », this paper comes to question the ability of emojis in boosting reading comprehension skills.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Which teaching method for which Learning situation?

Joseph Novak (1998) points out that every educational act consists of five elements:       (1) learner,
            (2) teacher,
            (3) knowledge,
            (4) context,
            (5) evaluation

            Nobody actually is willing to learn lessons that are not inspiring; so this generation Y of learners particularly is. They are not ready to accept anything that does not motivate them? The worst of all is that it becomes tougher to motivate them. This situation zooms and inflates the overlooked question notably “What would ever be inspiring for them?” Taking what they come across daily on their digital gadgets into consideration, nothing is so attractively new to stimulate them. They have almost had enough of everything so quickly that their concentration has been lost in the tiny details of trivial information. How to mend this and start reformulating their perception of the world beneficially is what school nowadays has to focus upon. Methods come and go, but the students are always going to school for learning. Don’t you smell the paradox here? Such is the nature of this era.

            Within this messy interwoven net of information and disinformation, everybody is trapped. What happens is that the learners realize that school is incapable of lending them a salvage hand. With its archaic tools of rescue, school has become unable to pull them out of the moors of social media where the obscurity or diversion is pitch black though it looks as bright as daylight especially for teenagers.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

« Too & Enough » : The missing stitch in the lesson

You don’t need to think too much to make sure you are

            In connection with previously published papers on teaching creatively, this one is part of a series of detailed thoughts elaborating on the topic. It consists of meticulous explanations on how to teach “too & enough” in a way that develops the learners’ curiosity and inquiry. The aim shifts from delivering the lesson conventionally to teaching it in a more creative way. Both the teacher and her students have to engage in transforming usual activities in class into challenging cognitive game-like lessons. Interaction will do the rest.

            The teacher should adopt a more lenient way in presenting the target tutorial by allowing the students to give it soft pushes as the lesson progresses. The students, on the other hand, are expected to show their grasp of the lesson about the confusing words “too” and “enough” with adjectives and other parts of speech for instance, by rigorous practice and bright ideas. They should learn to be able to expand their understanding scope of the use and usage of language to go deeper and wider with creative manipulations of these words in different contexts. The more varied and remarkable the sentences are the more creativity takes place.

            The digital students learn in a variety of ways, a little inelegantly through games and interesting assorted exercises; aren’t they multi-tasking learners?! That’s why teachers have to focus on the mental side to rouse their curiosity and encourage them to get engaged and to think creatively. Cognitive methods work well with them. It stretches their scope about learning and beyond. Teachers, especially the young hats, roughly belong to the same generation, so they can find out ways to involve the students in their own learning so as to become able to pave their personal paths into learning creatively and innovatively.  

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Minding Education for Educating the mind


Open your mind,
Let your brain breathe

            Open your mind only once and you will never be able to close it again. With an open mind, life looks infinite and interesting, but some people persistently never want to open their minds for fear they should be disturbed by the bright evidence that they were in the dark. There are people who look as if they prefer sticking to ignorance. There are no stupid learners except the ones who never accept openness and improvement. They don’t want to exert any mind effort. They just wait for the teacher to offer them readymade answers to global issues. When teachers give anything, they must show that every piece of knowledge has an expiration date. Nothing is permanent in knowledge. The previous year already belongs to the far primitive past. Therefore learners have to make use of what they learn at school in progressing by themselves using their minds. This way they’ll perceive the world from different angles as it will have varied shapes, colors and dimensions. They’ll gain a new perspective for transforming old views and ideas into a powerful tool for improvement which will not only affect the world around them, but it will have a positive impact on their future.

            The social web has greatly affected the students’ knowledge and beliefs as the mind is very sensitive to the environment it belongs to. The social media has the power to shape a new risky culture for the new generation. Now most of the youth are hooked on the multiplying social networking sites, and they are normally receiving huge quantities of information that forge their thoughts and tendencies. They have neither the time nor the skills necessary to sift, pick up, adapt and adopt knowingly. The impact is so significant that school has to boost the students’ minds to be able to evaluate and filter the input. Most of the information they encounter is wide-ranging and often fallacious or contradictory. It is also far from being scientifically proven. Most of it is generally an amalgamation of impressions and volatile pieces of information that have no basis in reality. Therefore, the damage on the brain is fatal, and it could lead to serious dysfunction of the mind, or even complete brainwash.

            If you cannot understand a text in the way the author wants you to understand it, it is not the writer’s problem, and it is not yours either. I am sure the problem is in the content of the text. Fair enough, isn’t it? Maybe, but there should be a certain degree of compatibility between the waves of transmission and those of reception; otherwise both the writer’s mind and yours have different natures. The writer and the reader are accomplices in forming the meaning of the text. The mind is the machine which can transmit and receive information according to its references or conceptions based on formerly installed programs. That’s why closed minds never tolerate anything which doesn’t dovetail with its already existing fossilized designs and thinking patterns. Open minds, on the other hand, have habits and traits which are so flexible that they can receive, analyze, synchronize, and then accept or reject providing sufficient arguments for each of both reactions. Therefore, it all depends on the type of mind one has.