Pérolas de Sabedoria

A Little of Something …

“Having somewhere to go is home. Having someone to love is family. Having both is a blessing.”

Unknown

“It didn’t matter how big our house was; it mattered that there was love in it.”

Peter Buffett

“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.”

Desmond Tutu

“We must take care of our families wherever we find them.”

Elizabeth Gilbert

“Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.”

David Ogden Stiers

editor@activityvillage.co.uk

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Aprendendo Inglês na Terceira Idade

There are many benefits of studying for older learners, such as increased self-confidence, increased feelings of health and well-being, reduced feelings of isolation, and increased engagement in the community. 

Many seniors wish to study a foreign language and there is now substantial evidence that they can learn a new language effectively. My experience is that senior learners are excellent language students for a number of reasons.

Life experience

Senior students have a wealth of life experience and when they bring this to the classroom they enrich the learning experience of the whole class. Our teachers comment that older learners are excellent students to have in the classroom as they are always happy to talk about their experiences and give their opinions on a wide range of topics.

Great motivation

Senior learners do not normally need a certificate, diploma or university credit; their motivation is intrinsic. They may study for intellectual enjoyment, to socialise with their peers or because it is something they have always wanted to do. In fact, senior learners are very often more highly motivated than younger learners. Their high level of motivation is a great advantage as this has been identified as one of the most important factors in determining successful language learning. The motivation of senior learners is reflected by the fact that they rarely miss a class, participate very actively in the classroom and always do their homework.

Social element

We have discovered that there is a strong social component in seniors attending English classes. They often attend class to mix with their peers, forming very strong friendships and socialising together after the class and even in their free time.

Attitude

Our experience is that senior learners have an extremely positive attitude toward language learning and life in general. They treat both their teachers and their classmates with the utmost respect and politeness. Our teachers often comment on how kind, considerate, and hardworking senior learners are, and what a pleasure they are to teach.

So our experience is that the life experience, motivation to learn, and positive attitude of senior learners provide them with many advantages as language learners. However, there are cognitive, affective and physiological factors which can affect senior language learning. We are going to identify these factors and then look at how you can adapt your courses and practices to meet the needs of older learners.

Helping students hear

Hearing loss may have a direct impact on learning and performance for senior learners. In order to decrease the negative effects of this auditory loss, teachers should try to accommodate the aging ear in a number of ways by:

• speaking clearly and ensuring that the students can see their face and lips.

• adjusting the volume for listenings and videos.

• repeating listening texts.

• using short films and videos which aid listening comprehension as students can see the face and lips of the speakers.

• ensuring that your classrooms have little background noise.

Helping students see

Defective vision increases dramatically as people age. Visual ability is particularly important in education as it is generally accepted that approximately 80% of all learning occurs through vision. To accommodate this loss in vision, here are some steps to follow:

• Use a larger print type for printed text.

• Make sure that senior students sit as close to the board as possible.

• Write very clearly on the board.

• Ensure that classrooms have a lot of natural light and that there is direct lighting for the whiteboard.

Mobility

As people age the body tends to lose some strength, flexibility and mobility. They may also suffer from arthritis and rheumatism. These changes may make it difficult for older learners to move around the classroom. To compensate for these changes we recommend doing the following things:

• Ensure that older learners have comfortable chairs and tables.

• Allow more time for older students to do whole class communicative activities where students have to stand up and move around the classroom.

Memory

Research indicates that cognitive development, recall, and problem solving may show decline with aging. In order to overcome this cognitive decline which may make it more difficult to learn a new language, teachers can help seniors develop and maintain their cognitive ability in a number of ways:

• Integrate memory exercises into classes. Use visual and auditory mnemonic devices, examples and memory associations to help seniors rehearse and later retrieve vocabulary and expressions from long-term memory.

• Systematically repeat and recycle grammar, vocabulary and expressions.

• Encourage students to draw on their wealth of experiences and to use cognitive strategies they have used successfully in the past in their current language learning environment.

• Allow more time for students to produce language without being interrupted.

Building confidence / Reducing stress

Many older learners fear failure and are more anxious than younger learners, perhaps this is because they accept the stereotype of the older learner as a poor language learner or because of previous unsuccessful attempts to learn a foreign language. Older learners need to feel comfortable and trust the teacher and the other students before they participate fully in the language classroom. A key role of the teacher is to reduce anxiety and build trust and self-confidence in the senior learner.

Here are some of the things teachers can do to reduce stress and build self-confidence in older adult learners:

• Find out what our older learners’ motivations are for learning a language and adjust our methodology accordingly.

• Use humanistic techniques to build empathy between the teacher and students, and among the students.

• Reduce the focus on error correction to build learners’ self-confidence and to promote language production.

• Avoid timed tests which may make senior learners anxious.

• Give senior students more time to complete activities.

• Promote a friendly and relaxed atmosphere in the classroom.

My experience is that any difficulties which senior learners may experience in the language classroom can be overcome through adjustments to the learning environment and material, attention to physical, affective and cognitive factors, and the use of an effective teaching methodology which focuses on the learning process rather than academic achievement.

Kieran Donaghy is teacher at UAB Idiomes, Barcelona. He is also the creator of http://film-english.com/, an award-winning website providing free resources for teachers wishing to use video effectively in their classrooms. 

Author:

Kieran Donaghy

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Como relaxar e manter a paz interior

1. Take a nature walk.

Studies have shown that getting outside in nature improves well-being, and you can also gain perspective from spring’s visual cues. For example, in fall, the changing leaves are a reminder of impermanence—just as they change colors and fall from the trees, so will whatever is stressing you out. Be the tree and let what is temporary fall away.

2. Focus on small tasks.

Practice mindfulness as you complete the smaller things on your list—housework, paperwork, yard work. Focus fully on what you are doing right here, right now, checking in with all your senses as you do your tasks. If your thoughts wander to something bigger looming in the future, gently guide your mind back to the task at hand. By staying in the present moment, you stop giving importance and attention to your past or future worries.

3. Watch or read something silly.

Entertainment is more than an escape. Studies have shown that laughter reduces the release of stress hormones in your body. Catch a silly movie, or read the latest book from your favorite funny guy or gal.

4. Sing (really).

Studies have found that singing has a positive impact on affect and anxiety, and may even reduce depression. So turn up the music and sing along or gather some friends for karaoke—if nothing else, it will make you laugh (see tip 3).

5. Try a basic breath practice meditation.

This session from Meditation Studio teacher Elisha Goldstein invites you to do nothing but watch your breath, which eventually makes it easier for you to focus on other tasks in your everyday life (without stressing). During this practice, it’s completely OK if you find yourself thinking about other things—just stay with your breath. “If all you did was notice your mind going off when it was wandering and gently brought it back over and over again,” Goldstein says, “your time would be well-spent

Source: https://www.yogajournal.com/guided-meditation-audio/meditation-studio-5-ways-to-beat-stress-this-fall?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=story1_title&utm_campaign=Wisdom_10022017

Em Português

1. Faça uma caminhada pela natureza.

Estudos demonstraram que ficar afastado na natureza melhora o bem-estar, e você também pode obter uma perspectiva das sugestões visuais da primavera. Por exemplo, no outono, as folhas que mudam são uma lembrança da impermanência – assim como eles mudam de cores e caem das árvores, assim como tudo o que forçá-lo a sair. Seja a árvore e deixe o que é temporário cair.

2. Concentre-se em pequenas tarefas.

Pratique a atenção plena ao completar as coisas menores na sua lista de tarefas domésticas, papelada, trabalho de quintal. Concentre-se totalmente no que você está fazendo aqui mesmo, agora mesmo, checando com todos os seus sentidos enquanto faz suas tarefas. Se seus pensamentos vagarem para algo maior que se aproxima no futuro, leve sua mente de volta à tarefa em questão. Ao permanecer no momento presente, você deixa de dar importância e atenção às suas preocupações passadas ou futuras.

3. Assista ou leia algo bobo.

O entretenimento é mais do que uma fuga. Estudos demonstraram que o riso reduz a liberação de hormônios do estresse em seu corpo. Pegue um filme bobo, ou leia o último livro de seu cara engraçado ou galão favorito.

4. Cante (realmente).

Estudos descobriram que o canto tem um impacto positivo sobre o afeto e a ansiedade e pode até reduzir a depressão. Então, aumente a música e cante ou colecione alguns amigos para karaokê – se nada mais, isso fará você rir (veja a dica 3).

5. Experimente uma meditação básica de respiração.

Esta sessão da professora de Meditação Studio, Elisha Goldstein, convida você a fazer nada além de assistir sua respiração, o que eventualmente torna mais fácil para você se concentrar em outras tarefas em sua vida cotidiana (sem estressar). Durante esta prática, é completamente bom se você se achar pensando em outras coisas – fique com a respiração. “Se tudo o que você fez foi notar sua mente desaparecendo quando estava vagando e gentilmente trouxe de volta uma e outra vez”, diz Goldstein, “seu tempo seria bem gasto

Fonte: https://www.yogajournal.com/guided-meditation-audio/meditation-studio-5-ways-to-beat-stress-this-fall?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=story1_title&utm_campaign=Wisdom_10022017

Quando já é tarde demais…

A Little Something …

“The biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three on them sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4, and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in a hurry to get on to the next things: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.”

Anna Quindlen

Source: Activity Village

Em Português

Um pouco de algo …

“O maior erro que cometi é aquele que a maioria de nós faz ao fazer isso. Eu não vivi no momento suficiente. Isso é particularmente claro agora que o momento se foi, capturado apenas em fotografias. Há uma imagem dos três sobre eles sentados na grama em uma colcha na sombra do conjunto de balanço em um dia de verão, idades 6, 4 e 1. E eu gostaria de me lembrar do que comemos e do que falamos sobre, e como eles soaram, e como eles olharam quando eles dormiram naquela noite. Eu queria não ter tido pressa de seguir as próximas coisas: jantar, banho, livro, cama. Gostaria de ter atormentado fazer um pouco mais e fazer isso um pouco menos “.

Anna Quindlen

Um Pouco de Sabedoria por Diana Princesa de Gales.

Little Bit of Wisdom …

… from Diana, Princess of Wales

“Carry out a random act of kindness with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”

“Family is the most important thing in the world.”

“I think the biggest disease the world suffers from in this day and age is the disease of people feeling unloved. I know that I can give love for a minute, for half an hour, for a day, for a month, but I can give.”

“Everyone of us needs to show how much we care for each other and, in the process, care for ourselves.”

“I want my boys to have an understanding of people’s emotions, their insecurities, people’s distress, and their hopes and dreams.”

“Hugs can do great amounts of good – especially for children.”

Source: editor@activityvillage.co.uk

Em português

Um Pouco de sabedoria …

… de Diana, princesa de Gales

“Realize um ato aleatório de bondade sem expectativa de recompensa, sabendo que um dia alguém pode fazer o mesmo por você”.

“A família é a coisa mais importante do mundo”.

“Acho que a maior doença que o mundo sofre neste dia e idade é a doença das pessoas que se sentem amadas. Eu sei que posso dar amor por um minuto, por meia hora, por um dia, por um mês, mas posso dar.”

“Todos nós precisamos mostrar o quanto nos cuidamos e, no processo, nos cuidamos”.

“Eu quero que meus meninos tenham uma compreensão das emoções das pessoas, suas inseguranças, angústia das pessoas e suas esperanças e sonhos”.

“Os abraços podem fazer grandes quantidades de bem – especialmente para crianças”.

Fonte: editor@activityvillage.co.uk

A Influência de um Professor

A Teacher’s Influence …

Teaching is and will always be my life. I love my students – kids, teenagers or adults. On the days I am not teaching, I feel empty. It is my great happiness to see my students grow and succeed in learning English.

Paula Lyra.

“I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.” 

Lily Tomlin

“If kids come to us from strong, healthy functioning families, it makes our job easier. If they do not come to us from strong, healthy, functioning families, it makes our job more important.”

Barbara Colorose

“Teaching is the greatest act of optimism.” 

Colleen Wilcox

“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” 

Robert Frost

“Teachers can change lives with just the right mix of chalk and challenges.”

Joyce Meyer

“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.”

Malala Yousafzai

“A word of encouragement from a teacher to a child can change a life.”

John C. Maxwell

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”

Henry Adams

“I touch the future. I teach.”

Christa McAuliffe

Palavras de sabedoria ao redor do mundo

Words of Wisdom from Around the World …
10 proverbs from around the world.

🔷"Slippery ground does not recognise a king."
Kenyan proverb – meaning that even the most powerful people are just human.

🔶"The pillow is the best advisor."
Swedish proverb – meaning that it is always a good idea to "sleep on it" or sleep on a problem.

🔹"A frog in a well does not know the great sea."
Japanese proverb – meaning that there might be more going on than you know about. Try to look at the big picture.

🔶"If the world flooded, it wouldn't matter to the duck."
Turkish proverb – meaning that a problem for you isn't necessarily a problem for everyone.

🔷"Empty barrels make the loudest noise."
Icelandic / Indonesian proverb – meaning that the loudest people aren't always the cleverest.

🔶"When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion."
Ethiopian proverb – meaning that teamwork can conquer even the biggest problems.

🔷"A bad ballerina blames the hem of her skirt."
Polish proverb – meaning that some people will blame anything rather than themselves for their shortcomings.

🔶"A monkey dressed in silk is still a monkey."
Spanish proverb – meaning that you can cover up what's underneath, but you won't change it.

🔷"The honey only sticks to the moustache of he who licked it."
Arabic proverb – meaning that you can't escape from a crime; evidence will follow you around.

🔶"Shrimp that fall asleep are carried away by the current."
Colombian proverb – meaning, you snooze, you lose!

Source: Activity Village

Em Português
Palavras de sabedoria de todo o mundo …
Esta semana, juntei 10 provérbios de todo o mundo. Alguns me fizeram rir e pensei que fossem divertidas para compartilhar com as crianças.

"Terra escorregadia não reconhece um rei".
Provérbio queniano – o que significa que mesmo as pessoas mais poderosas são apenas humanas.

"O travesseiro é o melhor conselheiro".
Proverbio sueco – o que significa que é sempre uma boa idéia "dormir sobre ele" ou dormir em um problema.

"Um sapo em um poço não conhece o grande mar".
Provérbio japonês – o que significa que pode haver mais acontecimentos do que você sabe. Tente olhar o quadro geral.

"Se o mundo inundasse, não seria importante para o pato".
Proverbio turco – o que significa que um problema para você não é necessariamente um problema para todos.

"Barris vazios fazem o barulho mais alto".
Provérbio islandês / indonésio – o que significa que as pessoas mais altas nem sempre são as mais inteligentes.

"Quando as telhas de aranha se unem, podem amarrar um leão".
Proverbio etíope – o que significa que o trabalho em equipe pode conquistar até mesmo os maiores problemas.

"Uma bailarina ruim culpa a bainha de sua saia".
Provérbio polonês – o que significa que algumas pessoas culparão qualquer coisa em vez de elas mesmas por suas falhas.

"Um macaco vestido de seda ainda é um macaco".
Provérbio espanhol – o que significa que você pode encobrir o que está embaixo, mas você não vai mudar isso.

"O mel só adere ao bigode daquele que o lambeu".
Provérbio árabe – o que significa que você não pode escapar de um crime; A evidência irá segui-lo ao redor.

"Os camarões que dormem são levados pela correnteza".
Provérbio colombiano – o que significa que você dorme, você perde!

Fonte: Activity Village

Terminology for Reading and Listening

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Reading for gist/Skimming

Reading quickly to get a general understanding of a written text, eg reading a description of a city to find out if it sounds like somewhere you’d like to visit.

Reading for specific information/Scanning

Searching for a particular piece of information in a written text, eg reading a description of a city only to find out which country it’s in.

Reading/listening for detail

Reading or listening more carefully so that you get a full understanding of the text, eg reading a description of a city to find out everything about it.

Listening for gist

Getting a general understanding of something you hear, eg listening to the weather forecast and deciding you might need to take an umbrella when you go out.

Listening for specific information

Listening for a particular piece of information, eg listening to the weather forecast to find out what the temperature will be tomorrow.

Inferring meaning

Making guesses about what is not stated explicitly in a text, eg listening or reading a conversation and deciding that the people are brother and sister without them saying so.

Coherence

Organising ideas in a logical way when speaking or writing so that the listener or reader can follow our ideas.

Cohesion

Joining sentences together using words like and, but and because so our language flows more easily.

Interactive strategies

Strategies we use when we are speaking, eg showing you are listening to other people by saying things like, mmmm or uh-uh or oh!

Turn taking

An interactive strategy which is about knowing when you can join in a conversation and signalling when you think someone else should speak.

Fluency

For speaking; this is speaking without a lot of hesitation and too many long pauses. For writing; this means you can write without stopping for a long time to think about what to write.

How young children learn English as another language

Introduction

Young children are natural language acquirers; they are self-motivated to pick up language without conscious learning, unlike adolescents and adults. They have the ability to imitate pronunciation and work out the rules for themselves. Any idea that learning to talk in English is difficult does not occur to them unless it’s suggested by adults, who themselves probably learned English academically at a later age through grammar-based text books.

Read the notes below about young children learning English as another language. You can also download these notes as a booklet. Right-click on the link below to download the booklet to your computer. You may print this booklet.

The advantages of beginning early

  • Young children are still using their individual, innate language-learning strategies to acquire their home language and soon find they can also use these strategies to pick up English.
  • Young children have time to learn through play-like activities. They pick up language by taking part in an activity shared with an adult. They firstly make sense of the activity and then get meaning from the adult’s shared language.
  • Young children have more time to fit English into the daily programme. School programmes tend to be informal and children’s minds are not yet cluttered with facts to be stored and tested. They may have little or no homework and are less stressed by having to achieve set standards.
  • Children who have the opportunity to pick up a second language while they are still young appear to use the same innate language-learning strategies throughout life when learning other languages. Picking up third, fourth, or even more languages is easier than picking up a second.
  • Young children who acquire language rather than consciously learn it, as older children and adults have to, are more likely to have better pronunciation and feel for the language and culture. When monolingual children reach puberty and become more self-conscious, their ability to pick up language diminishes and they feel they have to consciously study English through grammar-based programmes. The age at which this change occurs depends greatly on the individual child’s developmental levels as well as the expectations of their society.

Stages in picking up English

Spoken language comes naturally before reading and writing.

Silent period
When babies learn their home language, there is a ‘silent period’, when they look and listen and communicate through facial expression or gestures before they begin to speak. When young children learn English, there may be a similar ‘silent period’ when communication and understanding may take place before they actually speak any English words.

During this time parents should not force children to take part in spoken dialogue by making them repeat words. Spoken dialogues should be one-sided, the adult’s talk providing useful opportunities for the child to pick up language. Where the adult uses parentese (an adjusted form of speech) to facilitate learning, the child may use many of the same strategies they used in learning their home language.

Beginning to talk
After some time, depending on the frequency of English sessions, each child (girls often more quickly than boys) begins to say single words (‘cat’, ‘house’) or ready-made short phrases (‘What’s that?’, ‘It’s my book’, ‘I can’t’, ‘That’s a car’, ‘Time to go home’) in dialogues or as unexpected statements. The child has memorised them, imitating the pronunciation exactly without realising that some may consist of more than one word. This stage continues for some time as they child picks up more language using it as a short cut to dialogue before they are ready to create their own phrases.

Building up English language
Gradually children build up phrases consisting of a single memorised word to which they add words from their vocabulary (‘a dog’, ‘a brown dog’, ‘a brown and black dog’) or a single memorised language to which they add their own input (‘That’s my chair’, ‘Time to play’). Depending on the frequency of exposure to English and the quality of experience, children gradually begin to create whole sentences.

Understanding

Understanding is always greater than speaking and young children’s ability to comprehend should not be underestimated, as they are used to understanding their home language from a variety of context clues. Though they may not understand everything they hear in their home language, children grasp the gist – that is they understand a few important words and decipher the rest using different clues to interpret the meaning. With encouragement they soon transfer their ‘gist’ understanding skills to interpret meaning in English.

Frustration

After the initial novelty of English sessions, some young children become frustrated by their inability to express their thoughts in English. Others want to speak quickly in English as they can in their home language. Frustration can often be overcome by providing children with ‘performance’ pieces like ‘I can count to 12 in English’ or very simple rhymes, which consist of ready-made phrases.

Mistakes

Children should not be told they have made a mistake because any correction immediately demotivates. Mistakes may be part of the process of working out grammar rules of English or they may be a fault in pronunciation. ‘I goed’ soon becomes ‘went’ if the child hears the adult repeat back ‘yes, you went’; or if the adult hears ‘zee bus’ and repeats ‘the bus’. As in learning their home language, if children have an opportunity to hear the adult repeat the same piece of language correctly, they will self-correct in their own time.

Gender differences

Boys’ brains develop differently from girls’ and this affects how boys pick up language and use it. Sometimes mixed classes make little provision for boys, who may be overshadowed by girls’ natural ability to use language. If young boys are to reach their potential, they need some different language experiences with girls and their achievements should not be compared with those of girls.

Language-learning environments

Young children find it more difficult to pick up English if they are not provided with the right type of experiences, accompanied by adult support using ‘parentese’ techniques.

  • Young children need to feel secure and know that there is some obvious reason for using English.
  • Activities need to be linked to some interesting everyday activities about which they already know, eg sharing an English picture book, saying a rhyme in English, having an ‘English’ snack.
  • Activities are accompanied by adult language giving a running commentary about what is going on and dialogues using adjusted parentese language.
  • English sessions are fun and interesting, concentrating on concepts children have already understood in their home language. In this way children are not learning two things, a new concept as well as new language, but merely learning the English to talk about something they already know.
  • Activities are backed up by specific objects, where possible, as this helps understanding and increases general interest.

Reading

Children who can already read in their home language generally want to find out how to read in English. They already know how to decode words in their home language to get meaning from text and, if not helped to decode in English, may transfer their home language-decoding techniques and end up reading English with the home language accent.

Before they can decode English, young children need to know the 26 alphabet letter names and sounds. As English has 26 letters but on average 44 sounds (in standard English), introducing the remaining sounds is better left until children have more experience in using language and reading,

Beginning reading in English goes easily if young children already know the language they are trying to read. Many children work out by themselves how to read in English if they have shared picture books with adults or learned rhymes, as they are likely to have memorised the language. Reading what they know by heart is an important step in learning to read as it gives children opportunities to work out how to decode simple words by themselves. Once children have built up a bank of words they can read, they feel confident and are then ready for a more structured approach.

http://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/en/parents/articles/how-young-children-learn-english-another-language