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Using music to optimize spaced repetition in the classroom

After watching my buddy André Hedlund's videos on spaced repetition and intrigued by Carlos Gontow's upcoming talk on the power of music in the language Classroom at the Southern Cone Tesol, I saw a merge of the two techniques to guarantee better Classroom Management.
While doing some further reading and digging, Teachstarter's post on Six Powerful ways to use music in the classroom served only to reinforce the idea that had dawned on me as a result of paying heed to André and Carlos's posts.
If, as the scholar who coined the concept in the nineteenth century, Herman Ebbinghaus scientifically proved, spaced repetition improves memory and raises the learning curve, we have to systematically revise just before we tend to forget what we have learned.
And considering music we love does release dopermine, music can help us relax and prepare us to retain more information effortlessly. No matter the purpose, music facilitates the need to repeat an activity a second or third t…

Six tips on how to be a better English teacher

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With the first half of 2019 drawing to a close, many of us teachers start thinking about those plans to get away and enjoy some well-deserved rest. Some might also be thinking of taking this time to also brush up on their knowledge, acquire new skills and enhance their awareness of the English language.
Here are six simple things we can all do to be better teachers, and the good news is that we can apply them on a regular basis in the classroom.



1. Review old lesson plans We might not always have time to go back and evaluate what went well and what needed improving in our lesson plans, but instead of using them the same way the next time around, how about giving them a second look?
2. Embrace the teacher's guide - as a compass or as a tool If you're experienced, actually sticking more to the guide will give you different perspective on the teaching process. If you're a novice, try putting more of your own ideas into the lesson to see how it goes. (That is, if you are allowed …

A universe of words

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It fills me with pride to be able to publish my students' work, especially when they spontaneously produce something as a result of what we have tackling in our classes. In the Yes we can speak English project, our focus has been on the mind-blowing universe of pronunciation, the idiosyncrasies, the sound system, the magic e tule and more. And there is no better way to highlight how one written form, vowels especially, can have more than one sound through rhyming and poetry. Here's an example here in audio and written forms.


Voice Recorder >>

To rhyme in English is to dive into a universe of words. 
It's to dig meanings into the mood of sounds , with no room for mistakes, cause error lurks beneath the surface and you have to do what it takes.
It's to find the role of each phrase, the origin of a word or its taste.
But forget you not: As the offspring that leaves home to face the world; thinking life will be an eternal spring... Like a leaf falling in the fall fro…

Poetically speaking

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Last week's post brought the story of Jesus Christ resurrecting from the grave in the form of a poem. This promoted me to share it on social media and ask how other teachers make use of poems in their classes. It led me to a great article with tips  on using poetry in class. Understanding and performing a poem will certainly bring a lot of fun to the class environment; replacing certain word groups in a poem with their own words is excellent grammar practice and consolidation; keeping a poetry circle will fire students up about creativity and innovation.  One suggestion I want to humbly add to that list is getting students to recite song lyrics. It's funny we often use the word 'poetic' to describe a melodious piece of writing or speaking, and song lyrics fall into the first category. Reciting lyrics provide two main benefits Reading out loud the lyrics of a song we love makes us aware of how words caress our emotions, spark memories and change our moods.  It heightens…