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Monthly Archives: September 2014

Engaged, Inspired, and Ready to Build a Better Web

Over the past four years, the people of Automattic have demonstrated to me that it’s possible to do work you love with people you love. It’s not common — not yet — but it’s possible.

– VaultPress Eclectic Happiffier Chris Rudzki

The WordPress.com Blog

Automattic is a distributed company — we all work from wherever we are. Right now, “where we are” is 197 cities around the world: New Orleans, USA. Montevideo, Uruguay. Tokyo, Japan. Vilnius, Lithuania.

Once a year, we get together somewhere in the world to meet, work alongside, learn from, and laugh with one another in an exhilarating, exhausting week called the Grand Meetup. This year, 277 Automatticians descended on Park City, Utah, for seven days in mid-September.

We introduced ourselves to new colleagues, reconnected with coworkers we haven’t seen since last year, and worked on ways to make WordPress.com even better. And of course, lots of us blogged about the experience, in words and images.

We were…

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Approaches to culture with 21st Century teens

How can culture get students thinking – and talking?

Oxford University Press

Ahead of his webinar on 28th and 30th May, Edmund Dudley looks at why it is important for our teenage students to learn about culture in their English lessons.

Millions of young people around the world are currently learning English, making it a truly international language. In addition, many teenagers regularly use English to communicate and interact with others online. This raises a number of questions about the cultural content of any English course for teenagers.

What do we mean by culture in the context of a language lesson?

Let’s begin by thinking about English-speaking countries. Take Britain as an example. When you think about British culture, what springs to mind? What examples could you give? Take a moment to think of three things.

So what did you say? Your answers reveal something about what you think culture is.

Perhaps you chose traditional rituals or ceremonies, such as the Changing…

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Research

Research.

Answer the questions…..

Longreads’ Best of WordPress, Vol. 5

Longreads’ Best of WordPress, Vol. 5.

TPR Storytelling is a foreign language teaching methodology that was invented by Blaine Ray of Bakersfield, California. TPR Storytelling (TPRS) teachers tell personalized stories in their foreign language or English as a Second language classrooms as their students act those stories out.

Students comprehend the stories by virtue of the live action visual aids and acquire the target vocabulary because it is repeated dozens of times within the daily story. Sentence structure, vocabulary and grammar are acquired because non-stop comprehensible input is provided by the teacher.

Blaine Ray’s TPR Storytelling is used by thousands of elementary school, middle school, high school, college and adult education English as a Second Language, English as a Foreign Language and Foreign Language teachers nationally and internationally. The long-term memory strategies, constant comprehensible input and intense personalization of this methodology are based on the pedagogy of Dr. James Asher (TPR) and Dr. Stephen Krashen (The Natural Approach). TPR Storytelling is similar to Classical TPR, except that the 3 Steps of TPRS® allow students to acquire the narrative and descriptive, rather than the imperative, modes of speech. The goal of TPRS® is to make students fluent and proficient in a second language through ample exposure to interesting, comprehensible input. TPRS® teachers direct their efforts toward their students, rather than the textbook, the grammar or the curriculum. We teach kids. As a result, we have students who are excited about foreign languages, eager to stay in our classes all the way through school…. and who are bilingual.

TPR Storytelling begins with introducing the vocabulary (step 1). Students then act out the stories as the teacher tells (or, more accurately, “asks”) re-tells and asks questions about a story that uses the vocabulary words (step 2). The oral story is then followed up with reading (step 3). Students rapidly acquire the second language just as Dr. Krashen imagined: effortlessly and involuntarily. The method relies heavily on the five hypotheses of The Natural Approach: the acquisition hypothesis, the input hypothesis, the natural order hypothesis, the affective filter hypothesis and the monitor hypothesis, which are explained in detail in Foreign Language Education The Easy Way, by Dr. Stephen Krashen, as well as lots of comprehensible input through access to books.
http://www.tprstories.com/

Longreads’ Best of WordPress, Vol. 5

Wonderful collection of stories from across all of WordPress!
Reading and story telling for my students.

The WordPress.com Blog

We’re back with another collection of our favorite stories from across all of WordPress! You can find our past collections here — and you can follow Longreads on WordPress.com for more daily reading recommendations.

Publishers, writers, keep those stories coming: share links to essays and interviews (over 1,500 words) on Twitter (#longreads) and WordPress.com by tagging your posts longreads.

* * *

1. What We Talk About When We Talk About What We Talk About When We Talk About Making (Tim Maly, Quiet Babylon)

After a successful “creators’ conference” in Portland, Maly asks some tough questions about whether the creators are taking into account the factories and anonymous services that help them succeed in the first place.

2. The Secret Life of Max Stern (Sara Angel, The Walrus)

The Nazis stole his family’s paintings. He emigrated to Canada and became one of the country’s foremost gallery owners…

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Silent Whistler

Nice…

Musings of a Retiring Person

Whistling is something that happens in countries around the world, some places even use whistles as codes to spread messages long distances. My dad used to whistle tunes easily and when I was growing up Wolf Whistles were an embarrassing part of life. I was 12 and had just started at a new school when another student was whistling as the teacher came into the room. The teacher flounced out of the room again and came back in swaggering and whistling before announcing, “A whistling woman and a crowing hen are good for neither god nor men.” I’ve remembered that all these years, not as a reminder of how to behave but because I thought she was a pompous spoilsport.

There was an unassuming, little lady who worked where I did about 20 years ago and I discovered that with two fingers she could produce a deafening whistle that would…

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Laptops in Classrooms

Clay has explained in a blog post why he bans computers from his classroom. Jay chimed in his agreement:

The Buttry Diary

My distracting laptop My distracting laptop

I’ve updated this post after discussing the issue with my class. 

I can think of no journalism professors I admire more than Clay Shirky and Jay Rosen. But I (so far) disagree with them on the subject of whether to allow students to use laptops and mobile devices during class.

Clay has explained in a blog post why he bans computers from his classroom. Jay chimed in his agreement:

They both have notably more classroom experience than I do, and they might be right. I encourage you to read Clay’s full explanation and won’t try to summarize it here, but he cites research about how multitasking can interfere with learning.

My limited experience is different. I was very…

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