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After 2016 trust native speakers less – by Wiktor Kostrzewski

I am a passionate non- native English teacher. Teaching is a big part of my life. For that understanding, I am a lifelong scholar.
I believe in using music in English teaching. My approach is that we do not speak the language, but we sing it.
English bears a unique melody, rhythm as well as intonation.

Halina from Poland

TEFL Equity Advocates

1. British English can no longer serve as an optimal, reasonable model of English language use. Not after the Brexit campaign, fuelled by lies, racism, culminating in deaths of a British MP and a Polish migrant. The Leave campaigns used British English to make false promises, mis-represent facts (to the point of possibly risking criminal litigation), and divide British people – and they won. The Remain campaign failed to engage on any level beyond fear – and it lost.

2. American English can no longer serve as an optimal, reasonable model of English language use. Not after Trump. His presidential campaign “took relentless aim at institutions and ideals”, presented a pessimistic, polarising vision of America, steered clear of facts, policies or rational arguments – and it won. The Clinton campaign failed to engage people whose momentum was felt in the Democratic Party with Sanders still in the running – and it lost.

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Invitation to my English Classes

English for Everybodyimages

Angielski_Ulotka_New1

Polish Constitution of May 3rd, 1791

My video

Polish Constitution of May 3rd, 1791
Jan Matejko’s 9×15 ft painting executed on the centenary of the passage of the Constitution shows Stanisław August Poniatowski, King of Poland, being born in triumph from the Royal Palace, seen in the background where the Constitution had just been passed, to Warsaw’s St. John’s Cathedral. The painting hangs in the National Museum in Warsaw.

The Constitution of May 3, 1791
By Hon. Carl L. Bucki

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” These words, so close to the hearts of all true patriots of freedom, begin the second paragraph of the American Declaration of Independence. But we must not attribute their origin solely to Thomas Jefferson, for these words are identical to those of Wawrzyniec Goslicki, a Polish philosopher whose writings were to be found in Mr. Jefferson’s library. How could it be that a Pole might supply the words of inspiration for the founding of the United States of America? One should not be surprised. Intellectually and philosophically, America and Poland have shared a common devotion to the cause of liberty and freedom. This devotion is what we celebrate today, on this, the 205th anniversary of the Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791.

The mere concept of a written constitution is itself a revolutionary idea. No longer is government to be based on the whims of a monarch or the commands of a dictator. In the history of the world’s nations, the first written constitution was that adopted by the United States of America in 1787. The second written constitution was that which Poland adopted in 1791. Geographically distant, Poland and the United States shared both a kindred spirit and a common challenge. In contrast to all of its powerful neighbors, Poland in the late 18th century was remarkably democratic. Its kings were elected and its parliament, or Sejm, possessed broad legislative authority. Although Poland extended political privileges to only about ten percent of the adult population, this percentage closely approximated political access in America, where suffrage excluded slaves and was generally limited to male property owners. By the 1780’s, both of these democratic experiments were in serious danger. In America, the Articles of Confederation had proven itself to be a dismal failure. In Poland, the liberum veto allowed any deputy to block legislation. So ineffective was the government that it was no longer able to defend itself against the intrigues of Russia, Austria, and Prussia.

Both Poles and Americans came to realize that freedom is not so much a privilege to enjoy, as it is a reward for those who will honor and defend. After a long summer of debate, the Constitutional Convention approved its proposal for a new government for the United States on September 17, 1787. In the following year, on October 6, 1788, the four-year Sejm began its deliberations. Under the leadership of Ignacy Potocki and Hugo Kollataj, extensive reforms were incorporated into a Constitution that was approved by King Stanislaw August Poniatowski on the third day of May 1791.

We shall never know whether the Constitution of May 3, 1791, might have provided the structure for true reform in Poland. Sadly, it was in effect for only a short time. Russia, Austria and Prussia acted quickly to occupy the territories of Poland, and by 1795, Poland had ceased to exist, except in the hearts of its people. In contrast, the United States could continue its democratic experiment in relative isolation. Protected by a vast ocean from the oppressive monarchies of Europe, the United States enjoyed the opportunity to evolve into a truly democratic society. That process was neither quick nor easy. Witness the struggles for political reform in America, beginning with the adoption of the Bill of Rights in 1791, the abolition of slavery as a consequence of a most tragic civil war, the extension of suffrage to women, and the civil rights movement of more recent years.

Why should we honor Poland’s Constitution of 1791? Clearly, the Constitution never fulfilled its immediate and short term objectives. Poland did not survive the second and third partitions, and as a political entity, it was effectively eliminated from the map of Europe for more than a century. In operation for only a few years, the Constitution never developed into a full expression of political liberty. Of what relevance is the Constitution to us, who are removed from its focus both by thousands of miles and by many generations?

We honor the Polish Constitution of 1791 not so much for what it achieved as for what it represents. It is a symbol of the Polish people and of their struggle for liberty, justice, and honor. The American Constitution was drafted by men who had rebelled from the tyranny of the British crown, and who sought to escape the burdens of taxation. The Polish Constitution was written by the aristocracy. With the noblest of intentions, its authors saw government as an instrument of service for the common good. They recognized that government must serve not the interests of the few, but the welfare of the entire nation. With this thought, they were prepared to sacrifice their wealth and good fortunes for the cause of a free and independent nation. Indeed, the Constitution of 1791 epitomized a recognition that duty and responsibility were the true foundations of liberty. This unparalleled sense of generosity was most profound, so much so that it earned admiration from all ends of the political spectrum. The Prussian statesman Ewald von Hertzberg would express the fears of European conservatives. The Poles, he wrote, “have given the coup de grace to the Prussian monarchy by voting a constitution . . . . How can we defend our state . . . Against a numerous and well-governed nation.” Meanwhile, on the left, Karl Marx could only admire this Constitution when he wrote as follows:

“Despite all its shortcomings, this Constitution looms up against the background of Russian, Prussian, and Austrian barbarism as the only work of liberty which Eastern Europe has ever created independently and it emerged exclusively from the privileged class, from the nobility. The history of the world has never seen another example of such nobility of the nobility.”

Although we may reject the contrasting philosophies both of von Hertzberg and of Marx, their respect for the Polish Constitution reveals the inherent integrity of that instrument. Apart from any political point of view, the world can only admire the sincerity of the Constitution’s purpose and objectives.

The Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791, is a reflection of the Polish spirit, a spirit that is devoted to truth and justice at all times, under all circumstances, and despite all impediments. Its words, its concepts, its principles are not an exceptional portrait of the Polish character. Rather, they are a shining symbol of the finest qualities of the Polish nation. How else can one explain the survival of Poland despite 120 years of foreign domination? President Woodrow Wilson recognized the vibrancy of this character when he included in his fourteen points the concept of a free and independent Poland. How else could Poland have survived the long period of Communist repression? Surely it is no accident that the downfall of communism began in the shipyards of Gdansk. Surely it is no accident that a native son of Poland now speaks as a defender of liberty from his post as supreme pontiff.

In October 1962, a crowd of 400,000 people greeted President John Kennedy on his visit to Buffalo. Before the largest audience ever to assemble in Western New York, the President expressed well the spirit of the May Third Constitution, when he spoke as follows: “I know that there are some who will say that the people of Poland, however brave, are in a prison from which there is no escape that they will not be permitted to express themselves. But this ignores the driving force . . . of liberty.” Poles have never wavered in their belief “that freedom would triumph in the end. I subscribe to that same belief. Let us remember that [the ideal of freedom] is universal. It knows no oceans, no boundaries, no limitations.”

The Constitution of May 3, 1791, stands for the proposition that free people everywhere must step forward despite all odds, to undertake the burdens of serving as champions of liberty. Truly, this is the belief which we honor today.

 

‘The Native factor’ Silvana’s plenary – IATEFL 2016 Day 2

‘The Native factor’ Silvana’s plenary – IATEFL 2016 Day 2

IATEFL 2016 Plenary Day 2

Silvana  Richardson

Silvana introduced herself: she is not tall, she is not male, not single, not an atheist, not a sport, not fantasy buff, not a native speaker. She was stressing that she is a non-native English speaker?

Why do we still refer to an aspect of the professional identity of over 80% of the teachers of English as a ‘non’?

IMG_20160414_091359

This is the reasoning;

  • The native speaker is the best model, the ideal teacher.
  • I am not the perfect model and not the ideal teacher.

Because;

  • I am a non-native speaker.
  • I can’t be a good English teacher.

Silvana gave us results  of some studies and asked to decide what the findings show.

IMG_20160414_093123

 

Silvana summarised by saying that students generally value professional and personal qualities over nativeness.

Both NEST and NNEST are perceived to be competence each with unique strengths. Preference is inconclusive. Some indicate both, some one, some the other.

 

Next, she discussed Discrimination and Recruitment.

A majority of the advertisements favoured NESTs and rejected NNESTs. This could be seen as a severe discrimination.

The presenter also talked about the issues of confidence and self-esteem.

It is about all teachers whose first language is other than English.

Silvana’s session was for me very special as well as significant.

In my view, this discussion is very educational and should be wildly continued.
I have been questioning all kinds of debates around ” who is a better teacher, native speaker or non-native language teacher?”
I have been teaching Polish as well as English for over 40 years.
As a Native Polish speaker, I have been a lot more stressed out teaching English because I always have felt a bit behind new expressions, phrases, vocabulary, and so on
I agree with James Alvis Carpenter’s thinking:
“ What does it mean to be an English, teaching professional? Is it the ability to speak English? Capacity to teach English? The professional credentials attendant to both? Or a combination of tangible and intangible elements—like the ability to speak English coupled with the ability to think creatively and connect with people from different cultures? ”
I believe that generally speaking, it does not matter if you are a native or not – native speaker.
The most important is to be a good creative teacher, with competence to motivate students to learn a language.
Passion for teaching, friendly attitude towards learners, love of the subject, a readiness to alter, a willingness to give, support and reflect are vital education skills.
Above all, it is essential to be a lifetime learner, so to continually look for the best ways of improving teaching methods. We should take courses to master teaching techniques.

Kiczkowiak, M. (2016). Current supporters. Available: http://teflequityadvocates.com/get-involved/support-us/. Last accessed 7th April 2016.

Here is the slide from presentation;

TEACHERS and SUPPORTERS

Picture1Silvana encourages to remember about;

  • Equal Opportunities policy

–Have one!

–Implement it

–Promote it (Be an EOE- and proud!)

–Use it to challenge customers’ prejudices and to explain your recruitment strategy

  • Recruit staff based on their qualifications, experience, the merits of their teaching abilities and their language proficiency
  • Create opportunities for collaboration
  • Create a working environment that values and promotes equality and diversityA screenshot from our kickoff event at the iTDi Summer School MOOC with Jason Levine and Chuck Sandy (by Leo JC)

Polish Easter

Polish Easter Traditions-2014

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Halina’s Conversational English online course

Video

Welcome to Halina’s Conversational English online course

By Halina Ostańkowicz- Bazan

I have been teaching languages for over 40 years.I taught Polish as foreign languages in traditional settings at the Wroclaw University of Technology for about 41 years.

In 2010, I started my online adventure mainly on WizIQ. Since that time I have been using technology in my classes.I have been teaching English to speakers of other languages for over 25 years. I have been coaching both face-to-face and in blended learning arrangements.

Overview

  • Are you unsatisfied with your level of English?
  • Do you want to become a forward-thinking speaker and reach to a great extent fluency?
  • If so, my course is for you!

 

Throughout my online course, participants will be able to ask questions before (in the course-ware), during the Virtual Class (in the chat box), and after (in the course-ware).

For the duration of the ten live lessons, I will show you exactly what you need to do to make fast progress and achieve your dream of being able to speak English spontaneously as well as naturally. I will go through the approach based on your learning style and show you the best methods and techniques so that you will make unbelievable progress.
You will learn how you can do this even if you have a very busy schedule; my methods can be used by anyone no matter how full of activity you are. What’s more, I’ll also share with you the best resources so that you don’t have to spend time looking for the top websites, books, and apps. I always offer content in different formats. For example, if you watch the video, I will also provide a transcript of the video.

I avoid large classes to be able to connect with students on a less formal, personal level; to have a much better opportunity of engaging learners in the course material.

Don’t worry if you miss a lesson: each session is recorded and can be viewed at any time (even after the course has finished). You can also download all lesson notes from the chat box, interact with myself and colleague learners, and participate in enjoyable challenges.

Don’t miss this chance to learn specifically what you need to improve your English. Anyone can achieve an advanced level and further, and this course will show you how as well as help you to expand your language skills.

ABOUT THE COURSE

I offer;

  • 10 Virtual Interactive Classes on WizIQ. All classes will be recorded for those who cannot attend.
  • New Technologies such as Videos, Blogs, Social Media and exciting assignments are counted
  • The long-lasting right of entry to the course materials.
  • The best for pre-intermediate or intermediate learners who want to get to a higher level.

The classes will be given one time a week every Saturday at 17.00 pm UTC/GMT for ten weeks.

Participants have to use (UTC/GMT) Time Zone Converter to check an exact time of the course

http://www.worldtimeserver.com/convert_time_in_UTC.aspx

http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html

 

Unique Feature:

I will provide additional Skype sessions where you can take advantage of the variety activities and practice online speaking.

Course Package:

  • Access to downloadable class recordings
  • Course related PPT’s, PDF’s and word document files are available to the students
  • F2F oral exams for speaking practice on Skype
  • Practice in a variety English speaking settings

Key Takeaways:

 

  1. Improve fluency and speaking skill
  2. Enhance your pronunciation
  3. Get ready for a variety English speaking environments

COURSE OUTLINE

VC One: An introduction to the values of being fluent in English as well as how not to learn foreign languages to escape from common learning mistakes.

VC Two: Motivation, involvement and a challenge are essential. Being passionate about learning English online from a good language teacher is an excellent start.

VC Three: Learning using traditional methods, memorizing single words and grammar rules should be avoided.

I am against methods that emphasize learning about the language but for learning by using the language? / expressions, collocations, models, patterns, language chunks /

VC Four: Practice technics to improve pronunciation and the methods required to advance your speaking skills powerfully.

VC Five: Music in English Teaching helps you get into the routine of learning English.

Learn how to keep the conversation going with all kinds of speakers and how to set goals, also, to getting into the habit of learning English

VC Six: Learning English with song’s lyrics.@ A

VC Seven: Learning English with song’s lyrics.@ B

VC Eight: Learning English with song’s lyrics.@ C

VC Nine: Learning English with song’s lyrics.@ D

VC Ten: Storytelling and final discussion.

Being creative is a must in the language classroom.

In one of the TED talks, Sir Ken Robinson said that creativity is as important as literacy and as such must be promoted in any classroom. Nowadays, however, most Foreign Language syllabuses follow the testing-oriented approach to allow for more objective assessment of the students.

For recognizable reasons, the testing-oriented approach does not generate a context for learners being creative. Therefore, creativity is not promoted or is even excluded in total.

In my course, I will argue that in the context of Foreign Language Learning and Teaching creativeness is essential. It leads to a better and faster assimilation of language material, and it generates a richer language environment. Moreover, inventiveness unpredictably enough may produce better test results, no matter the learners level is.

Halina Ostańkowicz- Bazan

 

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