You might even wonder why employers even ask such a weird question. The objective with a question like this is to see how a person responds when they're thrown off base a little. It's also a way to force an applicant to reflect on how they've grown or want to grow. The key to answering this question successfully is to show that you've reflected on your personality and have identified ways to improve.
This article comes from the onestopenglish archive but ties in with this month's Guardian Weekly promotion. Advice and suggestions on using newspapers in the English classroom.
There has been much use and abuse of newspapers in the ELT profession. This article takes a fresh look at newspapers and suggests what to do, and what to perhaps AVOID doing.
Why do so many teachers like using newspapers? Well, to start with, newspapers are much more current than coursebooks. There is also a lot of information in newspapers which make them an excellent springboard for lessons. Finally, there are lots of different kinds of texts in newspapers narratives, stories, letters, advertisements, reports… So what do teachers do with newspapers?
One of the problems with newspapers is that they are often used as an up-to-date coursebook activity. The teacher applies the same pedagogical principles and exercises that are in the coursebook. Two major problems tend to emerge from this approach: It can be extremely time-consuming for teachers It is not necessarily interesting for learners If you are going to use a newspaper, the task itself should be authentic wherever possible, not merely the material.
One aim of reading newspapers should be to encourage their reading outside the classroom as well. If you TEFLise a text too much, you run the risk of killing the enjoyment from it. Read them and decide for yourself whether you agree or not.
Then perhaps you can try some of the ideas we include that follow. Use English language newspapers produced for the local community if you are teaching in a country where English is not an official language.
Many large cities will have a newspaper in English. The topics within these papers are likely to have more of an impact on the learners than topics that are specific to the British or American press.
Allow learners to select an article that interests them, work on it and report back to other learners. Be clear on aims. Is it reading or speaking you want to practice?
Get learners to read outside class as much as possible. Make your tasks as authentic as the material. Think about what people do when they read newspapers in their own language. Help learners to become better learners.
Reading is a great way of acquiring language. If you can get your learners to regularly dip into English newspapers then their reading skills, writing skills and vocabulary will improve.
Talk about reading and comprehension of English texts with your learners as well, and share strategies that they use when reading.
How often do they use a dictionary for example? At the end of a course, do they feel they are reading faster or better? Make a song and dance about teaching words like headline, editorial, column, leader.
Is it that useful to learners?
Assume learners are interested in British, American, Canadian or Australian culture, particularly tabloid gossip. The British tabloids, for example, are a culturally specific type of newspaper and are not universal. Dwell on comparative style and discourse features of tabloid papers versus broadsheets.
These are often either obvious or of interest only to journalists and media students. Assume what you find interesting in a newspaper will interest your learners. Spend ages with tippex blanking out words if you want to do this type of exercise get your learners to white out words themselves and test each other.
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Great question, Yashika! In A River Runs Through It, the main character, Norman, learns to write by taking his essays to his father, who always tells him, “Good.
Now make it half as long.” Conciseness is a worthy goal. When I’m invited to write an article for a magazine, I might be given a word limit. Because nobody likes building or using a poor requirements document. Over the past year, our team has probed dozens of engineers and their requirements documents to create the ultimate list of tips on how to write requirements documents that are a dream to work with..
It has become clear that enormous numbers of engineering design errors .