I wanted to share a small piece written by Aphrodite, a student from Greece. Her age? 13!!
This is three months into her first year of a 2-year Proficiency Course. Oh, and it's before it was marked...
Subject: Art Does Not Progress, but it Changes Form
Many people believe that art progresses, others think that it just changes form. If we want to be more objective, I think that both happens, but it will always change form, but it will not always progress. If we want to see how art changed form and if it progressed or became worse through the years, we've got to see the history of art.
Let's start from the prehistory; People were influenced by their environment and their everyday activities they did to survive. Cave painting developed and they mostly drew nature-themed cave paintings and or hunting scenes. In the Neolithic ages, paintings started to progress, because human drawings had more shape and features and more materials were used, such as amber and quartz. Like the Neolithic ages, the Metal ages found new materials to use, but they used mostly metals (so that's how these ages took their name).
The next big phase that art actually really progressed was time when human being's prehistory had finished and history began. Writing started to develop and people found a new way of communication. However almost nobody knew how to write, only philosophers and a small part of the society, because it was difficult to understand, impossible for most of the people. Architecture progressed more and sculpture rose to fame among artists of that time.
Let's move on the time and go to newer history. Churches were built and many artists painted with many details in the medieval art and after. Many forms of art were invented too. The paintings in the Renaissance and Baroque art period focused on the human body and the three-dimensional reality of landscape. In the 18th century era of enlightenment, many art forms such as Impressionism, Expressionism, Surrealism and Cubism were the biggest things back then in the field of art .
Right now art, in many forms is believed to be worse than the other centuries. Many people think that it might be that the new art forms are not as creative as their "ancestors". Sometimes art forms like graffiti are usually not accepted by the majority of older people, but the youth usually praises it. As you can see, mostly art did progress, but it doesn't always and it just changes form or an art form is adjusted, but that means that it isn't a new idea, it's just the same one, but with some differences.
Felt like sharing today.
It is obvious that communicating in the target language is the ultimate goal of teaching a foreign language - speaking practice must take place from the very beginning of the course.
When students are studying for the speaking examinations they have to be prepared to answer certain questions which will be set by the examiner.
So therefore, I teach the student how best to express their own ideas by correcting any errors and then making sure that they use properly expressed English when responding to those questions.
However, I do provide my suggested answers - when responding to the questions presents difficulty for the student and then they learn these suggestions while practicing. This has generated some very interesting discussions over the years - which ultimately led to students really improving their speaking skills in their enthusiasm to express their opinions - best part of that - my students got high marks in speaking and we bonded!
I can't say I'm properly sharing, if I don't give you substantial insight. Below is a sample discussion transcription from a lesson with a young student. This could be you or your child, so pay attention! ☺
Interviewer: How important is the relationship between teacher & pupil?
You: Well, of course it is very important, because if the child doesn,t like the teacher or is afraid of him/her, unfortunately, the child won,t be able to do their best in the lesson.
I believe a good teacher is a person who is kind & approachable, loves children & understands their psychology. So that the lesson will become important to the pupil & the pupil important to the lesson.
After all, although the family background is very important, a child spends a great deal of his/her young life in school and it is the teacher who is trained to lead the child down the path of knowledge.
Interviewer: Why is school compulsory?
You: Well, institutes of education were first introduced to educate people to become useful, ethical & responsible members of society. So schools are structured to help the youth do this by educating them.
Interviewer: How can school help us do this?
You: Ideally, for a person to understand right & wrong they must have criteria, education provides this.
Interviewer: Isn't the family important, as well?
You: Of course, it is, but the institute of school is supposed to equip the child with tools that parents are not usually able to.
Interviewer: Do you really believe that schools succeed in creating, as you put it, useful, ethical responsible members of society?
You: Well, unfortunately, in highly populated areas - inner city areas- , classes are overcrowded and teachers simply don't have time for individuals, so if a child has learning difficulties the teachers probably won't be able to help him/her. In addition, in such areas teachers are not given the resources due to lack of governmental subsidies which may be needed to improve his/ her lesson.
And in general, not only in poorer areas, too much emphasis is placed on learning large amounts `by rote' whether or not the child really understands what he/she is learning.
Interviewer: How would you feel about being taught via a computer from a screen at home?
You: Personally, I wouldn't like it. I've read that in the future pupils may be taught through the means of Internet only, remotely from home. This is a great idea for tutorship, extra curriculum lessons - teaching adults classes, but not to replace the institute of school because I believe that this does not take into account that children are sociable. The school building is not only a place for getting educated, it is also a small society where we make friends and interact with others in preparation for going out into the world.
However, lessons on computing and the use of computer must be taught in school as this technology is being used in all occupations, and I believe that computers can help students a great deal as an educational tool.
Interviewer: Do you believe that music incorporated in the lesson is a waste of time?
Or is it used to gain a child's interest?
You: Oh, it's a wonderful idea! Catchy tunes put ideas across in a way that is enjoyable and so easier to remember, as they make an impression on a young person's mind.
Music certainly captures a young person's interest!
You have already been told that Proofreading is an indispensable part of your dissertation. But you want to know more - let's chat about why:
You have perspired, slogged away, lost sleep, spent untold hours on your laptop etc. Your dissertation is the culmination of all you have worked for during your university course - then looking blurry-eyed at it - there it is - finally you have your "conception" in "black and white" and the feeling of academic fulfilment cannot be matched.
You are telling yourself "yep I'm the "business" - it's done!"
However, coupled with this elation comes the feeling of insecurity -"Have I really put forward what the target audience wants? Have I made errors that I have overlooked? Are my citations in keeping with the standard system?" ...
Proof reading offers the assurance you need. Proof reading your work is one the most important components of putting that polished professional touch to your dissertation. However, Proofreading is not just an enhancement - it is a requisite part of your dissertation. In order to ensure its being error free and ready for the target audience.
Proof reading offers:
✔ The detection and correction of grammatical / spelling /word usage/ punctuation errors.
✔ Determining coherence throughout the document.
✔ Advice on procedures and steps that may be required in achieving the amendment of the document being proof read.
Understanding and knowing all the above is why people entrust me with their valuable work. Giving the reassurance to students that errors will be "sought- out" and "eliminated" is so satisfying. The student is what is important to me. In fact, I have made it my life's work as I have such a high esteem for the efforts and the work which students take pains to create.
Proof reading ensures that all this work gets wrapped up in a professional package - error free - designed for the target audience (ie: the examiner).
I had an email the other day from a young lady called Alexandra who is a mum of a five year old and a really good friend of mine.
I have known this lady since she was fourteen. She was a student of mine and I was reminded at that moment of the wonderful memories and experiences we shared back then in the pursuit of her goal to get certification in English.
It involved a lot of hard work, but we also had a lot of fun too!
She is a university graduate of a high level and has been working in a good job in Athens since she graduated.
She told me the other day that she is thinking of emigrating and finding employment in England and she is very excited about it.
I felt very happy to think about the fact that ,since she writes and speaks English fluently, she is able to get a job in her field here in England and that I had contributed to this aim. ☺
This led me to reminisce about so many students who grew up before my very eyes from little girls and boys into teenagers - my earliest students are now young men and women - we shared a journey together while they were learning English - and adult students who wanted to learn a new skill for fun or work - and I am so happy to say I am still in contact with these students and we are friends.
They have kept in touch and have informed me that because they had learned English, they had had more opportunities opened up to them in the job market or their chosen career. In addition, they are able to communicate with people from other countries - because English is chosen as a second language by people all over the world.
Every few years I have a new "family" of students- people of all ages - with a new journey to make and every moment of watching them go from beginners to achievers is sheer joy. I am blessed.
Today the feeling of job satisfaction is eminent in my mind, - but teaching isn't a job really, is it? It's a vocation.
Really just wanted to share! ☺