Κυριακή, 20 Μαρτίου 2011

Youth and Education

An excellent video on education, technology and young people.


This is our duty as teachers first and foremost.

English and Football

A good way of inspiring and motivating teenagers, boys in particular, is to give them the
chance to combine business with pleasure..that is English and Football. The Premier League is
one of the most popular championships in the world, so why not exploit it to our advantage?
The British council has created this site http://premierskills.britishcouncil.org/ 
where you can access information for your favourite team or player in a student friendly environment,
providing tips for teachers and an online dictionary.
My students have used the site as a resource to create presentations for their classmates and generate
discussion in the classroom about their favourite football clubs in Greece, the UK and worldwide. We have also written for and against essays comparing the English and Spanish championships.Why not try Primera Division as well? One thing is for sure: it was one of the most enjoyable homework!
The possibilities are endless - just use your creativity!!

Have a look at samples of their work:

View more presentations from doragk

Arsenal f
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Παρασκευή, 11 Μαρτίου 2011

The Teacher as a Resource in the Classroom

While attending the online British Council course "Primary Essentials" 
I came across this text on the role of the teacher as a resource in the
language classroom, by Sima Jalil. I hope it is as inspirational for you
as it has been for me:

The teacher as a resource

Although we now live in a high tech world and have access to a variety of teaching aids, there is one aid that is convenient, portable, uses no electricity, can be used effectively in light or dark and is available all the time. Yes, the teacher him or herself!
In my experience as a teacher I have discovered that I can involve students more in classroom discussion and activities if I follow certain simple steps.
Sitting behind a desk or standing on a dais creates a "distance" between the teacher and the students. Try to have an aisle and enough space between the rows so that you can easily reach those at the back. This way you can talk to individual students, allow the shy ones to ask questions quietly without the fear of embarrassment, as well as check their work and help them . Some movement on your side is essential, because it allows the students to focus on you.
  • Stepping forward to emphasise a point, small steps towards different sides of the class lets the student feel that the teacher is taking genuine interest in what he or she is saying.
Use body language
Your body should be in your control. Hold it in such a way that you look alert and awake. Avoid slumping and sagging. Just as too little movement is boring, too much movement can be a distraction.

  • When your posture is erect it puts the you in control of the situation and the students realise this. It also encourages the students subconsciously, to become alert as well. You may notice the lazy ones sitting up and paying more attention to what is happening around them.
Eye contact
Make an effort to keep eyes lively, aware and interested. Move them around to take in everything. Fix them on specific students, but not for so long that they become uncomfortable! Avoid focusing on the worst or best students.

  • Knowing that the teacher demands eye contact keeps the students alert. It also gives the teacher a feedback on the impact of what he or she is saying. This is particularly important in large classes, where "distance" between the teacher and learner is greater, and individual attention is more difficult.

  • An effective teacher can control class behaviour to a great extent by the expression of his or her eyes.

  • Make sure that you make eye contact with each student, so that it seems you are talking to him or her individually.© The British Council, 2009The United Kingdom’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We are registered in England as a charity.
Arms and hands are a very expressive visual aid. They can be used to describe shapes, actions, movements etc. but, remember to keep still while listening to a student . Otherwise the message sent to the student is that he is being longwinded or boring.

  • Habits such as fiddling with notes and books, playing with pens , key chains, or doodling with chalk on the black board can be both distracting and irritating for the student.
Facial expressions
There's nothing worse than a constant frown, which discourages students from asking questions, feeling free to discuss a problem or coming for help. A smile can work wonders.

  • It encourages the student to participate more actively and dispels the notion that the teacher is over critical.

  • Look interested while a student is speaking.

  • A smile, a grimace, a curl of the lips, raised eyebrows etc. at appropriate moments will send messages as needed.

  • Send positive vibes and cultivate a sympathetic and encouraging expression!
Have you ever heard yourself speak? Do you know what your voice sounds like to others? A low monotone or a high-pitched voice can be difficult to understand or grating to the ears. Does the sound of your voice send students to sleep or running for earplugs?

  • Be critical of yourself. Try taping your voice - listen to yourself. Where are you slipping up?

  • Make your own personal checklist:
oAre you speaking at the right volume?
oDoes the end of your sentence fall so low that students sitting at the back cannot hear?
oAre you hemming and hawing too much?
oAre you speaking too fast?

Student talk
Break the monotony and give students plenty of time to talk! It will keep them alert. Make small jokes, be friendly.
Call students by their name. It sounds warmer and friendlier and lessens the distance between the teacher and learner.

The teacher is the best teaching aid. Be sure that you are using yourself

Κυριακή, 6 Μαρτίου 2011

Europa Diary

Do you know what the Europa Diary is?
How can I use it in my class?
How can my students benefit?

The Europa Diary is a valuable resource for all schools and what' s more.. it is given FREE OF CHARGE!

It is a school diary for children containing interesting topics for young people, such as career opportunities, the environment, the EU etc. Keeping a reflective learning journal is a very useful tool in the classroom to record our learning experiences and thus personalize learning, to promote reflection and create a place of personal interaction between the teacher and each individual learner.

The diary is accompanied by the Teacher's Guide with help and suggestions for the teachers to make the most of it.
More important, it can be ordered and delivered to your school without having to pay a single euro.
I' ve ordered it for my school and I am expecting it by the end of May.
For more information and orders visit the website


Παρασκευή, 4 Μαρτίου 2011

Transatlantic Educators Dialogue - TED

Taking part in the online dialogue of Educators from Europe and the USA, I get the chance
to explore and critically examine other countries as well as my own and how they are all represented
in the educational systems of the western world.
Misconceptions about the others are therefore likely to be overcome and new perspectives may be added
with respect to contemporary issues.

TED is sponsored by the European Union Center and the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Have a taste of the issues discussed as to stereotypes and impressions of the US and EU:


European Year of Volunteering 2011

2011 has been designated by EU as the "European Year of Volunteering" in order to promote and improve the quality of volunteering, raise awareness of its importance and to empower such organizations.

So how can our students become motivated with respect to Volunteering?

I have thought of contacting PRAXIS, a non-governmental and non- profitmaking cultural organisation in Serres, which is both sending and hosting volunteers from all over Europe.
Anna Alevra, journalist and vice president of Praxis,
Kaiti Emmanouilidou, president of UNESCO Serres
and two volunteers, Tomas from Sweden and Nadja from Greece
have come to our school today to deliver a speech on how young people aged 16-30
can travel in Europe and benefit from such opportunities.
The pupils were enthusiastic and really motivated. They listened attentively and wanted to know
more details and information on EVS (European Volunteers Service). Moreover they had the chance
to communicate using English in an authentic context, since they wanted to discuss with the volunteers. 

For more information visit the following sites:




Τετάρτη, 2 Μαρτίου 2011

Greek Crisis-From protests to pocket money

How do young people perceive the economic crisis?
What is their view of the world they live in?
Pupils from Pentapolis Senior Highschool have expressed their opinions,
desires and fears in an interview for BBC Worldclass, in the World News for Children.
You can find out more in http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldclass/world_news_for_children.shtml

Τρίτη, 1 Μαρτίου 2011


A magazine for teenagers from all over Europe.
A place for interaction and communication.
Free exchange of ideas and opinions for both teachers and students.
This is why 5 European countries have decided to create an e-magazine
for youth, mymagazeen. Greece, Bulgaria, France, Spain, Poland and UK
have joined forces in this e-twinning project for the school year 2010-2011.
Check it out on http://mymagazeen.blogspot.com/