The English language is a fascinating mix of regional dialects and unique slang, shaped by centuries of history and cultural influences. Throughout its long history, the UK has had many invasions and visitors. From the Romans in ancient Londinium to the rolling hills of the Saxon heartland, and from the Viking raiders of the north to the Norman conquerors of the south, each wave of historical influence has shaped the dialects of the UK. Each region of the United Kingdom has its own distinct flavor of language and accent. Today, we embark on a slang tour to explore some of the expressions from different regions.
5 ways to keep students attention in class
Do you ever find it hard to keep students focused and on task? Young learners get easily distracted and it can be hard to find ways to keep them engaged.
So what can we do to get, and more importantly, keep our students’ attention? Here are our five top tips.
1. Plan a range of activities
Young learners have relatively short attention spans. In the classroom, it is rare to have the whole class fully engaged in something for a long time, since the children will have different interests and levels, so it is essential to plan a number of activities for each lesson.
The more variety you can include in the activities and tasks you plan, the easier it is to provide something enjoyable and relevant for each child. Choose short tasks and try to have a couple of extra activities up your sleeve if something you planned doesn’t work well. However, don’t worry if you don’t have time to do them all – you can always save them for a future lesson.
2. Vary the dynamics and pay attention to the mood
Another way of keeping students engaged is to mix up the classroom dynamics, having a combination of individual heads-down work, pair work, group work, and whole class discussions or games. When planning your lesson, consider how your students might feel at each stage. After doing some reading or quiet work, students may start to become restless, and this is the ideal time to get them up and moving about.
While you are in class, pay close attention to the mood of the class. When you sense that students are becoming distracted or bored, change the dynamics of the activity.
3. Use brain breaks
Ever notice that students become lethargic and show a lack of interest? Why not try introducing brain breaks at strategic points in your lessons? Brain breaks are short physical activities or games designed to get the blood flowing and to re-energize students to help them get ready for learning. They range from short activities that last a couple of minutes, to longer breaks that may be suitable if your lessons last more than an hour.
4. Peer teaching
We can vary different aspects of the lesson using the previous strategies, but one thing that rarely changes is the role of the teacher! One way of keeping students involved is by giving them more responsibility and allowing them to take a more active role in their learning.
Peer teaching completely changes the classroom dynamic and has students teach their peers while you take a step back. For primary classes, ask one or two students to take charge of a ready-made activity, e.g. one from your course book. They should give instructions, demonstrate, monitor as necessary, and check answers.
When students are used to doing this, you can start to have them work in pairs or small groups to plan their own activities to use in class.
5. Useful classroom management strategies
Of course, nobody is perfect and there will be times when you lose students’ attention and they are not on task. For these occasions, you can use a wealth of classroom management strategies to regain the class's attention. Here are a few techniques:
- Walk around the classroom as students are working. They are less likely to go off-task if you are available and watching.
- Stand next to or behind individuals who are not paying attention, or move your position to a strategic point in the classroom where everyone, particularly those who are not listening, can see and hear you clearly.
- Have a code word. Choose a word before the lesson and display it on the board. Tell students that you will sometimes call out this word during the lesson and they need to pay special attention. You could ask students to do an action e.g. stand up and turn around, and give points to the first student who does so.
- Silence. An old but effective trick is to stand in silence at the front of the class and wait for everyone to stop talking.
Your enthusiasm is key
Finally, if we want our students to be motivated and engaged in our lessons, we must show enthusiasm for what we are teaching. The more lively and animated you are about the lesson, the more the students will want to join you and learn.
More blogs from Pearson
Language is not only a tool for communication but also a means to explore and comprehend diverse cultures, traditions, and perspectives. Europe, with its vast array of languages, is a prime example of this linguistic diversity. Each year on September 26th, Europe observes the European Day of Languages, which is a day solely dedicated to celebrating and embracing this linguistic richness.
Europe is a magnificent tapestry of languages, with over 200 spoken throughout the continent. This diversity is a symbol of the rich cultural heritage of each nation and reminds us of the intricate historical, social, and linguistic elements that mold our identities. The European Day of Languages inspires people to cherish and honor this linguistic heritage.
Why September 26th?
September 26th marks an important date for celebrating linguistic diversity and promoting multilingualism. This day commemorates the adoption of the "European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages" by the Council of Europe in 1992, a crucial document that recognizes and safeguards the linguistic rights of minority languages spoken within European countries. By celebrating the European Day of Languages on this date, it renews our commitment to supporting the rich diversity of languages and cultures that make our world a more vibrant and fascinating place.
What type of events happen?
The European Day of Languages offers language learners a chance to participate in language exchanges, which is an exciting opportunity. During such exchanges, learners from diverse backgrounds partner up and teach each other their native languages. This not only helps improve language skills but also promotes intercultural understanding.
Various European cities offer language workshops led by enthusiasts and experts, providing an introduction to different languages.
Storytelling is an incredibly effective tool for learning languages. Libraries, schools, and cultural centers hold multilingual storytelling sessions, where stories from different cultures are shared in their original languages. This helps both children and adults to better understand and appreciate the beauty of linguistic diversity.
Cinema provides a wonderful opportunity to explore different languages and cultures. Throughout Europe, foreign films are often shown with subtitles, enabling viewers to fully immerse themselves in new linguistic worlds.
Museums often showcase exhibitions highlighting the linguistic and cultural heritage of various regions, providing insight into the history and traditions of different languages.
Cafés and restaurants might offer special menus featuring diverse cuisines and multilingual staff – a delightfully tasty way to explore languages and cultures.
Games and Competitions
Language-based games and competitions, such as crossword puzzles and spelling bees, are organized in schools and communities to provide a fun and educational way to celebrate language.
If you are a teacher hoping to celebrate this occasion make sure to check here for ideas on what to do.
Check out what events are happening near you here.
Just like the European day of Languages, we at Pearson Languages are fully committed to empowering and celebrating language learners and educators alike. That's why we are now supporting French, Italian, and Spanish language learning with the Global Scale of Languages (GSL). With these new language learning frameworks at your fingertips, you can confidently design curriculums and personalize learning pathways to help fast-track your learners’ progress and help your learners be themselves in French, Italian and Spanish.
Whether you're a teacher, a language learner, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of languages, the European Day of Languages and the GSL provide exciting opportunities to explore, learn, and enjoy the rich tapestry of Europe's linguistic heritage.
Can we play a game? How many times have you been asked this in class? And how often do you say Yes? Young learners love to play games, and if you choose the right ones, they can have a hugely beneficial impact on their learning.
As well as being fun, games can provide learners with necessary language practice, as well as lowering the affective filter (i.e. anxiety, fear, boredom and other negative emotions that can all impact learning). Games also foster a positive, relaxed environment.
So are you ready to play? Here are a few tried and tested games that work especially well in the primary classroom. Each game is designed to consolidate and review the language students have been learning, and take from 5 to 15 minutes. The games are flexible enough for you to adapt them to different levels, age groups and skills.