Thoughts on the students I teach

In my class I try to make the lessons interesting , dynamic and relevant, perhaps the students will make their own comment on if I succeed or not.

However I’ve noticed a few things that worry me generally:

  • Students are addicted to their mobile phones or to the internet. 20 years ago, when I started teaching, bored pupils would look out of the window. Today, bored or not, they look at their phone. Engaging pupils and making them react has become more and more difficult. OK, its impossible for a student to concentrate for 2 hours in my lessons, but they cant concentrate  or don’t know how to concentrate for the ten minutes of listening task I give. And changing between tasks becomes a grinding gear shift, as students fidget in their bag for their phone to kill the seconds between the tasks with phone time. Pupils chat to their neighbor or chat when another presents; there is no respect unless I insist.
  • Students imagine that they will progress in English by speaking their native language and not the target language of English. They don’t spend enough time in English and their level isn’t good enough for the workplace. They don’t understand that to progress you need 4 hrs minimum per week exposure in English.
  • Students don’t come to question knowledge, but to worship it.
  • They imagine because they  (or their) parents pay for the study, they deserve a pass grade.

They lack a basic general understanding of how English works and their level is shockingly bad, lacking syntax, vocab and so on.

Don’t misunderstand me, the majority of students are nice and pleasant, but they have no idea about work.

Catching the spirit from youth

 

Ten years ago, I worked as a teacher in a comprehensive school in the UK. Sometimes, pupils would give in work, poems,or other ideas which touched me. I kept this poem, carefully ,  for ten years. Adam Smith was a tall blonde boy, very intelligent and determined, with the character to refuse. I hope he doesn’t mind , all these years later, that I publish his poem on my blog.

TIME by Adam Smith

The strongest of men

Not one and not ten

Can hinder the hands of a clock

 

With each passing day

The hours they weigh

As a chair round the neck with a rock

 

 

No manner of coin

No ally you join

As to way lay the dawn from its breaking

 

And when all’s said and done

There is nowhere to run

The morning of that final awakening

 

Yet immortal we feel

And made up of,steel

We pretend  not to see the faking

 

So colour your hair

Lift your face as they stare

At the signs of the oncoming night

 

And deny your mortality

And the one true reality

Is there , just out of sight

 

And cling to the ever fading light

As you fight the unwinnable fight

BRICs, MINTs, PIGS

What , I hear you ask, are you talking about?Well these acronyms are used by economists for countries with particular economic characteristics.

BRIC is for Brazil, Russia ,India, and China, all countries who had ‘double digit’ (or close) growth over the last decade and who will grow by more than 1000% gdp by 2050

 

Gross Domestic Product per capita (real)[31]
Rank 2050 Country 2050 2045 2040 2035 2030 2025 2020 2015 2010 2006 Percent increase from 2006 to 2050
1 United States 91,683 83,489 76,044 69,019 62,717 57,446 53,502 50,200 47,014 44,379 106%
2 South Korea 90,294 75,979 63,924 53,449 44,602 36,813 29,868 26,012 21,602 18,161 397%
3 United Kingdom 79,234 73,807 67,391 61,049 55,904 52,220 49,173 45,591 41,543 38,108 107%
4 Russia 78,435 65,708 54,221 43,800 34,368 26,061 19,311 13,971 9,833 6,909 1,037%
5 Canada 76,002 69,531 63,464 57,728 52,663 48,621 45,961 43,449 40,541 38,071 99%
6 France 75,253 68,252 62,136 56,562 52,327 48,429 44,811 41,332 38,380 36,045 108%
7 Germany 68,253 62,658 57,118 51,710 47,263 45,033 43,223 40,589 37,474 34,588 97%
8 Japan 66,846 60,492 55,756 52,345 49,975 46,419 42,385 38,650 36,194 34,021 96%
9 Mexico 63,149 49,393 38,255 29,417 22,694 17,685 13,979 11,176 8,972 7,918 697%
10 Italy 58,545 52,760 48,070 44,948 43,195 41,358 38,990 35,908 32,948 31,123 88%
11 Brazil 49,759 38,149 29,026 21,924 16,694 12,996 10,375 8,427 6,882 5,657 779%
12 China 49,650 39,719 30,951 23,511 17,522 12,688 8,829 5,837 3,463 2,041 2,332%
13 Turkey 45,595 34,971 26,602 20,046 15,188 11,743 9,291 7,460 6,005 5,545 722%
14 Vietnam 33,472 23,932 16,623 11,148 7,245 4,583 2,834 1,707 1,001 655 5,010%
15 Iran 32,676 26,231 20,746 15,979 12,139 9,328 7,345 5,888 4,652 3,768 767%
16 Indonesia 22,395 15,642 10,784 7,365 5,123 3,711 2,813 2,197 1,724 1,508 1,385%
17 India 20,836 14,446 9,802 6,524 4,360 2,979 2,091 1,492 1,061 817 2,450%
18 Pakistan 20,500 14,025 9,443 6,287 4,287 3,080 2,352 1,880 1,531 1,281 1,500%
19 Philippines 20,388 14,260 9,815 6,678 4,635 3,372 2,591 2,075 1,688 1,312 1,453%
20 Nigeria 13,014 8,934 6,117 4,191 2,944 2,161 1,665 1,332 1,087 919 1,316%
21 Egypt 11,786 7,066 5,183 3,775 2,744 2,035 1,568 1,260 897 778 808%
22 Bangladesh 5,235 3,767 2,698 1,917 1,384 1,027 790 627 510 427 1,125%

MINT stands for Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey, also countries who will grow, also around the 1000% mark.

PIGS stands for Portugal, Ireland/Italy/Iceland , Greece/Great Britain and Spain and is used for countries whose economy was troubled in the recent crisis.

But look again! France! We aren’t done for yet! And lots of European countries are in that list. Europe isn’t dead either then.

These figures of course ignore the fact that we don’t know the future.And past predictions of future economic destinies are doomed to failure, as Japan teaches us .