Monday, January 29, 2007

The Second Week Begins...

Our class is settling down, although there could still be changes (new arrivals, withdrawals) up until next Tuesday, which is the last day of the schedule adjustment period.

Today we got a start in our textbooks, Understanding and Using English Grammar and Quest: Listening and Speaking 3. However, we couldn't get through all the material I had planned. Although the students would probably prefer to have fewer hours in class, I wish we had (at least) three hours per day!

Almost every student has created his/her own blog. This morning I showed them how to change the default settings for time zone, comment verification and moderation, etc., and assigned a first post for this week, introducing themselves. I have had several offers from EFL teachers in different countries to read the students' blogs and interact with the class. :-)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The First Day of Class

Class began today in our nice, big, light-filled classroom in Hornbake. There were 13 students (an unlucky number?!?) from 10 countries. We began a brief review of verb tense/aspect combinations and I assigned a written self-introduction for tomorrow. (I asked them to hand-write their self-intro so I can see what their spelling mistakes are!)

Everyone in the class seems pleasant and positive, even though I know very well that most of them would rather not take the class!

Here's to a successful semester for all!

In these pictures, the students are practicing using a variety of verb tenses and aspects:

A Wonderful Video

A friend sent me a link to a very nice short video today. I have no idea who made it, but it's got some excellent advice for living. Tell me what you think!

Everyone Must See This! - video powered by Metacafe

Thursday, January 11, 2007

UMEI 005

UMEI 005 (Advanced English as a Foreign Language) is a non-credit one-semester required ESL course offered by the Maryland English Institute for students at the University of Maryland (Maryland, USA). Course dates are January 24 - May 4, 2007. The purpose of the course is to support international students at UM whose English language proficiency does not quite meet the standard set by the university for full-time academic study. We target all four skills in the course, which meets two hours a day, Monday - Friday, for 13 weeks. The students are at both the graduate and undergraduate level, aged about 18-30, and are studying in various fields.

There are about 15 students in the class. We have a class blog and a class wiki, and the students have created their own individual blogs. I am sure they will be excited to read comments from English students and teachers from around the world!

Links to UMEI005 student blogs:







Dae Gun







By the way, we might also be interested in some synchronous interaction, e.g., text chat at Tapped In or voice chat on Yahoo Messenger. This would be possible on Mondays or Fridays, when we meet in the computer lab, from 1400 GMT to 1600 GMT.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

The semester begins...

Welcome to The 005 Blog!

You are still on vacation, but I am already back on campus and planning the semester. I always have a class blog, and I like my students to have their own blogs too. A blog gives you a space on the web where you can express your thoughts and ideas in English. These can be read by your classmates, by other students (and non-students) in other places, by your family and friends back home, and (of course) by me, your teacher. We can interact with you by leaving comments on your blog.