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What makes us human?

Evolutionary biology and scientific evidence tell us that all humans originated from and evolved from ape-like ancestors over 6 million years ago in Africa. From knowledge gained from the discovery of early human fossils and archaeological remains, it appears that there were probably 15-20 different species of early humans that existed, some beginning as early as several million years ago. These species of humans, called “hominins,” migrated into Asia about 2 million years ago, then into Europe, and the rest of the world much later. While different branches of humans died out, the branch leading to the modern human, Homo sapiens, continued to evolve.

Have you ever?

1. felt dismayed when somebody, in response to, ‘Hi, how are
you?’, doesn’t answer, ‘Fine, thanks’, but starts to tell you
about their health?
2. had a tricky conversation with someone whose name you’ve
forgotten when they clearly know who you are? Should you
ask their name?
3. discovered to your embarrassment that you’ve been walking
along, talking to yourself because your friend stopped a
while ago to look in a shop window?
4. said you’re pleased with your hair in a hairdresser’s, despite
hating it, and can’t wait to leave the shop and comb it out?
5. spent a meal debating with yourself whether to tell the person
you’re eating with that there is some food on their face?
6. asked someone in a supermarket where something is, only
to learn that the person is another customer like yourself?
Or worse, have you had the reverse happen to you?
7. wished that you’d bought some of the things in the trolley
of the person ahead of you in the supermarket queue?
8. found it difficult to keep your smile and patience, after a third
failed attempt when someone is taking a group photograph?
9. felt awkward because after saying a long and affectionate
goodbye to someone you both set off in the same direction?
10. said, ‘We really must meet up again sometime’, when
you really meant ‘Not a chance!’?


What is the difference between human being and being human?

There is a very distinct difference between Being Human and Human Being. The dictionary describes Being human as simply understanding that others are human too. … describes Human Beings as a person, especially as distinguished from other animals or as representing the human species.


Our Mind: Imagination, Creativity, and Forethought: A Blessing and a Curse


The human brain and the activity of its countless neurons and synaptic possibilities contribute to the human mind. The human mind is different from the brain: the brain is the tangible, visible part of the physical body; the mind consists of the intangible realm of thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and consciousness.
Thomas Suddendorf says in his book, “The Gap”:

“Mind is a tricky concept. I think I know what a mind is because I have one — or because I am one. You might feel the same. But the minds of others are not directly observable. We assume that others have minds somewhat like ours — filled with beliefs and desires — but we can only infer those mental states. We cannot see, feel, or touch them. We largely rely on language to inform each other about what is on our minds.” (p. 39)


Storytelling

Thanks to our unique memory, acquisition of language skills, and ability to write, humans around the world, from the very young to the very old, have been communicating and transmitting their ideas through stories for thousands of years, and storytelling remains integral to being human and to human culture.


The Future

No matter how you look at it, humans are unique, and paradoxical. While we are the most advanced species intellectually, technologically, and emotionally, extending our lifespans, creating artificial intelligence, traveling to outer space, showing great acts of heroism, altruism and compassion, we also continue to engage in primitive, violent, cruel, and self-destructive behavior.  

As beings with awesome intelligence and the ability to control and alter our environment, though, we also have a commensurate responsibility to care for our planet, its resources, and all the other sentient beings who inhabit it and depend on us for their survival. We are still evolving as a species and we need to continue to learn from our past, imagine better futures, and create new and better ways of being together for the sake of ourselves, other animals, and our planet.


Resources and Further Reading

https://www.thoughtco.com/what-makes-us-human-4150529

About Halina’s teaching

M.A. Senior Lecturer Wrocław University of Science and Technology – Wybrzeże Wyspiańskiego 27 50-370 Wrocław, Poland

As a retired busy language teacher, I feel very appreciated by my students. I teach f2f and online Polish and English as a Foreign Language.

Nowadays, I am a highly motivated, energetic as well as a creative language teacher.

I am an enthusiastic online non-native English teacher. I have been teaching English online since 2010. I have taught children as well as adults. I have a master’s degree in education from the University of Wroclaw, Poland, Philology, Linguistics Jul 1974. After 40 years of teaching in traditional classroom settings, I grow into an experienced online professional tutor. I specialize in Conversational English. I also prepare, for various tests, including the Cambridge and Oxford standardized exams. I take advantage of new technologies. My approach is Teaching English with Technology. I use blended learning, flipping the classroom change from passive to fully active learners are significant implements in my teaching/, learning by teaching or encouraging

education. I teach English as a foreign language. I also conduct lectures in English on Polish History and Culture for students from all over the world. I spent almost ten years in the USA and became an American Citizen in 2000. I have been participating in the online teacher’s training courses since 2010. I am striving to involve students in all kinds of activities like connecting and exchanging information. I find Virtual Classes tremendously exciting and challenging. As a Non- Native English online teacher I am available for private lessons on Skype or in my virtual classroom.

I have 25 years of experience teaching private English lessons to adults and adolescents from beginning level to advanced. My students have included business executives, professors, medical doctors, engineers, university students, primary and secondary school students, and adults learning English for daily life. I know I can help make significant, fast as well as adequate progress in English.

Why The “Grammar First, Speak Later” Approach Doesn’t Work. by Shanthi Streat | Nov 29, 2018

How to teach languages?

Here’s what we did.

➤ I encouraged her to speak freely without correcting her mistakes.

➤ I wanted to hear her story. I wasn’t interested in how she told her story, but what her story was.

➤ I wasn’t interested in her grammar mistakes. I was interested in HER.

➤ I recorded our conversations and shared the recordings with her. I wanted her to hear herself speak and realise how fluid she sounded.

We’re free only when we feel unjudged.
By the end of the week, Chantal’s fear of speaking and making mistakes eased significantly.

She felt reassured that what she had to say was more important than how she said it.

Step #2 – It’s Not About You, It’s About Your Co-Workers.
The next step was to dig deep and reflect on who was her team and what they would need from her.

Would they need a leader who spoke perfect English or a leader who inspired them and helped them work better?

by Shanthi Streat | Nov 29, 2018

 

 

Halina’s VC

How to introduce yourself so you’ll be unforgettable (in a good way!) — ideas.ted.com

If you can move beyond the boring basics when you’re asked “What do you do?”, you’ll set yourself up for new relationships, opportunities and revelations, says introduction expert Joanna Bloor. Mingling at a work event inevitably means being asked the question “What do you do?” over and over again. After years of repetition and conditioning,…

via How to introduce yourself so you’ll be unforgettable (in a good way!) — ideas.ted.com

True Learning

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Authentic Learning

 

I give English one to one tutoring classes as well as ONLINE English Courses.

I realize what YOU need to succeed in English. I know the essential skills you need to grow to suit an active communicator in English.

My classes are for students who want to use a most proficient approach to get fluent in English fast by practicing English Skills. Training is a subconscious process and is faster than conscious learning.

Being capable of putting across effectively is the most important of all life skills.

Communication is merely the act of transferring information from one place to another, whether this is vocal,  written, visually or non-verbally (using body language, gestures and the tone and pitch of the voice).

How well this information can be transmitted and received is a measure of how good our communication skills are.

Training your English communication skills can facilitate all aspects of your life, from your professional spirit to social gatherings and everything in between.

 

Conventional methods of learning English exemplify passive learning with a limited success rate. I firmly trust in Active Learning of English Skills which is much more efficient than passive learning.

These are the primary disadvantages of passive English learning

  1. The major weakness of passive education is that it splits the language into different components – reading, writing, listening, grammar, and pronunciation – which you try to learn separately.
  2. When learners are not actively involved in the class, they continue to think in their native language. Whatever the instructor explains to them, they try to interpret it in their mother tongue. It becomes nearly impossible to process the information intuitively or spontaneously.
  3. Because learners aren’t taught to think in English, they are unable to communicate in English.

Active learning helps students start speaking English confidently in less than a year.
Active learning is more than just listening: it involves the active participation of students. They must use the language all the time and be emotionally involved in the process.

We call for the conversion from Passive Learning to Active Training English Skills

As a language teacher, I use all kinds of tricks just because making students speak and building their self-confidence in keeping the conversation going is the most essential for me.
When I teach Polish, my foreigners and I have to speak only Polish, and also my English classes are run entirely in English. I train without a bridge language.
This signifies they are required to forget about native language and start speaking as well as intending in a foreign linguistic communication. Thinking in a foreign language, this is just what I want my learners to achieve.
My students learn the words in different contexts, mostly singing phrases, expressions, collocations, idiomatic expressions, phrasal verbs also telling tales. Moreover, I inspire them to talk to everybody, even to themselves in a foreign language. Consequently, they can communicate as well as discuss a variety of beautiful narrations.
Many teachers spend most of their time altering each other’s errors.

Nevertheless, I correct only fundamental errors, as I don’t want students to stop talking. I also encourage my learners to listen to songs, watch movies with subtitles in a language they learn, read a lot and so forth.

Moodle_Experience_2_Jun_2013_de7d827bHalina's Course

 

  1. The most important is to deliver comprehensible input. We improve the language when we understand it.

I am very much against the support in the native language.

  1. Learners spend more time dynamically speaking English when we convince them, for working students.
    I also develop an environment for gaining all language skills – reading, listening, speaking, writing, and pronunciation at the same time. Learners experience everyday situations again entirely in English.
  2. The mobile is an obvious choice for delivering information. It affords pupils access to reading material both in the course of educational activity and after the class of a written report. It covers support for sharing sessions with friends or teachers, which is essential for digital learners.using-digital-tools-

The lessons added by a teacher allow building an active connection between everyone.

As a result, I as an English teacher achieve a perpetual change from passive learning to the active, improving English skills.

4

 

Thank you for reading and watching.

Wishing you all the best,

Halina Ostankowicz- Bazan

References

http://edglossary.org/authentic-learning/

https://uteach.utexas.edu/sites/default/files/files/SixKeyStrategiesELL.pdf

https://www.ernweb.com/educational-research-articles/the-four-characteristics-of-authentic-learning/

https://youtu.be/XOupbmSx27A

https://clt.curtin.edu.au/teaching_learning_practice/student_centred/authentic.cfm

 

 

  1. Brookfield, S. (2000). Adult cognition as a dimension of lifelong learning. In J. Field &
  2. Cisero, C. A. (2006). Does reflective journal writing improve course performance? College Teaching, 54, 231-236.
  3. Developing Language Objectives for English Language Learners in Physical Education Lessons. Clancy, M. & Hruska, B. (2005).
  4. Dewey, J. (1933). How we think (Revised). Boston: D.C. Heath.
  5. Duckett, H. (2002). Smoke and mirrors? Evaluating the use of reflective practice as a management learning technique.” Education-line database, December 23.
  6. Effective Instruction for English-Language Learners. Protheroe, N. (2011).
  7. English Language Learners: A Policy Research Brief produced by the National Council of Teachers of English. NCTE. (2008).
  8. Instructional Models and Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners. Center on Instruction. Moughamian et al. (2009).
  9. Shulruf, B. (2011). Do extra-curricular activities in school improve educational outcomes? A critical review and meta-analysis of the literature. International Review of Education, (56),591-612.

 

Non -Native and Native English Teachers

Native English Teacher or non- Native English Teachers

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Is English a Global Language?

 

The contentious issue of (non)nativeness remains unanswered.
Nowadays, being an NNEST or NNEST should not count but rather teachers’ professional capabilities.
The presentation provides a forum for reflection and discussion about NNESTs.
We should value professional and personal qualities over ‘nativeness.’
The skills and qualities that make an effective language teacher are the most significant.
Both ‘NESTs’ and ‘NNESTs’ are expected to be competent teachers, each with excellent professional skills.
What can non-native English-speaking teachers (NNESTs) perform better?
What can native English-speaking teachers (NESTs) manage better?

 

Business Small Talk: How to Have Good Conversations (Even When You Don’t Feel Confident Speaking English) | English with a Twist

For my students.

Continuing with the theme of guest posts, I am delighted to introduce you to yet another guest writer here on EWAT. This time I have the pleasure of welcoming Jacob Gershkovich, a fellow English teacher. In his interesting and super useful post, Jacob brilliantly illustrates how you can make a good impression and enjoy a good conversation with business colleagues even if you feel your English could be better. This is ideal for anyone who wants to feel more confident in the business small talk. Enjoy the post. *************************** Listen to the post Read the post Let’s imagine that you’re at a networking event. You see someone standing across the room who you’d really like to connect with, someone who could be really helpful to know. You want to introduce yourself to this person and begin a conversation, but you don’t feel confident as an English speaker. You’re worried that you won’t be able to express yourself properly in English, or even worse, that you’ll say something silly

Source: Business Small Talk: How to Have Good Conversations (Even When You Don’t Feel Confident Speaking English) | English with a Twist

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