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)
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.
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
- Chimps vs Humans: How are We Different?, LiveScience, https://www.livescience.com/15297-chimps-humans.html
- Our Distant Ancestors, Book Review of The Gap:The Science of What Separates Us from Other Animals, The Human Journey, http://www.humanjourney.us/gap.html
- From Grunting to Gabbing: Why Humans Can Talk, NPR, WGBH Radio, The Human Edge, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129083762
- How Are Humans Unique? Closer to Truth, https://www.closertotruth.com/series/how-are-humans-unique
- The Moral of the Story, New York Times Book Review, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/05/books/review/the-storytelling-animal-by-jonathan-gottschall.html?mcubz=0
TEACHING AND TECHNOLOGY
By Halina Ostankowicz- Bazan
What does teaching with technology mean to me?
To me, teaching with technology involves the development of my approaches that includes four primary modules: the course content, the coach, the students, and the technology implements.
After over thirty years of teaching, I felt bored with my traditional technics and wanted to find some inspiration, as well as improvement.
My motivation, to search for the updated coaching methods, was an eagerness to make my classes more challenging and more exciting.
Learning how to teach with technology has helped me to make progress as a teacher and a learner. Teaching with technology can deepen student learning by supporting instructional objectives. However, it can be challenging to select the “best” tech tools while not losing sight of your goals for student learning.
In the classroom, technology can encompass all kinds of tools from low-tech pencil, paper, and chalkboard, to the use of presentation software, or high-tech tablets, online collaboration and conferencing tools, and more. The newest technologies allow us to try things in physical and virtual classrooms that were not possible before. What you use depends fundamentally on what you are trying to accomplish.
I like this model;
According to Gregory and Denby Associates significant implications for teaching with technology state that instruction should attempt to build upon each student’s experiential base.
What a teacher / student learns from education is, in no small extent, a function of prior knowledge.
One role of technology, therefore, is to bridge personal experiences and formal in traction. Technology should also be sufficiently flexible to adapt to teachers’ / students’ on-going instructional needs. One of the symbols of a master teacher is the ability to recognize and repair student’s misunderstandings and misconceptions.
What do I expect students to learn from the online course?
I would like to make my students interested in learning, improving the general understanding of the need to ask questions as well as to search for answers.
I expect my learners to change their studying habits so that can grow an appropriate background education and become more open to new ways of getting knowledge.
What skills and knowledge do I want them to acquire by the end of the course?
By the end of the course, students should improve their speaking and listening skills as well as become more confident in communication in English.
Students / participants will have a strong understanding of what the communicative approach to language teaching is and how it relates to them.
Learners will practice updated, efficient studying methods and will make implausible progress through self-study.
Finally, course participants will achieve a high fluency level of conversational English.
Also, to enhancing their pronunciation, improving speaking skills and language fluency students will be prepared for a variety of English-speaking module exams.
Halina’s Conversational English online course I would like my students to;
- Improve speaking competence and English fluency
- Increase communication efficiency
- Use strategies for making Small Talk effectively
- Get ready for a variety of English-speaking environments
- Prepare for different Spoken English, Exams, and Interviews
What teaching strategies (lecture, discussion, group work, case studies, etc.) will best help students achieve these goals?
The best teaching approaches for my learners are speaking as well as listening strategies. Apparently we run-through presentations, discussions, conversations, dialogues, teamwork and case studies. I would like to point out that I just use actual, real texts from the books, newspapers, the song’s lyrics, movies. We often take advantage of different kinds of listening comprehension such as listening to the news, interviews presentations, et cetera.
Generally speaking, in my course I will take advantage of both synchronous lessons and asynchronous communication supported with PowerPoint presentations, reading as well as listening assignments, discussions, and variety of tasks such as running or giving interviews, making English speaking videos, creating classes.
Being creative is a must in the language classroom.
In one of the TED talks, Sir Ken Robinson said that creativity is as important as literacy and as such must be promoted in any classroom. Nowadays, however, most Foreign Language syllabuses follow the testing-oriented approach to allow for more objective assessment of the students.
For recognizable reasons, the testing-oriented approach does not generate a context for learners being creative. Therefore, creativity is not promoted or is even excluded in total.
In my course, I will argue that in the context of Foreign Language Learning and Teaching creativeness is essential. It leads to better and faster assimilation of language material, and it generates a more productive language environment. Moreover, inventiveness unpredictably enough may produce better test results, no matter the learners’ level is.
Halina Ostańkowicz- Bazan
Online publications, virtual communities, and more blogs
- Campus Technology.
- EDUCAUSE is an online research community
- EdTech: Focus on Higher Education.
- eLearn Magazine
- Learning through Digital Media
- HASTAC: Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory
- Clickers in the Classroom and other short educational videos from the University of Colorado
- Creating a PDF with video: “One easy way to make readings come alive for your students.”
Resources from other teaching and learning centers
- Technology, Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Texas, Austin
- Technology in the Classroom, Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, University of Michigan
- Educational Technologies, Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology, University of British Columbia
- Flipping the classroom
- Active learning
- Student writing
- Discussing racial violence in the US: Resources for discussing current events
- Large lecture instruction
Teaching with technology
Learn to Blend and Flip with Technology
Teaching with Technology
Micro Teaching in Pairs
I am taking the course Getting Online as a Teacherpreneur
We have to answer some questions…..
@What is the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org?
- What is database and why is it important.
- Overview of wordpress dashboard
- How to deal with cyber bullying among young adults
I am very excited because studying is a big adventure for me as a lifelong learner.
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.
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
|Pre-production||This is also called “the silent period,” when the student takes in the new language but does not speak it. This period often lasts six weeks or longer, depending on the individual.|
|Early production||The individual begins to speak using short words and sentences, but the emphasis is still on listening and absorbing the new language. There will be many errors in the early production stage.|
|Speech Emergent||Speech becomes more frequent, words and sentences are longer, but the individual still relies heavily on context clues and familiar topics. Vocabulary continues to increase and errors begin to decrease, especially in common or repeated interactions.|
|Beginning Fluency||Speech is fairly fluent in social situations with minimal errors. New contexts and academic language are challenging and the individual will struggle to express themselves due to gaps in vocabulary and appropriate phrases.|
|Intermediate Fluency||Communicating in the second language is fluent, especially in social language situations. The individual is able to speak almost fluently in new situations or in academic areas, but there will be gaps in vocabulary knowledge and some unknown expressions. There are very few errors, and the individual is able to demonstrate higher order thinking skills in the second language such as offering an opinion or analyzing a problem.|
|Advanced Fluency||The individual communicates fluently in all contexts and can maneuver successfully in new contexts and when exposed to new academic information. At this stage, the individual may still have an accent and use idiomatic expressions incorrectly at times, but the individual is essentially fluent and comfortable communicating in the second language.|
How long does it take for a language learner to go through these stages? Just as in any other learning situation, it depends on the individual. One of the major contributors to accelerated second language learning is the strength of first language skills. Language researchers such as Jim Cummins, Catherine Snow, Lily Wong Filmore and Stephen Krashen have studied this topic in a variety of ways for many years. The general consensus is that it takes between five to seven years for an individual to achieve advanced fluency. This generally applies to individuals who have strong first language and literacy skills. If an individual has not fully developed first language and literacy skills, it may take between seven to ten years to reach advanced fluency. It is very important to note that every ELL student comes with his or her own unique language and education background, and this will have an impact on their English learning process.
It is also important to keep in mind that the understood goal for American ELL students is Advanced Fluency, which includes fluency in academic contexts as well as social contexts. Teachers often get frustrated when ELL students appear to be fluent because they have strong social English skills, but then they do not participate well in academic projects and discussions. Teachers who are aware of ELL students’ need to develop academic language fluency in English will be much better prepared to assist those students in becoming academically successful. (Learn more about academic language in Colorín Colorado’s academic language resource section.)