In this issue (in alphabetical order of author's name):

ISSN 1844 – 6159

Editor's Notes:

Teaching resources are not readily available every time, for every school and every teacher. Yet in a time when teaching English has become so much of a shopping spree, too many of us fail to bear in mind that the most complex and appealing resource in the English classroom is the very person who is teaching.
To begin with, a teacher can quickly put together a warm-up activity by asking students to guess what is in his/her pocket or
bag or can simply bring an object from home, whether it is a cuddly toy or a set of photographs and encourage children to guess and develop the story behind.
Just as naturally, a teacher can easily introduce or illustrate whatever language issue by conjuring up his/her teenage days, an unusual event in the distant past or their latest vacation, the day they first met that class or, just as well, a likely turn of events in his/her future. In this case, students can be encouraged to practice a certain structure or a lexical set.
Students do not easily open up in class these days and are not easily convinced to discuss whatever contemporary issue the textbook aims to force upon them. What they need is the personal touch of a genuine conversation with a real stake and the teacher’s world can, if tactfully brought into the classroom, add the needed meaningful and appealing context. So don’t buy your students expensive language practice books – you have yourself for that!

Ovidiu Aniculăese, Colegiul Naţional "A.T. Laurian", Botoşani


 Modern Approaches to Teaching English in Highschool. Using Mini-texts to Teach English
by Elena Mircea, Colegiul National „Anastasescu”, Roşiorii de Vede, Teleorman

Keywords: mini-texts, English, expansion, media transfer, reduction, matching, reconstruction, project work.

Mini-texts are all in fairly simple language but the feelings and ideas they express are often intense and profound. They are as important for what they do not say as for what they do. The student is therefore drawn into filling in, from his own experience, what is not stated but only hinted at by the text.
There is a set of easily generalized exercise types which can be applied to virtually any text. Here they are: expansion, reduction, media transfer, matching, selection, comparison/contrast, reconstruction, reformulation, interpretation, creating text, analysis and project work.

The Sample Text:

“He never sent me flowers. He never wrote me letters. He never took me to restaurants. He never spoke of love. We met in parks. I don’t remember what he said, but I remember how he said it. Most of it was silence anyway”.

1. Expansion
a) Add as many adjectives as you can to the text.
b) Add some other sentences after “...restaurants”. They should tell of the other things he never did.
c) Add one paragraph before and one paragraph after this text. The first should begin “It all began ...”The last should begin “It ended one day when...”
2. Reduction
Shorten the text by cutting out repetition.
3. Media Transfer
a) Write out the text as a poem. Use the exact words of the text but arrange them on the page to make the most effect. Give the poem a title.
b) Write a letter to the “agony aunt’s” column of a newspaper based on this text. The letter is asking for advice.
4. Matching
a) Here are photographs of three women. Which one do you think is most likely to have spoken the text.
5. Selection
a) Which title best fits the text?
Silence, Indifference, Anguish, Memories, Frustration, Never
6. Comparison/Contrast
Give the students two poems on a similar theme.
7. Reconstruction
a) Look at this word array:
silence was he
never love sent
took met I
of letter anyway
Make as many sentences as you can using these words only. You can use the words as many times as you like. Then combine your list of sentences with your partner’s. Use some of the sentences to write a short story.
b) These sentences are jumbled up. Try to put them into an order which makes sense for you.
c) “We met in parks. He never took me to restaurants. Most of it was silence anyway. He never sent me flowers. He never wrote me letters. I don’t remember what he said, but I remember how he said it. He never spoke of love. ”
8. Reformulation
a) Listen to the text once. Then use these keywords to rewrite it in your own words.
flowers parks silence remember never restaurants letters love
Then compare your version with the original.
b) Rewrite the text replacing the verbs with possible alternatives.
9. Interpretation
a) Read the text and close your eyes. What colours does the text suggest to you? Discuss them with your group.
b) What question would you ask the man described in the text? And the woman?
10. Creating Text
a) Write a minimal poem using some of the words from the text (not more than ten different words ). Give it a title.
11. Analysis
a) How many tenses are used in the text? Which? What does this tell you about the events which are described ?
b) What is the subject of the first four sentences?
12. Project Work
In groups of six, design questionnaires to discover what people’s attitudes are to courtship. (It might, for example, contain questions relating to what the man should do to attract a partner and what the woman should do ). Then distribute it to the rest of the group to complete. After completing them, one member of the group should prepare a brief talk explaining the results to the rest of the class, using the tabulated results as illustrations.


1. McEwan, H., and Egan, K., eds. Narrative In Teaching, Learning, And Research. New York: Teachers College Press, 1995;
2. Maley, A, Short and Sweet, Penguin, 1995;
3. Neuhauser, P. C. Corporate Legends And Lore: The Power Of Storytelling As A Management Tool. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993.
4. Newmark, L. (1966) “How Not To Interfere With Language Teaching”, in Brumfit, C. J. and K. Johnson(ends. ) The Communicative Approach to Language Teaching, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
5. Richards, J.C. and Rodgers, T.S. (1986). Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching: A Description and Analysis. Cambridge University Press.



 Going off the Beaten Track. Storytelling as Alternative to Classroom Reading

by Mariana Andone, Colegiul Naţional “Vasile Alecsandri” Bacău

Keywords: storytelling, storyteller, creating stories, classroom activities

I have come across this concept rather recently and at that point I did not know that there was more to storytelling than the mere re-telling of a randomly picked story. Actually I thought the concept was slightly overrated and finding out that there is quite a wealth of books that tackled this matter was in fact what stirred my curiosity and interest in it. Moreover, I wanted to gain a deeper insight into the art of storytelling for personal purposes, i.e. becoming a better “performer” for my elder son. This is what prompted me to start my research on this subject and now I have decided to share my findings with those who are in the same error as I was at the beginning.


Preliminary issues
First of all, what is storytelling? It is difficult to pinpoint exactly when it began but one can only assume that it is as old as man’s first attempts at communication. We can go as far back as cave paintings, for they should not be mistakenly thought of as simple doodles or pictures etched in stone, but as real stories of life. They developed alongside of vocabulary itself, thus becoming more complex, abstract and nuanced. Today we use stories on a daily basis. We can hear snippets of conversation and dialogue passing from one person to another and realise that in fact the most popular form of communication is the recounting of stories. We use them to share information, to connect to our interlocutors, to reveal who we are. Whatever the purpose, they are an active part of our lives.
Considering these aspects, we can but ask another question - why do language teachers tell stories? Stories are meant to educate, to offer wisdom and knowledge to those less experienced, so we should not underestimate their power. We are storytellers every day whether we realise it or not and it is a skill that can be developed and used in education with exceptional results. Storytelling is the best tonic for the imagination, and as such children find it exciting and fun. They have permission to go wherever they want, to explore language and learn about life in a safe environment. They immediately connect with the storyteller; there is no book or paper to act as a barrier. The only pictures they have are in their heads. The words become their own.
The difference between storytelling and reading might be a clear one, but why is it so important in the classroom? Here are some reasons why storytelling is essential for educational development and can be used to complement the curriculum:
• Storytelling aids in the development of children’s ability to interpret and understand events beyond their immediate experience. Children’s perception changes as they ‘make it real’ and identify with the story on a personal level.
• Storytelling is a medium of shared experiences. This helps children to empathise with the characters, to feel elated at another’s joy, sad for their misfortunes. It is a tool for social and interpersonal development.
• Storytelling aids language development. Children need to be exposed to language to fully understand its implications. This will also have a beneficial effect on reading skills and being able to associate meanings and emotions with words.
• Storytelling helps with listening and speaking skills. Children will learn the importance of listening, of how to communicate ideas and interact with others. They will develop their vocabulary and learn when and where to use words and phrases.
• Storytelling stretches the imagination. It encourages children to escape into a fantasy world, and supports their daydreams, which has positive benefits on mental health and clarity leaving them better able to cope with day-to-day situations (fairy tales are ideally suited for this purpose).
• Storytelling entertains and excites, which is an important part of learning. If children are having fun they are involved, and motivated to learn more. You can almost see them anticipating what comes next and discovering the real meaning of the tale.
• Storytelling helps children appreciate different cultures, in addition to helping them examine and value their own personal heritage.
• Storytelling is the natural way to introduce children to the wonderful world of books and reading. The next stage is for the class to create their own stories and learn how to communicate their ideas individually and in groups.

How do we get started?

Deciding on the tale to tell
We have seen the benefits of using storytelling in the classroom; we know what it is about and how it can be used. Now comes the exciting part – finding and creating a tale to tell! It sounds a challenge, but there are ways and means to make the process easy and enjoyable. Our first decision refers to whether it is better to choose tried and tested tales from the wealth of material available for our audience, or whether to create something specifically for the task in hand. Both options have their advantages.
Choosing a tale. As fledging storytellers we might prefer the option of finding a tale. The benefit here is that we know the story works, it is already formed and it is in print. What can be safer than a tale that has already been created and enjoyed? The story does not lose anything by not being original because every storyteller has his or her own style. There are some tips which offer us a better grasp of what needs to be done in order to achieve the desired effect in students. First of all, pick a tale that you enjoy. It will be difficult to create atmosphere if you do not really believe in the the story. Secondly, make sure you know your audience well – what they like/dislike, their attention span, their interests or previous experience with stories. Then, you should feel free to take an old tale and change it to suit your needs, or your audience’s. Children enjoy the tradition and romance of fairy tales; they enjoy hearing about kings and queens, dragons and witches. To make the story fun you could think of modern alternatives to fairy tale characters. Furthermore, pick stories that make sense and have a satisfying ending. There is nothing worse than a group of blank faces at the end of a tale. Last but not least, find a story that suits your style. Every storyteller has a different voice. You may discover that you prefer to tell your tales in the first person. Perhaps you feel more comfortable with modern tales rather than fairy tales. You may find humour difficult, but have a natural aptitude for spooky atmospheric tales.
Creating a tale. This is not as difficult as it sounds, and can be very rewarding. There are many benefits in creating your own tale to tell. For a start, that tale is original, it may have elements of other stories, but it is your tale, and as such has never been heard or read before. You are the master of the tale and that provides an extra boost of confidence and control. You will feel happier chopping and changing bits, and you will find that you can be flexible with the plot and characters. So where do we start? Do we wait for inspiration to strike? Here are some easy ways to stimulate your imagination and get the words flowing, as presented by Alison Davies.
Memories. Think of important events in your life, significant things that happened in your childhood. Think about positive experiences. Rather than trying to list them in your head or on paper, draw them. Take a sheet of paper and draw a picture, a still that sums up what that memory means to you.
Pictures. Pictures are a great source of inspiration. Storytellers work in pictures, so putting a story together based on pictures or paintings or photographs is a good way of thinking visually.
Other stories. It is perfectly acceptable to incorporate other stories into the tale you tell. You may be looking for a tried and tested formula: for example, the standard format of good versus evil that is used so well in fairy tales can be adapted. You can borrow characters and tell the story from their perspective. What happened to Sleeping Beauty whilst she was asleep? Where did she go? What did she dream? What were her adventures? Perhaps she learnt something during that time. You may begin to tell her tale and then ask your class to come up with their version of events.
Other perspectives. Take a story you know well and see it from another angle. Take an inanimate object and imagine what it sees and feels. What role does it have to play in the story? Give it a personality. Remember that it will be present for only part of the original tale, so it will have a totally different perspective of events. It will have its own story.
Take a smaller character from a popular tale and tell his or her story. Who is Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother? Where did she come from? How did she feel? How did the sequence of events look to her? Again these are all questions you can put to your class to get them thinking creatively.

The delivery stage
As pre-delivery preparation, A. Davies suggests that, although it is obviously not advisable to learn our stories by heart, there is nothing wrong with developing some key phrases. Knowing the first and last line of our piece is however useful. A good strong beginning is necessary to launch into the tale, so a definite sentence which sets the scene and puts us and our audience in the right frame of mind for the tale is a must. Also, the author stresses upon the paramount importance of practising our tale. “Familiarise yourself not only with the words you want to use, but how they sound. Things sound different when they are vocalised. Run through the story and if there are any problem areas work on them. Make sure you have your key phrases and bridges in place in case you lose your way.” (Davies, p.26)
During the actual delivery, it is essential that we take into account several factors, such as voice, expression, movement and posture. Imagine that all music was the same. How dull it would be to listen to the same piece, with no changes in rythm or tone. The same happens with stories. Voice, movement, posture and expression are the tools of a storyteller’s trade. Like magic they can turn an ordinary story into something truly amazing. The way in which the story is presented is the icing on top of a cake. It is the bit that everyone sees and is attracted to. Presentation techniques, if done correctly, will not only give a story credence, but also give one’s performance confidence. The more these skills are employed in the classroom, the more effective they will become, and if we get our class to join in then we should also see positive results in the areas of speaking and listening.

Teaching storytelling – classroom activities

Storyboards are an excellent way to introduce children to the world of storytelling because they are a visual aid to telling a story and great fun to produce. Storyboards are similar in pattern and effect to story ladders, the main difference being that a storyboard is made up of pictures and words. A story ladder uses chunks of sentences or phrases to move you on to the next stage of the story. Children find it easier to associate with images in the first instance, although older children might enjoy the challenge of creating a story ladder. Storyboards can be used as a lead-in to storytelling performance work. It gives the class the opportunity to get into groups and really get to grips with the tale. Storyboards can be used as starter or main activities, with outcomes that focus on sharing ideas, communicating in groups and creating coherent plots.
When producing storyboards ask the class to think of a picture that captures the essence of whichever stage of the story they are focusing on. Then suggest that they write a few key words beneath the picture to help them when it comes to telling their tale. They can also write a sentence for each picture; however try to steer them away from writing the full narrative as this is an exercise in storytelling and the oral tradition, not reading/writing. If you can get children thinking creatively, experimenting with language and then developing tales in their heads they will have more confidence when it comes to the written word.
Word games. There are very many word games you can incorporate into your storytelling activities, depending on the age and level of your class. Word games are a great ice-breaker and can be used as starter exercises to get the class thinking about language and accustomed to speaking.
The One-Word Game. Tell the class that the aim of this game is to tell a story, but each person is only allowed to say one word and that word must move the story forward. So you might start with ‘once’ and the next child might say ‘upon’ and the next one ‘a’ and on and on it goes until you piece together a story. It is an exercise that should be done at high speed to keep the momentum and the fun going! Some younger children might find it easier to say one sentence rather than one word but the idea is the same – it is very much about stimulating the imagination.
Tripling. This is an exercise for older children, those who have a clear grasp of language and are competent at piecing together stories. The object of the exercise is again to tell a story, but this time the focus is on the language and the meaning of the words chosen. Tripling is something that storytellers use for effect. Each word used in tripling adds something to the picture. It increases the power of the image, to provide maximum impact. For example say, ‘The crows they gathered on the Castle Gatehouse, watching, waiting, counting the silences’. Here tripling is used to add to the atmosphere and the intention of words. With this exercise you get your class to sit in a circle and you start to tell a story. After a minute or two you add in a sentence that uses tripling. So you might say, ‘the dog ran, leapt, bounded across the field’. Then you move on to the next person. They will continue the tale and include at some point a tripling sentence. The most important thing with this exercise is not to second-guess what is coming up. You cannot know where the story will go, and that is part of the fun and the challenge. You have to think about the story and the language as you are speaking.
Cliffhanger. Again this is a good exercise for older children who are confident with stories. Write a selection of different lines on prompt cards, lines that leave the story hanging in mid air. So you might have, ‘Jenny felt something grab at her shoulder. When she turned around all she could see was …’ Each child will take it in turns to pick a card and develop the story from this point. They have three minutes to tell this story to the rest of the class. Some children might struggle with this exercise but you can help them by asking questions and getting the rest of the class to join in with suggestions.
In the style of … This is another exercise for older, more advanced children. You pick a selection of well-known fairy tales and write them on different cards, you then write down a selection of character types, for example you might include in this list Witch, King, Ogre, Clown, Fairy, Giant, Pirate etc. Then a class member will pick one card from each group. So they might pick ‘The Three Little Pigs’ as their story and a Witch as their character. They now have to tell the story of the Three Little Pigs in the style of a witch. So they have to use their voice, facial expression, movement to depict their character whilst telling the tale. You can do famous people, characters from TV etc.

Instead of conclusions

Although the title of the article might suggest an innocent rivalry between extensive reading and storytelling, there is actually no such thing. On the contrary, the two activities are closely interrelated and mutually dependent. However, my intention was (and hopefully I have managed to rightfully prove it) to sustain the idea that storytelling is an undeservedly unexplored area of EFL, which is more often than not discarded in favour of actual reading. It develops Listening, Speaking, Vocabulary and boosts a child’s imagination, motivation and literary competence, not to mention self-confidence and independence. I also hope I have managed to eliminate any possible misconceptions related to the term “storytelling”, which was my main goal from the very beginning. Having said all this, I believe it is only fair to give storytelling a chance and include it in our priorities during the English classes. Even if less visibly in the beginning, our efforts will pay off in the long run.
Good luck to everyone!

Davies, Alison (2007), Storytelling in the Classroom (London: Paul Chapman Publishing)
Fox Eades, J. (2006), Classroom Tales. Using Storytelling to Build Emotional, Social and Academic Skills across the Primary Curriculum (London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers)
Zaro, J. and Salaberri, S. (1995), Storytelling (Oxford: Macmillan Heinemann ELT) pp. 3-5



Foreign Language Teaching and Arts in Waldorf Schools

by Oana-Elena Andone, Waldorf Highschool of Iaşi

Keywords:  Waldorf, imagination, play, developmental stage, the four temperaments, cognitive development, philological psychology

Waldorf education was developed by Rudolf Steiner at the beginning of the twentieth century as an attempt to establish a school system that would not only facilitate the inclusive, broadly based, balanced development of children, but would also act in a socially responsible and transformative fashion.
Waldorf educationalists emphasize the role of the imagination in both teaching and learning. Studies of Waldorf education describe it as aiming to develop and succeeding at developing thinking that includes a creative as well as an analytic aspect and to provide young people the basis with which to develop into free, moral and integrated individuals. Waldorf education seeks to integrate practical, artistic, and intellectual elements into the teaching of all subjects. Learning is interdisciplinary and coordinated with natural rhythms of everyday life. Teachers are given creative freedom to define curricula. The education’s explicit task is to aid every child to unfold his or her unique destiny.
The structure of the education follows Rudolf Steiner’s pedagogical model of child development, which views childhood as divided overall into seven-year developmental stages, each having its own learning requirements. The stages are similar to those described by Piaget (Piaget, 1928). According to Waldorf pedagogy early childhood learning is largely experiential, imitative and sensory-based. The education emphasizes learning through practical activities. During the elementary school years, age 7-14, learning is regarded as artistic and imaginative. In these years, the approach emphasizes developing children’s affective life and artistic expression. During teenage years, to meet the developing capacity for abstract thought and conceptual judgment the emphasis is on learning through intellectual understanding and ethical thinking, including taking social responsibility.
Waldorf schools approach learning in early childhood through imitation and example. In Waldorf schools oral language development is addressed through songs, poems and movement games. These include daily story time when a teacher usually tells a fairytale, often by heart. Extensive time is given for guided free play in a classroom environment that is homelike and includes natural materials. Such an environment is considered by Waldorf pedagogues as supportive of the physical, emotional and intellectual growth of the child through assimilative learning. Waldorf early childhood education emphasizes the importance of children experiencing the rhythms of the year and seasons, including seasonal festivals drawn from a variety of traditions.
Play is the work of pre-school children, and imitation is their natural way of learning. During this stage of a child’s development, it is very important that what the child sees and hears is worthy of imitation. The teacher’s loving, joyful attitude to the children and the events of each day are of central importance. The teacher creates an environment where natural beauty, warmth, and security abound in a home-like setting. Activities such as storytelling, singing, puppetry, costume play, and circle games are combined with baking, cleaning, outdoor play, seasonal festivals and field trips. Only natural materials, foods, and mainly handmade toys are used to encourage the child’s imagination, sense of wonder, and reverence for life. Songs and rhymes cultivate a lively sense for language. Listening to stories, watching puppet shows, and dramatic play enriches language and strengthens the power of memory and imagination. Counting games and rhythmic activities build a solid foundation for arithmetic and number skills. Work and play activities develop coordination, concentration, and a healthy social sensitivity. Participation in the activities and moods of the seasonal festival year provide a joyful experience of anticipation for the healthy inner and outer cycle of life.
Elementary education begins when the child is nearing or already seven years of age. The elementary school centers around a multi-disciplinary arts-based curriculum that includes visual arts, drama, artistic movement, and both vocal and instrumental music and lessons in two foreign languages, often English and either French or German. Throughout the elementary years, new material is introduced through stories and images, and academic instruction is integrated with the visual and plastic arts, music and movement. There is little reliance on standardized textbooks. Instead, each child creates his or her own illustrated summaries of coursework in book form. The school day generally starts with a one-and-a-half to two hour lesson that focuses on a single main subject over the course of about a month’s time and generally includes recitations of poetry, including a verse written by Steiner for the start of a school day.
Waldorf educators seek to enliven each academic presentation in the school environment through story, recitation, painting, drawing, drama, music, and rhythmic movement so that it speaks to the imaginative life of the child. Teachers strive to bring the subject alive first within themselves, and then, through their presentation, awaken the enthusiasm and interest of the students. The record of each child’s experience through the days and weeks is gathered in books which they write and illustrate. Later, in adolescence, these lively experiences, and the enthusiasm for learning that is thereby quickened, become a sound basis for the unfolding of individual intellect and judgement. Elementary age children are not graded. Instead, each child’s progress is shared and discussed with parents through written reports and parent-teacher conferences. In the seventh and eighth grades, standard achievement tests are taken as a preparation for the transition to high school.
Waldorf teachers use the concept of the four temperaments to help interpret, understand and relate to the behaviour and personalities of children under their tutelage. The temperaments, choleric, phlegmatic, melancholic, and sanguine are thought to express four basic personality types, each possessing its own fundamental way of regarding and interacting with the world.
Waldorf elementary education allows for individual variations in the pace of learning, based upon the expectation that a child will grasp a concept or achieve a skill when he or she is ready. Cooperation takes priority over competition. This approach also extends to physical education as competitive team sports are introduced only in upper grades.
In most Waldorf schools, pupils enter secondary education when they are about fourteen years old. Though the education now focuses much more strongly on academic subjects, students normally continue to take courses in art, music, and crafts. The curriculum is meant to focus on helping the student develop a sense of competence as well as responsibility and purpose. Developing understanding of ethical principles and creating social responsibility is stressed now as well. At the secondary level, pupils are encouraged to develop their own independent and creative thinking processes.
In teaching foreign languages, emphasis on the creative also guides the aspect of a lesson, therefore although they start with two languages in the first grade, the students only learn to read and write in that language in the third. The first two years are dedicated to exposure to the beauty of language, which is achieved by means of poetry, rhymes, songs, story telling, drama and rhythmical speech exercises. Whereas students at more competitive schools are mastering texts in the foreign language in third grade (that is their first year of study), most Waldorf students do not read and write accurately in the foreign language until the end of fourth grade or the beginning of fifth grade. Before teaching sound and word recognition, Waldorf teachers concentrate on exercises to build up a child’s love of language. The teacher tells stories and uses gesture or drawing to make the meaning of the story clear to the children, and gets the students to recite poetry that they learn by listening, not by reading. They become incredible listeners as the langauge of instruction is the foreign language and no translation takes place and no mother tongue is used at any time. Therefore, the foundation of literacy is talk and play.
The purpose of foreign language learning in the Waldorf school is not to gain some rigid notions about grammar, pronunciation or syntax, but to foster an individual experience of the reality of language. As with other school subjects, besides the cognitive aspect there is an educational value that is related to the formation of the individual’s attitude to life. Rhythmical speech and drama, with special attention given to sounds and intonation teach students not only the language, but also to listen quietly, to wait, to guess meaning and the attitude behind it, to be open to surprises in a language. According to Johannes Kiersch (1992: 24) “the study of language educates the capacity for human compassion, thus it becomes social pedagogy or the pedagogy of peace”. Language as art enriches the students’ emotional life and encourages empathy as the speaker begins to adopt the conlocutor’s point of view.
In mainstream education the arts still remain marginal and are often the first subjects to be eliminated in times of financial exigency. Nevertheless, during the last decade influential mainstream educational groups and individuals have begun to reassess the importance of the arts in education. Recently, some influential forces are becoming interested in the arts in education with a beginning awareness of the leadership Waldorf has taken in education as an art. Two major focus points for research in this area are the arts and cognition and the arts as therapy. In what concerns the former, it now becomes important to identify and bring out in detail the importance of the arts and an artistic approach in the teaching of specific subject areas such as foreign langauges, maths, the physical sciences, history and so forth, as well as in promoting the healthy development of the child overall.
The first free Waldorf school opened its doors in Stuttgart, Germany, in September 1919, under the auspices of Emil Molt, director of the Waldorf Astoria Cigarette Company and particularly of Steiner’s call for social renewal. It was the previous year, in the social chaos following the end of World War I, that Emil Molt decided to create a school for his workers’ children. Since that time, more than nine hundred schools have opened around the globe, in Europe, North and South America and Asia, making the Waldorf school movement the largest independent school movement in the world. Although each Waldorf school is independent, and although there is a healthy oral tradition going back to the first Waldorf teachers and to Steiner himself, as well as a growing body of secondary literature, the true foundations of the Waldorf method and spirit remain the many lectures that Rudolf Steiner gave on the subject. For five years between 1919 and 1924 Rudolf Steiner dedicated himself to the dissemination of the idea of Waldorf education. He gave manifold lectures to teachers, parents, the general public, and even the children themselves.
Waldorf pedagogy is based on Steiner’s belief that truly human change would not be possible unless a sufficient number of people received an education that developed the whole human being: ”Vague and the general phrases such as the harmonious development of all the powers and talents in the child and so forth cannot provide a basis for a genuine art of education. Such an art of education can only be built on a real knowledge of the human being. Not that these phrases are incorrect, but that at the bottom they are useless as it would be to say of a machine that all its parts must be brought harmoniously into action. To work a machine you must approach it, not with phrases and truisms, but with real and detailed knowledge. So for the art of education it is the knowledge of the members of man’s being and of their development which is important. There is of course no doubt that the truly realistic art of education, such as is here indicated, will only slowly make its way. This lies, indeed, in the whole mentality of our age, which will long continue to regard the facts of the spiritual world as the vapourings of an imagination run wild, while it takes vague and altogether unreal phrases for the result of a realistic way of thinking” (Steiner, 1965: 34)

2 Piaget is best known for reorganizing cognitive development theory into a series of stages: four levels of development corresponding roughly to infancy, preschool, childhood, and adolescence. Each stage is characterized by a general cognitive structure that affects all of the child’s thinking. Each stage represents the child’s understanding of reality during that period, and each but the last is an inadequate approximation of reality. Development from one stage to the next is thus caused by the accumulation of errors in the child’s understanding of the environment. This accumulation eventually causes such a degree of cognitive disequilibrium that thought structures require reorganizing.
The four development stages are described in Piaget’s theory as: the sensorimotor stage from birth to age 2 (when children experience the world through movement and senses, therefore they use the five senses to explore the world and when they are extremely egocentric, meaning they cannot perceive the world from others viewpoints), the preoperational stage from ages 2 to 7 (when magical thinking predominates and motor skills are acquired and when egocentricism begins strongly and then weakens), the concrete operational stage from ages 7 to 11 ( when children begin to think logically but are very concrete in their thinking and when they are no longer egocentric) and the formal operational stage, after age 11 (when abstract reasoning develops, and when children can easily conserve and think logically).

3 Kiersch coined the phrase philological psychology to refer to the individual experience of the reality of language. He states that in Waldorf schools the purpose of language study is not only to transmit notions of language and of cultural elements of the people speaking that language, but mainly to experience language at the level of sensory reality. He sees language as an organ of perception that educates the students’ capacity for empathy. As any organ of perception, language opens a door to the culture, history and the spiritual reality of the people who speak the language and thus give insight into human nature.

1. Kiersch, J. Limbile străine in şcoala Waldorf. Cluj: Triade, 1992
2. Piaget, J. The Child's Conception of the World. Amsterdam: Routledge, 1928
3. Pinker, S. The Language Instinct. New York: William Morrow, 1994
4. Steiner, R. The Education of the Child in light of Anthroposophy. London: Rudolf Steiner Press, 1965


  Some Obstacles in EFL Learning. From Individual Learner Variables to Context and Material Resources

by Cătălina-Ecaterina Burlacu, "Ionel Teodoreanu" School, Iaşi

Key words: learner variables, native language, social and educational background, teaching materials, learning opportunities, teacher questioning, input and teacher talk, context and material resources.

All the individual learner variables have implications for the differential success among language learners. Thus, in addition to age, cognition, language aptitude, personality, affective variables, and hemisphere specialization, other external factors, such as the native language, educational and social background, linguistic input, and learning opportunities all have a bearing on language learning.
The learners` native language might impede learning, as well as the other languages they master. Definitely some languages are more difficult to learn because of their grammar system, distinct pronunciation features, word order, agglutinative (German) or analytic character (English). However, the difficulty of learning a language does not reside only in the language itself, but in our native language too. If the learner’s native language is a Romance one, definitely all the other Romance languages (such as Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian) will seem easier for him since they have in common some of the characteristics of his native language, such as similar vocabulary, borrowings, grammar structures, rules, the writing system and word order. In addition, the other languages we already know and speak influence the difficulty of learning a language. If the learner speaks French, which is a Romance language, obviously he/she will find easier all the other related languages (Spanish, Italian). Moreover, there is another aspect that makes some languages more difficult, namely the cultural differences embedded in the language itself. For example, in English, the pronoun “you” is used both for friends and for strangers, while French speakers use a different word for expressing politeness, namely “vous”.
The social and educational background are two other essential factors for language learning, including the following instructional variables: teaching materials, teachers` roles, attitudes and agenda, methods used in language teaching, linguistic input, and national curriculum specifications.
Teachers have at their disposal different methods that can be classified as language-centred, learner-centred or learning-centred. The orientation that a teacher adopts in EFL classes may have significant importance for progress in language learning. In a classroom in which language-centred methods are implemented, learning will be limited to the internalization of linguistic forms (grammatical structures) and vocabulary items, without actually preparing the learners for real-life communication or without considering their affective needs. I personally find this approach as a barrier to learning, since it does not lead to the full development of learners, nor does it motivate them in a way. The main flaw of it is that it does not promote meaningful interaction, decision taking from the learner’s part, autonomy, strategy use, or problem-solving tasks, all being essential for language and personal development.
The teaching materials used in the classroom, especially textbooks, represent another important element that might constitute an obstacle to language learning. Nowadays, teachers benefit from a great diversity of textbooks whose production has turned into a commercial culture designed for mass consumption. Even in our country textbook industry seems to be very productive, the publishing houses displaying hundreds of textbooks tailored, they say, to learners` proficiency level, language needs, age, and exams preparation. The question is “do textbooks really address the specific needs of learners?”. Can teachers select a textbook that is appropriate for each learner? Are the textbooks designed according to the multiple intelligences theory, giving to all the learners the possibility of expressing themselves function of their strengths? If textbooks are not treated as source-books, but as course-books whose content is mandatory, then for some learners they would definitely function as barriers. On several occasions, I asked my learners to express their opinions about their textbooks. Most of them said that the English classes would have been even more appealing if they had had another textbook, with more interesting texts and characters, activities and visual aids. If this is the case, other resources and authentic materials aiming at language development, interaction in the classroom, and motivation increase, must supplement the textbook.
Lack of learning opportunities, both inside and outside the classroom, represent another barrier to language learning. Inside the classroom, learning opportunities depend much on two aspects of classroom management, namely meaningful learner involvement and teacher questioning. The first factor, learners` involvement, will help them find their own direction in learning, whereas, for teachers, it gives them clues about what an optimal environment for learning should include. If learners` involvement is not enhanced, then learning will definitely be hindered or minimized. Taking advantage of learning opportunities in the classroom means actually listening to the learners speaking and building on what they say, since their language production represents their investment in the target language. By appropriately exploiting learning opportunities created by learners, they understand that they count and that they are partners in the classroom interaction.
The other component influencing learning opportunities in the classroom is teacher questioning. Teachers can increase meaningful interaction, and thus learning, by asking the right type of questions. If the most used types of questions are choice (involving a “yes or no” answer), product (asking a factual response) or display (to which the teacher already knows the answer) questions, then learners will not benefit from too many learning opportunities. On the contrary, if teachers address referential (inviting to open-ended answers and new information), process and metaprocess questions, asking learners to express their opinions, to interpret facts or to explain the procedure by which they arrived at a certain answer, then learners` complex reasoning skills are involved, meaningful learning and interaction are facilitated, and learning opportunities are increased.
Besides classroom learning opportunities, those generated outside the formal setting are equally important. Few learning opportunities outside the classroom definitely represent an obstacle to attaining proficiency and native-like mastery of a foreign language. The classroom environment cannot expose learners to all aspects of real-life communication, and that is why practice and involvement in various communicative settings is crucial for language development and improvement. Thus, what learners can do is to extend their exposure to English by interacting with competent speakers of the target language, getting involved in virtual communities via Internet, or by establishing correspondence with native speakers.
Input and teacher talk are also important for the learner’s progress in learning a language. If provided with limited input and if the use of teacher talk is extended beyond the initial stages, then language learning will be negatively affected and minimized. By teacher talk it is understood that simplified language that teachers use in order to communicate with their L2 learners. It is said to be characterized by a slow rate of delivery, clear articulation, paraphrasing, pauses, exaggerated stress and pronunciation, use of synonyms, short phrases and sentences, and fewer embeddings. If accepted at initial stages, in the long run, poor quantity and quality of input lead to poor quality and quantity of language learning. If learners have minimal contact with standard language, if they are rarely exposed to standard conversational speech or authentic input in class because of the teacher poor command of English, then another barrier to language learning might appear. The larger the quantity of effective accurate input, the more language learning and output production is likely to take place. Consequently, teachers must adapt their talk according to the learners` level of proficiency, from simpler to more complex, from a slower to a faster rate of delivery, without giving up the natural rhythm and intonation.
The context and material resources represent another very important factor in foreign language learning. Language acquisition is not limited to the classroom, but it can place either at home or in any other place where contact with the target language and culture can be established. Technology plays an essential role in facilitating this interaction, becoming part of a technology-enhanced learning environment, but, unfortunately, not every school or learner can benefit from it. There are still many schools and homes that cannot take advantage of everything a computer or the Internet can offer us. If for some of the learners and language teachers the language laboratory and on-line learning do not represent a wonder anymore, for many others they are still a dream. Moreover, in many schools basic materials such as charts, maps, books, CD-players or textbook ancillaries are still lacking.



 Earl W. Stevick's ‘Success with Foreign Languages’. A Book Review

by Irina Erdic, Col. Tehnic “Ioan C. Ştefănescu”, Iaşi

Keywords: successful language learning, learner-centered teaching, language learning tips.

Stevick’s Success with Foreign Languages is a must-read meaningful book that offers teachers much food for thought if they are interested in knowing how to build activities around the learner. This is quite a difficult task, without question, considering the average number of students in a typical classroom and the diversity of their learning styles, but it is what students need in order to break down the barriers they face and increase their retention and comfort level with language.
The book introduces us to a main group of seven learners and to a sub-group of other seven that is meant to consolidate each ‘type’ or ‘model’. And Stevick helps us remember them easily: the intuitive learners in chapter 1 are Ann and Aileen, so their names begin with the first letter of the alphabet; in chapter 2 we meet with Bert and Bob (the formal learners), in chapter 3 with Carla and Chuck (the informal learners), in the fourth with Derek and Dexter (the imaginative learners), in chapter 5 – Ed and Eugene (the active learners), in chapter 6 - Frieda and Fred (the deliberate learners), in chapter 7 - Gwen and Greta (the self-aware learners). The last chapter is Stevick’s summary of what we can learn from the experiences of these learners. Ann, Bert, Carla, Derek, Ed, Frieda and Gwen are part of the first group that I have mentioned, and they are being interviewed about their successful ways of learning foreign languages.
A great aspect of the book is that at the end of each interview, the author makes a few personal comments which are very useful, that is, if you enjoy tuning in to an ‘outsider’s’ feedback. In addition, after each piece of interview, Stevick leaves a little room for the readers to see if they relate to the things that have been said – he asks some effective questions that invite us to compare our experiences with those of the learners.
I would say that the main idea of the book is that there is no single way to learn, as there is no single way to teach. In an ideal world, teachers could please everybody but we all know it is rather impossible. The complexity of humankind will never allow such homogeneity and I think it is best this way. Just like the European Union, we (the teachers) want a sort of “unity in diversity”. Therefore we are constantly searching ways to please all of our students, but not in the sense of inhibiting their personality (here I include all layers of personality structure – genetic potential, habitual social actions, etc.). And in order to do that, people like Stevick help us understand this diversity, make us get in touch with the learner in us, think of our own teachers and past-experiences in school, so that later on, after doing some research on our own, we could design better activities, and why not, make a common effort in the creation of better textbooks for the students.
Ann is truly an intuitive learner. She has a creative nature of understanding – she gets the right meanings from the sounds of other people, so she is dependent on her ear and loves hearing words in a context. She guesses a lot, she takes risks and when she learns something, she does not fit that information into a system. Ann has her own mental imagery that helps her remember something new. I personally like Ann a lot because she is very active in her approach, and daring, although I do not think I can identify myself with her. What I understood about me after reading her interview is that I also use my own tools for learning, and that I remember words/phrases better when I hear them in a larger context. If I had such learners in my classroom, I would probably design activities that involve many authentic materials, such as newspapers, magazines, brochures, postcards, etc. or recreate real-like situations in the classroom which require speaking and listening skills more.
Bert, on the other hand, is more formal and conscious in his learning. He does not mind mechanical activities or memorizing words out of context, because he has built for himself some patterns in his brain where he stores all the information just waiting to be attached to experience. He too is in favor of authentic materials, which in my opinion are more than useful when learning a foreign language. From Bert I understood about myself that conscious learning is predominant, and that sometimes I really enjoy mechanical activities. I do not know why exactly, but I guess this is because they make me feel more confident in my knowledge of English and my abilities as a teacher.
Carla is the informal learner in Stevick’s book and whoever reads her interview can realize that really quickly. She loves learning among native speakers, that is why she has trouble with the relationship between letters and sounds, and with grammar. Carla takes risks, just like Ann, because she loves putting into practice the new information she has acquired. In a few words, I would say about Carla that she acquires unconsciously more than she learns, and that social elements have the power to help or hinder her learning. In this respect, I could say I am a bit like her – when learning a foreign language, it means a great deal to me if I have non-judgmental people around. So, in a classroom, learners like Carla need a positive environment, a sort of non-inhibiting ‘social arena’ that throws away as much as possible the rigidity of a traditional teacher-centered lesson where individualised work is encouraged. In other words, classroom management is very important.
Derek is the imaginative learner - he is creative in attaching meanings to forms, he focuses more on what he knows than on what he does not know, he works with charts which he makes up and he is very responsible for his own progress. So he is also a conscious learner who puts value on mechanical activities, two characteristics with which I can identify myself. In a classroom with Berts and Dereks, a teacher should use activities that consolidate the information through a lot of practice, but also include interactive tasks so that all the information finds its place in a larger context.
Ed is an active learner who loves structures, mechanical activities and rules. But for him it is not important to know the rules by heart. He just wants to understand when changes are made and why. For that reason, he is conscious in his learning, very attentive and even though he loves drills, he is also a bit creative. He is preoccupied with the relationship between grammar and everything else. He reads aloud, uses tapes in order to improve his pronunciation, and when he talks with native speakers, he does not worry about understanding everything. He is relaxed and in my opinion, this is a very important aspect when learning a foreign language. I identify with Ed on several points. For instance, I learn better when I know the rules first. They make me feel safe. I must understand the structure of things before practising them. I also build networks in my head and it is more difficult for me to learn things which are esthetically unpleasant. Unlike Ed, who learns the vocabulary passively, I cannot just stockpile words in my mind. I need a context for every new word, because I am a visual learner and I must ‘see’ the sentence in which the word is found in order to remember its meaning. That is why I very often find myself writing down every new piece of information [this is one of Eugene’s methods of learning].
The learners in chapter 6 are Frieda and Fred. Their most noticeable characteristic is the deliberateness with which they undertake everything. They are conscious in their learning and they are very personally involved in their mental work.
Frieda stockpiles lists of words for later use with the help of vocabulary cards, she reads a lot and she cannot repeat anything without seeing the word/text/etc. first. Frieda loves drills and mechanical activities. Unless she feels comfortable with a certain aspect of the language, she cannot learn any further.
If I had a classroom full of Eds, Eugenes, Friedas and Freds, I would probably use a deductive approach (direct instruction), which means I define the rules/the concept first and then provide examples to demonstrate the idea/language chunk, etc. and then I give students the chance to practise until they achieve mastery. I do not imagine they would like to debate, work in groups, or improvise as they do not enjoy building knowledge from their life experiences.
Chapter 7 deals mainly with Gwen, the self-aware learner. Gwen has clear linguistic goals that help her stay focused all the time. She is also conscious in her learning, but unlike the previous learners, she dislikes drills and mechanical activities. She loves real conversations in which she can introduce specific points of grammar and before speaking, she makes all sorts of links in her head between rules and meanings. So she communicates while paying attention to the form of what she is saying. Gwen’s style of learning is closely related to the ‘social’, that is why she learns better on her own than in a classroom.
Stevick’s Success with Foreign Languages ends with chapter 8, which contains the summary of the whole book and a list of things the author himself would do if he learned a new language. I find them both extremely useful because they allow us, as readers, to see ‘the big picture’.
Learning a foreign language is difficult and takes much commitment on the part of both teachers and learners, because successful teaching and learning rely on reciprocity, respect and discipline, among many other things. We learn differently according to our personality, we learn from one another, we learn how to share tools, ideas, successes and more importantly, we learn more about ourselves. So, to anyone trying to understand more about the learner in themselves or the others, I cannot recommend this book enough.


 Exploiting Texts for Grammar Practice. A Brief Tutorial
by Diana Toader, "Gheorghe Asachi" College, Focşani, Vrancea

Key words:Tips and activities for teaching and exploiting texts for grammar practice.

It has long been the practice for graded texts in coursebooks to contain numerous examples of the same grammatical structure in order to highlight the use of that structure in context. For example, a graded text might contain several examples of the construction used to to illustrate a past habit. Unless the text is skillfully written, this will often have the effect of making the style of the text rather stilted and unrealistic but the aim of highlighting the structure is nonetheless generally achieved with this type of presentation. Typically, the text is then followed by comprehension questions that again highlight the structure and then various grammar-based practice exercises to reinforce its use in some kind of context. In the case of authentic reading texts, however, it is rarely the case that a particular text will have numerous examples of the same grammatical structure. It is far more likely to employ a wide range of structures of varying complexity and may refer to past, present and future time and make use of both progressive and perfect aspects, as well as both active and passive voices.

1. Highlighting particular grammatical structures
If a teacher intends to make use of an authentic text to highlight a particular grammatical structure or structures, his or her task therefore becomes a little trickier. The teacher will have to identify a structure that is both useful and challenging for the class he or she is teaching and then decide how best to exploit that particular structure for further work. It is highly likely that he or she will have to go beyond the actual text and produce an exercise related to the example or examples in the text in order to give substantial practice of the chosen structure. At the basic observational level, when using an authentic task to illustrate a grammar point, the teacher might ask the students to find (underline, highlight) an example or examples of a particular structure in the text, for example:
In paragraph 1, find an example of a passive sentence.
Underline all the passive sentences in the text.
How many different tenses can you find expressed in the passive voice in the text?
Find a passive sentence in the present continuous tense.
When looking at the meaning and use in more depth, the teacher might ask questions like these:
Why does the author use the passive voice here?
Could the author use the active voice? If so, what would the sentence be like?
2. Further practice
In order to give further practice of the particular structure the teacher has chosen to focus on, it will almost certainly be necessary to prepare some kind of exercise based on the structure (perhaps using the same context as the text). There are several choices for exercise type here but some of these can be used:
Matching the beginnings and endings of sentences, e.g.
The bomb was planted... ...by religious leaders.
It was detonated... ...by ambulance.
The casualties were taken to hospital... ...by a group of terrorists.
The attack was criticised... ...by remote control.
Choosing the best from a series of options, e.g.
The bomb (has/is/was) detonated by remote control.
Re-ordering jumbled words to make accurate sentences, e.g.
by was group planted the a terrorists bomb of
Filling gaps using an appropriate form, e.g.
The attack _____ criticised by religious leaders.
The casualties ______ taken to hospital
The attack was ___________ by religious leaders.
The casualties were ____________ to hospital.
Rewriting in a different tense or voice, e.g.
The attack was criticised by religious leaders.
Religious leaders criticised the attack.
Writing further sentences from prompts, e.g.
The bomb was planted by a group of terrorists.
Writing the endings of sentences, e.g.
The casualties were taken ....
The attack was criticised ...

3. Advantages
The advantage of focusing on a structure or structures in an authentic text such as a newspaper article is that it enables the students to see these structures functioning in an authentic context. The disadvantage can be that it is rarely sufficient simply to observe or to notice and, in order to give further related practice, the teacher will almost certainly need to develop an exercise to ‘go beyond’ the text, as exemplified above.




 Helping Students Develop Confidence. Ways of Working out Conflicts
by Mona Talanc
ă, School no.8 Botoşani

Key words: conflict solving, bullying, willingness, manage anger, gain control, teasing, self-respect, confidence, listening to others.

One important part of the teaching process is not only to teach students English, but also to develop their behavior and teach them how to deal with conflicts.
We sometimes face situations such as bullying or conflicts (small or big) and we find ourselves in the situation of trying to solve them. A helpful thing we could do is to teach our students how to help themselves or their colleagues, because they need to develop their self respect and courage to stand up for themselves. Here are some useful things we can teach our students.
Bullying and conflicts are two of the most negative phenomena that can affect students. Conflict is a major source of stress in many children’s lives. It’s also the cause of violence in schools, homes and the world at large. Not knowing how to respond usually makes things even worse. Actually, the problem isn’t the conflict itself; it’s how you choose to deal with it.
When you face a conflict, you always have a choice about how you’re going to handle it. Many people choose negative ways of dealing with conflict - ways that are unhelpful and usually harmful. They choose to argue, swear, name-call, make sarcastic remarks or even fight. All these things make conflicts worse.
But you can always choose to do something different, something better.
The good thing is that people can learn how to work out conflicts and when they do, they’re happier. In order to learn how, you’ll need three important things:
1. the desire to change
2. the willingness to try something new
3. patient determination and perseverance.
Willingness is the most important step to get started. When you’re not willing to work out a conflict, what usually happens is that people tend to blame and generate even more conflicts.
What we need to teach our students is to take action when they see conflicts, to become a conflict solver. The key is to act smart, not just react. This puts them back in charge as a conflict solver instead of a conflict maker.
One of the best ways to handle the conflicts in your life is by observing yourself and noticing the kinds of conflicts you get into. This way you will have a chance to know exactly how to protect yourself from the “dangerous” situations and be able to act properly each time you encounter them.
When the conflict occurs you need to know how to react. One important way is to fake it till you make it. In other words, act brave and strong even if you don’t feel that way. When you do this, you send a message to your brain that you are brave and strong and before long, you’ll actually start believing it.
What do you do when your friends have conflicts?
If you want to make things better for your friends and you don’t know how, here are some things you can do:
-Try not to take sides. This is very important when you feel caught between two people who are both close friends of yours. One or both friends may ask you for advice, or feel they really need your help. Be willing to listen but let them know you care about both of them and need to stay neutral rather than take sides. Remind them that you like them both and encourage them to talk to each other.
-Don’t get involved in gossip. If you see a friend who starts talking about the other to you or to different people, don’t join in. If someone asks you about the conflict, you could say: “I’m not comfortable talking about it.”
-Put yourself in their place. Imagine that you were the one involved in the conflict and think about what things would help you resolve it. Then, only if your friends ask for advice, tell them your idea. Otherwise, don’t try to fix the problem yourself.
-Suggest mediation. Mediation is a great way of helping solve a disagreement. A mediator helps people work out problems without getting in the middle of it. The person listens with an open mind, asks questions and guides people to resolve their conflicts fairly and respectfully. If your friends are having trouble solving their problem, you could suggest that they talk to somebody like a teacher who can mediate.
If you want to become a conflict solver, the first step is opening your mind. Making the decision to learn and practice ways to resolve problems peacefully is the second one.
One of the most important things is to become a better listener, because not listening fuels conflicts. When we don’t listen, the person speaking feels disrespected. And someone who feels disrespected usually reacts in a disrespectful way.
Listening helps you develop personal power and listening - really listening - helps conflicts get better. When you listen to other people, they feel like you care about what they have to say. Also, you start to understand them better. And any information and understanding you gain can help you solve the conflict. More important, when you listen to other people, they’ll be more likely to listen to you. When you gain personal power you feel confident, you have compassion, you respect yourself and you have courage to stand up for what’s right.
Good listening builds good relationships, and this is why you need to practice good listening as often as you can. If you start doing this on a regular basis, you’ll notice that many of the people you normally get into conflicts with will begin to act differently with you. For most conflicts, you can help the situation enormously if you make the effort to really listen, to pay close attention and encourage the other person to explain. Over time you will find yourself getting along better with the people in your life and having fewer conflicts.
Another important thing is to manage your anger and gain control. One of the reasons why people have trouble managing anger has to do with the body’s built–in system for surviving. When someone says or does something to get you mad, you automatically feel one or more physical sensations in your body: your heart might start to pound, you might feel shaky or tense, and you might start breathing harder or feel your face heat up.
The most important thing in managing anger is to learn how to choose your response instead of just reacting. When you do this, you take control of yourself rather than let the anger carry you away. To keep yourself from reacting without thinking you can use the technique “Stop, Breathe, Chill”.
Stop. When someone does something to make you mad and you feel yourself starting to react, give yourself a message to stop just for a moment. Just long enough to regain control.
Breathe. Taking a few deep breaths can help you calm. The next time you’re in a conflict and feel that you’re getting angry, say “stop” to your immediate reactions, and use deep breathing to calm you brain and body.
Chill. What you could do is send positive messages to your brain by using calming statements. A great thing about calming statements is that you don’t necessarily have to believe them in order for them to work. Each time you feed your mind a calming statement, your brain will start to help you calm down. The more you use calming statements, the more you’ll start to believe they’re true. Some calming statements you can use are: “I can keep my cool”, “I am in control”, No one can make me feel bad about me”, “I have the power to stay calm”, etc.
There are many tools you can use instead of your fists. Regain control with “Stop. Breathe. Chill” and then, if the other person isn’t threatening you physically you can use one of these alternatives: try talking respectfully, suggest a time-out or put yourself in that person’s place.
One of the reasons which lead to conflicts is responding to teasing. Unfortunately many kids have the tendency to tease each other and this often leads to bigger conflicts.
What we need to teach them is how to respond/react to teasing. Here are some ways to stop teasing, which could help our students a lot:
1. Try not to let the teasing get the best of you. Sometimes people tease to get a rise out of the other person. By reacting, you encourage them to do it more. So ignore it if you can.
2. Agree with the teaser. Sometimes using humor can get the other person to stop. If you don’t react the way that person hopes you will, she /he may give up.
3. Ask the person to stop. Use an I message: “I’m not in the mood for this today. Drop it.”
4. Walk away. If you ask, but the person doesn’t stop, walk away with your head held high.
5. Avoid showing hurt or anger. Shouting or crying will make the problem worse because people often tease to get a reaction. By reacting the way they expect you to, you give them more power. Try to let the bad feelings out privately or with a trusted friend or relative.
6. Talk to someone who can help. If you tried everything and the teasing doesn’t stop, talk to someone who cares about you. This often helps you come up with possible solutions.
7. Rehearse what you’ll say next time. Think of an I message and rehearse what your attitude will be and what you’ll say next time.
8. Stick up for others and ask them to stick up for you. This is one of the most important things you can do. Sticking up for others doesn’t mean fighting or being nasty. It means speaking your mind firmly, but respectfully. The more you do this for your friends, the more often they will do it for you.
It is very important to be firm and to have the right body posture and make eye contact when you speak up for yourself. This way the teaser will know that you are not afraid or weak and he/she will probably give up the attack.
Teaching our students how to work out conflicts, be willing to work them out, become a conflict solver, a better listener, manage anger and gain control, stay calm or respond to teasing will definitely help them choose the best way to react in conflict situations and will build more self-respect and confidence in themselves.


1 .Galinsky, Ellen & Salmond, Kimberlee- “ Youth and Violence: Students Speak Out for a More Civil Society”, Families and Work Institute and the Colorado Trust, 2002
2 .Vail, Kathleen- ‘Words that Wound” , The American Board School Journal, September 1999
3 .Beane, Alan- “The Bully Free Classroom”, Minneapolis: Free Spirit Publishing, 1999

 Alternatives for Speaking Classes. Ways to Make Students Talk

by Ioana Olaru, C.N. "Dimitrie Cantemir", Oneşti, Bacău

Keywords: conversational activities, games in class, role-play and games, entertaining games for English classes, effective games for English classes, amusing games and role-play, encouraging conversation

One big reason students get so nervous when they have to speak in front of their class is because they have a fear of looking stupid in front of their fellow students. This fear holds for all people, when they have to speak in front of others.
“When I was in high school, I was terrified of speaking in front of the class. I would tremble and my mouth would fill with saliva. The only way I could effectively give a presentation was to sit in a chair when I was in front of the class. My English teacher frowned on this and thought I was just trying to be different or difficult.”
This is what most students feel when they are asked to speak in front of their classmates. However, here are some tips or tricks to use to overcome the fear of making a mistake or looking foolish when you speak to a group:
• Know your subject matter
• Know your speech
• Have a backup, in case you forget what you want to say
• Realize that the audience isn't so special
• Practice, practice, practice
Anyway, it is not always about students and their fear of showing their conversational or verbal potential to the others. Sometimes teachers fail to find the right stimuli to “trick” their students to forget about their weakness; a game, a joke or a short play are more than welcome and build a more relaxed atmosphere than a dull discourse or a debate in which the one with the widest range of vocabulary does all the talking.
At the beginning of my teaching career, I was not very fond of speaking classes, mainly because I thought I would never find the most attractive topics for my high school students. They were brilliant , young people most of them already holding a Cambridge certificate, so it was not easy to find something that would interest them enough and which they had not explored already during their exam preparation period. Nevertheless, I had to start experimenting with a few things, and I explored the resources that my fellow teachers had shared on the Internet or in different books or magazines and so I came across a series of topics which have been useful to me ever since. Since I believe that others may also encounter these same problems, I will try to indicate below some of the games and conversational gambits that I consider to be the most appealing and effective.

Ideas of effective conversational games

The trial of the three piglets – this seems to be the most loved of all the games I use in class. At first we watch the cartoon illustrating the story of the three piglets to familiarize the students with the topic. I usually announce the game in advance, giving the students a chance to choose a part (most often they draw a small note with a part written on it) and we set up a short play; if the class is numerous, besides the three piglets, the wolf, their lawyers and the judge we also introduce some witnesses (usually other fairy tale characters such as Red Riding Hood or Cinderella). In some cases, the actors even came with improvised costumes. They were stimulated to communicate with great ease and the amusement of the situation and of the dialogues guarantees the success of the play.

The UFO experience – is very appreciated by the students because of the amusing factor. I present the students a situation (“A UFO landed on a field near your town. Some citizens witnessed the event.“) and then I assign roles for them (a little child, a housewife, a crazy scientist, a dog, an old man etc) and I ask them to present the event from their own perspective, offering as many details as possible. My students came with great funny stories and their classmates were delighted.

Who’s the criminal – this game works mainly with intermediate or upper-intermediate students because it does not require advanced vocabulary. You divide the students into groups (3 or 4, depending on their number). You prepare 39 cards (13 with some fairy tale character names on them, 13 with places and 13 with weapons). At the beginning of the game, you extract one card of each sort and you place them aside, then you give the others to the groups in equal number. You ask questions (from the lesson they had to prepare, definitions for words, prepositions etc) and the first team who answers correctly has the right to try to uncover the killer. They give a statement such as: “In the forest, Prince Charming killed the victim with a sword”, avoiding mentioning the places, characters or weapons they have written on their cards. The other teams look at their cards and if they are in possession of any of the elements mentioned, they are obliged to show them to the others. After a few rounds, one of the teams will manage to discover the three cards which were hidden at the beginning of the game. It is quite interesting especially if you deal with new groups or classes, such as 9th graders, because it encourages team spirit and competitiveness in a relaxed and playful environment.
When learning a second language in a classroom setting, it's common for students to be shy when it comes to having open discussions. Role-play activities games and are an effective way for English as a Second Language teachers to encourage students to speak English and interact in realistic situations during class. In the games or role-play activities, always encourage your students to include physical and vocal expressions, as this will make the activity more fun and help them understand the flow of the language better. Do not keep thinking that only the serious stuff will make them become good at English; sometimes the pleasant and fun activities are the ones which teach the most.


 Fun with Grammar. Making Grammar Meaningful and Enjoyable
by Lăcrimioara Nasui, “Avram Iancu” High School, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Keywords: interaction, communication, meaningful contexts, lexical sets, structures, efficiency, pair work, group work, dictation, writing skills

What is grammar?
If you ask the average speaker of a language what they know about the grammar of their own language, they may remember the odd lesson from school, but beyond that, they will say that they have forgotten what grammar they once knew. Linguists have found that the grammatical system is rule-based and that the competent users of the language “know” these rules in some way.
But then a question arises. What should a language learner know? Since the knowledge of grammar is essential for competent users of a language, it is clearly necessary for our students. Our aim in teaching grammar should be to ensure that students are communicatively efficient with the grammar they have at their level. We may not teach them the finer points of style at the intermediate level, but we should make sure that they can use what they know.
As teachers, we should be prepared to use a variety of techniques to help our students learn and acquire grammar. Sometimes this involves teaching grammar rules; sometimes it means allowing students to discover the rules for themselves; sometimes it’s all about using games, warmers and other funny and interactive activities to make language structures “stick” on them!
Grammar can be fun
1. Change places if…
Level: all. Type of activity: warmer. Target language: lexical sets; structures.
The aim of this activity is to practice vocabulary and structures, e.g. clothes, likes and dislikes, present continuous, future forms, present perfect, etc.
Students sit in a circle or several circles (if you have a big class). Stand in the middle of the circle. The person standing in the middle does not have a seat in the circle. Start the activity by giving an instruction using the target language. For example, “Change places if you’re wearing a watch.” All students stand up and sit down again in another seat. The person standing in the middle of the circle tries to sit down in a free seat. The person left without a seat now gives a new instruction. For example, “Change places if you’re wearing white socks.”
2. Sentences in a hat
Level: all. Type of activity: mingle/group-work. Target language: structures; questions.
The aim of this activity is to practice structures and question forms. Cut up scrap paper into small squares so that there are three or four for each student in the class. Give three or four small blank pieces of paper to each student in the class and ask them to write one piece of information on each piece of paper. When they have done this, ask them to fold up their pieces of paper and put them in a hat (box). Mix up the folded bits of paper in the hat/box and ask the students to take one each, unfold it and find the person who wrote it by asking questions.
Examples of information to write on the pieces of paper:
-to practice simple past forms: three things you ate /drank yesterday; three things you did at the weekend
-to practice future: three things you’re going to do tonight/at the weekend
-to practice present perfect: three places you have visited/ three books you have read in English
-to practice conditionals: three things you would do if you won £1,000,000

3. Sentence completion
Level: intermediate and up. Type of activity: group-work. Target language: structures.
The aim of this activity is to practice a chosen selection of structures. Prepare a different sentence stem for each student. The stems should all be capable of taking a variant of the same verb phrase. For example: “go to the cinema”
“Do you fancy…?” “Would you like…?” “Tomorrow, Sue and I …”
Give one sentence stem to each student in the class. Write the chosen verb phrase on the board and elicit a few sentences using it in different grammatical structures. Students then read out their stems to other members of their group. The student who completes the stem appropriately using the verb phrase claims the stem card and reads out his own card. The group continues to work in this way until all the structures have been taught and corrected by the students themselves.

4. Final word
Level: low intermediate and higher. Type of activity: warmer/ confidence builder. Target language: sentence syntax.
The aim of this activity is to practice word position in the sentence. Think of a sentence. Make sure that each word in the sentence can come at the end of a grammatically correct sentence. Ask the students to work in small groups. Tell them that you are going to give them a limited time to write sentences and that each sentence must end with a word from a sentence you give them. For example, if the sentence is With great pleasure, we welcome you all here in Oxford, ask them to write ten sentences with each one ending with a different word from the sentence. For example,
Who are you going to the party with?
The film we saw last night was great.
A difficult word to end a sentence is “we”.

5. Picture running dictation
Level: all. Type of activity: pair-work. Target language: structures.
Find a picture-based practice activity for the structure you want to practice, for example from a workbook or from a grammar practice book. Copy the pictures, cut them out and stick them on a poster. Number the pictures and then cover them with post-its. Display the poster on the wall. Ask the students to work in pairs or small groups.
Each pair or group will need a blank piece of paper to write sentences on. One member of each group stands next to the poster and, when you cal out a number, looks at the appropriate picture. They should think of a sentence requiring the target structure. This student then returns to their group and dictates the sentence to their partner(s), spelling words as necessary. When they have finished, a different student from the group goes to the poster and repeats the procedure with a new picture. Continue till all the sentences have been dictated and check answers open class.

6. Speculation game
Level: low intermediate and up. Type of activity: group-work. Target language: modals of speculation.
The aim of this is to guess what might be missing from pictures and to use modals like might, may, could, must, can’t for speculation.
Find a selection of magazine pictures and cut out one detail from each picture. Number the pictures. Ask the students to work in pairs or small groups and to write down as many numbers as there are pictures. Give each pair or small group of students a different picture and ask them to write notes about what they think the missing object could be. When they have done that, ask them to give their picture to the students on their left and take the picture from the students on their right and to repeat the activity. Continue until all the students have written notes about all the pictures. Compare students’ ideas and reveal the real missing object.


1.TKT Course (Teaching Knowledge Test), Mary Spratt, Alan Pulverness, Melanie Williams; Cambridge 2005
2. TKT Glossary, University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, Cambridge 2005
3. The Practice of English Language Teaching (3rd edition), Jeremy Harmer,
Longman 2001
4. Steps to Success. A starter pack for newly qualified teachers, Sue Leather, British Council 2007


 Building Confidence. Discover Your Child’s Natural Motivation
by Roxana Nicola, Liceul Teoretic “Dimitrie Cantemir”
, Iaşi

Keywords: motivation, homework, projects, myth, understanding

Tim is in the fifth grade. So far, he’s been a rather poor student. Testing has revealed no learning disabilities, but Tim isn’t achieving to his potential. He just doesn’t seem to care about his homework. He’s rather spend his time making forts with his friends or just tinkering in the garage.
Annette lives just a few doors away. She’s a very bright student and loves school. Always willing to tackle new projects, she’s a rising star. When not at school, she reads and does extra projects. Her teachers are as proud of her accomplishments as her parents are. As dedicated as she is, she is expected to go far by all who know her.
Now for the compelling question: “Which of these two students is motivated and which is not?” If you answered that Annette has lots of motivation and Tim has virtually none, you would be very wrong. Actually, both of these young people are highly motivated. The difference lies in where their energies are focused. Tim likes to tinker and work outdoors, while Annette likes to study and learn within a classroom environment. The contrast between these two young people also debunks the myth of the “unmotivated” person. As an adult or as a child, there is no such thing.
While everyone is motivated, their directions for personal motivation vary greatly. What parents are most concerned about in an “unmotivated” child is that the child is not “achieving” to potential in school. They realize how important learning is to future success. They fear that their child, whose energies are focused primarily on nonacademic endeavors, will never “make it”. Sometimes such parental fears are well founded. Sometimes they are not. Close examination of the emotional reasons for achieving is required to tell the difference.
If may be that both Tim and Annette have healthy achievement motivation. But for the sake of argument, let’s look at some other possibilities. Tim, for example, may not be academically oriented because of past experiences that have been turned into emotionally painful failures as the result of his parents’ responses. Thus, his nonacademic inclinations may be motivated by the fear of more failures. On the other hand, Annette may be driven to high accomplishments because she has learned that this is the only way she can get any kind of positive response from her parents. For her, success has become heavily linked to self-esteem, so she can’t stop achieving.
In these typical situations, appearances are deceptive. Depending on prior experiences, the academic motivations of Tim and Annette could be healthy or unhealthy. The point is that parents’ understanding of their children is absolutely essential to developing healthy achievement motivation. In order to gain a clear perspective on the maturation of their children, parents must overcome at least three emotional barriers that tend to distort their perceptions. These barriers are:
• Parental frustration with the child’s irresponsibility. A familiar lament of parents heard everywhere: “We try so hard, but no matter what we do to teach our kids sound values and responsible behaviour, it just doesn’t seem to take”. The fact is that children will learn values if they are reinforced consistenly and modeled well by their parents. Far too often, parents let their frustration and anger determine their responses to their children, and those responses are often emotionally destructive. Parents must be calm, cool and consistently positive in responding to their children’s endeavors.
• Fears about the child’s ultimate ability to “make it”. Parental frustration, without an understanding of the childhood learning process, can give way to deep fears about a child’s future. “I don’t want my son to fail”, or “I want my daughter to have all that I have and more”. These fears often lead parents to begin pressuring children at an early age to achieve. Such responses, however, may cause some children to rebel and resist learning. A vicious cycle often ensues in which the parents push harder and harder, provoking a child to resist all the more stubbornly.
• Parental fantasies about what a child should become as an adult. Virtually every parent has a fantasy about what a child can be and should be. But if parents’ fantasies are allowed to become expectations, the child can be lost in the parents’ grand vision. A child’s directions become what the parent wants them to be, and in the process, a child’s interests, aptitudes and aspirations may be completely ignored. A far healthier strategy is for parents to encourage their child to develop career directions and personal potentials without imposing their own.


 Engaging Learners through Digital Storytelling. Rationale, Guide, and Tips for Using Storybird

by Anişoara Pop, Dimitrie Cantemir University of Târgu Mureş and Susana Gómez Martinez, University of Valladolid, Spain

Keywords: digital storytelling, creative writing, Storybird

Storytelling is part of our daily lives since stories “maintain bonds, share traditions, unite generations” (1). But what are the reasons for incorporating digital storytelling in the EFL learning process?
This article will present the rationale and benefits of digital storytelling for English learning by focusing on Storybird, a very simple and fascinating storytelling tool suitable for young learners and teenagers as well.

Why storytelling? Because “Stories are the way we relate to the world, and hence to each other. They communicate life and captivate listeners”(2). We use storytelling in the classroom in order to enhance the language learning and introduce new words in context, which makes the whole process of understanding and memorizing much more meaningful and easier.

Why digital storytelling? Simply put, because for the new generations of ‘digital natives’ (7), images and music are an important part of their learning process, most children nowadays being used to a multi-media experience in their lives. Therefore, digital storytelling represents added value for the XXIst century teacher since, besides being captivating, it engages mnemonic devices that speed up language acquisition.
Secondly, exploitation of digital storytelling will make our class a more democratic environment, offering equal chances of expression to students with mixed abilities while making all of them published authors. Children will be extremely proud and therefore motivated to become published authors for a potentially world-wide audience.
Why is it for me? When it comes to engaging students in digital storytelling, teachers might be reluctant for different reasons that range from lack of adequate equipment in schools to lack of adequate ICT knowledge and fear of face loss in front of digitally-proficient students. Nonetheless, the majority of our students have a computer with Internet access at home, so storytelling can become inciting homework or part of evaluation portfolios and children will love to see that their teacher has commented on their stories. Furthermore, Storybird is one of the simplest, user-friendly, free, memorable, and extremely versatile tools and you need no special digital literacy to use it. So, if you have not included technology in your teaching so far or would like to adopt a new attractive storytelling tool, try Storybird. Sharing stories is extremely important for children's literacy development, and this site encourages them to create and share their own stories.
Below you will find out how to create a Storybird, where to look for further tutorials if you want to create a class account and moderate comments as well as examples you may wish to consider before creating your own Storybirds.

How to create a Storybird
Storybirds offer ready-made digital visualisation of high quality and thus bring extra value to the students’ written production. They “are short, art-inspired stories you make to share, read, and print” (1)
Storybird is a site that allows you and your students to create and publish stories. It “provides whole collections of artwork around a theme or topic. The artwork is by amazing artists and the collections are linked, so all the pictures have the same ‘look and feel’ and can be easily fitted together to create a very professional looking story”(9). It regularly reverses the process of visual storytelling by starting with the image and ‘unlocking’ the story inside.
In order to create a Storybird you have to:
1. Go to http://storybird.com/;
2. Click on “Sign up” to create an account;
1. Click on “Create” and you will be given the following options: 1. “Get inspired by art” and 2. “Explore themes” (Be careful! - “Take the Challenge” option is for +18 ages and participants from a restricted number of countries);
2. Picking your art will take you to the main writing area. You will see all the photos by the artist you have chosen. If you click on each photo, you will see a larger image. When you decide on a certain image, drag it onto the canvas in the middle. A box will appear to the left/right top indicating where the image will be placed. The place can be changed through click and drag. Then you will be able to insert text in the text box, either at the top/bottom, right/left, according to the image placement you selected;
3. At the bottom of the page you will see the “Page Organizer”. You can delete/add more pages and drag more photos. The cover will appear automatically as the first image you have chosen, but of course it can be re-edited if you change your mind;
4. Stories are saved automatically or you can save them manually by clicking “Save”;
5. From the menu choose “Publish” if you want to make the story public.

Teachers can set up accounts for their pupils and organise them into classes. In order to set up a class account you need to register your students and assign them a username (the format JohnS – first name plus first letter of the surname – can be an alternative, so that way you and your pupils know who it is but nobody else does). Storybird then automatically generates an account and a random password for them that they can change to something more memorable on first log-on. You can moderate and publish the pupils’ stories, tailor class privacy settings, comments and discussion threads to suit your students’ requirements or maturity (see the tutorial at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/31747391/Storybird-Class-Directions). The work pupils produce is then shared among the members of the class and can be published for the whole world to see. Storybird has no chat function or personal profiles and administrators (in this case teachers) moderate all public books and comments. This way students can see and learn from their colleagues and the teacher takes a less visible, facilitating role (6). Students can email their completed story to themselves or others, share their stories online with their classmates or on an interactive whiteboard, or they can be embedded in a website or blog.
You can find out more about how to create Storybirds from Russell Stannard’s professional tutorial at Teacher Training Videos (8) or by reading the HowTo Guide at Storybird Ning (5).

Tips for exploiting Storybird
Storybird is an easy tool to get students involved in creative writing. Specific tasks can include but are not limited to:
- Retelling a story pupils are familiar with in a creative way since not always will they find the exact photo to match the story line. Example: http://storybird.com/books/spoons-adventure-on-the-titanic/
- Introducing themselves to the class: Who Am I . Example: http://storybird.com/books/who-am-i-39/

- Writing about any subject you might do in class: hobbies, shopping, family and friends. Example: http://storybird.com/books/my-family-and-my-friends/

- Creating a ‘once upon a time’ story. Example of story on friendship: http://storybird.com/books/looking-fora-friend/

- Consolidating grammar points. Examples: verbal tenses (present, past and future: http://storybird.com/books/the-presentpast-and-the-future/); If only (http://storybird.com/books/if-only-4/ ); wishes (http://storybird.com/books/i-wish-15/ ), and many more.

Depending on the students’ age, proficiency and equipment, you can either model a class Storybird or start the writing on paper in class and ask pupils to finish it at home by matching content with images, although, as mentioned above, the process starts the other way round by matching the existing images to student-generated content (3).
You can also choose to give pupils instructions as to minimum-maximum number of pages, number of sentences per page (single words can also be used for increased effect!), to check the spelling, to use formal language, the turn in deadline and method (email the website address so that you may find and view the project) and last but not least, to be creative!

Strengths and Opportunities
Storybird is a great tool for language teaching. Some of the reasons are stated below:
- Editing is possible, so if pupils make mistakes, these can be corrected and learning is more memorable.
- Storybird allows pupils to collaborate on a story. You can invite students to take turns to add new pages to the story. In order to collaborate, click “Invite someone” from the menu in the story writing area or from the Unpublished Storybird area.
- Pupils can be directed to read from the site and/or print and bring to class their favorite story. Alternatively, the teacher can choose a story, print it and use it in class as any other material for group work jigsaw reading, fill in, etc.
- Motivation can be further enhanced by setting up a Storybird prize-winning competition on different occasions (Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, etc.).
What teachers say about Storybird
Teachers’ opinions are highly illustrative as to the versatility, user-friendliness and resourcefulness of Storybird, as it can be seen in the following examples:
- “This site is just fantastic. It is one of my best finds of 2010. It provides amazing collections of art which you can use to write stories which you can save as books. It is really professional and the results can be outstanding” (8);
- @NancySlawski “storybird is awesome” (4);
- @yolajb If you are an English teacher and you haven't used StoryBird yet,do it. (4).

To conclude, if you are eager and willing to spice your lessons and engage your students in digital storytelling, start with Storybird! It is really simple, rapid, and fun and the artwork available is just fabulous.
Happy storytelling!

1. ***http://www.storybird.com
2. ***http://www.flickr.com/groups/digistorytelling/discuss/72157625688195516/ mrbradpatterson
3. ***http://www.kleinspiration.com/2011/02/reflection-on-storybird.html Erin Klein 2011
4. *** http://www.twitter.com
5. ***http://storybird.ning.com/
6. Picardo, J. (2011) Storybird for Modern Foreign Languages – A Box of Tricks, available at: http://www.boxoftricks.net/?p=1967
7. Prensky, M. (2001) Digital natives, digital immigrants – On the Horizon, MCB University Press, vol. 9 no.5, available at: http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/prensky%20-%20digital%20natives,%20digital%20immigrants%20-%20part1.pdf
8. Stannard, R. - Teacher Training Videos at: http://www.teachertrainingvideos.com/storybird/index.html
9. Stannard, R. - Gems on the Web http://oupeltglobalblog.com/2010/12/06/gems-on-the-web-storybird/

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