jueves, 26 de junio de 2014

End of the course festival 2013-14

Hello everyone. These are two pictures from our end of the course festival. A dance with Pre-primary education students and a short theatre play by elderly students. We also gave the certifications to Secondary students who successfully finished their studies.

We had a lot of fun!





martes, 6 de mayo de 2014

Activities on International Book Day and trip to Madrid

Good afternoon, I keep to my promises ....so here you are the pictures which show what we did to celebrate 23 April (International Book Day) and the pictures displaying our trip to Madrid on 28 April to watch a theatre play in English ("The Taming of the Shrew") and our strolling  around The Madrid de los Austrias main monuments and buildings.

Concerning 23 April we placed a box for the students to vote on their favourite piece of book in English.
There were five posters with fragments from each of the books:

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman  by Laurence Sterne

The Unameable by Samuel Beckett

Crabbed Age and Youth (Sonnet) by William Shakespeare

The Looking Glass War by John Le Carré

Gravity´s Rainbow  by Thomas Pynchon

And the winner was...The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, I think this was due to Laurence´s fine sense of humour (and indeed, it is also my favourite book of all, though I like all of them, for sure :)  )

The second place was for Crabbed Age and Youth

The third place was for The Unameable

And the fourth place was for both Gravity´s Rainbow and The Looking Glass War

Well , all of them should have been winners, but our favourite was the first one.

Thanks to all the students who voted and we hope to carry out this activity next year.

And now the pictures...

Bye for now.












miércoles, 5 de marzo de 2014

The role of gamification in adult education

Hello again. The way we teach adult people can be enhanced if we use games in this process. Have a look at this interesting article by Oliver Simko from

http://www.infonet-ae.eu/articles-projects-49/2127-can-gamification-help-us-to-create-a-more-engaging-further-education

Can gamification help us to create a more engaging further education?

     
Oliver Simko 19.02.2014 Projects Articles
FitocracyDo you remember these hours and hours that maybe you, your colleges or friends spent voluntarily on playing World of Warcraft, Minecraft, Farmwille or playing footbal or weekly poker events? Do you realize how deeply engaged they were, when playing their preffered game? Would it not be great if our adult learners could be as engaged as the World of Warcraft players, or as concentrated as a players of chess?

In these days, we often hear about the buzzing concept of gamification. Gamification describes, what are the elements, mechanics and principles behind games that make us so engaged and how to apply these to non-game context.

The basic purpose is to make our real-life tasks  more engaging. It may sound as utopia at the first moment, but successful gamified systems like Quest to learn,Khan academySCVNGR, Superbetter or Fitocracy are telling us, that if designed properly, gamified systems can be a great tool for improving engagement and motivation in our daily real-life tasks. I would like to draw more attention on the possibilities of this concept in the field of adult / lifelong learning.

Learning as fun

Imagine a student, who is devoured by solving mathematical exercise. Or a group of managers, who happily participate on training of soft-skills. Imagine that all of them consider their activities as FUN.
It may sound strange. But let’s say, that mathematical exercise is a key to solving a great story plot, which will lead our students to discover the true identity of a thief, who their game characters are pursuing. Or that the managers are actually running their own kingdom, and their ability to negotiate with raging barbarians may save their precious realm from attack.
We know that certain features found in game-environments evoke a variety of feelings, which humans truly enjoy and which activate their inner motivation.

Respect habits, goals and behavior

But how can we foster such feelings in a non-game environments? As Ralph Koster suggests, fun can and should be designed – we need to carefully and expressly design systems, which would respect the target group habits, goals, behavior and likeable personalities and use these data as a starting point for each gamified design with one core aim: unlock the fun. So the answer may be: provide the users meaningful choices, support them by game components, mechanics and dynamics (e.g. avatars, badges, quests, challenges, compettition, cooperation, progression, ) and tailor these elements on to our course curriculum, or training program.

When we look on an arbitrary educational field we can see that there are many elements listed above hidden in the structure of course.

In further education, we often see drop-outs and low motivated participants. One of the possible causes is that they are, from the very beginning, externally motivated. They foster their behavior by external factors as salary raise or law regulation. As a result, the inner motivation, the self determination for doing the task, is restricted.

Inner Motivation

As the behavioral economist Dan Ariely suggested, when we are facing tasks that require cognitive activity, the ratio of success in them is directly connected to our inner motivation. With gamified design, we may be able to influence the learners’ initial motivation, (which could be based on external factors) and help them to become more engaged in the learning by fostering their inner motivation.
Gamified courses provide its participants not only with instant feedback of their progress, but also assure them that their newly acquired knowledge has a significant impact on themselves. The narrative aspect of a gamified design can keep the participants engaged. With support of the meaningful choices we can foster sense of autonomy, which is arguably an important aspect  of learning.

The principal trick (and the largest threat) in gamified design is that the design should not drag participant’s attention from the real-life, or in our case an educational goal.

When thinking about getting their courses gamified, managers of education should keep this in mind. In further education field, we have our absolvent’s profile for course, and working with input information about participants and our target group, which allows gamificators to deploy adequate tools and aproaches..

Lifelong learning must take the chance

To wrap it up, I tried to point out that gamification can be a valuable tool for further / lifelong education.
The similarities between gamified and educational enviroments should not be overlooked. We have a great opportunity to test, if the set of thoughtfully designed challenges, quests, and competitive / collaborating tasks with strong reliance to ones inner motivation can produce fun and engage our participants to have better outcomes in further / lifelong education. We can think about, how to use onboarding and scafollding to attract and reach new target groups in lifelong learning.
Gartner suggests, that over 70 percent of 2000 global organizations will have at least one gamified application by 2014. We should take this chance to take our part and help to shape this emerging field, from view of a lifelong learning and further education.

International Women´s Day

Hello everyone. We are happily placing our posters to celebrate The International Women´s Day in our Centre. This year we are giving some information about a special woman , Gwen Stefani, but there are many more and we will go on telling about their deeds on following  years.

Have a nice 8th March 2014!!

lunes, 24 de febrero de 2014

Teaching Adults with only one hour a week

 Regarding how one could improve English classes in Adult Education with only one hour a week………..Well, teaching English for an hour is a challenge indeed! What is more, teaching adults is even a greater challenge for anyone! Given that adults are very conscientious with their reasons to study and most probably they have a specific motive to do it, I think authenticity is the key to make ends meet here. As adults wish to learn something in relation to their specific needs, teachers should emphasize needs analysis and on this basis design their activities. I feel the key to effective learning here would be situational English, which focuses on situations learners most likely will encounter in their everyday, personal, social, academic or professional life. Therefore, situations that fine tune specific tasks they should address, are probably the answer to teaching adults for just about an hour per week!

martes, 4 de febrero de 2014

TEACHERS´ PODCASTS

Well this is me telling some aspects about English phonetics and trying to do it in a non serious way by means of some jokes in English.  I hope you will enjoy them...See you!!! :-)













--------------------------------------------



--------------------------------------------



--------------------------------------------



----------------------------------------------



----------------------------------------------



-----------------------------------------------

lunes, 3 de febrero de 2014

STUDENTS´ PODCASTS

Some  students from Module  III and IV had the courage to record themselves telling some jokes in English....Thanks my dear students :-)