Sunday, 15 December 2013

Merry Christmas



              Xρόνια πολλά και καλά, με υγεία, χαρά και αγάπη! 

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Christmas countdown...with a twist!



Countdowns are not particularly my favorite thing. I also find a bit discouraging the fact that many people decorate their houses for Christmas since early November or even October!  I always start decorating the school in December because students love it and I don't have the heart to deny them the joy of helping out and hanging ornaments on our Christmas tree.

I don't like the bitter reality of an extremely consumer's society, already gone bad and spoilt. Recession brought some harsh realizations; during the last decade or even more, the thought of "no money = lousy Christmas" has been the prevailing one.

Fortunately, many people have commenced another way of thinking. Most of us really appreciate the gift of good health, or the fact that we still have a job, no matter how underpaid or hard it is. Perhaps, this was one way to come to a realization of how blessed we are.

So, after taking a sip of coffee and frowning at the thought of having to undig the Christmas tree, ornaments and decorations, I had the usual thought of printing a pattern of an advent kind of calendar I've been using for many years now so the students can have fun while they wait for their next class.
And then I actually said it out loud: "Boring!"
I always think that if I probably find an activity or an exercise -or anything else for that matter- boring, what will the students think about it then!? (And that's why I turn every course book upside down!)

All of a sudden, it hit me! I love having students creating word walls, bulletin boards and presenting projects. Santa's beard will be there, but since Christmas is a great holiday, what about doing something meaningful.

Starting tomorrow, every student will have to post a report on their daily good deeds! They must do something kind and demonstrate their sense of altruism once a day or more times if they wish to. Subsequently, when they come at school, they must take a piece of paper, write down what their selfless act was and pin it on our boards.

It shouldn't be complicated and the students should focus on simple every day actions, such as helping at home, grabbing the opportunity to take a glass of water to their parents or their siblings, offering to help in class either their teacher or one of their classmates. On the other hand, if they are the recipients of a good deed, they should always savor and taste the words "thank you" and really mean "thank you" when they say it. But even when they perform a good deed, they must understand that not everyone will be grateful; in this case, they should just be happy they helped someone and this is the most satisfactory part! And why not? An excellent way to show Santa who's been naughty or nice!

I hope to post a happy, full of kindness wall, by Christmas. Until then...


Saturday, 2 November 2013

Halloween 2013



This year's Jack, handsome as ever!



This is the 7th consecutive year we celebrate Halloween at our school! We have been celebrating it since the first year of the school, and I don't think we'll ever stop because it's too much fun!!!




John, as the hungry zombie that he is, is trying to bite Thanos who is tempting him with a can of brains!



We don't celebrate Halloween in Greece. Nevertheless, I think it's educational and entertaining for Greek students to acquire knowledge of at least some basic cultural facts! Halloween is one of the holidays which offers the opportunity to us, teachers, to educate our students on the customs, tradition and history of the language of the countries Greek students try to learn. 





Thodoris loves dressing up!      

      


Every single class and students were involved and some of the older ones, but also young ones, arrived at school all dressed up, ready to scare everyone! This year, we decided to have a more relaxed attitude and enjoy the last week of October, always dedicated to Halloween!




 Efstratia, Ioulia and Ioannis enjoying themselves! 




The students had fun playing interactive games and reading, watching but also writing horror stories!!! You can try the British Council's LearnEnglishKids and LearnEnglishTeens websites, but also many others! Check out this one, too! Pinterest is a great source of inspiration! 





Our Franky-door! 


History Channel and National Geographic Society offer huge amounts of information, videos, texts that can be used in the classroom. However, the greatest source this year was...Youtube! Videos, cartoon, stories for every age, level and mood! But this is our favourite book of every 31st October.....







One of the greatest books for children's Halloween celebration is Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz and, of course, More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Scary Stories 3. You can find a great variety of spooky stories, many of them containing a good sense of humor! The narration of the audio book is amazing! Try finding the videos of the stories on Youtube. There are some which can be shown in class. Surely, it's best to check them out first and then have your students watch them!





 Trick or treat bags
                                     

Last, but not least, trick or treating is an essential part of the week. Every student, even the seniors, come and get their bag full of candy!





You are welcome to see for yourself how much fun we had! Click here and here !




 Little monsters having fun! 
   

   
Happy Halloween! Until next year then.......



Sunday, 29 September 2013

Competition!



COMPETITION!

The Disabled Access Friendly campaign has teamed up with ELT Teacher 2 Writer and Burlington Books to bring you this opportunity to use your worksheet writing skills to inform students about issues affecting people with mobility disability.

All suitable entries will be published online on Disabled Access Friendly’s site, which is visited by ELT colleagues from over 120 countries.

There will be three prizes:
200 Euros towards the cost of professional development, such as an online writing course or participation at an ELT event (kindly sponsored by Burlington Books)
100 Euros towards the cost of professional development, such as an online writing course or participation at an ELT event (kindly sponsored by Burlington Books)
A set of six ELT Teacher 2 Writer modules:
How To Write Vocabulary Presentations And Practice
How To Write Reading And Listening Activities
How To Write Critical Thinking Activities
How To Write ESP Materials
How To Write Graded Readers
How ELT Publishing Works
What is the Disabled Access Friendly campaign?
Disabled Access Friendly is a voluntary campaign that provides ELT teachers with online material that raises awareness about mobility disability. All this material is completely free. The site has lesson plans, reading texts and video clips at all levels that can be used as supplementary material, for projects and examination practice. The material allows teachers to provide insight and information about life as a person with a mobility disability, thus building pathways for caring and action. By stepping into someone else’s shoes, the students explore their own and other people’s attitudes and become aware while learning English.

What is ELT Teacher 2 Writer?
ELT Teacher 2 Writer is a database of ELT teachers who want to write. Publishers search this database when they’re looking for writers. It is also a series of training modules designed to help teachers write better ELT materials, either for publication or to improve the quality of their self-produced classroom materials.

What are the competition guidelines?
1. You choose the mobility related topic, language area and level. For ideas we suggest you look at Disabled Access Friendly’s reading texts, video clips and lesson plans, and read disability blogs and published articles.
2. Find the full writing guidelines here.

Who are the judges?
Adir Ferreira, teacher, teacher trainer and content writer
Disabled Access Friendly campaign
ELT Teacher 2 Writer
How to submit your entry
Entries should be submitted electronically as a word doc. attachment to:
disabledaccessfriendlycampaign@gmail.com

Please save your file as follows:
Your surname, Your first name. Title of worksheet e.g.
Smith, Susan. My wheelchair friend
Deadline
Entries to reach us by the closing date of 16th December 2013

This is the actual link



Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Just like you, just like me. A follow up note.

I had the great honor to offer a small contribution to the Disabled Access Friendly Campaign website. Last March, my students and I dedicated about two weeks of our learning time to educated ourselves about disabilities



Then, this past September, I grabbed the opportunity to talk about it to quite a few colleagues and school owners at the IP Book Exhibition of Thessaloniki. I quickly discovered that many of them were interested in finding out more about this wonderful campaign. I cannot express the sense of joy and pleasure I felt when I got the good news that more and more teachers got interested in the campaign. 


Please, visit the site and borrow ideas, lesson plans and useful advice on how to improve the facilities of the school you own or you work in. Take a small step towards a meaningful course of action which will not only help and educate our students, but also ourselves!


Now would be the time to try and make a difference and really offer a round-up education to our students, and what would be a greater opportunity than begin with this one?! It won't be easy at first, but the acceptance will most certainly surprise you! Give it a try and you will not regret it!


Monday, 2 September 2013

Εγγραφές σχολικής χρονιάς 2013-2014

Ξεκινήσαμε τις εγγραφές με τις καλύτερες των διαθέσεων! 

Μπορείτε να περάσετε καθημερινά για ενημέρωση σχετικά με τα τμήματα Αγγλικών, Ιταλικών, Γερμανικών, Γαλλικών και Ισπανικών για τα παιδιά σας, αλλά γιατί όχι, και για εσάς τους ίδιους! 

Θα χαρούμε να σας πληροφορήσουμε για όλα τα εκπαιδευτικά μας προγράμματα, να σας ξεναγήσουμε στους χώρους διδασκαλίας και να συζητήσουμε για τις προσφορές μας, χωρίς να κρύβουμε πληροφορίες σε ψιλά γράμματα!

Το φροντιστήριο είναι ανοιχτό καθημερινά το πρωϊ 10:00 - 12: 30 και το απόγευμα 5:30 - 8:30. 

Μη διστάσετε να επικοινωνήσετε μαζί μας για ο,τιδήποτε επιθυμείτε να μάθετε!







Η γνώση είναι απο τα πολυτιμότερα εφόδια στη σημερινή εποχή που ζούμε! Σκοπός μας είναι ο μαθητής να αποκτήσει αυτό που επιθυμεί ερχόμενος στο φροντιστήριό μας:
τη γνώση μιας ξένης γλώσσας για μια ζωή!  








Monday, 3 June 2013

Θερινά τμήματα-Καλοκαίρι 2013






 Τα θερινά τμήματα θα διοργανωθούν φέτος απο τις 17 Ιουνίου και για 8 εβδομάδες. Στο φροντιστήριό μας προσφέρονται ταχύρυθμα, αλλα και μη, τμήματα.

Ελάτε για να μάθετε τις προσφορές μας και να εκμεταλευτείτε το καλοκαίρι σας!





Friday, 31 May 2013

Έλεγχοι Γ Τριμήνου

Την Τετάρτη 5 Ιουνίου, απο τις 18:00 εως τις 20:00, θα δωθούν οι έλεγχοι του γ' τριμήνου στο φροντιστήριο.

Ελάτε για τη τελευταία ενημέρωση, αλλά και για να ευχηθούμε καλό καλοκαίρι!




Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Examinations' time!

This is a collection of materials, aiming to give some usueful advice, tips and examples of speaking parts of various examinations held in Greece.

I'll try to update the post as soon as possible.

(pic from this site )

Enjoy!

ECCE (University of Michigan - Level B2)

New 2013
sample1
sample2


ECPE (University of Michigan - Level C2) New Format

Part1
Part2

FCE (University of Cambridge - Level B2)

Playlist of all parts
Example1
Example2



CPE (University of Cambridge - Level C2)

Part1
Part2
Part3
2013
Example1


MSU (Anatolia -American College of Thessaloniki - Level B2)

Sample1
Sample2 

MSU (Anatolia - American College of Thessaloniki - Level C2)

Sample1
Sample2


ESB - B2 Level

Sample


City and Guilds (Level B2)

Sample
Sample2
Sample3

City and Guilds (Level C2)

Sample1
Sample2

PTE Academic English Test Tutorial - Speaking 

Playlist of all parts



(pic from this site )



Best of luck!!!

Friday, 22 March 2013

L'Ora della Terra






Ecco anche due degli studenti d'italiano che parlano dell'Ora della Terra!

Earth Hour 2013 - What students think



video


These past few days, some of the students of our school created a brief video about this year's Earth Hour. What you'll watch is their thoughts, ideas and creation! Enjoy!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Earth Hour 2013








Our school will proudly participate as in every year from its foundation in Earth Hour. Please, inform yourself on how you can participate and spread the word! Click here!


Watch the Official video.

Just like you, just like me.






It’s been an amazing week the one dedicated to disabilities at our school. We discovered, read, analyzed, comprehended and felt so many emotions about every type of disability. Everything has been plausible thanks to two wonderful people and their creation: Paul Shaw and Katie Quartano and their “baby”, the http://www.disabled-accessfriendly.com/  site.




Teachers can find lesson plans, videos, worksheets and ideas for any level and any occasion! There is a truly great variety of material that we had to extend our themed week for more five days! And what days they were!

We learnt a lot, that is the truth. So many wonderful thoughts and feelings came out through the lessons. Nevertheless, the most astonishing fact was that almost every student shared something of their lives that they normally wouldn’t do so.  So many have a person in their lives, a relative, a friend or a member of their immediate family who is disabled.  It was an opportunity to share and teach to everyone else, including teachers, their knowledge on the subject.




Try it and you won’t regret it! Both teachers and students can take a break from the usual course book lesson plan and be free to express themselves! Creativity really flew in the classroom, for instance, students had many ideas about projects and homework! 









The following notes were written by some of the students. 


Ioulia:

Many people are disabled. They are people like us, though. They aren’t like children or aliens from another planet. They are exactly like us. They understand like everybody else and they feel things. Act normal around them!



Konstantinos:

I learned a lot about disabilities. I had already known a lot about them, because one of my classmates is disabled. However, I never knew how to properly talk to them. I always thought that offering to help them makes them feel happy, which isn’t true! It makes them feel kind of unable to do things on their own. Don’t be afraid of them so they won’t be afraid of you! I learned that I shouldn’t stand over them, or pat their heads and their shoulders as if they were little children. The disabled are not different. All people are different because they are unique!


John:

Ask before you ‘help’ a disabled person. You should always ask for permission before you do something. They don’t need our pity. They need us to show them we don’t care about their disability and behave normally.


Helen:

We need to behave in a normal way. Don’t talk to disabled people like they’re children or stupid! They’re not! My brother is dyslectic, my uncle is missing an arm and one of my schoolmates is on a wheelchair. But it’s good for some people to learn how to behave to them, because they behave in a stupid way and they make the disabled people upset.


Theodora:

It doesn’t matter how beautiful you look on the outside, but how beautiful you are inside. 


Vasso:

Don’t underestimate disabled people. They don’t need either our compassion or our pity. At least, no more than anyone else. I think we must share with everyone our happiness and our sadness. Don’t ask them what their problem is. Do you ask anyone you see if they have a problem?


Anna:

We aren’t different. We can do the same things we do also with disabled people. Don’t make them feel bad or awkward about their disability. Respect everyone at any time if you want other people to respect you!



Please, visit the site and get inspired! It’s never too late to do something different in class!



Sunday, 10 February 2013

Exchange Project 2 - The results

Our happiness is immense since the group English5-Prepa1UNAM-2012-2013 of our friends from Mexico came first place at a school competition among other classes. Let's keep our fingers crossed as they are competing against nine others schools at a national forum. Our small contribution affected the judges' decision positively, granting the girls who created the podcast Episode 2- Christmas first prize, earned most worthily with a top 100% score. 


Congratulations to the participants  and we would like to wish them all the best at the forum! Their wonderful teacher Ma. Elena Delgado is responsible for the orchestration of her students' project and the brief involvement of our school. She is a bright beacon of inspiration and I feel so lucky to have-even virtually- met her!

Congratulations Prepa 1 and keep up the good work!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Exchange project 2 - Our students' answers

Our students were excited to participate in this project by offering their opinion on the podcast - episode 2 Christmas. They were very impressed with the work their Mexican peers did. It's a wonderful piece of work, inspired by their teacher Ma. Elena Delgado. Instead of having her students present a simple project on Christmas traditions in Mexico and around the world, she preferred educate her students on multiple levels. Firstly they gathered and prepared their material and then they created a podcast! 


This is where our students come in. They had to listen to the podcast very carefully and offer their opinion on many aspects of the podcast, from the technical to a simple assessment of the students' speaking and writing skills. They were also asked to offer some additional information on Greek Christmas traditions.

It was a different, fun and educative task to do! We feel inspired and thirsty for more! 

These are some of their answers:


Hello, my name is Vasso and I'm a student at Kazakou School. I listened to the recording and I think the speakers are able to communicate. They talk clearly and we understand when they talk. The recording is not clear enough because the music was loud. I didn't like the quality of the sound. I liked the celebration in Mexico. I liked it because I didn't know many things for Christmas in other countries. You did a good job! People in my city, Thessaloniki, celebrate Christmas in their homes, eating traditional food and singing Christmas songs. But there is a custom in the island of Chios, in the Aegean Sea. Every parish competes for the best model boat. The people of every parish build a model boat and then they put them in the sea. The best boat wins and the church of the parish rings the bells!


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Hello Everyone!my name is John Konstantinidis and I am studying English at Kazakou Language School!Here is my opinion about your podcast!:) I think that all of you know how to express their ideas when using the English language! The students communicate their facts very well and this gives a very nice final result. Everyone speaks very clearly and we are able to understand easily about what they are talking about. Their accent is a little strange but I like the way they speak! Their ideas are very coherent and interesting! They are giving very interesting information about different countries around the world. The sound quality is good enough to be understood but it could be better. The background music is very nice and takes me to the feeling of Christmas! You could also add something at the end because I think the space that you have left is very long…The whole result is very impressive! I think they worked very hard to reach that level of speaking! The background music is very nice and the content is very interesting. Something that made me an impression was that firstly the carols had been sang in English! All that time I thought that the carols were sung in Italian! Moreover I was surprised when I heard that the carols were composed in the 19th Century! The students could also make a video about Christmas around the world!


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Hi! I’m Helen T. I think that the recording about Christmas was nice. It is clear enough and I love the music. The music fit exactly the text and it was in the right volume. I would listen to the recording without it, but I prefer it with the music in it. The students are able to communicate their ideas. I could understand what they wanted to say. The accent is a bit strange, but it’s beautiful. In my view, it was great work and a great recording. The result is successful. I think all of the recording was interesting, but I liked the part about Mexico the most. I also found interesting the Japanese and Indian traditions. I want to congratulate the students who made it. The information, the music and the way you tell us everything about Christmas is exciting and interesting. I wish you the best of luck! 


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Hello everyone in Mexico! My name is Kiriakos. I listened to your Episode 2 about Christmas and I think that the speakers can communicate very well. Their ideas and the text was very good. I didn't like the recording very much because it wasn’t clear enough. I didn't like the quality of the sound because I couldn’t understand the girls. The girls were speaking very clearly though! I liked the music in the background, but I’d prefer to listen to the girls without the music. Your project is successful, but next time you must think the quality of the sound. Christmas in Brazil made me a great impression. It would be better if the music in the background wasn’t so loud. I liked the song in the end. On Christmas eve, children sing the carols and they go in many houses because they get money! On Christmas time, families gather together and they eat and drink a lot! On New Year’s eve people gather in houses and they wait for the new year to come. They have dinner together and at 12 o’clock they wish Happy New Year to each other and they watch a fireworks display. They drink champagne and they eat a special pie. Its name is Vassilopita, which means Santa Claus’ pie. Inside the pie there is a coin. The pie is cut in pieces and whoever gets the piece with the coin, will be lucky for the whole year. Good luck!


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Hi!I am Ioulia from miss Maria's class. Firstly, I want to say that the music transfers you in the Christmas climate. I also want to add is that the whole recording is interesting, but the most interesting traditions are about Mexico and India. I think that these traditions are more interesting because I did not know about them. I think that when the second girl was talking ,she was stopping too many times. That's all I hope that this information I will help you..! Traditions in Greece: Children go and sing the carols.We also decorate the Christmas tree and we do family gatherings! 


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Hi everyone,
Μy name's Konstantinos and Ι'm from Greece. I'm a student at Kazakou Languages School,
I consider that your effort is very good and i really appreciate your work!
 I’m sure that you are able to communicate , even though there may be some technical problems. However your project was good enough. The narration was nicely done , although there were some interference at some points. Your ideas were coherent verifying your opinions. The recording was of good quality and I understood it easily. Your idea of using music in the background was really innovative. It was very pleasant for me to listen to it. It was very clever and creative! If there was no music at all, it would be less enjoyable. Your work helped us learn a lot about Christmas in Mexico and other countries .I mostly liked the way Indians decorated their houses I think it was an educational piece of work ,in general. I think more information about different countries could be added , so we could learn even more things about Christmas!

You can read all of the answers here

It was a breath of fresh air! Preparing something completely different is always more exciting!

Stay tuned! More to come!