Posts tagged teaching children

In Most Asian and European Countries Now the Children Learn English

In the growth economies of the world most parents want their children to learn English. And they are prepared to pay cold hard cash for after school and weekend classes even though the children learn English in school. While in the supposedly Developed English speaking world the experts have changed the way children learn to read and now kids are leaving school with below standard reading levels.

They changed the system from a very effective reading method to what we have nowadays. Yet in most foreign countries where English is taught in the classroom, the children are taught English using phonics. It is no wonder the children are leaving school better educated that we are in the west. English is a part of their way of life, and if they want to get ahead in the future they must know English. So children and English go together.

Now when children start to learn English as a second language they usually learn it very early. In Asia that usually means while they are still at kindergarten. Then at school they bring in the phonics in grade 5 when the children are 10 to 11 years old. Which is a good time to start the serious learning of English.

In families where the parents speak different languages you usually find the children struggle at school learning the language that is taught at school. But when they get to high school they are proficient in both languages. It is no wonder that Asian children are some of the best students even though English is not their first language. So it looks like English as a second language and children go together overseas. But here in the English speaking world the powers to be are doing their best try and stop struggling learners learning to read English.

For more information about teaching in China click here.

Peter Legrove spends most of his time in front of a mixed bunch of kids trying to instill in them some semblance of the road to survive the future.

This article is copyright © peter legrove.

You can use this article on your website or ezine but leave the resource box intact.

All the best teaching in China

Teacher Peter

Church in Secondlife

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Preparing Schools For The Future

Peter Legrove will be giving a speech to his daughter’s school about the future of education as it could evolve. The internet has changed the world as we know it, but education is a bit slow to change. Just remember the mighty dinosaur was replaced by a rodent the size of a cat. At the moment we do not know what is the dinosaur or what is the cat.

Hello parents, students, teachers, Members of the Board, I’m after a bit of information, thank you.

Has anybody here had anything to do with the Khan Academy, please? Khan spelled K H A N, Thank you, thank you. Has anyone taken part in the Khan Academy, please?
Now, we are at school so you can raise your hands. Thank you, thank you.

Now. What about OpenCourseWare please. Has anyone here had anything to do with opencourseware, like know what it is, or what it does, or have you doen anything from opencourseware. Thank you, thank you.

Now has anyone got any idea what a MOOC is, please. M O O C thank you. Has anybody actually done a MOOC. Thank you.
Raise your hands please we are at school, thank you.

One more thing ‘have you heard of “The Hole in the Wall Project” thank you.

OK thanks.
Now my question to you is. “How can you steer this school into the future, when you do not even know what the present situation in education is?

We are at school now, so for homework preferable this week, but definitely before you make any decisions on the future of this school, google, yahoo, bing or whatever search engine you use.
Khan Academy and watch one of the videos, or better still watch one with your daughter. Khan academy was one of the first threats to the schooling system of today. It started when one person wanted to help his school age relatives to get better at math. And it has now gone around the world. Khan Academy started in 2006.

Next up google MOOCS and find out what they are, then do one or better still, you and your daughters do a different one each. So you know what the present situation in education is. MOOCs are a disruptive technology, that is upsetting the entrenched bureaucracy of the established education industry around the world. MOOCs are changing education as we speak. They are less than three years old. If you do not understand what a Disruptive Technology is, there is a MOOC about it. Do it and find out the future.

Opencourseware is a free online lectures for world class universities around the world, We are talking M.I.T. Yale, Harvard. To be honest Massey is not there.

Now we move onto the “Hole in the Wall Project” An internet connected computer was put in a slum in India to see how the slum kids would react. And they taught themselves English with no teachers, no textbooks and no classroom. They knew English was important so they learned it. The kids taught themselves and each other. Do you know what this means for your daughters? It means your daughters are competing with the slim kids of Calcutta. To find out more, google it. This project was the winner of the TED talks award in 2013. To find out more go to TED talks and listen in on some of the videos, they are usually only 15 minutes long and are very informative.

Your daughters are up against the lifelong learners who learn math from the Khan academy, get qualifications doing MOOCs.

The internet has leveled the playing field in ways you cannot even imagine.

The top 10 most in demand jobs in 2013 did not exist in 2006.

That means life long learning is the future. The jobs your daughters do after they start their working life have not been invented yet. There are two skills your daughters need to survive the future in any profession. Does anybody know what they are? The first one is typing at 60 words a minute plus. Can your daughters type at over 60 words per minute? It looks like video is taking over the future, but the internet is still text on a page. And you have to type to put it there.

The internet is information and to absorb the information you need to survive the future. Your daughters need to be able to read fast and understand what they are reading. Therefore speed reading is part of your daughter’s arsenal for the future. And these two skills you have to learn yourself. Your daughters should start learning these skills now in their spare time, because they will need them.

After the financial crisis of 2007 the world changed. The middle class was destroyed, now the middle class is dead. How does that affect your daughters? Primary school prepared kids for secondary school, secondary school prepared students for university and university prepared young adults for the middle class. Now there is no middle class. If you want to find the middle class you have to go to Asia, Russia, China and India and possible South America. In Europe, America and possible in the Pacific the middle class is dying.

So you can ask, why send your daughters to university, when about half what they learn is obsolete before they graduate. Why let your daughters go into student debt when there is no guarantee of a job. The future is lifelong learning. So what are your daughters going to do. At present university is still on the road to the future and it is still recommended. But for how long.

The system we have in place now does not prepare you for the future. To become a master in your chosen field you need to do 5,000 hours of learning. To become a grand master you need 10,000 hours of learning. So start reading now and doing MOOCs.

The future is Asia. After your daughters graduate from university let them have the option to go to China, Russia, India or possibly South America, to teach English so they can also learn the language. The languages of your daughters generation are Mandarin Chinese, Russian and Spanish, and Portuguese for Brazil.

The future of this school is in the choices you make, but before you make them, google it.
Thank you for your time.
All the best teaching your children
Teacher Peter


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An Online Course I Would Like To Teach


ESL teacher preparation course to teach kindergarten children


This course is for anybody who wants to teach young learners in a kindergarten setting

ASSIGNMENTS/ACTIVITIES OVERVIEW (details are listed below)

You will be introduced to flashcards, dance, story telling, reading, songs, class control, games, using chalkboard



The courses will be mainly video lectures and the assignments will be home made videos of the student in action practicing in front of an imaginary class, if there is no real class available. You run into lots of privacy issues when filming a real class



Flashcards will make up the bulk of the class.


Most kindergarten classrooms have a chalkboard.

drawing fast

First 10 minutes of this video


Games can be made from most things in the classroom


Use very big books or A3 size copies


Use the 2 team competition style as shown here


This is where you use your voice for effect


Here you learn the basic songs

Wheels on the bus, AAA say OK,



I still use VAK and you can see why when you have 20 kindergarten kids in front of you.

In a class it is better to overlap learning styles as this way you can keep most of the kids happy


I use Montessori but there are many theories and philosophies you can follow


Make a video presentation of you the teacher taking an imaginary class


We will set up a time to meet in to have a chat .

I’m there every Sunday after church for a chat One o clock LA time



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The Advantages of Online Courses [Infographic]

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Montessori Phonics Is Still Helping Children Learn To Read Even After 100 years

Phonics are the building blocks of learning to read. But lately they have taken a back seat to the Look See Method in some countries. Most students can learn to read, no matter what method they are being taught, but the struggling learners need phonics. It has been shown time and again, that phonics are a better way to learn to read, for struggling readers.

The Look See Method has the beautiful books with lots of pictures, while the phonic books are pretty drab, filled with rhyming text that don’t always make sense. But you need rhyming to learn to read. And students will learn to read using the Look See Method, but struggling students will have problems.

To be honest, I don’t know why some students learn to read easier than others, especially nowadays. But I think it has a lot to do with home life. Parents of reading kids help their kids. They don’t live in front of the tee vee, and they use the computer for knowledge, not to play games or watch videos. But that is not always the case. I had a brother and a sister in different classes, the sister was top of the class and the brother couldn’t even read. He left school to start a trade, and she went to uinversity.

In another extreme case, a girl was in the top of the class, every morning she could read the homework easily and perfectly. Then one day I asked her to read a different text in class, and she couldn’t read it. And I asked her why, and she said at night her daddy used to read the homework to her, and she would memorize it and spit it out the next day. I had serious problems with her, but with Montessori Phonics she finally learned to read. Montessori Phonics takes the student away from looking at the word to feeling the word, and that was the only way to get her to learn to read.

Back in my day when I went to school, we were taught synthetic phonics, where you learn the phonic sound then move onto words then sentences. Another method that has since become popular, is the phonics method where you start with sentences, and move back to words, then syllables, then right down to the phonic sound. Really it doesn’t matter which way your children learn to read, as long as they learn.

At the moment video and audio is taking over the internet, but to play around and work on the internet, you still have to be able to read and type. So to survive the future your children have to be able to read, write and type. Speed typing is a must for the future, as well as speed reading. There is so much information out there, that you need to process in work and everyday life, that you need to be able to process it very quickly. To survive the future you need these skills, and they all start with learning to read.

With the internet there are a number of online phonic sites, where you children can learn phonics and some are very good, I mean exceptional. But even with all the information on the internet some children do not learn by looking. Around sixty percent do, but reading starts in your ears, not with your eyes. You have to hear the phonic sound first, then match it with the written word. So if your children have problems learning to read, get their ears checked. There might be something mechanically wrong with their ears. Usually not the case. It is usually just a case of matching a learning method, with your child’s learning style.

I call this, the method of last resort, even though it has been around for over 100 years, and it started out teaching children with severe learning difficulties. This is the Montessori method of teaching reading, and if everything fails try this out. It is a hands on system of teaching reading. You just can’t plant your children in front of the computer, and expect the computer to do the teaching. You have to be there or an older sibling can help out. Basically you need to get hold of some sandpaper letters, whether block or cursive, depending on what you want to teach your children, then start teaching. You will also need a phonics chart, and some phonic sounds, which you can get of the internet for free. It is a very simple system, you make up a simple word, for example ‘cat’, in sandpaper letters. Then your child traces the sandpaper letters, while saying the word. You must emphasis the phonic sound, so your daughter can translate it to other words. Then repeat the system over and over again with many words that rhyme. A very effective system, it must be used when everything else has not worked. It is my last line of defense. If the Montessori system doesn’t work I’m lost. I don’t know if it works with dyslexic people, but it is worth a try.

Anyway for the future you need to be able to read, write, type and then learn to speed read. Probably in that order, except most students learn to read then go straight onto a keyboard, so writing gets left behind. Now it has been shown that people who write in longhand or cursive, write faster and they are also more creative. So if your children are aspiring to be creative writers, or into writing advertisements, then they should learn to write in cursive. Also at present when you sit an exam, you have to write in longhand not block letters. So until that changes, it might be an idea to bring in the cursive writing skills, to give your children the upper hand in exams.

To find out more about teaching reading using the Montessori method go to and click on the picture.

Peter Legrove spends most of his time in front of a mixed bunch of kids trying to instill in them some semblance of the road to survive the future.

This article is copyright © peter legrove.

You can use this article on your website or ezine but leave the resource box intact.

All the best teaching children

Teacher Peter


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Using internet to teach multi classes with one teacher


Evolution of internet classroom teaching

This is how a primary school class evolved into an internet class.

This is a case study about the evolution of how teaching ESL in China evolved from teaching one class to a multi-media classroom with over 300 kids in one grade all being taught by one teacher.

To teaching one class to teaching all the classes in that grade in one school over the internet.

To teaching all the same classes in the one grade over the three different schools in the one private school company.

It is about the trials and tribulations and how having young modern teachers with internet experience and a principle who wanted to use technology even though she didn’t know very much about it herself.

The young teachers were using power point in the classrooms and the classes all had internet access. Just standard stuff nothing spectacular.

I’ve been teaching ESL to kids for a number of years so I know what I am doing. But in China you, as a foreign teacher are expected to do the unusual without any warning.

I started off my China experience in the standard classroom in a primary school with anywhere between 30 and 70 kids in a classroom. That was standard and i perfected my flashcard and drawing on the blackboard teaching.

But then In China nearly every school has a lecture hall they call a multi-media classroom, seats probably 300 and you have a book projector and a white board at the front plus a hand held microphone. It is like a lecture hall with the teacher at the bottom and most students staring down at you. To save money they figured if they put me in there I could teach all the classes at once, except they forgot to tell me that they had changed the schedule. When I got there there was every grade one student, 6 year olds, about 400 of them sitting everywhere. On the stairs and they brought in extra seats for the gap at the front. The kids were actually seated in their class, in the big hall with their English teacher controlling them. I think there was 8 classes in there.

It was a very successful class, I turned it into an entertainment event and the kids loved it, but they all knew me so that was a plus. I taught all the kids in the whole school this way. That was from grade one to six. This was my first experience of teaching a very large class.

Now we get onto the internet bit. I was back to teaching one class at a time and the school, being a private school had to upgrade to get a higher rating in the private school list in the city. So they put these huge 2 meter TV screens hooked up to the internet in all the classroom. There was one young English teacher there who spoke perfect English and had never left China, but she spent a lot of time on the internet. And she figured with my help we could join up all the classes in one grade and I could teach one class and the other classes could watch the class on the TV.

That was easier said than done as the principle said we could give it a go as long as it cost nothing. First we tried I had a strange feeling that is where she went to speak English. It looked good but not really very engrossing and the kids faded out very early on in the class. It was easy to set up we just downloaded the software to most of the computers in grade 1 — 5 and 6 year olds. We had one avatar on each computer. Secondlife dropped the under 13 level I think so we were all on the main virtual world. The little kids were fascinated but the parents were not to impressed, which is nothing unusual.

But in secondlife I couldn’t do anything like the flash cards or writing on the board. So the kids could only repeat what I said. And they could yell and scream as much as they liked and they could hear themselves and they loved it. I used to call out the class number so they could repeat what I said, instead of all the classes answering at once. We all met at the Library of Primatives Sandpit in secondlife. And we could make as much noise as we wanted and nobody cared.

It was really good and we did what we set out to do. Which was one teacher over many classes. To be honest I faded out before the students as I was just repeating myself. After 15 minutes I think we were all pretty bored, so we started looking for something else.

So we tried Now has two big glaring issues, one the screen size is fixed, you can’t go to full screen and there is no return audio, everything is done through a chat box. But it is very easy to set up and very easy for the classes to hook up to and watch the class. But they couldn’t join in.

It was live and I could use the flash cards and write on the whiteboard, which kept me happy. The size was an issue and after the kids realised that I couldn’t hear them they lost interest. When we were on secondlife the kids knew I could hear them so they yelled as loud as they could, and they tried to drown out the other classes.

So we went looking for a free audio and video conference call with as many windows as we could get. To teach all the classes in one grade we needed seven screens. I already had an account with and had used them before when they had 6 screens. Now they have 12 screens, just what we were looking for. We had to download the software just like secondlife, but the learning curve to get it all set up was pretty easy. That meant showing the other teachers how to get online and join in the class. In most of the grades there was an internet apt student that could put it all together.

Anyway we played around with the screen sizes and somehow managed to keep my screen on top so I hogged most of the screen, while the classes videos were on the side bar. Anyway the kids loved it as they could see themselves and me and they knew they were live. In most cases there was just my screen and the class screen visible to one class. We started off with all the classes on the one screen but then we slowly cut a few off. Also we could record my screen and the kids could watch it again whenever they liked.

We thought we were set and we were. The principle took a liking to since the whole school was linked on ustream. And the principle could give talks live to every class and to the whole school. Before she used to use the speakers now she used both.

We finally got all the bugs out of the system and everything was back to normal until. I worked for a private school company and they had a number of schools scattered around the edge of the city. The owners came and had a look at what we were doing and they were very impressed. They wanted to make sure we were not breaking any rules to do with putting stuff up on the internet. Then when they realised we were not uploading anything except me they were quiet happy.

Everything was going well until the foreign teacher left one of the other schools. Then we had to go and set up that school, so they could also receive the video lesson. It was just enough as there were 6 classes in each grade. We had a few more teething problems but we got it together. I first had to go to the other school to give lessons so the kids got to know me. And this way I could alternate between the schools to give the main lesson to different classes. I was doing that now at the main school, so I was actually teaching a different class each time.

When we had a guest teacher in who was just going to give a talk. We would either hook them up to secondlife, so the whole school could join in and listen and ask questions or ustream it. And the kids could just listen.

Having all the classes linked together gave the school a lot more options. Some teachers were worried they would lose their jobs but they were still needed to keep control of the classes during the video lessons.

For more information about teaching in China click here.

Here is the orginial version on scholar

I like the Montessori system of teaching writing and reading and this is the course I recommend

Peter Legrove spends most of his time in front of a mixed bunch of kids trying to instill in them some semblance of the road to survive the future.

This article is copyright © peter legrove.

You can use this article on your website or ezine but leave the resource box intact.

All the best teaching your children

Teacher Peter


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With The Pencil Going The Way Of The Dinosaur You Still Need To Know How To Teach Your Child To Write

Nowadays most schools let children print in block letters like the keys on a keyboard instead of teaching writing as in continuous cursive. Probably a lot of parents cannot see any benefit in teaching writing as their children spend more time on a keyboard than with a pen and notepad. With the influx of modern technology in the classroom and university it would seem that writing is going extinct. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Your children still need to be able to write so you, the parent, need to know how to teach your children to write. Teaching writing is not too difficult and once your children know how to write they can write on cards and write shopping lists.

I prefer the Montessori way of teaching writing and reading as it uses a hands on approach and can be used with a school textbook. The basics behind the Montessori approach is sandpaper letters. You make up the words your child is learning at school or kindergarten. And your child traces the sandpaper letter feeling the texture of the sandpaper under her fingertips. This feeling the letters, helps to implant the letters and words and how to write them in your child’s mind.

When tracing the words your child is actually going through the motions of writing without a pencil. This gets the hand and arm muscles read to start writing when your child picks up a pen. Writing like most learning takes time, and I think the Montessori approach with sandpaper letters actually shortens the time it takes for you to teach your child to write.

According to Maria Montessori some children learn to read first, while others learn to write first. It depends on the child. I have the child trace the new words or phonic sounds with Montessori sandpaper letters and this helps to write the new words in the child’s mind. While tracing the sandpaper letters the child is actually writing with her fingers so this is the start of the writing process.

Sometimes teaching writing too early can hinder learning to read in some children. Because writing takes a longer time than reading it can slow down the child as she spends more time trying to write. If your child is a slow writer just stick to reading.

The school system of today has no time for slow writers but the main problem has more to do with hand strength than slow writing. Under the Montessori system the child’s hand strength is built up every day. Therefore when they start to write the child can control the pencil.

If your child is having problems with writing, start by building up your child’s hand strength. This simple act seems to eliminate a lot of writing problems.

Under the Montessori system the child will start to write by themselves. After tracing the sandpaper letters the child will usually pick up a pencil and just start to write without any encouraging. The first part of the writing process is learning to hold a pencil and coloring in different sized shapes. This gets the muscles in the hand and arm ready for writing. The earlier children start to hold and use a pencil the earlier they will start to write.

I like the Montessori system of teaching writing and reading and this is the course I recommend

Peter Legrove spends most of his time in front of a mixed bunch of kids trying to instill in them some semblance of the road to survive the future.

This article is copyright © peter legrove.

You can use this article on your website or ezine but leave the resource box intact.

All the best teaching your children

Teacher Peter

Church in Secondlife

Click here to go to church online

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