The Day After: Open Tabs

The Day After: Open Tabs


This morning, I am looking at my laptop and closing the tabs that I had opened the day before while teaching my students who range from Intermediate to Advanced speakers of English.

For those of you who don’t know, I teach primarily at Lingua Franca where I engage in intensive daily courses for three hours, private lessons, and evening classes at all levels from Pre-intermediate to Advanced speakers. I get to meet people from all walks of life with different intentions and incredibly varied backgrounds. I feel blessed to be surrounded by so many interesting, thoughtful people who work so hard to learn English!

I also teach as an adjunct at RTU (Riga Technical University) where I teach first and second year students as well as an Advanced course for faculty. My favorite class is “Development of Listening Comprehension of Monologues, Dialogues and Professional Texts.” What a mouthful!

During all of these classes, I have my trusty Macbook open, and I am always using it as a resource to gather information and support my own learning. I just want to share some of the tabs to give you an idea of what a classroom with Jeffrey Grinvalds might be like!

Tab 1: A conversion table from the Turkish Lira to the Euro to see how much it might cost a person to get out of serving in the military in Turkey. The price was about 2,500 Euros.

Tab 2: The definition of “fodder” to explain to my students what “cannon fodder” is. My Russian students say they have a similar phrase in Russian that translates direction as “food for the cannons.”

Tab 3: An article about how eating chocolate makes you more intelligent. One of my students and I were talking about studies on food and whether or not they were accurate, and some how the topic turned to chocolate. Maybe it was because I had brought some delicious cranberry chocolates to share with my students.

Tab 4: Misleading Mascara Ad:  We were discussing advertising and techniques that advertisers use to lie and cheat the audience. We looked at pyramid schemes, Ponzi schemes, and students even created their own advertisements and English-language slogans. Some of them were actually very good.

Tab 5: Paragraph Corrections “English for Everyone”: I cannot overstate how important internet resources have been to my teaching of English here in Latvia. The great thing about teaching such a huge language is that resources are incredibly abundant. Simple Google searches can yield a wealth of tools that help me make English concepts understandable. One of my favorites is this quick warm-up where students find mistakes in paragraphs. The nice thing about this exercise is that I can easily create my own versions. I also like this site because the paragraphs are separated by level from Intermediate to Advanced.

Tab 6: Cog in the machine. I was trying to teach idiomatic expressions, and I was struggling to explain what a cog was, so I had to find a picture to show my students. I like to draw on the whiteboard to show students what I am talking about. Drawing gears and cogs was a challenge!

I think I had about twelve or more tabs in total, but this is enough to give you a taste. Sometimes I get made fun of for having too many tabs open at once, but what can I say? I love information. I love learning. And as a wise man once said, if learning is wrong, I don’t want to be right!




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