Holli McCann, 11, had tucked into the 20p confectionary on the first night of the week-long break in the Isle of Wight, along with two other Year Six roommates.

She described the secret snack in her first letter home, which was read by teachers despite being in a sealed envelope.

They immediately searched her room at Beaufort House hotel in Sandown for more chocolate, removing the lining of her suitcase and tipping out her toilet bag as if she was “running an international drug smuggling operation”.

When they found more bars, Holli was thrown off the holiday for breaching a “charter” banning chocolate.

A message was sent to her mother, Kerri, asking her to urgently contact the hotel.

Yvonne Graves, the headmistress at Bromet Primary School in Watford, Herts, told her what had happened and requested she come and collect her daughter immediately.

Holli’s mother urged Ms Graves to reconsider but she refused and said if Holli was not picked up she would have to attend all the planned activities but would not be allowed to join in any of them.

As a result, Mrs McCann had to drive through the night from her home in Croxley Green, Herts, to make the 160-mile round trip with two ferry crossings to collect Holli.

The unemployed 47-year-old, who is a full-time carer for her autistic son, had saved for six months to pay for the £300 holiday and was forced to borrow another £130 from family and friends to cover her own travel costs.

She said Holli had been “so excited” about the trip, which began on July 1, and was delighted to get a room with her best friends.

“They had been planning the feast weeks before the trip and Holli was in charge of bringing the chocolate,” she said.

“It wasn’t even at midnight. They ate the chocolate at about 9.30pm and it only went on for about 15 minutes. It’s not like they were having a party or making noise.

“The teachers had no idea about it until they read Holli’s letter to me.

“I am furious that they read her letter, it is like being in prison. It’s not like she is five – she is 11 and deserves privacy in what she writes to her mum.”

“Holli said she was really upset because they emptied her toiletry bag into the sink and pulled out the lining in her suitcase.

“It was carried out in such a manner you would have thought they were running an international drug smuggling operation from their hotel room.

“I don’t see how eating chocolate makes the holiday unsafe. They were not being naughty – they were just having fun.”

She said she thought it “too cruel” for her daughter to stay on the trip and not be able to participate in any activities, and has formally complained to the school and governors.

The school refused to comment on the row but Hertfordshire County Council said: “Before the Year Six trip to the Isle of Wight, parents and pupils were asked to sign a behaviour charter which clearly outlines how pupils should behave during the trip.

“This is to ensure that everyone can have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

“It was made clear that breaking any of the rules within the charter would result in parents being asked to take their child home, as was the case with this pupil.”

This is a standard topic to teach in ESL/EFL classes. Beginner teachers do not do a good job of it and I have seen students get mixed up or confused in Korea and Kuwait. In essence, a teacher’s job is to classify and explain two lists of words…

COUNTABLES

apples

cookies

bananas

loaves

people

cubes

cups

packets

boxes

bags

cans

cartons

steaks/chops

slices

spoons

bowls

kg/km/g

NON-COUNTABLES

rice

sugar

salt

sand

flour/powder/dust

jelly

oil

water

juice

chopped vegies

stew

spaghetti

meat

milk

gas

soup

butter

soil

After teacher reviews the two lists with the class the students get the hang of it. Then ask the the class to classify the words into groups by circling them in coloured pen. They will need help. Basically, non-countable nouns are very small things like grains and flour and dust, as well as liquids/fluids and wet or messy or finely chopped foods. Countable nouns are big enough to be seen and counted easily and individually or things in containers like packets, boxes, bags,cans or standard units like kilograms. Note that sugar and ice can be be cubed and made countable.

Ask students to provide more examples of nouns and add them to the board.

The next step is to introduce the following English words which are generally used with countables OR non-countables.

*Some rice (non-countable)

*A spoon or plate of rice (countable container)

*Some soup (general non-countable)

*A cup or bowl of soup (more specific amount and in a countable container)

*A few apples, bananas, steaks, people etc. (countable)

*Many oranges/children (countable)

*Several mangos (general countable)

*A bit of flour/sugar/oil/dust (non-countable)

Note that we can say SOME people and also SOME dust. This special word, SOME, is not definite and can be used with both countables and non-countables.

After introducing this subject to a grade 11 Kuwait class I thought the students had a pretty good understanding. But then I gave homework asking students to use:

A few…, Some…. , A little… , A bit…., Several…, Many…. each with three examples of food. Some students made zero mistakes and others botched it badly. It was necessary to go over examples again and show that these words have to be used carefully and sometimes exclusively together with countables/non-coutables.

Finally I told a little canibalistic joke they liked. I said we can use the expressions “a bit and a little people” only if we chop them finely.

I hope somebody finds this useful.

The Interview

The interview seemed to be going along okay. Then the Director asked, “So what is your philosophy of teaching English?”

“My philosophy of teaching?” The TEFL interviewee twisted in her seat, tugging at the collar of a blouse that was suddenly too tight. She felt water running down her back. A certain dampness coated her palms.

“Yes. Do you have a philosophy of teaching?” the director repeated. The interview had taken a distinctive downturn. Top positions paying top dollars require top professionals.

“Well, I’m not really sure what you mean.” the teacher responded. “I can tell you what I do in my classes, what materials I use and how I interact with the students. Is that what you mean?”

No, that’s NOT what the Language Institute Director meant. The interview ended. So did the teacher’s prospects at that high-level institution.

Philosophy of Education

A teacher’s philosophy of education is now used as a major marketing strategy by savvy teachers and has become an essential component of a teacher’s CV and portfolio. It has evolved to become part of the teacher’s personal profile, which outlines all of his essential skill sets and unique qualities, and highlights the teacher’s specialties. (D. Sofsian, 2006) Reference these web sites for further information:

• Create Your Own Electronic Portfolio

http://electronicportfolios.org/portfolios/iste2k.html

• My “Online Portfolio Adventure”

http://electronicportfolios.org/myportfolio/versions.html

• How To Create an Electronic Portfolio

[http://www.essdack.org/port/how.html]

Expert author Damian Sofsian in his article, “Teacher Education Philosophies”, talks about five types of teaching philosophies: (http://ezinearticles.com/?Teacher-Education-Philosophies&id=227410)

• Liberal – which aims at developing intellectual powers

• Behavioral – these ideologies focus on the survival skills of a human being and the role of education in teaching them

• Progressive – motivates cultural development of an individual in order to bring about societal change

• Humanistic – trends look at the overall development of the personality and characteristics of an individual

• Radical – these philosophers are interested in beneficial changes that should happen in a society from time to time, and the role of education in bringing about political, social and economical changes

Teacher education philosophy is now a major marketing strategy used by EFL and TEFL teachers and has become an essential component of a language teacher resume and personal profile. (D. Sofsian, 2006)

Education Philosophy References

Before embarking on developing your own philosophy of education, reference these sites for more in-depth information and samples of Educational Philosophy statements.

• Samples of Philosophy of Education

http://www.wilderdom.com/philosophy/SampleEducationPhilosophies.html

• Materials on the Philosophy of Education

[http://commhum.mccneb.edu/PHILOS/phileduc.htm]

• Philosophy of Education links

http://dmoz.org/Society/Philosophy/Philosophy_of_Education/

Your Philosophy of Education

What is your philosophy of education? If you “don’t have one” now would be a good time to more thoroughly investigate aspects of one. Add your philosophy to all your teaching areas. Let it pervade what you do and how you approach your craft from every angle from preparation to class activities, problem-solving, discipline and assessment. Your philosophy helps set you apart from those who might just show up, do the minimum and collect their paychecks. In these days of increasing professionalism, increased requisites for teaching staff and higher expectations on the part of Educational Administrators, TEFL teachers, regardless of current status, simply cannot afford to be lax.

Language is merely a system of conventions developed by various groups to communicate among themselves. English is full of exceptions and examples of a letter representing different sounds when combined with other letters. A digraph such as ch, ph, sh, th, wh, and qu) are just a few of these. The vowels of English are the worst for people who find spelling difficult.

English is a Germanic language; German and English bear many similarities. However, speakers of the English language have rich histories of assimilation, conflict, and interaction with other peoples and other languages. As a result, the English language corpus includes a host of borrowed words. These borrowed words look foreign, and, in many ways, they are.

But with the passing of time, many of them become English words and may even replace older words of English origin that mean the same thing. The sounds found in these words from other languages may even become part of the English sound catalog. Historically, the English language has been greatly affected by French, Scandinavian, and, more recently, Japanese.

In addition to the introduction of new words and sounds, the English language has also borrowed or been influenced by the grammatical structures of other languages. In addition, there are huge differences between every-day English that is communicative and English that is “strictly-speaking” grammatically correct. The confluence of so many traditions and systems makes English somewhat difficult to learn… and to teach.

Writing gives language a fixed target. This kind of uniformity is useful for effective communication, teaching, and learning; however, written languages do not allow for much change and, often, variations from the norm are not tolerated. One problem with the written language — particularly in the cases of spelling and grammar rules — is that written language cannot keep up with spoken language, which changes all the time. Our spoken language is much more fluid than our written language and more easily carries new ideas and new words. Our cultural climate affects our language as much as language affects our cultural climate.

The Spanish see the importance of knowing English practically as importantly as the language itself.

88% of the Nielsen survey group stated that knowing English is very important.

Only 30% of the survey group actually had attended some type of training over the last year. Taking all learning delivery methods into account, the favourite is still to have classes with a language school or academy. In second place were online courses.

The motive for these people to study English is simply the ever increasing need to speak it and most people in the survey group said that English is now a requirement within the professional world.

In order to improve their language level, the people in the survey want to practice their spoken English with people from English speaking countries.

Everyone in the survey stated that people should start learning the language from an early age.

The moral of the survey is that 88% of people questioned said that English is important but only 30% of them were studying it. As most people surveyed said that it is a requirement in the professional field, this percentage will increase because of job offers requiring English as a prerequisite skill.

The demand for English as a work skill has increased to 40%.

According to a recently published study (October 2011) conducted by Centro de Estudios CCC, Info Jobs and E-learning y Distancia, 40% of job offers in the Marketing, Communication, Engineering, Legal, Business Administration and Technology (IT included) sectors are demanding a good level of English. 20% of all other jobs demand English.

As getting a job is important and the number of jobs that demand English is on the rise, people are taking English far more seriously than before because it has become an essential skill.

This is why teaching English in Spain is becoming very popular again.

I see this every week because EBC’s free classes given to locals in our training centres are always over-subscribed. Spain needs to learn our language so there is a healthy demand for English teachers.

Spain is doing what it takes to position itself for when the recovery begins, which we all hope is soon. English is an essential skill that will empower Spanish companies to export all over the world.

Yes there is a crisis in Spain, but it is largely focused on construction and construction related sectors. Most other sectors are largely unharmed and are now starting to export their way to profitability. This is the reason that the demand for you, a prospective English teacher, is on the rise.

As we approach Halloween, we dig through the facts and figures to take a cold, steely math-driven look at the hidden world of candy. We won’t tell your dentist if you don’t.

American consumers purchase 600 million tons of candy every Halloween. That accounts for a $1.9 billion haul or $44 per household. That’s a lotta money for a food source that offers close to zero nutritional value!

So, as we gear-up for Halloween, we decided to celebrate the season best way we know how here at Bundle: With numbers! Delicious, unimpeachable numbers born from American’s blood-sugar spiking love affair with confectionery delights. Click here for the top 15 candy stores near you.

Take a stroll down candy lane with our slideshow as we explore the hidden secret truths about our nation’s annual Halloween candy binge.

 

1. There’s A LOT of candy corn out there

Candy corn is, by volume, America’s most popular candy (followed by Snickers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Kit Kat, and M&Ms, in that order). Halloween accounts for 75% of all candy corn’s annual production. About 35 million pounds of the stuff are produced per year (roughly 9 billion pieces), which translates to about 27 individual corns for each and every American. In fact, if you laid each little candy out end-to-end, they would circle the Moon four times.

2. The color mixture in your bag of M&Ms is a science

While plenty of deviations have been found and noted, the good people at M&Ms attempt to maintain a pre-determined color mix based on “consumer preference tests.” On average, the mix of each variation of M&M are designed for the following color breakdowns:

M&M’S Milk Chocolate: 30% brown, 20% yellow, 10% orange, 10% green, 10% blue, and 20% red.

M&M’S Peanut: 20% brown, 20% yellow, 10% orange, 10% green, 20% blue, and 20% red.

M&M’S Peanut Butter And Almond: 20% brown, 20% yellow, 20% green, 20% blue, and 20% red.

M&M’S Crispy: 16.6% brown, 16.6% yellow, 16.6% orange, 16.6% green, 16.6% blue, and 16.6% red.

M&M’S Kids Minis: 16.7 brown, 16.7% yellow, 16.7% orange, 16.7% green, 16.7% blue and 16.7% red.

M&M’S Mini baking Bits: 12.50% brown, 12.875% yellow, 12.50% orange, 18.75% green, 21.875% blue and 12.50% red.

3. Americans are Halloween candy procrastinators

Every year, the top five days for candy sales occur in the run-up to Halloween. However, while they’re all in October, they don’t follow any one set logical pattern within the month. See if you can spot the outlier. The biggest candy-buying days are:

1. October 28th
2. October 27th
3. October 30th
4. October 21st
5. October 31st

With the exception of the October 21st crowd, the majority of sales are in the immediately preceding days. Sometimes, people throw Halloween parties the weekend preceding the 31st, so as October 21st is 10 days before, the candy purchased on those days probably aren’t going to any of those. We’re gonna guess those 10/21ers are people who happen to be at the supermarket for their monthly trip or are serious Type-A folks.

Or it’s a secret witch conspiracy.

4. Mr. Goodbar is no good for you

Of all the common individual candies handed out at Halloween, Mr. Goodbar is least healthy. A 49-gram Mr. Goodbar has 250 calories, 17 grams of fat, and 23 grams of sugar. According to myhealthnewsdaily.com, who rated the sweets, the next least-healthy candies are Nutrageous, Snickers, Baby Ruth, and Mounds.

Meanwhile, the (relatively) “healthiest” candies were Jolly Ranchers (70 calories, no fat, 11 grams of sugar), followed by Blow Pops; Gobstoppers; Pixy Stix; and our old standby, candy corn.

5. America hearts chocolate. A lot.

Chocolate is, by far, American’s preferred Halloween candy. Of the near $2 billion sold in Halloween candy each year, about $1.2 billion is spent on chocolate varieties while only $680 million is spent on sugar candy. The average American consumes 24 pounds of chocolate every year—that amounts to almost 284 Hershey bars per person.

The learning of the English language helps to provide individuals with many unique opportunities, which will allow them to expand work potential, as well as social atmospheres. English represents one of the primary business languages utilized throughout the world, so it is vital that you take the time necessary to learn the fundamentals associated with this language. One of the greatest opportunities individuals take advantage of, in order to accomplish this goal, is to prepare themselves for taking the IELTS test. When preparing for this test for yourself, look into the opportunities of researching the test, seeking a tutor for English, benefiting from direct interaction, as well as increasing your opportunities for complete education.

Researching the Test

The first step to take when looking into how to properly prepare for your IELTS test is found with researching the potential material you will be tested on. This represents a very important step, so you can utilize the best resources to support your English language understanding to expand upon the opportunities of business and social results. When preparing for this exam, it is often ideal to specifically seek the services of a specialized private English teacher.

Seeking a Tutor for English

The English language is a very complex language, making it difficult for many individuals to understand, when they have no experience speaking this for themselves. By taking the time to identify a high quality private English teacher, you will significantly increase your chances of test success, by utilizing a skilled trainer. This is far superior to the alternative of teaching yourself English, through the utilization of various workbooks that can often create questions and cause misperceptions, regarding the English language.

Benefiting From Direct Interaction

The primary benefit that you will discover from the utilization of a tutor for English, when seeking this resource, is found with direct interaction. When preparing for your IELTS test, it can often be difficult to comprehend various factors of the English language, when you do not have an individual to interact with or an instructor to ask questions of. This can create complications which will result in you failing your efforts to pass the IELTS test. The direct interaction you will gain from a professional tutor will help you to significantly increase your understanding of the language, so you have a greater chance of passing the exam.

Increasing Opportunities for Complete Education

The final step of preparation is found with taking advantage of all the research and information you have obtained from your private English teacher, and transferring these lessons to passing your IELTS test. The complete education you will gain from a professional instructor will prove to be invaluable in your efforts to learning the most from your language efforts and achieving success with this exam.

Each of these steps of preparation can prove highly valuable to any individual looking to identify the best resource for preparing for IELTS test.

The English adventurers and Spanish conquistadors were most certainly “brothers under the skin” in that they both set out to reap the rewards of the New World with little to no regard for the local peoples. They both faced the same problems back in Europe. These problems included disease, poverty, and overcrowding. There were simply too many people competing for the same things, whether they were money, food, or land. This coupled with stories of fortune and a Northwest Passage to Asia created a sense of hope that voyages west would solve the many problems of a needy continent. For this reason, both the English and the Spanish looked to the New World with the goal of finding treasures and later on, colonization. The idea that there were valuable land, resources, and treasures located in the New World that would alleviate or solve European problems motivated both countries to try their hand at exploration.

Of course, these rewards came at a cost to the native peoples of the Americas. As “brothers under the skin,” the English and Spanish viewed the natives as savages. They both believed that they had not only a right, but also a duty to instruct these people in that ways of European civilization and Christianity. However, they both used this as an excuse to exploit the local people. When Hernando Cortes raided Tenochtitlan, he wrote of attacking before dawn, vowing to do all the harm that he could. This included murdering woman and children, leaving them to rot in the streets while the Spanish conquistadors looted the homes and businesses of the city. The Aztecs had done no great harm to Cortes; in fact, they treated him and his men as gods. However, greed spurred Cortes and his men on to kill thousands. Of course, this did not bother anyone because the men, women, and children that they killed were savages that could not be saved.

Richard Hakluyt, an Englishman, wrote a letter detailing an almost identical plan to get England involved in the Americas. They would go over under the guise of spreading Christianity, but they would make full use of the resources and advance the economic interests of the country. He talked of putting the poor of England to work in the Americas. However, similarly to the Spanish, the plans necessitate the exploitation of the natives. He wrote, “If we find the country populous and desirous to expel us and injuriously offend us, that seek but just and lawful traffic, then, by reason that we are lords of navigation and they are not so, we are the better able to defend ourselves by reason of those great rivers and to annoy they in many places.” (Origins of English Settlement) As you can tell by this passage, not only is there a sense of entitlement and superiority that exists within the mind of the English, there are already plans to conquer the Indians.

To the royal governments of England and Spain, the English adventurers and the conquistadors served the same purpose. That is to secure a foothold in the New World from which to advance the causes of the country. More than that, the conquistadors and adventurers were men meant to bring civilization and religion to the uncouth idol worshippers of the New World. I am sure the leaders of England and Spain truly believed that they were doing a service to the Aztecs and other Indians by murdering them and taking their things. Both the English and the Spanish believed that the natives were savages that were beyond saving for the most part. For this reason, killing many was an evil that was necessary in order to save a few. They believed that as stronger, more developed countries, it was their duty to rid the world of this evil. It was their duty to instruct the savages in the ways of the Lord. To them, the adventurers and conquistadors were good, moral men that were doing the will of God. While in actuality, they were brutal, self-righteous thieves.

The Advance of Education Technology

With education technology advancing at what sometimes seems to be an alarming rate, it’s application to the English language learning classroom seems almost imminent. What is even more intriguing is our learners’ ready acceptance of and adaptation to the incorporation of new technologies into their everyday lives. In many cultures worldwide, most youth above the age of 15 or so have their own personal cell phone or ipod, palm C’s or multi-use mini-memory stick combo of electronics. Indeed, it seems that it’s the “old fuddy-duds” who don’t have cell phones and pocket-sized electronics as part of their lives. So what’s a savvy Educational Administrator to do? Find ways to incorporate and take advantage of these new technologies in the English language learning classroom, that’s what.

Ah, but the expense, the confusion, the hassle and did I mention the expense – of doing so. What about that? Growth hurts. If we are to maintain the field of language education in the forefront to which it belongs in this day and age of global communications, international business and global economies involving multiple countries, we must address the changing face of global commerce and communications, technology and its increasing impact on education.

A “Smart” Classroom

But just what is a “smart” classroom? Opinions as to what education technology elements exist in such an entity, of course vary, but some key aspects are generally agreed upon. Let’s examine some of them and their respective purposes.

o A smart whiteboard

o Laser / digital pointer

o Printer

o Computers with multi-media software

o internet access

o CD / DVD player / recorder

o Video beam

o VHS player / recorder

o Multi-band AM / FM radio receiver

o Wide screen TV with cable station feeds

o Interface device(s) for digital feeds from Teacher to Learners

o Portable PCs, Palm Pilots or ipod devices for each language learner

o Direct server access and storage capability

Okay, so by now you should be getting the picture. While many or even all of these devices can significantly impact the English language teaching and learning process, it is ultimately the teacher who must negotiate their application to the needs of the learners to complete curriculum requirements. More education technology doesn’t necessarily make for a better English language teacher or even better English language teaching, but it very well could if strategically applied.

English Language Teachers Must Be Better Equipped

Initially, many of our English language learners would be better equipped to manage these new, developing technologies than a number of their language teachers. Foremost then, is to equip English language teachers with the essential knowledge and skills to cope with an infusion of high technology. Many language learners too would need to be brought up to speed on application of new technologies to English language learning. Although by no means do these new education technologies affect only English language teaching and learning classrooms. As conditions (and budgets) permit, educational administrators can and should upgrade classrooms and language teacher knowledge on the application of new education technologies.

While virtually no classrooms will likely ever contain all of the aforementioned equipment, we, as English language teaching professionals, can still learn, grow – and dream.

One language that binds us all across the globe is English. Be it business, travel and tourism sector or even competitive examination of any sort, the language forms the main basis of communication. When you apply for admission to any of the renowned university or colleges in the United States of America or even consider a job application, it is imperative that you are fluent in both written and spoken English, in order to get a winning edge over competition. All of us are not born with a natural skill and command over this language and as a result we need to acquire the necessary expertise in order to make a mark in any competition with others. If you reside in New York, then it is easy to locate a suitable guide and mentor who can train you for any competitive examination by helping you master the language and one such competent person would be an English tutor NYC.

An English tutor NYC is experienced in dealing with students who are appearing in competitive examinations in this language. The years of practice in training various students for the examinations make it possible for the English tutor NYC to have a definite idea about the trend of questions and the best manner in which to solve them within a specified time frame. Each student has certain weak points and certain strengths. It is the job of the tutor to identify these in his students and train them accordingly, magnifying and improving the strengths while diminishing or removing the weaknesses.

The performance of a student in the examination depends to a certain extent on the competence of the English tutor NYC and hence it is crucial that you hire a tutor who is competent with a proven track record behind him. A little background research on the tutor is therefore, called for. You could ask the opinion of his previous students or current students in order to judge the teaching style of any tutor. Also, the past students results should speak for themselves. Other feasible ways to choose the right tutor would be through the internet or even the yellow pages. Once you have selected a tutor you trust, dedicate yourself completely to the preparation for the examinations under the guidance of the tutor.

Competitive examinations form the benchmark for selecting the most suitable candidates for some of the best universities and colleges in the States. So make sure that you have the right guidance of a competent English tutor NYC to guide you accordingly. As your future depends on your success in the exams, it goes without saying that you need to give it your best shot. However, there is a lot that a tutor can do who works as your friend, philosopher, guide and mentor, so ensure that you are placing yourself in able hands. Getting the best English tutor in New York to guide you will not just give you the competitive edge in examinations but will also become your asset in the future, when you are beyond college and ready to step into the real world.