education · elementary education · esl · teacher · teaching · Uncategorized

A New Year, A New School, A New Start

Don’t worry, I’ll get to writing my year in review with 2A a little bit later. As I’ve just moved back to the USA from Turkey, I am quite the busy bee over here.

I wanted to let you all know that I have a new position as a 3rd grade homeroom teacher in Florida, and I will be teaching at a charter school. The children that I will be teaching come from diverse backgrounds. Most of the children that I will be teaching also come from very low-income families and do not have the resources at home for a proper education. I know I will have many students who will not be able to afford the basics. So, as a teacher in the US, you know where those basics will be coming from. Yep, that’s right, my own pocket. I want to make sure that my students have the proper resources at home and in their classroom. Since they come from diverse backgrounds, I also want them to have resources that represent them as well. I want them to have the resources to fuel their imaginations and creativity. I want them to want to learn and always question why and how and try to figure it out for themselves.

I’ve made a wishlist on Amazon for my classroom. If you could help out at all I would be very appreciative. The wishlist includes things like basic classroom supplies such as pencils and paper. It also includes many multicultural and thought provoking books as well as many science experiment kids. I want my children to have the resources they need and that will help them grow. Many of these kids have a high likely hood of never graduating high school let alone alone getting into college. I want to be the teacher that pushes them forward. I don’t want them to end up being just another statistic.

Thank you for any and all help.

I’ll be updating more soon.

education · elementary education · esl · ib pyp · Istanbul · school · teacher · teaching · Turkey

Who wants to fill up my coffee?

Well, the first month is done. It’s been a whirlwind of a month. Getting to know the students and teachers and constantly changing schedules takes a lot out of you. I’m tired, I need a lot more coffee, but I enjoy the classroom teacher position. It’s nice to just focus on just one class and on just fourteen students as opposed to six classes and over a hundred students like I had last year at the same school. It’s also been a bit of a make-shift beginning of the year, because as per usual here the books came very late and some did not come at all. So, I’ve had to make do with the resources that I have at the school and online resources. For English resources, I have an endless supply because the office has to have thousands of books. I photocopy what I need for the day or week and that’s that. For the other subjects though such as social sciences and math, I’ve had to work a bit harder. Pinterest is a teacher’s best friend for sure; it not only offers crafting ideas, but there are also lesson plans, worksheets, and pretty much anything I could ever need. Teachers are very creative people are love to share with one another. Another great resource that I’m utilizing more is which has some amazing workbooks that go over exactly what we’re doing in our classes. Learning about place value? There’s a workbook for that. Learning about the world, maps, and directions? There’s a workbook for that. Trying to teach about rhymes and sentence structure? There are books for that as well. Absolutely wonderful resource. There are also some games and videos on the site that I need to look through that could be very useful. I’ve found some interactive math sites which are also amazing for my children because they can’t understand everything that I am saying so having something that they can touch and visualize helps immensely.

Behaviorally, of course, there are a few problems, but there will always be problems especially in a school and culture where any sort of discipline / consequence is frowned upon. Even setting up simple routines can be hard to do because of this. Take for example morning reading hour, when the students are supposed to come into the room, put their stuff away, pick out a book, and read silently until breakfast time. Every day we go over the routine, we ask and we tell the children to please get a book, stop fooling around, stop talking, and please read. It doesn’t matter which language it is said in, they have yet to once be able to do this successfully. Then, when all the children actually are quiet and reading, another student comes into the room and the talking starts again. It’s not like we don’t give the children time to talk. We give them plenty of time to talk. Breakfast time is free reign and they can talk as much as they’d like. Their break times between each lesson they are allowed to talk, play, run around, dance, and do pretty much whatever their little hearts want to do.It is something that my co-teacher and I will have to talk about again because I think reading hour is actually very important building both their Turkish skills and their English comprehension. Parent-Teacher meeting is next Sunday I believe, and if the parents ask, I will tell. I do not and have never sugarcoated things and lied to the parents. Ask and you shall receive 🙂 Some may get angry, but the truth is the truth. If the child does not respect his or her friends or teachers, how do you think that they will act when they grow up? I do as much as I can to teach manners and respect in the classroom, but there is only so much a teacher can do. The rest is up to the parents at home because they are their children’s first and forever teachers. I’m not saying all of my children are disrespectful, I’m just saying this as a general statement.

For the most part, the children pay attention and love to participate, though, I do have to encourage some more than others to participate or pay attention. I involve them all and try to be fair to all. I try to liven things up a bit and do some activities because I understand that 2nd grade isn’t easy for them. Now that they finally know how to read and write, the workload is harder and more intense. English especially is hard right now too because it’s time to focus on proper pronunciations and spelling. They get away easy in Turkish because Turkish is a very phonetic language and what they hear is how it is spelled. As we all know, English is not like that at all. So, yes, there is a lot of writing this year in English which I know the children tire of after some time. This is when I try to liven things up a bit with activities or songs or dances or even simple fill in the blanks where they don’t realize that they’re practicing their spelling or sentence structuring. On the subject of gateway activities, my students love to dance. I’m surprised because my class is made of mostly boys, but when the music comes on or the dance video come up the boys are actually in the front row and the first to dance. They’ve certainly got some moves (and a huge surplus of energy that I wish they’d transfer to me)!

All in all, though, I got lucky this year. I have the smallest class in the school, I have students whose English comprehension is pretty decent, I have a wonderful co-teacher who I love, and I have parents who are very involved. I could be in the position of others at the school which would not be fun.There has been a lot of chaos this year in the English department and, well, everywhere else. I won’t go into detail here though. Perhaps at a later date. I just have to think positive thoughts for now.

This upcoming week should be a fun week because even though Halloween was this past weekend, we will be having our Halloween party on Thursday. I, of course, will be doing a few activities and songs throughout the week. If I can, I’ll try to set up a few extra special activities, but that depends if I have the time and can find the resources. The children have been asking me about the Halloween party since the first day of school! They are super excited for it. I think it’s because it’s something unfamiliar to them because it’s not normally celebrated in their culture. It’s fun and the kids get to get dressed up and play games. Who wouldn’t find that fun? It’s the one day a year where you can be anyone or anything that you want. Plus, getting free candy is always awesome as well. I cannot wait until the next big holiday… 😉


Storia della lingua italiana: Dante teorico del volgare…

Our professor gave us (Erasmus students) a little sheet that told what in the textbook we should study for the exam. I did one section of the reading, which was only four pages, and it took me over an hour to read it, understand it, and take notes from it. I’ve definitely got a busy weekend of note taking coming up!

“…per un pubblico che non è in grado di comprenderla lingua dei classici il giudizio di Dante nasce dunque, oltre che da una fiducia profonda nelle possibilità della nuova lingua, da un’istanza di divolgarazione o commicazione più largaed efficace…”

“…Nel Convivio il latino è reputato superiore in quanto utilizzato nell’arte…”

“…Nel De vulari eloquentia, invece, la superiorità del volgare viene riconsciuta in nome della sua naturalezza, ma la letterarietà della lingua latina diventa uno stimolo per la regolarizzazione del volgare…”

“…Alcuni insinuarono il sospetto che il trattato non fosse di Dante, che si trovasse di fronte ad un falso. La tesi della falsità del De vulagri eloquentia non era disinteressata: faceva comodo sopratutto alla culturea fiorentina, che mal tollerava le pagine in cui Dante aveva condannato duramente (come vedremo) il volgare toscano, preferendogli il bolognese e il siciliano illustre, e negando che il toscano stesso potesse indentificarsi con la lingua degna della volgar poesia…”

“…Alessandro Manzoni tentò di sminuirne l’importanza, affermando che il De vulgari eloquentianon aveva per oggetto la lingua in generale, né l’italiano in maniera di una specifica, ma solo la poesia…”

“…Agli occhi di Dante, però, l’intreccio tra i due temi era indissolubile, e solo la perfetta definizione del concetto di ‘lingua’ permetteva lafondazione di una letteratura in volgare…”

“…Stabilisce che fra tutte le creature l’unico essere dotato di linguaggio è l’uomo; dunque il linguaggio stesso caratterizza l’essere umano in quanto tale,  diversificandolo ad esempio dagli animali bruti, gerarchiamente più in basso di lui, e dagli angeli, posti più in alto…”

“…Il volgare per farsi ‘letteraro,’ per arrivare a una dignità paragonatile a quella del latino, deve acquistare stabilità, distinguendosi dal parlato popolare…”

“…La sua attenzione si concentra sull’Europa, dove nei paesi del’Nord e del Nord-Est (che noi diremmo germanici e slavi) si parlano lingue in cui si dice ; nei paesi del Centro-Sud si parlano la lingua d’oϊl (il francese), la lingua d’oc (il provenzale), il volgare del (l’italiano); in Grecia e nelle zone orientale è diffuso il greco…”

“…Vendendo a trattare del gruppo linguistica costituito da francese, provenzale e italiano…”

“…L’esame delle varie parlate si conclude con la loro sistematica eliminazione: tutte, nella loro forma naturale, sono indegne del volgare illustre. La condanna colpisce non solo volgari ‘impuri,’ di confine, come il piemontese; il giudizio è negativo per il friulano, il sardo, il romanesco, il marchigianoe via dicendo. Tra le più severe condanne c’è quella per il toscano e il fiorentino. Migliori degli altri risultano il siciliano e il bolognese, ma non nella loro forma populare…”

“…Ecco perché il toscano viene condannato, al pari delle altre parlate italiane: non solo la lingua popolare toscana non interessa Dante…”

“…Il trattato De vulgari eloquentia da libro di linguistica si transforma dunque in trattato di teaoria letteraria…”


Storia della lingua italiana – giorni 5 & 6

LessicaliIl lessico o vocabolario è il complesso delle parole e delle locuzioni di una lingua, oppure anche solo una parte di tale complesso. Ad esempio l’insieme delle parole e delle locuzioni proprie di un settore del sapere umano o di un’attività umana, oppure l’insieme delle parole e delle locuzioni utilizzate da una particolare collettività, o in una particolare epoca, o in una particolare, o da un particolare scrittore, oppure l’insieme delle parole e delle locuzioni utilizzate o comprese da una particolare persona. I termini “lessico” e “vocabolario” sono sinonimi ma l’uso del termine “vocabolario” prevale in riferimento a collettività o a singole persone. (a lexicon, essentially a catalogue of a given language’s words, and a grammar, a system of rules which allow for the combination of those words into meaningful sentences.)

Filosofia del linguaggio / Philosophy of language : concerned with four central problems: the nature of meaning, language use, language cognition, and the relationship between language and reality. For continental philosophers, however, the philosophy of language tends to be dealt with, not as a separate topic, but as a part of logic

Nessuna lingua è perfetta

Da Tèramo

Da Tèremo                    staz(z)zione

Claude Favre de Vaugelas –  barone di Pérouges, (Meximieux, 6 gennaio 1585 – Parigi, 26 febbraio 1650), è stato un grammatico francese; Serio, preciso e riflessivo, acquistò ben presto la reputazione di un uomo che conosceva a fondo tutte le regole della lingua francese che parlava perfettamente. Non ci fu bisogno d’altro per farlo scegliere, sebbene egli non avesse ancora scritto nessuna opera, come uno dei membri della Académie française, alla fine del 1634. Egli fu molto utile per la composizione del Dizionario dell’Accademia francese a cui dedicò quindici anni partecipando alla redazione delle parole che cominciavano dalla lettera “A” alla “I”; Le sue opere non sono numerose. Secondo Pellisson egli aveva scritto qualche poesia in italiano molto apprezzata ed anche in francese ma solo in modo estemporaneo. (Claude Favre de Vaugelas – Baron Pérouges (Meximieux, January 6, 1585 – Paris, 26 February 1650) was a French grammarian, Serious, precise and thoughtful, soon acquired the reputation of a man who knew thoroughly all the rules of the French language which he spoke perfectly. There was no need to do it choose the other, although he had not yet written any work as a member of the Académie française, at the end of 1634. He was very useful for the composition of the Dictionary of the French Academy to which he devoted fifteen years contributing to the drafting of the words beginning with the letter “A” to “I” His works are not numerous. According Pellisson he had written some poetry in Italian and also very popular in French, but only so impromptu.)

Alessandro Manzoni: (7 March 1785 – 22 May 1873) was an Italian poet and novelist. He is famous for the novel The Betrothed (orig. Italian: I Promessi Sposi) (1827), generally ranked among the masterpieces of world literature; the novel is also a symbol of the Italian Risorgimento, both for its patriotic message and because it was a fundamental milestone in the development of the modern, unified Italian language; it is generally agreed to be his greatest work, and the model of modern Italian language; revised The Betrothed in Tuscan-Italian, and in 1840 republished it in that form, with a historical essay, Storia della colonna infame, on details of the 17th century plague in Milan so important in the novel; also wrote a small treatise on the Italian language.

Nuovo vocabulario 1873

Glottologia : (detta più modernamente linguistica storica o linguistica diacronica) è la disciplina che si occupa dello studio strutturale delle lingue e delle loro famiglie etimologiche e grammaticali, considerando i loro rapporti e sviluppi in diacronia. Si contrappone alla linguistica descrittiva o linguistica sincronica, che studia lo stato di una lingua in un certo momento (ma non necessariamente la fase attuale). Lo studioso di glottologia è tradizionalmente detto glottologo, ma dobbiamo notare che oggi sono molto più usate, soprattutto fra gli addetti ai lavori, le parolelinguistica e linguista. Gli strumenti principali della glottologia sono l’analisi delle attestazioni storiche e la comparazione delle caratteristiche interne — fonologia, morfologia, sintassi, lessico — di lingue attuali ed estinte. L’obiettivo è tracciare lo sviluppo e le affiliazioni genetiche delle lingue nel mondo, e di comprendere il processo di evoluzione linguistica. Una classificazione di tutte le lingue in alberi genealogici è al tempo stesso un risultato importante ed uno strumento necessario di questo sforzo.

Historical linguistics (diachronic linguistics [glottologia]) is the study of language change. It has five main concerns:

  • to describe and account for observed changes in particular languages
  • to reconstruct the pre-history of languages and determine their relatedness, grouping them into language families (comparative linguistics)
  • to develop general theories about how and why language changes
  • to describe the history of speech communities
  • to study the history of words, i.e. etymology.)


Graziadio Isaia Ascoli : an Italian linguist; an autodidact, he published his first important work on the languages of the orient in 1854; 1860 was appointed professor of linguistics at the Accademia scientifico-letteraria in Milan and introduced the study of comparative philology, Romance studies, and Sanskrit; made an important contribution to the study of the relationship between Indo-European and Semitic and was pioneer in the fields of Romani language and Celtic languages;  he is above all known for his studies of Italian dialects, which he was first to classify systematically; In the Italian language question (questione della lingua), he did not accept a standard language based on the Florentine dialect as proposed by Alessandro Manzoni, but argued for a leveling of the dialects;  he is founder of the so-called substratum theory, which explains the formation and development of languages as a result of interference with previous languages spoken by populations in question.


Sto provando…

I’ve made it through my second week of classes. It’s been hard, but I’m starting to understand a bit more when the professors are talking. I’m also starting to try and speak more Italian. It’s hard for me because I get nervous and even though I know the words, I suddenly forget them or how they’re used when I need them. With more practice though, it should become easier. My Linguistica generale class is not too bad. I’m a bit afraid of the professor because she’ll randomly yell at students if they’re somehow disturbing the class in the slightest way. I understand a bit of what is going on simply because I’ve studied some linguistics in the past year when I took Phonetics and Language Development in Children, so at least I have that knowledge to fall back on. I have a lot to read though, which means a lot to translate and try to comprehend. My Storia della lingua italiana class is not bad. The professor’s a cute little old man, but, on the downside, I can barely understand a word he says simply because he’ll go off into random tangents of a select few words and what they are in other dialects. I’m following what’s going on simply because, last year, for my History of Ancient Rome class I wrote a paper on the history of the Italian language and how it developed from Latin to what it now. From what I gather, most of what we have been going over in class is actually what I wrote in paper. Along with the textbook that I need to translate, I think I should also study my own paper! One strange thing about the class that surprised me is that he reads to us! Yes, that’s right, the professor actually takes out a book La Ragazza dell’addio and reads it to us. He reads a page or two then picks out certain phrases or words in those one or two pages to analyze for the next forty-five minutes or so. He’s quite an interesting old man. I think he more than likely has more knowledge packed into his brain than he knows what to do with. Although, he is a bit hard of hearing and does not speak English.  The exams in December worry me though because unlike in America, most of the exams in Italy are oral exams. I will have to study so much. I’m going to be so nervous. My Italian is nowhere near as good as it should be. I’m much better when it comes to writing. I’ll just need to lock myself in my room and study all day and night. Forever. It feels like I’m studying for midterms every day. It’s crazy for me, but I suppose it must be done. Apparently, everyone is going to Firenze or Rimini this weekend minus me, so I guess I’ll just take this time to study. Although, I would love to be in Florence. It’s such a beautiful place. What I would give to go back. I’ll just look at it as I’m saving money. My other class isn’t too bad, but I feel like there’s no real flow to it. We’re not following a book or anything of the sort, which is not good for me because I am visual learner. It’s my Estensivo C class. She’s supposed to be teaching us more in depth Italian, but it’s not going over well. Even the more advanced students can’t follow what’s going on; her “methods” seem to be all over the place. The exams for her class should be interesting. I’ll try to start getting to typing up the notes this weekend. It’s all just been a lot to take in and try to comprehend. I’ll get it eventually. I know I will, but it’s going to take time. Things like this are tough when you have concentration problems and never developed study habits when you were a child. The thing keeping me going? It’s my last year as an undergrad, I want this to be my best year, and I’ll be back in the states in less than two months where bagels and Chinese food are plentiful.


Linguistica generale : giorno 1

15 ottobre 2012

Pierre Paul Broca – French physician, surgeon, anatomist, and anthropologist; best known for his work on the Broca’s area, a region of the frontal lobe that is responsible for articulated language.
è stato in antropologo, neurologo e chirurgo francese.

Broca’s area: region of the hominid brain with functions linked to speech production
è un parte dell’emisfero sinistro del cervello, localizzata nel piede della terza circonvoluzione frontale, la cui funzione è coinvolta nell’elaborazione del linguaggio.

Aphasia – language disorder through brain damage affecting writing, reading, speaking…
Afasia: è un’alterazione del linguaggio dovuto a lesion alle aree del cervello deputate all sua elaborazione. Non rientrano nelle afasie quindi i disturbi del linguaggio causati da deficit sensoriali primari, da deficit intellettivi, da disturbi psichiatrici o da debolezza dell’apparato muscolo-scheletrico

Language trees / famiglia linguistica : una famiglia accuratamente identificata è un’unità filogenetica ossia i cui membri sono considerati  come derivantida un antenato comune

Latin <– Indo-European
Latina <– indoeuropea
How is a language born?
Come nasce una lingua?

Morphology / morfologia : è la parta della grammatical o della linguistic ache ha per oggetto lo studio della strutture grammaticale delle parole e che ne stabilisce la classificazione e l’appartenenza a determinate categorie come il nome, il pronome, il verbo, l’aggettivo e le forme della flessione, come la coniugazione per i verbi e la declinazione per i nomi distinguendosi dalla fonologia, dalla sintassi e dal lessico. Inoltre indaga i meccanisimi secondo i quali le unità portatrici di significati semplici si organizzano in significati più complessi: le parole

Dialects / dialetti : è una varietà linguistica (o idioma) usata da abitanti originari da una particolare area geografica.

Geografia linguistica o geolinguistica : è una corrente della linguistic ache si occupa di studiare l’estensione nello spazio dei fenomeni linguistici, di ordine fonetico, morfosintacco, lessicale, e la loro distribuzione geografica

Noam Chomsky

Natura / Intenzione / Convenzione

Intonation / intonazione : A variation of pitch while speaking which is not used to distinguish wordsThe way words are said imply something: interrogative / questions
 è l’effetto percettivo di tipo melodico pordotto dalla variazione dell’altezza dei suoni durante la pronuncia delle parole di una lingua. In molte lingue a diversa intonazione corrispondono diverse funzioni grammaticali o diversi significati

Synonyms / sinonimia : in semantica indica la relazione che c’è tra due lessemi che hanno lo stesso significato.  È dunque la relazione opposta all’antonimia

Homonyms / omonimia : in semantica indica in fenomeno per cui una stessa forma ortografica e fonologica esprime più significati

Semantics / semantica : è quella parte della linguistica che studia il significato delle parole (semantica lessicale). Degli insiemi delle parole, delle frasi (semantica frasale) e dei testi


Classes started…

And I understood a whopping 10% of what was going on.
I need to practice my Italian more. I swear Urbino has made it worse than it was. I think for my benefit I’m going to type up my notes as blogs (add on to them of course because there’s no way that I understand everything that’s going on). Now you all get to know what I’m learning in class! If you can read Italian that is because most of the notes will more than likely be in Italian.