The idiom "green thumb" refers to the ability to grow plants well, for example: Whenever I buy a plant, it always dies shortly after. I really don't have a green thumb. Because my plants always die, I don't have the ability to grow plants well, hence, I don't have a green thumb.
Below you can read feedback from an ITTT graduate regarding one section of their online TEFL certification course. Each of our online courses is broken down into concise units that focus on specific areas of English language teaching. This convenient, highly structured design means that you can quickly get to grips with each section before moving onto the next.
This unit covered the two receptive skills ? listening and reading. The reasons for using these skills can either be for a purpose, to gain information or receive instructions, or for entertainment. Sometimes reading or listening can involve both of these reasons.
When using our receptive skills we must be able to recognize and understand both the words and the overall meaning. This will often involve using pre-existing knowledge to understand the context and meaning.
When reading and listening we can use several skills such as predicting the content of an article based on the headline; scanning an article for specific information; skimming the article to get the general idea of the contents; reading/listening carefully to receive detailed information; and deducing the information we need by the context.
There are, however, problems with using these skills. Language can prove a problem if it is beyond the level of the students or just the important words are too hard. In this regard reading is easier than listening because the words are available for as long as they need to comprehend their meaning, whilst with listening there is a very limited amount of time for students to understand them. There are two main ways to solve this problem. Either pre-teach the essential vocabulary for the listening/reading activity they will do or carefully select the materials they will use to match the students level. If pre-teaching the vocabulary, try to avoid letting students become too dependent on knowing every word they hear, as this will hinder their ability to understand the text as they might get hung up on a word they don?t understand instead of using the rest of the words to understand the meaning.
Make sure to try to choose topics that interest the students and vary them to make all students happy at some point, and if this is not possible, try to make the students interested in a topic with fun engage phases even if the overall topic isn?t initially of interest to them. Finally make sure any tasks regarding comprehension of the material aren?t too hard or too easy. Promote students comprehension rather than just checking they comprehend.