The plural forms of “fish” and “fruit”

During my visit to one of the schools this morning, there was an argument about the plural forms of “fish” and “fruit”. A teacher was determined that these two words are uncountable and have no plural forms. I told the teacher that the plural forms could be (fish – fihes) / (fruit – fruits). When these words are used as collective nouns, the plural forms are: fish/ fruit, but if used to refer to different kinds of fish or fruit, the plural forms become: fishes and fruits. The following link gives more information about Plural forms of nouns. You can also visit the following link to see a Guide to Forming Plurals.
The lesson we learn from this argument is that we have to give ourselves time to look for the accurate information before we feel confident about a certain topic.


A Recommended Procedure for Effective Teaching

From my experience, I think that any teaching situation should include the following instructional events:

  1. Warming up (Orientation)

  2. Informing students of the objectives (Tasks) they are going to carry out during the lesson.

  3. Recalling old information (Prerequisites) that is necessary for understanding the new stimulus (material).

  4. Presenting the new vocabulary items.

  5. Presenting the new stimulus and conducting a discussion based on the topic in hand to check understanding.

  6. Practice (Formative Evaluation): At this stage students work out some exercises to practise using the new language items presented during the lesson. The teacher can give help and guidance as well as remedial work.

  7. Evaluation (Summative): Students work out a final exercise (Test) to evaluate their performance. No help of any kind at this stage.

  8. Immediate scoring (Feedback) of students’ answers to check to what extent the objectives of the lesson have been achieved.

  9. Assigning homework to reinforce and consolidate what has been taught and practised during the lesson.

  10. Self-evaluation and feedback where the teacher tries to evaluate his own performance.


The Performance of The Supervisor of English

Improving the performance of supervisors starts from the stage of their recruitment. Choosing a supervisor should be based on some criteria. 

A supervisor should

  • be interested in the job.
  • have a long history of experience as a talented teacher.
  • have a good command of English and should be fluent.
  • be quite aware of the teaching skills necessary for making an effective teacher of English.
  • have some knowledge about the different and up-to-date methods of teaching English.
  • have a clear idea about the courses taught in all the stages ( Primary, Preparatory and Secondary).
  • be aware of the objectives of these courses.
  • have a very good idea about the techniques used for teaching the different types of lessons.

The Supervisor’s role

A good supervisor should

  • provide a feeling of security.
  • create a friendly atmosphere with the teachers he is supervising.
  • inform teachers, in his first orientation visit, how they are going to be evaluated.
  • inform teachers about the dates of his visits.
  • provide every possible help to improve and develop teachers’ performance.
  • provide systematic training courses based on topics suggested by the teachers themselves.

Personality traits of a good supervisor

A good supervisor should:

  • be fair (his evaluation should not be influenced by personal disputes).
  • be flexible i.e. he should give teachers the chance to express their points of view freely.
  • be motivating and not frustrating so as to overcome weaknesses and enhance strengths.
  • be a good listener.
  • be friendly and supportive.
  • encourage creativity i.e. encourages teachers to create their own techniques that best suit the standard of their students.

General recommendations for supervisors

  • encourage teachers to be creative and not be slaves to the Teacher’s Book or Guide.
  • avoid being a fault finder.
  • provide immediate feedback, guidance and support. Let evaluation be your last and final target.
  • be co-operative with the other supervisors.
  • attend seminars and workshops for in-service training.
  • make use of the Internet programs dealing with Teacher Evaluation Techniques.

This is, in fact, a quick look at the work of a supervisor of English and how he can be successful in his job.  I hope you all benefit from this article.

General Recommendations for Teachers

To be a successful teacher, a teacher needs to consider the following: 


1- Teachers should, in advance, have a very clear idea about the content of the textbooks they are going to teach as well as the course objectives.

2- Teachers have to read the Teacher’s Book introduction carefully so as to be aware of the different procedures used for teaching the various types of lessons.

3- For each lesson, the teacher should go through the plan recommended in the Teacher’s Book, think it over and then mention, in his lesson plan, the resources and materials he is going to use in the lesson, including the Student’s Book, the Activity Book, the visual aids, etc. The teacher has to specify the topic of the lesson, any anticipated problems and their possible solutions. Writing the lesson objectives is essential. Objectives have to be written from the point view of the learners i.e. what the teacher expects his students to be able to do by the end of the lesson.

4- Implementation of the lesson plan starts with “Warm up/ Review” activities. This is called “Orientation” as well. Such activities have to be related to lesson objectives or may be a revision of previous material that can be useful for understanding the new stimulus or material. Warm up should not take more than five minutes. The teacher should vary his techniques in order to motivate his students. It’s the teacher’s responsibility to involve as many students as possible.

5- As for the new vocabulary, the teacher has to decide, with the help of the Teacher’s Book, which words are active/ productive and which are passive/ receptive. He has to mention how each word is to be presented. It’s advisable to use different techniques for presenting the new vocabulary to maintain interest. The teacher may need to write the transcription of some new words. Drilling the pronunciation of the difficult words is crucial.

6- The next step in writing the lesson plan is “Presentation of New Material”, where the teacher writes the procedure he is going to use in presenting the new material. the teacher does not have to follow the same sequence recommended in the Teacher’s Book, on condition that all objectives are achieved.

7- “Practice” takes place either during or after presenting the new material. Controlled practice” means practising language mechanically in order to learn the pattern and reproduce it with accuracy. Follow this with less controlled practice. then go on to freer practice activities. By “Freer Practice” we mean language practice which encourages students to express themselves easily and fluently. Plan the activities to extend the controlled practice to freer practice. Encourage students to talk about themselves, using the new language in real-life situations. In controlled practice, insist on accuracy but in freer practice, aim for fluency as the students learn to express themselves. Make a note of any errors and reteach later.
The Activity Book Exercises can be useful for practice, but the teacher has to provide additional exercises occasionally. For each activity, the teacher needs to mention the type of interaction to be used and the time allotted so as to calculate the percentage of students’ involvement.

8- Rounding off is the closure or ending of the lesson. At this stage the teacher checks and consolidates what has been learned. Recycle new language in different contexts.

9- Home assignment has to be set in advance. It can consolidate and extend the class work if set correctly. the teacher should always check that his students have understood what he expects them to do.

10- Reflection on the lesson is, in fact, an evaluation of the lesson i.e. evaluating the teacher’s own performance, students’ performance and to what extent the teacher has succeeded in achieving lesson objectives. The teacher has to be honest so as to improve his performance. After a poor lesson, try to find time to think: What went wrong? Why? How could I do it better next time? How can I reteach the same material? Etc.

Wish you all the best of luck.

Remember: There is never one best method or one best lesson.
There is always room for improvement.




Teaching and training

Each one of us has got a certain hobby. In addition to being my hobby, teaching English as a foreign language is my profession. I like teaching very much. Training teachers is also part of my current job. The best moment in my life is when I succeed in transferring my experience to others. I have to say that I’m really fortunate because working as a supervisor of English helps me enjoy myself since I can benefit other teachers of English improve their performance and become efficient teachers. May God help me succeed in my mission.


Ground Rules

To be a successful person, you need to set some ground rules for your life and your relationship with other people. These ground rules will help cheer you up in certain situations and never feel frustrated. Let me mention some of these ground rules:

  • None of us is perfect.
  • There is always room for improvement.
  • I can be right at times and I may be wrong.
  • Be open for comments from other people; of course, comments of praise and sometimes blame.