Why Language Teachers Need Business Cards

February 28, 2011

Often, I have heard that schools or programs consider it too expensive to give out business cards to staff or faculty. How ridiculous!

Your staff and your faculty are ambassadors for your program. They talk to people all the time about what they do, where they work or what they teach… in business meetings, at family gatherings, at social events. Consider these two scenarios:

One of your teachers meets a foreign man at a social event. He wants to send his son abroad to study languages. He begins to talk to your teacher about the program and is impressed with what he hears. He asks for your teacher’s card so he can contact him for more details.

Scenario #1: Your teacher says, “Oh sorry… I don’t have a card… Let me write down the e-mail for you on a napkin… Ummm… Do you have a pen, by any chance?”

Or

Scenario #2: Your teacher says, “Of course! Here you go. All the contact information is right there. If you e-mail us at that address, we can get an information package out to you right away. We’d be delighted to have your son study with us!”

Information that can be included on a business card includes:

  • Individual’s name
  • Organization name
  • Organization street or mailing address
  • Organization phone number (with the area code, and if you are doing business internationally, your country code, too)
  • E-mail
  • Website
  • Facebook page
  • Twitter username
  • Skype username

There are many companies who offer templates for business cards. Big box office stores are a good place to start, but also check out online printing businesses. If you can’t afford a graphic designer, use a template to keep the design clean and professional.

In the big picture, business cards are not expensive when you consider the incredible marketing force your staff and faculty can be for you. By providing them with business cards, you are treating them as the professionals they are.

Not only will this help to build their loyalty to the program, it also demonstrates to others  that you respect and honour your staff enough to provide them with the tools necessary to endorse your school.

Order business cards for each and every member of your team today.

This post is adapted from “Idea #20: Give your staff their own business cards ” in 101 Ways to Market Your Language Program

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


Kids and Gaming: Let’s Talk About It

February 25, 2011

Technology and gaming can cause tension in families. Some parents become exasperated at what they believe to be their children’s over-use of technology. Gamers enjoy the sense of achievement, exhilaration and “flow” they experience.

The notion of “flow” has been documented by scholars such as Mihály Csíkszentmihályi and others. It is difficult to explain, but when you experience it, you know.

Objectives

  • To watch an educational video focused on technology as a family.
  • To discuss the pros and cons of gaming for individuals, families and communities.
  • To explore the notion of responsible gaming and how to use technology skills for the benefit of others.
  • To offer perspectives on what activities offer a sense of achievement, exhilaration and “flow” to both children and parents.

Activity

Watch Jane McGonigal’s 2010 TED talk “Gaming Can Make a Better World” (20:02) together as a family.

Conversation questions

  • What do you think of McGonigal’s idea that gaming can make a better world? Do you agree or disagree? Why?
  • How are you using technology now in your daily life? Do you over-use technology? Under-use technology? What do these terms mean, anyway?
  • How can you use technology to help others? (This can include things like helping family members improve their technology literacy, using technology skills in volunteer and community work, etc.)
  • What other activities in your life give you a sense of achievement and exhilaration?

Further reading for parents

Csíkszentmihályi, Mihály (1996), Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention, New York: Harper Perennial.
Csíkszentmihályi, Mihály (1996), Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life, Basic Books.
Csíkszentmihályi, Mihály (2003), Good Business: Leadership, Flow, and the Making of Meaning, New York: Penguin Books.

Download a 1-page copy of this activity from Scribd:

View this document on Scribd

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


Live Internet Video for Language Learning

February 24, 2011

Web-based video is a hot topic in 21st century language education. The Internet offers a cornucopia of options for language students to include video and television in their target language in order to help them learn the language. Researcher Elizabeth Mejia points out that “video” can mean a variety of things including popular films, documentaries, television advertisements, materials produced by textbook companies to accompany their books and accompany classroom instruction, educational broadcast and amateur videos made by teachers and students.

Sites such as YouTube and Vimeo offer educational videos, as well as “how to” videos produced by language teachers and students alike. Students can get tips, study strategies and answers to question through such video sites.

In addition, news sites such as CNN, Deutsche Welle and the BBC offer multilingual live, real-time news casts, available both on television and via the Internet. At the time of this writing, for example, Deutche Welle offered current news in 30 langauges. The BBC has an entire section of its website dedicated to language learning that includes courses, testing and activities all centred around real world news.

Web-based, live video has become an valuable augmentation, and may eventually replace, static video that is stored on tapes and DVDs, as a means to offer studetnts exposure to relevant and current information and content in a multilingual context that connects them to real issues of pressing concern around the globe.

Live Internet video provides a means for language learners to make sense of the world around them, while making sense of the language they want to learn.

Reference

Mejia, Elizabeth. Video in Language Education:  Making News Broadcasts Work for You. Retrieved from http://lookingahead.heinle.com/cnn/mejia.htm

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


How to Use Google Forms – Free Training Manual and Webinar Recording

February 22, 2011

Google forms are one of my favorite tools to use. You need a Google account (also known as a Gmail account) to use the forms. Once you have that, you can build any type of form you like. They are free and easy to design.

The primary ways I use them in webinars are:

  • Evaluations
  • Registration forms
  • Volunteer sign-up forms
  • Testimonial collection

Free manual

Get your free How-To Manual here: Exceptional Webinars – Using Google Forms

Webinar recording

I recently did a live demo via webinar on how to build, design and use Google forms. Thanks to the friendly folks at Elluminate for sponsoring the session by providing the technology to run the session.

Check out the 60-minute step-by-step webinar recording. (Note: You’ll need to grant permission for Java to launch in order to view the recording.)

Participant testimonials:

“I learned so much in an hour. I very much appreciate the Elluminate technology and the quality of the presenter.  Thanks!” – Susan Sanders, UMKC, Kansas City, USA

“This webinar is well-paced and gives an good grounding in the use of Google Forms. Sarah knows her subject and handles questions with grace and confidence.” Sue Goodrich, University of Southern Maine, East Boothay, Maine, USA

“Sarah possesses an invaluable combination of skills—a great mastery of content, the ability to make that knowledge understandable and useful to others, and an engaging, interactive and well-paced delivery.” – Barbara Lindsey, University of Connecticut, Connecticut, USA

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


Marketing Language and Literacy Programs: Focus on the benefits

February 21, 2011

Marketing materials are meant to draw in customers. You want to show them how they’re going to benefit from your program. This does not mean making false promises, but it does mean showing them what they will learn, how they will grow and what they will experience. Consider the difference between these two statements:

Option 1: “Our program is 13 weeks long and we offer classes at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.”

Option 2: “Whether your level is beginner, intermediate or advanced, we have a 13-week comprehensive program to fit your needs.”

The first statement is a description focused on the program. The second is a persuasive statement focused on how the student benefits from having a comprehensive program at the right level for him or her. It also uses the word “you” more.

Too many educational marketing materials focus on describing programs, rather than highlighting the benefits to the students. Sometimes lots of information is given with no indication to the student that he will actually benefit from any of the services provided.

What do your own materials say? Do they highlight the benefits of your program? If not, now is the time to re-work them.

This post is adapted from “Idea # 13: Focus on the benefits ” in 101 Ways to Market Your Language Program

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


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