When I first started teaching English, I was told I had to include international celebrations in my school syllabus. I understood I had to prepare special activities to make students aware about the world around them. Examples of these dates were “The International Peace Day”, “The International day for Human Rights”, etc.
At the beginning of every school year, editors and editorials send us free copies of their new publications so that we can recommend new titles to our students as for further or complementary reading. Of course, those graded readers are designed to improve our student´s skills, but I have to confess I read them myself from time to time. One of these booklets was “Seasons and Celebrations”. Once I had read the second page, I was absolutely delighted at the dates, details, names and historical events mentioned on it.
Immediately after, I asked my students to write an essay about the next important celebration in the Anglo-saxon world. It was Saint David´s celebration. I was very satisfied with the results: language, culture and world knowledge could be improved with the same task.
I am also a fan of computers myself and one of my hobbies is reading computers magazines. I read an article about “google calendars” and I learned that you could clip a calendar on your blog.
The conclusion for both reading experiences was that I could remember special dates myself and share a calendar with my students. Thus, language and culture would be taught hand by hand and together.
Happy ner year if you happen to read my first post this year.