Materials design blog posts

Acoustic Drills and Audio Concordances

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Acoustic Drills and Audio Concordances - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/acoustic-drills-and-audio-concordances

There is something missing at the heart of the listening component in most ELT course materials. They fail to dig deep into the actual raw material of the skill – what Richard Cauldwell calls the ‘sound substance’.

Materials Writing: Turning constraints into assets

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Materials Writing: Turning constraints into assets - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/materials-writing-turning-constraints-assets

ELT materials writing is a creative process, and the prospect of creating something from nothing on an empty white page can be quite daunting. But the materials writer has to do just that, and moreover, do it within very tight constraints. For instance, if you are writing a narrative for ELT purposes, it must not only be engaging as a narrative, but it must also be useful as a learning tool.

Sugata Mitra, ed-tech evangelist

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Sugata Mitra, ed-tech evangelist - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/sugata-mitra-ed-tech-evangelist

Sugata Mitra argued with evangelical flourish that, given the right resources, children will learn without schooling. He said that the right resource has now come into existence and is potentially available to every child: the internet. To support this argument, Mitra described what have become known as “the hole in the wall” experiments.

Michael Hoey, faithful observer of language

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/65

Michael Hoey’s was a compelling argument in favour of teaching language lexically, because that’s how language is, and that’s also how it’s learnt and mentally stored. On the linguistics angle, he endorsed the work of Michael Lewis and his ´lexical approach´, and on the pedagogic side, he recommended the ´Monitor Model´of Stephen Krashen.

Graham Stanley on making learning into a game

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Graham began with the premise, based on the work of Andrei Aleinkov (1989), that creative pedagogy leads to motivation and promotes lifelong learning. It leads to fluency of idea generation, flexibility, originality and elaboration (building new ideas on what is already known).

Thom Kiddle on designing digital materials

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Thom Kiddle opened his presentation with statistics pertaining to the digital revolution, and the fact that teachers need to take control of issues relating to digital language teaching.

IATEFL Hungary: Steve Oakes on using authentic material at lower levels (Plenary and workshop)

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

In the second plenary of the day, Steve Oakes invited us to consider whether or not teachers and learners had ‘boxed themselves in’ when it came to attitudes towards the use of authentic materials in the classroom. It was apparent that this session would get us thinking out of the box in terms of difficulty levels and what it means to understand an authentic text.

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