General blog posts

Against Dogma: Peter Medgyes at TESOL Spain 2017

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Event date: 
Saturday, March 4, 2017 - 13:15
Against Dogma: Peter Medgyes at TESOL Spain 2017 - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/against-dogma-peter-medgyes-tesol-spain-2017

Peter Medgyes brought to TESOL Spain a quirky plenary which somehow managed to be poetic, theatrical and intellectual at the same time. The performance amused and enchanted the audience, myself included – I thoroughly enjoyed it. However, it left some puzzled as to what it was about. As one teacher commented to me, ‘What is ELF, and why is it important?’.

“The Customer is Always Right”? Silvana Richardson at TESOL Spain 2017

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Event date: 
Sunday, March 5, 2017 - 13:30
“The Customer is Always Right”? Silvana Richardson at TESOL Spain 2017 - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/%E2%80%9C-customer-always-right%E2%80%9D-silvana-richardson-tesol-spain-2017

TESOL Spain 2017 finished up with a compelling plenary from Silvana Richardson on native-speakerism and bias in ELT. She covered the topic from many angles, but out of all of them, I would just like to focus on one – the use of the phrase “native-speaker teachers” as a pull-factor in advertising language courses. Why has this come to be seen as a good thing - if indeed it has been?

Hancock McDonald ELT Reveiw

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/68

Happy to see a review of our website in IATEFL Voices Issue 253, by Jennifer St.John of the University of Ottawa. Here are a few excerpts

TESOL Spain 2016

Event date: 
Friday, March 11, 2016 - 09:15 to Sunday, March 13, 2016 - 14:15
TESOL Spain 2016 - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/tesol-spain-2016

We're off to the north of Spain this weekend for the 39th annual TESOL Spain convention, which is taking place in Vitoria-Gasteiz. Mark will be presenting a complete pronunciation workout.

Stephen Krashen at TESOL France

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Event date: 
Saturday, November 15, 2014 - 18:00
Calendar of events by day - hancockmcdonald.com/talks/calendar/day/2014-06-27

For myself and many other ELT professionals, Stephen Krashen is a legend. In the words of Wikipedia, for instance ‘He is credited with introducing various influential concepts ... including the acquisition-learning hypothesis, the input hypothesis, the monitor hypothesis, the affective filter, and the natural order hypothesis’. So naturally, he is a big pull at a conference.

Carol Read at TESOL France

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Event date: 
Saturday, November 15, 2014 - 10:00
Calendar of events by day - hancockmcdonald.com/talks/calendar/day/2014-06-27

Carol Read’s plenary at TESOL France was titled, ‘Reflections on How to be a Highly Effective Teacher’. I’ve seen her give a number of conference presentations, but for me this was the best – a broad view of the field underpinned by good references, and a vivacious delivery.

An Atlas of English Language Teaching

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An Atlas of English Language Teaching

In a profession of many specialist interests, it's important to keep the big picture in mind in order to maintain a balanced and proportional outlook. Enthusiasms are great, but need to be kept in context. With this purpose in mind, I have been developing conceptual maps of aspects of ELT - so it's beginning to turn into an atlas. Click below for:

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.

Kathleen Graves, teacher's teacher

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/147

Kathleen Graves’s title contained the paradox that in teaching, you sometimes have to be less efficient to be more efficient. In a time in which testing and accountability have become paramount, in an attempt to cut out the dead wood in education, we have neglected the learner and a broader vision of what learning is for.

David Graddol, trends analyst

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/68

In this plenary, David Graddol delved into the murky world of the English teaching business, where the imperative is firmly profit over people. He asks, ‘Who benefits from English teaching?’, and answers, ‘Follow the money!’. On that basis, it’s clearly not teachers and learners who benefit.

English UK 2013 teachers' conference

Event date: 
Saturday, November 9, 2013 - 10:00
Conference-Reports - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/topic/conference-reports

The opening plenary was a presentation by Russell Stannard on the use of screencapture tools as a ´revolutionary´ way of providing feedback to students. Screencapture tools effectively create a video of what´s occurring on a (portion of) computer screen, including highlighting, cursor movements and so on, plus the voice of the user as picked up on the microphone.

The Learner Autonomy SIG: At a glance

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Event date: 
Monday, April 8, 2013 - 10:00
IATEFL-Liverpool - hancockmcdonald.com/taxonomy/term/159/feed

No-one would refute the often-heard general claim that new technologies offer much by way of independent or autonomous learning, and this year’s Learner Autonomy SIG Pre-conference event took this bull by its horns and addressed issues related to Language learner autonomy and today’s technologies: challenges and possibilities.

Rachel Roberts on doing Dogme WITH a coursebook

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IATEFL-Liverpool - hancockmcdonald.com/taxonomy/term/159/feed

Rachel’s was one of several talks at this year’s IATEFL which sought to redress the balance in the coursebooks versus Dogme dichotomy. Others included Hugh Dellar and Herbert Puchta. Her principle claim is that you don’t have to choose between using a coursebook or letting the language ‘emerge’ from interaction in the classroom – you can do both.

Paulo Machado on what advanced learners need

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IATEFL-Liverpool - hancockmcdonald.com/taxonomy/term/159/feed

This was a presentation of some key ideas which emerged from a large teacher development project, from needs analysis through observations to recommendations and workshops, at the Cultura Inglesa in Rio de Janeiro.

Danny Norrington Davies focuses on process before product in learner talk

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Danny, an IH teacher trainer in London, began by suggesting that after classroom speaking activities, many teachers make the mistake of feeding back only on task achievement, rather than getting up close to the processes and strategies by which the learners reached this outcome.

Mike Harrison on exploring to learn

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Mike Harrison on exploring to learn - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/mike-harrison-exploring-learn

Mike spoke of the importance of experimental practice (EP) for a teacher’s professional development, and he developed the topic through the metaphor of exploration and travel. He began by showing my (Mark Hancock’s) Map of ELT as an example of this kind of spatial metaphor, but explained that his own presentation would be less analytical.

Alan Waters on dominant discourses in ELT

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Alan began by setting up a model of professional discourses in ELT. On a vertical axis, we have academic at the top and the classroom at the bottom. On a horizontal axis, we have native speaker perspectives on the left and non-native speaker perspectives on the right.

TESOL Spain 2013 conference review

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Once again, the TESOL-SPAIN Annual National Convention has served to enlighten and entertain, this year at the stunning location of the University of Seville. The theme, Teaching with Technology and the Human Touch, provided a focussed and informative event for all, with multiple opportunities to refresh, update, and expand our professional repertoires in an ever-changing world.

Tom Spain on storytelling

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Tom’s enthusiasm for using personal stories and anecdotes (a limitless resource) has grown out of his own classroom experiences over the years. In this presentation, he illustrates various storytelling activities and draws on the work of Merrill Swain (Output Hypothesis) to link storytelling practice to Second Language Acquisition theory.  

Hugh Dellar on Dogme with coursebooks

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Hugh seeks to engage with Dogme, and Scott’s sitting near the door! Good healthy banter and discussion on a current polemic.

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