Manchester in summer is not always something to write home about, but this summer was different. Norwich Institute of Language Education (NILE) offered their first ever pronunciation teaching course, and I was the tutor and course designer. It took place as part of NILE’s summer programme at their Manchester site.
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.
This infographic gives a brief explanation of how the new Pronpack Sound Chart is organized. You can download colour or black and white versions below. Download versions of the actual chart/poster itself here:
The 4th International Conference on English Pronunciation: Issues and Practices is being hosted by the Institute of Phonetics, Charles University, Prague, this weekend. This conference happens every two years, with previous venues including France, South Africa and Spain. See a programme for the event here.
I can’t remember ever having seen so many pronunciation-focused talks on an IATEFL programme as there were in Manchester this year. Too many to fit into a single PRONSIG strand day. What’s more, many of them were so over-subscribed that there wasn’t even space to sit on the floor, as I found out to my own disappointment. I did get to see a fair number, nevertheless.
Here are the phonemic chart for vowels and consonants. See a video explanation of the vowels here. Click on the jpegs below for either the colour or black and white versions. If you prefer a version with no mention of alcoholic drinks, choose the files with ME at the end of the title.
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’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.
Mike McCarthy gave the opening plenary at English UK Academic (North) conference last Saturday (Oct 4 2014), revisiting the topic of the grammar of spoken English. Spoken language, he pointed out, is in no way an imperfect, poorly realized version of the written form.
Follow the link to see my review of Adam Brown's Pronunciation and Phonetics in the ELT Journal. (I'm sorry to say that this item is now in the membership section of the ELTJ but you can read more in the Articles section.)
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 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.