ELT thoughts, news and updates

Here we've got ideas, observations on ELT, including Mark's Pronunciation Blog and loads of conference and speaker reports...

Ray Parker on stress-timing

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Event date: 
Saturday, September 28, 2013 - 10:15
Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Ray Parker argued that, regarding stress-timing and rhythm, we have tended to throw the baby out with the bathwater. The notion that natural spoken English has a regular rhythm, he says, has been discredited by the research, but our response has been to abandon both that, and any attention to stress-timing.

Pron event in Bath

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Event date: 
Saturday, September 28, 2013 - 10:00
Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Mark: Great pronunciation event at the weekend. Adrian Underhill shared insights in how sounds are articulated and relate to one another (see his blog on the phonemic chart here).

A Map of Motivation video

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Take a trip round the Map of Motivation. This is a tour designed specifically for English language teachers who find the whole conceptual area of motivation a bit diverse and difficult to hold in your head all at once. Just click on the movie below, and please give us any feedback that occurs to you, ideas for improvement and so on!

Adrian Underhill on pronunciation as the Cinderella of ELT

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog
Adrian began by pointing out how central pronunciation is to language learning. And while this is obviously true for spoken production, it is also true, surprisingly enough, for reading, writing, or even thinking in the target language. For example, during reading, we tend to sub-vocalize, that is, hear the words aloud in our heads. And how will these words be pronounced in our heads?

The Learner Autonomy SIG: At a glance

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Event date: 
Monday, April 8, 2013 - 10:00
Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

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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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

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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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

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.

Yolanda Calvo on Spanish perceptions of pronunciation

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Yolanda, a PHD candidate from Galicia, Spain, reported on her research into how students and teachers at post-secondary level in Galicia perceive the importance of pronunciation in ELT, and how it is covered in schools. She began by pointing out how problematic this area is.

Mike Harrison on exploring to learn

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

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.

Walker, Spiewak and Hancock on English as a Lingua Franca

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

The Pronunciation SIG Pre-conference event for 2013 took an ELF perspective on teaching pronunciation. The speakers were Robin Walker, Grzegorz Spiewak and Mark Hancock, and it was hosted by Wayne Rimmer. Robin Walker started off the day by showing the differences this perspective makes in terms of goals, models, view of L1, variations and accents, and intelligibility.

Richard Cauldwell on the jungle of connected speech

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Event date: 
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 11:30
Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Richard Cauldwell is gradually developing a whole new set of words and images for conceptualizing connected speech, and his system is given power by his long experience in close analysis of natural, unscripted recordings. His principle claim is that unscripted speech radically departs from anything that the written form might lead us to expect.

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.

Annie McDonald on materials for listening

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Read a review by a member of the audience here. Find the annotated handout below.

Nicola Alonge on critical thinking through questions

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Nichola began her presentation by getting us to respond to different questions about an Antonio Lopez Madrid painting to illustrate the difference between knowledge-based questions and those which encourage critical-thinking skills at different levels.

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).

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