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...

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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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.

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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Annie McDonald on materials for listening - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/annie-mcdonald-materials-listening

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).

Stephanie Williams on adverts to stimulate speaking

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Stephanie began by pointing out why video adverts are a fabulous resource in the ELT classroom: they're short; adaptable to different levels; authentic; relevant to most student's worlds; offer visual support; context rooted and catchy and motivating by design. A compelling list of attributes.

Mariela Collado on active CLIL classrooms

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Mariela began this practical workshop by pointing out a central paradox of CLIL, namely that while teaching the language skill requires lots of active productive practice on the part of the student, teaching the content requires more receptive concentration. So the CLIL teacher is pulled in two opposing directions.

Robin Walker on technology in pronunciation teaching

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Robin Walker (read our review of his latest book here) began by positing 3 stages in acquiring pronunciation: 1. the cognitive stage - becoming aware of a feature; 2. the associative stage - training yourself to be able to deal with the feature; 3.

Claire Acevedo on literacy via genre awareness

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Claire's presentation was a report on a Europe-wide project for accelerating literacy by making teachers and students more aware of the generic structure of texts. The scope of the talk was not confined to ELT, but education in the broader sense, and the idea of 'learning to read' and 'reading to learn'.

Hugh Dellar on technology and principles

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Hugh began with an anecdote in which he'd received the negative feedback, 'didn't use enough technology', pointing out how absurd that is. Using tech is, in itself, neither good nor bad. Tech is not a magic bullet which will turn bad teaching into good. You can teach well with it, but you can also teach well without.

David Bradshaw on getting them speaking

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

David Bradshaw explained how speaking is a very difficult skill to promote in secondary school classrooms, and how he used to dread it. He then went on to demonstrate a series of activities which he has found to work in that context, really motivating the students to want to talk, and incidentally providing excellent preparation for Cambridge exams.

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.

Debbie West on presentation skills

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Gillian Evans opened the session with a warm-up exercise of body movements to refresh us at the end of a long day.

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