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...

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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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.

Mark Hancock on a Map of ELT

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Listen to a podcast of Mark Hancock's closing plenary at TESOL Spain by clicking on the orange circle below. Read a full article written up after the talk here.

Scott Thornbury on language and the body

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Scott began on a philosophical note, with Descartes’ idea of mind and body being separate entities, and a modern extension of this dualism on the part of Stephen Pinker, who regards the mind as a computer encased in a fleshy body. Scott presented a more ecological alternative conception, in which mind, body, and indeed the world beyond are in some sense all one.

Mark Hancock's Map of ELT - APAC audience comments

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See the map and an article about it here. Here are a couple of queries from the audience and responses:

Durrant and McLoughlin on the thinking classroom

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Lynn Durrant and Gerard McLoughlin are teacher trainers at International House Barcelona, and the focus of their presentation was on how we can nurture engagement and higher order thinking skills in the classroom. Lynn began with five top tips for creating a better classroom environment: 1. Give students choices; 2. Short and sweet activities eg 2-4 minutes; 3. Plenty of movement; 4.

Noureddine Azmi on how teaching with ICT can open minds

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Noureddine began by describing his teaching context in Morocco. The students he is working with already have a high level of English, but needed to develop their intercultural understanding, and in particular, openness to new ideas. He went on to explain the perspective transformation theoretical framework, as developed by Jack Mezirow.

Tim Murphey on appreciative inquiry

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Tim Murphey began what was a very feelgood session by recommending an action log at the start of each lesson. You put up on the board a list of all the activities you're going to be doing, and as the lesson progresses, the learners write how they felt about each activity. The teacher may go further by collecting and 'publishing' these logs so students can see each other's comments.

John Hughes on intercultural understanding

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John organized his presentation by the three question words why, what and how.

David Block on the commodification of English

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

David is a sociolinguist at the University of Lleida, and this talk was a critical evaluation of the concept of "English", including the way the language has become commodified.

IATEFL, Dogme, Coursebooks and the World of ELT

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

The 47th Annual International Conference is just around the corner, 8th – 12th April, and I’ve just been perusing the programme.

Dogmas and Heresies in ELT

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

A balanced, pragmatic point of view is all very well, but an extreme, polar position is so much more noticeable! There have been plenty of polar positions in the history of ELT, and for every polar position, there is the polar opposite.

Using teacher feedback to drive learning

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

I've recently been drawn to articles and blog posts with (amongst others) a common thread on the nature and potential of teacher feedback. Giving feedback is something we do, almost as a reflex action, but how might we make it more effective so it plays a significant role in driving learning forward?

A Map of ELT

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Event date: 
Saturday, February 23, 2013 - 11:15
Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

ELT these days has so many diverse regions that it is difficult to find your way among them. In this talk at the APAC conference in Barcelona, I'm presenting a bird's-eye view of the field to help navigate through all of the currents of thought and acronyms in the field. More about this here.

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