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...

Mark Hancock's Map of ELT - APAC audience comments

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APAC 2013 - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/topic/apac-2013

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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APAC 2013 - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/topic/apac-2013

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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APAC 2013 - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/topic/apac-2013

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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APAC 2013 - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/topic/apac-2013

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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APAC 2013 - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/topic/apac-2013

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

David Block on the commodification of English

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APAC 2013 - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/topic/apac-2013

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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IATEFL Liverpool Liverbird

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 posts - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/iatefl-hungary-two-talks-english-lingua-franca-%C3%A2%E2%82%AC%E2%80%9C-eva-ill%C3%83%C2%A9s-and-b%C3%83%C2%A1lint-fey%C3%83%C2%A9r

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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Feeding back

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
A Map of ELT - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/map-elt

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.

Mark Hancock at IATEFL Liverpool

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Event date: 
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 (All day)
 - hancockmcdonald.com/blog.xml/9

Mark Hancock: I will be presenting a workshop entitled "Pronunciation for listeners: making sense of connected speech" at the conference on the Tuesday. I'm also speaking at the pronunciation sig pre-conference event.

Hakan Senturk on going digital with Dogme

Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Hakan Senturk began his presentation with a contextualization of his ideas within the development of the Dogme movement. He traced the origin of Dogme to Scott Thornbury’s call for a more conversation-driven materials-light approach to teaching which focuses on language that naturally emerges in the lesson rather than a pre-conceived syllabus as laid down by a coursebook.

TESOL France: Luke Meddings and Chuck Sandy on reflecting on how to be yourself in the classroom

Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

(Photo: Chuck Sandy)

The main thrust of this very lively, participative and practical session was to stimulate and provide us with opportunities to take a step back from our role as teachers in the classroom, and reflect on and explore the ‘self’ – who we are outside the classroom.

TESOL France: Christina Rebuffet-Broadus on how Dogme is perceived through students’ eyes

 - hancockmcdonald.com/blog.xml/2

Christina’s presentation incorporated feedback from 25 students who had followed a one-semester course of dogme classes as part of classroom-based research. Students were surveyed about their willingness to take part in their teachers’ professional development, and after a first day’s dogme class, were asked to give their initial impressions of the approach.

TESOL France: Jemma Gardener on emergent language

Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/2

Jemma began her presentation by explaining that she would be dealing with the ‘hows’ rather than ‘whys’ in her ‘teaching unplugged’ or dogme-based presentation. She started by explaining the three main pillars of the approach: it is context-driven, materials-light and it focusses on emergent classroom language (spoken or written and can involve any language at any time).

TESOL France: Review of conference

Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

(Photo: Vice-president Debbie West and President Bethany Cagnol opening the conference)


Big on social networking, small on in-your-face commercial


There were 68 hour-long talks/workshops, punctuated by 3 plenaries, distributed across a Friday evening, a full Saturday and a short Sunday, and a total of some 350 participants at the event.

TESOL France: Leo Selivan on synonymy

Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Leo Selivan’s presentation was founded on the insight that synonymy in English can usually be traced to the hybrid history of the language. In most synonymous pairs, one member of the pair can trace its history to Germanic influence, and the other, to Latinate influence. An example of the might be ‘buy’ and ‘purchase’.

TESOL France: Chia Suan Chong on principled eclecticism

TESOL France: Chia Suan Chong on principled eclecticism - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/tesol-france-chia-suan-chong-principled-eclecticism

The closing plenary from Chia Suan Chong was a brightly delivered and entertaining history of ELT methodology, from rote learning through grammar translation, the direct method, the audio-lingual method, the ‘designer methods’ (suggestopoedia, etc), communicative approaches and task based learning.

TESOL France: Tom Farrell on reflective practice

Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

The mid-conference plenary from Tom Farrell was a reflection on reflective practice. To begin with, Tom distinguished reflection-in-action – split second reflections made during the course of an activity; reflection-on-action – evaluating an action after the fact, and reflection-for-action – evaluating options for possible future improvements.

TESOL France: Gabriel Diaz Maggioli on effecting change

Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

The thrust of the opening plenary from Gabriel Diaz Maggioli was neatly summed up in his title, 'Change is Good: You go first'. In other words, while most teachers will agree that there is room for improvement or change, it's easier said than done.


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