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...

IATEFL Hungary: Annie McDonald on authentic listening materials design

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Event date: 
Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 20:00
Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Annie began the workshop with a snippet taken from a BBC studio interview and participants listened and brainstormed the problems the text would present for a student approaching a B2 level in English.

IATEFL Hungary: BonnieTsai on unlocking inspiration in the classroom

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Bonnie began her presentation by comparing teaching to following a path in a forest – the path isn’t straight, there lots of dead ends and decisions to be made about which way to go.

IATEFL Hungary: Reima Al-Jarf on using online video lessons

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Event date: 
Saturday, October 6, 2012 - 11:15
Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

One huge problem faced by Professor Reima Al-Jarf and her colleagues at the King Saudi University is that freshman students on translations course have very limited access to English outside the classroom.

IATEFL Hungary: Mark Hancock on generating intrinsic motivation

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Mark began with a guessing game. Participants had to guess the word "attention" by seeing phrases and collocations with which it occurs. He then went on to point out the importance of attention for learning, and defined the job of a teacher as a "sculptor of learners' attention". He then compared two different was of manipulating attention - directing it and attracting it.

IATEFL Hungary: Scott Thornbury on keeping yourself inspired (Plenary)

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Scott began by looking at some of the reasons that teachers might get to feel jaded as their career progresses. He revealed his own pet peeve as being the rampant commoditization of ELT, with words from the world of business being drafted in, such as ‘outcomes’, ‘solutions’, ‘value-added’, ‘accountability’ and so on.

IATEFL Hungary: Margit Szesztay on the power of questions

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

As well as her plenary on teacher development, Margit Szesztay presented this very practical, classroom-focussed workshop on harnessing the power of questions. First of all, she asked participants to simply formulate one question we would like to ask, and then ask it to as many other participants as possible.

IATEFL Hungary: Steve Oakes on using authentic material at lower levels (Plenary and workshop)

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

In the second plenary of the day, Steve Oakes invited us to consider whether or not teachers and learners had ‘boxed themselves in’ when it came to attitudes towards the use of authentic materials in the classroom. It was apparent that this session would get us thinking out of the box in terms of difficulty levels and what it means to understand an authentic text.

IATEFL Hungary: Ken Wilson's 10 quotes to make you think (Plenary)

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Event date: 
Saturday, October 6, 2012 - 19:45
Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

In this plenary, Ken Wilson did precisely what it said on the tin (aka, the programme) – he gave us 10 of his favourite quotes, which when applied to language teaching, had the potential to get us reflecting on what we do, and even become inspired to make some changes.

IATEFL Hungary: Michael Carrier on use of mobile devices and other technology in ELT (Plenary)

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Event date: 
Saturday, October 6, 2012 - 13:15
Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Michael began by pointing out the now overwhelming reasons people have for learning English. Statistically, it’s proven that increased English means increased income (except perhaps for English teachers, as one member of the audience pointed out, to much laughter!). He went on to point out that more and more, academic programmes are conducted through English.

IATEFL Hungary: Margit Szesztay on Teacher Development A-Z (opening Plenary)

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Event date: 
Friday, October 5, 2012 - 17:00
Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

This opening plenary from one of IATEFL Hungary’s ex-presidents aimed to get the conference goers into a reflective mood. To have us reflecting back to the beginnings of our teaching careers. To consider whether the stages in our careers matched hers. And the stages she described were:

Pronunciation in Coursebooks

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

My impression is that coverage of pronunciation in current coursebooks is usually imbalanced in favour of individual sounds, to the detriment of syllables, connected speech and discourse.

IATEFL Poland: Review of conference

Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

DIGESTED READ

Very successful conference with a brilliant innovation called "live lessons".

LOCATION / SITE

IATEFL Poland: Jeremy Harmer on drilling

Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

‘No-one actually talks about drilling much anymore (but it still goes on everywhere). Two questions: does it work, and how best is it done?’ After a very smooth room change to a 300-capacity auditorium that would accommodate us all comfortably, Jeremy Harmer set about answering these questions.

IATEFL Poland: Jeremy Harmer's "Live Lesson"

Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Jeremy Harmer ran a wonderfully informative, engaging, practical and thought-provoking ‘Advanced Lesson for Teachers of English’ session involving text analysis, language use and prosody.

IATEFL Poland: Piotr Steinbrich on 21st century skills

Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

In this semi-plenary, Piotr Steinbrich cast a sceptical eye over the idea that we should all be teaching '21st Century Skills' in our English language classes. He began by listing buzz words and concepts which have impacted in various ways on ELT in recent years: the ELP; Blended leaning; ELF; the CEFR; Multiple intelligences; CLIL and the Lexical Approach.

IATEFL Poland: Hugh Dellar's "Live Lesson"

Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

In this live lesson, Hugh taught a class of 11 intermediate students using a unit from Outcomes (Heinle Cengage Learning). During the lesson, students were given the opportunity to describe different dishes and ways of cooking food, and to explain their own cuisine to foreigners.

IATEFL Poland: Piotr Steinbrich's "live lesson"

Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

In this ‘live lesson’ Piotr taught a class of 10 secondary students at advanced level using Speakout Advanced (Pearson). During the lesson, students were presented with vocabulary connected with a courtroom scene in order to prepare them for a BBC video clip from the final Black Adder series, Black Adder Goes Forth.

IATEFL Poland: David Evans on new literacies

Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

English & The New Literacies (Plenary session, sponsored by National Geographic Learning). David Evans argued that the job of a teacher nowadays is to teach more than words and their meanings. He explained that, given the way that information is presented is central to literacy and literacy is about gaining knowledge, it behoves us to incorporate new literacies into our teaching.

IATEFL Poland: Elzbieta Gajek and Agnieszka Szarkowska on using video interactively

Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Clipflair is a European Commission sponsored, Europe-wide project to provide video materials for language learning and practice for 15 different languages. The platform for the project is currently under construction, but Elzbieta and Agnieska (of the University of Warsaw) came to IATEFL to give us a preview of what it’s all about.

IATEFL Poland: Hanna Kryszewska on Gardner's "5 Minds for the Future"

Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Hanna Kryszewska, who works with Pilgrims on the Humanising Language Teaching magazine, has found in Howard Gardner’s ‘Five minds for the future’ (2006), a new organizing principle for humanising approaches. ‘Five minds…’ is Gardner’s ‘new baby’, replacing his notorious ‘Multiple Intelligences’ theory.

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