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...

Review: 13th BRAZ-TESOL National Convention "Proud to be"

Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/1

BRAZ-TESOL holds a national conference every two years, and in July 2012, the event was held in Rio de Janeiro. It was truly a national event, with delegates coming from all over the country - and it's a big country, with some internal flights being several hours long.
LOCATION

Mark in Sweden

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/1

Mark's talking about pronunciation as a listening skill at two events in Sweden in August, organized by the book distributor Utbildningsstaden. Details here.

TESOL France

Event date: 
Saturday, November 17, 2012 -
14:00 to 16:45
Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/1
We are presenting at TESOL France on Nov 17. Mark will speak at 14:00 on receptive pronunciation, Annie at 16:45 on authentic listening.

IATEFL Hungary

Event date: 
Friday, October 5, 2012 - 14:00 to Sunday, October 7, 2012 - 13:30
Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/1

We are presenting at IATEFL Hungary in October. Here are the details:
Annie McDonald - Helping students become more effective listeners
Mark Hancock - Motivation: the inside story

IATEFL Poland

Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/1

We will be presenting at IATEFL Poland in September. Here are the details:
Annie McDonald - Helping students become more effective listeners - Sept 8, 10:15
Mark Hancock - Pronunciation as a listening skill: understanding authentic English - Sept 8, 11:45

BRAZ-TESOL: a talk on ESP course design

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Braz-tesol - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/topic/braz-tesol

“English for Beach Entrepreneurs: Reflecting upon an ESP course” (Patricia Elizabeth Perez Martins, Claudia Rebello dos Santos Santos)

Patricia began by taking us through the standard stages of ESP course design for this 25 hour course, and then Claudia described course implementation, adaptation and learning results.

Bye bye Brazil

Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/1

We're busy adding material following the BRAZ-TESOL conference.The talks "Pronunciation games for Brazil" and "Silent Stories: using pictures in ELT" now include videos from audio files recorded at the event, and we are busily writing up summaries of various wor

BRAZ-TESOL: a talk on CEFR for teachers

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Braz-tesol - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/topic/braz-tesol
“Transforming the CEFR guidelines into teaching activities” (Janaina Pietroluongo) Janaina began by outlining what the Council of Europe is, as opposed to the European Commission. She went on to put forward the argument that was the main thrust of her talk: that it is a great mistake to view the CEFR as prescriptive. In fact, it is intended to be learner-centred.

BRAZ-TESOL: Plenary “Challenges, trends and aspirations in ELT” (Brock Brady)

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Braz-tesol - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/topic/braz-tesol
Brock Brady spoke as past president of TESOL about the irony that demand for ELT is on the up and up, and yet the pressures on the profession threaten to bring standards lower and lower. Among these pressures is the assumption that simply knowing the language as a native speaker is sufficient. ELT is not valued as a profession – and not paid as one either.

BRAZ-TESOL: a talk on attitudes to technology among teachers and students

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Braz-tesol - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/topic/braz-tesol
“Changes in teachers’ profile affecting the use of technology” (Janaina Cardoso) Janaina presented demographic change in terms of the generational classification “Baby boomers” (pre-1965), “Generation X” (1965 – 1980), “Generation Y” (1981-1999) and “Generation Z” (2000-now). She made the point that Generation Y, previously researched as being today’s students, have now become today’s teachers.

BRAZ-TESOL: a talk on listening/reading skills

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Braz-tesol - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/topic/braz-tesol
“Activating the receptive skills: beliefs and practices versus current research” (Isabella Villas Boas and Marta Diniz de Rezende) Isabella and Marta gave us 12 statements about reading and listening skills for us to mark true or false.

BRAZ-TESOL: Proud to be communicating in English, Kathleen Bailey (Plenary)

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BRAZ-TESOL: Proud to be communicating in English, Kathleen Bailey (Plenary)  - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/braz-tesol-proud-be-communicating-english-kathleen-bailey-plenary

This plenary linked the conference theme Proud to be to the ultimate goals of language learning today. With images of well known bridges around the world, and drawing on expressions related to water (for example, don’t rock the boat and take the plunge), Kathy explained a comprehensive set of communication strategies.

BRAZ-TESOL: a listening skills workshop

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“Enhancing students’ listening skills with authentic materials: going beyond gap-filling” (Bruna Caltabiano)Bruna began this workshop with a brainstorm session of why humans (and other animals!) listen. She led the discussion to this very human motivation, as expressed by Wilson: “We learn to listen and we listen to learn”.  

BRAZ-TESOL: a pron/listening talk

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“English is a rhythmical language” (Susan Harris de Melo) The main thrust of Susan’s talk was that there is a great insight that teachers in Brazil are tending to overlook: that English is stress-timed and Brazilian Portuguese is syllable-timed. A consequence of this difference is that for a Brazilian, listening to English is very difficult because the grammar words tend to be swallowed.

BRAZ-TESOL: A grammar teaching workshop

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“Creating effective learning opportunities”
(Anamaria Campanha and Sirley Trinidade Vilela Lewis)
Anamaria and Sirley are teachers at a Cultura Inglesa in Minas Gerais. Their talk represents the conclusions of a project they conducted at their school to find the most successful grammar input activities. Here are the five elements that they found to be essential:

BRAZ-TESOL Opening Plenary Tuesday 17th

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Christine Coombe gave the opening the plenary on Tuesday morning: her topic – 10 Characteristics of Highly Effective EF/SL Teachers; her purpose – to get us reflecting on our own criteria for effectiveness and to self-evaluate accordingly; her idea – that we might identify areas of our teaching that we might want to work on.

Braz-tesol Diary

Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

We're leaving for the Braz-Tesol conference today. The conference timetable is still not published, so we don't yet have any idea what to expect. What we do know is that there are 4 plenaries per day making a total of 12, which must be a record!

Dangerous Dictation n.2

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog
Dangerous Dictations are puzzles which depend on word-boundary confusions. For example, 'Bow Tie' sounds exactly like 'Boat Eye', because you can't be sure whether the /t/ sound is the end of 'Boat' or the start of 'Tie'. This could lead to dictation errors. The puzzle for your students is to identify and explain the error.

Dangerous Dictation n.1

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog
Dangerous Dictations are puzzles which depend on word-boundary confusions. For example, 'The Great Ape' sounds exactly like 'The Grey Tape', because you can't be sure whether the /t/ sound is the end of 'Great' or the start of 'Tape'. This could lead to dictation errors. The puzzle for your students is to identify and explain the error.

More on authentic listening

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Modern English Teacher Vol 21 No 2

In the current issue of Modern English Teacher, http.//www.onlinemet.com, there's a very informative, useful and convincing article by Sheila Thorn on 'Debunking Authentic Listening (MET Vol 21, No 2, pgs 65-69) in which she puts the case for using authentic listenings in the classroom.

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