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...

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.

Mark Hancock in Badajoz, May 4th

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

I talked about "Motivation: the inside story" in Badajoz on May 4th.  Here are materials from the talk, just click on the links and while you're here, take a look around and leave some feedback! And see the PDF downloads below for the handout.

Interview on Radio Exterior

Event date: 
Friday, March 23, 2012 - 16:45
English Language radio broadcast - creative ways to teach English

On March 23rd, 2012 we were interviewed by Frank Smith and Alison Hughes at Radio Exterior for Face to Face about Creative ways to teach English.

Classroom Codeswitching

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Mark Hancock presenting in Poland

In this short video, Mark explains the reason for code-switching between Polish and English in an information gap activity. For more on this topic, see the article "Behind Classroom Code Switching: Layering and Language Choice in L2 Learner Interaction".

English Pronunciation in Use - New edition!

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Event date: 
Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - 09:00
English Pronunciation in Use - new edition March 2012

New Edition of English Pronunciation in Use, out just last week! There's plenty that's new here, including a much clarified approach to tonic stress placement, and a section focusing on receptive pronunciation (ie, pronunciation for listening), including variation and accents.

An undesirable effect of testing?

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Why do you think the 'I' of the poem constantly failed exams

Just found the poem below by Brian Patten, one of the Liverpudlian Beat poets from the 1960s, on the IATEFL TEA in Istanbul blog.

Why do you think the 'I' of the poem constantly failed exams? And, what can we test writers learn from this poor person's experience?


Test writing and CEFR levels

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Measuring levels

I’ve just got back to work after attending the extremely successful 35th TESOL-Spain National Convention in Bilbao. From the various talks I went to, I gathered that some teachers and test writers are using coursebook materials to help them devise tests and examinations which are pegged to CEFR levels.

Just what IS a 'framework-friendly' course?

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Nowadays, many courses claim (either directly or indirectly) to be compatible with the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). I'd always thought that there must be more to this than simply using the CEFR levels to situate a course.

When the tail wags the dog

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Sometimes, you plan your lesson backwards. You find something you really want to use in class and so you plan your lesson around it, even though it doesn't really fit in with where you're up to on the curriculum. Maybe it's a song. Maybe it's a great text. Maybe a video clip off the internet, or some new technological innovation.

Pay attention - this is in the exam!

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This is a short story which illustrates how too much extrinsic motivation can kill off intrinsic motivation. Bear this in mind when you try to get your students' attention with lines like, "Pay attention - this is in the exam!". If you do this, you may be killing off any intrinsic interest they might have had for the stuff you are asking them to pay attention to.

FAQs (not)

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FAQs (not)

Ten questions you're never likely to hear in the language classroom…

Tips for conference presenting

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It's always interestingj to share ideas about how to approach presenting at conferences. I was thinking about the way I approach them myself, often unconsciously, and here are a list of DOs and DON'Ts which I came up with.

How to encourage your students' attention to wander

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If you, the teacher, don't have your students' attention, they aren't going to learn anything from you. If that's what you want, here are some tips for you (If you DO want their attention, just reverse the tips!).

Moving in

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Event date: 
Sunday, January 1, 2012 - 07:45

Imagine this. You're moving into a brand new flat. Everything is empty, just waiting for you to inhabit it in the way you please. Everything functions perfectly, from the plumbing to the electricity, from the gas to the phone line.


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