There is something missing at the heart of the listening component in most ELT course materials. They fail to dig deep into the actual raw material of the skill – what Richard Cauldwell calls the ‘sound substance’.
ELT materials writing is a creative process, and the prospect of creating something from nothing on an empty white page can be quite daunting. But the materials writer has to do just that, and moreover, do it within very tight constraints. For instance, if you are writing a narrative for ELT purposes, it must not only be engaging as a narrative, but it must also be useful as a learning tool.
In the IATEFL Forum on Creating Listening Materials, I'll be presenting 'Listening in Chunks' and a technique called 'accoustic drilling'. Students find this useful as it increases their automaticity when decoding clusters of words which frequently occur together. It also impacts positively on their listening fluency and confidence.
Pictures are like silent stories. Silent because they are non-verbal. Stories, because they are pregnant with content to talk about. For these two reasons alone, they are extremely useful in English language teaching. In this talk, we explain these and more advantages of pictures, as well as demonstrating different activity types for use in the classroom.
Songs are a particularly useful resource for ELT. They have language, motivational appeal and great mnemonic power. In this presentation, we will look at different ways in which we can unlock their potential. We will try out a series of activities to use before, during and after the song.
Sugata Mitra argued with evangelical flourish that, given the right resources, children will learn without schooling. He said that the right resource has now come into existence and is potentially available to every child: the internet. To support this argument, Mitra described what have become known as “the hole in the wall” experiments.
Michael Hoey’s was a compelling argument in favour of teaching language lexically, because that’s how language is, and that’s also how it’s learnt and mentally stored. On the linguistics angle, he endorsed the work of Michael Lewis and his ´lexical approach´, and on the pedagogic side, he recommended the ´Monitor Model´of Stephen Krashen.
Learners of English living in an English speaking environment have rich exposure to the spoken language, yet, at the same time, they regularly experience frustration at not being able to understand what people say. In this workshop, we’ll look at and try out tasks which can be used with different texts to help boost confidence and develop a learner's listening skill.