Articles and ideas

Many of these Articles have appeared in a variety of English Language Teaching publications and here we continue to write for teachers and colleagues in the field of ELT.

Pronunciation as a Listening Skill

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Doctor, doctor - hancockmcdonald.com/materials/doctor-doctor
Pronunciation is not only about the mouth, but also the ears. And, with English being a global language, the ears must learn to be flexible in order to make sense of all those varieties of spoken English out there. This article is about helping learners to deal with this variety.

Language Teaching in a European Context (II)

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Publication: 
TESOL SPAIN Newsletter 2002
Articles - hancockmcdonald.com/ideas/151

In this second TESOL SPAIN article on the Common European Framewrok of Reference (CEFR), I consider the scaling of communicative proficiency using traditional lables (for example Elementary or Pre-intermediate) and CEFR levels (A1, A2, etc.).

Language Teaching in a European Context (I)

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Publication: 
TESOL SPAIN Newsletter 2001
Articles - hancockmcdonald.com/ideas/151

This is the first of two aticles, written to provide contextual background for the TESOL SPAIN 25th National Convention, theme: Access Europe: Language as a Common Currency.

Priorities in pronunciation teaching

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Publication: 
Speak Out 2009
In this article, guest author Ricardo Sili suggests what teachers should prioritize when teaching English pronunciation to Brazilian speakers. The article first appeared in the IATEFL pron-sig newsletter Speak Out.

A small-scale investigation into the intelligibility of the pronunciation of Brazilian intermediate students

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Publication: 
Speak Out 1998
Guest author Ricardo Sili reports on what features of Brazilian English cause misunderstandings in conversations with other non-native speakers of English. The article first appeared in the IATEFL pron-sig newsletter Speak Out.

Authentic Listening Step by Step

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Using authentic audio recordings

This article gives a step-by-guide for teachers who would like to use authentic audio recordings with B2-level students in the classroom. Along the way, it mentions the various challenges a non-expert listener might experience, and explains how we can devise confidence-building activities which address these problems.

Using Pictures in ELT

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"A picture is a text without words"

Images could be described this way: "A picture is a text without words". This is what makes them invaluable for the language classroom. They provide rich and immediate content, but they leave it up to the student how to put that into words. They can't 'cut and paste' as they can from a text. It doesn't put words in their mouths.

Short and Practical Pronunciation Teaching Ideas

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Publication: 
IATEFL Pronunciation SIG newsletter 'Speak Out'
series of practical teaching ideas

These are a series of practical teaching ideas which I have been contibuting to the IATEFL Pron Sig magazine 'Speak Out'. They cover a range of different pronunciation issues:
1. Contrastive stress
2. The final -s suffix - plurals, present simple, possessives
3. Consonant sounds /t/ and /d/ at the ends of words
4. Dividing text into tone units

Teaching Writing to School Children

Publication: 
IATEFL young learners sig journal CATS, Spring 2000
How do you teach writing to young EFL learners?

Writing has a bad reputation in many schools, for both teachers and students. For the teacher, it means marking a pile of compositions and they are almost always worse than expected. For many students, writing is a boring chore and an “opportunity” to make a lot of mistakes.However, we believe that writing can be a very interesting and involving activity for students of English.

Politeness is not just please and thank you

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Publication: 
English Teaching Professional 2010, issue 70
Politeness is not just please and thank you

'Say please!', children are often told, after saying something like 'Give me a biscuit'. If they ask why, they may receive the explanation, 'Because it's polite'. We English teachers sometimes do the same.

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