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.

Motivation: the inside story

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Publication: 
Procedia Social and Behavioural Sciences 3 (2010) 24-27
Attracting attention

In this article, we will look at the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, and why extrinsic motivation alone is not satisfactory for learning in the long run. It is suggested that although students may embark on learning for extrinsic reasons, a more intrinsic motivation can be developed in the classroom.

Keeping the vision alive: Maintaining motivation and promoting effective learning

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Publication: 
Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, Volume 3, 2010, pages 190-193

In this article, I look at several techniques and approaches we could use to help learners perceive the value of general classroom activities and to experience success in the communicative tasks we ask them to do. When used together, these techniques and approaches can generate, maintain and protect motivation.

Pronunciation Material as Language Play

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IATEFL Pronunciation SIG newsletter Speak Out, Dec 2006

This article consists of two parts. In the first part, I will argue that the rejection of certain pronunciation materials on the grounds that they are not communicative may be unjustified. In this argument, I will make use of the concept of language play.

Sounds with rhyme and reason

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Publication: 
EL Gazette, issue 281, June 2003

There's so much more to teaching pronunciation than drilling and the phonetic alphabet. A few simple exercises can open your students' senses to the rhythms and patterns of speech.

The European Language Portfolio: A Frame for Learning 1

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Publication: 
ETp November, 2004, Issue 35
ETp Issue 35, November, 2004

In 2004, after giving a presentation on the Eurpopean Language Portfolio (ELP) at the TESOL-Spain National Convention, I was invitied to write a series of articles for English Teaching professional (ETp) http://www.etprofessional.com.

The European Language Portfolio: A Frame for Learning 2

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Publication: 
ETp January, 2005, Issue 36
Assessment - hancockmcdonald.com/focus/assessment

The second article on the Eurpoean Laguage Portfolio (ELP) describes how the Dossier is intended to be used. I also refer to my own teaching experiences about 30 years ago, when I was inadvertently using a kind of ELP Dossier with a group of rather educationally jaded secondary school kids.

The European Language Portfolio: A Frame for Learning 3

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Publication: 
ETp March, 2005, Issue 37
Assessment - hancockmcdonald.com/focus/assessment

This last article on the Eurpoean Language Portfolio (ELP) describes how the Passport draws on records and work referenced and stored in the Biography and Dossier. It represents a comprehensive summary of an individual's learning achievement in foreign languages.

Minimal Pairs (and that sort of thing)

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Publication: 
IATEFL Pronunciation Sig magazine 'Speak Out', issue 30, Sept 2003

For me, the first example that springs to mind when talking about minimal pairs is ship or sheep. This is almost certainly due to the influence of the title of the well known book Ship or Sheep by Anne Baker. The formula is this: take a word, remove one of the phonemes and replace it with another such that it forms a different word.

Three Takes on Intonation

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Publication: 
English Teaching Professional, issue 40, September 2005

There are three distinct aspects of intonation:
1. Separating what you say into groups of words;
2. Stressing the most important word in each of these groups;
3. Ending each group of words with the voice going up or down.

In this article, we’ll look at simple, practical ways of presenting intonation from each of these three ‘takes’ in turn.

 

Behind Classroom Code Switching: Layering and Language Choice in L2 Learner Interaction

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Publication: 
TESOL Quarterly vol 31, No 2. Summer 1997

This article examines the code switching that goes on during group work in language classes in which the learners share an L1. The author argues that the discourse produced in these circumstances is layered as a result of the participants' oscillating between a literal and a nonliteral frame (Goffman, 1974).

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