A Wish List for the New Year

Inspiring and encouraging conclusion: “…hope to see all teachers valued for their professionalism and ability, regardless of their first language. I also hope conference organizers will offer more plenaries and keynote talks to non-native speakers and to that other underrepresented majority: women.” (JJ Wilson, 2016)

Source: A Wish List for the New Year

“Where angels fear to tread: intonation in English language teaching” by Jane Setter

Intonation is one of the earliest acquired aspects of speech; the crymelodies of infants are influenced by the intonation of their mothers, and very small toddlers are able to use intonation to indicate turntaking patterns in play conversations before they can form words. It plays a vital role in successful communication in English, as it does in other languages. If this is true, why is intonation neglected in English language pronunciation teaching, and how can it be taught effectively? This presentation takes the audience into the seldom-navigated region of intonation in English language teaching, focusing on the role of three main elements: tonality, tonicity, and tone. Drawing on material from a number of different sources, we explore the role of intonation in English and look at which elements are teachable, which are learnable, what resources are available to the teacher and the learner, and how intonation might be approached in the English language classroom and as a self-access learning activity. Expect a multimedia, audience participation experience.

Jane Setter is Professor of Phonetics at the University of Reading, UK, Secretary of the British Association of Academic Phoneticians, and a Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy, which is a mark of teaching excellence. She has taught in Japan, Hong Kong and Germany as well as the UK, and has published on English pronunciation, aspects of Hong Kong and Singapore English phonology, and intonation among children with speech and language deficits. She is probably best known as co-editor of Daniel Jones’s Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (CUP: 18th edition, 2011), which is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2017. She is also a  regular contributor to University College London’s annual Summer Course in English Phonetics, and – in her spare time – a rock singer. You can find her on YouTube, follow her on Twitter (@JaneSetter), or read her blog (www.aworldofenglishes.blogspot.co.uk).

Competency-based planning and assessing – Clare’s ELT Compendium

Competency-Based Language Teaching (CBLT) focuses on what “learners are expected to do with the language” (Richards & Rodgers, 2001, p.141). This approach emerged in the United States in the 1970s and can be described as “defining educational goals in terms of precise measurable descriptions of the knowledge, skills, and behaviors students should possess at the end of a course of study” (Richards & Rodgers, 2001, p.141).

Competency-based Language Teaching – Teflpedia. (2017). Teflpedia.com. Retrieved 10 March 2017, from http://teflpedia.com/Competency-based_Language_Teaching

As Clare Maas points out, “…language is taught as a function of communicating about concrete tasks; learners are taught the language forms/skills they will need to use in various situations in which they will need to function.”

Source: Competency-based planning and assessing – Clare’s ELT Compendium

Observe and Be Observed – PD in Focus 4

Teacher observation is definitely a way for PD growth rather than performance evaluations and, of course, have multiple benefits.

Vicky Loras's Blog

(Image taken from www.storyline-scotland.com) (Image taken from http://www.storyline-scotland.com)

What comes to your mind when you hear the word observation? Does it make you nervous, think really carefully about your lesson plan, or even worse, think this might be the end of your teaching career? We have all thought those thoughts and even experienced teachers say it makes them feel nervous. I used to get very stressed over them, but after starting to think of them as a constructive experience that can benefit both sides, the observer and the observed, it has become much better.

It can also be your choice.

If you want to be observed and my advice is to do it with your own initiative from time to time, choose a colleague that you can trust. Trust as in someone who can be honest with you and sit with you afterwards to go into what went well and what didn’t…

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Upcoming webinars for educators | June – August 2016

This post’s a long time coming but here are some upcoming webinars. Lesson ideas & activities  A Framework for Communicative Speaking | Tony Prince | Oxford | May 25 & 26, 1000 & …

Source: Upcoming webinars for educators | June – August 2016

Talk to the expert

#NNEST employment discrimination remains one of the most neglected of all issues for those working in developing countries. “Most job advertisements for English language teachers discriminate against candidates with particular backgrounds.” Fortunately, research interest on discriminatory issues are actually growning, therefore “NNESTs are also perceived to be better role models in the learning of English as they have already been through the process of learning English themselves: they are more familiar with the needs of learning the language.” (Ahmar Mahboob, 2013) #TEA

Read the full post here: Talk to the expert

Webinar review – Charles Hadfield : Creative Grammar IATEFL

Fab English ideas

Another advantage of being an IATEFL member is being able to snuggle down of an afternoon and watch a webinar whenever I’ve got the time and inclination. I’d been meaning to watch this one for a while and was pleased to finally find time yesterday.

The cool but frustrating thing about watching recorded webinars is that I can also follow the chat box, but can’t join in. I saw a few familiar names up there (@ELTmethods, @trishiels, to name but a few), it was like tapping at a glass window when no-one can hear you – “hi guys, I’m here!”

Charles began by describing his training as a French teacher, using the “Question & Answer” technique, “is this an apple?” “No, it’s an orange” or more likely “why are you asking me such a stupid question? Are you blind?”

He described the stone wall difficulties he faced when he tried…

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