This episode, we start with a little experiment and get more interactive. Let us know what country you thought the music originated in at @MOTcast with the hashtag #motesol . I’ll put up the results on www.mastersoftesol.com
Andrew Ewan MacFarlane is a lecturer at University of York in the Department of Language and Linguistic Science and a sociolinguist. We spent a while flipping back and forth between accents and dialects, reminiscing about Margaret Thatcher, thinking about unobtrusive kiwis and kangaroos, gettin’ daaaan wit da yoof o’ London innit, and playing “Name That [Country of Origin] Tune”.
This was one of my favourite interviews so far and hopefully inspires more than a few listeners to get deeper into the subject.
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This episode, I speak to University of York’s Heather Marsden about the controversial Critical Period hypothesis. This theory suggests that there is a limited age at which we can learn a second language, after which it grows increasingly difficult. Anecdotally, we assume this to be true – kids are sponges for language while older people struggle – but what does the research say about this?
This episode is simply a bite-sized introduction to a much larger topic, so I encourage you to search around for other perspectives on this subject.
Heather Marsden @ University of York
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L1 – first/native language
L2 – second language
input – any exposure to the L2
interference – where the L1 grammar, vocab or pronunciation affects or negatively influences L2 production
Time: 60 mins +
This lesson plan uses incidental movie music to activate students’ schema to write a movie scene (Intermediate) or a movie plot (Advanced). This can be adapted to your learning goals (focus on vivid language/adjective/action words/dialogue/tenses) and the level of your learners. Ideal for students that are creative or are getting bored of the usual ESL classes.
Click the link below for the lesson.
In this episode we hear from TESOL methodology trainer Tom Randolph about some of the reasons ESL / EFL lessons don’t succeed, and how to avoid it happening. I chip in with my own experience as a teacher trainer based on the classes I have monitored that didn’t go well.
There’re plenty of solid tips and even activity ideas in this conversation, so there’s something for everyone, regardless of experience.
I’d love to hear your ideas too. Don’t be shy!
As teachers, we need to be aware of how students are learning. Different brain systems need to work together in order to retain information and, most importantly, integrate it into existing systems. So, what is the best approach for teachers to give the best chance for students to improve? Stephen van Vlack slices open the brain (metaphorically) to show us how the different brain systems interact and the most effective ways for students to improve.
This is one of the more difficult subjects we’ve tackled on MOT, but Stephen breaks it down into an understandable view of how information and perception affects language learning and retention. Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s another 8 minutes from Stephen van Vlack on how the brain works when we learn – or perceive – new things, including how learning a second language affects the native language.
I’m currently teaching at an intensive winter camp for adults. Each week there is an activity where the groups should break into teams and complete a series of activities, often in different locations on campus.
As this requires scores to be consolidated from different locations, I hit on the idea of how to do this in the most efficient way, whilst simultaneously keeping the students involved and excited.
Hands up if you’ve been properly trained on giving feedback on students’ writing… Yep, not many of us.
Ahmar Mahboob gives a valuable insight into the most effective approach. Below are some links where you can get a more in depth look at his approaches. Is peer assessment any good? How and when should we focus on grammar?
In class, we point behind us to represent the past. Forward for the future. But, other than Total Physical Response, how else can we use gestures?