teaching English

Involving Every Student – Classroom hacks

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An easy way to make sure that every student contributes to class. This video shows an easy way to mentally track who has spoken in class. Basic, but useful!

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Students’ Thinking Skills – Bloom’s Taxonomy – a simple explanation

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Language is more than just memorising vocab and comprehension questions. Students need a range of thinking skills. This video helps with the WHAT, HOW, and WHY of doing more with our activities.

21 – Can Dictation Be Fun? – Oksana Kharley

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Image result for bored writer

“Oh googie…dictation….”

Possibly one of the most misused input/output techniques. The dreaded dictation. How can we move beyond playing a CD or reading and having students just write down what they hear? Oksana Kharley takes us through some useful approaches and techniques for practicing listening and writing that don’t include playing audio a couple of times and then handing out a script. Her ideas can help open up some new avenues for activities that the word and a new way of thinking about “dictation” (eg, does it NEED to include writing?)

Some of these activities come from:

Paul Davis & Mario Rinvolucri. (2006). Dictation. New methods, new possibilities. CUP.

19 – Reflective Practice – Thomas Farrell

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The self-styled ‘bad boy’ of language teaching, Thomas Farrell, dropped by my office to take about self reflection. What do we do in the classroom and, importantly, WHY do we do it? Who are YOU as a teacher and what do YOU bring into the classroom?

 

Start adding this reflective practice regularly to your professional life and you’ll be surprised at the difference it can make to your personal and professional development.

Also a good lesson about having a safety net. I recorded this with my fancy MICs but the recordings failed for some reason, so this is based on my phone back-up recording. Phew….

16 – Eytan Zweig – what words really mean – semantics and pragmatics

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Plurals are easy, right? There’s one or there’s more than one… pretty straight forward. “All”, “every”, “All the” “each” – that’s pretty simple too, isn’t it? Well, hold on to something sturdy as Eytan Zweig gets you to think a little deeper about how we both form and understand language.

The literal meaning (semantics) and the meaning of the use (pragmatics) of the language is a vital part of how we communicate in real life. So, let’s a show like this is chomping at the bit to dig down into this topic.

 

Keywords: ESL, EFL, TESOL, TEFL, CELTA, DELTA, pragmatics, semantics, linguistics, language, second language, teaching, learning, English, Israeli, Hebrew, bilingual, mulitlingual,  York, University of York, UK, England, cognition, Eytan Zweig,

13 – What the way you speak says about you – Sociolinguistics with Andrew Euan MacFarlane

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MOT 6 - brain 1400

 

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.

Footnotes:

Margaret Thatcher’s voice – before and after

Multicultural London English

MOT on Instagram

11 – Too old to learn? The Critical Period – Heather Marsden

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MOT critical period

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

Follow me on @MOTcast

Now on Instagram!

Noob glossary:

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