teaching English

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

Posted on

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,

Advertisements

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

Posted on Updated on

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

Posted on Updated on

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

 

Adele Listening Activity – (Intermediate and above)

Posted on Updated on

Time: 50 minutes

This listening activity uses “Someone Like You” as a listening activity. There are TWO aspects to this.

  1. The verses and the bridge are fill-in-the-gaps
  2. The choruses are “correct the wrong words” activity. Some of the words on the student sheet are incorrect and students need to listen closely to find which.

Followed by the questions and activities from the lesson plan.

Click the link below for the lesson plan and answer sheet.

Adele Lyrics Gap and Guess

 

Would you rather…? Ice Breaker – (Upper Intermediate / Advanced)

Posted on Updated on

Time: 10+ minutes

A fun ice breaker using “Would you rather A or B?”. It’s deliberately silly and the classes have had loads of fun with it over the years. It needs to be set up and demonstrated along with giving some rules (I.E., you MUST choose one option / if the choice is “completely bald” then they are not allowed to ‘get hair implants’ later! / and so on).

Partners (A & B) have different questions. Students can start to expand it and add their own questions.

FOR SOME MORE CONSERVATIVE TEACHING CULTURES, SOME OF THE QUESTIONS MAY BE ON THE EDGY SIDE.

Click the link below.

Would you rather A B

10 – how fair is your English test? – QUICKIE

Posted on Updated on

MOT 10 Chewie - testing

@MOTcast

www.mastersoftesol.com

Subscribe on iTunes

I’m alive! Back after five months with a quickie that (hopefully) gives us a foundation for a deeper look at this topic later this year with a real expert.

We’re looking at TESTING & EVALUATION – The main priciples in this episode:

  • Practicality
  • Reliability
  • Validity
  • Authenticity
  • Washback

Lots of info comes from this excellent book:

Language Assessment: Principles and Classroom Practices – Brown & Abeywickrama

09 – Bilingual Mythbusting – Marilyn Vihman

Posted on Updated on

Subscribe on iTunes

Follow me on Twitter – @MOTcast

To a monolingual, being bilingual or multilingual seems magical. More than one language in one head – no one can live at that speed! As a result, some unusual misconceptions have grown around linguistic phenomena that, globally, is far more common than speaking a single language.

Marilyin Vihman has significant experience in bilingualism both personally and academically. In this episode, recorded in her office at the University of York, we look at some of the myths about bilingual development and which are outright wrong and which lean closer to the truth than others.

The myths we bust – or, in some cases, bruise – are:

  1. Bilinguals are two monolinguals in one head
  2. Bilinguals start to speak later than monolinguals
  3. Babies soak up languages like sponges
  4. Some languages are more primitive than others, so are easier to learn
  5. English is widely spoken (as a second language) because it has less grammar
  6. Parents pass on mistakes and non-native accents to their children
  7. There’s one right way to raise a bilingual child

(Adapted from Pearson (2008))

Marilyn Vihman at University of York