- issue 4/02
Welcome to the April Newsletter
Have you ever asked a student
to get rid of the chewing gum they were chewing? I'm sure
you have. However, according to a joint study carried out
by the University of Northumbria and the Cognitive Research
Unit, Reading, chewing gum has a positive effect on cognitive
tasks such as thinking and memory. "The results were
extremely clear and specifically we found that chewing gum
targeted memory," Andrew Scholey of the University's
Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit said. "People recalled
more words and performed better in tests on working memory."
Peppermint gum, menthol or spearmint - it makes no difference.
The key is the repetitive chewing motion. What about chewing
gum & speaking English at the same time? Perhaps we should
apply for a grant to study this phenomena?
Thank you to everyone who has
been completing the Poll on the Front Page of the site. To
the poll that asks you who you teach we've added a couple
more; one asking you how long you have been teaching &
the other how long you spend planning lessons in a typical
week. They rotate each time you enter the site - if they don't,
refresh the page. Do complete the polls, as it's interesting
to see who is visiting the site. You don't have to give away
any personal information. Thanks.
We've also added a Forum/Message
board for your use - there's a link on the Front Page. Please
feel to post questions of any kind - I'm sure you'll get a
response. (Apologies in advance for the pop up ad - we're
experimenting with a free message board.)
This month's newsletter provides
a lesson plan based on the theme of 'chocolate' - using an
excerpt from the novel 'Chocolat' by Joanne Harris (Black
Swan). There are quite a few articles to read; a very practical
teacher training article, one about exploring strategic competence
together with a lesson plan, a look at the principle &
practice behind English language teaching, helping our students
with their notetaking & an article about language &
disadvantage set in the British educational system.
There is also another book review,
this time looking at 'Teaching for Success, The Brain-friendly
Revolution in Action' by Mark Fletcher. And then there are
the usual sections of teaching links, the jobs' section &
the PS computer/internet links.
Please e-mail a friend the Developing
Teachers Newsletter. Thanks.
See the note in the bit at the
end about ReferWare.
1. A PLAN
2. THE SITE
- lesson plans & articles
10. PS - Internet/computer-related
11. THE BIT
AT THE END
lesson plan centred around chocolate & a chapter from
the novel 'Chocolat' by Joanne Harris. It's for Upper
intermediate/Advanced & here are the stages:
a joke about chocolate - This
guy found a bottle on the ocean, and he opened it and out
popped a genie, and he gave him three wishes. The guy wished
for a million dollars, and poof! there was a million dollars.
Then he wished for a convertible, and poof! there was a convertible.
And then, he wished he could be irresistible to all women...
poof! he turned into a box of chocolates.
A discussion about chocolate
focussing on some quotes about chocolate & brainstorm
of related vocabulary.
- Reading: it's a very good
chapter about how Vianne makes chocolate & how she relates
it to sorcery & her life in general.
- A vocabulary focus around
chocolate making vocab & magic-related vocab
- Follow up activities such
as a chocolate tasting sessions, a choc questionnaire &
a couple of roleplays
a page for the plan & one for the materials, as well as
a Word version to download.
2. THE SITE
There are some more excellent new articles on the site this
month. Thanks go to Judy Guttridge, Costas Gabrielatos, Alex
Case, Dimitrios Thansoulas & Sarn Rich
The first article is a teacher
training article titled
'Process Options for Training Sessions', by Judy Guttridge.
'As a teacher trainer I feel
my role is to encourage teachers to reflect particularly on
three areas: what they feel about education, how they feel
people learn, and how they see language, with a view to developing
their own personal 'theory' to support their teaching practice.
The neophyte teacher is, however, frequently more worried
about how to get through the class period without problems
of discipline than reflecting on things afterwards!'
Judy goes on to discuss how
these areas can be satisfied through three classroom classics
that she has been using recently in her training sessions;
find someone who, strip dictation & reading circle activities.
Judy finishes her article by
saying, 'I have a strong belief in the need for mental and
physical involvement, and for activities that are going to
stimulate the use of memory, be it consciously or otherwise.
It would appear to be a common sense approach to trainee sessions
to combine practice and theory in a highly motivating way,
providing trainees with material for reflection and for the
development of personal theories and practices.'
read the article
at the ELT supermarket - Principled Decisions & Practices
by Costas Gabrielatos
There is nothing as practical
as a good theory. (Kurt Lewin)
This article reflects my ongoing
development of a principled and flexible methodological framework
beyond pre-packaged, one-size-fits-all methods; a framework
free from traditional or dogmatic constraints, flexible enough
to take into account new ideas and insights, but also critical
of current popular trends and the claims of authorities and
In this article I examine some
common attitudes towards methodology selection, discuss the
notion of eclecticism and outline the nature and implications
of principled decision-making and practice in ELT. I argue
that principled teaching requires a) awareness of different
views on the nature and use of the target language, as well
as language learning (see Brown, 1994; Richards & Rogers,
1986; Rivers, 1972), b) awareness of one's own beliefs and
theories, and c) the ability to observe critically, recognise
patterns and draw conclusions.
and Disadvantage by Dimitrios Thansoulas
There is no denying that the
term disadvantage evokes images of poverty, disability, and
lack of potential; to be at a disadvantage means to be discriminated
against and looked down on. In short, it suggests that a specific
social group differs from society at large because it evinces
characteristics that deviate from the norm. For example, as
Passow (1970: 16, cited in Edwards, 1989:1) notes, a disadvantaged
child is one who
because of social or cultural characteristics (e.g. social
class, race, ethnic origin, poverty, sex, geographical location
comes into the school system with knowledge, skills
and attitudes which impede learning.
Given this definition, we can say that the notion "disadvantage"
is to be seen as sociocultural in nature, in as much as what
counts as disadvantage is a product of, and emanates from,
society's value-laden attitudes towards social groups, rather
than the latter's intrinsic qualities. Nevertheless, Passow's
definition does not rule out the possibility of biological
deficits arising from the environment in which certain "disadvantaged"
individuals live. In this light, disadvantage should be construed
as being the result of the interplay of class, genetic deficiencies
and / or cultural environment. Bearing all this in mind, in
the present study we will be concerned with the role of language
in ascribing unfavourable attributes to students that do not
conform to the "standard" world-view, as this is
sanctioned and promoted by the socially potent. More specifically,
we will look into the difficulties that speakers of vernacular
dialects run into within the context of the English educational
system, refraining from dwelling upon those faced by immigrants,
precisely because the problems they encounter are comparable
to those of native speakers of non-standard English.
While Listening - Tackling the Double Challenge of Note Taking
by Alex Case
This article aims to examine
how we can make the double challenge of note-taking easier
for our students, both by making the lessons more engaging
for them and by giving them a real insight into what they
are being asked to do. The article uses the CAE exam as an
example, but all the concepts and activities should be relevant
for any students who will need to do this, such as students
wishing to study in English-medium universities. If none of
these external criteria apply, the article should provide
some food for thought on how, or even whether, to use the
note-taking tasks that textbooks provide.
Strategic Competence by Sarn Rich
Identification and analysis
Of the components of communicative
competence identified by Canale and Swain (1980) strategic
competence is something of a Cinderella, long ignored by linguists,
compared to grammatical competence (encompassing 'knowledge
of lexical items and of rules of morphology, syntax, sentence-grammar
semantics and phonology') (ibid:29), and sociolinguistic competence
(involving knowledge of sociocultural rules of appropriate
language use, and discourse rules concerning cohesion and
coherence). Strategic competence is defined as 'the verbal
and non-verbal communication strategies that may be called
into action to compensate for breakdowns in communication
due to performance variables or to insufficient competence'
(ibid:30), explained by Dornyei and Thurrell as 'the ability
to get one's meaning across successfully to communicative
partners, especially when problems arise in the communication
If you've given a course or
seminar or have a lesson plan & would like to give it
a public airing then do send it to:
ADVERTISING - If you are interested in advertising
on the site or the Weekly Teaching Tip & this Monthly
Newsletter then please get in touch at:
Here's one of Nedra's favourite warmers, which she uses when
she just can't think of anything else to get the class started.
Each student gets a shape (square, circle, rectangle, cube,
sphere, pyramid, diamond, etc.). They have 2-3 minutes to
think of as many things as possible, which are generally ONLY
that shape. Obviously some are easier than others, so having
them do it in pairs is nice, too. You have to emphasize that
the things on their list should normally only take THAT shape,
to avoid six thousand things on the square and rectangle list.
Also, make sure they distinguish between squares and rectangles:
books are generally rectangular, not square.
Follow up by eliciting adjectives (square, circular, rectangular...)
You must have a favourite warmer! Send it in & we'll publish
it here & put it in the warmer list on the site.
A new section in the newsletter
& on the site. We will be occasionally recommending books
& publishing reviews.
David Holden has another book
review up this month - 'Teaching for Success, The Brain-friendly
Revolution in Action' by Mark Fletcher (English Experience)
see the review
If you would like to review
a book for us do get in touch.
Please don't forget to go through the books page when you
want to buy from Amazon - we get a little bit & you pay
the same. Every little helps to keep the newsletters free.
5. E-MAIL COURSES
Maximise your time by getting
a quality personalised teacher development course. There are
a couple of sample pages to view.
6. LINKS FOR TEACHING
'What is a "poessay?"
Rather than being a word that you might find in a dictionary,
it is a neologism from "poem" and "essay,"
its two constituent parts. On the one hand, it is poetry to
be appreciated for its sounds, rhythm, dramatic impact, and
imagery. On the other, it contains a flowing message, an insightful
opinion, or a rhetorical argument that is usually expressed
in linear prose. Examples are given after the following explanation
of their pedagogic use: that is, how poessays might be useful
for teaching English in Japan.' And elsewhere - check out
John Pereira & friends page on a Japanese Student University
'Catch Up On Your Classic Novels
- Classic Novels - In 5 Minutes A Day brings you the world's
best Classic Novels, delivered in daily five minute installments
to your e-mail. Our new service, Classic Novels On Demand
allows readers to subscribe to a novel today and start reading
Maybe one to pass on to your
If you're lucky enough to have
a computer room at your school & you take your classes
there for lessons then this site will provide a bit of light
relief between the more challenging activities. It's a text-based
version of the game Pong, in English.
So, if you could choose the
top ten literary characters since 1900, who would you choose?
Here at the Book Magazine they have had a go - 'The assignment
seemed simple enough: rank the top one hundred characters
in literature since 1900. But what appeared easy soon proved
maddening, vexing, frustrating. Experts were consulted; lists
were drawn up; hundreds upon hundreds of books were pored
over. We scoured our bookshelves, called up old teachers.
Still the arguments persisted.' The top ten are on the site
& the other ninety in the current hard copy edition. Lots
you could do with this with advanced classes.
I put this here rather than
in the PS section as it is excellent classroom material. Everything
you need to know about the Internet.
Bizarre reading material from
the Obscure Store & Reading Room.
Wuxi City, China
Wuxi Guanghua Private School now is seeking Native English
Teachers with degree in any field or relevant teaching Dip,
Certificate. Age from 20-56 years old, being in good health.
Teaching experience preferred. Couples with children are welcome.
Payment: Upon completing 16
class hours/week (including the relevant lesson preparation,
examination paper composition, and giving guidance to students),
the salary per month (RMB): 4000 for Bachelor's Degree (or
relevant diploma), 4,300 for Master's Degree, 4,500 for Doctor's
Degree. The extra pay 60RMB for per class period other than
the supposed task is not included. It is a 10-month contract.
(The current exchange rate is about 1US$=8.25 Chinese yuan.)
The school will consider the
possibility of increasing monthly salary by the very favourable
feedback from students or remarkable progress of the students
in their learning /semester examination. Payment of above
amount of salary for the entire 12 months even during the
school holiday (winter and summer) regardless of teachers
willingness to spend his/her holiday either in China or in
the home country. Payment of Holiday Allowance is amounting
to RMB2200/year during the School Holiday (winter and summer)
within China. Payment of Health/Medical Allowance amounting
Other Benefits and Welfare:
The school provides a free completely private, clean and quality
apartment with a reasonable size, (one bedroom, one sitting
room with bathroom for single teacher and two bed rooms, a
big sitting room with two bathrooms for a family) being fully
Either reimbursement of international
round trip airfare up to USD 850/Year (of which USD 425 shall
be reimbursed after 5 months of teaching and the balance will
be after another 5 months of teaching), three days teacher
training on how to teach Chinese students and introduction/
induction to the school and its vicinity.
For more information: Darren
Bian Fax: 0064-9-4449077
We are looking for native English speakers, who have an
excellent level of spoken and written English. We are based
in Pusan, which is located in the southern part of Korea and
in regular contact with reputable trustworthy schools in Pusan.
Job description - Job title:
EFL full time teacher/ 1 year contract, teaching subject:
Conversation, students taught: age 12 upwards, number of students:
100, working hour: 120 hours / month, salary: 2 million Won,
a furnished single studio/shared house, health insurance/
Bonus/ 2 week paid holiday
Qualifications - A 4 year degree holder, young male/female
native speakers of English, preference: TEFL qualifications/
Teaching experience, good public relations skills, enthusiastic
about teaching, enjoy learning about other cultures.
Company name: A@T Consulting, Address: #1135 Century B/D,
Nam gu, Pusan, Korea, Tel: 82-51-610-1745, Fax: 82-51-610-1747,
Home page: www.antcon.com
If you are interested, a full CV along with a photo of yourself
should be sent via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
post CVs on the site & employers
can post job adverts - both are free services at the moment.
8. WEEKLY TEACHING TIPS
Free weekly practical teaching
tips by e-mail. The Tips that we've had recently include:
- Stirring it up - antagonising
stds to promote more effective learning - on April 1st!
- Storm away - a look at brainstorming
- Listening loop - using loop
input in your lessons
- Authentic - promoting real
authenticity between the players
- Game or language practice?
- it's how you put it over
see the Past Tips
To sign up to receive
Train in Spain - Courses running
in the near future at the British Language Centre in Madrid:
CAMBRIDGE CERTIFICATE IN ELT
Full-time four-week courses,
May, June, July '02
CAMBRIDGE DIPLOMA IN ELT - DELTA
Two month full-time course:
July & August '02
Reasonably priced accommodation
can be arranged for the duration of all courses.
You can see brief descriptions
of all of the current courses on the BLC web site http://www.cospa.es/blc/TED/ttframe.htm
The postal address of Teacher Education at the British Language
Centre is Calle Bravo Murillo 377, 2, 28020 Madrid, Spain.
The phone number is (00 34) 733 07 39 & the fax number
is (00 34) 91 314 5009.
The e-mail address is email@example.com
10. PS - Internet/computer-related
Google are doing their bit for
science by adding an idle-time number cruncher called Google
Compute to the Google Toolbar. When you turn it on you allow
your computer to work on scientific problems when it would
otherwise be idle.
A couple of recommendations from Gerard.
Check out this mouse trail!
Chill out playing with The Man! And then some of the other
things on the site like the short story, The Leaves:
What is Phrenicea? Pronounced
fren-EEE-shuh, it is a vision of our future - a 21st-century
prophecy predicting the ultimate outcome of the Internet and
biotechnology revolutions. This site is intended to present
the Phrenicea® vision of the future as well as provide
a focal point for a lively exchange of ideas...
Solve your computer-related
problems by asking questions in plain, everyday language to
access knowledge bases from Microsoft, Intuit (makers of Quicken)
and Adobe, with more planned.
TinyApps.Org provides links
to software available on the Internet. As defined by this
website, a tiny app (application) is software weighing 1.44mb
or less. This ranges from the tiny tube (a mere 256 bytes),
to the awe-inspiring QNX demo disk which pretty much fills
a floppy. To qualify for TinyApps, a program must not exceed
1.44mb, not be adware, not require installation or the VB/MFC
runtime files, work under at least every version of Windows
9x without having to update or change system dlls (this does
not apply to non-Windows apps, of course) & preferably
be free, and ideally offer source code. Shareware will only
be listed if there is no freeware alternative.
Game of Life, anyone? A pop-up
Java applet that displays a collection of the greatest patterns
ever created in Conway's Game of Life.
'Have you ever been frustrated
by an inability to see a character you've imagined? Are you
constantly asking (all right, begging) your "artist friend"
for an illustration because you can't draw a straight line
with a ruler? Now your frustrations are over! Thanks to the
HeroMachine, you can dynamically create your own customized
character portrait. With intuitive controls and high-quality
illustrations, the HeroMachine offers millions of possible
combinations that will bring your imagination alive.'
Loads of wonderful fonts. Download
demos or buy from the site.
Search 6600 News Sites and Weblogs
for Current Events and Breaking News
I have the worst freaking job
in the world. You know those warning signs you always see
with the stick man falling down or being crushed or otherwise
incurring bodily harm? That's me. I posed for those pictures.
My entire purpose in life is getting hurt so we can put up
signs to protect people who are stupid and/or illiterate.
Is it really worth it to go through all this pain and humiliation
just to ensure the safety of someone who doesn't realize that
if they stand under a parking garage gate long enough it will
eventually hit them in the head?
Aren't we better off without these people? Ah, well. Even
a stick-man has got to make a living somehow (my cousin is
the guy who lets you know when it's safe to cross the street.
Lousy jerk doesn't know how easy he's got it).
I'm Stick Figure Warning-Man, and my follies are meant to
serve as a cautionary tale. Look upon my works and weep. Or
just be glad you're not me.
Fake someone's death! Create
a BBC or CNN very real web page - type in the name, link in
a photo & click - simple & effective. Send it on or
put it up.
Googlewhacking & some bizarre
sections to this site. Amongst it there is:
The Collaborative Creativity
Engine is an experiment in community media. Anybody can create
a piece of media, give it a title and a theme. Each piece
can have it's own colors, images and content. Once a piece
has been created, anybody can add verses or images to it.
It can be viewed as a whole, or a verse at a time.
Tips, listings, reviews, ratings,
resources, newsletters about
Another very 'cool' search engine designed to make life even
easier - check it out
Nice effect & then check
out the site.
11. THE BIT AT THE END
This newsletter is ReferWare.
If you enjoy reading it and find useful information in this
newsletter, you are asked to help spread the word about it.
You can do this by forwarding a copy to your friends, telling
them about it, and/or putting a link to http://www.developingteachers.com
from your site. You cannot:
1.Post this newsletter in part
or in whole on your site.
2.Forward this newsletter issue
after issue to people - just send them a single issue and
tell them to subscribe.
Has to be.
Disclaimer - all of the recommendations
for computer-related software are personal recommendations.
We take no responsibility for anything that might go wrong
when downloading, installing or running them - not that anything
should but you never know. It's your decision, your responsibility.
The same applies to the jobs mentioned above. And anything
else that you can think of that we might be responsible for
as a result of this newsletter!
Comments, suggestions, or questions
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