Developing Teachers.com
A web site for the developing language teacher

August 2006 - issue 8/06

DEVELOPING TEACHERS.COM NEWSLETTER

Welcome to the August Newsletter.

An interesting article I came across recently:

Geordie stroke victim wakes up with Jamaican accent
By Rod Minchin, Published: 04 July 2006

A Geordie woman woke up after suffering a stroke and started speaking with a Jamaican accent.
Linda Walker came round in hospital to discover her distinctive North-east twang had disappeared.
The former university administrator, from Newcastle, is suffering from a case of foreign accent syndrome, where patients wake up speaking differently after suffering a brain injury.
Ms Walker, 60, told the Evening Chronicle: "I got very down about it at first. It is so strange because you don't feel like the same person. I didn't realise what I sounded like but then my speech therapist played a tape of me talking. I was just devastated."
On the telephone she sounds like she has a Jamaican accent but other people have said it is eastern European.
Researchers at Oxford University have found that patients with foreign accent syndrome have suffered damage to areas of the brain that affect speech.
The result is often a drawing out or clipping of the vowels that mimic the accent of a particular country, such as Spain or France, even though the sufferer has limited exposure to that accent. The syndrome was first identified during the Second World War when a Norwegian woman suffered shrapnel damage to her brain. She developed a German accent, which led to her being ostracised by her community.
Nick Miller, a senior lecturer in speech language science at Newcastle University, said the condition could occur in patients who had suffered a stroke or other brain injury.
"It is not such a rare condition and I probably come across four or five cases a year," he said.
"The accent varies from ear to ear. Two people could hear the same accent and one would say it was Jamaican and the other east European.
"At our clinic we offer speech therapy and rehabilitation to patients, which can help people come to terms with the condition."
A Geordie woman woke up after suffering a stroke and started speaking with a Jamaican accent.
Linda Walker came round in hospital to discover her distinctive North-east twang had disappeared.
The former university administrator, from Newcastle, is suffering from a case of foreign accent syndrome, where patients wake up speaking differently after suffering a brain injury.
Ms Walker, 60, told the Evening Chronicle: "I got very down about it at first. It is so strange because you don't feel like the same person. I didn't realise what I sounded like but then my speech therapist played a tape of me talking. I was just devastated."
On the telephone she sounds like she has a Jamaican accent but other people have said it is eastern European.
Researchers at Oxford University have found that patients with foreign accent syndrome have suffered damage to areas of the brain that affect speech.
The result is often a drawing out or clipping of the vowels that mimic the accent of a particular country, such as Spain or France, even though the sufferer has limited exposure to that accent. The syndrome was first identified during the Second World War when a Norwegian woman suffered shrapnel damage to her brain. She developed a German accent, which led to her being ostracised by her community.
Nick Miller, a senior lecturer in speech language science at Newcastle University, said the condition could occur in patients who had suffered a stroke or other brain injury.
"It is not such a rare condition and I probably come across four or five cases a year," he said.
"The accent varies from ear to ear. Two people could hear the same accent and one would say it was Jamaican and the other east European.
"At our clinic we offer speech therapy and rehabilitation to patients, which can help people come to terms with the condition."
http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/health_medical/article1159297.ece

The ELT market in Australia is booming again according to this piece of news:
Oz ELT tops A$1bn earning mark
Australia's English language teaching sector earned more than A$1bn in 2005 according to the representative body, English Australia. After a slowdown in 2002 and 2003, earnings last year from fees and other spending by students rose by 16% to A$1.082bn ($814m). English Australia also revealed that while Asia continues to dominate enrolments, there was strong growth from Europe, South America and the Middle East. "What we are seeing is a couple of solid markets, like South Korea, performing well, but also a couple of really good emerging markets, like Brazil and Colombia," Sue Blundell of English Australia told The Australian newspaper.
http://education.guardian.co.uk/tefl/story/0,,1825892,00.html

A slightly shorter newsletter due to the holiday season in this part of the world. James Frith gives us another interesting article, this time about a process genre approach to the writing skill & an accompanying lesson plan that incorporates just that.

There is a 20% discount on the online development courses – www.developingcourses.com & the web hosting – www.developingtheweb.com - for sign ups during August & September.

We’ll be away at the end of this month so we won’t be sending out a September newsletter. See you in October.

Happy teaching!

Alistair

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INDEX

1. THE SITE
2. TEACHING LINKS
3. DAYS OF THE MONTH
4. BOOK REVIEW
5. WEEKLY TEACHING TIPS
6. PS - Internet/computer-related links
7. THE BIT AT THE END

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DEVELOPINGTHEWEB.COM - WEB HOSTING

Sign up in August or September & receive a 20% discount!
Developing TheWeb, our associate web hosting site offers three very affordable hosting plans - all with cPanel - Bronze $8/month, Silver - $12/month & Gold - $15/month. For details: http://www.developingtheweb.com/plans.htm

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1. THE SITE

ONLINE DEVELOPMENT COURSES

Sign up in August or September & receive a 20% discount!

The online courses are hosted at one of our sister sites, DevelopingCourses.com (http://www.developingcourses.com ). The individual, personalised courses develop with the experience, needs & interests of each participant at their own rate.

We use Moodle, an excellent course management system, each course having its own password so only the individual participant plus the trainer can gain access. The central focus on the courses within Moodle is the forum & where there may be three or four different threads going on at the same time. Attached to these are a variety of resources. All are very easy to operate in Moodle. Choose between the full, seven module course, & an elective four module course.

For more information, get in touch & check out http://www.developingcourses.com

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A Process Genre Approach to Writing Transactional Letters By James Frith

Introduction

It is through the mastery of writing that the individual comes to be fully effective in intellectual organisation, not only in the management of everyday affairs, but also in the expression of ideas and arguments.
( Tribble 1996:13)

Writing is inexorably linked with power, especially in the workplace, and for many of our students, the workplace is where they use, or want to be able to use English, hence the focus on transactional letters. In this assignment, I am going to be looking at how we can guide our students on the road to the mastery of writing through the process genre approach, a blend between the genre approach, which I shall briefly describe later, and the process approach, which is worth explaining before we start, it being the approach which is probably most widespread in current classroom practice.

The process approach focuses, naturally, on the process of writing, as opposed to the end product, which had always been key to the product approach. Learners are encouraged to become collaboratively involved in planning, organising, drafting, revising (through ‘conferencing’) and editing. Language is concentrated on at a discourse level, in contrast to the sentence level focus of the product approach, and meaningful communication and quantity over quality are other features of this approach. The product approach has its methodological roots in imitation and mechanical grammar exercises (Nunan 1991).

I chose to look at the process genre approach because I have never felt comfortable with the prohibition of models in the process writing classroom and so I was naturally intrigued by the alternative suggested, although not named, by Tribble (1996). Typical problems students have in my experience are related to format and appropriateness of language. The process approach attempts to deal with these inductively, whereas I have always found a deductive model-based approach more effective. Other typical problems for learners involve lexico-grammatical errors, erroneous use of logical connectives and insufficient planning. This last point meant that a return to the product approach was never on the agenda for this particular writer.

These problems will be dealt with in the following sections, but now I would like to analyse some of the broader issues for learners involved in writing transactional letters. I shall do this by looking at what a skilled writer needs to know in terms of; the audience and their relationship to them, the type of letter and its content, the purpose for writing and writing skills.

To view the article:
http://www.developingteachers.com/articles_tchtraining/processgenre1_james.htm

The accompanying lesson plan:

Level:Upper-Intermediate
Aims:
Main aims:
i)To raise awareness of the benefits of a planning s tage in writing
ii)To guide students to consider audience and appropriate style in written work

Subsidiary aims:
i)To raise awareness of how style can be effected linguistically and to provide opportunity for controlled and freer practice in this area
ii)To raise awareness of discourse structure and layout in a letter of request and to provide opportunity to practice its reproduction in the students’ own writing

To view the lesson plan:
http://www.developingteachers.com/articles_tchtraining/processgenre5_james.htm

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Thanks to James.

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ARTICLES - If you've given a course or seminar or have a lesson plan & would like to give it a public airing, do get in touch.

ADVERTISING - We reach more than a few thousand teachers every week with the Weekly Teaching Tip & the same each month with the Newsletter, not to mention the 2000+ unique visitors a day to the Site, & the site has the Google PR5. If you've got a book, course, job...anything that you'd like to advertise, then do get in touch.

TO GET IN TOUCH
http://www.developingteachers.com/contact/contact.htm

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CONSULTANCY

At Developing Teachers.com we occasionally carry out consultancy work. The different projects have included tutoring DELTA candidates by email, offering advice on curriculum design & materials choice & short training courses in person & by email. If you would like us to help in any way, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
http://www.developingteachers.com/contact/contact.htm

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2. TEACHING LINKS

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1826945,00.html

‘Suddenly, we all want to speak in tongues - Football managers, comedians ... the famously monoglot British are rushing to learn languages.’ Guardian article.

http://www.sdkrashen.com/main.php3
Stephen Krashen’s website – articles.

http://a4esl.org/podcasts/
Most recent 20 ESL podcasts.

http://www.select-language.com/podcards/index.php
Send your learners a Pod Card – nice idea.

If you have visited a site that you think would be beneficial for all or would like your site to appear here, please get in touch. Thanks. http://www.developingteachers.com/contact/contact.htm

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3. DAYS OF THE MONTH

A few days to plan your lessons around in August:

1st - World Wide Web Anniversary
12th - International Youth Day
13th - Lefthanded Day
31st - Malaysia Independence Day
La Tomatina Festival, Spain
The Burning Man Project in Nevada

To see the list of Days:
http://developingteachers.com/days/days.htm

Wikipedia's excellent focus on days of the year:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_anniversaries

http://www.holidayorigins.com/home.html
Some holiday origins.

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4. BOOK REVIEW

There’s a review up on the site of the Primary Box Series in the Cambridge Copy Collection series of books. Each is highly rated in the review you can read at:

http://www.developingteachers.com/books/review_box.htm
Primary Communication Box: Reading activities and puzzles for younger learners

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0521549884/developingteac0b
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0521549884/developingteache

Primary Activity Box: Games and Activities for Younger Learners
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0521779669/developingteac0b
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0521779413/developingteache

Primary Vocabulary Box : Word Games and Activities for Younger Learners
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0521520339/developingteac0b
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0521520339/developingteache

Primary Reading Box: Reading activities and puzzles for younger learners
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0521549876/developingteac0b
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0521549876/developingteache

Primary Pronunciation Box: Book and Audio CD Pack
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0521545455/developingteac0b
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0521545455/developingteache

Primary Grammar Box: Grammar Games and Activities for Younger Learners
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0521009634/developingteac0b
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0521009634/developingteache

BUYING BOOKS
If you're going to Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk then please go through our Books page. You will pay the same & we will receive a few pennies to keep the site & newsletters free. Thanks.
http://www.developingteachers.com/books/reading.htm

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5. WEEKLY TEACHING TIPS

Free weekly practical teaching tips by e-mail.

Recent Tips have included:

http – lesson material
Discreetly integrative – testing techniques
Tech homework – homework on the net.
Reusable speaking – speaking activities
Coursebook partner – course planning ideas.

To see the Past Tips:
http://www.developingteachers.com/tips/pasttips.htm

To sign up to receive them:
http://www.developingteachers.com/tipsnews.htm

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6. PS - Internet/computer-related links

A few computer use rules of thumb:

- make copies of all-important files
- run scan disk & then defragment the hard drive
- use firewall software
- use a virus scan & update the files every week
- install security patches that software providers offer
- update your DirectX files regularly
- don't open attachments without scanning for viruses first
- don't respond to spam - just delete & forget
- don't send personal or bank information by email
- turn off your computer at night

http://www.thebeststuffintheworld.com/
‘The Best Stuff in the World is an open, organic, polymorphous site which, depending on the user, could take on diverse forms and meanings. The site simply asks you to input your "best stuff" in the world: whether it be a song that inspires you, your favourite little Indian restaurant or the best explication of Kantian aesthetics ... it's up to you!’

http://www.stylusmagazine.com/articles/weekly_article/stylus-magazines-top-100-
music-videos-of-all-time.htm

Stylus have democratically selected our humble and largely unofficial picks for the 100 best videos ever made, and are presenting them here, fully equipped with YouTube links for your viewing pleasure.’

http://davidmlane.com/hyperstat/
The science of statistics explained.

http://blog.outer-court.com/click/
Interesting click survey.

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/maps/
‘ Celebrating a thirty-year partnership between the Library of Congress and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM), the Maps in Our Lives exhibition explores surveying, cartography, geodesy, and geographic information systems--and draws on both the Library's historic map collections and the ACSM collection in the Library of Congress.’

http://www.netbroadcaster.com/new/shorts/index.html
netbroadcaster – lots of short indie films to watch.

http://wfmu.org/onthedownload.php/byartist
‘WFMU's On The Download collects MP3s from the fringes once a month: new sounds, obscure audio, found sound, and other sonic stimulants unique to WFMU.’

http://www.botar.us/
Old-time radio.

http://www.badfads.com/home.html
Browse through the fun and fascinating fashion, collectible, activity and event fads of the last 100 years.

Back to the index
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7. THE BIT AT THE END

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