2004 - issue 2/04
to the February Newsletter.
month we have lots of the usual. We are joined by Adam Simpson
with a short article about the internet chat room &
by Sandra Bradwell with an article that helps us sort out
that infamous of all lexical areas: multi-word verbs. Along
with some recent interesting postings, in the Forum section
we answer the question - How many forum users does it take
to change a light bulb? If you haunt any type of forum you'll
find this amusing. And this month's book review is of 'English
Pronunciation In Use' by Mark Hancock (CUP). Plus there
are the sections on internet links for class & for fun.
you find the newsletter interesting & useful.
DAYS OF THE MONTH
WEEKLY TEACHING TIPS
PS - Internet/computer-related links
A Course in Listening and Pronunciation for Advanced Learners
of English - An electronic publication that aims to solve
the problem of the misrepresentation of speech.
you'd like to buy a Streaming Speech course you will receive
a discount if you tell Richard you heard about it at Developing
Internet Chat Room as a Learning Tool by Adam Simpson, CALL
Centers, Istanbul Bilgi University
issue often discussed among teachers is the dilemma of getting
students to use language in real time situations. This article
discusses the implications of getting language learners
to use internet chat rooms for language learning purposes.
of Chat Rooms
language students can use a chat room at any time to interact
with any number of people anywhere in the world. They allow
learners to interact in an authentic context with native
speakers without being restricted by location. In many ways,
this is an unprecedented learning opportunity.
Chat rooms can promote autonomous learning. This is primarily
due to the fact that the teacher's role is minimized. Transcripts
are generated which are useful for studying the language
used. Every line of conversation is recorded, and can be
seen in full thereafter. Another advantage is that students
have the opportunity to observe the language used by native
speakers. Learners are able to see how a conversation develops,
and also to notice what kinds of response are suitable (or
unsuitable) in given situations.
rooms also promote active involvement. The learner is enticed
into conversing with others, and yet can withdraw as and
when they feel like it.
Learners are also given the opportunity for skills development
and practice. Chat rooms offer the learner the chance to
produce language which is somewhere between everyday spoken
English and the language in its written form. Many learners
may not have previously been exposed to such informal written
and importantly, they allow communication to take place
in real time. This is a truly authentic communicative device.
The conversations are real and the frameworks around which
they are built are extremely loose. They therefore necessitate
a degree of spontanaeity and adaptation. Also, the sense
of real time is a little more forgiving than a face to face
spoken encounter. Firstly, there is that all important thinking
time between seeing what the other person has written and
making one's reply. Secondly, there is the factor of anonimity
which potentially increases the learners' confidence.
Difficulties with Chat Rooms
keyboard skills in English are usually slow which means
that they often miss part of the conversation thread. It
is the nature of chat room dialogue for conversations to
move very quickly at times, thus leaving the learner somewhat
confused and downhearted.
the way the conversation scrolls down the screen requires
the participant to read text very quickly. This is often
difficult for EFL students, due to deficiencies in the type
of reading skill which native speakers would inherently
room participants also often use slang and abbreviations
which EFL learners may not be familiar with. Having previously
stated that students may benefit from seeing how native
speakers use the language, it should be noted that an 'internet
language' is evolving rapidly, which differs in many ways
from spoken English.
speakers using chat rooms may discuss topics which are culture
specific to the English speaking world, or inappropriate
or offensive to some learner groups. This may lead to misunderstandings
which have nothing to do with the learner's knowledge of
author would like to mention that he has used chat rooms
in his own language learning, and has found most of the
advantages mentioned are generally realistic. Furthermore,
the author has found that introducing himself as a learner
of Turkish has proven beneficial in setting up the nature
of the dialogue.
How do you feel about the issues that Julian raises? Have
your say in the forums at this thread:
Upper Intermediate learners come to grips with multi-word
verbs by Sandra Bradwell
of a wide range of idiomatic expressions, and the ability
to use them appropriately in speech and writing, are among
the distinguishing features of a native-like command of
English. Cowrie, A.P. and Makin, R.(1993:422) Oxford Dictionary
of Phrasal Verbs
communicative approaches to language teaching learners are
generally exposed to multiword verbs from a very early stage
in their learning. In any beginner course, learners describe
their daily routine and are exposed to wake up, get up as
lexical items. A lot of classroom language includes multiword
verbs: listen out for the expressions, take out a pencil
and paper, and in these early stages they do not cause many
problems because they are relatively straight forward as
their meaning is literal or the context in which they are
used is very clearly understood. As learning continues learners
meet more complex forms: get on with ..., look forward to
..., which they understand and can use in controlled situations
but which they tend to avoid in freer situations. At First
Certificate level, course books focus on 'phrasal verbs'
in each unit. Different course books classify them in different
ways. It is at this stage that confusion really sets in
because both learners, and teachers, feel overwhelmed and
decide that multiword verbs are impossible to understand
and learn. This is a great pity because they are a common
feature of informal spoken and written English and the distinguishing
feature of an excellent command of the language. Learners
who do make an effort to use them and manage to use them
naturally have the edge on those who do not.
read the article
to Adam & Sandra.
- If you've given a course or seminar or have a lesson plan
& would like to give it a public airing then do send
- We reach a few thousand teachers every week with the Weekly
Teaching Tip & the same each month with the Newsletter,
not to mention the 1000+ unique visitors a day to the site.
If you've got a book, course, job...anything that you'd
like to advertise, then do get in touch at:
PLANS - Check out
the lesson plan index
ordinary Master's: become an action researcher with Aston
University's MSc in TESOL Aston University Language Studies
of different Forums to choose from. Post your jobs, your
CV, your questions, finds on the net, ideas, activities,
questions, grumbles, suggestions, your language courses,
your training courses...they are there for you to use.
of going or know anybody who might be going to China? Interesting
recent postings from Teng about conditions for teachers
in China: 'China ESL - An Industry Run Amuck':
also 'CHINA EFL/ESL JOBS: A Case of False Advertising'
tells us about his linguistics & ESL blog:
you've got any opinions, post away.
How many forum users does it take to change a light bulb?
1 to change the light bulb and to post that the light bulb
has been changed
14 to share similar experiences of changing light bulbs
and how the light bulb could have been changed differently
7 to caution about the dangers of changing light bulbs
27 to point out spelling/grammar errors in posts about changing
53 to flame the spell checkers
41 to correct spelling/grammar flames
6 to argue over whether it's "lightbulb" or "light
another 6 to condemn those 6 as anal-retentive
2 industry professionals to inform the group that the proper
term is "lamp"
15 know-it-alls who claim *they* were in the industry, and
that "light bulb" is perfectly correct
156 to email the participant's ISPs complaining that they
are in violation of their "acceptable use policy"
109 to post that this forum is not about light bulbs and
to please take this discussion to a lightbulb forum
203 to demand that cross posting to hardware forum, off-topic
forum, and lightbulb forum about changing light bulbs be
111 to defend the posting to this forum saying that we all
use light bulbs and therefore the posts *are* relevant to
306 to debate which method of changing light bulbs is superior,
where to buy the best light bulbs, what brand of light bulbs
work best for this technique and what brands are faulty
27 to post URL's where one can see examples of different
14 to post that the URL's were posted incorrectly and then
post the corrected URL's
3 to post about links they found from the URL's that are
relevant to this group which makes light bulbs relevant
to this group
33 to link all posts to date, quote them in their entirety
including all headers and signatures, and add "Me too"
12 to post to the group that they will no longer post because
they cannot handle the light bulb controversy
19 to quote the "Me too's" to say "Me three"
4 to suggest that posters request the light bulb FAQ
44 to ask what is a "FAQ"
4 to say "didn't we go through this already a short
143 to say "do a Google search on light bulbs before
posting questions about light bulbs"
1 forum lurker to respond to the original post 6 months
from now and start it all over again
'Wordcounter ranks the most frequently used words in any
given body of text. Use this to see what words you overuse
(is everything a "solution" for you?) or maybe
just to find some keywords from a document. '
'This site is for British Council language assistants. It's
updated weekly from September to May with tips, materials
and links to help you with your teaching, plus a discussion
group to share teaching ideas. There's lots here for any
teacher of English.'
Five different languages' translator
Dorling Kindersley & Google bring us a new encyclopedia.
'e.encyclopedia combines the best of a traditional encyclopedia
with an extra digital dimension. The book's dedicated website
has been created with Google, the world's leading search
engine. It guides the reader to the most helpful, appropriate
and amazing sites the web has to offer.'
Countries & comparatives information.
James Trotta's ESL Blog
DAYS OF THE MONTH
couple of days to plan your lessons around in February -
doesn't appear to be a particularly interesting month:
- Groundhog Day
14th - Valentine's Day
29th - Leap Year
see the Days of the Year
month we've got a review of 'English Pronunciation in Use'
by Mark Hancock.
'English Pronunciation in Use is a new addition to the In
Use stable of books that began with the very successful
English Grammar in Use. As with all books in the series,
this book is designed to be used by the individual learner,
& in this case with the intermediate & above learner.
You may know the author Mark Hancock, through using his
excellent Pronunciation Games.'
To see the review
buy the book at Amazon.com
buy the book at Amazon.co.uk
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.
WEEKLY TEACHING TIPS
Free weekly practical teaching tips by e-mail.
Tips have included:
Getting a perspective - levels of intelligibility
- Burns Night - poetry ideas with John Barleycorn
- Listening In - to the writing process with protocol analysis
- Ghoti - sound/spelling
- New Year Rock - Elvis Presley lesson ideas
see the Past Tips
sign up to receive them
ESOL TEACHER TRAINING COURSES
in Spain - Courses running in the near future at the British
Language Centre in Madrid:
CERTIFICATE IN ELT - CELTA
Full-time four-week courses, next courses February, March,
Part-time twelve week course, M/W/F 10.30-14.00, April >>
DIPLOMA IN ELT - DELTA
Full-time two-month course, April & May, July &
discount on all courses if you mention the newsletter!
priced accommodation can be arranged for the duration of
PS - Internet/computer-related links
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
Need a calendar - try this Geek Trivia calendar - free download.
And this free Geek Trivia Weekly Planner.
'Radio-Locator, the most comprehensive radio station search
engine on the internet. We have links to over 10,000 radio
station web pages and over 2500 audio streams from radio
stations in the U.S. and around the world.'
'Google News Alerts are sent by email when news articles
appear online that match the topics you specify. Some handy
uses of Google News Alerts include: monitoring a developing
news story, keeping current on a competitor or industry,
getting the latest on a celebrity or event, eeping tabs
on your favorite sports teams'
How many people in the UK have your name?
Find awful reviews c/o Amazon.com, of your favourite albums.
'This site is dedicated to collecting absolute truisms that
have no profound meaning whatsoever... it's easier said
At loggerheads at home or at work? 'You Draw Straws is a
great way to randomly make a selection from a number of
choices. It can be used for any kind of group decision-making.'
A list of all those phobias you've got. I have a phobia
How to fry an egg on a computer!
The Bored Boards.
'I was a captive of the Surly Robot'. 'Comic book news &
Digital IQ test.
'Three of America's most compelling presidents - Kennedy,
Johnson and Nixon - bugged their White House offices and
tapped their telephones. They left behind thousands of secretly
recorded conversations, from momentous to mundane. In this
documentary project, American RadioWorks eavesdrops on presidential
telephone calls to hear how each man used one-on-one politics
to shape history.'
The Faerie Wars minefield.
Grinning Planet - saving the planet one joke at a time.
Monthly Newsletter is a free service of Developing Teachers.com
and is copyright © 2001-2004 Developing Teachers.com All
subscribe to the Newsletters
the Past Newsletter index