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

FEBRUARY 2012

DEVELOPINGTEACHERS.COM NEWSLETTER

Welcome to the February '12 Newsletter

INDEX

1. GREETINGS
2. A COUPLE OF ARTICLES FROM THE NET
3. THE SITES
4. STUFF FROM THESITE
5. A FEW LINKS

6. WEEKLY TEACHING TIPS
7. DAYS OF THE MONTH
8. THE BIT AT THE END

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1. Hello - it's been a while...

As you may be aware we have been taking rather a long hiatus from the Monthly Newsletter. Other areas of the site have been shuffling along smoothly enough but we decided something had to be put on hold. But it's back & we hope to make a fairly regular appearance in your inbox this year.

If you have any news about conferences, jobs etc let us know & we will publish it here in the newsletter. And do keep sending in your plans & articles that you would like to see published.

I personally will be making changes this year. As of mid-January I left my job as Director of Teacher Education in Madrid to take on different projects. One of these projects is the running of short-term teacher training courses so if your school or association is thinking of development courses for your teachers, do get in touch.

And here is another:

CAMBRIDGE ESOL DELTA MODULES 1 & 3 - ONLINE PREPARATION
This is a recent project on the sister site Developing Courses.com. The preparation courses are for experienced teachers who feel a need to develop their teaching & achieve an internationally recognised qualification at the same time. The DELTA Module 1 consists of two one and a half hour exams & Module 3 consists of a 4,500 assignment on a specialist area of ELT. The courses cover a wide range of input, lots of discussion of issues, & clear guidelines on how to pass the exams & submit the assignment.
Each course lasts for three month courses starting on 1st March/1st September & leads up to the exam/entry at the beginning of June/December.
For more information on both courses: http://www.developingcourses.com

Happy teaching!
Alistair

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

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2. A COUPLE OF ARTICLES ABOUT LANGUAGE FROM THE NET

'Namibia's language policy is 'poisoning' its children - English has been the medium of instruction in most of Namibia's classrooms for nearly 20 years, but with teachers shown to be failing in competency tests, calls for change are mounting.'
http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/jan/10/namibia-english-crisis

'Mind your language - The self-appointed guardians of standards in English may struggle to keep up but at least they care.' Books on language from the Financial Times.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/613d0664-3ae8-11e1-be4b-
00144feabdc0.html#axzz1jZc9g525

Study: Gestures help language learning.
http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2012/01/03/Study-Gestures-help-
language-learning/UPI-98871325638501/?spt=hs&or=sn

US launches global push to share ELT skills - Promotion of expertise through public-private partnership inspired by British Council model.'
http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/jan/10/us-elt-expertise

Preference for English language divides Arab parents.
http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article560962.ece

NYT book review of 'Babel No More'
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/books/review/babel-no-more
-the-search-for-the-worlds-most-extraordinary-language-learner
s-by-michael-erard-book-review.html?_r=1

Why do we continue to isolate ourselves by only speaking English?
Britain's future economic and political wellbeing is being hamstrung by our reluctance to learn foreign languages.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/feb/05/will-hutton-learn-
foreign-languages

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3. THE SITES

DEVELOPINGTEACHERS.COM
DEVELOPINGTHEWEB.COM
DEVELOPINGCOURSES.COM

DEVELOPINGTEACHERS.COM
http://www.developingteachers.com
Our main site with a host of teaching ideas, plans & articles.

ONLINE DEVELOPMENT COURSES @ DEVELOPINGCOURSES.COM
http://www.developingcourses.com
A choice of online development courses to enhance your teaching.

MOODLE HOSTING @ DEVELOPINGTHEWEB.COM
http://www.developingtheweb.com
A range of web hosting options for teachers.

TRAIN & DEVELOP WITH DEVELOPINGTEACHERS.COM
Online teacher training courses
Online language development courses - FCE, CAE
Seminars
Short face-to-face courses
Consultancy
To get in touch: alistair@developingteachers.com

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4. STUFF FROM THE SITE

ARTICLES:

First Certificate Speaking: Part 2. Avoiding"ermmm": Adding coherence to spoken discourse using discourse markers by Jonny Frank

'I became interested in the use of discourse markers in spoken discourse after conducting a mock test with my First Certificate group. We focussed on part two and the transcripts, which can be seen in the appendices, were almost all lacking in discourse markers. Students can become nervous and freeze at this point in the exam, and, as Hedge observes "trying to produce language in front of other students can generate high levels of anxiety" (Hedge, 2000: 298). Even so, having examined the students' needs, I believe that discourse markers can de-freeze them as it were: from being more coherent to gaining time using discourse "fillers" to overcome their nerves and process their thoughts and language. By coherence I mean the relationships that connect discourse between utterances (Richards & Schmidt, 2002, 85); to stop talking about one photograph to talk about another, without contrast (however) or dismissing previous discourse (anyway), often leads to incoherence. Students tend to under-perform in part two of the FC exam, failing to provide examiners with "[in]adequate sample of language" (FC handbook, 2008: 55). Students are expected to "to show their ability to organise their thoughts and ideas, and express themselves coherently and in appropriate language" (FC handbook, 2008: 55). Due to this need for coherence and clarity, combined with my needs analysis of students, a range of spoken discourse markers is essential so that in the exam students produce adequate language.'
http://www.developingteachers.com/articles_tchtraining/
discourse1_jonny.htm

The Power of Water by Michael Berman

'"In an age when man has forgotten his origins and is blind even to his most essential needs for survival, water along with other resources has become the victim of his indifference"
~ Rachel Carson.
However, by making use of the kind of teaching material presented below in our classrooms, we can play a part in changing this.
http://developingteachers.com/plans/
water1_michael.htm

Critical Thinking—What the Mainstream Classroom Can Learn from the ESL Classroom by Steve Schackne

'Frustration and discontent are the hallmark of western industrial nations as I write this in December, 2011. Financial and political crises abound; world leaders seem incapable of addressing or solving the severe problems facing us. A sense of cynicism sets in as we are constantly confronted with the unreal and the illogical, which seem to permeate all levels of public policy and discourse.
Here in the United States, where I am now based, the government's attention is currently focused on tax policy; that is, whether to increase taxes on those making over $250,000 in order to raise tax revenues and help offset a budget deficit. The issue is presented as a political/moral discussion —should we raise taxes on a group of people who can basically afford to pay those taxes? If so, how much should we raise those taxes? And to what extent should we cut spending to further help reduce the deficit, and would that spending cut harm poorer individuals who benefit from Federal programs that might be cut? It is simply reduced to an argument on fairness and numbers. But because it hasn't been fully thought out, the assumptions implicit in the current discussion may be false.'
http://www.developingteachers.com/articles_tchtraining/
crithink1_steve.htm

Move, act, speak! by Jerry Thekes

'In this article, I will present the teaching of three grammar games. By grammar game, I mean an entertaining activity involving learners in order for them to comfortably acquire the grammar point. I will try to argue for the importance of teaching grammar through fun as well. By grammar game, I mean an entertaining activity involving learners in order for them to comfortably acquire the grammar point. I believe that grammar teaching has a crucial part in the TEFL classroom; however grammar needs to be taught in a way that entertains the learners.'
http://www.developingteachers.com/articles_tchtraining/
move1_jerry.htm

English, What Next? Perspectives; Approaches; Attitudes by Neil McBeath

'The title of this paper, fairly obviously, is taken from Graddol's (2006) publication English Next, which was available, free, from the British Council at the 2010 TESOL Arabia Conference. English Next is an interesting book, but it is perhaps interesting in ways that its author did not really intend.
To begin with, it is something of a Doomsday Book. If Graddol's thesis is correct, we have already passed the high water mark of EFL teaching. In fact, we passed it last year, in 2010 (Graddol 2006; 98-99). Our profession will now contract, and we, the EFL teachers who remain, will be forced, like the elves at the end of Lord of the Rings, to make our dignified way to the Grey Havens, and sail off into the West.
Cue Annie Lennox.
I have my doubts about the accuracy of this scenario, however. I have doubts because we have seen this end-of-days prediction before. In 1965, there was a conference in West Berlin that suggested that teachers of modern languages – NOT EFL, because in those days the EFL industry was in its infancy – were equally doomed (Padagogisches Zentrum, 1965). This was at the very start of the audio-lingual phase of language teaching, and several of the more enthusiastic delegates at that conference, particularly Moore (1965) were convinced that the language laboratory would effectively replace all teachers.'
http://www.developingteachers.com/articles_tchtraining/
whatnext1_neil.htm

The role of questions posed to young learners in classroom interaction by Ali Karakas
http://www.developingteachers.com/articles_tchtraining/
questions1_ali.htm

The Story behind Graded Readers by Zainab Al Bulushy
http://www.developingteachers.com/articles_tchtraining/
graded1_zainab.htm

Native versus Non-Native Teachers of English by Zainab Albulushy
http://www.developingteachers.com/articles_tchtraining/
nnn1_zainab.htm

The new requirement in the 21st century TEFL classroom: entertaining grammar by Jerry Istvan Thekes
http://www.developingteachers.com/articles_tchtraining/
grammar1_jerry.htm

Peer Editing, a GOOD Idea? by Zainab Al Balushy
http://developingteachers.com/articles_tchtraining/
peered1_zainab.htm

Using the Mother Tongue in the English Language Classroom by Zainab Al Balushy
http://developingteachers.com/articles_tchtraining/
bied1_zainab.htm

Making logical-mathematical EFL learners talk by Rolf Palmberg
http://www.developingteachers.com/articles_tchtraining/
logmath_rolf.htm

BOOK REVIEWS:

A Handbook of Spoken Grammar by Paterson, Caygill & Sewell (Delta Publishing)
http://developingteachers.com/books/review_sg.htm

Teaching Online by Nicky Hockly with Lindsay Clandfield (Delta Publishing)
http://developingteachers.com/books/review_to.htm

To see all of out recommended books:
http://developingteachers.com/books/review_index.htm

Back to the index
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5. A FEW LINKS

IATEFL - join.
http://www.iatefl.org/

Teaching Pragmatics - download the book.
http://exchanges.state.gov/englishteaching/resforteach/pragmatics.html

Academic English podcast from Andrew McMorrow.
http://www.podomatic.com/profile/martinmcmorrow

'StateStats.org is a non-profit venture arm with the mission to advance education through the use of technology tools. Our primary focus is on building free web tools that make education more accessible to students of any age.'
http://www.statestats.org/

Sign on if you're a Cambridge CELTA trainer.
http://www.celtatrainers.com/

'Grammarly is an automated proofreader and your personal grammar coach. Check your writing for grammar, punctuation, style and much more.'
http://www.grammarly.com/

Letters of Note - interesting & historical texts for the more advanced class.
http://www.lettersofnote.com/

Set up a free email newsletter for your students with TinyLetter
http://www.tinyletter.com/

Exploitable material for the classroom:
What does being British mean to you? - interactive - From Stratford, east London to Stratford-upon-Avon, via Belfast, Caernarfon, Perthshire, Devon, Bradford, Coventry, Hastings and Edinburgh, 100 Britons explain how they feel about their national identity.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/interactive/2012/feb/05/what-being-
british-mean-interactive

For your students:
English Online France
http://eolf.univ-fcomte.fr/index.php?page=english-listening-exercises
BBC - Grammar, Vocabulary & Pronunciation
http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/language/

ELT resources from the Guardian newspaper
http://teachers.guardian.co.uk/subject/elt.aspx

'The digital revolution of the last decade has unleashed creativity and talent in an unprecedented way, with unlimited opportunities.
But does democratized culture mean better art or is true talent instead drowned out? This is the question addressed by PressPausePlay, a documentary film containing interviews with some of the world's most influential creators of the digital era.'
http://vimeo.com/34608191

Mind explosion - video - the universe.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkNTzStmdJk

Are you hung up on your notifications? video
http://vimeo.com/35873217

Astronomer's paradise - video
http://vimeo.com/36154212

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

Back to the index
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6. WEEKLY TEACHING TIPS

Free weekly practical teaching tips by e-mail.
Recent Tips have included:

Interesting letters - reading & process writing
Basic training - thoughts on training the inexperienced teacher.
Autonomous phonology - ideas to help learners become autonomous with phonology.
Ten 100-year predictions - a reading lesson
All Shook Up - lesson around Elvis Presley to mark his birth.

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

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

Back to the index
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7. DAYS OF THE MONTH

A few days, among many, to plan your lessons around in February, March & April:

February
2nd - Groundhog Day
6th - Waitangi Day - New Zealand
14th - Valentine's Day
http://developingteachers.com/newsletterplans/News_lplan_feb2001.htm
21st - International Mother Language Day
http://developingteachers.com/tips/pasttips154.htm
The Oscars
http://developingteachers.com/tips/pasttips155.htm

March
1st - St. David's Day - Wales
http://developingteachers.com/tips/pasttips79.htm
4th - World Book Day - UK & Ireland
8th - International Women's Day
http://developingteachers.com/tips/pasttips79.htm
10th - United Kingdom Commonwealth Day
17th - St Patrick's Day
http://developingteachers.com/tips/pasttips48.htm
20th/21st - First Day of Spring
http://developingteachers.com/tips/pasttips50.htm
22nd - World Water Day
http://developingteachers.com/tips/pasttips140.htm
26th - Independence Day of Bangladesh
27th - World Theatre Day

April
1st - April Fool's Day
http://developingteachers.com/tips/pasttips49.htm
2nd - International Children's Book Day
7th - World Health Day
14th - Anniversary of Titanic sinking
International Moment of Laughter Day
18th - Record Store Day - UK
http://developingteachers.com/tips/pasttips156.htm
Crossword Puzzle Day
http://www.developingteachers.com/tips/pasttips55.htm
22nd - Earth Day
http://www.developingteachers.com/tips/pasttips95.htm
23rd - St. George's Day - England
http://developingteachers.com/tips/pasttips65.htm
International Day of the Book
Anniversary of Shakespeare's death (1616)
25th - International Noise Awareness Day, varies slightly each year
http://developingteachers.com/tips/pasttips126.htm
Passover
Easter
http://developingteachers.com/tips/pasttips50.htm
Carnival time
London Marathon

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

Back to the index
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8. THE BIT AT THE END

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