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

June 2006 - issue 6/06

DEVELOPING TEACHERS.COM NEWSLETTER



Welcome to the June Newsletter.
James Frith joins the article section this month with an article & plan about webquests, & Greg Gobel returns with an article & plan about using models & samples to develop the writing skill.

If you receive one of our newsletters, you are eligible for a 20% discount on the online development courses - http://www.developingcourses.com & the web hosting - http://www.developingtheweb.com - for sign ups during
June, July & August.

Happy teaching!

Alistair

**********

INDEX

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



***************
Advertisement

WEEKEND TEFL COURSES

Practical courses in London & Canterbury covering techniques & skills. Ideal as an intro or a refresher. Certificate provided.
£180 for a 20-hour course over one weekend
St. Peter's School of English

(Established for 40 years)
www.stpeters-tefl.co.uk e-mail: info@stpeters-tefl.co.uk

***********

DEVELOPINGTHEWEB.COM - WEB HOSTING

Sign up in June, July or August & 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

phpBB Forum installations - up & ready to go without any need to know anything about web design. A simple way to instantly create your own online community. For details:
http://www.developingtheweb.com/forums.htm

Online Course Support: Moodle installation, 300mb of space, 1gb of bandwidth/month - $12/month Even comes with a PayPal module so that you can integrate charging for your courses. For details:
http://www.developingtheweb.com/courses.htm

Pay for the year to get two months free & your bandwidth doubled! Pay for six months & get a month free! Very reasonable domain registration also offered - .com - $20/year.

Reliable & friendly hosting services. For more information:
http://www.developingtheweb.com/

Sign up in June, July or August & receive a 20% discount!

***********

1. THE SITE

ONLINE DEVELOPMENT COURSES

Sign up in June, July or August & 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

Sign up in June, July or August & receive a 20% discount!

-------------------------------------------

Webquests - an experiment by James Frith

Recent years have witnessed an explosion in the use of personal computers in all walks of life, coupled with the almost overnight influence of powerful communication tools in the internet and email. These developments have obviously had a profound effect on mainstream education and I think it is only a matter of time before we experience significant changes in the world of ELT as a whole (1). For this reason, I feel it prudent to try to be prepared.

But why should ICT have such an impact? Computers have the potential to be an extremely learner-centred resource. Firstly there is an unlimited amount of authentic material available on the internet, along with published games and a number of rapidly improving ELT sites, which means that there is something to suit every student's needs and interests. Because websites are updated daily, the information is also far more topical than a coursebook can ever be. But it is not just the variety that is appealing. In addition, computers combine visual, audio and kinaesthetic stimuli. Motivation can also be provided through providing tasks which mirror those performed in the real world. For example, using email and chat and even designing websites provide real purposes to language use. With sufficient training, I believe that computers offer the student a gateway to genuine autonomy in language learning across all four skills.

Exciting though this sounds, my experiences with ICT in the classroom have until now been somewhat limited. I have experimented with research homework in which students have, for example, compared tabloid and broadsheet reporting styles; I have used the 'BBC Learning English' site to work on vocabulary from the news; I have worked with pages and texts from the internet in a similar way to which I would work with any other text, but I have always felt I am not doing justice to the vast possibilities available. I have felt in need of guidance as to how to best exploit the medium.

I also feel concern about the possible pitfalls. My knowledge of computers is limited demand as such I do not feel confident in overcoming technical difficulties. Whilst on the negative issues, it is important to highlight the practicalities of cost, space, connection speed and software which I imagine will be the most important obstacles, in schools around the world, to the implementation of computer-based teaching in the near future. When I mentioned to a colleague that I was interested in looking into ICT for my experimental practice paper, he thrust an article on 'webquests' into my hand. Was this what I had been looking for? In the article, Brabbs (02:39) describes a webquest as: 'a project which uses the internet as its main source of information'. He goes on to describe the step-by-step process which involves a task modelled on a real life one.

To view the article at the site:
http://www.developingteachers.com/articles_tchtraining/webquest1_james.htm

Lesson Plan - the preliminary information
Time: 60 minutes
Level: Upper-Intermediate
Aims:
Main aims:
i) Develop communicative skills through provision of useful language
ii) Students transform information to produce a final product

Subsidiary aims:
i) Develop reading sub-skills
ii) Provide opportunities for reflection through writing, peer evaluation and self-evaluation and encourage these techniques as autonomous learning tools

To view the plan:
http://www.developingteachers.com/articles_tchtraining/webquest6_james.htm

-----------------------

Models and samples as a resource for writing by Greg Gobel

Introduction

Recently, some colleagues have said they would not use models to help their learners write saying they constrict and limit the learners. In my experience, though, I have found models tend to help learners with both the process of writing and in creating a reasonable product. However, my colleagues' comments raised doubts in my mind. So, I have decided to research the use of models to determine how useful they actually are and to discover more uses of them to improve my ability to help my learners write more effectively.

A brief background: Models and four approaches to teaching and learning writing

Models are essential in product writing, which focuses on a final product and where 'the learner is engaged in imitating, copying and transforming models of correct language' (Nunan, 1991: 87). Process writing recognizes 'that competent writers do not produce final texts at their first attempt' and thus the priority of using models was reduced in favor of the skills that learners would need to write, i.e., a focus on 'how' to write, rather than just 'what' to write (summary of Nunan, 1991: 87). The genre approach revived the use of models,- as focusing on 'what makes' a genre (a type of written discourse) became prioritized. The process/genre approach combines the benefits of the others, making it inclusive and versatile (Badger/White, 2000).

To view the rest of the article:
http://www.developingteachers.com/articles_tchtraining/samples1_greg.htm

Lesson Plan

Level: Advanced (CAE)

Main Aims:
* To enable the learners to write an information sheet (for homework) by sensitizing them to the appropriate language (Stage 7,8), form/structure/style (Stage 3,5), and content (Stage 4,6,7,8) that the CAE expects for this type of writing.
* By the end of the lesson the learners will have written an outline/plan for the CAE information sheet type of writing. (Stage 8)

Subsidiary Aims:
* To be able to use their worldly knowledge to assess a situation involving cultural interaction in a film (Stage 1).
* To brainstorm topics that could lead to cultural gaffes. (Stage 4)
* Learners will practice their noticing skills by looking for inappropriate language in an information sheet and by comparing that by looking for appropriate language in a second information sheet. (Stage 7)
* To encourage learners to have confidence in writing what is likely a new genre of writing for them. (Stage 3,5,7,8)

Timetable Fit:
This will be the sixth week of the school year. We are just finishing Unit 2 in the CAE Gold course book.

For the CAE exam, there are many particular types of writing that students must learn to do effectively. One of these is the 'Information Sheet'. In Unit 1, the students focused on writing a formal complaint letter and an informal note. The note was a type of writing not part of the FCE, as is this Information Sheet. By the end of Unit 2, the students will therefore have experienced two 'new' types of writing. This is important to do focus on early in the course so that the new types of writing are not left until the end. As students have some room for choice in the Writing Paper of the CAE, it is important that the students experience writing all the types of papers they may be asked to do, but also to think about which ones they are more comfortable writing so that they feel confident when taking the exam.

This particular lesson focuses more on the planning/generating stages in the process writing cycle. This is not to downplay the other stages, but 60 minutes is just not enough for all of the process stages for such a long composition. Drafting will be focused on in the following lessons in this manner: first, the students will make a draft at home thinking about the five guided questions for drafting in Unit 2; then, they will bring the homework in and I will check it for errors, register, style, format and write some questions for each student; then, I will bring those back in and the students will help each other address the issues that I guide them to. The students will then have the choice to rewrite the information sheet at home. They are very busy, so I feel that giving them this choice caters to their busy work or student lifestyles (we must be realistic and understand that English class is not the only thing in our students' lives)
and also encourages them to take more control of their learning. In this way, also, the drafting process becomes a thread through several lessons and helps the students keep in mind that they may have to write an information sheet in the exam, thus minimizing the problem that students and teachers sometimes seem to focus on something for a day, only to forget about it for months.

To view the lesson plan:
http://www.developingteachers.com/articles_tchtraining/samples6_greg.htm

--------------------

Thanks to James & Greg

-----------------------
Advertisement

Teacher Training at The Language Project in Bristol If you want hundreds of new ideas for your English classes, contact The Language Project, Bristol and find out about their full-immersion 2-week summer refreshers courses in the beautiful capital of the
South West of England. The courses are very practical and will help you brush up your idiomatic English and learn new techniques for promoting effective learning in your classes. You'll also explore many aspects of UK life and culture. You will receive a
collection of over 120 tried and tested classroom ideas that you can apply immediately. You'll learn about 65 types of homework you can give your students, how to use jokes to make listening more fun, and the secrets of helping your students make rapid progress with their English vocabulary, and much, much more. And
it's fun! The Language Project team includes published authors, experienced trainers and Cambridge examiners, and has a reputation for innovative, effective teaching. What's more, tell TLP you found them here and they'll give you a great 10% discount
on the course fees.
http://www.languageproject.co.uk/index.htm

For questions, applications or just to say hello, contact:
info@languageproject.co.uk

Back to the index
-----------------------

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

**********

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

***********

2. TEACHING LINKS

http://forum.developingteachers.com/viewtopic.php?t=1025
'TDP? This program is designed to prepare people who want to tutor English as a Second Language on a one-on-one and home tutoring basis.'

http://www.talent.ac.uk
'the talent website: an online community of over 14,000 English, Literacy and Numeracy teachers....a searchable database of teacher training courses in London:
http://www.talent.ac.uk/courses .

http://www.emtech.net/learning_theories.htm
Learning Theories

http://www.tttjournal.co.uk
The Teacher Trainer - This practical journal for those who train, mentor and educate TESOL teachers edited by Tessa Woodward has been relaunched this year with a new design to celebrate its 20th Anniversary. The new look website is packed with back articles and information about subscribing.

http://www.uefap.com/'Using
English for Academic Purposes - A Guide for Students in Higher Education'

http://www.shambles.net/pages/staff/CinSRes/
ICT Research.

http://www.ict4lt.org/en/en_home.htm
'This website is a free collection of training modules in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for Language Teachers, the outcome of a project originally funded by the European Commission. All the training modules are continually revised and updated.'

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/youmeus/videonation
/video_nation_index.shtml

'VideoNation is a way to meet people from across the UK and hear what they say about their lives and the world around them.' - from the BBC World Service.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/routesofenglish/
The Roots of English from the BBC Radio 4.

http://www.aera.net/divisions/
'AERA is the most prominent international professional organization, with the primary goal of advancing educational research and its practical application. Its 25,000 members are educators; administrators; directors of research; persons working
with testing or evaluation in federal, state and local agencies; counselors; evaluators; graduate students; and behavioural scientists.'

http://www.storybookonline.net/Default.aspx
'Storybook Online Network - A Storytelling Community For Children'

http://ricfrost.tech-trix.co.uk/hypermedia/index.html
'Franklins Lab has been created for pupils studying Key Stage 3 science. It covers material students have learnt in class, helping them to revise. The content covers area's of Science within the UK National Curriculum, including Energy, Fuels and
circuits. The goal of Franklins Lab is to bring learning to the user in a fun and enticing way, posing challenges and rewards along the way.'

http://www.garfield.com/fungames/scavengerhunt2/scavengerhunt2.html
Garfield game for younger learners.

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/kids-only//index.html
The National History Museum - younger learner stuff.

http://www.ldoceonline.com/
The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Online is an online version of the CD-ROM of the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English - Free to Use.

http://www.flo-joe.co.uk/index.htm
'Are you a teacher or student of the Cambridge First Certificate in English (FCE) the Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English? Do you need up-to-date advice about the Cambridge FCE, CAE or CPE exams?'

http://books.guardian.co.uk/departments/healthmindandbody/story/
0,,1791151,00.html

'We walk on two legs and have opposable thumbs. But, says Anne Karpf, in an exclusive extract from her new book, it is our voice that makes us truly human.'

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

Back to the index
**********

3. DAYS OF THE MONTH

A few days to plan your lessons around in June:

6th - D-Day
20th - United Nations World Refugee Day
21st - Summer Solstice (& Dec 21st)
27th - Happy Birthday, "Happy Birthday"
World Cup - football
Mother's Day
Wimbledon begins - tennis

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.

***********

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

***********

4. WEEKLY TEACHING TIPS

Free weekly practical teaching tips by e-mail.

Recent Tips have included:

- Major Monitoring - a look at aspects of monitoring
- Expectations - the importance expectations play in the process.
- Encounters - vocabulary acquisition.
- Looking for causes.. - of interlingual errors.
- Being systematic - the systematic nature of errors.

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
***********
ADVERTISEMENT

CAMBRIDGE ESOL TEACHER TRAINING COURSES
Train in Spain - Courses running in the near future at the
British Language Centre in Madrid:

CAMBRIDGE CERTIFICATE IN ELT to ADULTS - CELTA
Full-time four-week courses; July, August, September

CAMBRIDGE CELTYL - EXTENSION COURSES
Full-time two-week courses in September

CAMBRIDGE DIPLOMA IN ELT - DELTA
Full-time two-month courses, July/August '06

10% discount on all courses if you mention the newsletter!
Reasonably priced accommodation can be arranged for the duration
of all courses.
http://www.developingteachers.com/training/traininspain.htm

**********

5. 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.timesonline.co.uk/section/0,,29069,00.html
50 best World Cup goals - videos from the Times Online.

http://www.cowabduction.com/
68,105 was the last count for alien cow abductions.

http://www.patmedia.net/marklevinson/cool/cool_illusion.html
We don't always see what we think we see - follow the instructions.

http://brunelleschi.imss.fi.it/menteleonardo/
The Mind of Leonardo.

http://www.artnatomia.net/uk/index.html
Excellently produced site - analyses the expressive movements of
the face. Level 3 gives you the lowdown.

http://www.humanclock.com
The human clock - a new picture each minute of the day.

http://faxzero.com/
Send a fax for free - North America.

http://stellarium.sourceforge.net/
'Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope. It is being used in planetarium projectors. Just set your coordinates and go.'

http://www.wunderground.com/
Weather & astronomy stuff.

http://www.calsky.com/
Lots of astronomy stuff.

http://www.heavens-above.com/
'If you're interested in satellites or astronomy, you've come to the right place! Our aim is to provide you with all the information you need to observe satellites such as the
International Space Station and the Space Shuttle, spectacular events such as the dazzlingly bright flares from Iridium satellites as well as a wealth of other spaceflight and astronomical information.'

http://www.strangenewproducts.com/
Strange new products. I like the sideways printed books for bed reading - about time.

http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/archive.html
Everyday mysteries explained - fun science facts from the library of congress.

http://www.sillywalksgenerator.com/
Silly walk generator.

Back to the index
**********

6. 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, questions, advertising or problems unsubscribing then please contact us

SUBSCRIBE - it's free!
If you are reading a friend's copy why not subscribe yourself - it's free! Get along to the Front Page of the site & fill in the box.
Have no fears about your e-mail address - we will not pass it on to any third party.

CHANGE OF ADDRESS
If you change e-mail address please use the link above to unsubscribe the old one & then subscribe with the new one. This helps us enormously. Thanks.

This newsletter is a free service of the Developing Teachers.com and is Copyright (c) 2001-2006 Developing Teachers.com. All rights reserved. No part of this Newsletter may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission.

To subscribe to the Newsletter

To the index of Past Newsletters


Back to the top


Tips & Newsletter Sign up —  Current Tip —  Past Tips 
Train with us Online Development Courses    Lesson Plan Index
 Phonology — Articles Books  LinksContact
Advertising — Web Hosting — Front page


Copyright 2000-2016© Developing Teachers.com