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DELTA session 3a: Issues in ELT Paper Two Task Three Moodle Notes (2015 exam style)

Paper two task three carries 40 points for it (out of 100 for paper two altogether). They provide you
with material quotes from teachers, extracts from methodology books, copies of resources or
tasks - and then ask questions about it. It is wide ranging, the syllabus document says that it will
focus on current issues in ELT.
Analysis of resources, approaches and methodologies, learners and contexts, language acquisition and
teacher roles

This paper is to give you an overview of the kind of thing it might include, some pointers for what
you could do to prepare for it and to get you to practice one or two possible questions.
Your first attempt at one of these in your individual exam practice will be this week.
It is common for me to see forum messages saying I cant do this exam practice as we havent
studied this subject yet, but my message is that there is no prescribed list of subjects you should
have studied. In the exam a wide range of different things could come up. You need to practice
generating ideas systematically (and to read widely to help with that).

What do the tasks look like ?

First scroll down to the task (headed handout 1).


Read it carefully and read this marking instruction.

Remember you have 90 minutes altogether and this is for 40% of the marks, so you should be
spending about 35 minutes on this.
You can get two marks for each of up to 15 ideas that they see as relevant.
The questions always seem to come with sub sections (here you can see there are three).
You dont have to put in equal numbers of ideas for each sub section, but it can give you an ideas of
what to aim at (here you need to make at least 5 differentiated points for each thing. Try it now -
make a list. Write some things down in another document or on a piece of paper.

When you have a respectable number of things on your list, compare it with the ideas in handout 2.
When groups of markers are looking at these they often number off the points (as then if you tick
something and give it two points, you write the number beside it so you remember not to give it
twice). See which of your ideas you can match against the Cambridge list (number it) and if your
ideas dont match anything on one of those lists, they dont get marks.

What do they mean depth ?

Look down to handout 2 and you can see the instructions the markers are given.

ITI Istanbul Delta Module One online notes 3a


Remember there were 40 points and you have allocated 30 if you made 15 correct points.
The other points are for depth.
How do you tell what has and has not got depth ?
There are examples (they want rationales, perhaps experience and perhaps theories).
Read the ideas in handout 3 and decide which ones you think were said to have achieved depth. If
most of your ideas have a sense of depth you could get most of these 10 marks.
Once you have decided which ones are good (and will add to the depth mark), check against the
answer key (right at the end of this document).

Now look at what you wrote again how many marks would you get for depth ?

And what topics could come up ?

Subjects that have come up so far (so some of these you will see in your exam practice)
Remember each of these has been introduced with a description of something or an extract from a
book and then has a couple of questions about the ideas presented.
They asked about
..using L1 in the classroom (when / why).
..meta-language and working out grammar rules.
.. listening and what teaches it or what tests it
.. teacher talk time (benefits, dangers etc)
...different ways of presenting / dividing up vocabulary sets
.. dicto-gloss and traditional dictation
.. different kinds of drills (uses / reasons )
.. natural speech (versus course book recordings)
.. cold correction techniques
.. using graded readers with learners
None of those subjects is unusual or something you would never have heard of, but if you want to
say up to 15 intelligent things about any of them you have to rack your brains a bit.

How to practice

In session we went on to do worksheet A with people brainstorming then swapping groups.


Ive put suggested answers in for you in a key (at the end of the document).
So try Worksheet A on your own.
Then do the same things for course books (+s of using / -s of using / +s of not using / -s of not
using) , this time there is no key.
Why not do it and then publish your ideas in the Paper Two Task Four issues wiki on the Moodle
and ask others what they can add ?

Or start a thread asking what subjects the others think are likely

When should you start teaching EAP or business English ?


Should we actively teach the grammar of spoken English ?
Should we teach ELF ?
Should we teach sub skills or should we just teach them more language and let the sub skills take
care of themselves ?
ITI Istanbul Delta Module One online notes 3a
Start reading the blogs down the right side of the Moodle.
Some of them are language analysis, but some of them are talking about this kind of thing.
In particular Scott Thornbury used to post in his A-Z of ELT blog. Some of those pieces set off huge
debates. Go and look at which ones caused the most discussion and strip out the arguments. What
are the positions people are holding ?
Sometimes the same thing happens in Harmers posts.

Handout 1

ITI Istanbul Delta Module One online notes 3a


Handout 2

ITI Istanbul Delta Module One online notes 3a


Handout 3

ITI Istanbul Delta Module One online notes 3a


One Six

Seven

Two

Eight

Three

Nine

Four

Ten

Five

Would each of these add to the likelihood of


getting the maximum depth marks ? Why ?
Why not ?

Handout 4

ITI Istanbul Delta Module One online notes 3a


Worksheet A
You have been working on the course book with your elementary class and the book used readings about
well-known sports people to introduce comparative and superlative structures.
There were a couple of discovery questions to draw the learners attention to form and a controlled practice
exercise of five sentences about the same sports people with gaps to fill. The book then asks them to do a
speaking activity in which they say which of the sports personalities they admire most and why.
You feel your learners will need a bit more controlled practice before they will be happy using a new
structure in a speaking activity.
Both of the following could be used as a controlled practice activity at this stage.

Activity A
Doing the three units from Murphys Essential Grammar in Use that cover comparative and superlative
structures (or the equivalent from Azar or any grammar practice book of your choice) in class.

Activity B
Brainstorming adjectives to describe people (physical and characteristic) as a group to the board, then
learners work in threes and write ten sentences comparing themselves within the three.
Feedback by trying to establish the shortest, longest, funniest sentence.

Write down four ways in which activity A and B are (or could be) the same.

Write down four ways in which activity A and activity B are (or could be) different.

Find four advantages of using activity A

Find four advantages of using activity B

ITI Istanbul Delta Module One online notes 3a


Handout 4 Answer key

1. Examiner comment was good rationale


2. Ok, but no depth
3. Ok, but only description, no rationale
4. Good used experience
5. Good mentioned a theory appropriately
6. Ok, but no depth
7. Good clear rationale
8. Good clear rationale
9. Off topic
10. Good mentions experience

Worksheet A answer key

Write down five ways in which activity A and B are the same.
Both provide controlled practice of the target language
Both ask learners to produce something
Both are quite restricted (you are telling them what to say / write)
Parts of both could be done orally or in writing
Both could show the teacher where there are still problems

Write down five ways in which activity A and activity B are different.

There is more freedom of choice for learners in B


There is no way for every learner to know if all their sentences are correct in B
A can often be done mechanically, without understanding the sentence
B cannot be teacher led (the learners have to do the work)
Learners are often more used to A

Find five advantages of using activity A

They get hard copy of book examples to take away


It is easy to provide answers for all to check against
Learners feel safe and supported
Learners dont have to think of ideas (some get stuck at this stage)
It can be staged (the adjective, then the other elements than etc)

Find five advantages of using activity B

The sentences are personal so they are more likely to remember them
The activity as a whole has scope to be fun with a fun class.
The sentences mean something real (you can see who is taller)
There is opportunity for real interaction (disagreement about sentences)
Requires them to produce all the elements in a comparative

ITI Istanbul Delta Module One online notes 3a


ITI Istanbul Delta Module One online notes 3a
ITI Istanbul Delta Module One online notes 3a