Celebrity culture .. Lindsay Clandfield .

True or false? Mario Rinvolucri

'. Take nothing for granted!

Sue Leather and Simon Smith

Over the wall ... Alan Maley




Lindsay Clandfield finds fault with favouring the famous



Mario Rinvolucri features fact versus fiction


Joseph Egwurube has suggestions for getting students to speak


Edward Alden alters activities to adapt them for different abilities

I THINK, THEREFORE I LEARN 5 Tessa Woodward explores the potential of visual aids


John Ryan makes multi-word verbs more accessible


Alan Maley encourages teachers to find their own inspiration in literature


Simon Pearlman takes a softly-softly strategy with teenagers



Parthasarathy Ramanujam describes the development of a reading programme



Richard Ostick indicates how his students can improve their presentation skills



Sue Leather and Simon Smith believe that asking the right questions early is the key to successful training



John Anderson explains how teachers can tap into their students' true feelings



Simon Brown offers a useful alphabetical list to help teachers control their classrooms





Robert Buckmaster has advice for teachers on using presentation technology




. TO KNOW ABOUT: ACRONYMS IN ICT Nicky Hockly tackles abbreviated technical terms




Russell Stannard finds sites for practising pronunciation





Jon Marks
Colourful language
John Potts
John Hughes
Rose Senior





Includes materials designed to photocopy I®

• www.etprofesslonal.com • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. Issue 62 May 2009' 1


It is often said that there are usually at least two sides to every story. In this issue we have a number of articles which see things from different viewpoints. Both Richard Ostick and Robert Buckmaster have written about presenting. However, one looks at the topic from the point of view of teaching business students how to improve their presentation skills, and the other considers how teachers can use technology to enhance their own presentation skills as they teach their classes, train other teachers or present at conferences.

Mario Rinvolucri derives inspiration for classroom activities from the difference between truth and falsehood. He finds that students have a fascination for winkling out the truth from different versions of the same story or choosing between true and false definitions of words.

Alan Maley sees potential for continued development in looking beyond the usual sources of information on teaching and teachers. In a new series, he will recommend works of literature and books outside the

ELT field, which offer a different perspective on our profession and which he believes readers will find inspirational.

For Sue Leather and Simon Smith, teacher training and trainer training are areas where it is important to uncover different expectations and different viewpoints early on in the process. They suggest a series of questions that can be asked at the planning stage of a training course to avoid later misunderstandings.

Finally, in a world caught up in the cult of the celebrity, Lindsay Clandfield offers a different point of view and considers cutting celebrities out of his coursebooks and his classroom.

Helena Gomm Editor

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2 • Issue 62 May 2009 • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. www.alprofa_lonal.com •

University of Essex

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Programme offers core modules plus a range of options allowing specialisation.

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Lindsay Clandfield contemplates the constellations of stars in

our coursebooks.

It's another morning at work. I am surfing the internet, aimlessly looking for inspiration for a text for a coursebook. That's when I see it - a big photo of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie hurrying through Tokyo airport with six children in tow. My hand lingers on the mouse ... hmm, six children, look at them!

• How many of them are their

biological children?

• Which ones are adopted?

• What countries are they from?

• How many famous people have adopted children?

• Is it out of altruism ... or something


I'm now clicking on the links left, right and centre, selecting bits of information and mentally filing them away. Could this be a good topic for a unit on families?

Secondly, stories about celebrities are interesting, aren't they? After all, look how many people watch the Oscars every year. There are television shows and even whole channels that focus on the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Who hasn't talked about the latest big celebrity breakup? If a student piped up in class and said they had been stuck in a lift with Robert Redford (this happened in a class of mine, by the way), wouldn't that arouse people's interest? Isn't it motivating?

Celebrities and curiosity

As a materials writer, using celebrities to hang a text or lesson topic on has its advantages. First of all, many students will recognise a celebrity and may have some background knowledge of their life. The way this knowledge is represented and organised in the mind is called 'schema'. It helps the student make sense of the experience, and is very important for text comprehension. A text about 'Brangelina' and their brood, along with that photo, may be easier to process than, for instance, a text about an invented couple with six children.

Finally, celebrities have far more interesting lives than most people. It's what makes them more 'textworthy' or 'topic worthy' to English teachers, and especially materials writers. John Travolta has a plane parked in the garage of his mansion! Liz Taylor has been married seven times! Ewan McGregor drove across the world ona motorcycle! Jamie Oliver is changing the way people view English food! David and Victoria Beckham are ... You get my point.

4 • Issue 62 May 2009 • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. www.etprofesslonal.com.

We live in a world where celebrities are big business and people want to know about them. The numbers are staggering. In the USA, the circulation of major news magazines (eg Time, Newsweek) increased two per cent between 2000 and 2005, while the circulation of major entertainment and celebrity magazines (eg People, Us Weekly) increased by 18.7 per cent. Now admittedly, the USA is more celebrity-obsessed than many countries, but I suspect this is occurring elsewhere, too. For example, look at the impact celebrities are making on the clothing industry. In 2002, celebrity labels accounted for six per cent of the $175 billion this industry generates worldwide. By 2005, it had jumped to more than ten per cent. A similar picture also emerges with perfumes.

Celebrities and coursebooks

I believe that this trend has spread to English language teaching materials as well. There are two broad ways that celebrities are included: for cosmetic reasons, and as the subject of texts themselves.

By 'cosmetic reasons' I mean photos on the page that are nice to look at but aren't to be used in any way. Imagine a unit on sport with a big collage of photos including David Beckham, Maria Sharapova and Tiger Woods, aU looking very beautiful. There is no exercise relating to them, they are just there to decorate the page and activate the students' schemata of sport.

Celebrities are also used as the subject of texts or exercises themselves: we get students learning house vocabulary by reading a text about a Hollywood star's mansion in Beverly Hills, for example (There are four master bedrooms, two swimming pools, etc), or we give them an introduction to the present perfect, using the life of a pop star (She has changed her hairstyle three times, she has lost weight, she has been married twice).

The number of celebrities in coursebooks is on the rise. I looked at two major international beginner coursebooks published in the early nineties (written in the late eighties, therefore) and found only one photo of a celebrity across both books. I looked at two recent international beginner books (published after 2005) and found

that number had jumped to an average of 20 per book.

In part, this is because coursebooks will always try to keep up with the times, and for the reasons I mention above, this is the era of the celebrity. I also wonder if it doesn't have something to do with the concept of British culture in the nineties. Many of the first versions of the current popular international coursebooks were originally written in the mid-to-Iate nineties. This, if you know your British history, was a time of great change. The country had elected a new young prime minister, Tony Blair, ending more than 12 years of Conservative rule. Princess Diana died in a tragic car crash, prompting a national show of emotion towards a celebrity never seen before in the UK. It was the time of the Spice Girls, of Austin Powers, of Oasis and Blur. Above all, it was the time of 'Cool Britannia'. ELT coursebooks wanted to show these more modern aspects of British culture. And much of this new culture went hand in hand with the rise of a cult of celebrity .

Celebrities and contradictions

Using celebrities in coursebooks, as motivating or interesting as they may be, is not without its problems. First and foremost is the issue of time and relevance. A coursebook takes on average two to three years to produce. We live in an age of rapidly-changing information, even more so in the ephemeral world of celebrities. I know many materials writers (myself included) who have put a photo of a famous person in their book and then hoped and prayed that this person would still be relevant (and alive!) by the time the book came out.

Who's to say what could happen in the meantime? Major problems include the death of the chosen celebrity (making the focus on present perfect or present simple impossible), divorces (making a unit on photos of celebrity couples a big problem) or accusations of something awful (you won't see too

many coursebooks with Michael ~ .. ~

• www.etprofessional.com • ENGLISH TEACHING professional- Issue 62 May 2009 • 5


........................•..•..•.. / ···.·.· .. · .. ·.·······.··.····.· .. ············It

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i~cfs~n now). More generally, the image 8facelebrity in a book instantly dates it.To get around this problem there are two possibilities: either produce a new book with new, updated celebrities or simply leave them out altogether. It seems that many publishers have been opting for the former.

One also has to look at how the visual and design quality of coursebooks has improved over the years. Many are now as sleek and glossy as magazines. The inclusion of colour photos of 'A-list' celebrities within the books increases that magazine feel. In fact, this is another criticism levelled (perhaps unfairly) at coursebooks - that they are too glossy.

inherent in modern celebrity culture. Now, it may be possible to encourage students to critique this culture using the texts and images themselves and, to be fair, there are texts that do this. I have seen many that encourage students to think critically about fame, especially in the context of reality television (a recent favourite topic in coursebooks that coincides with the meteoric rise of this kind of television around the world).

However, the mere fact that rich and famous good-looking people do appear so much in coursebooks makes these complicit in the export of this culture around the world. Advertising companies will pay large sums of money to place their products in films, even if it means that the bad guy is drinking Coca-Cola or smoking Marlboros. In our coursebooks, these celebrities are getting their product placement for free.

lt may be that this doesn't bother many teachers, and even less so their students. It is also true, as Meddings and Thornbury point out, that many students view the acquisition of English as a passport to material well-being and international travel.

texts in contemporary coursebooks that have provided interest, motivation and conversation in my classes.

The question that troubles me is how much cultural capital these celebrities add to our teaching materials. Cultural capital is a sociological term which includes knowledge, skill and education that basically help people achieve a higher status in society. While language teaching materials are often designed first and foremost to help students achieve communicative goals, they invariably express a value system and transmit some cultural capital, implicitly or explicitly.

An alternative rich area that still remains relatively untapped is literature. Including more literature, from different cultures and countries, could fill that gap and provide an alternative to the 'baggage of vacuity' that accompanies celebrities. It would also, I argue, provide more valuable cultural capital to our learners.

There is, though, potentially a deeper problem with celebrities appearing in our teaching materials. Critics of coursebooks often talk about the subtexts embedded therein. As Ben Goldstein, writing in Issue 61 of ETp, remarks, 'the dominant paradigm for many ELT materials would seem to be a surface or essentialist treatment of target culture, in which aspirationai role models take centre stage'. He goes on to point out that coursebook characters tend to be 'rich, successful and superficial'.

Gillian Brown has called this kind of material 'cosmopolitan English', which 'assumes a materialistic set of values in which international travel, not being bored, positively being entertained, having leisure, and above all, spending money casually and without consideration of the sum involved in the pursuit of these ends, are the norm'.

These are norms and values that are

Celebrities and culture

Even if this were the case, there are limits to celebrity culture. As the British newspaper The Guardian observed in 2007: 'Celebrity is a kind of rip-off of fame ... It can be a welcome relief from the pompous and the weighty. But it cannot escape its baggage of vacuity.' The editors of the newspaper were talking about how the British people were coming out of ten years of celebrity culture and beginning to care more about serious issues. Isn't it time we English teachers did so, too?

Celebrities and the English class

I'm not necessarily suggesting that celebrities should never be the topic of any English class. Some current 'celebrity stories' may in fact be the most interesting and appropriate material for a particular class, and now more and more teachers can access that material via the internet and use it the very same day.

Nor am I suggesting that we do away with coursebooks altogether, either. My criticisms of celebrities aside, there are often lots of other topics and

8 • Issue 62 May 2009 • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. www.etprofessional.com •


You would be forgiven if you thought, after reading all this, that I can't stand celebrities. The truth is that I enjoy celebrity gossip as much as the next person. I, too, would be 'star struck' if I got into a lift with Robert Redford or even Lindsay Lohan. But I can't help feeling that they needn't be so visible in our educational materials. Surely they don't need any more coverage than they get already! 0

Brown, G 'Cultural values: the interpretation of discourse' ELT Journal 44 (1) 1990

'Getting Serious' Editorial in The Guardian April 14 2007

Goldstein, B 'English for sale' English Teaching Professional 61 2009

Meddings, L and Thornbury, S Teaching Unplugged Delta Publishing 2009

Lindsay Clandfield has written several coursebooks and books for teachers. He is an author for the Onestopenglish website and has written components for Macmillan's Straightforward course. His book Dealing with Difficulties (written

with Luke Prodromou and published by Delta Publishing) won the ESU Duke of Edinburgh Award in 2007. His next coursebook will not feature any celebrities.

For young teenagers

For teenagers

• Fiction

1 Classics

1 Classics

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Mario Rinvolucri finds fact versus fiction fascinating.

For the most part, autistic people do not lie successfully as it seems that this human talent depends on the ability to put yourself in another person's shoes, the ability to see the world, at least to some small extent, from their point of view. Seamless lying is a highly- developed performance skill and the whole area of truth and falsehood fascinates people, especially teenagers. I am not sure why it generates so much interest among teenagers. Is it because they are changing so fast from day to day that what is real for them merges imperceptibly with what is unreal? Is it because identity evolution in the teenage years blurs the distinction between fact and fiction?

Fact or fabrication?

One of the first people I know to have used the truth/falsehood continuum in language teaching, is Andrew Wright, the great ELT teller of stories. This is an activity I learnt from him.

• Set your students an essay title for homework.

• Tell them to include three statements in the essay that are false.

• In the next lesson, group your students in threes and ask them to read each other's texts and to ferret out the bits that are untrue. Allow time for discussion in the threesomes.

This activity is, in my view, a simple and brilliant way of providing the essay writers with interested readers, even if neither writer nor reader has a strong investment in the subject under discussion. The technique is particularly handy in the runup to an exam as you may feel forced to set the students the type of hackneyed topic they will have to write about on the day.

Faithful or fraudulent?

The next activity I want to offer you is one I have done frequently in joint training sessions with Herbert Puchta.

It is a generic activity that can be done repeatedly with different topics. Did Herbert learn it from me or did I learn it from him? The answer is lost in the mists of time.

• Group the students in threes and ask them to decide who is A, who is B and who is C.

• Ask all the A students to describe a recent holiday. Tell them that they are to tell lies and nothing but lies. (The whole class hears this instruction to the A students.) Explain that they have 90 seconds lying time. (Time the 90 seconds truthfully!)

• Ask the B students also to describe a recent holiday but to tell the truth for 90 seconds.

• Finally ask the C students to describe a recent holiday but mixing truth and lies, 50:50. Again, give them 90 seconds.

• Allow time for the listeners to winnow out the truth from the C students' mixture of fact and fiction.

Love it or leave it?

Knowing when there is genuine emotion behind the words you hear is part of inter- personal intelligence and is also part of really understanding something in a second language. In the activity that follows, the learners read two interviews. In one, the interviewee describes a film he loves and in the other, a film he is indifferent to. In both cases the interviewee describes the films positively. The positivity is genuine in one case but not in the other. You may wonder how students can tell which is which without hearing the interview as so much of our interpretation of people's feelings comes from intonation, stress, speed of delivery, tone of voice, etc. The variation described below gives you the opportunity to exploit these features of spoken discourse. However, even from the bare written text, it is clear that the second interview is about the film that he loves because of the use

a . Issue 62 May 2009 • ENGLISH 1EACHING professional- www.etprofessional.com •

of the present tense and the waterfall rhythm of thoughts and words.

• Tell the class you are going to give them two interview transcripts in which a BBC presenter from the 1980s, Robin Day, praises two films. His praise for one film is heart-felt, while with the other film he is faking it.

• Give them the two interviews (see the box on page 9) to read, and group them in fours to discuss which is genuine.

• In a whole-class discussion, ask for their views. (You may want to tell them that Some Like it Hot is the film Robin Day actually likes. Some teachers prefer to avoid this type of closure and withhold the information.)

Why only give the students third-party interviews? You, their teacher, will interest them much more than any BBC presenter from the 1980s could. Try this version of the same activity.

• Ask a student to interview you about two countries, two people, two books, two towns, etc, one of which you really like and one that you are indifferent to.

• As the student asks you questions, try to hide your preference by trying to praise both equally. The person interviews you first about one of the pair and then, separately, about the other.

• Ask the students to discuss the two interviews and decide where your preference lies.

• Ask individual students to explain to the group what they base their guesses on: words, voice, the look on your face, things they already know about you, etc.

• Ask the class to vote, then tell them which of the two you really like. Do this truthfully!

This is a powerful listening activity in the course of which the students are listening to the whole message, not simply to the words in the target


Interviewer So, Sir Robin, what's your favourite film?

Day Gone with the Wind. Interviewer And why's that?

Day Oh, it's, it, it's a classic. Great characters, great film star - Clark Gable; a great actress: Vivien Leigh, very moving.

Interviewer And who's your favourite character in it?

Day Oh, Gable.

Interviewer And how many times have you seen it?

Day Um, I think about half a dozen. Interviewer And when was the first time you saw it?

Day When it first came out. I think that was in about 1939.


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language. Compare the power of this kind of listening with the anodyne nature of much coursebook listening.

Incident or invention?

Let us move on to another excellent listening activity. To prepare for this, you need to pick two real incidents from your childhood and mentally prepare to tell them very briefly. Restrict yourself to 90 seconds. Also concoct a fictitious incident occurring during the same period of your childhood.

• Explain to the students that you are going to tell them three brief personal stories, two will be true and one will be invented. Their task is to decide which is which.

• Tell your first story in 90 seconds and allow the students 45 seconds' reaction time to talk about it in pairs.

• Tell your second story and third stories, each time in 90 seconds and giving the students 45 seconds' reaction time.

• Now groupthe students in fours and ask them to decide which story is invented.

• Have a whole-class discussion in which the students tell each other what they think and why.

• Tell them which is the invented story.

A rather wicked variation on the above technique is to tell three true stories about your childhood but with the instructions as in the activity above! I have yet to meet a class that does not enjoy this type of activity.

Dream or reality?

A good friend of mine, the late Chris Sion, used to do the following activity with his students.

• Send one student out of the room.

• Tell the others that you are all going to pretend that you know a dream the student outside the room had last night but which they have forgotten, as one often does.

• Explain that the student will be told to ask the class yes/no questions. If the question ends in a consonant the class must chorus Yes, if it ends in a vowel they must chorus No. (Many different systems can be used besides the consonant/vowel one outlined here.)

• Call the student back in and explain about their 'dream'. Tell the student to start asking the class yes/no questions to find out about this dream.

• The activity ends when the questioning student discovers the system being used in giving answers.

• Ask the students to work in threes and decide which is the correct definition.

• Reveal the answer, and then ask pairs of students to prepare two false definitions, and one true definition as above, for a hard word, which they can choose from the dictionary.

• TeIl the pairs to exchange their sets of definitions. They now have to decide which of the definitions they have been given is the correct one. (Don't allow them to use dictionaries at this stage.)

• Ask the students to check their answers with those who wrote the definitions.


Correct or concocted?

Have you ever got your students playing Bluffing definitions? This is, I believe, a pretty well-known ELT activity that is based on playful deception.

• Give your students three definitions of a word or phrase they are unlikely to know. Here is an example:


Definition 1: After a restaurant meal each person pays for what they ate. Definition 2: To flatten out the ground before, for example, building an airport. Definition 3: To show false bravery after getting drunk.

(Definition 1 is correct)

My best lie

I am well aware that there are some countries in the world where it will be acceptable to invite students to talk about their own lying and others where this is a taboo subject. However, this activity has worked well for me.

• Bring to mind two really good lies you have told in your life - this could be the way you pulled the wool over your parents' eyes when you were little; it could be a successful April Fool story you concocted; or maybe a specious 'no homework' excuse; or whatever else comes to your mind.

• TelI the first story to your students.

• Ask them to prepare to tell the story of a successful lie they once told. Tell them to listen to your second lie

story, but to be thinking about a lie of their own at the same time.

• Group the students in sixes to tell each other the stories of their best lie.

Having come with me through the text thus far, can you understand why the area of fact versus fiction, truth versus untruth, veracity versus deception is of such immense interest to human beings across cultures? The word liar in English is quite a powerful one. How strong is the corresponding word in your culture? 4ll'i>

Mario Rinvolucri works for Pilgrims, UK and his most recent book, written with Gill Johnson, is Culture in our Classrooms, published by Delta Publishing. He considers his best book to be Once Upon A Time, with John Morgan, published by CUP. He is also author, with Jane Arnold and Herbert Puchta, of Imagine That, published by Helbling.

• www.etprofesslonal.com • ENGLISH TEACHI NG pro ifessional- Issue 62 May 2009 • 9

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..Joseph Egwurube finds his law students respond to pairwork and chocolate bars.




Abespectac1ed egg-headed don appeared in one of my pedagogical dreams and handed down the following ten commandments to me.

'First, thou shalt buildrapport with your learners!' he commanded.

I noted this down on my scroll. 'Secondly, thou shalt listen to your learners more than they listen to you in and out of the classroom!' he continued. Thirdly, thou shalt consider learners as speakers engaged on a journey to make them more perfectible speakers, with you as the teacher serving as one of the many helping hands in this quest! Fourthly, thou shalt respect the native language of learners and not take umbrage if learners sometimes make a stop-over in it on their expedition towards English, the target second language! Therefore, fifthly, thou shalt accept translations made by learners of target structures, phrases or words in French if such help the comprehension and use of English! Sixthly, thou shalt accept errors and mistakes whether in sentence forms, structure, pitch or intonation! Seventhly, thou shalt concentrate on both receptive (reading and listening) as well as productive (speaking and writing) skills, using as many tools (authentic and pedagogically tailored) as you deem fit and appropriate! Eighthly, thou shalt use learners as auxiliaries to help you occasionally get some pedagogical messages across more easily. Ninthly, thou shalt tell your learners periodically the wonderful progress they are making in the use of the English language! And lastly, and this is extremely important, thou shalt get your learners speaking as often as possible!'

12 -Issue 62 May 2009 • ENGLISH TEACHING professional- www.etprofessional.com·

In the beqlnninq.

Getting my third-year law students speaking was a daunting task for a number of reasons. Firstly, many were not used to being asked to speak in class and so they had very minimal experience in controlled or spontaneous oral production in the classroom. Secondly, many had not used English for quite some time as English wasn't offered in their first year at the faculty. Thirdly, I had relatively large classes (an average of 33 students per class) which made it quite tricky to arrange for everyone to get an equal opportunity to speak. Fourthly, there was a need to convince a sizeable percentage of the learners of the need to speak English, the need to use English and the need to invest in improving their communication skills in English beyond the immediate objective of obtaining the minimum grades that would enable them pass their end-ofyear examinations and obtain their degrees. Finally, there is paucity of material available at my institution for teaching legal English in a participatory, student-led, student-oriented manner. It was thus necessary to construct a communicative pedagogical sequence from scratch.

The pedagogical sequence I used revolved around the American constitution and was divided into four sections.

a Reading comprehension The first section involved reading comprehension work on the American legal system, with particular reference to the US Supreme Court. For this, I prepared a text, part of which is shown on page 14, which I gave the students to read at home.

lEI Comprehension quiz

In order to check that they had understood the gist of the text, I gave the students the comprehension quiz on page 14 to complete in the next lesson.

This quiz provided the opportunity to consolidate knowledge on the American legal system as well as to answer a variety of questions asked by the students on the American political system. During the reading comprehension phase, the students were active participants, but only as receptors or receivers rather than as agents or producers of meaning. The next phase in the pedagogical sequence I followed

revolved around making them more productive and getting them speaking.

II Pair discussion

I used a pairwork approach, following a number of guiding principles. First, in composing my pairs, I tried to pair students up using many variables, including their level of English, their sex, their personalities (introverted versus extroverted), and their traditional sitting arrangements in class (I tried, for example, not to constitute pairs made up of friends). My method was, therefore, . purposeful rather than random. Secondly, I tried to introduce an element of peer group competition by promising the

first five pairs to finish the two series of exercises an incentive in the form of chocolate bars. The process of getting the students speaking was done in two phases.

The first phase involved asking the students to choose 20 words to complete a gapped summary of the activities of the Supreme Court, which I would then read to them. Each pair had a maximum of one minute to chat and brainstorm possible alternatives before finally deciding together which word they thought was the most appropriate to fill in each gap. The objective here was for the students to talk to their partners rather than to the whole class and in this way I tried to overcome the reticence of those who were too shy to talk in front of the entire class. The students were told to brainstorm in English, but if some of them used French now and then, this was accepted since the key objective was for them to chat, rather than to speak English correctly. Each pair had to write down the words they had chosen next to the relevant number in the score sheet, which is reproduced on page 15 along with the gapped text. They then exchanged sheets with a neighbouring pair who marked it as I read out the complete text, and calculated the score out of 20.

The results were extremely interesting. All the students spoke actively, including those who were usually reticent. Each pair wanted to win one of the chocolate bars I had exhibited prominently on my table, and there were sometimes animated discussions. During the marking phase, I randomly asked pairs to call out the phrases or words that had been chosen by the students they were evaluating if these differed from the expected answers. Some students then tried to justify their choices

to the whole class, which sometimes accepted these justifications and sometimes didn't. I gained a new insight into many of my students because they spoke without restraint as they tried to convince either their partners or the entire class-that their choices were valid.

My objective was oral practice rather than accuracy, and I felt that this had been attained because the students were the main participants during this session, taking central stage for almost an hour, both as readers and givers of meaning as well as evaluators of their peers. Rapport was established between the students and myself, but most importantly between the students themselves, to the degree that they requested that pairwork activities such as this be done on a more regular basis.

I told the students to avoid translating the terms into French and to try to use simple sentences to convey their meaning. As an example, I used the term separation of powers, saying 'It is a concept developed by a Frenchman, Montesquieu, and suggests the existence of three branches of government with different actors'. The vast majority of the students guessed the term easily from my definition. I underlined the fact that I had not used the words separation or powers in my definition.

The class buzzed with verbal activity like a veritable beehive, with students competing to see how easily they could make themselves understood by their partners. I went round as they worked, and even though the prime objective was not accuracy but fluency practice, I noted down recurrent grammatical mistakes, inappropriate lexical choices and wrong pronunciations. At the end of the exercise, I read them out to the class, asking them first to indicate if what I had read was right or wrong and second, to correct it if they felt it was wrong. Sometimes the students were unanimous in deciding that what I had read was wrong and unanimously corrected it. Sometimes opinions were divided, and this allowed me to ask those students who felt what I had read was wrong to justify their position and for me to finally consolidate understanding on the grammatical, lexical or phonological questions raised for the entire class.

The whole sequence described above lasted three hours: two sessions of one and a half hours each. I found that getting students to speak and to build their confidence in speaking really works. I am now waiting for a second visit

from my bespectacled don to tell me

how I can improve the approach I have adopted in order to get my law students speaking more and more frequently. a:t2>

II Pair production

Once the pair discussion work was done and the chocolate bars had been distributed (actually to all the pairs), I decided to pursue the 'keep talking' objective in a more active manner in the fourth and final section. I decided not to modify the pairs because I didn't want the shy students in the class to have to overcome the obstacle of establishing rapport with a new classmate all over again.

One member of each existing pair was designated Student A and the other Student B. They had to take turns to define in English a selected set of words (such as deliberations, certiorari, majority opinion, null and void, dissenting opinion, etc) without actually saying any of the words themselves, as

. in the popular game 'Taboo'. The

objective was to get the students to use their active and passive vocabulary, even if their sentences were not grammatically or lexically accurate, to get their meaning across to their partners sufficiently well for the latter to guess the word or phrase being defined .

Joseph Egwurube teaches general and specialised legal English to undergraduate and post-graduate students at the University of Nantes in France. His research interests include improving learner output, especially in the area of oral expression. He has written a book on remedial English for high

school students for CNED, the French longdistance learning Institute.

Joseph.Egwurube@univ-nantes.fr JI>.,.. ~

• www_etprofessional.com • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. Issue 62 May 2009 • 13





The Supreme Court is the ultimate and final judicial court of the USA because unlike the others it has constitutional legitimacy. Article Three of the Constitution deals with the judiciary and vests judicial power in the Supreme Court and in other inferior federal courts established by federal law. The Supreme Court interprets federal legislative acts and executive actions and determines their coherence with the Constitution. This authority of constitutional interpretation makes it possible for the Supreme Court to invalidate legislative or executive acts which in its opinion disrespect the principles or letters of the Constitution. In the area of interpreting the law, the Supreme Court is therefore the highest judicial level in the country and the final arbiter in judicial disputes.

It is composed of nine justices who have a life tenure and are consequently theoretically immune from pollution from the partisan nature of American politics. This is notwithstanding the fact that Supreme Court judges are nominated by incumbent Presidents and ratified by the Senate and that as a result nominees are by and large not declared political foes of the nominating Presidents.


The Supreme Court has both an original/trial and appellate function. It is exceptionally a trial court when the litigants are states (disputes between states or between a state and the federal government) or citizens from different states, or citizens from an American state and a foreign state or when Ambassadors or other public Ministers are involved. It is however as an appellate court that the Supreme Court is best known.

In its rulings as an appellate court, the Chief Justice is a primus inter pares or first among equals, in other words hts

vote is not stronger than the vote of the other justices. A simple majority is enough to have a majority opinion. Dissenting opinions are also published. It is equally possible to have a concurring opinion, which usually agrees with the majority opinion. Each opinion is detailed since the reasons and guiding principles behind them are well presented. A quorum of six justices is needed for the Supreme Court's deliberations to be valid.

The Supreme Court is not obliged to hear all the cases that are sent to it on appeal. Most of the appeal cases it accepts are in the form of writs of certiorari or formal requests to transfer cases judged by lower courts for review by higher courts which provide the Court with the opportunity to expand the frontiers of individual and group liberties as well as fine tune the interpretation of particular laws and reduce confusion on their application. Four justices must approve the writ of certiorari for the Supreme Court to decide to reconsider a judgement from an inferior court. For a writ of certiorari to be accepted by the Supreme Court, the case must usually have a national or constitutional focus and must have been ruled on by an inferior appellate court (state Supreme Courts). When the Supreme Court refuses to grant certiorari, which it does quite often, it is the ruling of the inferior appellate jurisdiction which remains the law.

One of the most important powers of the Supreme Court is its power of judicial review. Because it is the final arbiter in judicial disputes and the final authority in matters of law, the Supreme Court can invalidate statutory laws which it considers unconstitutional. The historic Marbury v. Madison case in 1803 provided the Supreme Court with the opportunity to declare an Act of Congress unconstitutional, 'not warranted by the Constitution' and therefore null and void. This power of judicial review means that law making is a dynamic -----


Answer the questions by choosing a word/phrase from those in the box. Note: there are more answers than questions.

anti-sodomy rights, judicial review, judicial checks and balances, judicial activism, Presidential nomination and confirmation by the House of Representatives, Presidential nomination and confirmation by the Senate, Presidential nomination and confirmation by the Supreme Court,

ten, eight, nine, seven, six, ten years, for life, twenty years, four, majority opinion only, majority and dissenting opinions, can be vetoed by the Chief Justice, collegial, pro-abortion rights, a constitutional court, a superior court, certiorari, appeals

1 How many justices make up the Supreme Court?

6 Unlike inferior courts which are legislative courts, how is

the Supreme Court qualified? ; .

r ,. __ ..

7 What is the most important power of the Supreme Court?

. ~ .. ~ ~ ~'.' ',' ~ ~ " , ~, .,- ..

8 What is the prinClpal characteristic of the way in which

the 'SupreMe Court makes its rulings? .

·9 . Which Supreme Court opinions are made public?

10§iye?ne~Xample of rights gained through Supreme

.. ' .: C:ourtX,uUngs ..

14 • Issue 62 May 2009 • ENGLISH TEACHING professional- _.etprofesslonal.com •

2 How are they chosen? .

3 What is the quorum for Supreme Court deliberations to

be valid? .

4 In what form are cases accepted by the Supreme Court?

5 How long do Supreme Court justices serve?


Names of students

A) ~................................................ B) .



Yes, rightly anticipated

No, wrong anticipation





















The US Supreme (1) is established by Article Justices are (13}.~ ; by the Presidentbu(

(2) of the United States (3) ; .. ;. Itis, . (14)u .. ; .. ; , by the Senate. The; have a life

therefore, a (4) •.....•..•....••. , ..•.. rather than a (5) ••.•..••.•• ~ .••..•.••.•

court. tear of partisan politics.

Ithas powers of judicial (6) ; ; ; and can, therefore, The Supreme Court hears appealsusually in the form~( .

(7) laws made by the federal legislature as well (16) ; ;.; from inferior courts. These include District

. " . - .. , ..

as the (8) , ~ legislatures. and (1 i) courts. Distri~t courts are courts 6f·

It is composed ofnirie (9) ;.; .. ; .. ;.;...... . . (18).; ;;. ., jurisdiction while Circllit courts have

• These jUstice~ Work (10)....................... . (19} ; jurisdiction.

For their (11) ; .. ;.;; .. ;~ ..... ; .. to be valid, there must be a The Supreme Court is at the apex of the judicial system and··

(12) of six justices. is therefore the final (20) on questions of law . and on the Constitution .

• www.etprofesslonal.com • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. Issue 62 May 2009. 15



Edward Alden adapts activities to align with his students' ZMD.

In Issue 61, we saw how the concept of the ZMD (Zone of Mutual Development) could shed light on the tricky issue of mixedability groups. In short, ZMD derives from Vygotsky's ZPD theory and describes the learning stage which two or more students are incapable of achieving alone, but which can be reached by them working together, ie the stage where their ZPDs overlap.

Even if we manage to group our students neatly into pairs which all provide ZMDs, we are still left with a rather daunting task: grading activities up or down to make them fit into each pair's ZMD. (If we cannot do this, all our pairing efforts will have little effect.) My aim in this article, therefore, is to present some techniques - as practical, versatile and non-time-consuming as possible - to help you adapt your regular coursebook tasks into plausible challenges for all your students.

them as smart-asses who are better than the rest and don't need to study. We . want them to see all this exactly as what it is: an effort to make the lessons more student-centred and to make the most of each individual student's learning capacity. And for that, I'm guessing a straightforward conversation with the whole class will work fine to gain their understanding and cooperation.


The adaptations I am suggesting can be divided into two sections: passive and active skills.


For the sake of standardisation and easier comprehension, I will refer to some students as weaker students (as opposed to stronger students), instead of using the more politically correct terms I've heard, such as less capable, unprivileged, less enlightened, in difficulty, struggling, less-gifted, demotivated, and so on. Seriously though, you will need to make a conscious effort to prepare the students' affective side for these adaptations. We don't want them to feel stigmatised as 'dumb' or, on the other hand, label .

Grading activities up or down does not necessarily mean simply providing part of the answers for the weaker students, nor does it mean loading extra exercises onto the stronger ones. It might mean an extra activity, but only as long as it's purposeful, the main point being to make the task more or less challenging, not quicker or slower. Otherwise, the most probable outcome will be a sharp decline in the weaker students' self-confidence, and the stronger students may consider themselves as being punished for being so smart or quick.

16 • Issue 62 May 2009 • ENGLISH TEACHING professional • www.etprolesslonal.com •

Passive skills (reading and listening)

o Question cards

I have the questions below printed on re-usable cards, which I hand out to students to reflect on or discuss in pairs (being careful to keep the volume down so as not to disturb the others). They are very general questions and are adaptable to most types of text but, at the same time, they demand betweenthe-lines comprehension:

• What type of text is it?

• Where are you likely to read a text like


• Who wrote this text and to whom?

• What is the main message of this text?

• Do you agree with the author? Why (not)?

• Do you have any personal experience

of this topic?

Before moving on, I get the stronger students to answer some of the questions, starting a whole-class discussion. This is a key point for all the activities: if you're breaking up the

class, do your best to bring them back together afterwards. That gives the stronger students a clearer purpose for their extra effort, and avoids the weaker ones feeling left out.

f) Board work

A number of activities can be done using words selected from the text and written on the board.

a) Synonyms. I select particularly difficult words from the text to write on the board. The students then have to locate them in the text and write synonyms for them, either by guessing the meaning from context or by using a dictionary.

b) Contextualising. With their books closed, I ask the students to explain in their own words the context of the words on the board. If they come from a story, they can re-tell it with the aid of the keywords.

These kinds of activities have the advantage of lending themselves to grading the activity both up and down. You could put the words up before the students are exposed to the text itself (for use in a pre-listening/reading activity); you could do it while the stronger students are performing extra tasks, so that the weaker ones have more time to read the text or listen one more time to the extract. Once again, in the round-up phase, weaker students should be able to deepen their comprehension by interacting with the stronger ones.

m Script work

With listening activities, the script can be used in a number of ways to facilitate the task. Apart from simply reading it and underlining the answers, the students can fill in gaps with important vocabulary, work in pairs or groups (each one having a part of the script and providing the answers they find to the other students), put in order a chopped-up script then listen again to check, correct a slightly modified script, etc. The most important thing is to make sure they understand as much as possible just by listening, and only then hand out the script, because from then on it becomes essentially a reading activity.

Active skills (speaking and writing)

In reallife, communicating usually consists of getting a message across in the easiest and quickest way, and it's no different with students in the classroom. Most just want to get it over with, but that doesn't help them much to improve their English. So what we should aim at in class is to encourage them to get the

message across in the best possible way.

With weaker students, that will possibly include working on the message itself, as they aren't (or they think they aren't) able to say what they want to, and consequently they may finish before the others. The stronger students should be encouraged to improve the quality of their communication, and not just settle for performing the task satisfactorily. Again, vocabulary can be a solution (there's a reason we talk about keywordsl),

Weaker students can usually provide themselves with the words they need (sometimes with a helping hand), as long as they're given enough time to think about what to say before moving on to how to say it. In speaking tasks, it's important to limit the number of words (not sentences) they can write down, though, so we don't kill spontaneity. When improving the way they say things (in both written and oral form), skeleton sentence structures can come in handy (eg What I like most about him is ... or ... is the best film I've ever seen).

is that, more often than not, the person on the CD is a native speaker a;d delivers a speech which would be considered outstanding for students at that level. It is, therefore, an adequate challenge for a listening task, but when the teacher says 'Now it's your turn', no matter how much preparation for it there is, weaker students become disheartened by the impossibility of getting anywhere near the same level.

The solution lies again within the mixed abilities of your group. By pairing a stronger student with a weaker one, and having the stronger student perform first, the weaker one is exposed to a more attainable and encouraging model. Then you can pair students according to their ZMD and repeat the task, giving everyone a second chance

to improve their speech.

Models can also be useful in writing tasks, as long as precautions are taken to avoid the production of copies with just a couple of changes. One thing that works is to show a model on an overhead projector, write notes on the board relating to paragraphing, content, cohesion, etc, then turn the equipment off, leaving the students with just the notes and their memories.

You can provide stronger students with a list of more elaborate words that they have to use. This may seem a bit artificial, but sometimes it's what it takes to show them that good speaking and writing is not just about not making mistakes, and that, regardless of where they stand, there's always a next level to reach (ie focusing not only on accuracy, but also on range).

In oral discourse tasks, modelling is another vital concept, but the model has to be within the students' ZMD. It is common practice in coursebooks to link a listening activity (perhaps someone talking about their best friend) to a speaking one in which the students have to do the same. This seems appropriate, even logical. The problem

I hope that you'll find some of these tips useful, and that they will help you make the presence of different levels within the same group not only no longer an obstacle, but actually something that can work for you and your students. My suggestions are just general guidelines, hopefully applicable to most activities, butthere are many other things you can do to grade specific types of activities up or down. The starting point is the student: not a hypothetical one, weak or strong, but those ones you'll be teaching next week. After all, it's not about making the activity easier or more difficult, but more appropriate to the students. Q

Edward Alden has worked in Brazil as an English teacher and teacher trainer for

12 years and currently runs his own school in Rio Verde, Goias. His interests include affective factors and material development.

• www.etprofessional.com • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. Issue 62 May 2009 • 17


I think, therefore I learn II

Tessa Woodward uses visual aids to promote language learning.

rfhiitis.theconsolation of a little rilirid;you have the fun of changing it without impeding the progress of mankind,' Frank Moore Colby

In the last of this series of five articles, I'd like to discuss graphic organisers and how they can encourage thinking in language classes.

What are graphic organisers?

Graphic organisers are simply ways of expressing and encouraging thinking using visual means. No doubt you are already using charts and tables, family tree diagrams, time lines, mind maps and many more graphic organisers in your own lessons. We all use them because they can be fun, engaging and memorable. They can point us to part, whole, chronological and other relationships, and can show us what we already know and what we have yet to learn.

If we wish to encourage thinking, however, then once students have been introduced to a graphic organiser and understood it, it is important for them to make one of their own, rather than receive a ready-made, finished one.

Here are a few graphic organisers you might not have thought of using yet.

D The path

Draw a simple lane or path with a few bends in it like this:

This graphic organiser can heIp you and the students to plan events and essays or work out a revision timetable before an exam. Students can add words and stick on pictures or notes, depending on what you use it for.

II The target

Draw some concentric circles. Mario Rinvolucri and Christine Frank's students wrote the names of their closest, good and more distant friends in the inner, middle and outside circles of these sociograms and then talked about them. Targets can be used to store other information, however, such as vocabulary of different registers: inner-circle language for use with close friends, middle-circle language which is neutral and useful in most situations, outer-circle language for use with strangers and those above us in a hierarchy.

II Stars and pie charts 1





Stars with numbered points and circles divided up like pies can be used for all sorts of things. For example:

Self introduction

Each number stands for a category of personal information, such as:

1 Inherited physical characteristic 2 Inherited character trait

3 Membership of a group

4 What fires me up

5 Memories

6 Things I tend to notice

Students then introduce themselves to a partner by talking about one or more points on the star or pieces of pie.



18 • Issue 62 May 2009 • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. www.etprofesslonal.com •

Review game

Each number stands for a category of c1asswork, such as grammar, vocabulary, story, punctuation, pronunciation, discourse. In teams, students choose a category and then receive and try to answer a question in that category.

II Vocabulary scales

Take a narrow semantic area such as 'words describing the cost of things in shops'. Draw a scale and elicit the antonyms cheap and expensive from the students. Write them on the scale like this:

... I



Explain that the words cheap and expensive fit into a sentence starting It's ....

Ask the students if they know any other related adjectives or expressions. If they come up with good suggestions, such as dear or reasonable, add them onto the scale in the right places:

.. I I



I I I ...

dear costly

expensive pricey

If they come up with words that are more appropriate on a different scale (such as scruffy, which belongs more on the tidy .. untidy scale), point this out.

In the scale above, the cheap end looks a bit sparse. The students can now see where their vocabulary is rich and where it is poor. Over the next few weeks, they can use texts, tapes, you or each other to find more words to fit on the scale (eg a bargain, a rip-off, etc) By plotting them onto the scale, they see their individual and relative meanings.

Many other semantic areas lend themselves to storage on scales, eg words describing the amount of taste in food (tasteless" tasty), moisture in the air (wet .. dry), friendliness of people, etc. Ask your students to choose areas they are interested in, keep a vocabulary scales notebook and keep track of their improvement as they learn more and more words for more and more scales.

Finally, here is a little thinking task for you. What could you use the following for in your own work?

A flow chart

Useful reading

Bloom, B Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: Handbook 1 The Cognitive Domain David McKay Co Inc 1956

Buzan, T and Buzan, B The Mind Map Book BBC Active 2006

Dobbs, J Using the Board in the Language Classroom CUP 2001

Margulies, N and Valenza, C Visual Thinking Crown House 2005

Rinvolucri, M and Frank, C Grammar in Action Prentice Hall 1990

Woodward, T Headstrong: a book of thinking frames for mental exercise TW Publications 2006

Wragg, E C (Ed) Teaching and Learning Routledge/Falmer 2004

Useful websites www.thinkingforlearning.com www.nea.orgltipslteachteclthinking.html

• www.etprofesslonal.com • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. Issue 62 May 2009 • 19

Tessa Woodward is a teacher and teacher trainer at Hilderstone College, Broadstalrs, UK. She also edits the Teacher Trainer journal for Pilgrims, UK. She Is a past president of IATEFL.

(Hint: to work out some sort of process, procedure or operation?)

A triangle

(Hint: to work out some sort of ranking, hierarchy or set of ratios?)

Steps up or down


(Hint: to show a cumulative syllabus or stages in testing?)


If you are interested in encouraging thinking in class, you might like to do some further reading on:

• what constitutes a thinking skill (Wragg);

• a popular model that categorises thinking skills from the concrete to the abstract (Bloom);

• a collection of thinking frameworks for use in both everyday and language learning domains (Woodward). 4E>

Writing for ETp

Would you like to write for ETp?

We are always interested in new writers and fresh ideas. For guidelines and advice, write to us or email: edltor@etprofessional.com

rasa ver s? e 're eas !

In a new series,

.John Ryan takes up the challenge of putting across phrasal verbs.

ASk your learners what they think of phrasal verbs and they will most likely respond with something like 'Phrasal verbs are impossible!' But why is this? And why is this fear of phrasal verbs peculiar to learners of English? We native speakers have no problem understanding them at all. There are, of course, areas of English where I have plenty of difficulty. I'm a bad speller, and my grammar isn't the best. But as far as phrasal verbs are concerned, I think I can safely say that I understand all of them. If you are a native speaker of English, ask yourself these two questions:

1 Do you know every word in English? 2 Do you know every phrasal verb in


The answer to the first question has to be a resounding 'no'. Of course you don't! Unless, that is, you spend your days learning the dictionary off by heart. But what about the second question? Do you know every phrasal verb? The answer is yes, you do. And this is a truly amazing fact!

Knowing without knowing

How is it that native speakers understand every phrasal verb there is? Did they learn them at school? No. I certainly don't remember ever studying phrasal verbs at school. In fact, if I say phrasal verb to a non-teaching friend of mine today, the chances are they won't know what I'm talking about. And yet, they know them all. They have never been taught them, they may not even know they exist, and yet they understand them all! So why is this?

20 . Issue 62 May 2009 • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. www.etprofeSSional.com •

I mages as labels

The answer is to do with something I call 'imaging'. Let's take some common nouns, like apple, table and jacket. When I say these words, an image forms in your head, which corresponds to the word you hear. I say apple and you see the fruit. I say table and you see a wooden thing with four legs. Now put yourself in the position of the learner. When we give the learner these words, they are able to 'translate' the English word to fit the image in their head. By translating, and using the familiar pictures they have, they learn the language. The word is a label for the image, which the word represents.

Different reactions

If I were to ask a learner what their image is of, let's say, up, the answer would probably be an arrow pointing upwards. If I ask them what down means, the image they would now have is of an arrow pointing downwards, and so on. What I am saying is that learners of English have an incomplete picture of prepositions. They see them only as arrows pointing in different directions. Native speakers also see this, of course, but the difference is that we also see something else. If I say, for example, It's up to you, where's the arrow? Where's the direction? There isn't one. But there is an image. If we could show this 'other image' to the learners, they would have the same insight into this type of language as we do. We could make phrasal verbs (and idiomatic language in general) easy to learn.

Common threads

So what is this difference between the way that native speakers see prepositions

and the way non-native speakers do? In a nutshell, it's emotion, or if not emotion, it's a keyword. The keyword describes the thread which links all of the verbs with the same preposition. It's different for each preposition and we must look at each one separately, as we will in the next six issues of ETp. First, consider the following:

• The bottle is on the table.

• The film went on and on.

• He went on and on at me.

If you translate these three sentences into another language, they would probably have nothing at all in common. They represent three entirely different and unrelated ideas. But look at how we form these apparently unrelated ideas in English. Each of them uses the word on. So rather than saying they are three different ideas, why not say that they are exactly the same? And indeed, they are! There is a common thread in the above sentences. Show the learners the thread, and they will understand the verbs, as opposed to merely learning them. Look at the sentence The film went on and on. What do you understand? I understand it was a very long film, but not a long good film. It was long and boring. All of this information is coming from on and on. The preposition is transmitting much more information to me than just 'arrows'! There is connotation and emotional meaning. For the learner to understand the verb, they must be able to connect with it!

Distinct verbs

When I explain to my learners what phrasal verbs are, I use sex to sell the idea (cheap, I know, but it's effective and gets a laugh). Think of your own existence, and the fact that you are here as a result of your father 'meeting' your mother. Are you a photocopy of your father or of your mother? No, of course not. You are a new unique individual person, but a product of your parents nonetheless. Phrasal verbs are the very same. Like a father and mother, a verb and a preposition come together and produce a new unique distinct verb. Just like hydrogen and oxygen form a new compound, water, the verb and preposition form a new verb, a phrasal verb, and if the original verb used is not a verb of movement, then the phrasal verb will have a new meaning.

Movement as arrows

means. and in means •. Just ,!is in other languages. Now imagine that it's three years later and the mother is busy in the kitchen preparing dinner, but tonight she's late. Her guests are arriving in 20 minutes, she's still cooking and she's still not dressed! Our three-year-old native English speaker is playing on the kitchen floor:

Child: Look, Mummy! Look at me! Mother: Sshhhh, not now, Mummy's busy. Child: Mummy, Mummy, look at me! Mother: SSSHHHH! NOT NOW!


Suddenly up has a new meaning for the child. It's not. anymore! It now means Stop! Of course context is all important. If someone tells the child to go up the stairs, it knows it's about direction, because up has appeared with a verb of movement, but now it knows that there are other possibilities besides direction. Later in school, the child will learn that the Coca-Cola company was set up in 1886 and this obviously means started. And so it continues. Native speakers are never taught about phrasal verbs, but they do learn them. What is important to remember is that phrasal verbs are not random. For example, up has a very specific meaning and this does not change! In fact, I believe that every preposition has fixed, concrete meanings.

Verbs of movement are simply verbs which describe movement of some sort, like to walk, to run, to drive, to climb, to dance, to climb, to fly and to swim. If you put these verbs beside a preposition the result is directly translatable and very easy for the learner to understand. For example:

• I went across the river.

• I walked up the stairs

• I drove down the hill.

• I lifted the suitcase off the floor.

• I ran though the park.

All of these sentences translate directly into other languages. The preposition in each is like an arrow. It represents a direction, a movement. However, what if the verbs are not verbs of movement? For example:

• I gave up smoking last week.

• He hit on a great idea for making

extra cash.

• I can see through that guy. He's a liarl

• He got me back yesterday.

• I'm really into this music.

In these examples, what do the words up, on, through, back and into mean? Can we image them using arrows? Are they about direction? In my opinion, they are not. They are, however, something concrete, and something easily understandable to native speakers. In the articles to follow, I will show you exactly what these words are.

Prepositions as meaning As I have said, native English speakers have a strong image for each preposition, and I don't mean just arrows or directions. These images have been created in their heads over the years, meaning they really understand the prepositions, both literally (direction) and metaphorically. Therefore, when they see a new phrasal verb, one they have never seen or heard before, so long as it is in a context, they will automatically understand it.

Let's go back in time to when the native English speaker was a baby, being fed by its mother. As the mother spoon-feeds the baby, she says about the spoon 'and it goes up and in, and it goes up and in' and as the baby hears the words and sees the movement of the spoon, the language begins to develop. The baby begins to understand that up


So, in conclusion, even though they seem to be random and illogical, phrasal verbs do actually follow rules. In the next six articles I will take you step by step through the main prepositions and show you how these rules can be applied, and how they can be made clear to the learner. I should emphasise, though, that this is simply a guide, not an academic treatise! Finally, when teaching phrasal verbs, we can at last offer our learners something concrete, and if they are asked in the future what they think about phrasal verbs, they will say 'Phrasal verbs? They're easy!' cD

John Ryan teaches in Alpha College, Dublin, Ireland and believes that the English language is accessible to all learners as there is an underlying logic, which exists even in the most idiomatic of phrases. Bringing this logic to the learner is his goal in training.

• www.etprofesslonal.com • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. Issue 62 May 2009 • 21

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Ready for reading

~ l'> !l> participation in what David Barton calls other 'literacy events', and their experience with the time-saving devices that most homes are filled with nowadays, they are very likely to have had a wide range of visual, sensory and auditory experiences - so much so, that when children come to kindergarten they can generally identify four or five colours in English, they can name a few animals and they have fairly good eye-hand coordinatlon. This is the image of a typical kindergarten

beginner the project team profiled for planning reading readiness activities.

Children with such a wide range of background experiences tend to have few reading problems, unless they have actual learning difficulties. If they are involved in readiness activities like picture-reading with left-to-right movement, dramatising action rhymes, and visual and auditory discrimination. they can move easily not only into reading. but also into speaking and writing. We decided to make the first few pages of our materials picture pages. which would provide teachers with talking points to introduce the vocabulary and ideas the kindergarten children would need. Reading picture stories, incidentally. trains children in the mechanics of reading from top left to bottom right. Visual and auditory discrimination, assimilation of the system of aural-visual blending of consonants and vowels in regularly sounded monosyllabic short-vowel words, and tracing and colouring are a few of the other reading readiness activities we incorporated into the materials.

While we did not read too much into the belief expressed by Lynne Cameron that literacy 'begins long

before a child goes to school', we did not want to ignore, at the same time, the potential of the child.

Issue 2:

What approach to reading should we adopt: 'whole word' or 'phonics't

The traditionalists in our team tended to favour the 'look-and-say' or 'wholeword' method. But it seemed unreasonable to rely entirely on this method when the intention was to produce an innovative reading programme. Phonics seemed a better alternative. This is basically a more effective method of word attack. as it not only trains children to discriminate and identify sounds within words and

to blend them orally and visually to make wholes, but also helps them make generalisations, which will enable them to decode even unknown words.

However, we were also aware of the limitations ofthe phonic method. For one thing, it does not seem reasonable that children should be made to decode the sound of every word they hear. For another, the English language is un phonetic. Given its spelling irregularities, would it be easy for a child to decide how letter combinations sound simply by applying a rule]

In the end. we decided to 'travel both (roads) and be one traveller'. As a result, in our materials the children's learning in the early stages is phonics" based. Later on, as their reading skills develop. elements of both phonics and look-and-say intertwine.

24 . Issue 62 May 2009 • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. www.etprofessional.com •

Issue 3:

How should writing be introduced!

Theory, as well as the practice of competent kindergarten teachers, guided us with regard to the introduction of writing. Consequently. in CR, the writing ofthe letters of the alphabet takes place only towards the end of Level 2. But, before that, there are pre-wrlttng activities. such as tracing lines, curves, shapes and patterns for the child to gain eye-hand control and to get used to the lines and shapes of alphabet letters. This is followed by drawing over large, thickly-lined dotted letters of the alphabet. There are arrows to show the direction in which the pencil should be moved, and the child draws each letter following the arrows and connecting the dots. Letters are arranged not according to their sequence in the alphabet but according to their shapes as sticks, rounds, talis, humps, tails and slants. Letters containing the simplest strokes are presented first and the child is gradually led to the more complicated forms. As lower-case letters are the ones most commonly used, they are introduced first.

Issue 4:

Should writing be carried beyond alphabet letters at the kindergarten level!

We carried out a survey of the kindergarten teaching situation in India, which revealed that classroom practice diverged enormously from the theory that writing work should be minimal at this level. In almost all the schools we surveyed, the children were taught to write the letters of the alphabet at lower-kindergarten level; and they were expected to write words and phrases at uppar-klndergarten level. When we interviewed the teachers, we found that pragmatism rather than ignorance was the reason for this practice. They said that the writing tasks children were expected to perform for tests were formidable: they had to read coursebooks for different subjects and write their answers to questions in sentences. The children therefore needed to be trained early on to meet

the demands of the tests they were required to take.

The CR approach is a fair compromise. While it does not push children into independent writing at this stage, it does not ignore writing altogether. Thus the children draw over large, thickly-lined three-letter words in two different colours (one colour for the initial consonant and the succeeding short vowel and another for the final consonant, in order to indicate the two sound units), sounding out the two elements phonically. This serves two purposes: one, the children learn to write, and two, they gain some knowledge of phoneme-grapheme relationships necessary for blending sounds.

Issue S:

How should the materials be structuredt

Materials which are rigidly structured and intended to be easy to teach tend to reduce the role of the teacher. They even lead to what Jack Richards calls 'reification', ie teachers 'failing to look at textbooks critically and assuming that teaching decisions made in the textbook and teaching manual are superior and more valid than those they could make themselves'. In the ELT literature. therefore, rigidly structured materials do not find favour (see, for example, the work of Shannon, Swan and Maley).

Although we were aware of this, we decided on a structured approach. One reason for this was that the teachers we consulted said that they preferred a structured approach. The teachers' preference may not be surprising if we consider it in the light of the

conclusion arrived at by Hutchinson and Torres: 'Freedom of choice brings with it the responsibility of making decisions. This both confuses and frightens people. Thus all the evidence indicates that both teachers and learners want and benefit from the security that a clear structure provides, even though this restricts the options available.'


All the issues we encountered were resolved, perhaps not so neatly and clear-headedly as the foregoing account would have one believe. but after months of investigation and prolonged discussions. And, as I pointed out earlier, what helped us resolve them were not just theories and models but our intuition and common sense, our own experience as teachers, the discussions we had with different primary teachers at each stage of the project, and our reflective practice as materials writers. <D


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Barton, D Uteracy: An Introduction. to the

. Ecologyo(Vvritten Language Blackwell 1994

C~Jlleroll;LTeacliitlgL(l;;guages to Young. ·i.eorilersCUP 200 I··

Hll1:chill~6~.+~~d+6r~s, E· ;The·textbook <a:sagentofchange'ELTjournal 48 (4) 1994

Mafe~,A'Scjllaringthecirde- reconciling materials.aseonstrairit with materlals as empowerment' inTomHnson. B (Ed)

.. Materials Development in Language Teaching

·ClJP1998 ..

Rich~rd~,J2'~yondth~textbcibk: the •.... .. rolfilofcommerciafmatel'ials in language teaching' REtCjoumaJ 24 (I) 1993 .. ... .

Shan~on. P~hcirnlrie~iid·readiilg materials: a technological ideofogy,andthe des killing of ..

. teaciiers'TtJeElemimtary SChool journal 87 ',

(3).J~87· .

.• S~Il,M"l'h~tektb66IcbricJge or wail?' .. ApplledUnguisti~tJlId. Language Teaching 2

.(1}199~. . .

Parthasarathy Ramanujam Is Reader in the Department of English and Director of the Loyola ELT Centre at Andhra Loyola College in Vljayawada, India. He has produced ESL textbooks, published artide$, facilitated ELT workshops and edited literary translations. He has also worked as a freelance journalist.

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Fax: +44 (0)1243576456

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• www.etprofesslonal.com • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. Issue 62 May 2009 • 25






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Middlesex University

Over the wall

• •

Alan Maley introduces a new series in which he recommends reading for readers of ETp.

The background

In the 40-plus years I have been involved with English language teaching, there has been a truly extraordinary expansion in the professional training available to teachers, and a corresponding expansion of the professional literature available to support that training. Certification, whether in a university framework providing Masters (and increasingly, doctoral) programmes, or through respected assessment institutions such as Cambridge ESOL or Trinity, is now an accepted part of any serious preparation for teaching English as a foreign or second language. Alongside this, the educational publishers offer a bewildering variety of publications in the form of scholarly books and journals, ranging from highly theoretical or research-based titles to those offering more practical, classroom-oriented information and advice.

This has all been enormously positive and has led to the formation of a cadre of better-trained teachers. There is,

however, a flip side. A concentration on professional qualification alone can lead to a 'technicity' view of teaching

Over the wall? Wall? What wall? What are you talking about? Reasonable enough questions. $0 in this, the first article in my new series, let me explain what it's all about.

excellence, with an undue emphasis on technical knowledge and praxis. But teachingllearning is not a science. Teachers and learners are not machines; they are people. Increasingly, we are realising that the essence of any teaching situation lies in the quality of the human relationships - what some people call 'flow' and others 'atmosphere'.

Furthermore, the professional literature we read is always in some sense convergent. The pressure on professional writers is to conform to the norms of the group or 'discourse community'. The result is that we risk reading within a set of sub-genres which closely resemble each other and where the range of topics is also circumscribed. We move in an internally self-referencing system. In short, a ghetto. And ghettos have walls. At its worst, this can lead to a form of 'Groupthink', which encourages an unquestioning belief in the rightness of what the group thinks and does. (For a brief outline of Groupthink, see http://en.wikipedia.orglwikiIGroupthink.) Yet we also need to hear varied, even dissonant and dissenting voices ... and, above all, more personal ones.

The power of reading

So much for the background to this series of articles. My contention is that reading extensively, promiscuously and associatively is good for teachers, and for personal development.

• It makes for teachers who are better informed, not just about their protssslon, but about the world. This makes them more interesting to be around - and students generally like their teachers to be interesting people. All Quirk and no play makes Jack a dull boy (and Jill a dull girl)! 'Reading maketh a full man', as Bacon reminds us. For our own sanity we need to be 'full'. For the sake of our students, too.

• It can help teachers to keep their own use of English fresh. The research on language learner reading, including that done by Stephen Krashen, shows overwhelmingly how extensive reading feeds into improvements in all areas of language competence. If this is true for learners, how much more true it is for teachers, who are daily exposed to restricted and error-laden English or

who only read the conventional !II> ... ,..

• _.etprofesslonal.com • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. Issue 62 May 2009 • 27

Over the wall

~ fI;>- ~ professional literature. Regular wide reading can add zest and vigour to our own use of the language, not to speak of the pleasure in the sheer joy of language it provides.

• Teachers who manifestly read widely are also models for their students. Students are often exhorted to 'read more', but students take their cue from their teachers. Why should they read if we do not? Teachers who are readers are more likely to have students who read, too.

• Furthermore, the books we read outside our narrow professional field can have an unpredictable effect on our practice within it. So much of what we learn is learnt subconsciously. John Gray puts the issue well: 'To equate what we know with what we (earn through conscious awareness is a cardinal error. The life of the mind is (ike that of the body. If it depended on conscious awareness or control, it would fail entirely. , This process of unconscious learning is more like osmosis than an organ transplant. Its effects spread more by infection than by direct injection. And it is highly individual. Individuals form associative networks among the books they read. Different individuals read different combinations of books and take from them different patterns of information and interpretation. This results in a kind of personal intertextuality, where the patterns form and re-form as we read

more different books. As readers, we form individual, interleaved, interlocking, symbiotic structures, where we become consubstantial with the texts we have read. This gives us a rich mental yeast which we can use to interact with others, while yet retaining our personal and individual take on the texts and the world.

Yet precisely what we get from reading particular books will be both unpredictable and indirect. It is not as if we go to a particular novel or popular science text or whatever in the knowledge and expectation that we wlillearn from it information of direct use to us in our dayto-day teaching. The spin-off into our teaching practices may not be obvious at all. It will be subtle and indirect. Perhaps we are better off following Polonius's advice in Hamlet and 'by indirections find directions out'. Neither should we expect the effects to be immediate. Books (outside of study or research programmes) are not a quick fix: they operate by slow burn. The importance of what we read now will often only become apparent, if at all, months or even years later.

three or more titles which!. for me at least, are more, or less, closely related to each other. The themes will vary from those fairly close to language teaching, such as books on the phenomenon of reading, to those with a more tenuous connection, such as books on music, for example. There will be a mixture of genres, ranging from popular science to fiction and even poetry. There may even be titles from earlier periods. A key criterion for my choice of titles will be variety.

In these reviews, the major focus will be on the intrinsic interest of the books themselves, though I will certainly draw attention to possible links to language teaching where it seems appropriate. Claire Kramsch, among others, has made the distinction between two modes of

Different individuals read different combinations of books and take from them different patterns of information and interpretation

I am sure that most of us can recall books which have had an impact on us, even if we cannot any longer recall in detail what they said. I am thinking, in my own case, of classics such as Tolstoy'S War and Peace, Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, almost all of Dickens' works, or more recent fiction like Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye or Orwell's 1984 or Animal Farm. Or books of general social interest like Galbraith's The Affluent Society, or Packard's The Hidden Persuaders, or Riesman's The Lonely Crowd or Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death. Or books expressing passionately controversial ideas about general education like lIIich's De-schooling SOCiety or Postman and Weingartner's Teaching as a Subversive Activity. Or even books about language which illuminate it from a non-insider point of view like Bill Bryson's Mother Tongue. While I would certainly not pass a test on these books,

I know that I would be a poorer teacher if I had not read them.

The foreground

So what will I be doing in this series of articles? I propose to share with readers of ETp some of my enthusiasm for books I have read. In each article I will review

28 . Issue 62 May 2009 • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. www.etprofessional.com •

reading: efferent and aesthetic. In efferent reading, we read to extract information from a text. In aesthetic reading, we read for the pleasure to be had from the text. Most of my readings here will be in aesthetic mode, though, like most people, I tend to switch modes from time to time. In other words, I will try to open myself to the texts rather than imposing any 'search plan' upon them.

Of course, there is no suggestion that you should read exactly what I do, or how I do, though some of the titles may attract you, too. My aim is to re-awaken your interest in this kind of discursive reading and to persuade you that it is desirable to read 'over the wall'. cD>

Gray, J Straw Dogs Granta 2002 Kramsch, C Context and Cu(ture ii-I Language Teaching OUP 1993

Krashen, S The Power of Reading Heinemann 2004

Alan Maley has worked in the area of ELT for over 40 years in Yugoslavia, Ghana, Italy, France, China, India, the UK, Singapore and Thailand. Since 2003 he has been a freelance writer and consultant. He has published over 30 books and numerous articles, and was, until recently, series Editor of the Oxford Resource Books for Teachers.

B U 51 N E S5 ENG LI S H professional !IIi IllH!lI1iIII II !liUlllIm !lUll mUUUil alii II illiilliliIl'III lin! II.liI !l!iHl!IIl!!I!!ilI!.'!II iIlIll!iIlIiII

Richard Ostick makes presenting a priority.

In my experience, many students sign up for business English courses because they want to improve their ability to give presentations in English. Although many of them have a lot of experience of giving presentations, I often find that it isn't just language training they need: some actually know very little about how to give a good presentation. It is also the case that many teachers feel they have not had enough real experience in the world of business and in giving genuine presentations themselves, and therefore they do not feel confident when training individuals in this area. In this article I would like to look at what is involved in training students to give better, more effective presentations in English.

Let's start with a real life example. A few months ago, I was teaching a highlevel German manager who wanted to work on a particular presentation which he needed to give in the not-too-distant future. I asked him to give his presentation to me in the next lesson. He came in, sat down, booted up his laptop, swivelled it round on the table

and proceeded to read what was on the slides. The slides were full from top to bottom with text and he read out exactly what was on them without pausing, digressing or even taking a breath! There were about 45 slides.

I asked him, in the nicest possible way so as not to make him feel demotivated, whether this was what he usually did. He replied, 'In English, yes!' So I asked if he did it differently in German. He then laughed and said 'Of course!' He went on to explain that if he did it this way in English and people did not understand his pronunciation or he made some kind of mistake, then at least they could understand the text.

Body language {nonverbal communication) Many studies carried out in the field of communication have demonstrated the power of body language. To show my students how important it is, I use a task that I picked up when doing training in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. This is a powerful activity, so be careful. It should always be conducted with humour, but it shows the potential impact body language can have when giving a presentation.

• Ask a student to choose a topic that they can speak about comfortably for about one minute (eg a hobby, a topical news story, their favourite soap opera, etc). Tell them they will talk about this for a minute and they will do it twice.

• The first time you listen, act uninterested. Look at your watch, scratch your head, avoid eye contact and yawn!

• The second time you listen, do the

opposite: act interested.

• Ask how the speaker felt both times. You will probably find that the speaker felt quite aggrieved at the negative messages you were sending out though your body language the first time they spoke. They may even have found it difficult to continue. The second time, they will undoubtedly have felt much more comfortable; your positive body language will have made it much easier to speak and to keep going.

Another idea is to try a gesture drilL Ask your students to read the following

sentences aloud to one another, paying ... "'" ,..

What is involved in communication?

We can divide communication into three main categories:

• the words we say

• how we say them

• body language

All these factors playa vital role when we communicate, whatever the situation (a business presentation, a job interview, a first date, etc). However, if we look at how much each factor contributes to communication, we find the following:

• the words we say 7%

• how we say them 38%

• body language 55%

As language teachers, we mostly tend to concern ourselves only with the first two, but it is actually vital that we look at all three. Let's examine them in order of importance .

• www.etprofassional.com • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. Issue 62 May 2009 • 29

Present and correct

How we say the words

Let's turn now to how we say words, or pronunciation. When training students to give better presentations, we need to look at the pronunciation of individual sounds, word stress and sentence stress.

Individual sounds

An error in an individual sound in a word can cause misunderstanding. It is always useful to do some minimal pair work with sounds which cause problems for your particular students in order to avoid errors such as these:

They are flirting on the stock market. (instead of floating)

Dr Stroginnoff's pepper is on change management. (paper)

The national walkers' party is on strike. (workers)

We need to pull our resources. (poo~ She socked the team leader. (sacked) It is important that we take our chair. (share)

We are sinking at the moment. (thinking)

You will make it worse ... (worth)

As you can see from these examples, the whole message can change if there is an error in an individual sound.

It is a good idea to familiarise your students with the phonemic chart. This will allow them to identify which

sounds they find problematic, both in terms of production and recognition. Knowing the phonemic chart will also help them to check the pronunciation of new words in a monolingual dictionary.

to each other. They will notice how they have to change their voice to convey these different feelings.

Another important technique to train your students in is 'chunking', as suggested by Mark Powell in Presenting in English. To do this, record your students reading a text, preferably part of a presentation if possible. Then get them to go back through the text and draw a line where they feel a natural pause should occur. Pauses should generally occur after a sense group or full meaning phrase, but they can also be included for impact. Record the students reading the same text a second time, this time including the pauses. They will notice the overall pace is slower and much easier to understand from a listener's perspective. Also, if some kind of pronunciation, vocabulary or grammar error is made by the speaker, including logical pauses will allow easier processing for the listeners and will give them time to 'catch up' with what is being said.

~ fI>o ~ special attention to using hand gestures and body language to help convey the meaning:

• All oj a sudden, the plane took oJJ and we were all facing straight up into the sky.

• We were travelling Jor hours through that narrow passage and finally arrived on the other side of the mountain.

• This is a small investment in your time and money, but I hope it will give you a big return in the classroom.

• Their manager is extremely tall and weighs 150 kilos! He has short hair, a scar on his chin and plenty oj energy.

Both these activities will help to raise awareness of how important body language is when we give a presentation, and should also create a lot of laughter.

Word stress

A few years ago, a student told me that his boss was a 'very impotent man'. I was naturally surprised at this news, which suggested to me that he had a very open relationship with his boss: one in which they could talk about anything! Of course, what he wanted to say was that his boss was important. Here, it was a mistake with the word stress that caused the misunderstanding, rather than an error in an individual sound.

It is particularly vital that students get the stress right in key business terms which will be central to any presentation, so you need to train them to look for tendencies and patterns so they can identify the correct stress in new words they come across.

Sentence stress

Students also need to know that putting the stress on the right word within a sentence can help us put our message across, but putting it on the wrong word can alter the message completely. Look at the different ways of saying this sentence and how the meaning is changed when the words in bold are stressed.

Margaret bought a brand-new red BMW. (not Fred)

Margaret bought a brand-new red BMW. (she didn't steal it)

Margaret bought a brand~new red BMW. (rather than a used one)

Margaret bought a brand-new red BMW. (not blue)

Margaret bought a brand-new red BMW. (not a Ford).

It is useful to tell your students that the pitch, tone and speed of what we say can also influence our message. To highlight this, write a number of states, feelings and emotions on the board, such as: interested, bored, happy, frustrated, hung-over, afraid, confused, threatening, exhausted. Then ask your students to try to communicate one of these by simply saying Good afternoon

30 • Issue 62 May 2009 • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. www.etprofessional.com •

The words we say

When looking at the actual language we need to focus on, I think it is important not to concentrate too much on grammar. The last thing students need to worry about is whether they should use the present perfect or the past simple in the middle of a presentation. Perfect grammar is not the key to successful communication, or to giving an effective presentation.

Instead, I focus on two main areas which students struggle with when preparing to give a presentation in English. These are signposting, and the language of graphs and charts.


Using phrases that help to organise what you want to say, and which point out to the audience where the

presentation is going next, are vital to a good presentation. Useful signposting phrases include:

Let's move on.

Firstfy ... , secondly ... , after that •.. I'd like to expand on ...

Let's go back to ...

I'd like to draw your attention to ... In conclusion, ...

Drilling these in the classroom will not only help you to correct any pronunciation problems, but will also help students to remember them.

It is also useful to do ordering activities with such phrases. Get the students to put these phrases in the order in which they might occur in a presentation. Alternatively, ask them to match the phrases with the functions they fulfil (eg introducing a new topic, speaking in more detail, looking at visuals, etc); then ask them to add other examples.

The language of graphs and charts Many of my students come to class with only two words to describe charts and graphs: increase and decrease. I remind them that these can be used as verbs and nouns (with a change of stress), and I then introduce some adverbs and adjectives to accompany them, such as sharp/sharply, slight/slightly, dramatic/dramatically, gradual/gradually.

Students can also be asked to match phrases to different points on a graph. This activity is really useful for visual learners.

Points to remember

The question and answer session This part of the presentation strikes fear into the heart of many students as they need to interact with the audience.

Remind them that there are basically four types of questions:

• good questions

• difficult questions

• unnecessary questions

• irrelevant questions

Arm your students with some fixed responses to these different types of questions. Here are some examples suggested by Mark Powell:

I think that raises a different issue. I'm glad you asked that.

Can I get back to you on that? Interesting! What do you think? I think I answered that earlier.

Ask the students to match the responses to the particular type of questions. You can then practise with some real questions of your own.

Flax, with your students. Ask them to match the type of audience (in the box on the left) with the main feature of the presentation (in the box on the right). You could perhaps go on to suggest a certain culture/nationality/job type that the audience might represent. (However, please be careful about cultural stereotypes.)

Visual aids

Here is some advice to give to students on using visual aids, particularly PowerPoint slides:

• Keep the information on each slide to a minimum! The 7/7 rule is useful here: a maximum of seven words on seven lines.

• When you want the attention turned back to you, get rid of your visual aid. By pressing the W key on the keyboard, your Power Point presentation will go to a blank white screen (press B and it will go black). All eyes will then be on you.

• Talk to your audience, not your visual aid. Also, when presenting in English, try to stand on the right of the

screen. English is read from left to right, so after your audience have read each point, their focus will naturally return to you.


It is vital that presenters adapt their presentations to the audience. Different companies, countries and cultures approach business in different ways, so we need to be aware of how these differences impact business interaction and draw this to the attention of our students. The more aware business people are, the more successful their meetings, presentations or negotiations will be.

Try the following activity, which comes from Oral Presentations by Roger

Presentatiori ••..•...•.. .: . r Supported b'yalot of evidence ..•. '

Audience .... a Orderly and precise

b Short-term oriented .

c Long-term .•. !oriented>

d. Uncomfortable

with decisiohii

e Perlectionists f • Contmlling.>· .. and power·.

. oriented

g S;;~ptirialal1d<


h Sociable and' warm

21nteractive .

· ,', ,. ','.'_"_'.-' .. --"

· 3 Relatedtoimpact,

. bottom line .. .

,"4' Ne~tly·StriJctuied.·/.·············

••. 5AccUrat~;·&itll·.OIlIY··· ••• ...•.. '. smallmistllkes>( · 6Showstr~nd~,' i

.'. ·········~i~~i~i:·~~i~?d •.•.•••. · •.• ·.· •..•• · .•.•....

· •. ·'1c;jMEWd~~withrh~~y·

. options .

·.·II.,llciudeia.~ec~.~t~s, .' 'ackn()Wled!l'emeri~

<8 nd accolades.' .



I hope you can see that there is much more involved in training students to give better presentations than just teaching them language. As a teacher who has only known ELT as a career, I can sympathise with those ELT professionals who do not come from a business background, but are often called upon to teach those who are.

I hope this article has at least given you one good idea to take into the classroom the next time your needs analysis comes up with presentations as a priority. Gl7>

Flax, R Oral Presentations Motivational Systems 1982

Powell, M Presenting in English LTP 1996

Richard Ostick has taught in both the Czech Republic and Spain_ He is Director of Studies at the Kingsway English Centre in Worcester, UK, and is interested in all aspects of pronunciation, autonomous learning and teacher development.

• www.etprofesslonal.com • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. Issue 62 May 2009 • 31

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of sugar ...

Simon Pearlman thinks some timely treatment with his teenagers helps the medicine go down.

When we think about teenagers, many - often conflicting - adjectives come to mind: noisy, cheeky, creative, grumpy, lively, uncommunicative, annoying, fun. The list could go on and on, but one thing for certain is that teenagers make challenging students.

My assumption is that all teachers of teenagers have some issues around discipline, and there are no easy answers. However, talking to teachers has helped me begin to understand that we all have similar problems, which is, in itself, a reassuring message.


Teenagers are by their very nature a challenging group. The single word that characterises this age group is change. There are the obvious physical changes: things growing, dropping and emerging alarmingly. Then there are emotional changes, often viewed as a veil of confidence easily dislodged. There are also cognitive changes, as our students grapple with philosophical questions and shape their world views. So some challenging behaviour from them is understandable, perhaps inevitable and maybe even desirable.

Imagine a world where teenagers didn't challenge us. It just wouldn't be right.

We've all been teenagers ourselves, and we need to remember what it was like. We need to empathise, too. However, we mustn't allow our understanding to cloud our judgement. Yes, we need to remember, and yes, we need to empathise, but we mustn't allow it to be an excuse; we mustn't forgive poor behaviour based on hormones and an understanding of change alone.

34 . Issue 62 May 2009 • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. www.etprofesslonal.com •


Teenagers, in most educational contexts, are aged 11 to 17: the age of secondary education. This is a big group. Are all ages equally difficult? Where are the hotspots? All ages present their own challenges, but in terms of the private language school experience, most people tend to divide ages up by saying that the younger teenagers are more like children and so less problematic, and the older ones tend to have made positive choices about going to an English class or are at least more comfortable in it. The problems have, therefore, tended to be identified as being with the middle groups, the 13-15 year olds. However, is this still the case? Nowadays youngsters seem to be growing up quicker than

ever before; with boys, the pressure to 'be a man' seems to begin younger and younger. I've had students as young as 12 talking confidentially about the peer pressure to smoke, drink alcohol and take drugs. These are worrying developments indeed, and mirroring this seems to be a tendency for younger people to be more difficult.

So is it society'S fault, then? Or is it ours? We try to create fun, creative and communicative classes for groups of students for whom it may be totally inappropriate. Is the ELT profession with its touchy-feely, communicative approaches incompatible with most teenage classes?

I firmly believe that encouraging communicative competence is wholly appropriate and allowing people to enjoy their encounters with English is essential, but it does create a number of difficulties, too. Teenagers are rarely given this freer space within a classroom, and we as language teachers also tend to lean away from tight reins and strong discipline. Nevertheless, these questions need to be asked.


So, that's the background. What can we do? How can we have classes that are well-behaved as well as productive and communicative?

Let's base our work around three medical sounding themes; prevention is better than cure, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down and amputation is the only way.

In Issue 61 of ETp (It works in practice) we looked at some preventive measures:

• Get the 'work' done early.

• Signpost the activities.

• Scaffold the activities.

• Make lessons relevant and interesting.

• Be realistic.

We as teachers need to take the lead, interacting positively and building rapport with our students. If students like you, you can discipline them much more effectively.

We need to take every opportunity to build rapport whenever possible, whether it be in the classroom, around the school or even when we bump into our students in the street. These people are not our friends; we don't want to socialise with them, nor perhaps should we, but we should treat them with respect, politeness and friendliness, and the use of their name, a friendly pat on the back and a smile can go a long way.

Returning to the medical theme, doctors think about symptoms and the underlying problem. OK, we may perceive a class to be difficult as a whole, but it's usually only one or two bacteria that spread an infection. The real problem tends to be individual students. We need to identify the bacteria and treat them specifically.

Be tactful

There are students who need special attention. They need it for a number of possible reasons; these can range from the personal, the behavioural and, of course, the academic. If we can get these students on side, then we're well on the way to success. Build bridges, engage with them on a personal level, talk to them and get to know them a little.

It could work like this: if a student has been particularly difficult, ask them to stay behind after the class and then the dialogue can begin out of the glare of the peer spotlight. 'Why am I talking to you now? How was your behaviour in

class today? How did it affect you? other students? the lesson? me? Why do you do it?' etc. By doing this, I'm not telling them off, I'm guiding them towards more reasonable behaviour. Hopefully, through this some issues will come out: 'It's too easy, I'm bored, it's too difficult, I don't understand, I don't really want to be here'. And you may finish with 'So what's going to change?'

At the same time, try to find out about them; ask them about their lives, remember and ask about things they mention the next week. These personal touches are important and help those people feel special, valued and respected.

This is a lengthy process; there's no magic wand and it will take time, but we owe it to the student, the class and ourselves to keep trying .,. and trying.

could include playing YouTube clips at the end of the class, songs, teaching magic tricks, a joke or maybe even the teacher going for a full-on cultural British experience by taking in a flask of tea. Each teacher and each group of students will have their own approach.

Be reasonable

Our teenage students are probably being bombarded with exams and homework at school and we're going to give them more. And so we should: the more homework, the better. If we start from the position of homework every day, then we can relax it and be the good guys. We could do a deal: if the whole class do the homework, then there is no homework the next day. Or if they work well through a long series of revision exercises, then there won't be a test in the next class. This negotiation can help our students feel more in control and the effect of peer pressure can be incredible.


Some situations do need stronger tactics. It is essential that we are able to deal with serious problems when they arise. And arise they almost certainly will from time to time, irrespective of the spoonfuls of sugar and the preventive measures we put in place. What are the options when it appears that all else has failed?

• Use the chain of command: We may feel that asking our Director of Studies to step in is a sign of failure, but the hierarchy is there to help us. Used occasionally, a word from a 'higher authority' can have a remarkable effect. Hopefully, the place where you work has an effective, and maybe even affective, disciplinary system which could potentially lead to the expulsion of a student who is really impossible to work with, if such a student exists.

• Involve parents: A call to a student's parents is potentially a make-or-break moment. There is the danger that they will react defensively, accusatorily or in any number of unhelpful ways. However, in my experience parents are usually supportive and often incredibly effective when it comes to disciplining their own children.

We need to be up to the challenge and we need to be in charge of our classrooms. Only if we can control the classroom, can we do our job. If we are confident that we can manage the classroom, we can relax and maybe even enjoy ourselves. If we can feel like we're doing a good job and enjoy ourselves, then we can be pretty sure the students are too. Everyone's a winner. Gm>

Be positive

We talk about discipline and, as is natural, we usually focus on the difficult students. Why don't we think about rewarding rather than punishing? Cynics might say this is tantamount to bribery, but it can also be thought of as positive reinforcement. What kind of rewards are we talking about? Ideas for rewards

Simon Pearlman is a teacher, teacher trainer and Director of Studies at Active Language, Cadiz, Spain. He taught in Turkey, the UK and Costa Rica before settling in Spain. He believes in an affective approach to teaching.

• www.etprofessional.com • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. Issue 62 May 2009 • 35

News, practical advice and reviews for teachers of ESL and American English

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Structuring exam compositions

Many exams in English require the candidate to write a short composition. Cambridge First Certificate may come to mind first, but there are numerous others, including national and college entrance exams.

Thinking of appropriate content for such compositions can be a challenging task in itself. Moreover, students will not necessarily be able use strategies they have developed for approaching similar tasks in their L 1, and then simply do it in English instead. After all, how often in real life does anybody write 150 words or so about a recent visit to a restaurant, or their thoughts on pollution?

The three methods of doing the activity which follow aim to help students get past this difficulty and 'play the exam game', producing small but perfectlyformed pieces of writing. They are suitable for levels intermediate and above.


First, establish the required length of the composition (for example, for Part 2 of the Cambridge ESOL FCE writing paper, the

specified length is 120-180 words). Each student will need a blank sheet of paper.

Method 1

Choose one of the five composition tasks below and on pages 38 and 39. Make one copy per student. Go through the handout and brainstorm ideas about how the task could be completed. The students then complete the task (in class or for homework), and submit the results to you for assessment.

Method 2

Choose one of the five tasks and hand out one copy per student. Then brainstorm ideas about how the task could be completed.

Each student then writes paragraph 1.

When this has been done, everybody hands their version to the student sitting to the right. The recipients continue the compositions by writing paragraph 2. They will have to use their imaginations if they have not experienced personally the subject chosen by the first writer.

Repeat until all stages have been completed. Each composition is then

returned to the student who started it. Did it come out as expected? Have a feedback session, eliciting the students' responses to the task, and any ideas they may have for doing a better (or an even better!) job next time.

Method 3

As above, but have more than one of the five tasks in circulation at the same time. For example, when distributing the handouts, alternate between the review and email versions, so everybody will do some work on both tasks. This method is best suited to higher-level classes.

==== Jon Marks is an ELT writer

and editor, based in Italy. Recent publications include the Puzzle Time series and IELTS Resource Pack (both DELTA Publishing) and three titles in

A & C Black's Check Your English Vocabufary series.

He is currently developing teenager courses for China,

. and also draws the Langwich Scool cartoon in ETp.

Structuring your writing: REPORT

An association of students is going start an internet guide to schools,

colleges and universities. This website will include reports by students and former students.

You have been invited to write a report about a place of education you have attended.



Write in a style which is neutral and appropriate for giving serious information. Try to use longer, connected sentences instead of lots of short ones. If you can't think of a suitable real example, invent something.

Paragraph 1:

Briefly describe the place and the reasons you were there.

Paragraph 2:

Continue the report. What;was good about the place? What is the most generous way you could look at it?

Paragraph 3:

What was bad about the place? Write a paragraph which is

the opposite view to paragraph 2. You could start the paragraph with However or On the other hand or From a different perspective.

Paragraph 4:

Read the writing above. Is it OK as it is, or does it need a final short paragraph to finish it? If it does, write one. For example, make some suggestions for improving the place.

Finishing off:

Count the words. If there are too many, cross out unnecessary phrases until there are a suitable number. If there are too few, is it possible to add another sentence to the end?

Can you see any mistakes? Correct them if you can.

of~~~~I"lna!l.e,om • ENGLISH TEACHING professional- Issue 62 May 2009 • 37

Structuring your writing: REVIEW

A local newspaper has invited readers to write reviews of local restaurants.

Write a review of one restaurant, covering the decoration, atmosphere, food and service.



Write in a style which is suitable for a newspaper or magazine.

Paragraph 1:

Write a general description of the restaurant, and why you were there. If you can't think of a suitable real example, invent something.

Paragraph 2:

Give specific examples of the positive paints of the restaurant. Remember to describe the decoration, atmosphere, food and service.

Paragraph 3:

Now write about the negative aspects of the restaurant. Perhaps say something about the bill (good value or expensive?).

Paragraph 4:

Read the writing above. Is it OK as it is, or does it need a final short paragraph to finish it? If it does, write one - perhaps a recommendation to eat or not to eat there.

Finishing off:

Count the words. If there are too many, cross out unnecessary phrases until there are a suitable number.

If there are too few, is it possible to add another sentence to the end?

Can you see any mistakes? Correct them if you can.

Paragraph 3:

Write about the journey home, and about whether or not the day was a success. Did some of the people on the trip enjoy it more than others? Use your imagination.

1.H···············,········------·------·--------------------- .•....•.•.. , •.•.•..•.• ---------- , , --.----------.------.- -.---------------- ---------->§ .

Structuring your writing: EMAIL

You have just had a day out with a friend or friends.

Write an email to another friend or close relative describing the day.

Describe the whole day and include some details about the other person or people who went with you.



Write in a style which is friendly and informal. Write as if you were speaking. Use contractions (can't, wouldn't, etc) and colloquial words and expressions.

Paragraph 1:

Write the first paragraph. Give a brief general description of the person or people you went with, the place and why you chose to go there. Write about a real day, or invent something.

Paragraph 2:

Describe what happened. How did you travel? What was the weather like? What did you do? Use your imagination. (Don't write about the journey home.)

Paragraph 4:

Read the writing above. Is it OK as it is, or does it need a final short paragraph to finish it? If it does, write one - perhaps your general opinion about the day.

Finishing off:

Count the words. If there are too many, cross out unnecessary phrases until there are a suitable number.

If there are too few, is it possible to add another sentence to the end?

Can you see any mistakes? Correct them if you can.

38 - Issue 62 May 2009 - ENGLISH TEACHING professional- www.etprofessional.com -

Structuring your writing: STORY

You have decided to enter a short story competition.

The competition rules say that the story must begin with the following words:

We had been planning the party for days.



Some novelists and short story writers use an informal style and contractions (can't, wouldn't, etc), but for the exam it's safer to use a neutral style and no contractions.

Paragraph 1:

Write the first paragraph. Briefly describe the reason for the party and the people invited. Begin with We had been planning the party for days.

Paragraph 2:

Continue the story. Describe the preparations for the party (planning, buying food, etc). Remember that the preparation took several days.

Paragraph 3:

Because it's a story, something unexpected has to happen now. Perhaps something goes wrong, or somebody made a mistake in the planning. It doesn't matter if the story is not great literature, but it must have the 'shape' of a story.

Paragraph 4:

Read the writing above. Is it OK as it is, or does it need a final clever sentence to finish it? If it does, write oneperhaps a comment about the reasons why the unexpected event happened.

Finishing off:

Count the words. If there are too many, cross out unnecessary phrases until there are a suitable number. If there are too few, is it possible to add another sentence to the end?

Can you see any mistakes? Correct them if you can.

Structuring your writing: ESSAY

Your class has been doing a project on the environment.

Your teacher has asked you to write an essay giving your opinions on the following statement:

Caring for the environment is a matter of individual responsibility.



Use a neutral style and don't use contractions (can't, wouldn't, etc). The important thing is to give your ideas clearly and accurately.

Paragraph 1:

Write the first paragraph. Describe some environmental problems which you know about (for example, pollution from cars, rubbish in the countryside, climate change).

Paragraph 2:

Write about the things that individual people can do to improve the situation.

Paragraph 3:

Now write about improvements that can only be made by governments and large organisations such as companies .

Paragraph 4:

Read the writing above. Is it OK as it is, or does it need a final short paragraph to finish it? If it does, write one - perhaps a conclusion summarising the points above and/or giving your opinion.

Finishing off:

Count the words. If there are too many, cross out unnecessary phrases until there are a suitable number. If there are too few, is it possible to add another sentence to the end?

Can you see any mistakes? Correct them if you can.

• www.etprofessional.com • ENGLISH TEACHING professional- Issue 62 May 2009 - 39

1'til · ·· ....• •• •••• •• ··· .. •• • .. ···· • .. •···· .. • • .. • · ·•• .. • .. ···,.:ro¢, .. ·il%

t~ Colourful language
, John Potts sees red as well as black and white.
, Colours feature in many AI 16 June is a red-letter day for all fans M I sold my car, paid off my overdraft and
i collocations, idioms and of James Joyce. now I'm finally in the black again.
expressions; they also have All I can't go on holiday this year as I'm Bill Jim can't get a new credit card - he's been
. symbolic meanings that may differ in the red . blacklisted by all the credit agencies.
~ according to culture. Sometimes Alii There was so much red tape that it C! I'm dreaming of a white Christmas.
W the idiomatic and colloquial uses
fl; took them months to open their new
if translate exactly into another en Do you think it's wrong to tell a white lie to
language, and sometimes they business. a friend?
don't. In this issue, we will look at BI Eric was always the black sheep of em India whitewashed England 5-0 in the Test
red, black and white. the family, and he ended up in prison. series.
There are no hard-and-fast rules Red: examples
about whether some words are a red-letter day get the red-carpet catch somebody go as red as a
hyphenated: for example, some treatment red-handed beetroot
dictionaries give whitewash, be in the red a red herring on red alert a red-head
others white-wash. There may
also be some variation in the red tape see red red meat paint the town red
verbs used with some
expressions (eg to be/become/ Red: key
go/turn red as a beetroot). a very important or be treated like a VIP catch somebody in blush with
significant day the act of doing embarrassment
something wrong
"'USE to be in debt, something that leads be ready for an somebody with
Generally speaking, the colour show a deficit one away from the emergency or attack reddish or ginger hair
idioms are spoken and informal main point
(eg a white lie). Some of the bureaucratic delay become very angry beef, lamb, venison celebrate wildly and
colour collocations (eg white and form-filling drunkenly
Christmas) may be rather
informal, while others are Black: examples
neutral. Expressions that use the black sheep of give somebody a see things in black have or want
colours literally are stylistically the family black look and white something in black
neutral (eg a bfack-and-white and white
photograph). be in the black black ice the black market have a blackout (1)
blacklist somebody a black day blackmail have a blackout (2)
Many of the collocations are look on the black side black humour the black economy a blackout (3)
stressed equally in both elements Black: key
(eg Ired 'taps, a Iwhite 'lie), somebody who is look at somebody consider things as want something to
. -;'~X~;~:::.;'~~~~"*:;::~~1¥S- strongly disapproved angrily or in a hostile either good or bad, be written down or
... VARIETY of by others way right or wrong, etc in print
There may be occasional have money in the transparent ice on a buying or selling faint or lose
differences between various bank, show a profit pavement or road things illegally consciousness
varieties of English: in the UK, put somebody on a a day when things demanding money in temporary loss of
one has green fingers, while in list of unacceptable have gone badly return for not revealing memory (eg your
the USA, one may also have a people wrong something secret or phone number)
green thumb. (Green will be the compromising
focus of a later article.) be pessimistic joking about sad or unofficial business, a power cut
or gloomy tragic things paying no tax, etc 40 - Issue 62 May 2009 - ENGLISH TEACHING professional- www.etprofesslonal.com -

a white Christmas a white-collar worker be whiter than white be or go as white as a
a white lie a white elephant a white wedding white meat
whitewash (1) whitewash (2) white goods white coffee White: key

a snowy Christmas an office worker be perfect and free of be very frightened
blame or fault
a harmless or small lie, something very a traditional wedding chicken, veal or pork
often told so as not to expensive but useless when the bride wears
hurt somebody's feelings a white dress
deliberately hide faults win a sporting event electrical household coffee with milk or
or mistakes without the opponent appliances like freezers, cream added
scoring a point washing machines, etc T SITUATIONS

Associations and word maps This can be used as a warm-up/introduction to a lesson or stage of a lesson based on a colour or colours. Use the board to build up a word map of associations and connotations evoked by a colour. Alternatively, the students work in small groups and then compare their diagrams.

Connotations and cultures This can be an internet project or a webquest activity. Assign a colour to a student, pair or group for a mini-presentation the following week on the varying meanings, etc of that colour in different cultures. They could also find some colour idioms, collocations, etc and teach them to the class.

You can provide some web addresses to help them, or allow them to do all the work themselves. In a multicultural class, the learners could present the colour(s) in their own country/culture without the need for research.

Mini-sagas A mini-saga is a story with a fixed number of words

(eg 60). The learners work individually or in pairs to write a mini-saga that uses three or four of the colour collocations or idioms. Alternatively, their mini-saga can be inspired by a colour collocation or idiom (eg a white elephant/a white lie/her black mood, etc).

Call my bluff This is a learner dictionary activity - you'll need one per group (ideally a class set). Each student (or pair) receives a slip of paper with a colour collocation or idiom. They look it up in the learner dictionary and copy the correct explanation, and also invent two more explanations. When everyone is ready, one student/pair reads out the three explanations and the rest of the class has to decide which one is correct.

(You must make sure that the expressions are actually in the dictionary the students will be using - that's why it's easier to plan with a class set.)

Congratulations to all those readers who successfully completed our Prize Crossword 32. The winners, who will each receive a copy of the Macmillan English Dictionary jor Advanced

Julia Besnard, Tours, France Lionel Cachet, Roanne, France Rita Candotto, Gonars, Italy Nathalie Cote, Rouen, France Shona Greiner, Cavarc, France Julie Hetherington, Andujar, Spain

Jean Luc Pardoux, Bassens, France

K Ramanathan, Bangalore, India

Caroline Rickli, ZUrich, Switzerland

Ilona Witoszek, Tillicoultry, UK

c- Matchmaker, matchmaker

One of our teachers has a group of teenagers at upperintermediate level. The coursebook provided a long list of personality adjectives and some gap-fill activities to practise them. The teacher felt that he would like something more motivating to spark the students' enthusiasm. Here is our suggestion.

• Show the class a picture of a famous person and elicit reasons why fame may make life hard. Ask the students whether they think it is easy or difficult for celebrities to meet ordinary peopLe outside their line of work and what wouLd be the difficulties. To start them off, suggest that one of the main difficulties wouLd be that some people would want to be with them because of what they are and what they represent instead of who they really are.

• Explain that the students work for a dating agency for the rich and famous and they all have a very important client for whom they need to find a date for the following weekend.


More tested lessons, suggestions, tips and techniques which have all worked for ETp readers. Try them out for yourself - and then send us your own contribution.

All the contributors to It Works in Practice in this issue of ETp are teachers at Premier School of English in Utrera, Spain (thanks to Frands Rodriguez for coordinating this). They will each receive a copy of Geography and Sdence, two books by Keith Kelly in the Macmillan Vocabulary Practice Series. Macmillan have kindly agreed to be sponsors of It Works in Practice for this year.

In our school we place a

Lot of importance on being creative and finding different ways to motivate our students. As a result we often get together and look at ways of breathing life into the activities in our coursebooks with the aim of making them more fun. Here are some ofthe ideas we have come up with. Frands Rodriguez,

Jemima Collins,

Stephen Cunningham, Rebecca Taylor,

Catherine White

42 . Issue 62 May 2009 • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. www.etprofessional.com •

• Using the famous person whose picture you have shown, elicit a suitable alias (you couldn't advertise using their real name for obvious reasons) as well as the foLlowing: their age, their hobbies, adjectives that describe them physically, and personality adjectives which could be used to describe their character. Write these on the board.

• Introduce the abbreviation WLTM(would like to meet) and have the students as a class come up with the perfect match, ie the age range and hobbies, what the celebrity's perfect partner would look like and what he or she would be like. This is also a great opportunity to introduce and practise the different uses of like in What does he/she like doing? What does he/she look like? and What is he/she like?

• Once they have this modeL on the board, give each student one picture from a pack containing pictures of both famous and nonfamous people. (You could also do this activity just with pictures of ceLebrities if you wish.) Tell the students that they shouldn't show anyone their picture as the clients don't want their identity to be revealed! So you'll have some students with pictures of celebrities and others with pictures of ordinary people.

• Get the students to draw up a profile of their'client' and his or her 'ideal partner'.

• Once they have this, ask them to stand up with their notes and mingle with the other students looking for the best match. Encourage them to speak to as many peopLe as possible as they may find two or three matches, which would be even better for their client.

• When they have finished, reveal the couples and elidtfrom the class why they are a good match and whether they think that this would be a relationship made in heaven or one made in hell!

C. Whatever will be, will be

One teacher felt that she needed to re~ignite the enthusiasm in her class after having seen this dip in recent weeks. Perhaps, she felt, overusing the coursebook and not personalising the material enough meant that the students weren't approaching the lesson with as much gusto as she would like. The coursebook suggested having the students talk about predictions in the future, such as the possibility of men having babies, etc. Here is our idea.

• At the beginning of the class, brainstorm things peopLe do or would Love to do in the future. Give some prompts, eg getting married and having children, starting up a business, moving abroad.

• Tell the students to write their own names on small pieces of paper. Collect these and redistribute them so that each student has someone else's name.

• Get the class to mingle and find out as much information as they can about the person whose name they have from the other students in the ,class, using Tell me everything you know about .... Have them find out things such as the person's interests and hobbies, how they are getting on at school and what their favourite subjects are, etc. This wilL hopefulLy enable them to make predictions in the next stage of the activity which are based on real information.

• Give each student a picture of a crystal ball and ask them to write in it a series of predictions about the student whose name they have, bearing in mind everything they now know about them. Ensure they include both affirmative and negative predictions

(eg I think he'/Vshe'il get married. I think he/she won't live abroad.) Tell them that they mustn't write the student's name anywhere on the paper and should just refer to the student as he/she.

• Once they have finished, collect the crystal balls and write a number on each one.

• Display them around the classroom and have the students stand up, read them and guess who the predictions are about by writing the numbers and the names in their notebooks.

• Finally, in a feedback session, ask the class and each student themseLves whether they believe the predictions will come true or not, and why. Also find out whether they would like them to come true or not. and why.

, "---,- .. -- .. --~~========"====:::-

C. Rescue the teachers The coursebook suggested getting the students to prepare a party in6rde( to practise will and won't for offers, promises and dedsions. We felt that

this wouldn't work, given that the party wasn't actually going to take place and therefore the students would simply be using the structure for its own sake and with no tangible goal. So, instead, we came up with this idea.

• Before the lesson, take a photo on a digitaL camera of all the teachers looking glum.

• In the lesson, put the students into pairs and show them the photo.

• Elicit reasons as to why the teachers might look unhappy, and then explain that the truth is that they have very little to do at the weekends and need somewhere to go in the town. The students need to come to their rescue!

• Explain that there are some premises in the town square up for rent and

that they have to invent a name for a company, a company logo and a company activity which may interest the teachers.

• Tell them that, working in their pairs, they have to come up with aradio jingle (this includes bringing some music to class) and an advertising. poster to promote their company.

• In the preparation stage, encourage theusecifwitl when makingtheiffinaL decisions (eg OK, I'll draw the logo) and also Include the use of wi/Vwon't when making offers and promises in their advertisement (eg We will give· you ... You won't regret it! etc).

• Record the jingle on a cassette or MP3 player.

• Get all the teachers together and have them vote on the best idea ...

• Publish the winning entry on the schooL notiteboard and award the students a prize (perhaps an 'Entrepreneur of the Year' certificate).

~ Come and visit!

Another teacher has an adult class with only two students.

They vary in age and interests

and therefore she felt she needed something to get them working together and perhaps create a spark between them. In the coursebook, the topic was 'things you would take on a trip to Australia', a place neither of them has ever been to. Here is our idea for a replacement activity to practise the first conditional.

• Have the students brainstorm everything that is great about living in Utreraand the Seville area.

• Then show the students a photo of a friend of yours whom you would love to see and therefore would like to invite to visit. (It's a really good idea to choose someone you think may well visit you in the future.)

• Explain to the students that they are going to write a joint email to your friend on the school computer and that they need to try to persuade the friend to come and visit.

• Encourage your students to introduce themselves and say a little about themselves. Then have them use the first conditional to convince your friend to visit (eg If you come to Utrera, we'll show you the best places to go. If you come in April, we'll go to the fair in Seville.).

• Once you've checked the email and answered any queries, send it and wait for your friend to reply. You can show your students the reply and have them re-send another email, if appropriate.

• If your friend decides to come, you co u ld a rra n ge for them to visit the class and meet the students. You may even do some ofthe things they have suggested. Who knows?

• www.etprofessional.com • ENGLISH TEACHING professional» Issue 62 May 2009 • 43

English for Specific Purposes by Keith Harding



In contrast to what has humorously been termed ENOR (English for No Obvious Reason) or ENPP (English for No Particular Purpose), ESP encompasses the already well-stocked fields of English for Academic Purposes and English for Business. This addition to Oxford University Press's Resource Books for Teachers series aims to meet the needs of the rest of the ESP sector and caters for teachers delivering profession-specific tuition to groups of engineers, IT professionals, lawyers, and so on. And with the growth of new professions, such as call centre operatives, coupled with an Increasingly mobile global workforce, the need for employment-related teaching has arguably never been greater.

With this in mind, English for Specific Purposes features over 80 activities for learners of all proficiency levels 'at the

coal-face', working in a range of sectors from Admin and Catering through to Horticulture, Retail and Tourism. It is organised into generic chapters on areas such as Organisational structures (Chapter 2), Customer care and quality assurance (Chapter 6), and, of course, Health and safety (Chapter 7).

All activities can be adapted to meet the needs of professionals employed in other sectors, and there are suggestions for how to achieve this. Activity 6.8, for example, focuses on situations involving 'customers who need to be controlled in some way'. The sample topic is air travel, and there is a photocopiable dialogue for students to unjumble. For students not employed in tourism, the good news is that the activity 'can easily be transferred to any specialism which involves dealing with customers or clients'. However, what could be consldered the bad news, at least for their busy teacher, is that this transfer is likely to involve him or her writing out and cutting up a similar dialogue, a time-consuming, if worthy, activity.

Given the broad coverage, this is perhaps inevitable, and it may be better to think of this volume as more of a 'recipe book' than a resource book full of offthe-peg activities. And very tasty and substantial they are, too.

The book contains a wealth of nourishing ideas, from the use of corpora and search engines for examining sector-specific lexis, through to a lighthearted project to set up a company speCialising in fulfilling people's dreams (Activity 6.5) -with SMART (Specific, Measurable,

Agreed, Realistic, Timebound) targets, of course. And some activities allow for the slaying of a few sacred cows - Activity 7.4 (Health and safety warning signs) invites students to get creative and apply international conventions (yellow triangle with black edge to denote danger) to come up

with an image for new warning signs of their own: 'Warning - colleague in bad mood' is one suggestion. The opportunity is given for learners to provide their own humour, and yet, all the while, the

content is well thought-out and earnest. English for Specific Purposes is likely to inform, but not alleviate the need for, careful planning on the part of teachers. And those with professional groups of learners or teachers of ESOL for Work

will find this a highly valuable resource which repays careful study.

Anthony Cosgrove Bath, UK

Working with Images by Ben Goldstein CUP200B 978-0-521-71057-2

Working with Images, a recent addition to the Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers series, employs several forms of imagery (drawing, photographs, visualisation and more) to assist in the language learning process. This is not the first book of activities making use of visual imagery. Andrew Wright's Pictures for Language Learning, which was published 20 years ago, is one of several such titles. However, this book is the first that includes the use oftechnology which allows us to send, store and share images as quickly as we can send email. It offers an assortment of nearly 100 activities (not to mention numerous variations that accompany some of these activities). A CD-ROM which has over 500 images that can be used for the activities in the book is also included. (Also worth mentioning is the insightful interview with author Ben Goldstein at

the Cambridge University Press website.)

In the introduction, the author articulates several strong reasons for using images in the language classroom. He also provides a brief history of the image in language teaching, along with some tips for finding images to use. The rest of the book is divided into two parts: one organised around activity types, the other arranged by image type.

The first chapter, Describing images, has activities that encourage students to talk about images. It contains some

44 . Issue 62 May 2009 • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. www.etprofessional.com •

Sue Leather and Simon Smith recommend pre-emptive preparation for their trainer training.

It's the first day of your trainer training course, but nobody told you that the trainers you are working with have never actually trained in English before and feel very lacking in confidence about the prospect. It's only now that you realise that the question 'Do the trainers know that their regional education authority expects them to run their training courses almost exclusively in English?' would have been a good one to ask. It's only now that you realise that checking assumptions is of vital importance.

Far fetched? Not really. It's a scenario that can happen to even the most seasoned trainer trainer. As independent trainer training consultants, experience has taught us that it's essential to check our assumptions before planning and delivering any trainer training programme. For example, finding out how trainers-intraining are selected is vital, especially if, as one trainer-in-training commented to us after a course, the selection is less than systematic. Or, as she put it: 'If you really want to know how we were selected ... the answer is simple: the Holy Spirit came down from heaven on our heads in the form of a letter at the end of April.'

And it's not just questions about the trainers. When we are dealing with trainer training, we will want to ask questions aimed at three levels of impact: teacher trainers, teachers and learners. If you don't ask the right questions at the crucial preparation stages, then the chances are that you'll have a surprise, even a shock. But what exactly are the right questions?

A trainer training scenario This is a 'right questions' exercise that you might try individually with your trainer training group, or with colleagues in the staffroom:

questions, and compared them to a list we had already produced. On page 47 you will see a compilation of our own questions and those suggested by the participants.

You have been asked to rurf~f8Ur~\ .'. ". weE3ktrainertraining.·. coursElii"!JJiy'/ .. 2009.tora.groupofteachers.The.only .•. ··· ·irlformation you have at preserlt.froffi .' . the sponsors, a regional educafiC,n •. ·· . autl1oHty,istha!: '/>

i,W~#/~l1t()be~i~an·~rly-st~rl...i .

prOgfarnme tor teaching English to

}ounglearnersin September2010 ..

. We. would therefore like you. to design .

~fb(J;-\III~ek trainer training course to heipdi.J~12 trainers begin work in

t3eptel7'lb~r 2009 to run courses for .

tea'sh~rSto help them to. teach young 1ea0efJ.Thetrainerswill be expected .. ' to.UseEnglish almost exclusively in . .

,theiritrainingsessions.>. . .


'~Er~~g~t~~I~J;~~~%~O~Sk,th~""'" ...•....


20091 , " .. , , .


We asked a group of participants in our presentation at IATEFL 2008 to do this task. They came up with their own

46 . Issue 62 May 2009 • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. www.etprofessional.com •


Obviously, some of these questions will differ, according to the target groups at all levels. Still, we feel that it's a good 'template list' for anyone involved in trainer training, either as an independent trainer trainer, or as a trainer trainer in an organisation.

Contacting sponsors and organisers and pro-actively checking your assumptions will help you to plan your course effectively. And it just might help you to avoid that first day shock!

If you feel we have missed any questions and would like to add them to our list, please contact us at the email address below. 4:E>

Sue Leather and Simon Smith are ELT trainers and educational consultants. They have worked in over 30 countries for the British Council and other organisations. They work with teacher trainers and teachers on training, curriculum and capacity building projects all over the world. One of their current projects is consulting on a large regional project in Central and South Asia for the British Council.


a) Questions about the early-start programme

II What are the objectives of the early-start programme? . II How old are the learners?

II Is there a primary EFL syllabus?

IIwm it bs'a programme within which the young learners···· (YLs) will be expected to read or write in English to any great extent in the first two years of learning?

D Will the teachers be volunteers or will they be selscted/appointed?

II Will the new teachers be specialists servin~ the needs of a whole school community for English classes, or will the . ability to teach in English be a characteristic of all future primary teachers?

B Will there be additional funding to resource the teaching

.. .. of English in primary schools? .. ... ....•.

... D Willthe teachers get additional ~ay for teachi~9 English?·

• www.etprofessional.com • ENGLISH TEACHING professional- Issue 62 May 2009. 47

Show some emotion

dohn Anderson fishes for feelings in his lessons.

Many teacher training courses talk about personalising what we do in the classroom: helping our students connect an activity to their own lives so that they will find it easier to relate to. A simple way of doing this, for example, might be either to begin or end a reading comprehension on the subject of sport with questions such as Which sports do you enjoy? or Do you do any sports? The idea is that this will make the central task easier, and is more likely to lead to language retention. In my classroom, I often go one step further, and emotionalise activities. To me, this means helping the students find a deeper connection with the task at hand so that not only do they have a better chance of actually learning what we do with them, but they may also learn something about themselves as well. It is something that I was reticent about at first - I had an idea that perhaps the students., especially here in Taiwan, would be too shy to offer up so much of themselves. However, I guess it's true that wherever you happen to be in the world, the thing that people most like talking about is themselves.

Here is a selection of the emotionalising activities I use at the beginning, middle and end of a course. I hope that you find them useful, and I would be very interested to hear about your experiences or any other activities you feel help to bring real emotions into the class.

Activity 1: Setting up the mood Use a spidergram or any other brainstorming method to elicit as many emotion adjectives as possible (eg happy, sad,joyful, optimistic, etc). Ask each student to choose one that most closely reflects their general outlook (you could change this to how they feel right now, or how they felt at a specific time). They then walk round and introduce themselves as the adjective, explaining why they chose it.

This activity prepares the vocabulary for all those that follow, and is a good to introduce the idea of emotions. A

variation is to put all the emotions in an envelope; the students then each pull one out and have to act in that way, or take part in an activity in that way, and everyone guesses who is which emotion.

Activity 2: Mood feedback

Ask the students 'How did you feel just before coming to this lesson?' Go round the class eliciting any phrases, adjectives or other language the students are willing to give you. Put each contributor's name up on the board with the word or phrase next to it. Now ask 'How do you normally feel at the end of the lesson?' Again, write up any words or phrases offered, putting them next to the previous phrases.

Now ask the students to discuss what it is about the lesson that changes their mood (or keeps it the same).

If this proves too difficult, or students just aren't sure, then set it up one lesson earlier. Start the lesson by asking the students how they feel, and end it the same way. Note the information down and do the activity in the following lesson.

Activity 3: You are not alone

This activity aims to help both the teacher and the students appreciate how different classroom activities make us feel.

You might start by saying something like 'We've done several listening activities this term. I want you to relax and think about how you feel when we do a listening activity.' Then go round the room getting an adjective from each person - they don't all have to be different. There will probably be some negative adjectives, some positive and some neutral. Write the adjectives up on the board.

Now ask the students to discuss the question 'Why do you feel like that?' or 'Why does (Jorge) feel (nervous)?'

That's all there is to it. This is simply an awareness-raising tool. Those students who are negative will look at their feelings and see that some other people have them and some don't. They will also feel that you are aware of it now, and that it interests you .

Activity 4: Let's help each other This is a similar activity, except this time the aim is to try to actively modify or change any negative feelings.

After eliciting the students' feelings about a particular activity, ask them to list the reasons why they feel the way they do. Go through these reasons in a class discussion, asking the students to think of something they like doing in class (eg talking in pairs) and to list the reasons why.

Now demonstrate how some (even just one) of those things that they like doing were present in the previous activity. Focus, too, on those students who liked the previous activity and ask them what tactics they used when doing it (eg What did you think about before the tape played? What did you do about words you didn't understand? What did you do if you were really not sure about something? How did you perceive the teacher's role? How did you feel about the other students in the group? Did you think this activity was difficult? If so, why?).

Activity 5: An emotional end Towards the end of the course, draw empty graph axes on board. Along the horizontal axis mark out the timeline of the course (eg January to June). Up the vertical axis draw faces going from extremely sad at the bottom, to ecstatic at the top. Elicit adjectives for the moods pictured, then ask the class to plot how they felt throughout the course. Finally, ask them to exchange graphs with a partner and take turns explaining their moods to each other. cD

r----:-----, John Anderson is Senior Teacher at the British CounCil, Taipei, Taiwan. He has previously worked as a teacher

and teacher trainer in the UK, Hungary, Romania, Spain and Singapore and enjoys some success as a stand-up comedian under the unlikely, and not-as-funny-as-he-firstthought name of 'Hartley POOl'.

• www.etprofessional_com • ENGLISH TEACHING professional» Issue 62 May 2009 • 49

o cassroom mana ement

Simon Brown has got a little list.

YOU will find my 'A-Z of classroom management and relationships' on the opposite page. This is a list of tips which I use on teacher training courses to help trainees to manage their classrooms and to build productive classroom relationships with their students. On CELTA (Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults) courses, which usually last around four to six weeks, I present the list in one of the early sessions of the course after an input session on teacherllearner styles and after the trainees have taught their first lessons.

Having said that, I see no reason why it could not be used for or by more experienced teachers as some kind of revision, reference or in-service teacher training tool. I think it also has potential to be used for observation purposes, perhaps preceding or following a continuing professional development tutorial. Trainers could focus on a different letter or group of letters for individual observations/teachers: Today we're going to be looking at letters A to E or letters BRIAN (a BRIAN lesson).' The choice of letters could be made by the observer or by the observee.

notes from the day before. I invite them to highlight any comments that could fall under the banner of classroom management and relationships. As I always give them the same main aim in their first lesson - to establish rapport and feel comfortable in the classroom - these comments are generally easy to find and, of course, tend to be repeated several times. Having done this, the trainees are more open to making sense of the A-Z list. They are then asked to read it individually and instructed to put an asterisk next to any letters that they either don't understand - some ELT jargon is used - or on which they need more clarification. They compare their asterisks with a partner and then, finally, we all come together to clear up any remaining muddiness and, importantly, to highlight the letters that they had already addressed in their first lessons and those that have been highlighted as points to work on in their next lesson.

Throughout the course, I ask the trainees to refer to this list each time their peers teach and in trainee-led teaching practice feedback. I often invite them to begin the session by focusing on a particular group of letters - HUG feedback or RIPE feedback, etc.

or even questionable, both in the CELTA context and beyond. My advice here is to change any letters which may grate or offend.

So your D may well become Drill, drill, drill and your P might become Prioritise your plan.

Using the list

In the CELTA context, I usually give the list to the trainees after they have looked at their own and each other's feedback

Adapting the list

There are, inevitably, several letters that may seem a little fluffy, woolly, flippant

50 . Issue 62 May 2009 • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. www.etprofessional.com •

Responding to the list

The response from the trainees I've dealt with in my last few courses has been almost unanimously positive, and I think the main reason for this is that it has been a document that has revealed its value and relevance the longer the course has gone on. Q and Y, for example, are difficult to digest on day two of a CELTA course, but become gloriously obvious as the days go by. Similarly, D and T may seem impenetrable early on, but then become second nature in weeks two and three. G:l)

r--~=---.., Simon Brown has

taught in France, Spain and the UK, and he is now a freelance teacher, CELTA tutor/trainer

and assessor. He is interested in the welfare and motivation of CELTA candidates as they progress through their intensive training, and he is an enthusiastic advocate of teachers as

humanists rather than linguistic technicians.


An A-Z of classroom management and relationships

Animate yourself/your learners/ your material.

B ring real-world examples and experiences into your classroom.

Contextualise, conceptualise and clarify.

Develop recognition of, and recording of, collocations.

E mpathise equally.

Foster cross-cultural exchanges.

G roup learners with imagination and variety.

Help the students to help themselves.

I nclude the excluded.

Justify unpopular classroom decisions.

Keep the students on their toes.

Let communicative activities run their course.

Motivate intrinsically.

Nodding is not proof of comprehension.

Opinions are more than 'it depends'.

Prepare plan Bs, Cs and Ds.

Question questionable grammar rules.

Recycle and revise. Silence should not be mechanically filled.

T est teach test. Test teach test.

Test teach test.

Use the students as your primary resource.

Vary your lead-ins, your interactions and your feedback.

W rite student-teacher and teacher-student contracts.

Xtra enthusiasm on Monday mornings.

Y ou are a different type of teacher from the ones they are used to; show them why.

Zig-zagging is often a more interesting path to follow than the mechanical A to B.

• www.etprofessional.com.ENGLISHTEACHINGprofessional.lssue62May2009.S1

Writing down your observations

In the previous article in this series, we looked at ways of giving verbal feedback. Giving written feedback follows many of the same guidelines, but it does also present an observer with some particular issues.

Written summaries of feedback are a requirement on many formal training courses and may appear in any log the trainee produces of their teaching practice. Written feedback should also provide the trainee with a useful reference point for any future lessons. During oral feedback, a trainee can't necessarily take in all the ideas and information that come up, so, as a minimum, the written feedback needs to be a summary of the key points.

Even if we are observing a peer, we tend to write down our observations while we observe a lesson. These notes are helpful to refer to and provide a useful focal point during verbal feedback. The form on the facing page is typical of the type of observation form that might be used. You follow the class chronologically and make notes on strengths and points to consider. Note that the 'Points to consider' column is often mistakenly interpreted as a euphemism for 'Things that went wrong'. It is certainly true that you use this column to comment on weaknesses, but it is also for questions to discuss afterwards or issues that came up to which there may not be an obvious answer.

Unlike some other observation forms from this series of articles, this form is quite open and allows the observer to write on any issue in the lesson. This has the advantage of flexibility, but it can encourage comments to be unfocused. In other words, the observer needs to write so that both the observer and the observee can follow the notes and comments.

Here are some general guidelines and ideas for written feedback:

Congratulate the teacher

With less experienced teachers, who are possible wracked by nerves, begin your feedback with phrases like Well done, Great job, Good start. At the same time, pinpoint the reasons for the success. For example:

It was a nice warmer to get the students interested.

You have a good welcoming manner with the arriving students.

You showed interest by asking the students about their weekend.

Reflect oral feedback

Don't include too many points that you don't intend to cover during your oral feedback as this can cause unnecessary anxiety or confusion.

Develop a visual code

Sometimes written feedback does not make it clear to a trainee what is being implied. For example, a comment might be a compliment, a requirement for the trainee to do something different or even simply a question, a point to consider. Some trainers use a visual code to clarify their meaning. Here are three examples:

Two students are still talking to each other while you are explaining the next task.

? What would have happened if you'd let students compare their answers first?

@) Students are quietly working through

the questions and you are monitoring.

The trainer'S visual code allows a simple description of what is happening, and encourages the trainee to reflect on this in a certain way. The exclamation mark symbol (I) tells the teacher something needs attention or needs to be changed. The question mark (?) indicates something to think about or a possible alternativenot that something is wrong or right. The smiley symbol (@) says that this is what was happening in the lesson and that was a good thing - the teacher is doing well.

Include sketches and diagrams Writing down your observations and feedback doesn't mean you can't also add sketches and drawings of what was happening in the classroom. This often illustrates an issue more quickly than trying to describe it.

Say how as well as why

It is easy to describe what was happening in a lesson and write down what the success or problem was but, where possible, suggest a strategy for how to build on success or solve a problem. For example, consider this example of written feedback from a training course for a new teacher.

lime Stages ofthe Points to
lesson/Strengths consider
12.20 Nice idea for a Be careful with
roleplay your in5tructiong
at tl1i5 point. It
i5n't clear what
you want your
gtudent5 to do. The feedback highlights a problem at a certain point in the lesson, but it does not offer a solution. It may be that a solution can be brainstormed or discussed in oral feedback, but we need to be sure that the teacher is also provided with a strategy in the written feedback to help resolve the issue. The observer could add comments like:

LMlen you plan your lesson next time, rehearse your instlllctions with your peers beforehand. Record your lesson next time and fisten to your instructions.

Re-plan these instructions after the lesson to make them clearer:

Summing up

At the end of the feedback, there need to be clear guidelines about areas to work on or develop and the list should be realistic (eg not too many areas - one is often enough for new teachers, two to three for the more experienced). Also mention in the same list any successes from the lesson which you want the teacher to continue using, building on and developing.

John Hughes Is a freelance teacher, trainer and author. He has worked in Austria, Poland, Italy, MaHa and the UK. He currently Uves and works in the USA. One of his current projects is developing online teacher trainer courses for Cactus TEFL. Find out more at www.cactustefl.coml alB-online-course.

jhnhg hs@msn.com

Writing down your observations






Stages of the lesson I Strengths

Points to consider

.. :'

• www.etprofesslonal.com • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. Issue 62 May 2009' 53

If you get lost while hiking in a forest, you can use the trees as a compass. Native Americans used this technique when the sun or stars were not visible. Examine three or four trees; look at their foliage, the way the tops are leaning, the bark, and the moss growing on them. They will shoW you which direction is


It is essential to choose trees growing in an exposed place. Check each tree for the side that has the most leaves and branches growing on it. In the northern hemisphere this will be the south side of the tree. Now look closely at the top of the tree. The tops of trees almost always lean to the south or southeast. The bark is duller and darker on the north side. If you can only see a tree stump, it can also help you find your way. Check the ring pattern: the rings will be thicker on the northern side and thinner on the southern side. In wet areas, trees will have moss and lichen growing on them, and this is another indication of direction. The moss or lichen generany grows on the northern side of trees in the northern hemisphere.

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clockwise direction, and this is then divided by 10 and rounded up to a whole number. Each runway can be used in either direction, and hence has two numb

each 180° apart. Thus, Runway on:~~ro (100°) b

ecomes Runway Two Eight (280°)

when used in the opposite direction, and Runway One Eight (180°) becomes Runway Three Six (360°).

Runway designations do change over time because the magnetic poles slowly drift on t~e Earth's surface, while the runways stay fixed. As runways are designated with headings rounded to the nearest 10 degrees, this affects some more than others. For example, if the magnetic

heading of a ru .

nway IS 276 degrees it

would be designated Runway 28. If 'the magnetic heading changed upwards by 5 degrees, the Runway would still be Runway 28. If, on the other hand the original magnetic heading was 2~4 (Runway 28), and the heading increased by only two degrees to 286, the runway would become Runway 29.

B At latitude 60 degrees south .

, you can sail

all the way around the world without bumping into any countries.

11 The San Andreas Fault in California, which runs north-south, is slipping at a rate of a~out 2 inches (5 cm) per year, causing the city o~ Los Angeles to move towards San Francisco. Scientists forecast that LA will b~ ~ suburb of San Francisco in about 15 million years.

.. Novelist Charles Dickens always had his b~d facing north. He believed that proper alignment with the earth's magnetic field would foster creativity.


Buckmaster offers

tips for teachers using technology.

We live in a world chock" full of technology, and our jobs as teachers and trainers are increasingly enmeshed in DVDs, CDs, computers, the internet, etc. We may use this technology with our students in class, on teacher training courses or to give presentations at conferences. Sometimes, though, no technology is best and a brief dictation will do; at other times technology is de rigueur and the question then is how best to use it.

In my time I've seen a lot of technology used by teachers and trainers in presentations and, unfortunately, I've also seen a lot of it abused. So here are 15 tips on how to make the best use of three pieces of technology so that your presentations are professional and successful ~ the flip chart (yes, it is technology), the OHP (still with us) and PowerPoint - the uber-presentation technology and the one that is most abused.

The flip chart

Let us start with the simplest ~ the flip chart. This relatively small white board on three extendable legs, with a pad of large sheets of paper, is simple training technology. It is suitable for small, intimate groups and has the advantage that there is little that can go wrong. You might run out of paper, but fortunately there is normally a built-in back-up ~ the whiteboard. Just don't use the wrong pens on it!

Although the flip chart is simple, fool-proof technology, you still have to know how to use it effectively.

5& • Issue 62 May 2009 • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. www.etprofessional.com •

Tip 1

Prepare in advance

Prepare the sheets of paper in advance and then just flip them over to reveal them. You should decide if you are going to flip over to the back or flip down/rom the back. You can leave blank sheets in between your prepared sheets in case you need to add things, record ideas from the audience, etc. If you find you don't need these sheets, just turn over two at a time.

Tip 2

Use pencil outlines

If you can't prepare the whole sheet before you start - perhaps because you want to reveal things gradually or build up an argument, then make a pencil block outline of the letters of what you want to write on the paper in advance and use the outline as a guide for your writing. This will help your writing look more professional.

Tip 3

Use notes hidden in plain sight

If you can't prepare your sheets in advance or make pencil outlines, then just make a note in small writing in one of the top corners of the sheet of the points you want to make: you'll be able to see the notes, the audience won't.

Tip 4

Practise writing on the chart Preparing in advance allows you to make your sheets look good ~ your writing will be level, with the letters of regular shape and size, and you can use different

to emphasise your points. If you as you present, you need to practised writing on flip charts so your letters are regular and even.

in front of the board as you write sure your lines don't slope

Don't write from one side.

have to write on the chart during presentation, remember to turn to audience from time to time to keep Don't talk to the chart!

forget you can tear sheets off and them for groupwork, brainstorming as posters around the room.

up the technology scale, the

....... u .... «'" projector has been with us as a tool since about 1945. Because

increased complexity, compared to flip chart, there is more that can go - for example, the bulb can blow, most machines have a second for just this kind of emergency.

.••. As a projection system, there are, of more ways to misuse it - like the mistakes of standing in the protector light or putting slides or transparencies upside down. However, the advantage of the OHP over other

projection systems is that you can easily go back to earlier slides to review them - your presentation is not necessarily linear - and you can even leave out slides and no one will know.


Use pictures as well as text

Your slides should use relevant pictures or charts to grab your audience's attention. Remember: words often don't have the impact of visuals.

Tip S

Use a sufficiently large font size Can you read your slides? Go to the back of the room - can you read the text from there? If not, use a much bigger font: at least 30 points for text. Use different sizes. A bigger font (even up to 70 points) is suitable for headings or titles. Remember that the further the projector is from the screen, the larger the writing will be, so experiment with the placing of the projector if you can.

Tip 9

Remember that less is more

The slides are an aid to your presentation - they are not your presentation. The text and pictures and graphics on your slides are just the hook to catch your audience's attention.

Keep to one topic per slide: a maximum of about six lines and up to six words per line. That's all. Say everything else.

Tip 10

Maximise your value

If you have big chunks of text on your slides and you stand there reading them, what value are you adding to the presentation? Most people can read, so

why are you there? If you must have long quotes (see Tip 9), then let people read them, sense when they have finished and then talk. And if you must read, don't turn to the screen to do it. Stand to one side of the OHP, read off your transparency on the glass plate, and look up from time to time to make eye contact with your audience.


PowerPoint is becoming ever more necessary in teachers' lives. Here in Latvia, teachers are being encouraged to teach with it. Yet PowerPoint is often so badly used that it is frequently regarded as the bete noire of effective communication.





, !

i :

L _j

Also, with the increase in technology - having to match up a computer with a projector, for example - there are many more things which can go wrong. For this reason, it is best if you can use your own laptop if possible as you'll know all the right settings.

Of course, all the tips for OHP slide design apply equally to PowerPoint, but in addition, keep the following things in mind.

Tip 11 Stand up

At a Eurocall conference in Finland I was shocked as presenter after presenter said 'I'll have to sit down to press the mouse button/advance the slides'. They promptly sat down and droned through their prepared remarks, moving from slide to slide. Each slide was filled with dense text and unreadable charts. It was extremely dull as there was no contact between the presenter and audience; no connection and little communication. Stand up and talk to your audience - move amongst them, make eye contact (don't look at the screen behind you), be

there with them, communicate! ,.. ~ "..

• www.etprofessional.com • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. Issue 62 May 2009. 57

Professional presentations

.... 11> \I> Tip 12 Don't go mad

PowerPoint is a very powerful program. You can do lots of very fancy things, such as having text fly in, zoom out, twist, collapse and so forth. Marvellous? No.

You should do none of these things.

Just have very simple slide transitions and simple text appearance! disappearance. Avoid 'PowerPoint madness' - just concentrate on the message.

Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, famously removed PowerPoint from his managers' computers because he was fed up with them spending hours creating fancy PowerPoint presentations. Instead, he gave them each a small white board and told them he wanted ideas, just ideas. If you must use PowerPoint, then keep it really simple. Your audience will thank you.

Tip 13

Produce proper handouts PowerPoint also enables you to print out your slides as a handout for your audience. This gives your audience something to take away and also somewhere for them to make notes.

But remember, your slides are not your presentation, they are just the hook. They are not your argument. A summary sheet of your ideas or thoughts or proposals is much more valuable to your audience than the slides they are going to watch - and indeed, why should they watch them on the screen when they already have them in front of them on a piece of paper? Write a proper handout and give it out at the end, not at the beginning.

Tip 14

Set up an escape-route to the end A PowerPoint presentation is a linear argument in a way that an OHP-based presentation does not necessarily have to be. With OHPs, you can repeat and skip easily. With PowerPoint, you are trapped in a sequence from slide I to the end. If you are running out of time and you want to skip to the end, the most important slide or whatever,

everyone can see what you are doing and will know that you got your timing wrong, you have too many slides or you have too much to say in the time available.

A clever escape from this trap is to put a hidden hyperlink on your final few slides to your last slide or two. If you realise you are running out of time, just click on the invisible link (perhaps in your logo at the bottom of the page) instead of going forward to the next slide. As if by magic, you will move to the last slide and can wrap things up without anyone being any the wiser.

Tip 15

Watch your timing

Connected to Tip 14 is the question of timing, and this relates to all technologies and all presentations. It is your professional obligation to your audience and any presenters who might be following you to finish on time. There are no ifs or buts about this.

Even if the presenter before you finishes late, you don't have the right to speak for your 45 minutes and so make everyone else start late, too. You have a time slot, with a beginning and an end, which you should fit into. It's only common courtesy and one of your key obligations as a presenter.


So what's best then? In my view, for small groups you can't beat a flip chart as there is so little that can go wrong. For anything larger or more formal, then an OHP is in my opinion much more flexible than PowerPoint. If you really need to use PowerPoint, then do make sure you have planned your presentation carefully. Gl2>

•••. ·s6M~.·flip·6h~rttips·.W~~·~dp~t:~··fr-6ffi ••• ·

.·meTiainer'sPockeJboo/(by John ... •. Townsend, pG~lisheCi~YManagement t':0cketbooksi i~··i.\{ .. . ........•..

Robert Buckmaster is a teacher, trainer and manager. He is currently the Director of Studies at International House, Riga, Latvia, and he occasionally does consultancy work for the BritIsh Council and Crown Agents. He Is writing a book on English grammar.

Do you have ideas you'd like to share with colleagues around the world?

Tips, techniques and activities; simple or sophisticated; well-tried or innovative; something that has worked well for you? All published

contributions receive a prize!

Write to us or email:




it.;' ! :; : LIe :1

Do you have something to say about an article in the current issue of ETp? This is your magazine and we would

really like to hear from you.

Write to us or email:


Writing for ETp

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Visit the ETp website!

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58 • Issue 62 May 2009 • ENGLISH TEACHING professional- www.etprofesslonal.com •



Beautiful Scottish campus location close to major cities

• General English and lELTS Preparation Courses

• Language Summer School in August

• Short Courses for Teachers in July (in language and methodology, incl. lCT and TEYL)


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The Stirling Institute of Education


The University of Stirling is recognised as a Scottish charity with number SC 011159

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tel: +44 (0) I 392 264837

New Titles for English Language Teachers

Teaching English One to One by Priscilla Osborne

This new book provides an analysis of the problems of teaching students on a one-to-one basis. The book covers a wide range of topics in this field and expla ins learner needs analysis and learner profiles, especially the student's current use of Eng lish a nd the reason for taking a one-to-one course; course planning; techniq ues which are specific to one-to-one teaching; techniq ues which don't work with one-to-one teaching; and using the learner as the resource for teaching.

Teaching English with Drama by Mark Almond

This new book covers the exciting sector of teaching English fa nguage students using drama, plays and with theatre techniques. The book covers a wide range of subjects for teachers including how to plan class work, choosing appropriate texts, working with students with theatrical techniques, modifying dla logue and lines for different levels of student, stage management, and how these all work together to improve language appreciationand learning; using classic plays, suggested characters; resources beyond the textbook; using stories, songs, games, etc.

Five things you always wanted to ' .' " ,., ..

acroF1Y in leT ..

(but were afraid to ask)

1 tcrt Is that an acronym1

in the title of this piece?

ICT stands for Information and Communications Technology _ not to be confused with IT Qnformation Technology), which is often a department staffed by heavy-metal-T-shirt-wearing young men fond of using acronyms when asked for help with a computer problem! In reality, the terms ICT and IT are often used interchangeably, although in the field of education we tend to refer to ICT rather than IT, as it sounds less 'tech ie' . The term ICT is relevant to teachers, as we're usually more interested in programs, tools or 'applications' which we can use to help our students communicate.

2 So what are some examples of leT tools, and how can language teachers use them? ICT tools that teachers can use include applications (or 'apps') such as blogs, wikis and podcasts _ and, of course, hardware like Interactive Whiteboards (lWBs), mobile phones, iPods or MP3 players, to name just a few. All of these can be used by the teacher for language work both inside and outside the classroom. For example, teachers (and students) can set up blogs or wikis; the teacher can point the students to podcasts to listen to outside of class time on their iPods, or even help them to produce their own podcasts in class. IWBs can be used during lessons to bring a wealth of internet-based resources and tools into the classroom, and mobile phone activities can be set up both inside and outside class, for example using the 5M5 (short messaging service) texting or camera functions.

3 I see three more acronyms abovel You explain IWB and SMS, .but what is MP3?

MP3 is a compressed audio file format. It actually stands for 'MPEG Audio Layer III', but most people neither know nor care

about that _ all you need to know is that it's an audio file format. While on the topic, it's also worth knowing that MP4 is a compressed video file format. So you can listen to audio on an MP3 player, and access audio and video on an MP4 player. There are plenty of other acronyms used to describe audio formats if you want to sound very tech-savvy when talking to your IT department (see question 1 above), and these include painful sounding things like OGG, WAV, AIFF and AU. You can swot up on these and other audio formats in Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.orgl wikiIAudio_fiIeJormat.

4 What about VLE? I seem to hear that acronym more than any other.

A VLE is a 'Virtual Learning Environment', and one of the most popular at the moment is arguably Moodie, which you have probably also heard of. A VLE is an online 'platform' where resources (text, audio, video, etc) can be kept for learners, and a good VLE will include a range of communication tools (forums, chat rooms, blogs, wikis) as well as keeping track of administrative things, such as student grades. Other well-known VLEs include WebCT and Blackboard (now merged into one company), and Sakai. If this all seems too straightforward, you may want to know that there are several other acronyms often used interchangeably with VLE _ so we have LMS (Learning Management System), LCMS (Learning Content Management System), CMS (Content - or Course - Management System) and MLE (Managed Learning Environment). But if you just stick with VLE, you'll be fine.

A VLE like Moodie is often used to offer extra support, resources or work online for F2F (yes, another acronym - face-to-face) language students. Or a VLE can be used to run purely online courses, both for language students and for teacher training.

60 • Issue 62 May 2009 • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. www.etprofessional_com •

5 What other acronyms do I need to know about?

Acronyms in the field of ICT are continually being coined, as new things are invented, so perhaps it's more useful to know what to do with one you don't understand. If you search using Google, there is a useful way of finding the definition of a word (or acronym) you don't know - simply type into your Google search box define: [acronym of your choice}. So, for example, if you want to check what VLE stands for, type in define: VLE. Your search will return a list of sites that define VLE for you.

Internet text chat and mobile phone texting (or SMS) are two other areas plagued by acronyms which are simply a quick way of typing entire phrases. So brb means be right back, 101 means laugh out loud, imho means in my humble opinion, and Fyi means for your information. You probably know most of these, but what about acronyms like rottl, gal or nntr2? The only way you can possibly keep up with the relentless coining of acronyms in the texting world is to use Google define: searches, refer to a comprehensive texting acronyms site (such as www.netlingo.coml acronyms.php), or have an Englishspeaking teenager living in your house!

1 I know that, technically, an abbreviation is only an acronym when it can be pronounced as a word. Thus, BBC is an abbreviation, but NATO is an acronym. However, for the purposes of this article, the word acronym has been used for both.

2 rotf/ = roll on the floor laughing; gal = get a life;

nntr = no need to reply

Nicky Hockly has been Involved In EFL teaching and teacher training since 1987. She is Director of Pedagogy of The Consultants-E, an online training and development consultancy. The Consuitants-

. E's Second Life virtual training space for language teachers, EduNatlon, was nominated for a 2009 British Council Innovation Award.

Conlact Nicky at nlcky.hockly®theconsuHants-e.cDm and let her know DI any olher ICT areas you'd like her 10 explore In Ihls series.


Russell Stannard practises pronunciatiDn online.

It is amazing how the web has advanced since the shift to 'Web 2.0' (the second generation of web development and design, allowing for more interactive content and user participation). I remember writing an article about pronunciation about three years ago and now, revisiting the web, I have found a completely new set of fantastic materials. This really is the time to discover the web, and in this article I will show you some of the best pronunciation sites around.


This site has a lot of different things for practising pronunciation. 'Half 'n' Half' is a fun game where you click on a phonemic symbol in orderto hear a word which begins with that sound. You then have to find the rest of the word (written in phonemic symbols) in a list on the right and drag it over to complete the word. Another option is 'Phonemic Chart'. When you click on a phoneme, you can hear the sound being made and you will also see a picture and an example word. Click on this and you will hear the word spoken. This is a great way to present the phonemic symbols to students. There are many more options to try on this site. Sadly, the recording section is not very straightforward and I couldn't get it set up on my computer, but the rest of the site is excellent.


This is another great site with lots of sound files. It focuses on minimal pairs. Choose a minimal pair with sounds that you want to work on and click on it. A page will open where you can see pictures illustrating several pairs of words contrasting the target sounds. If you point your cursor at the words, you can hear

them pronounced. There is also an example sentence at the bottom of the page which uses a combination of the minimal pairs presented on the page. Again, point your cursor at it and you will hear it spoken. The site is Simple, straight to the point, and really useful both for work in the classroom and as reference material for students.

www.spokenskills.comlindex.cfm?type=15&content =studentactivities

Choose a sound from a list, click on it and then hear lots of examples of the sound being used in sentences. What I especially like is the 'record' feature. (You will need the Java applet to make this work. Don't worry if you don't have it, you can download it easily from the slte.) One annoying thing is that you do have to run the applet each time you open the site, but please don't let that put you off: Just click 'Yes' and within a minute the recorder is ready. If you don't want to record yourself or your students, you can still make good use of the site. If you scroll down on the opening page, you will see that there is plenty of additional material. I like the idioms section as it is very easy and the meaning is given as well as the pronunciation.

www.oup.com/eltlglobal/products/engllshfile/intermediate/ c_pronunciation

There are plenty of great things on this site, but I am going to concentrate here on the pronunciation material. Choose 'Vowels', 'Diphthongs', 'Consonants' or 'More consonants' from the menu, and you will get an illustrated phoneme chart. Each

picture incorporates the phoneme in an illustration of a word containing that sound. Underneath is the word itself and its phonemic transcription. Click on the picture and you will first hear the word pronounced and then the sound on its own. Try the 'Stress Monster' game, too. It can take a while to download, but it is a lot of fun. A monster appears on the screen carrying a word divided into syllables. Use the space bar to fire at the stressed part of the word. The quicker you fire at the right part of the word, the more points you get. I love it!

www.bbc.co.uklworldservice/learningenglish/grammar/pron This part of the SSC site is so rich in material that it can look a little confusing. However, on the right-hand side you will see a menu. Try clicking on 'Videos'. This will give you a range of videos designed to show how different sounds are pronounced. The great thing is that you can see the sound being pronounced (with a side view of the speaker's mouth as well as a front view) as well as hear an explanation and example words. Choose the sound you want to focus on by clicking on a phoneme chart. I like this site because apart from the video it also displays the word and the phonemic script as each word is pronounced.

The 'Features of English' section is also excellent. Look at the material on the schwa and on sounds and spelling. There are some good quizzes, too.


This site gives practice in American English pronunciation and has a big list of minimal pairs. Click on one of these, and it will show you the instructions for an activity which practises pronunciation, followed by a quiz. First, you listen to the pair of words being said. You can listen and repeat as many times as you like just by pointing your cursor at each word. Then you can go on to do the quiz. You hear only one of the words and you have to decide which one. This is Simple, good for minimal pairs work and ideal for lower-level students.


Here you will find some really clear simple recordings of short news items. There is also an explanation of some of the words. The material can easily be used for pronunciation practice because the students can play part of the news item and then repeat it by using the play/pause button.

I have produced a free video that will take you through all these sites in more detail. It also includes a few extra sites that I haven't included in this article. To see the video, go to: www.harbornecomputers.co.ukl-teachertraining/pron/ index.html

Russell Stannard Is a principal lecturer at the University of Westminster, UK, where he teaches using technology on multimedia and TESOL courses. He alae runs www.teachertralnlngvldeos.com. a website that trains English teachers to use technology, which has won a Times Higher Education Award for Outstanding Initiatives In Information and Communications Technology (lCT).

Keep sending your favourite sites to Russell: russellstarmard (ii)bti nternet.com

• www.etprofessional.com • ENGLISH TEACHING professional» Issue 62 May 2009 • 61

Over 40 years since it was first published, Modem English Teacher is stili the magazine leading the way in the development of English Language Teaching around the world. Every issue is packed with teaching ideas, insights Into language, news of developments in new technology, views and opinions of methodology and theory, and reviews of the latest published materials. You'll find MET stimulating, challenging, and essential in your day-to-day teaching and professional development.

• Practical teaching Ideas

• Explorations of language

• Developments in new technology

• Teacher development

• Reviews of new material

• Practical solutions to real problems

Mining listening texts

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In this column Rose Senior explains why certain teaching techniques and ' class management strategies are effective, and identifies specific issues that can assist all language teachers in improving the quality of their teaching.

Reading for pleasure

The students

needed complete freedom to choose which books

It is easy for language teachers to forget that one of the purposes of reading is enjoyment: escaping into an imaginary world of fiction, finding out more about historical events or learning about the lives of real people - and becoming so absorbed that time whizzes by. A few years ago I decided to conduct a reading-forpleasure experiment with one of my classes because I saw no reason why my intermediate-level learners of English could not experience the same pleasure in reading as their native-speaking counterparts.

For any educational innovation to be successful, teachers must believe that what they are doing is worthwhile, and teach with conviction. They may need to reconceptualise their own role and they must sell their idea to the class, showing students how they stand to benefit. Finally, they must set up the innovation appropriately by collecting or creating the necessary materials and devising initial activities Odeas for further activities will be sparked as the innovation progresses).

I like to keep a close eye on my classes. If I see someone having difficulty or not concentrating, my immediate instinct is to help them focus on the task, rather than leaving them to their own devices. I realised that, for this particular experiment, I had to refrain from interfering: my role was as a fellow-reader, not a teacher. I knew the students needed complete freedom to choose which books to read and how to read them - even if this meant doing things I disapproved of, such as peeking at the last page to find out the end of the story.

I selected a regular gO-minute afternoon session for my experiment and devoted the entire first lesson to preparing the students by conducting an extended brainstorming activity. I wrote the word Reading in the centre of the board and encouraged individuals to share with the class everything they knew about reading. . We collectively discussed and listed what

complained that they no longer had any time to read for pleasure

people read, why they read and how they read differently for different purposes. The students' suggestions for how extensive reading could benefit their learning

included the ideas that it would give them confidence that they could read a complete book in English and that it would consolidate what they already knew and extend their knowledge of English. I added that it would introduce them to the work of famous English authors (abridged versions of the classics being readily available), give them a feel for the rhythm and flow of English, and help them to read (and eventually to write) more easily.

I then introduced the notion of reading for

pleasure, encouraging all the class members (young adults from a range of linguistic and cultural backgrounds) to share their reading habits: what books they had enjoyed as children and what kinds of books they currently liked to read. When some students complained that they no longer had any time to read for pleasure, I told them that they were in for a pleasant surprise!

In readiness for the course, I had borrowed

1 00 graded readers from the library on extended loan. These I placed in a large box, together with a collection of picture books and reading books my own children had enjoyed and a 'borrowing book' in which students could sign out books they wanted to take home. I selected as wide a variety of titles and as broad a range of levels as possible, suspecting (as turned out to be the case) that I could not predict with any degree of accuracy either the topics that would engage the interest of individual students or whether they would prefer to read easier or more challenging books.

My final preparation was to type up and print out a pile of generic book review sheets with the following headings: Book

to read

Some students

title and author, Name of student reviewer, Summary of content of book, Student's overall impression of book (with reasons) and Student's star rating for the book. At the bottom of the sheet there was room for me (or another student) to write a personal response to what the reviewer had written.

On the first day, I went to class a few minutes early, moved several tables together and spread out a random selection of books. As the students came in, I encouraged them to browse through the books and identify ones they might like to read. After a while, I asked everyone to select a book, find a seat and settle down to read (allowing any student to get up and change their book if they wished). I did the same myself, and a companionable silence reigned. When I judged that the class had read for long enough, I encouraged the students to chat to one another about the books they were reading. Later, I encouraged them to complete their review sheets and share their impressions with others. This lesson pattern continued, with some additional variations and modifications, till the end of term. The length of time that we sat reading together gradually increased - as did the enthusiasm of the students to read books recommended by their peers.

My experiment taught me that reading for pleasure is an appropriate and achievable goal for classes of English language learners. Although it may not be possible to organise reading lessons in the same way as I did, I do believe that imaginative teachers can find other ways of encouraging their students to read English for pleasure on a regular basis. fll'j)

Rose Senior Is a conference presenter and teacher educator. Sha Is the author 01 The Experience of Language Teaching, published by CUP.


• www.etprofessional.com • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. Issue 62 May 2009. 63

- Know which words work together ...

... and sound more natural

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