N LISH

NG
l!sslonal
Striking a balance
Michael Swan
Reported speech -
rules, what rules?
Dave Willis
More than please
and thank you
Mark Hancock
The tourist trap!
Rebecca Norman
Issue 70
September
2010
Celebrating 30 years
of the world's most trusted
language reference book
OXFORD
www.oup.com/elt UNIVERSITY PRESS
Contents
MAIN FEATURE
STRIKING A BALANCE
Michael Swan puts the language back into
language leaching
FEATURES
REPORTED SPEECH -
RULES. WHAT RULES?
Dave Willis explodes the myth of tense backshift
ACTIVE WORD POWER
4
8
12
James Venema makes the most of vocabulary notebooks
CARRY ON READING!
Britt Jepsen applauds authentic materials
CORPUS DELICTI 1
Chris Payne celebrates the corpus
SEX EDUCATION
Rose Hickman advocates an all-inclusive classroom
[Q EAP: AN ALL-ROUND CHALLENGE 2
Louis Rogers improves his students' seminar skills
THE TOURIST TRAP!
Rebecca Nonnan captures some keen
conversationalists
OVER THE WALL
Alan Maley recommends books dealing with disability
LEARNI NG DISABILITY 4
Lesley Lanir describes reading difficulties
TACKLING THE REAL WORLD
Andrew O' Dwyer takes his students out fOf
some playful practice
14
16
19
28
30
34
37
46
10 MORE THAN PLEASE AND THANK YOU 49
Mark Hancock looks at how we teach students
to be polite
TEACHING YOUNG LEARNERS
A FAIR DEAL FOR ALL
Laura Loder Buchel addresses the needs of the
already fluent
TEACHER DEVELOPMENT
FROM TDU TO CPD
Bahar Gun investigates the impossibility of pleasing
all the teachers all of the time
TEACHER PLUS
Sue Leather and Andy Hockley consider how
teachers can become managers
TECHNOLOGY
E-LEARNING
Blanka Klimova outlines the benefits and demands
of online courses
FIVE THINGS YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO
KNOW ABOUT: MICROBLOGGING
Nicky Hockly looks at a trend that's getting bigger
all the time
WEBWATCHER
Russell Stannard describes some quick and useful
online tools
REGULAR FEATURES
I!] PREPARING TO TEACH ...
Crammar
John Potts
COMPETITIVE GAMES
Rose Senior
10 SCRAPBOOK
REVIEWS
COMPETITIONS
25
53
55
57
60
61
40
63
42
44
41.64
A PRIMARY READING PROJECT
23 10 INTERNATIONAL SUBSCRIPTION FORM 32
Betka PiAlar sees her students' reading blossom
Includes materialS designed to pOOlOCOPY [)
• __ etprof ••• lonal.eom • ENGLISH TEACHING profen-iol1tt/ . Issue 70 September 2010 • 1
I
1
I

t
j
Editorial
I
n our main feat ure, Michael Swan describes trends
in English language teaching in terms of a pendulum
swinging between two extremes: form and meaning,
and he would like to see more emphasis on the actual
teaching of language. Nevertheless, he comes 10 the
comforting conclusion that most good teachers pick
and choose between the methodologies and materials
on offer to create a mix that works for them.
The other articles in this issue represent some of the
many different viewpoints on the way in which language
should be taught. Dave Willis wants to make things
easier for students by abandoning the teaching of rules
which he believes don't actually work.
Britt Jepsen's school students read authentic materials
from the word go, and Chris Payne also advocates
looking at real-life language. He favours the use of
concordances to reveal not just the frequency of words
and collocations but how they are actually used. James
Venema then explains how students can record and
remember new language efficiently.
Also concerned with real language usage is Mark Hancock,
who describes ways in which we can teach our students
about politeness conventions in different situations.
Taking a more humanistic approach to language teaching,
Rose Hickman appeals to us to make our classrooms
places of inclusion and safety for all students, whatever
their gender or sexual orientation.
Andrew O'Dwyer, for his part, sees opportunities outside
the classroom to get his students to practise the language
they are learning and to see real language in use, while
Rebecca Norman brings the language of the outside world
inside by luring tourists into her conversation classes.
Helena Gomm
Editor
I heleoa.gomm@keywayspubl ishing.com I
ENGLISH
PO Box 100, Chichester, West Sussex, P018 8HO, UK

Tel: +44 (0)1243 576444 Email: info@etprofessional.com
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Editor. Helena Gomm Publ ished by: Pavilion Publishing (Brighton) Ltd.
Editorial Consultant: Mike Burghall
Part of OLM Group, PO Box 100, Chichester,
West Sussex, P018 8HD
Editorial Director: Peter Coll in
Designer: Christine Cox
© 2010, Pavilion Publ ishing (Brighton) Ltd
ISSN 1362-5276
Advisory Panel: Dave Al lan, Ruth Gairns,
SUbscriptions: Pavilion Publishing (Brighton) Ltd,
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2 • Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGLISH TEACHING professional . _ .• tprof ••• lonal.com·
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MAIN FEATURE
• •
rl{ln
a aance
Michael Swan talks to ETp about the
pendulum swings of language teaching.
You have said t hat language
teaching should be about teaching
language, and t hat this idea can
sometimes get lost. Can you
explain?
Teachillg things is difficult: it's much
easicr to do things. Because of this..
thcrc's a perennial danger that the
activities language teachers use for
consolidation and nuency practice can
become an end in themselves, so we can
lose sight of what. if anything. our
activities are aelUally supposed to be
teaching. As we movc up the levels, this
Cim huppcn more and more eilsily. With
intermediate and advanced students.. it
cun really be quite hard to make clear
decisions about lr/UI/ to teach - which
clements of grammar, vocabulary,
phraseology, and so on the students
most need. or precisely which skills and
sub-skills really need improvcment. So
ilt this stilge. the temptation is to take
refuge more and more in activity-based
teaching. and doing things can take over
completely by default. If the students
are using English, and having fun, they
mllSI be learning, mustn·t they?
This tendency has becn powerfully
fuelled by the communicative movement
that has dominated I;\llguage teaching
for the last 30 ye<lrs or so. with its
emphasis on 'language in use', It's donc
an awful lot of good. but it has also
reinforced and legitimised our liking for
doing things in the clussroom, il11d
taken the focus even further ilway from
looking systematically at the language
itself. We need to remind ourselves that
lunguage teuching docs meun teuching
Iilnguuge: making sure that students arc
exposed to the highest-priority language
forms (words.. fixed phrases, structures,
aspects of pronunciat ion), that they
leim1 illld practise these forms.. and thut
they become skilled at using them
nucntly and appropriately. There's a
question of balance here. h ·s no good if
students learn il lot of forms il1ld can't
usc them (which often happened wi th
older approilches. and still does in some
teaching contexts today). But it"s
equally unconstruetive if studcnts are
made to eonccntrate on using language
without being given a systematic
knowledge of the language they are
supposed to be using.
I remember you once suggested
that teaching reading skills is
mostly a waste of time.
Yes. this was the topic of a talk that
Cutherine Willter und I gilve ilt IATEFL
two or three years ago. [n fact. I think
all so-callcd 'skills· teaching necds 10 be
looked at vcry carcfully. Of course, we do
have to ensure th;lt our students practise
using the language they learn. so that
they can deploy it easily and nuently in
realtime for their communicativc
purposes.. Work on the so-cillied ·four
skills' is vital. BIlt in the 1970s and 80s,
the four skills suffered a conccplUal
explosion. Reading, for instance, was
typically analysed into up to 20 sub·skills..
all of which soon arrived in textbooks.
along with exercises carefully designed
to tcaeh these sub-skills to learners who
were assumcd to lack them. And this
'bilttcry-of-skills' approllch still goes on
4 • Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGLISH TEACHING professional . _ .• tprof ••• lonat.com·
today: any number of current tcaehing
material s purport to train students in
skimming, scanning, understllnding text
structure, predicting their way through
text. and so on and so on.
[ think a reasonable position (and
one that is increilsingly supported by
research) is thilt students already have
domain-general comprehension skills:
that those who are literate in their own
language (that is to say, a large
proportion of students) are already able
to apply these skills to written text; and
that what they need is language to apply
these skills to, and facility in handling
that language. If students sccm to have
trouble 'comprehending' an English text
that is apparently at their level - they
can understand all the words but don't
get the whole picture, so to speak - this
is likely to be it question of processing
capacity: so much of their working
memory is being used for low·[evel
decoding thut they can't build a higher-
level menIal representation of the text
as a whole, As decoding becomcs more
automatic, capacity will be freed up, and
they will increasingly be able to llccess
their existing comprehension skills. But
this takes the time it takes. ' Training·
studcnts to 'tmnsfcr' skills like
skimming, sCHnning, identifying main
points and so forth - which thcy mostly
al reildy possess in their mother tongues
- is unlikely to speed things up very
milch. Unfortunately, many teachers
and course writers lovc work of this
kind: it keeps everybody busy ilnd gives
people something structured to do with
texts.. (Texts. spoken and writtcn, can of
course be enormously useful for
lill1guilge-teaching purposes if they are
used properly - but that's another story.)
So, as far as reading skills (and others)
arc concerned. lel·S not waste time
teaching people to do things they can do
already. (And don·t get me started on
the notion that you can teach students
to 'guess vocabulary from context'.)
How about task- based learning?
Communicative tasks are - and have
becn for a long time - an important
languilge-teilching tool. What is speciill
<Ibollt ·task-based teaching· is the view
that sllch tasks.. where the focus is on
meaning rather than language. can do
nearly cvcrything - that a task syllabus
will enable students to ucquirc most or
all of the linguistic elements that they
need. It's recognised that such
'naturalistic'languagc use may nced 10
be supplemetlled by some extra 'focus
on form', bUl 'traditional' systematic
syllabus-based grammar teaching is
strongly discouraged in the task-based
model. The academic literature in this
area is full of very tendentious
term inology. ' Language-based',
'teacher -domi nated', 'sentence-level',
'transmission model'. 'product',
'memorisation' , 'repetition' and 'drill'
arc dismissivc exprcssions - thcy rcfcr to
supposedly bad and discredited
pedagogic allitlldes. 'Good' concepts -
thc applied linguistic cquivalcnts of
democr,tey and motherhood - include
'mean i ng-based', 'lea rner -centred' ,
'holist ic', 'discourse' , 'discovery',
'process'. 'intcraction' , 'negotiation' and
'strategy', I think we need to \<Ike issue
with this terminological polarisation,
and with the associated mindsct. What
exactly is wrong about a 'language-based'
approach to language learning and
teaching? We wouldn't criticise a music
teacher for making her lessons music-
based. would we? And why is 'process'
good and 'product' bad? If [ sign up for
lessons in. say, Turkish, product is exactly
what I want: a knowledge of Turkish,
The process involved is valueless unless it
gets me wherc I want to go - in !;tngu<tge
learning, to travel hopefully is 1/01 beller
than to arrive, And is 'learner-centred'
automatic,llly good and 'teacher-
dominated' <tutom,lIically bad? Of
course not. [t depends on what you arc
teaching, who 10, when and where,
Task-based learning. and thc thcorics
on which it is based, may certainly be
valid for a certain kind of situation - one
where your students have plenty of time
to work at their English. they're in an
input-rich environment, or they've learnt
the language for years and know far
more than they can usc. But one needs to
question its value for the more typical
teacher, working. let's say, in 1I s(:conrlllTY
school in a non-English-speaking
country, teaching poorly-motivated
students in classes that arc probably too
big, with perhaps three hours' cont;let
time a week for maybe 35 weeks a year,
maximum. For such teachers. cost-
effectiveness is crucial. A syllabus of
tllsks alone. unsupported by structum]
and lexical syllabuses. simply can't be
relied on to throw up 1I1i of the top,
priority language that students at a
pilrticulilr level need to learn. They won't
even be exposed to half the language
they need, let alone have a chance to use
it enough to fix it in their minds,
So should the academic focus be
on identifying what it is that
students need to know? Of course,
this will be different in different
contexts. Is it possible to say 'this
is what you need to know'?
Yes., selection and prioritisation are vitaL
And these need to be approached from
two directions. Coming at it from the
'form' end, one asks which arc the most
widely-used structures in the language:
which are the thousand commonest
words, which arc the next thousand
commonest words. and so on; which
aspects of pronunciation are going 10 be
crucial, if any, for the tllrget group of
learners, That's something we've becn
doing prclly well for centuries. We know
perfectly well that we have to teach the
present tenses before the subjunctive, or
the names of the colours before words
like pUll), or c{I/(/lOl/ic. Then, coming at
A syllabus of tasks
alone, unsupported by
structural and lexical
syllabuses, simply can't
be relied on to throw up
all of the top-priority
language that students
need to learn
it from the 'use' end, we can very
reasonably say thaI's it's all very well
teaching them all these words and
structures.. but docs it cnllble them to
<l sk for a cup of coffee or to deal with
an enquiry from a customer? C:m they
actually put these things together to
handle whatever everyday language
functions and rCill-lifc tilsks ;ITC relevant
to their purposes? This perspective got a
lot of allention in the 1970s when
people invented needs analysis.. and it
gets a lot of attention now through the
Common European Framework and its
'can do' statements. The danger, with
our current focus on language in use, is
thlll (as happens in some foreign-
language teaching in Britain) one half of
the dyad - the formal element - may be
downgraded in favour of the other, So
leilfllcrs may practise can-do scripts, SO
that they can write a letter to an
imaginary penfriend or show someone
round their home town. or whatever,
BIlt they may learn to operate each
script without being able to generalise
thei r knowledge to other different ,Illd
unpredicted situations. because of gaps
in basic grammar or vocabul ary -
missing items that fcll through the
language-in-use net.
In the typical ' three-hours-a-week'
situation, there's very lillie room for the
more peripheral issues that currently
occupy some sociologically-oriented
language-teaching theorists, Certainly,
we shouldn't dismiss a concern wi th
what onc might call the 'human' side of
language teaching: our recognition th,1I
students are individuals (with all that
tflat implies for their learning), and also
social beings (with all that tfl(lf implies
for their learning). This was a v;!luable
dynamic in the early days of the
eommuniclltive approach, It encouraged
teachers to get their students practising
language by talking ubout thi ngs that
mallered to them, rather than simply
parroting meaningless sentences aboUl
10hn, Mary and the gardcn, (Though it
could sometimes go too far: if you gel
the students to 'let it all hang out' and
talk about, for example.. their deepest
fea rs, you can move dangerously close
to casting the teacher in the role of the
incompetent amateur therapist.) What
worries me now is the extent to which the
'human being' focus may ;tetua1ly take
over from language teaching, Under the
influence of current theory. we may risk
spending so much time training our
students to become better learncrs and
better-rounded human beings - teaching
them social and negotiating skills.
training them in learning strategies,
nwking them increasingly autonomous
and so forth - that we m"y find ourselvcs
short of time for actually teaching them
what they want to learn, Some of the
more extreme pronouncements that
come from the sociolinguistic cnd of the
profession actually make me wonder if
the scholars in question are really
thinking about language teaching at all.
Allwright, in his 2003 book on
' Exploratory Practice', m(lkes the
remarkable statemelll that we should
'abol'e ollr cOl/cern for illstructiol/al
efficiellc)', prioriti;., Ihe qllalil), of life il/
the lal/guage classroom', Kumaravadivelu,
in a book published in 2006, lists what
he calls ten 'macrostrategics' for
language teaching, These includc things
like 'facilitating negotiated interaction',
'ensuring social relevance'. 'raising
cultural consciousness' and 'activating ........
• _.etprQf ••• ional.com • ENGUSH TEACHtNG professiollal. i ssue 70 September 2010 . 5
Striking
a balance
............ intuitive heuristics', No doubt these arc
exciting areas to explore, but none of
Kumaravadivc1u's macrostratcgics seem
to me to h,wc much to do with language
itself lind how to leach it. I' m afraid I
feel strongly that the basic principles of
language leaching should have something
to do with leaching language: wilh. for
example, selecting high priority input.
designing syllabuses and structuring
them into courses. making appropriate
methodological decisions. ensuring that
tcachers have an adequate command of
the language they arc teaching ..... I
don', wanllO deny the value of some of
those peripheral concerns. but our
central task. as [ keep saying, is to
identify the highest priority language
items and skills that our !earners need,
to select from these the clements that we
actually have time for. and to teach
them in the best. most effective WilY
possible. All other considerations -
Macrostratcgies. Multiplc Intclligences.
Rcnective Practice. Cultural Awareness.
Second-Ianguilge Identity or whiltever -
are only useful if they actually contribute
in a cost -effective way 10 the central
process of teachi ng our students
language and enilbling them 10 use it.
You describe language teaching as
being on a pendulum between form
and meaning. Where is t he
pendulum now?
Language is two-faced - it's a formal
code. and it's uscd to express meanings.
Naturally. therefore. language teaching
swings backwards and forwards bemeen
the two poles. There arc periods whcn
form is paramount: knowledge and
learning arc good things. imitation is
important, control mailers. classrooms
tend to be disciplined. Then YOll get a
swing in the other direction. and thc
focus is on meowing. freedolll,
expression, experiential learning and
ski lls. The pendulum is not often in a
middle position where these clements
become well balanced. When I was at
schooL we were down at the form end.
Everybody knew that language teaching
was a mailer of doing grammar,
vocabulilry and pronunciation. learning
rules. and practising by translation and
reading, with a bit of speaking on the
side. And when I started teaching. things
were pretty much the same (except that
we didn't use translation). We were good
at teaching language; not so good at
teilching !eilrners to use it. Nowadays
things arc very different. There has been
the communicative revolution, the move
towards making second-language
leilrning more like 'n<llUral' acquisition.
the attempt to make classrooms morc
like the 'real' world. and the rest of it.
So everybody today knows that it's all a
maller of teaching language in use,
focusing on making meaning, using a
lot of skills work and communicative
t,lsks, 1llld shoe-horning in a bit of
grammar on the side.
In language teaching as elsewhere. I
think we need to be very cautious about
accepting what 'everybody knows'. It
takes a mental effort to back lIway and
see that one might be positioned
IOwards one particular end of a
~ w i n g i n g pendulum. We are. I have
suggested, still a long WilY 1lway frOIll iI
position where form and meaning are
valucd equally. We're moving back,
certainly. There is more understanding
of the need for proper grillllmar-
teaching now than there was 30 years
ago. when Krashen told us it was
unnecessary and that it achieved
nothing. Nevcrtheless. lllany te'lchers
still feel everything has to be
communicative or task-based, and that
they'fC doing something wrong if. Sily.
they do sentence-level non-
comlllunicative grammar exercises. I
don' t think there's anything wrong with
that at al1 (provided it's not al1 one
docs). But that's another story.
Part of the reason for the pendulum
swings. I believc. is a perennial feeling
that we're not doing very well. and that
we nced to do beller - we somehow
ought to be ashamed of ourselves
becausc we're not gelling our students
close enough to the native-speaker
st1llldilTd that we use as a model. If you
ask teachers about this. they'll probably
deny it. but teachers round the world do
mostly act as if deviations from the
perceived norm arc a mailer for concern.
Some teachers don't like mist akes. so
they correct, correct and correct. Some
worry beC1IUSC their learners don't ever
seem to become really nuent. Others
worry about breadth: they feel they must
teach more and more grammar and
vocilbulary. or skil1s. or whatever, to
& • Issue 70 September 2010. ENGUSH TEACHING professiollal . _ .• tprot ••• lonal.com'
bring their students closer to native-
speaker knowlcdge. Becausc of that
implicit assumption that we're iliming
for the S\ilrs. we feel all too easily that
we've failed. So every ten or 20 years we
dccide that we're doing it al1 wrong and
go for new methods. new fashions. new
focuses and new gurus: let's stop doing
that and do this instead, and perhaps
we'll get it right this time, Actually, we're
not going to get it right - but wc h,wen't
failed either. Languages arc hard to
learn. many teaching contexts are oftcn
seriously unfavourable to good language
teaching. and we can only ever expect
limited results - a small fraction of
what native speakers know and can do.
Teachers. however wise lllld
experienced. <Ire innueneed by the
prevailing orthodoxies. I have suggested
that the current language-teaching
mindset is a long way from occupying a
balanced position, and this is bound to
have an effect. Howcver. I don't want to
over-state the case. I' m afraid I may
have sounded in this intervicw as if I' m
denigmting everybody in our
profession, theorists and practitioners
alike. That's certainly not my intention.
I believc we have today al1 the clements
we need for successfullangullge
teaching if they are properly combined.
We have a weal th of excellent materials
and methodologies. 11 long-stllllding
trildition of good and wel1-informed
teaching, a rich and productive teacher
education sct-up. and first-class
teachers' journals (such as this one).
And not leilst importilnt. we are rCilping
the benefits of half a century of
investment in applied linguistics
resellrch. Because of 1I11 this. 11 great
deal of excellent teaching is going on.
Languages may. as I have suggested, be
hard 10 learn and tcach. but many
teachers, even those working under
difficult circumst,mees. manage to get
strikingly good results. They have my
admiration. Gll>
Michael Swan writes
English language
teaching and reference
materials. His Interest s
Include descriptive and
pedagogic grammar,
second language
aCQuisitiOfl, cross·
language Influence, and
the theory-practice
Intertace. He has had
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LANGUAGE
orte
eec ru es,
at ru es? w
Dave Willis doesn't
see the problem.
M
lilly of you wi ll hllvc seen
exercises and tests where
learners are required to
change direct speech into
reported speech. I clin remember asking
students \0 do <lctivitics like this:
Rewrite the following in reported
speech. Remember to change the
tenses;
1 We will be leaving home at six
tonight so we will arrive at about
half past seven.
Joan and Peler told us
2 I will see you tonight after I have
finished worll".
Mary said
This is a fa irl y mechanical cxcrcisc.
Students chllnge thc tenses accord ing to
the rules they have been taught. They
also change timc references aecording to
II given SCI of for mulae 10 produce the
following:
1 Joan and Peter told us they would
be leaving home at six that night so
they would arrive at about half past
seven.
2 Mary said she would see me that
night after she had finished work.
Studell\s who have been wen drilled
should havc litt le problcm applying the
rules they hllve been taught, but whitt
a . Issue 70 September 2010· ENGLISH TEACHING professiollal . _.etpn:ofe •• lon81. eam •
they are doing has nothing in common
with the Wll y we report things in rC<l11ifc.
What the grammars
tell us
The rules for reported speech,
sometimes call ed illdirl.'CI.I'Pl.'cch. have
been sct out \'cry clearly by respected
grammarians. Mi chael Swan and
Catherine Walter, for example, in their
useful students' grammar tell us that:
'Tenses and pronouns (I, you, etc.)
change in indirect speech if the time
and speaker are different. For example,
present tenses become past; , may
become he or she; my may become
his or her. '
The prestigious Cambridge Gmmll1ar oj
English by Ron Carler and Michael
McCarthy is one of the besl referencc
grammars currently on the markel. It
informs us that:
'When the indirect speech is perceived
as referring to the past, the tense in the
reported clause usually changes to a
past form of the tense of the original
speech. This process is known as tense
backshift. '
Coursebooks lind student grammars
regularly produce guid,tnce of this kind.
explaining that yes/erda)' may become
the prel'iolls day, next Wet/nest/a)'
becomes IheJoflowillg Wedllesda)" and
so on.
However. there are three problems
wilh these formulations:
• They are based on the mistaken
assumption that we recall and report
exactly whal we havc heard. If we
cannot recall the tense used in the
origina l. how can we possibly shift it
back into the past?
• They imply thilt there is something
unusual about the way in which we
usc tcnses in reported speech. Some
coursebooks try to list all the changes
we need to milke, explaining how
present simple must be changed to
past simple.. present conti nuous to
past continuous, and so on. Lellfners
come 10 believe that there must be
something mysterious and
challcnging about reportcd speech 10
justify this level of dctailed treatment.
• They can become extremely complex.
For examplc. if someone mentions /II'XI
Wednesda), and the original speech
takes place on Thursday 1st April and
is reported on Saturday 3rd April. then
lIeXI Wel/nesda)' is stilillexl Wedlleslftl),.
I f it is reported on Wednesday 7th
April. then it would probably be
reported as /oda)': if reported on
Thursday 81h April. it could be
reported either as Ihe lol/owing
Wedllesday or as yes/err/ay. So giving
rules aboul how to report lIeXI
Wel/llest/a), is really quitc complicated.
Fortunately, ;IS we shall sec later. there
is really no need for alilhis.
A false assumption
The rules given for repor ted speech arc
bilsed on the assumption that we rec;lll
exact ly what was said on a given
occasion and then go through a process
of ' Iense backshift'. But of course. we
very rarely recall exactly what was said,
so there is no way we ciln apply tense
baekshift. There are occasions when we
Ir)' 10 recall exactly what was said - in a
court of law. for example. or when we
il re accused of having broken ,I promise
- but fortunately. these occasions arc
very few and far between.
Most of us arc familiar with
meetings in which the minutes of the
last meeting are circulated. These
minutes contain summaries of what was
s,lid at the previous meeting, things like:
'The chair reminded everyone that the
next meeting would be postponed until
Monday, 31s t May.'
We can't tell from this exactly what the
chair said. It might have becn:
'OK, folks, don't forget that the next
meeting will be on the last Monday in
May, not the usual second Monday in
the month, So that 's the 31st, not the
10th. Can you all take a note of that?'
Or it could ha\'e been:
'I regret to inform you that due to
unforeseen circumstances we will be
unable to meet as usual on the second
Monday of the month, that is Monday
10th May. I have arranged instead that
we meet on the last Monday, that is the
31st of May. / hope this doesn' t
inconveni ence anyone unduly.'
Nobody, including Ihe secretary who
wrote the minutes. would be able to
recall the precise words. Even if they
could, just try applying the rules to
change one of the above into reported
specch and see how ridiculous they
sound. And there is ,Inother problem: if
we did recall and report exactly what
was said. then the minules would be
slightly longer than the original meeting.
The rules given
for reported speech
are based on the
assumption that we
recall exactly what
was said on a
given occasion
Report or summary?
If we don't recall wh,lI was s,lid, then
how do we report speech? [ think it·s
clear that we don't even try to repor t
eXilctly what was said - we summarise
it. We very rilrely remember preeisely
what was said. but we do reca ll what
was 1II(,1I111. Think of a conversation you
had recenlly and think how you might
tell someone about it. Almost cert ainly
you will be unable to remember the
exacl words. bUI you will probably be
able to remcmber the contcnt lllld. thus.
be able to ofTer a brief summary.
Summarising is something we do all
the time. We say Ihings like:
'I saw an interesting programme on the
TV last night. It was about .. ,'
'I read an article about that in The
Guardian. It said .. ,'
and ofT you go. You would not even try
to remember the article word for word.
You would summarise what it meant.
So let's get away from the idea that
reported speech involves some sorl of
mechanical processing of someone's
original words. Let us recognise it for
what it is - a summarising rathcr than a
reporting process.
What about all those
tenses?
Here's an excerpt from a letter from a
young woman 10 a language school:
'/ am a 21-year-old student at
Birmingham University. I'm in the final
year of my English course. I am taking
my fi nal exams ned month and will
graduate in July.
I plan to take a year off and I'd like
to travel round the world. Unfortunately,
I can' t afford to travel unless I earn
some money on the way, so I want to
learn to teach English as a second
language so I can make some money
while I am abroad ... '
Let's imagine that the wri ter took a
course and 1101 only learnlto teach
English. but took it up ilS a C'lreer.
Fifteen years later. she was asked how
she became an English teacher. She
might say something like:
'Well, / suppose it all started when I
was about 20. I was in my final year at
university and I wanted to travel after
graduation. But I couldn' t afford to
travel unless I earned some money ... '
All the verbs hcre arc past tense forms.
Bulth,l\'s not bee;lUse it's reported
speeeh. It's because she is talking about
something that happened 15 years ago.
Of course she uses past tense for ms.
And if she were reporting or
summarising the contents of her letter,
the tenses would be past tcnse forms for
the same reason: beclluse she is talking
about the past.
The fact is that the tense system
works in exactly the same way when we
arc rcporting or summarising as it docs
in the rest of the langu'lge. There is
absolutely no need for a specia l set of
rules about reported speech. And there
is no such thing as 'tense backshift'.
• _.etprQf ••• ionat,com • ENGUSH TEACHtNG professiol/al • tssue 70 September 2010. 9
Reported
sp'eech - rules,
what rules?
••• Choosing the right form
Sometimes. however. we have to choose
between a past form and a present form
becausc either one is possible. So if last
week Mary sa id to you:
' / am going to stay at the Ritz because
it's the most comfortable hotel in
London',
you could report it as a narrative:
'Mary said she planned to stay at the
Ritz because it was the most
comfortable hotel in London. '
On the olher hand, you could lake it liS
telling us something <tbout Ihe Ritz
Hotel and say:
'Mary said she planned to stay at the
Ritz because it is the most comfortable
hotel in London.'
We normally usc the present tense for
something thaI everyone agrees is sti ll
true. We might. for example.. say:
'They wanted to climb Scafell Pike
because it is the highest peak in
England. '
BUI if we think the statement is
mi staken, we would use a past tense
form:
'They said they wanted to climb
Helvel/yn because it was the highest
peak in England, but actually the
highest is Scafel/ Pike, '
So the choice of tense here is affected
by what we want to emphasise and what
we believe to be true. It has nothing to
do with reported speech. But the
important thing is that the choice of
tense forms foll ows the same logic as in
the rest of the language.
So what about next
Wednesday?
Just as there is no problem with tenses
in reported speech, so there is no
problem wi th other deictic systems of
the language - the systems that show
how things and events are situated in
time ,Uld space rcl:ltive to the spe'l ker.
There's no need to tell learners that I
may become he or she, lI1y may become
his or her. If they know the way
personal pronouns work in English,
they just plll that knowledge to work.
They don't have to stop llnd think about
how to change the pronoun I. and what
to change it to. They don't think 'Now
when Mary was speaking, she said I,
but I am not Ma ry, so I ean't say I. And
you ,lfe not Mary, so I can't say ),011, so
I must say he or she, and since Mary is
female, I must say sill'.' They simply
know that Ihey arc talking about Mary
,Uld they know thaI they should rcfer to
her in the third person as .)·he.
The important
thing is that the
choice of tense forms
follows the same logic
as in the rest of
the language
And if we arc talki ng about
somet hi ng that was happening ne.\"(
Wednesda)'. we don't need to take out
the calendar to tell us when the origil1<11
words were uttered and how to refer to
the day in question. If the day in
question was yesterday, we Sll)'
yesler(/a)" if it is tomorrow, we say
101l/0noll' and if it was 11 coupl e of
weeks ago, we say a couple of weeks (Igo.
One of the few sources to r<:cognise
the true nature of reported st atements is
the Collills COBUILD English
Gmll1l1/ar, which tells us that:
' You are more likely to report what
(someone) meant than what (they) said.
There are many reasons why you do not
quote a person's exact words. Often
you cannot remember exactly what was
said, At other times the exact words are
not important or not appropriate to the
situation in which you are reporting.'
and:
' Whatever the tense of your reporting
verb, you put the verb in the reported
clause into a tense that is appropriate at
the time you are speaking. '
This makes it clear that there is nothing
problematic about the dcietics of
reported speech in Engli sh, including
the tense system. Everything works in
10 • Issue 70 September 2010' ENGLISH TEACHING pro/essiol/ol . _ ,.tpl"(lf ••• ional.com •
exactly the same way as it does in the
rest of the language. There is no need to
make life diflicult and confusing for
learners by telling them that there is
something different and compli cated
about reported speech. We have quite
enough to do in the classroom without
making life any more diflicult for our
learners.
***
So what do we do about it? Stop
spending inordinate amounts of time on
un!l(..'Cess'l ry and misle,lding rules. There
are plenty of opportunities in cl ass for
learners to summarise. They can do
resellrch on thc internet or in thc libnlfY
and report it in class. They C,Ul
interview people inside and Olllside cl ass
and report what they have 10 say.
Basically, they will get the right tenses
and the right deietic forms in pilice. If
they don'Lthen it's an indiC,l\ion that
there is something wrong with their
understanding of these systems
themselves. not a problem with reported
speech.
Perhaps you beli eve it is useful for
learners. as a mechanical revision
exercise, 10 transpose a text from
present to past time, or perhaps they
need to do something like this for
examinat ion practice. If this is the case.
then you might spend time in class
doing the ki nd of exercise I exemplified
at the beginning of this ar ticle. But you
should sec it for what it is - a useful but
artificial ped,lgogic device, not an
exercise with communicat ive relevance
outside the classroom. Clll>
Carter, R and McCarthy, M Cambridge
Grammar of English CUP 2006
Sinclair, J Collins COBu/LD English
Grammar HarperCollins 1990
Swan, M and Walter C The Good
Grammar Book OUP 2001
Dave Willis has
published widety on
language description
for ELT, including
Rules, Patterns and
Words: Grammar and
LeJl./s In English
Language Teaching
(CUP), He is also the
author of the grammar
on the British CounCi l's
LeamEnglish website:
http://leamenglish.britlsh
council.orglbook,pagel
leam-english,grammar.
dave@willls·ell. co.uk
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VOCABULARY
James Venema explains how to use
vocabulary notebooks efficiently.
L
eilflling vocilbulary is
sometimes seen as progression
from passive to active. When a
learner first 'mcets' a word.
they might check its meaning. perhaps
in a bilingual dictionary. Further
exposure will result in a deeper
rellitionship liS the learner encounters
conjugations. tenses and forms as well
as different meanings, common
collocations ilnd members of the silme
word family. From this perspective. cvcn
a single word can present a rather
daunting source of study.
Active vocabulary
Students will. however. need to move
beyond passive knowledge to actively
using 1I word well before they have
Icarnt all its possible varilltions, usages
and meanings. A vocabulary notebook.
lVith example sentences combined with
student-wrilten original sentenccs. can
provide a structured first stcp in
developing their active vocabulary.
However. a poorly-produced vocabulary
notebook is. lit best. not vcry hclpful
and C;Ill. at worst. leild to error
fossilisation. For this reason. it is best to
provide some guidance on vocllbulary
notebooks that can set the students on
the WilY towards vocilbul ary learning
independence.
Choosing words
The first step is the selection of words
for active use. 11 is important to note
here the diITerence between activc and
passive use. sincc writing their OlVn
original sentences is the silldents' first
move towards being able to use 11 word
effectively. Exposure to a wide selection
of words is criticaL Reading materials.
vocabulary lists and regulllr clllssroom
teaching all provide rich sources of
vocabulary. It is importilnt that the
students choose the words themselves
since they are best able to mllke a
decision on what words would be useful
to them. 'Usefulness' in this context
implies that a student believes they will
encounter opportuni ties to use the word.
In some cases.. a st udent may already be
filmiliar with the word chosen. but
would like to move beyond passive
knowledge to being able to usc the word
aClively. While [ will conti nue to usc the
singular form of 1I'0rd in this article, the
selected items may often include two-
part \'erbs as well as longer phrases.
Noting information
Once a word has been selected, the
studenls will need some basic
information ;Ibout it. This should include.
at the very least, meaning. pronunciation
and form. While translations arc a
useful start for meaning. they may not
encompass the precise meaning of a
givcn word very accurately. Where the
English definition is too daunting.
students should be prepared to look
closely at the examples of text in which
thcy encounter thc word (more on
examples later). Ideally. information
about pronunciation would involve
writing the word in phonemic symbols.
At the very least. the student s will need
to note the number of syllables as well as
the stressed syllable. While SYLL-a-ble is
recognisable in quite a number of accents
and less than perfect pronunciation.
will be less so. Finally. noting
down the form of a word will be crit ical
in helping students to use it accurately.
After all. if a student is not aWilre that
sylfabh' is;1 noun. they ;Ire likely to
producc some rather peculiar sentences
using it. Some students may also want
to pursue word families and write some
variittions of'l word, such itS phrtlse and
flhra,ml. Others might like to write down
some common collocations straight away,
However, it is important not to send the
Writing their own
original sentences is
the students' first
move towards being
able to use a word
effectively
students down the slippery slope of
knowing everything about a word before
attempting to use it. Aftcr alL the goal
is simply to help them begin expanding
their ilctive word voc;lbulary, not to
enable them to become linguistic experts
on the word selected.
Writing example sentences
The next step is to imhcd the selected
word in some kind of structured context
with example sentences or phrases.
Reading 111;lterials provide the 1110st
obvious contexL Vocabulary textbooks
typically provide example sentences
and/or phr;lses. Where the original
context might be morc ephemeral. say iI
conversation class, or where the
students need additional information.
thcy ciln also look up the word in
le;lrners' dictionaries. all of which will
provide good examples of the word in
use. Advanced Icarners can even make
usc of an online corpus. such itS the
12 • Issue 70 September 2010' ENGLISH TEACHING pro/essiol/ol . _.etprofe •• lanal.eam •
British National Corpus. What is
critical here is that the context provides
importllnt lexical informlltion while not
overwhelming the students with data. r
always encourage my students to copy
the example sentences they encounter
into their notebooks before beginning
to write their own original sentences.
This is the best way to ensure that they
attend to important information on
usage, including griullmil!ieal pilt!erns
and collocations. when they move on to
write their own sentences.
Writing original sentences
The obvious next step is for the students
to begin writing their own sentences.
While the question of what a good
original sentence might be involves. 10 it
degree. some subjective opinions. there
are useful guidelines that can help
students improve the ovcrall quality of
their vocabulilry notebook. 1 illways
have my studcnts ask themselves the
following three questions:
Am I really trying to communicate
something with this sentence?
Meaning is a kcy part of retention. and
the attempt to express real meanings in
originill sentences will help students
retain the word and sentence for future
use. As a guide. r tell them that they
should be able to use their original
sentcnce 10 launch a sm;lll conversation.
Aft er alL if they are writing the original
sentences with some image of who.
where. when. why and how. there will
usually be more meaning behind them
than what they actually encapsulate in a
single sentence. Using real meaning as a
stilrting point is also one way of guiding
students in the selection of useful words.
If they are unable to think of something
to communicate with the word chosen.
the chances arc that they have not
sc!ected a p;trticularly useful word.
Are there clues to the meaning
of the word given in the original
sentence?
White it may not always be possible 10
write sentences that would make good
doze questions in a test . it is possible to
note unhelpful sentences sueh as:
My father was angry yesterday.
Encouragc the silldents to write instead:
My father was angry with me for coming
home late yesterday.
Not only is the mcaning of allgry clearer
in the second example. which should
help facilitate retention. it is also more
The attempt to
express real meanings
in original sentences
will help students
retain the word
and sentence for
future use
lexically complex. including the
prepositionjor followed by iI verb in the
il1g form. This rel at ive complexity
probably better replicates the demands
of real-world usage. [t is importll11t to
note that the students' ilbility to produce
accuratc original sentences such as these
without direct teacher help will be, to a
considerable degree. dependent on the
examples in which they have previously
encountered lhc word. This brings us to
the final. critical. question.
Does the original sentence use
grammatical patterns and
collocations from the copied
example sentence(s)?
If one of the goals of having students
wri te original sentences in a vocabulary
notcbook is vocabulary learning
independence. then the efTective analysis
and usc of copied example sentences
will be critical. Looking up the word
jurious in the Longll/all AClire Sllldy
Dieliollar)" one finds the following
sentcnces (among others):
She was furious with me.
I'm absolutely furious that nothing has
been done.
When students read these sentences.
they should note:
• Furious collocates with absollllefy.
• You can be furious willi sOll/eone.
• The reilson for being furious Cim be
givcn with 111m followed by a
grammatically complete clause. with
both a subject and a verb.
They now have enough information to
write a wide variety of aceurate
sentences. It is important to note that
thc eXilmple sentences they find and
copy will, to iI large degree. form thc
parameters of the ones they can attempt
to writc for themselves, at least with
some confidence in ilccuracy. For
examplc. if students wanted to write that
somebody was furious about something
using only an object. they would need
the following example sentence:
He was furious at the court's decision.
(Longman Active Study Dictionary)
In the absence of such an example
sentence, the students may ;I!tempt to
write the following:
My teacher was furious that the
cheating in the test.
In fac\. I have found that the expression
of mcanings not encapsulatcd in copied
example sentences is the most frequent
source of errors. In order to maintain a
modicum of student independence. a
teacher can encourage thc students to
limit their origin'll sentences to the
panerns and meaning provided in the
example scntence(s) they have found.
This has the downside of limiting them
in what they arc able to say. In efTcct.
the students will need to choose useful
example sentences rather than useful
words. The alternative is to train the
students in the efTective use of language
rcsources. primarily diction'lries. While a
more time-consuming endeavour. this has
the advantage of encouraging long-term
learner independence. A complete
overview of whilt dictionaries hilvc to
ofTer is beyond the scope of this article.
but a good place to start is the
dictionary guide typically found at the
beginning of most learners' dictionaries.
***
The cfTcctive and accurate use of
vocabulary is a central component of
languilge competence. While a student's
active vocabulary typically only
constilUtes a fraction of their total
knowlcdge of vocabula ry. it is
important to encourage them to
continue to cxpand on the words they
arc 'Ible to usc efTective1y. A vocabuhny
notebook. with both copied example
sentences and Sllldcnt-written original
sentences. can be a structured means to
help students towards vocilbuhlry
learning independence. <D>
James Venema is
currenlly an ASSOCiate
Professor and teacher
coordinator at Nagoya
Women's University in
Japan. He is interested
in curriculum
development as well
as the development
of professional
communities of
teachers.
• _.etprof.sstonal.eom • ENGLISH TEACHING professional . Issue 70 September 2010' 13
READING
on
rea I n ~ !
Britt ..Jepsen sees
the benefits for increased
confidence and competence
of giving students authentic
texts.
T
eachcrs often avoid thc use of
authentic reading materiaL
Somc of thc rC<lsons thcy givc
for ncglccting or avoiding it
are as follows:
'There is silllply //01 enough lillie illihe
week. / hare Ihe exam syllabus to gel
Ihrollgh. .
'The ,j'II/(/ellls prefer /() keep 10 Ihe
coursebook: Ifle)' like 10 kllow howfllr
Ihey //(/re progrt'ssed.·
'/1 is (/ijJiCIIII alld I(lkes lime lojilld
.l"lIi/(/bl1' lexts lIlId matl'rials.·
In this articlc I intcnd to prcscnt somc
of thc benefits of reading authentic
materi al. wi th the focus particularly on
cxtcnsive reading l i S an idelll resource
for English teaching.
Curriculum
I tCilCh in Denm<lrk. whcrc the overall
aim whcn it comes to gClling students
to read in English is to give thcm Ihe
opportunity to produce language (oral
<lnd wrillcn). b<lscd on what thcy have
rC<ld. The Communicativc Appro<lch to
languagc teaching has had a major
impact on teaching in Danish schools.
Its fivc major c1cmcnts are each
represented in the curriculum:
• linguistic competcnce;
• pragmatic competence:
• discourse competence:
• strategic competcnce:
• nuency.
Reading is involved in working towards
<Ill these clements and emphasis is
placed from the early st ages of English
instruction on the abili ty 10 understand
short. simple texts on relevant and
meaningful topics. with the support of
audio and visu<ll media.
Goals
In the light of the demands of the
curriculum and insights into how
successful rcaders intcntct with tcxts. a
set of gencntllearning goals for thc
rcading component of ;1Il English
language course could include:
• the ability to read a rangc of texts in
English:
• the ability to adapt a reading style
according to purposc and apply
different strategies (eg skimming.
scanning) as appropriate:
• the acquisi tion of knowledge about
languagc (cg vocabulary. structurc)
which will faeilit<lte dcvelopment of
greater reading ability:
• thc building of schematic knowledgc in
order to intcrpret texts meaningfully:
• the development of awareness of the
structure of written texts in English,
,l11d the "bility to make usc of such
things as discourse features and
cohesive devices in comprehcnding
tcxts:
• the ability to take a critical stance
with regard to thc contcnt of texts.
(Adapted from Hedge, T Teaching al/d
Learnillg ill Ihe Lallgllilge CI(I.¥srOOIll
our 20(3)
Levels
Naturally. for students at lower lcvcls it
is morc difficult to find suitable
authentic texts. though I do believe that
it is possible. Recipes from cookbooks
for chi ldren. poems. letters. invitations.
postcards. cartoons. simple short
storics, etc, will all yicld useful reading
pfllctice - and. more import,Hltly, the
students find original materials much
more interesting! Young lcarncrs arc
usually easy to motivate and they enjoy
most of the materials ;\lld tasks
presented in class. since the English
language is still new to them.
With higher-level studcnts who have
better l;tnguagc competence. it is
important to focus on motivation.
rcading purposes and thc valuc of
extcnsive reading. To find or create valid
reading purposes for texts presented in
class might be the key to motivating the
14 • Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGLISH TEACHING pro/essiol/ol . _.etprofe •• lanal.eam •
students to read texts which would not
normally interest them. These purposes
can be contrived to create interest. And
where there is some freedom of choice.
interest will be a key criterion in
sclecting texts for learncrs.
Purposes
The list compiled by Wilga Rivers and
Mary Temperlcy of purposes for reading
is 11 uscful tool for tCllchers to use as 1I
framework for text selection. They
should be able to find authentic material
to match each of these purposes:
• to get information:
• to respond to curiosi ty about a topic:
• to follow instructions:
• for pleasure and cnjoymcnt;
• to keep in touch:
• to know what is happening in thc
world:
• to find out whcn and where.
If reasons for readi ng are missing from
textbook tasks, one of the most useful
things teachers can do for thei r learners
is to create purposes which will motivate
thcm to rcad.
Extensive reading
il1/f'I1Sil'(' reading activities in the
classroom arc intcnded to train studcnt s
in the strategies nccded for successful
reading. The pedagogic;!l value
attributed to es/el1sire reading. howe\"er.
is based on the assumption that
exposing learners to large quantities of
material will. in the long rUIl. produce a
bencficial effect. Furthermore. extensi \'e
reading can be a highly productive step
towards autonomous learning and
gre1llly increases a student's exposure to
English - which is relevant where class
contact time is limited.
If we are persuaded by Stephen
Kr1lshen's view that learners need to be
exposed to large amounts of
comprehcnsible input which is
meaningful. relevant lind interesting, in
a stress-free environment. then clearly
individual extensive reading outside
class timc has value.
The opportunities that extensive
reading affords learners of all ages ,l11d
levels of language proficiency makes it a
useful resourec:
• Leilfners can build their liUlguage
competence.
• They can progress in their reading
ability.
• They can become more independent
in their studies.
• They can acquire cultural knowledge.
• They can develop confidence and
motivation to carryon learning.
Reading syndicates
An example of a useful procedure to
support extensivc reading is the reading
syndicate_ in which members of a group
read different books lllld then share
their experiences. The outcome is often
a peer conference in which studcnts can
take on the roles of lIsking questions as
well as answering them. and this tallies
with the aim of giving students an
opportunity to produce language based
on what they have read. Reading
syndicates combine the 1l10tiv1llion
engendered by the fact that the students
may hm'e chosen the books themselves.
genuinc classroom interaction among
chiwging groups of learners, lind
potential student recommendation of
books to their classmates.
***
In summary_ the reading of authcntic
English texts with students of English
as a foreign language has several
benefits. Indeed. it is possible to
construct a tcaching programmc bascd
mllinly on 1luthentic texts which offers
purposeful engagement with reading
and is likely to prove motivating. In
addition. it will build the learners'
competence and confidence to carryon
reading in English outside the
classroom - not as part of the course.
but for fun! G2i>
Rivers, W and Temperley, M A Practical
Guide to the Teaching of English as a
Second or Foreign Language OUP 1976
Krashen. S D Principles and Practice in
Second Language Acquisition Pergamon
1962
Britt Jepsen has been
involved in teaching
English for eight years.
She also teaches PE
and Spanish at
secondary teveL She is
currenUy working at a
primary schoot in
Skuldelev, Denmark.
"
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• __ etprof.ss ional.eom • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. Issue 70 September 2010 · 15
RESOURCES
Chris Payne confesses
the error of his ways.
C
orpl/.). delicti is defined by the
Oxford English Die/ionar)' as
·the facts and circumstances
constituting a crime'. The
crime commilled in this case was my
own - of not incorporating corpus-
informed language into my cl asses.
What is a corpus?
A corpus is a carefull y laid out collection
of real examples of spokcn and wrillcn
languagc stored on a computcr. Because
the language found in a corpus has
actually been used, it consists of
dcscriptivc rather than prcscriptivc
language. Thc information that corpora
cont ain is typically prcsentcd in the
form of word frt:qucney lists and
concordilllCCS. Concordances displilY thc
key word in context in example sentences.
Corpora arc used to crcate and
inform multifarious teaching resources.
Thcse includc: dictionaries. rcferencc
grammars. grammar practicc ltctivities.
exam practice tests and an array of
matcrials for tcaching vocabulary and
lcxiclll scts. collocations. phmsal vcrbs
and idioms. Some courscbook writcrs
also usc corpora by consulting word
frequency lists.
Why should we use
corpora?
Authenticity
CorpoTll arc II vlllullblc rcsourec of
iluthcntic I,Ul guage for allteltchers.
Although we tend to trust our intuitions
about gTllmmar and vocabulary. corpus
cvidcncc shows that thcse intuitions arc
somet imes flawed , and that words we
think of as common are aClllally
infrequent. Teachers can consult a
corpus or a corpus-informed dictionary
in order to asccrtilin which words are
used most frequent ly and 10 keep
abrcast of languagc change.
Wc hllve been laking lluthentic
material int o our classrooms for many
years. in the form of books. newspapers.
magazines. leaflcts. ctc. Today, many of
us use whll! is argullbly the world·s
biggest corpus. the internet and its
search engines. to find topical or
engaging tcxts for our learncrs.
Frequency
Thanks to corpora, we now have more
information than ever before about the
difTerences between spoken and written
English. A corpus allows us to observe
important variat ions in the frequency of
many words and structufCs betwccn
thcse two wlIys of communicliting.
Context
As wcll as informing us about the
frequency with which grammar and
lexis occur. corpora c,m give us an
insight into thc preferred context in
which words occur - somc words, such
as ("(II/S(' , might be used mainly in a
negative context. This is sometimes
referred to as sell/tlll/ic prosot/)'.
Collocation
Corpora also show us the most common
collocatcs and colli gations of words.
The box on page 17 shows the first fcw
concordance lines for the word crime
from a spoken corpus of British
English. It is immediatcly clear that the
collocation crime prel"l:ntioll is a
frequent one.
Prioritisation
Corpus cvidence is extrcmely useful for
teaching vocabulary. Vocllbulary
learning crCiltes an enormous memory
load for our students, and it becomes an
Augean task unlcss we havc a sound
organising principlc. The Collills Cobllild
Corpus shows that a core vocabulary of
2.500 words accounts for about 80
perccnt of the words in spokcn and
written texts. With the help of a corpus.
we can identify these words and teach
them as a priority to elementary levcls.
Recycling
Words need 10 be revisited sevcmltimes
and in difTercnt contexts to increase the
chllnce of them being truly acquired.
1& • Issue 70 September 2010' ENGLISH TEACHING pro/essiol/ol . _.etprofe •• lanal.eam •
To your discussion on erm possible Nazi war crime trials coming up. Yes. My
Coming up fairly soon of course is the National crime preyentjon Week and I think we ought as
Sentences. Let's have sentences which fit the crime. Because there are murders and murders aren't
But the theft element you know this rising in crime in breaking into shops Yeah. Erm
er for example has been working to prevent crime or if your group leader at school in the
Bangkok. The crackdown on switchblade crime in Glasgow. Who' ll win and who' lilose
Just want stay in t he game? When petty crime I just want to come back I want to come
Mm If they'd promised to reduce crime Mm and they don't deli ver
Which are a large reason for the rise in crime in the first place Okay. So you have
and hospitable and generous. Is crime quite serious there and what about the drugs
private sector people er either crime prevention which there are quite a few
I mean how much do they know about the kind of crime prevent jon work
Only a significant role and I think sort of crime prevent jon as a
Of agencies which can have an influence on crime prevention as possible erm largely
Re likely to have any impact on the instance of crime the fear of crime that you can to then
Of were having to go back what is crime prevention. It is particularl y
Stephen Krashen recommends extensive
reading as an aid to vocabulary
acquisition <lnd retention. This is
undoubtedly good advice. but the use of
<I concord<lnce C<lll be even more effective
because learners are prescnted with a
word in multiple contexts which can be
read in very lillie time. It would take
even the most omnivorous reader far
longer to encoulller as many examples
<lnd contexts with extensive re<lding.
Communication
[f we aim and claim to teach
communicatively, as most of us do these
d<lYs. then our Ie<l rners ought to be
exposed to I<lngu<lge that i s used in real
communication outside the cl assroom.
We can liken Icarning a language to
lellrning 10 drive_ Sooner or bier. a
le<lTller driver will need to leave the
relative safety of the local industrial
estate and drive in real traffic. Likewi se.
our learners will be in a beller position
to cope, when the need for
communication arises outside the
classroom. i f we can offer them a diet of
actually-used l anguage in our !essons.
We cannot always rely on <I coursebook
to give them the naillral-sounding
English they need. When the onus is on
the teacher to supply more authentic
languagc, a corpus can be a useful tool .
Simplification
It is naillralto simpli fy l anguage. After
all, we simplify our English when we arc
speaking to children and non-native
speakers of English outside the
cI<lssroom. It should be axiom<ltic that
some language needs to be adapted and
redesi gned for the specific purpose of
learning EngliSh. Clearly, learncrs can
benefit considerably from hHlgu<lge
content concocted specifically for
tCilching. Also, in the unpredictable
environment of Ihe classroom, we often
have to think on our feet and usc our
own ·bespoke' examples of langullge.
Our learners will be
in a better position to
cope outside the
classroom, if we can
offer them a diet of
actually-used language
in our lessons
Howevcr, dcspitc there being
justification for a certain amount of
simplified content, we should rencct on
how much of i t we use. [t i s not
desimble to expose learners to lin exccss
of contrived contcnt. Studcnts who
encounter simplified language too often
could end up learni ng English that is
not just simplified. but simply restricted
or, cven worse, distorted.
I f our teaching situation permits us
10 usc some corpus-informed content,
this will cnsure that what our studcnts
l earn is truly represenlilt ive of the target
language.
What can we learn from
a corpus?
Corpus cvidence can further our own
and our students' language llWareness.
Of course, some data will confirm what
we already know, such as the fact that
question tags (islI't il? arell'tthey? etc)
are almost exclusively found in spoken
English. But most corpus fi ndings will
enable us 10 make more informed
choiccs about what grammar and Icxis
to prioritisc and teach. lind when to
teach it.
Let us look at some examples of
frequcncy and semantic information we
can obtain about a word. Space allows
me to cite just a few examples. but some
of the following findings may be of
interest.
Frequency information
• The fUlUre continuous is]oo times
more frequcnt thanthc futurc perfect.
• The zcro conditional is the most
frequcntly occurring pattern out of
the diffcrent types of conditionals.
• Scvcn prepositions arc in the top 20
most frequent words. Here they arc in
order of frequency: 10. of. ill,jor, Oil ,
Wilh lind (If. .. ....
• __ .tprof ••• lonal.com • ENGLISH TEACHING professiol/al . Issue 70 September 2010 • 17
Corpus
delicti D
............ • Of the top 50 words. 49 arc grammar
words, ic prepositions.
pronouns, conjunctions. modal and
auxiliary verbs.
• Chunks containing a word may
account for many of ils occurrences.
Thi s is tfue of halld, where over half
of all its occurrences are with chunks.
011 'he 0I111'( hand being by far the
most common.
Semanti c information
• Sixty percent of the usc of like is
prepositional and mealls '\0 resemble
something' , cg &111"1'1'111944 (II/d 1946.
Ila!J' was like 1I Third Wor"/ cOlllllry.
• Less than half Ihe uses of ill refer to
place or lime. but are found in
advcrhiuls and fixed phrases like li/fiICl.
• The word see is much morc common
in spoken corpora with Ihe meaning
'understand' (cg I see or I see what
)"011111/:(111) than it is with Ihc me,ming
'pcrceive with the eyes'.
• MIiSf is first taught for referring to
obligation. Corpora confirm for us
th,1I its function for expressing
speculation or deduction. as in YOII
11111.1'1 be flllilgry. is al so a very frequent
grammar pattcrn. Thc perfect form
mllS( h(lre bel'li is extremely common
in spoken English. Perhaps its place
in syllabuses should be reassessed.
• In >l mixed eorpliS of American
Engli sh. wo1i1d is the 46th most
frcquent word. Dave Willis claims
that. in spite of conventional EFL
wisdom. wOllld denoting 'used to' is
rcmarkably common.
How should we use a
corpus?
There are different kinds of corpora.
both largc and small, available for us to
consult. Among them are general
corpora of spokcn and written
American, British or other vitrieties of
English. T here are also specialised
corpora. including acadcmic and
business Engli sh. and teachcr. learner
and non-native-speaker corpora. As
teachers.. we should rcmcmber that
native-speaker corpora tell us a lot about
the way native speakers use language,
but nothing about the way languages
are le(lrlll. Thus, it's a good idca to look
at a learner corpus.. which lets us sec the
problems might experience. Then
we can compare learner and nalive-
speaker corpora to see why errors occur.
We need to make judicious use of
corpora, which entails criticall y
interpreting corpus findings Hnd
selecting language wisely for teaching.
This is important because wc want 10
avoid having to modify or alter corpus
information, for this would defeat the
object of choosing it as aUlhenlic
material in the first place.
Native-speaker
corpora tell us a lot
about the way native
speakers use language,
but nothing about
the way languages
are learnt
elUtion is al so required when
consulting frequency information. T he
fact that a particular example of
language use is attested as frequent does
not automatically mean it is sui table for
teaching purposes. Some language
contained in corpora is inappropriate for
the classroom. irrespective of whcther
the classroom is LI or L2. Other
language is best taught for reception
only, a point raiscd by Pctcr Well s in
Issue 115 of ETp. when referring to sl ang.
Nor should we use frequency
evidence alone without considering
other criteria. such as the learnabilit y of
the languagc lind whcthcr it is relevant
to our le,lrners' needs and interests. The
words TIIl'sf/ay and Wednesday are
relatively low in frequency compared
with the other days of thc weck, but
they form part of the same lexical set
and we would not contemplate leaving
them off a beginners' syllubus. 1 pointed
out earlicr that see mcaning 'understand'
and 1I'0llld me,llling 'used to' are
common occurrences. Yet this does not
mean that these senses of the words
should be taught before or 10 the
exclusion of their othcr meanings.
18 . Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGUSH TEACHI NG professiollal • _.8tprofe&&lonal.com •
***
As a linguistic resource, corpora arc
especially useful for promoting noticing,
and thcre is a strong casc for using them
for language learning.
My crime was that I hud fuiled 10
muke use of the invaluable work carried
out by corpus linguists like John
Sinclair, Michael McCarthy and others.
We are doing our learners it disservice if
we do not exploit the significance of the
pattcrns of grammar and lexis revealcd
by modern corporu. Teaching of the
four skills can also benefit by looking at
how communication works in speech
and writing. A corpus ncedn't be
considered as an esoteric research tool
or ,IS the preserve of applied linguists.
By using one we can add another string
to our pedagogic bow.
Having first confessed. in the next
issue of ETp I would like to address the
use of corpora and will suggest some
practical activi tics.
There are many corpus-based resources
online. and some olthern are Iree.
You can download examples of non-native-
speaker talk for free from the Michigan
Corpus of Academic Spoken English. Other
useful corpora are The British National Corpus
and the Collins Cobuild Corpus.
Q'Keeffe, A, McCarthy, M and Carter, R
From Corpus to Classroom CUP 2007
Tomlinson, B MaterialS Development in
Language Teaching CUP 1998
Tribble, C and Jones, G Concordances in
the Classroom Athelstan Publications
1997
Willis, D The Lexical Syllabus Collins
1990
Chris Payne Is the
owner of Paddington
School of Engl'ch 3nd
has been teaching in
Spain since 1993. He
has published several
articles on ELT and Is
particularly interested in
a greater focus on lexis
in language learning.
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:
editor@etprofessional .com
IN THE CLASSROOM
Rose Hickman looks
beyond the limitations of
the assumptions.
I
n my articie in Issue 69, we saw
how being one gendcr or another
has an cffcct on our experience of
a class and how a tcachcr may
counteract gcndcr incqu'llity. I'd now
like to look at thc Engli sh language,
gender and sexuality in class in more
dctail.
Whose English?
We don't all use English in the same
way, nor do we all find that it mects our
necds whcn it comes to expressing our
experience of life, gcnder and sexu<llity,
This is one of the reasons why the
contcnt words of the languagc are
adaptcd lind lIddcd to so frcqucntly.
But intercstingly. although
sexualities that differ from the socially.
applied hctcro 'norm', and behaviours
that break the supposed gcnder rules.
arc becoming more acccptcd. thc
• •
..
• •
language to describe thcm respectfully is
slower to appear. Evcn something as
basic as Ms is still ridiculed in some
quartcrs .md hasn't managcd to rcplacc
Miss or Mrs. Steven Pinker maintains
that '(lflI'IliPIS 10 il1lmduce gellder
/wulrat words tikI' "hl'sll" [a pronoun
encompassing he and she] ... 1/(/1"1' jailed'
beclluse function words resist change. I
belicvc it is important 10 undcrstand
that it is not the words themselves that
resist change. but thc society they
function in .
And in the middle of this mincficld
of dcbatc about our hlllgmige and
cultures are our students. who come
from cultures and languages that have
their own debates. Teachers. thcrefore.
need to know'l little about the issues in
the language they teach and those in the
Ll and culture of their students. Their
students will. after:1ll. be trying to
ncgoti,lIe between what thcy know and
what they learn. in two languages/worlds.
Who are our students?
I work in Spain. where I often see girls
get irritated or give up whcn thcy are
pressured to be quiet by boys. lind boys
who don't like the i11l1lge thcy know
they're supposed to fit. I see those who
have same·sex parcnts and don't want
to talk about their families, just in case.
And those who identify as gay, lesbian or
transsexual. who stay suspiciously quict
at ccr\iLin moments in com'ers'lt ions.
We should not assume that everyone
in our class is heterosexual or wants 10
be identified as eithcr male or fenmlc .
recenlly saw a T·shirt produced by 11
group of studcnts at Barcelona
Univcrsity. [t said: 2 lesbians + 3 gays +
I /l"{lI/sse,\"IIat + 4 bisexuals + f 5 heleros
= III)' doss. Our slUdents certainly secm
to be well aware of who is in our classes!
What are we teaching?
Teachers ,Ire autom,lIic,l1Jy part of a
society that produces and reproduces
eulluml beliefs: we are pmt of the process
of transmillillg a message of equality or
stcrcotyping, We need to be aware of
our role in this. If we acccpt equality as
our preference, we need 10 realise that
doing nothing to combat inequality is
equiv'llent to being part of the causc.
One effect of not taking into
consideration who is actually in thc
classroom. and not rcgarding thcm as
individuals but as one homogeneous.
non·differentiated blob. is to 'Q1weducme
al/d orer promole' specific groups. ......
. _.etprof.sstonat.c:om • ENGLISH TEACHING professional . Issue 70 September 2010 · 19
Sex education
according to Alistair Man!, and research
suggests this will mostly benefit mules -
I'd .. dd hcteroscxualm<l1cs ill that.
AlIlcarncrs would surely benefit
from learning respect for everyone and
acquiring the social skills necessary to
work with others. I believe these skills
arc already being int roduced inlo the
curriculum in some schools in some
countries. We could also integrate this
imo our language classes in our given
contexts and cultures.
• •
• •
;z;>1l1'1.liill:ll·!) • -
What can we do?
Managing our classes

Being in tunc with our students' needs
doesn't only consist of being able to
identify such things as ' Paul is weak on
prepositions', but also -Paul doesn't
seem to work well in groups. [ wonder
why. and what I can do 10 make him
feel more comfortable'. Clt/ss
lIuII/agel/1I.'11i is an umbrella term for
many aspects of our job: we can include
within it organising our classes so that
no one feels left out or uncomfortable.
Doing it differently
We know that our learners are never
oilly learning a language, and some
teachers arc exploiting this in course
content. Feminist English courses have
existed in Japan since the 1980s.
including learners in the content while
addressing gender, as well as linking the
content to the use of English and
Japanese. This is a challenging idea,
bringing up problems we encounter
every day. Jacqueline Beebe asks,
'Should 11';' Il'aeh }ap(IIl('se sludnlls \1"ho
illiheir firSl klllguagl' II"0uld 1/.)'1' "SOI/" or
··slImll··. courll'sy litles which do 1101
distinguish bJI St'X or mar;{(I1 S{(lWs. 10
/(Ike lip a 111'11' sexisl praelicl' ill English
wllieh could dall/age Ihe imagl' of
Ihemsel\"es or Iheir compallY? Stlldems
nl'l't/lhe knoll'ledge fO tIl'oid il/od1"ertem
SI':";sl praelices SI/ch (IS (I(/ding (I IIfr 10
alllhl' names UII (/ COlllplIll'rised mailillg
lisl or addressing af! adlill 11'01111'11 as Jlfrs
Fml/ify N(//I/e.'
Including everybody
The problem of inequality in language is
even more subtle than usc of greetings
or personal pronouns. When speaking of
how we need background informution to
make sentences understandable. Steven
Pinker gives the following example:
WOIII(m. rm karillg )'011.
Mall: Who is he?
The way the missing background
information h"s been understood is that
it is a heterosexual situation. but by no
means everybody would assume this.
Shouldn't we also teach the neutral if to
cover all possibilities? Where I work.
Spanish speakers do not tend to know
that it can sometimes refer to a person.
It is not just gender roles thilt ,lTe
supportcd and promoted by popular
belief and the language we teach.
Deborah Cameron ilnd Don Kulick
cl;lim there is a 'port pltlyed by {ul/gllflge
(lm/Mngl/og!' Wie in sust(lining
heterOllOrmati1"e sociaf (Irf(lIIgellleIllS'.
Every day we use our L I to perform
and perpetuate stilndilrdised 'norms' in
society tlmt have no basis in reillity for
m,my people. and we teach thilt WlIY. too.
Some EL T books havc gone some
way to addressing gendcr role issues.
but they have yet to even begin to tackle
the sexuality issues. I would suggest that
just as girls are negatively affected by
stereotyping, so too are people of
certain sexual orientations, and they arc
losing out by being ignored in CI;IS!>. I
really think it's time to address both
gender and sexual it y issues in education.
ReconSidering learner needs
Thcre is always a need to be aware of
the culture in which we teach. and even
more so when approaching possibly
'taboo' issues, However. I belicve we
should not hide behind these difficulties
ilS an excuse for ignoring ilspeets of life
which rencct reality for some students.
Kinship patterns clln be different,
depending on where you teilch. but the
assumed two-parent. married.
heterosexual binllry system is not the
great majority that many would have us
believe. There are many different types
of family, so how will that affect how
we teach certain items of vocabulary.
likefillllify itself?
The way we teach languilge is oftcn
through majority kinship pallerns (my
cul t ure's case having one male and one
female parent). and we tend to ask
questions likc . Wltm are )"O/lr mother
olldftllher's Howevcr. not all
childrcn fit into this kinship pattern.
And what about children who are living
in state care? We could be perpetuilting
an unequal ilnd possibly uncomfortable
situation for more students than we
realise. Because of this.. I teach the
words lIIolher andfillher. but use
gllordiml in my questions. I also do not
aut omatically assume a child means
when they say 'my fill/It'rs' . and
tend to bring it up at the end of an
activity to cleilr up misunderstandings
without pUlling a specific student on
the spo!. It is not my wish to cause
difficult moments for individuals, but it
is important to include illl and promote
equal ity. We arc educators in general as
well as English teachers, after all
Learner needs include the necd to
know about the rules for social
discourse. appropriacy. etc. which is a
strong argument for including issues
around gender. sexuality lind kinship
when we te'leh. Ultimately. the learncrs
will be using the language in a society
wi th many different types of people.
Le,lrners need to know how to address
people in English correctly in modern
times.. and they need to feel included.
even when they recl difTerenl.
Knowing our stuff
Do we actually know if 1I word has
difTerent connotations in the students'
LI ? 1 once had a conversation with a
teacher lIbout homophobill lind hc said
he had not hcard any eXilmples in his
classes. He'd been working in the
country for seven years, but it turned
20 . Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGLISH TEACHING professional . _ •• tprof ••• lonal.com •

,
oulthal he didn"t know Ihe offending
words in LI to look oul for. so how
could he possibly spot any problem?
We enter into dangerous territory.
Teachers arc also part of society and
have their own vielVs - but are we not at
least supposed \0 be irnp<lrtial? Th<ll
would mean making an effort to inform
ourselves. When we do nothing, a
message is still being given. As Adrienne
Rich expresses it. .... ill I('(/ching lI"e 111:(,(/
/0 be (ICuleI), COl1sl"iolls ... fO Ihal
language will 1101 be IIsed to ... keep
otliers silelll (/lid pQwerless',
A word can mean different things in
different cultures. so its connotations
and the actions wc take upon hearing it
used wiU be difTerClll. So if a child has
same-sex parents and wi thin their world
hears words like gay as posi tive. when
they hear the same words used
pejoratively in class without this being
challenged, it will be no surprise to see
that child stay si lent at times. as well as
other lamentllble reactions. Also, for
those students who have no (known)
contact with gayllesbi an people,
allowing the pejorative usc of the word
ENGLISH
T.EACHING

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in class could confirm their idea that
'gay = bad' is some kind of 'univcrsal
truth', Shouldn't teachers make an
effort to be aware of the possible
problems?
A little help from your
friends
If you decide to tackle these iSSlles. here
arc some ideas to gct you startcd,
• The most obvious place to begin is
with your teacher colleagues: don't
assume they have no views on the
subject. Keep each other informed of
what is going on in your classes,
discuss problems and share ideas.
• To ntise the issues in class.. you may
find the book Taboos (llId hSllc,\' by
Richard MacAndrew and Ron
Martinez a good source of lessons on
these themes.
• You can also find information on the
internet to provide topics (or lessons
or class discussions,
• If you think it will be too difficult to
address these issues wi th the whole
cl ass, start by putting thc studcnts
into small , citrefully-chosen groups
and give them some questions to
discuss. Hold an open.class feedback
session afterwards.. but sct a written
homework assignment for individuals.
Learners often say things in private
that they wouldn't say in public: let
them know their work will only be
read by you,
***
IT WORKS IN PRACTICE
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:
editof'@etprofessional.com
Writing for ET p
Would you like 10 write for ETp?
We are always interested in new writers
and fresh ideas, For guidelines and
advice, write to us or email:
editor@etprofessional .com
It just takes the desire to promote
equality and a little extnt effort, not
even a great (ield of pl anning, to milke a
ch,mge, Even simply adding the odd
question here and there that doesn't
assume everyone is the same, and
making it clear your C];ISS is il safe zone
where students know they can speak
openly and safely will help, Above all.
we should insist that everyonc is
represented in our institution's equal it y
and anti· bullying policies. <ill>
Beebe, J 'Sexist language and English as
a foreign language: A problem of
knowledge and choice' The Language
Teacher 22{5) JALT 1998
Cameron, 0 and Kulick, 0 The Language
and Sexuality Reader Rout ledge 2006
MacAndrew, R and Martinez, R Taboos
and Issues Thomson Heinle 2001
Mant, A Intelligent Leadership Allen &
Unwin 1997
Norton, Band Pavelenko, A 'Addressing
gender in the ESUEFL classroom' TESOL
Ouarterly 1996
Pinker, S The Language Instinct Penguin
1994
Rich, A On Ues, Secrets and Silence W
W Norton & Company 1995
Rose Hickman is a
DELTA qualified teacher
who has taught English
to children, teenagers
and aduhs for 15 years
in Barcelona, Spain, She
coordinates
and provides
guidance for new
leachers, Her personal
research interests
include gender in
education and the buill
environment.
00 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:
editor@etprofessional.com
Visit the ETp website!
The ET p website is packed with practical
lips, advice, resources, information and
selected articles, You can submit tips
or articles, renew your subscription
or simply browse the features,
_.etprofessional.com
• _.etprof.sstonal.eom • ENGLISH TEACHING professional . Issue 70 September 2010 ' 21
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( TEACHING YOUNG LEARNERS ;) *************
A primary reading project
Betka Pislar encourages good reading habits from the start.
A
s a primary school teacher
of English in Slovenia, and a
passionate reader myself. I
have always tried to pass on
my love of reading to my students and
motivate them to stan reading in English.
I find that the children I teach are
naturally interested in what is going on in
the school. They are open to new ideas
and willing to take part in any activities
offered to them. So I developed a
project to get them involved i n reading.
The plan
I set the following objectives:
* to encourage the students to
develop and expand their
vocabulary;
* to motivate them to read books in
English:
* to improve their reading skills;
* to help them to associate learning
and readi ng in English with having
fun;
* to increase t hei r creativity;
* to incorporate new activities in my
teaching.
To meet these objectives I decided to
encourage my pupils to read at least
three books in English.
The project
·················0 ·················
My project was targeted on three
classes of 20 nine year olds who were
in their first year of lear ning English. I
began with these questions:
* Who reod bedtime stories to you when
you were a little child?
* Do you remember me title of me first
book you read in Siovenian?
* What book are you reading now?
* Whot is your fovourite book?
I then showed them my favourite
nursery book when I was a child. These
questions proved to be a good start as
they aroused the students' interest and
made them discuss their reading habits
(this was done in their mother tongue).
The next step was to show t hem the
books I had chosen for them to read in
English. To avoid expense, I deliberately
chose books that were avai lable in the
school library. These were simplified
texts adapted from traditional
fairytales, such as Goldilocks and The
Three Bears, The Sleeping Beauty, The
Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Town Mouse
and me Country Mouse, etc. I brought
the books to class, put the students into
groups of four and gave each child in a
group a copy of the same book. First, I
asked them to look at the covers and
to read the titles. The students found
the books extremely attractive as they
were all fully illustrated, and they felt
reassured as they had very little text.
I then asked them to throw a dice
and to open their books on the
corresponding page. For example. in
one group a child threw the dice and
the number was five, so t hey all opened
the book Goldilocks and The Three Bears
on page five. After reading this page
they were asked to say what they had
read. I helped them by asking them
questions like:
* Who are the people in me story?
* What animals are mere?
* What does Goldilocks do?
* Where do bears go?
* What do bears eat?
The students answered the questions
and pointed to the people and things in
the book. I explained some new words
to them. However, some of the students
tri ed to guess the meaning of new
words with the help of the pictures.
When all four children in the group
had had a go at throwing the dice, the
groups swapped books and repeated
the activity with a new book.
Working in groups meant there was
plenty of discussion and exchanging of
ideas, which was fun for the children.
The activity also aroused their curiosity
- they were eager to read the entire
book and to learn what happened next.
I explained to them that they would
read the books at home.
At the end of the lesson I invi ted
t hem to visit the school library in the
next lesson.
·················0 ···· ········· ····
I planned the visit to the school library
beforehand with the librarian, asking her
to show the students the shelves with
books in English and to explain the
rules of the library. She did that at the
beginning of the lesson. The students
were allowed to borrow each of their
three books for one week. After the
presentation, the students were allowed
to browse the books for a few minutes,
which they enjoyed immensely. Then they
sat at the desks in the 'reading corner' of
the library. I had prepared a few amusing
vocabulary exercises for them to do
and they read their books and did
some of the exercises in pairs. These
exercises encouraged them to use and
recycle words they met in the books.
Afterwards they did some more
vocabulary exercises which involved
looking up new words in a simplified
Engiish- Siovenian dictionary. Then we
looked at the other dictionaries in the
library, giving the students an idea of
t he dictionaries that were available in
there.
Back in the classroom, I explained
what I would like them to do after they
had borrowed and read each of the
three books. ... .....
• _.etprofe •• lonal.(:om . ENGUSH TEACHI NG professiol/al • issue 70 September 2010' 23
( TEACHING YOUNG LEARNERS )) *************
A primary reading project
·· ··· ··· ·· ·······0 .. ··· ··· ··· ··· ···
My after-reading activities were given to
the students on a worksheet which had
an obligatory part and an optional part.
They were asked to do these activities
at home or after lessons in the school
library. The instructions for the
obligatory activities were as follows:
Write the title of the book in English.
2 Find any new words in the
English-Slovenian dictionary.
3 Write what the story was about in (lve
to seven sentences.
The optional activities were meant to
encourage the students to be creative
and to give them the opportunity to do
things that they liked doing. I asked them
to do at least twO of the following:
I Write what you liked or didn't like
about the book.
2 Do on illustration with coloured pencils
or water colours.
J Write a new ending (or the book in
three to sentences.
4 Make 0 new cardboard cover (or the
book.
5 Rewrite one page a( the book in the
form of a cartoon story.
·················0 ·· ···············
I brought a large cardboard poster to
the next lesson and put it on the wall
next to the board. I then gave each
student a small, round piece of paper,
and asked them to write their name on
it, colour it and stick it on the poster. I
explained that it represented the centre
of a flower and that they would get a
petal for each worksheet they finished to
add to their flower on the poster. After
bringing me all three worksheets, their
flower would be complete. That would
mean all their tasks had been done.
·· ······ ······· ··0 ·················
At the beginning of the following lesson,
those students who had read one of the
books at home and done a worksheet,
brought their worksheets to school. I
checked them and gave them each a
paper petal. which they stuck on their
flower on the poster. They could write
the title of the book they had finished on
the petal if they wished. Then I asked
them a few comprehension questions
about what they had read. The students
were very keen to complete their flowers
as quickly as possible. They became quite
competitive at the same time as they
read. Each lesson, we read together the
names of those who had already
completed their flowers on the poster.
Reading the books, doing the worksheets
and completing the flowers gave them a
strong sense of achievement. They went
to t he librar y very often, and when all
the books in the library were out, some
of thei r parents even went to libraries
in neighbouring towns to get the books
for their chi ldren.

In fewer than twO months. S3
children out of 60 had read all three
books. done the worksheets and
consequently completed their flowers
on the class poster. After talking to the
remaining seven chi ldren, I realised they
either had less support from their
families or they were not interested in
reading at all. I tried to persuade them
to start reading and I also prepared
some additional fun activities to
encourage them. In class we watched
some extracts from films which had
been made of the chosen stories. and
we dramatised some of them. We even
made cardboard puppets, and students
who had al ready read the books acted
out some scenes from them. I al so
introduced some new songs and
rhymes, which proved motivational.
······ ········· ··0 ·· ···· ··· ···· ·· ··
The final part of my project consisted
of a survey, which I carried out with the
students in all three classes. I wanted
to discover more about how they read
and learn. They were asked the
following questions:
* How often do you go to the library?
* Who usuolly helps you to read?
* Do you discuss the books you read
with your parents or schoolfriends?
*
The students involved in this reading
project nearly all discovered that
reading in English can be a lot of fun.
They started by reading simple English
texts, which as their Engl ish improves
will gradually become more advanced.
Peer competition was an important
factor: more active children encouraged
those with less mot ivation. They were
so busy competing that they didn't
realise how much they were reading! It
was noticeable that thei r vocabularies
expanded and that they went to the
library more often. Gradually. they
started borrowing books which were
not even on my list. They realised that
by reading more books they also learnt
more English.
Completing a flower on a class
poster and doing worksheets was also
an incentive, especially to those with
more creative skills. Some of them
produced really nice work, with
magnificent illustrations and beautiful
handwriting. All these activities gave
them a strong sense of achievement,
which resulted in increased self-
confidence and personal satisfaction. 4D>
Betka has taught
English to young
lear ne", secondary
school studento and
adults for 20
At present she t eaches
Engli sh and F""Ilch at
the :t:iri Primary School,
:t:iri, Slovenia. Her milin
eduutionill interest is
motivati ng pnfTl ary
school children to learn.
24 • Issue 70 September 2010' ENGUSH TEACHING professiollal. __ etprofe •• lonal.com'
( TEACHING YOUNG LEARNERS ) *************
Laura Loder Buchel integrates ' native-speaker' students
into the foreign language cl assroom.
A
s English becomes a
compulsory part of primary
education across central
Europe. the question is often
raised of what to do in English lessons
with children who speak the language
at home. At the moment, Engl ish is in
the process of bei ng introduced as a
compulsory subject in elementary
schools in eastern Switzerland. starting
in the second or third grades (children
of eight and nine). As this is a new
subject, some teachers have little or no
experience of teaching English or any
other foreign language. They often
wonder what to do with the stronger
learners in their English classroom.
These 'native' speakers may leave them
feeling a little uncertain as they find
their footing in t his new subiect.
The purpose of this article is to
provide concrete practical ideas for
allowing native-English-speaking children
to benefit and develop their own
language skills while working with the
whole class as well as while working
independently.
Knowledge
As with every subject taught in schools,
children come to cl ass with varying
levels of prior knowledge. Moreover,
there are often children who know
more than their teacher about a specific
topic. According to the census of 2000,
approximately I % of the Swiss
population is 'native' English speaking,
and English is defi ned as the most
important non-official language of the
countr y. There are no official statistics
about the number of 'native' EngliSh
speakers in Swiss schools but, from my
experience in in-service and pre-service
teacher trai ning courses, there may be
anywhere from one to three ' native'
English-speaking children per group of
20 children. In addition, for various
reasons, many children starting t hird
grade come to school with a higher
level of English t han might be expected.
' Native' here refers to learners who
are more advanced because they have
received and conti nue to receive more
extensive exposure to the language.
These may be children who speak
English to one or both of their parents,
who are themselves nat ive English
speakers; those whose parents
communicate in English although
neither parent is a native speaker; and
those who have spent time in an
English-speaking country and may have
gone to school there. That said, the
following suggestions about integrating
native speakers can be used to cater to
the needs of any more advanced
learners. Moreover, this article does
not seek to imply that native-speaking
children are always st ronger in all their
language skills than their peers in
English lessons - it is assumed that the
teacher has already diagnosed the class
and identified that a certain child,
whether a native speaker or not, needs
more encouragement.
Class benefits
When I ask them about their
experiences, teachers on training
courses invariably say, 'I often use the
native speoker os my helper though I know
that this isn't always good.' Teachers
should keep in mind that whi le being a
helper is a good lesson in diplomacy,
learners should nor be helping others
to the detriment of their own progress
in English. This is not fair. Therefore,
this use of the native speaker should be
limited to cases where it is clear that
the child can profit at least on a social
level, if not perhaps at a linguistic level.
However, there are ways to integrate
native speakers into the class so that
they make progress in the language as
well as benefiti ng the class as a whole.
Reading
Firstly, there are activities that these
children can work on independently
during a lesson but which, at the same
time. are for the benefit the class. For
example. they can be asked to select a
story or an article that is relevant to
the topiC being taught and to record
themselves retelling it or reading it
aloud. This recording can then be
transcribed and edited by the learner
or the teacher. The final version can be
used as a listening exercise for the rest
of the class or as a comparison
exercise for the other learners to
evaluate thei r own production.
Writing
Secondly, writing activi t ies can be used
for the benefit of the whole class, but
at the same time, the process provides
native-speaking children with valuable
writing experience. Teachers can have
these children write sentences using
t he target vocabulary that can then be
used with the rest of the class. They
can prepare memory cards wi th full
sentences for the others to use. They can
also be asked to write stories and poems
that can be shared with the whole class.
Culture
Thi rdly, the native learners' experience
of other count ries or with other
cultures can be integrated into the ........
• _.etprofe •• lonal.eom • ENGUSH TEACHI NG prOfessiol/al • issue 70 September 2010' 25
( TEACHING YOUNG LEARNERS ) *************
A fair deal for all
~ II- III- lessons. language awareness and
cultural activities can be used which give
the students the opportunity to share
songs, games, stories and traditions from
their own culture or those t hey have
experienced. It would be good to let
every child lead a game in the language
they speak at home. The role the
community can play in schools should
also not be forgonen. In SWitzertand,
parental involvement is being highly
encouraged at the moment. In some
communities. one might see, for
example. a South African father coming
once a week to the English class and
taking his child and a few more to
another room to read them stories.
Cooperation
Finally. native speakers can be used in
many ways in cooperative learning
contexts to their own benefit and to
the benefit of the class. When assigning
roles in groups, they can be the 'writer',
as they should be expected and
encouraged to write more, They can
also be the 'mediator', as this requi res
more for mal English and use of language
such as Yes, that's right However .... They
can be put in charge of materials so
that the other students have to come
up and ask for things, in a shop-like
sett ing. They can be made responsible
for ensuring the whole group speaks in
the target language, and they can be the
resource person with the dictionary.
Individual benefits
The above ideas fully integrate the
native speakers into the class for the
benefit of all. The following ideas are
more for the benefit of the individual,
though t he child still belongs to and can
wor k alongSide the class.
Differentiation
The first suggestion involves the
preparation of handouts. It is useful and
relatively simple to prepare at least two
versions of a handout. with less
language suppOrt (model sentences,
word banks, etc) on the ones for the
native speakers. In addition, handouts
can be created for the native speakers
which have more of a focus on spelling
and writing. With gapped texts. the
same text can be given to all the other
learners, but with more gaps for the
native speakers to complete, or with an
addi t ional section where they have to
do some extra writing or take the
activity or activity reflection one step
further. Extra worksheets from
language classrooms in English-speaking
countries (from www.obaeoch.com. for
example) can be kept in a special
binder and used as supplementary
materials for the 'native' students.
Organisation
Organisationally, it is a good idea to have
the native speakers sit where they are
not facing any language support on the
board or on the wall. This ensures they
don't have the information right at their
fingertips. Furthermore, the teacher
could have monolingual dictionaries for
the native students and bilingual ones
for the others.
Independence
Schools aim not only to teach content.
but also social ski ll s and skills for life.
The ideas listed above help to suppor t
language development as well as social
development. However. some children
may need more social development
than content development. others not.
Depending on the situation, it might be
useful for the native-speaking child to
develop their local language skills. so
teachers should be prepared to give
suPPOrt in the main language of the
school.
The following ideas might be used
for one Jesson a week for those learners
who can work more independently.
Working on a computer can help
native speakers set their own pace in
language learning activities. In addition,
computer work allows these chi ldren
to keep up with the typical language
development of thei r peers in English-
speaking countries. There are numerous
sites, such as www.discoverykids.com.
www.funbroin.com and www.pbskids.com.
which offer educationally relevant and
challenging materials for independent
work. Furthermore, letting children read
books of interest in English and getting
them to write reports can support their
skills in thei r mother tongue and in
their second language, too. Allowing
them to choose an independent project.
such as making a poster about a
country they have lived in, can hel p
promote cultural and linguistiC
knowledge and can lead to a product
that can be shared with the class.
Materials
While the normal textbook used with
the rest of the class can be followed.
choosing another textbook for
independent work can be a good idea.
Publishers. such as Teacher Created
Materials and Scholastic, offer a wide
range of textbooks for children in
English-speaking countries. If the parents
have enough money. they can be asked
to purchase an e-book of interest to
their child that can be printed out and
used in class. Teachers with native
speakers in their class should perhaps
take the time to find the language
curricul um from the country their child
is from. Helpful websites include:
www.doe.moss.edul(rameworks/elol
060 I.Pd( and www.ncpublicschools.org/
curriculumllonguogeortslscosl.
Teachers in many countries need to
have a repertoire of ideas for working
with native speakers in the foreign
language classroom. I hope this article
has sparked some creative ideas for
integration and differentiation, which
can benefit all the children. Every
language in the classroom should be
recognised and shared, and chi ldren of
all language backgrounds should be
provided with opportunities to improve
their mother-tongue competence
within and outside the classroom. <Ill>
Laura Lode. Buche'
studied Bilingual and
Multicultural Education
at Northecn Arhona
University in the USA
and has been an
instn"tor at the Zurich
and Schaffhausen
Universities ofTuche r
Education in Swiner'and
for t he past s ...... n years.
26 . Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGLISH TEACHING prof essional . __ .tprof ••• lonal.com •
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I
EAP
An all-round challenge 2
Louis Rogers teaches his students seminar skills.
I
n an academic setting it is often
important to consider several different
perspectives on a topic. These
perspectives will often come out of the
background reading thai the students are
expect ed to undertake before a seminar.
However, I find initially that many of the
students find it difficult to move beyond
their own perspective on a situation, even
if they have been presented with different
viewpoints in a reading text.
The first task presented here provides
students with language which they can
practise using in their seminar discussion.
Whilst it is arguable how authentic some
of Ihese expressions may be, I feellhey
do give student s a framework of language
to use. The second task encourages the
students to consider a wide range of
perspectives on a topic. It also
encourages them perhaps 10 modify their
opinions after hearing different arguments.
The third activity provides them with the
opportunity to reflect on their own
part icipation, in order to set personal
learning objectives for future seminars.
Task 1
D Give pairs or groups of students the
first set of expressions cards from
Worksheet 1 on page 29. Ask them to
divide the cards into the f ollowing
functions:
• Partly agree
• Disagree
• Agree
EI Give the pairs or groups of students
the second set of expressions cards from
Worksheet 1 and ask them to divide them
into these categories:
• Beginning a discussion
• Clarifying points
• Managing the discussion
• Closing the discussion
II Ask the students to work in small
groups. Get them to decide who in their
group is going to chair the discussion,
and give this person a set of the cards
used in Stage 2. Give each other person
in the group a set of the cards used in
Stage 1. Then ask them to discuss one of
the topics below (or any other topic you
feel would be of interest) using as many
of the phrases as possible. Award one
point per phrase used by each student.
Possible topics
• The only reason to learn a language is
if the language will help you gain a
good job.
• Parents, not teachers, are primarily
responsible for their child's education.
• The most effective way to support a
homeless person is to provide them
with money.
Task 2
D Give half the class (Group A) Seminar
topic A from Worksheet 2 on page 29
and the other half (Group B) Seminar
topic B. Ask the students to work in pairs
and to think of arguments for or against
their topics and to decide what sort of
people might hold these opinions (more
than one person may hold each opinion).
EI Put the Group A students into smaller
groups of four to six and ask them 10 take
part in a seminar on the topic they have
been preparing. Whilst the seminar is
happening, one student from Group B
should focus on one from Group A and
complete the table in Worksheet 3 below.
Then repeat the process with Ihe students
from Group A observing those from
Group B.
***
After your students have complet ed the
seminar activities above, or any other
seminar activity, encourage them to
reflect on their experience using
questions such as these:
Everyone
1 Are you satisfied with how you
participated in the discussion?
2 How do you think you could improve?
3 Did any person dominate or not take
part?
4 How could you help to include others
and stop some people dominating a
discussion?
The chair
• How well do you think the discussion
went?
• How do you think you could improve
as chair? Gil>
Louis Rogers Is a
course tutor on the
International Foundation
Programme at the
University of Reading,
UK. He has previously
worked in It aly, Germany
and Portugal , where he
taught General English,
Business English and
Academic English.
-4ID-
Worksheet 3 - Seminar observation
~
Student
Main arguments presented
Did they list en t o others' opinions? Yes D No 0 Did they modify their viewpoint? Yes D No D
Did they focus on winning the argument? Yes 0 No 0
28 . Issue 70 September 2010' ENGLI SH TEACHING professi onal . _ •• tprof ••• lonal.com •
Set of cards 1
Worksheet 1 - Language focus
. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - , - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ~ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - . - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - .
, ,
, I'm sorry but I don't You have a point there '
: Yes, you have a point there. , But surely... , agree that. , but.
L _______________________ J ________________________ , ________________________ L _______________________ J
, , , , ,
I'm afraid that 's not how
I see it.
I'm not sure I entirely
agree .
Maybe. but.
I can see what you mean
but.
, , , , ,
r - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - , - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ~ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - r - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ,
I completely agree that. As X said.
X put it well when
he/she said ...
That may be true,
but ...
,
. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ~ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ~ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - " - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - _ .
Set of cards 2
. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - , - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ~ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - . - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - .
, ,
I'm not quite sure I
OK, so let's begin. So 10 kick off .
: understand what you mean.
Let's start by ...
, , L _______________________ J _______________________ ~ ________________________ L _______________________ J
, , , , ,
, So what you are saying Could I just check what '
I didn't quite catch that. I don't quite follow you.
is.
X, do you have anything
to add to Y's point?
you mean by ... ?
Moving on ...
OK, X, would anyone else
li ke to comment?
, , ,
So, let's move on to the
next t opic.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - , - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ~ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - r - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
To sum up ... Shall we st op there? In conclusion ...
Is Ihere anything else
to cover?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ~ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ~ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - " - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
~
Worksheet 2 - Different r oles and perspectives
~
Seminar Work with a partner and think about the following topic:
topic A Tobacco should be made ill egal .
Who might have an opinion on this topic? What are arguments for and against?
Who might present this argument? Use your ideas to complete the table below.
What might be lin argument for this? What might be an argument against this? Who might have this opinion?
A lot of people would lose their jobs. Governments. employees of tobacco companies
Seminar Work with a partner and think about the following topic :
topic B Developing countries should not have to restrict C02 emi ssions in the same way as developed countries.
Who might have an opinion on this topic? What are arguments for and against?
Who might present this argument? Use your ideas to complete the table below.
What might be lin argument for this? What might be lin argument against this? Who might have Ihis opinion?
Restricting emissions for developing leaders of developing countries
countries may limit their development and
ultimately limit their standard of living.
• _ •• tprof ••• lonal.com • ENGLISH TEACHING professiol/al • Issue 70 September 2010 · 29
RESOURCES
T
he most nalUml way to learn a
language is to be plunged into
a situation where it is needed
for communication, but this
situation is difficult for students to find
in their horne country. We can't send all
our students abroad for experience.. but
wc ClIII try to bring thc world to thcm.
Tourists as resources
For years I havc run a conversation
class here in Ladllkh during the tourist
season. inviting visitors to the country
to join in. These cl asses are separllte
from my regul ar English lessons. giving
my students il chllnce ill conversation in
sma[[ groups. This is hugely popular
with thc students. and thc improvcment
to thcir spoken English is remllrkable.
If you teilch in an area with a lot of
backpackers. you may be able to recruit
them to help with such classes. By
backpackers. I mean trave[[ers with
ncxible schedulcs. J havc also made
fruitful connections with sevcntl foreign
st udent triwel groups. Triwe[[ers usua[[ y
appreciate the chance to interact with
locals outside thc tourism industry. and
many arc eager to volunteer.
Try putting up A4 posters in populilf
backpacker restaurants. J found that
whcn I askcd our local stalT to put these
up. I got fewer responses than when I
did it myself: they didn't have it sense 01
where the backpackers gravitate. We
want to trap as many of them as wc can.
in the nicest possible wa)'. of course!
Give a fixed time, rather than just 'Colf
Jor de/ails'. to get impulse visitors saying
. Hey. look. II'I's go Ihere this lIJlemoollf'
Havc them come a fcw minutes before
class so you Ciln greet and orient them.
Tips
For low- and intermediate· lcvcl
studcnts. mix thc groups up evcry fcw
minutes. It keeps the talk going, since
some students arc unable to maintain a
conversation for much longer. and a[[
the students then gct a chancc to repeat
the samc information while thcir recent
allernpt and any new words that have
come up are fresh in their minds.
To reducc confusion when rotating,
it helps to il rrange the smilll groups
around a large cirele.
Roam around the room, eoltecting
vocabulary for thc bOllrd and clarifying
where necessary. You Ciln announce iln
additional question once in a while. I
often diseover additional questions
when J overhe,tr groups straying into
interesting ilreils.
After five to 15 minutes (shorter for
int roductions. longcr for a juicier topic
Of when the noise Icvcl indicutcs that
something interesting is taking place),
ask the tourists to rotate clockwise. If
thc students need to be mixcd up too.
usk one from each group to stand up
ilnd rotilte anti-clockwise.
Tcn minutes before the cnd of the
class, calt everyone into a big circle ilnd
ask if anyone heard anything interesting,
Of anything that they didn't undcrstand.
I ilhernate between culling on st udcnt s
iUld tourists 10 ensure that my student s
speak. 100. and sometimes I write main
points or words on the board.
Some tourist voluntecrs talk too
much and over the students' heads.
Advise thcm ahead of time to tolerate
long pauses and to remember how hard
it is to formulate a sentence in a foreign
language that one doesn't know very
well. Another tactic with the intractably
loquacious is to iUlllounce that at the
end the visitors willtelt the whole class
what they learnt from thc students.
Topics
J find it is hclpful to sct a clear and limited
topic. More advanced students will digress
into more interesting topics. while the
lower-level students will be glad of the
structure. As I ha\"C enough tourists to run
a conversation class evcry day. narrow
topics altow us to recycle with variations
without getting bored: if your first topic
is somcthing large like Culture. you've
pretty wclt made any future cultural
topic into a boring repeat. Instead,
break it down into small SUbtopics.
Elementary
Low-level students appreciate having
ncw conversation partners so they can
repeat old topics for further practice.
Rotate quickly. every five minutes.
• Introductions. Add specific questions
or leave it open. You might remind
everyone to make sure they can
pronounce their partncrs' namcs
before they rotate :tway.
30 . Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGLISH TEACHING professional . __ etprofe •• tonal.com •
• Photos. If the students and/or
tourists have photos from home. I ask
them to bring them in. If the tourists
don't have photos. sometimes we find
a photo book about their country in
our library. Props give low-level
students;1ll encountging experience of
communicating. even if they can't
make full sentences.
• Maps. I give a map to each group and
then redistribute the maps aftcr ten
minutes. These might inelude local
maps that students have to explain. or
world maps for the tourists to show
where they arc from or wherc they arc
travelling.
Intermediate
Exchanging factual information works
best. I have found these topics among
the most successful early ones:
• Family. Topics might include: Who
lil"es ill YOllr hOIlSI'? Is 111(11 COlllmOIl ill
your cOIIII /ry? Were YOlir p(lrC/IIS (md
gralldpllrel1ls bom ill Ihe sallll' 101m?
IVh(/{ age do childrell 1I0rmally mOl"e
011/ of Iheir p(lrel1ls' hOllse? Is il
cOllsidered good if a SOli /ires wilh M)'
p(lrel1ls whell he is 10 year.\" old! My
region still has a fairly traditional
family structure. and my students arc
amazed by the mobility and creative
family structures of the West.
• Plants and animals. What 1'1(1111.1' (//ul
lIlIilllals does YOllr j(llllily I1m'e? My
students come from farmi ng fllmilies
and are surprised at what the foreigners
say to this. while the tourists appreciate
learning about local farming. This
topic uses the simple present tense.
• Education. Young people always
enjoy comparing education systems. I
do thi s topic early in the year. and
again later after teaching the past
tense. <Is king the students to m<lke
general statements in the present
tense, and describe their own personal
experience in the past tense. Start
with vocabul ary for the tourists as
well as your students. as terminology
varies widely between countries.
• Generations. Whal (Ire Ihe major
differellcl's be/lrel'lI YOllr grmu/pllfel1l.I··
Nres alld )"ollr OWI1? This topic also
focuses attention on past and present
tenscs.
• Chores. I use this topic when the
tourists are al so students. What chores
'/0 )"011 do in YOllr hOllse? Do boys alld
girls do '/iffi'r('1/l IhillgS? Who
c/e(/ns/cookshrasiJe.\" Ihe clolhe.)·. elc? I
like 10 add questions that I know
might surprise one side or the other,
such ;\s Who brings lIaler /0 ),Ollr
hOllse? Who sho\'els Ihe .I"IIOII"?
• Clothing. I usc this topic with visi ting
foreign student groups to sensitise
them to how they should dress so as
not 10 offend the locals.
• Poverty. Arl' Iherl' poor people ill )"ollr
CO/llllrr? Who? Why? After five
minutes for factual exchange. I
announce two addition,. I questions:
Doe.\" allyolle help poor people? Ha re
YOII I'rer dOlle all)'/hillg 10 hl'lp someolle
poorer Ihall YOllrsdf!
• Gender. This topic always generates a
lively (and generally noisy) discussion.
Are Ihae cerwill jobs Illtl/ I.-ameli
sholildl/'l or ("(1/1'1 do? This topic
emphasises modal auxiliaries.
Advanced
When students are able to communicate
more. you can use more abstract topics
and opinion questions. Let your
imilgination Oy!
Topics to avoid
• Food tends to flop. with each side
reciting a litany of food names to
blank-faced partners.
• Avoid lilly thing that might be
embarrilssing or offensive to your
local students. My female students
;lTe shy about dating and sex. and in
some countries. political topics are
better avoided.
• Avoid religion for intermedi;lIe students
- they have trouble expressing abstract
concepts and answering the IVhy
questions, and it's frustrating to garble
one's dceply-held personal beliefs.
• Contrived topics and games are less
intrinsically motivating than discussing
one's own life. world and opinions.
Tourists as tutors
Tourists with good-cnough English can
be used ;IS small-group tutors. For
example. you can have them work on a
partieu[;1T pronunci;lIion point for the
first five or ten minutes. but be sensitive
10 your particular tourists and don't
make non-native speakers teach points
that they themselves have difficulty with.
Words or tongue twisters on the board
give everyone a clcar task to work on.
To turn the tables and raise my students'
confidence. sometimes I have them teach
the touristS;\ tricky pronunciation point
from the local langllage.
***
For the learners. this conversation class
is like going ilbroad for an hour a dilY.
hilving to use Engli sh for reat
communication. It is a great favourite
with my studcnts. and wi th the tourists,
too. cD
Rebecca Norman has
been teaching English
to rural students in an
alternative education
programme in Ladakh
in the Indian Himalayas
lor 18 years.
il.
• _.etprof.ssionat.c:om • ENGLISH TEACHING professional . Issue 70 September 2010 ' 31
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Over
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wall
• • •
Alan Maley considers
ability and disability.
I
n this article I shall be looking at two
novels, t wo aut obiographies and one
non· fiction manual, all dealing with
disabling conditions. II may seem
unusual to introduce this set 01 books on
various forms of disability. Perhaps that is
symptomatic of an era when we are al l so
much more aware of disability and more
positively engaged with it. However, I hope
it may also prompt us to become more
aware of our own and ot hers' disabling
conditions, with beneficial effects on the
way we deal with them, and make us
more conscious of the way disabilit y in
one area may be compensated by
exceptional gifts in others.
The Story of My Life
The case of Helen Keller is perhaps the
best-document ed of all accounts of
disability. The edition I am reading of The
Story of My Life includes a section of
letters and a supplementary account of
her life and achievements, so it goes well
beyond the relatively short basic t ext (only
about 110 pages long). As is well-known,
at 19 months, Helen Keller lost both her
sight and her hearing in a childhood
illness. At the outset, 'Gradually I got
used to the silence and darkness that
surrounded me and forgot that it had ever
been different, until she came - my
teacher - who was to set my spirit free.'
Essentially, the book is an account of the
remarkable education she received at the
hands of her tutor and companion, Anne
Sullivan. Apart from the inspiring story of
how she overcame her disabi lities,
acqui ring not just one but several
languages and becoming a leading public
f igure in the life of her age, there are
strikingly radical observations about the
condition of being disabled: ' ... the way
to help the blind or any other defective
class is to understand, correct, remove
the incapacities and inequalities of our
entire civilisation ... Technically we know
how to prevent blindness ... but socially
we do not know how. Socially we are still
ignorant. 'The book is also notable lor its
lyrical passages, which celebrate her
appreciation of the natural world largely
through her other senses of touch and
smell, which were clearly hyper-sensitive,
This is an era when
we are all so much
more aware of disability
and more positively
engaged with it
probably to compensate for her loss of
sight and hearing. The book remains a
remarkable account of one person's
triumph over physical adversity.
Deaf Sentence
In Deaf Sentence, David Lodge dissects
with his customary humour and intelligent
observation t he life and woes of retired
Professor of Linguist ics, Desmond Bates.
As he observes, 'Deafness is comic, as
blindness is tragic'. The early part of the
book, especially, contains some highly
comic observat ions on the fate of
becoming deaf and its consequences for
social int ercourse: 'What would be the
equivalent of a guide dog for the deaf? A
parrot on your shoulder squawking into
your ear?' And there is a good deal of
witty wordplay with well-known literary
quotations. However, as the novel moves
on, the emphasis shifts away from the
predicament of deafness to a more
general concern with how to cope wit h
an ageing father, and with the plight of
being reti red. The disabling effects of
advancing deafness are what gets the
novel off t he ground and are thought-
provoking for anyone who suspects their
auditory acuit y may be duller than it once
was, but t he issue of how we cope wi th
life when we are effect ively useless is
more sobering still.
34 • Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGLISH TEACHING professional . _ .• tprof ••• lonal.com •
The Diving Bell and the
Butterfly
Imagine that you are unable t o move
your limbs, or to talk, or, indeed, to
communicate at all with those around you,
while maintaining full consciousness. This
is 'locked-in syndrome' and is the fate that
befell Jean-Dominique Bauby following a
massive stroke at the age of 44. The
former editor-In-chief of Ella was confined
to his bed and wheelchair at the Naval
Hospital in Berck-sur-Mer, totally cut off
from communication with those around
him but with his mind racing - re-living his
past, outraged by his present conditi on,
humorously philosophical, aware of how
pathetic and repellent he has become:
'What kind of person will those who only
know me now think J was?'
So how do we know this? He was
able to open and close one eyelid and,
with the patient help of his specialised
nurse, managed painstakingly to send
messages t o her by indicating which
letter of the alphabet he needed to make
up the words of the book he wrote. The
result is The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,
translated from French by Jeremy
Leggatt, a terrifying account of his
condition and a testament to his courage.
It also raises the uncomfortable question
of how many patients who appear t o be
in a deep coma are, in f act, conscious of
what is going on around them, but
powerless to communicate. There is a
film of the same title which is, if anything,
even more t errifying than the book.
The Curious Incident
of the Dog in the
Night-time
Christopher, the protagonist and first-
person narrator of Mark Haddon's novel
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the
Night-time, suffers from a form of autism.
He has problems with social interaction
and becomes uncontrollable when he
panics, often acting violently, as when he is
touched by a policeman early in the st ory,
or groaning in an alarming way. He cannot
bear to be touched, hates crowds and
does not look at people when he speaks
to them. He has total recall of whatever
he sees and has a head full of detailed
information, most of which he cannot use
to make sense of new situati ons: '/ know
all the countries of the world and their
capital cities and every prime number up
to 7,507.' In fact, if he encounters a new
situation, like buying a train ticket or
finding his way to the station, he has to
work everything out from first principles. In
order to exert some control over his life, he
has developed routines and rituals, which
he cannot bear to have disturbed. He is
obsessed by numbers and by total
accuracy: '/ am 15 years, three months and
two days,' he replies when asked his age.
But he has brilliant visualisation skills and
can solve quadratic equations and other
mathematical problems in his head-
something he often does to calm himself
down. The story of the difficult relations
with his estranged parents and the effects
of his unusual behaviour on those he
These books remind
us of how diffi cult it
is to empathise,
rather than merely
to sympathise ..... - . . . ~
meets is told by him in a manner both
h i g h ~ comic and with a bitter edge. Finally,
he succeeds in getting an 'A' in A-level
maths ... but what sort of future awaits
him in a wood he st ill does not understand
and which offers him little tolerance?
Thinking in Pictures
Thinking in Pictures. which is Temple
Grandin's insider's view of autism, largely
COlTOborates the symptoms of the ffctional
Christopher. Hers is part autobiography
and part detailed information about
autism. She became, in spite of her
condition, or perhaps because of it, a
highly-successful animal scient ist. The
book is both an inspiration and a valuable
source of information on the condition.
The Gift of Dyslexia
Autism is widely regarded as sharing many
of the symptoms of dyslexia, Ronald
Davis' book The Gift of Dyslexia is of
interest partly because it also gives an
insider's view of dyslexia and partly for the
diagnostic and treatment tools it offers.
The description offered of dyslexia makes
the powerful point that, besides its
negative consequences, it is a positive gift,
and Davis cites the cases of many highly
gifted people who were also dyslexic.
Interestingly, some of these, such as
Einstein, are the same as those claimed
by Grandin to have been autistic. The
fundamental cause of dyslexia in relation
to reading and writing is disorientation,
leading to panic and to the building of
compulsive solutions such as mnemonics
(like the Alphabet Song) or heavy
concentration, which do nothing to resolve
the essent ial problem. Davis describes
dyslexia and it s results, then moves to
the unusual but, according to his claims,
effective ways of diagnosing and treating
it by teaching the dyslexic to turn the
disorientation on and off at will. These
practical procedures are described in great
detail, and would only be comprehensible
in the context of a real dyslexic undergoing
treatment. The main messages for me
from this unusual book were that dyslexia
is not all negative and that it is treatable
given the right conditions,
***
If nothing else, these books remind us of
how difficult it is to empathise, rather than
merely to sympathise, wi th conditions we
do not fully understand. ~
Bauby, J-D The Diving Bell and the
Butterfly Harper Perennial 2008
Davis A 0 The Gift of Dyslexia Souvenir
Press 2010
Grandin, T Thinking in Pictures - And
Other Reports from my Life with Autism
Bloomsbury 2006
Haddon, M The Curious Incident of the
Dog in the Night-time Jonathan Cape
2003
Keller. H The Story of My Life (Ed Berger,
J) The Modern Library 2004
Lodge, D Deaf Sentence Penguin 2008
Alan Maley has worked in
the area 01 ELT for over
40 years In Yugoslavia,
Ghana, Italy, France,
China, India, the UK,
Singapore and Thailand.
Since 2003 he has been
a lreelance writer and
consultant. He has
published over 30 books
and numerous artictes,
and was, until recently,
Series Editor of the
Oxford ReS<lurce Books
for Teachers.
yelamooOyahoo,co.uk
Visit the
ETp website!
The ET p websit e is packed with practical
tips, advice, resources, informatIon and
selected articles. You can submit tips
or articles, renew your subscription
or simply browse the features.
www.etprofessional_com
• _.etprofe •• lanal.eam • ENGLISH TEACHING professional . Issue 70 September 2010' 35
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IN THE CLASSROOM
Learning
disability
Lesley Lanir considers disabilities in reading.
T
ammy, II yellTs old, reads
slowly and awkwardly. She's
been leMning English for three
years.. yet every word sti ll
remains an effort and her reading is full
of errors. Somctimes she confuses the
order of the lellers or misses words or
jumps lines on the page. Trapped at the
levcl of decoding, she can't seem to
make headway.
In the same class.. Guy enjoyed
rhyming games, learnt the alphabet
fairly easily and seems to have reached
the stllge of reading without any
decoding errors, yet he just doesn't
understand short passages even though
he g e t ~ full marks in vocabul ary quizzes.
Quite the reverse, Ann<l <lnd Tony
are reading quietly. simultaneously
decoding thc text and comprehending
thc writcr's messllge. Their classmates
Tammy and Guy. however, demonstrate
difficulties at each of these stages and
are examples of studcnts whose primary
learning disability is reading.
What are reading
disabilities?
Reading difficulties arc commonly
referred to as dyslexia - dys means
'difficulty with' <lnd I('.\"ia , 'words' or
'language'. Ori ginally. dyslexia was
known as 'word blindness' because it
seemed that only a problem with sight
and visu<ll memory could explain why
some people confused letters. swapped
them around. turned them upside down
or reversed them.
Interestingly. sight problems <Ire not
at the root of this reading disorder.
which affects nearly 20 percent of the
population; ncither are sp<.'t'Ch or hearing
impairments, lack of intelligencc or
poverty. Decades of research h:we
cstllblishcd th;lt dyslexill is caused by
specific ncurobiological dysfunctions in
the language areas of the brain, causing
phonological limitations. These
malfunctions prevent dyslexics from
perceiving and remembering speech-
based information accurately and
manifest themselves in poor sensitivity to:
• rhyme:
• syllable divisions:
• distinct language sounds.
Reduced awareness of spoken.word
sound structure also means that dyslexics
cannot identify. segment. locate or
manipulllte;1 word's individual speech
sounds. known as phonemes, since for
thcm the distinct bordcrs betwccn each
phoneme seems blurry.
For inst:Ulce, the word ilia/! is made
up of three distinct phonemes Im/. I<el
and In/.
A person who has dyslexia would
find it diflicult to say:
• another word that rhymes with mall:
• how many syllables 11/(111 has:
• how many sounds it is made up of:
• its individual sounds.
In addition to weak phonological
awarencss. a dyslexic would have
problems:
• taki ng the first sound away. eg Iml
from 11/(11/, and replacing it with
;mother sound to create <I different
word. eg Iplto make pall. or removing
the last sound./n/, and replacing it
with Itl to form II/m:
• manipulating the three sounds /;el.
Iml and Inlto form a new word. such
as l1alll:
• locating and idcntifying the middle
sound of the word: Ire!.
Although thcse are simplc examples.
these essential phonemic ski ll s arc
needed in order 10 appreciate how the
individual sounds of words are
reprcsentcd by letters th,l\ arc scqucnced
in a specific order. This is known as
understanding 'the alphabetic principle'
or 'cr,lcking thc codc' and is ncedcd in
order to take the first step in the
reading process.
Duc to their phonological dcficits,
learning the alphabetic principle and
thus remembering which specific speech
sounds correspond to which letters and
letter combinations is more than a
ch:lllcngc for dyslexics. As Sally
Shaywitz points out. after proficient
readcrs have seen a letter and
articulated the sound it represents a few
times, an exact neural representation of
its form and sound becomes imprintcd
in the occipito temporal automatic
reading system. situated at the back of
thc brain. Subscqucntly,just seeing the
lettcr in print Hctivates immediatc
retrieval of all its relevant information.
Dyslexics. however. are unable to
supply perfect imprints 10 this automatic
stomge place because the language
inform,l\ion they receive through their
dysfunctional phonological system
becomes distorted or dcgraded and lost
in the ncural system. Instead. brain
imaging studies conclusivcly point to
the fact that dyslcxics overuse the slower
decoding systems at the left frontal arca
of the bfllin - Il roca's arC:1 - :Uld
compenS<1tory systems on the right side
of the brain. but ullderuse their
automatic reading system sited in thc
left hemisphere at the back of thc brain.
As Shaywitz puts it, it is almost as
though there arc no connections
between these systems. 11>- .....
• _ •• tprof ••• ional.com • ENGUSH TEACHING professiollal . l S$ue 70 September 2010 . 37
Learning
disability !I
pra·llontal cortex
(word analysis!
articulation)
Broca's alea
I.ft
si de
Wernicke's
area (word
analysis)
occipito temporal
automatic
reading system
(word lorm)
occipital lobes
right
side
These neurological dysfunctions
result in:
• difficulty learning and remembering
lel\crs and their corresponding sounds:
• decoding errors:
• slow ,lI1d p;linful reading;
• poor spelling;
• slow or erroneous word retrieval.
Also known to accompany poor reading
skill s are:
• memory problems:
• slow information processing;
• handwriting difficulties;
• trouble with coordination (confusion
betwccn directions.. misunderstanding
temporal adverbs);
• poor org;Ulis<llioll and sequencing
skills (messy bag. untidy desk.
difficul ty learning 1he order of the
alphabet, days of the week, etc).
How can we help?
In order to learn to read. students with
dyslexia need to do the following:
1 Underst;\1ld that words arc made up
of different sounds/phonemes.
2 Master decoding by:
• !earning the alphabetic principle -
associating sounds with written
symbols:
• blending thc sounds into syllables
and words;
• becoming ski lled at decoding words
and reading groups of words.
3 Re(."(:ive word structure instruction.
4 Improve their fluency and read with
speed, accuracy and expression.
5 Develop reading comprehension skills
by:
• building up vocabulary;
• recognising language structure and
syntax;
• internalising eomprehcnsion
strategies.
(Adapted from Suzanne Carreker)
This fifth point wil! be discussed in
depth in my next article.
D Understanding that words
are made up of different
sounds
Developing phonological and phoneme
awareness is paramount. Decades of
studies conclude that phonological
proccssing deficits are the primary cause
of reilding disabilities and also
emphasise that phoneme awareness is
an essential factor in the process of
learning 10 read. Teachers necd to draw
attention to language sounds by
inserting ten minutes of phonologic,. I
practice at the beginning of lessons.
Fi rstly. dcvcloping sensitivity to rhyme,
then moving on to teaching syllables.
Once students have mastered these
exercises. working on distinguishing
individual language sounds has to be
tackled. This is the hardest phonological
task but it is crucial in order to move to
the next stage of learning 10 read.
Working on rhymes:
• Have the students practise identifying
if words or names follow a rhyming
pattern or not.
• Make picture cards. for example bal.
lUll. ClIl.lIIlI/I, bl'{l. and ask the
students to group those cards that
rhyme <lnd those that don'\.
• Ask the st udents 10 produce their own
words that rhyme and don't rhyme.
Working on syll abl es:
• Clap or tap out the number of
syllables in words.
• Say one syl];lble of a word ilnd ilsk
the students to finish it. eg /a - ble,
jill - ger. etc.
• Get the students to identify how
many syllables there arc in the words
you say.
Working on phonemes:
• For phoneme identification. say a
sound. for example lsi. and display
sevcnl l pictures. asking the studcnts
to point to the pictures which begin
with this sound. or h,we three sounds.
or end with this sound. etc.
• For phoneme location. say Imlthen
mall. Have the students say where the
sound Iml appears: at the beginning.
end or not at all.
• Te<lch phoneme deletion by showing ..
picture (eg !/Ilw) and asking the
studcnts to say /I1all without thc Iml
(fm).
• Pract ise phonemc substitution by
saying 111(111 and asking the students to
repeat the word. Then ask them to
rcplace the sound Iml with It! and say
the new word ({(III). After substituting
beginning sounds. move on to end
sounds: for example. replace the Inl
with 111 (/11m).
D Mastering decoding
In order for dyslcxics to master the
alphabetic principle and begin the
reading proccss. the remcdial
progTilmme hilS to be:
• Multisensory. using a mixture of
seeing, hcaring. speaking. writing,
moving ;tnd touching.
• Based on phonics. teaching letterl
sound (grapheme to phoneme) and
also soundl1ettcr (phoncme to
grapheme) 'ISSoci;lIions. using Ihe
most common soundl1etter
correspondcnces first.
• Structured; it h'ls to be 10gic;11.
systematic and progressive.
• Incremcntal and cumulative; learning
has to be gradual and must build
upon preceding knowledge. For
example. first introduce high-
frequency consonants with one
predictable sound (such as b. 1/1, I and
ti). one ,It a time. After a few
consonants have been acquired. the
short vowel sounds of the leiters i
and a can be addcd. Words and non-
words can be created by showing the
students how to blend sounds
together and create one-syllable
words. for example, III-a·d. b·a-d,
d-a·d. Then progress to small
sentences: Mad b(ld b(ll bi/ dad.
• Repetitivc: thcrc has to be plcnty of
over· learning to create and strengthen
strong neural pathways.
The remedial method developed by
Kathlecn Hickey or the Orton·
Gillinghillll programme developed by
Anna Gillingham and Bessie Stillman
both use these systems and can be
adapted to teach foreign languagc
learners.
38 • Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGUSH TEACHING professional . _.etprofe •• lonal .com •
EI Giving inst ruction on word
structure
Once a fcw sounds and symbols llfC
<lcquired and C'1ll be blended togethcr,
morphological instruction should be
gradually introduccd. Word structure
knowledgc boosts feuding nucncy,
increascs the studcnts' knowlcdge of
word meanings and aids spelling and
vocubulary acquisition. Both Shaywitz
and Currekcr <lssert that dcveloping the
students' word analysis ,md syllabication
skills and encouraging thcm to focus
upon roOls and affixes so as to perceive
langu<lgc as chunks rathcr than
individual sounds and letters prevents
memory overload.
Teach:
• thc six kinds of syll<lbles
1
;
• the five syll<lbication rUles
2
;
• word roots:
• common prcfixes and suffixes:
• innections which create nouns, verbs,
adjectives, etc.
Kinds of syllabtes
1 Closed - consonant(s) follow(s) a
short vowel (eg man, and)
2 Open - one long vowel is at the end
(eg she. he)
3 VoweVconsonanVsilent 'e' -
consonant is between a long vowel
and a silent e (eg make, fIVe)
4 Double vowel- two vowels combine
to make one sound (ag meal, lam
5 Consonant + Ie (eg lable, puzzle)
6 R combination - vowel combined
with r (eg art. lenn)
2 Syllabication !"\Jles
1 Two consonants between two vowels:
divkle the syllables between the
consonants. eg probllem. finlgar
2 More than two consonants together:
divide keeping the blends together,
eg hun/drerJ, mon/ster
3 One consonant between two vowels:
divide after the fi rst vowel, eg pillot,
hulman
4 If previOUS !"\Jle doesn't create a word,
divide after the consonant , eg doz/en,
so/lid
5 Divide vowels, eg po/em, dUet
[n addition. start working on automatic
recognition and reading of the most
common irregul ar and regular words. eg
Ihl.', 01/1.', of 100, hm'l', dol'S, was, Il,erI',
and so on.
II Improving fluency
Our overall goal in reading is to
understand thc writcr's intended
message. Fluency turns decoding into
comprchcnsion. For the normal reader,
at least four correct readings are
necessary for automatic word recognition
to takc placc. Foreign languagc learners
with reading disabilities not only have to
rely on distorted neurological pereeption
and slower ncural pathways but also on
arc<ls of the bTllin (hitt <I re not designcd
for word storage or retrieval. Therefore,
in order to create any kind of accurate
mental impression, these Icarners need
massive e,xposure to thc printed word
both orally and visually.
To facilitate reading nuency.
teachers and students have to go
th rough many scssions of modelling
and repeating word lists, sentences and
then short passages to improve accuracy
and increuse word speed retrieval.
Modelling illld fcedb<lck are essential
in helping students pronounce words
properly and build more accurate neural
modcls: troublc articulating words
indicatcs that exact ncum! represcntations
have not been formed ilnd that further
repetitions have to take place.
As rcading accuracy and rate
improvcs through rcpe.llcd rC<lding to
over 100 words a minute, comprehcnsion
will improve because fewer mental
rcsourees arc invested in decoding.
Remedial teaching
A SO-minute beginners' remedial reading
lesson plan may consist of the following:
1 phonemic exereises:
2 sequencing tasks - naming and
ordering thc alphubet using woodcn
or plastic lellers;
3 phonics instruction:
• reviewing lettcrs/sounds already
le<lTllt;
• introducing a new letter/sound or
reviewing sounds still not being
ret rievcd automatically;
4 devcloping fluency:
• repeated reading of lists of words
formcd from all thc leiters already
learnt;
• repeated reading of short scntences
constructed from the above words;
• repeated reading of frequcnt
vocllbulary (words that Clln be
decoded but havc to be learnt before
their letters/letter combinations arc
introduced, eg Itl' and sight words
that cannot be decoded);
5 spelling practice:
• sound dictation (the teacher
produces a sound, the student has
to writc the ICllcr);
• word dictation;
• sentcnce dictation;
6 introducing morphologic<l! instruction.
***
This artiele has explained why reading
disabilities exist and given essential
guidclines as to what to include in a
remedial reading progmnlme. Space does
not allow for more delililed instructions,
but a plcthora of reading materials and
intcrnet sitcs arc available for further
guidancc. Somc of my favourites arc
listed below. The next article in this series
moves on from decoding and nucncy to
the next stage of reading instruction:
dcveloping reading comprehension. (l1;>
Books
Augur, J and Briggs. S (Eds) The Hickey
Multisensory Language Course Whurr
Publishers 1992
Birsh. J A (Ed) Multisensory Teaching of
Basic Language Skills Brookes Publishing
Company 1999
Carreker, S 'Teaching reading' In Birsh, J
R (Ed) Multisensory Teaching of Basic
Language Skills Brookes Publishing
Company 1999
Gillingham, A and Stillman, B W The
Gillingham Manual: Remedial training for
students with specific disability in
reading, spelling, and penmanship
Educators Publishing SelVice 1997
Hornsby, B and Shear, F Alpha to
Omega: The A-Z of Teaching Reading,
Writing and Spelling Heinemann 1989
Levine, M A Mind at a Time Simon &
Schuster 2002
Shaywilz, S Overcoming Dyslexia Knopf
2003
Websites
www.ortonacademy.org
www.dyslexiaaction.org.uk
www.ldonline.org
www.allkindsofminds.orgl
http://candohe/perpage.com
www.spellz:one.com
www.greatJeaps.com
www.edict.com.hk/lexiconindexl
frequencylists/words2000.htm
www.wordfrequency.info/
Lesley Lanlr is a
freelance writer, lecturer
and teacher trainer who
has been involved in
teaching English for over
15 years. She specialises
in learning disabilities
and foreign language
learning. She has a SA in
English and Education,
CTEFLAIRSA and an MA
Disabilities.
il.
• _.etprofe •• lonat.(:om • ENGUSH TEACHING professiollal • Issue 70 September 2010 ' 39
I
,
I
PREPARING TO TEACH
Grammar
•••
"ohn Potts reviews some of the components of teaching a new grammar item.
Language analysis:
four things to consider
D FORM
This refers to how a tense (or other grammar structure) is
constructed: eg present continuous = present simple of be
+ present participle. It also refers to irregular forms (eg past
simple, past participle), and the formation of questions and
negati ves.
D MEANING
This is concerned with deeper concepts of aspect, etc,
rather than simply surface messages. For example, I think
he's being silly == this is temporary behaviour, specific to a
particular occasion, and may not be typical of him.
D PRONUNCIATION
The basics are sounds, stress and intonation. A more
complex analysis of pronunciation includes features such
as elision, weak forms, assimilation, et c.
II WORD ORDER/ SYNTAX/PATTERN
This looks at a tense or other grammar structure as part of
a longer utterance (eg a clause or sentence). Things to
consider include the position of adverbs, dependent
prepositions and complement patterns (eg whether it is
followed by an infinitive or a gerund).
Language awareness:
four things to consider
D FUNCTION
This relates to what the speaker/ writer seeks to do with
the language, what message they want to send; for
example: apologising, narrating. making a suggestion,
Situations and contexts
Grammar structures need a context for them to make
communicative sense; otherwise they remain just that -
grammar structures. Here are some approaches:
1 Reading texts can provide the context - and you may not
need more than one example in the text, provided that its
meaning and function are very clear from the context.
2 Listening - especially anecdotes told by the teacher: these
can be amusing or dramatic, and allow the learners to stop
and question the teacher as the anecdote unfolds. Songs can
also be a good vehicle, and may appeal to younger learners.
3 Situation and/or dialogue building: a classic approach but still
very useful. The teacher builds the situation/dialogue with the
learners (perhaps using visuals and/or realia, too) and then
elicits/provides the target language as the ' punch line'.
4 Advertising slogans and other short authentic texts (eg
instructions on packaging, etc) - you can teach the imperative
using the instructions on a box of pasta!
Telling, illustrating, guiding or discovering?
The approaches outlined above all involve elements of
illustrating the language. The teacher tries to guide the learners
towards the meaning and function of the new language, so that
they can discover these for themselves rather than simply being
told what it means. These approaches may take more classroom
time, and certainly require the learners to focus and work harder
at construct ing the meaning (with the teacher's help).
Telling is quicker - but the learners need to do very little
mental work and, as a result , little may finally stick.
L1 and L2
givi ng advice. etc. 1 Mistakes (of form, meaning, pronunciation or syntax) may
EJ WRITTEN, SPOKEN OR BOTH often be due to L 1 interference. For example, a typical
Many grammar structures are equall y at home in both mistake made by speakers of many European languages is to
spoken and written language, but some are usually spoken use the present pertect where the past simple is needed -
(eg How about going for a pizza?) , whereas others are and this can be traced back to their mother tongue.
usually written (eg Should you need further information . . ). 2 Conversely, learners may overuse a form such as the present
D APPROPRIACY continuous, simply because they don't have that form in their
In addition, some structures may be inappropriate in some
own language.
contexts (eg you WOUldn't (normally) tell your boss that she 3 And learners may confuse t wo similar-looking structures in
had better be careful about what she says). English; for example: I used to get up early and I'm used to
II USEFULNESS getting up early.
Some structures may simply not be very useful in most 4 On the other hand, sometimes a form and its meaning may be
everyday contexts. For example, how important is it to very close or even identical to the learners' L 1, and so they
,
I'-_____ d_' _' _o_t, __ ' _" _' _' _t_im_' __ to __ t' _'_'_h_i_" __ "_'_'_' _'_'_O_d_O __ 'h_'_' _._ .. _' ______________ ' _' _' _b_' __ ' _o_m_
p
_'_'_' _d_· ________ c:::::::::::::::::::::::::::C!1
40 . Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGUSH TEACHING professiollal . _.etprofe •• lonal.com'
I
PREPARING TO TEACH ••• Grammar
The old and the new
When your learners are no longer beginners, they have a basic
repertoire of grammar structures and thei r concept s. You can
build on what they already know, using it as a platform for new
grammar structures. For example, you can establish a
situation/context in the present, and review and consolidate the
present continuous. Then you simply switch the time zone from
now 10 yesterday/last week and el icit the past continuous to
replace the present continuous.
This approach works very well with many other forms - past
perfect, future continuous and future continuous, was going to,
wish constructions, perfect modals, passive lense forms, etc.
Clarifying and checking
II's important to clarify and check the meaning and funct ion of the
new language, for example by asking a set of concept questions.
These should be prepared in advance - they're very hard to think up
on the spot! They should be kept few, short and simple - with equalty
brief answers. For example: Our teacher used to have long hair.
1 Did he have long hair in the past? /yes.)
2 And does he have long hair now? (No.)
3 So something has changed? /yes.)
4 Do we know when? (No.)
There are other ways of clarifying and checking - using Total Physical
Response, visuals or Cuisenaire rods, for example. Combined with a
clear context , and in tandem wit h a guided-discovery approach,
concept clarification and checking help the learners to feel
confident about their grasp of the meaning of new language.
COMPETITION RESULTS
Drilling and practising
Learners also need 10 feel conf ident about the form and
pronunciation of the new language. Dril ls and controlled-practice
activities (both oral and written) help to achieve this, especially
at lower levels. They needn' t be boring - both can be lively, fun
and communicative.
Using and personal ising
In the end, learners have 10 produce language from their own
resources and not only in control led-practice exercises. A step
towards this production is the persona/ising of language so that
it takes on individual meaning for each learner. The example with
used to above illustrates this for me - when I was 17, I had
extremely long hair (almost 10 my waistl). But my learners
probably didn't, so they need their own personal example(s):
I used to have dyed hair/be very shy/like Walt Disney (etc).
Finally, they'll need opportunities to use the language in fluency
activities, such as problem-solving tasks, discussions, roleplays,
etc.
n
John Potts is a teacher and teacher trainer based in
Zurich, Switzerland. He has written and co-written
several adult coursebooks, and is a CELTA assessor.
He is also a presenter lor Cambridge ESOL
Examinati ons.
~
..,.'
~
I
JohnpollsOswissonllne.ch
I
Congratulations to all those
readers who successfully
completed our P r i ~ e
Crossword 40. The winner;,
who will each r e c e i ~ e a copy
of the Macmillan English
Dictionary for Advanced
Learners, are:
Wolfgang Alkewitz,
iserlohn, Germany
Georgeta Bradatan,
Bridgend, UK
Alison Hyde,
Wolverhampton, UK
Elisabeth Jendraszczak.
Vend6me, France
,23456189,0",2,3 Laura Neuhoff, iserlohn,
Germany
J U N K S A a TI C 0 W H
,. ,$ ,6 ,1 ,8 ~ ro 2, ~ ~ M n ~
R X MEL 0 B Z Y P G F V
George Orwell
Emeline Parizez, Paris,
France
Patricia Rufenacht.
Bottenwi l, Switzerland
Stella Tatchum, Paris, France
Veronique Valieres,
51 Sauveur, France
Roy Wilson. London, UK
• _.etprof.SSional.eom • ENGLISH TEACHING professional . Issue 70 September 2010 ' 41
r ) r 1 r ) 1/
/f ----.SJ J /
CEMS, TITBITS, PUZZLES, FOIBLES, QUIRIeS, BITS" PIECES
QUOTATIONS, SNIPPETS, ODDS" ENDS:
,--------------.. WHATVOU WILL
Legal eagle
D In 2009, Daniel Noble was arrested for two separate hit
and run incidents. He was extremely aggressive when he
was arrested. In court, his lawyer claimed it was a psychotic
episode caused by an overconsumption - of what?
a) Herbal tea and milk cJ Orange and guava juice
b) Milk shakes and smoolhies dJ Coffee and energy drinks
II A massacre at a McDonald's restaurant in San Ysidro,
California, in 1984 resulted in the deaths of 22 people,
including the gunman. His widow sued McDonald's lor
contributing to his actions. Which food additive did she
claim was partially responsible?
a) Sodium chloride
b) Red food colouring
cJ Monosodium glutamate
d) Antioxidants
II Which peoples used to resolve legal disputes with a
head-butting contest?
aJ Zulus
b) Inuits
cJ Blackfoot Indians
d) MongolS
a 't is commonly believed that representations of Justice
(a robed woman with a blindfold over her eyes, holding a
set of scales in one hand and a sword in the other) are
based on a number of classical deities, although not on
anyone in particular, Which of the following is not one of
those on which she is believed to be based?
a) Fides
b) Astraea
c) Themis
dj Justitia
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' ,9OIJ9181) SltonqJelS, 9lH SI41 peulV\I 'IIlPIIW ION PI
Ll9MSU'9'
Courtroom quotes
'Are yOl! married?'
' No, I'm divorced,'
' And what did your husband
do before you divorced him?'
' A lot of things I didn't know
about. '
***
'Mrs Jones, is your appearance
this morning pursuant to a
deposition notice which I sent
to your attorney?'
' No, This is how I dress when I
go to wor1<.'
***
' Now, you have investigated
other murders, have you not,
where there was a victim?'
***
'Doctor, did you say he was
shot in the wOOds?'
'No, I said he was shot in the
lumbar region, '
***
' Could you see him from
where you were standing?'
' / could see his head.'
'And where was his head?'
'Just above his shoulders.'
***
'What happened then?'
'He said, "I have to kill you
because you can identify me."'
'Did he kill you?'
' No.'
***
'Are you Sexually active?'
' No, I just lie there, '
***
'Are you qualified to give a
urine sample?'
'Yes, I have been since early
childhood. '
***
' Doctor, how many autopsies
have you performed on dead
people?'
'All my autopsies are
performed on dead people,'
***
' Do you recall the time that
you examined Ihe body?'
'The autopsy started around
8.30 pm.'
'And Mr Dennington was dead
at the time?'
'No, he was sitting on the
lable wondering why I was
dOing an autopsy on him.'
***
'Do you have any suggestions
as to what prevented this from
being a murder trial instead of
an attempted murder trial?'
' The victim lived. '
' You were there until the time
yOl! left, is that true?'
***
'Can you describe the
individual ?'
' He was about medium
height and had a beard, '
' Was this a male or a female?'
***
' How many times have you
committed suicide?'
***
' Were you present when your
picture was taken?'
42 . Is_ 70 September 2010 • ENG .
USHTEACHINGprojios.fIOl/af . _ .... _,.... ,
. .- Dna ,com .
Silence in court!
It is often said that if banisters allowed the jury to draw their own
conclusions instead of trying to discredit witnesses through close
quest ioning, they might win more of their cases. Here are two examples.
A witness was testifying in
court in a case that involved
one man biting off the ear of
another man during a fight.
Atter giving testimony which
was very bad for the
defendant, the witness was
cross-examined by the
defence barrister:
Barrister. You said thai you saw
the defendant and the plaintiff in
a fight?
Witness: Yes.
Barrister: You then said that
you were concerned for your
salety and that , because of this
concern, you sought shelter
elsewhere?
Wit ness: Yes.
Barrister: You further staled
that during this time of seeking
shelter, you turned your back on
the fight ?
Witness: Yes.
Banister. And then you testified
that that was when the
defendant bit off the plaintiff 's
,a"
Witness: Yes.
Barrister. Well, that makes for
an interesting question. then! If
your back was turned to the
fight, then you obviously must
have had the plaintiff and the
defendant out of your field of
vision. Is that correct?
Witness: Yes.
Barrister. Well then. did you see
tile defendant bile off the
plaintiff's ear?
Witness: No.
Barrister. (smugly) Then how do
you 'know' that tile defendant
bit off the ear of the plaintiff if
you did not see him do it?
Witness: I saw him spit il out.
(Dead silence)
Banister. Ah ... no more
questions.
A man who had crashed his car at a
roundabout was accused of reckless
driving. The driver maintained that he
had been driving within the 30-miles-per-
hour speed limit and that faulty brakes
had caused the accident. The only
witness was a woman who had been
walki ng along t he road at the time. When
questioned by the prosecution, she
testified that the driver had approached
the roundabout at about 60 miles an hour
and had then lost control and crashed.
The defence barrister, seei ng that the
woman was over 80 years old and wore
t hick-lensed glasses, moved in for the
kill, smirking all the time at the jury:
Barrister: May I ask how old you are?
Witness: I am 85.
Barrister: Eighty-five, I see ... Now you
testified that tile defendant approached
the roundabout at ' about 60 miles per
hour'. Is that correct?
Witness: That is correct.
Barrister. I see. And I notice that you wear
glasses.
Witness: That is correct.
Banister. Were you wearing your glasses
at the time of the accident.
Witness: No, I wasn't.
Barrister: I see. Well, then how could you
possibly tell what speed the driver was
doing? Could you, in fact, even see the car?
Witness: Well, young man. I certainly
could see the car as these are reading
glasses and there is nothing wrong with
my distance vision. As to how I could tell
what speed the driver was doing, befOfll I
retired I worked as an airline test pilot. One
of the skills I learnt in that job was the
ability to judge speed and distance.
Barrister. (weakly) Yes, but that was
planes ...
Witness: Precisely. That is why I testified
that he was doing ' about 60 miles per
hour' . I actually judged it to be 63 miles
per hour, but I made an allowance for tile
fact that it was a car ralher than a plane.
The driver lost his case.
Legal
language
How good are you at Latin legal
language? What does each of
these t erms mean?
a A aver et tenar
a) to make or break
b) to have and to hold
c) to own or convey
d) to relinquish or abandon
IJ Ab BCtis
a) in conteJct
b) in relation to the prOCeedings
c) in action
d) in title
II Ab agendo
a) unable to act
b) unable to inspect
c) unable to listen
d) unable to convict
D Abamlta
a) defendant
b) victim
c) great-great-great-aunt
d) imposter
II Abamare
a) to take away by force
bJ to escape detection
c) to uncover and disclose a
secret crime
d) to declare an interest in
IJ Accedas ad curiam
a) You are to go to the clerk.
b) You are to go to the jail.
c) You are to go to the church.
d) You are to go to the court.
• _.etprof ••• lonal.com • ENGLISH TEACHING P/'O!I'S.\·;OI/{// • ' ssUfl 10 September 2010' 43
English360
www.english360.com
The English360
platform plays
an integral role
in the activities

• •

of my company, City Professional English.
It is the means by which we deliver our
linguistic and non-linguistic didactic
material , and also our central
administrat ion point. It has allowed us to
offer innovative pedagogical material in a
timely and efficient manner, saving costs
and hence improving our financial returns
in an industry not known for its ADA
(return on assets)!
As City Professional English is a
bespoke company, all our materials are
written by our language coaches
exercise formats to allow for more
intricate activities. There is also not
enough flexibility given to the school in
deciding what a student will see on their
homepage. But probably the most
significant problem is the limited range of
coursebook material on the system that
can be used instead of creating onginal
exercises and courses. Most schools use
coursebooks and although Cambridge
University Press, which is represented on
the English360 platform with over 9,000
activi ties from 35 titles, is an excellent
source of high-quality course material ,
there are several other excellent
publishers not present on the system.
However, in my opi nion, English360
overcomes all these problems in a
convincing manner by offering the most
important element for a school owner
in this regard. This gives me great
confidence that they will continue to
strive to overcome difficulties and
improve the system.
To evaluate the English360 platform,
go to www.english360.comandsign up
for a free Educator account where you
can try your hand at creating
personalised courses for your learners.
Mark Olding
Verona, Italy
Check Your Aviation English
by Henry Emery and Andy Roberts
Macmillan Education 2010
978-0-230-40205-8
Apart from its use in training students
who work in the aviation industry. this
for each client project. It is
essential , therefore, that we
have the means to develop
and thereafter present these

k provides fascinat ing insights for the
!!!,. 1Wt -4 .... ,...... lay person into the behind-the-scenes
---- _ --. . .... _ workings of airtines and airports.
- _ _ __ --.- Many of the units are necessarily
3 .. ao.,. 3 - - - based on the more dramatic materials in a professional
manner to our clients. After
founding the company we
looked into developing a
system ourselves but the
inherent time lag in
development, as well as
the high costs involved,
encouraged us into the
market place to search for
a readily available system.
English360 immediately
caught our attenti on.
Literally within minutes,
one can begin to create
activities on the system
-
.... , .....
11 _. -..::
-.=:...",:::-
+_.
--
---
-'-

:=::::.:-
.-. '-
..... -
--' --
. .......
. -.-
._--

..... -.,.
.-.

.. ==--
.
-
*
.-.... _-.....
, .
--
-
..
-----... _-
- ---.. -... -
-
-
-
-
-
-
-- '::"-...
using traditional formats, ___ ... __ ..... __
such as gap-fill , H"""'-.... ... ... -
matching and multiple- :::.. ... ... _
choice, to name but a few. The platform is simple and ----_
easy to interact with, which is testament
to the ability of the software designers.
For instance, one can have hundreds of
students all diligently doing their
homework, but who will mark all their
work? English360 does the marking
instantaneously and provides reports at
the click of a button. It therefore saves a
great deal of time.
Of course, the system is not perfect;
there are areas that need improvement.
There could be a greater range of
who is contemplating making an
investment in infrastructure: high-quality
service. I have spoken to people at all
levels in the English360 organisation,
from the owner to the developers to the
cfient service department to the accounts
department, and every single person has
been at all times professional, highly
competent and polite. All business is
about people and communication, and
the people at English360 are exceptional
incidents and special situations that
occur in the aviation world, as these
are the ones where communication
between those involved needs to be
spot on, with no room for any kind of
misunderstanding. As a result. the
recording scripts at the back of the
book alone make gripping reading.
Designed for classroom use as a
supplementary text or for self-study,
Check Your Aviation English provides
30 units of listening and speaking
exercises to help aviation professionals,
particularly pilots and air-traffic
controllers. achieve and maintain Level 4
of the International Civil Aviation
Organisation's language proficiency
requirement.
The units all follow the same
structure, beginning with a photo of an
aviation-related incident, which the
students are required to describe and
interpret. Helpfully, the accompanying
CDs (attached to the inside back cover)
contain sample answers to these opening
activities as well as recordings for the
subsequent listening comprehension
exercises; these give practice in the twin
language focus of 'plain English' and
'ICAO phraseology' . The second exercise
in each unit is based on a recording
related to flight operations and is aimed
44 • Issue 70 September 2010' ENGLI SH TEACHING professional . _.etprofe •• lonal.com •
at improving plain English profICiency.
First , the students are asked to identify
the main theme of the recording and then
a second part focuses on the details. The
third activity involves listening to a
radiotelephony exchange containing a
mbcture of plain English and phraseology.
Students have to answer a number of
questions about what they hear. The
fourth exercise practises clarification
techniques. Students In a class will work
in pairs to roleplay a dialogue. Those
working independently are advised to
think about what they would say in the
given situation and can then check their
answers at the back of the book. The fifth
exercise checks the main vocabulary the
students will need to talk about the
subject of the unit. First they have to
match items to definitions, and then
they use the target words to complete a
text. The unit ends with a discussion
activity. There are progress tests after
every five units and the full recording
scripts and answers to all the exercises
are available at the back of the book.
Presumably this book has been
produced as a supplementary text to
Macmillan's own coursebook Aviation
English, also written by Henry Emery and
Andy Roberts, but it could be used in
conjunction with any other course aimed
at aviation professionals.
Anyone who flies would be
comforted to know that those in
charge of the plane had the language
ski Its taught and practised in this
book in order to deal with any
emergency or non-routine situations
that might arise!
Loma Ampthill
Vend6me, France
A History of Ireland for
Learners of Engli sh
by Tony Penston
TP Publications 2010
978-0-9531323-2-4
Most major publishers of ELT
materials produce series of
graded readers to promote
extensive reading and
engage learners in entoyable ways of
practising their English and increasing
their vocabulary. The main attraction
of such readers is that they are
generalty short and largely fictionat ,
either simplifications of works of
literature or original stones written
specifically for learners. Students
can read them fairty quickly, thus
gaining the satisfaction of reaching
the end without too much effort,
and can easily tell if something is
going to interest them or not - and
if the reader they have chosen, Of
which has been chosen for them,
doesn't appeal, they can move
swiftly on to another one.
So it is that, when faced with a
120-page. self-published book on
the history of lrelaoo, presented as
a reader for learners of English,
and with a very dour, almost
mooochrome cover, my heart sank a little.
My first reaction was that a student would
have to be very interested indeed In Irish
history to want to plough through this. The
catch-all phrnse on the back cover 'would
also be enjoyed by native speakers who
prefer a less formal styfe of English' rang
alarm belts, too: writing graded readers is
a skilled business, and although the aim is
to produce a text which sounds natural as
well as being simple enough for learners
to understand, I have come across lew
that would be genuinely satisfying for any
native speaker of the language .
Nevertheless, having undertaken to
write a review, I began reading and was
pleasantly surprised. This would not be
an easy read for students, even those at
intermediate level (fOf whom it is
intended), but it would be a rewarding
one. The language is not all that simple,
but the book is divided into small
manageable sections with useful
vocabulary exercises, quizzes, etc to
break up the texl. It is also extremely well
illustrated with historical and
contemporary photographs and maps. I
still think students would have to have
quite a strong interest in the history of
Ireland to want to read it to the end, but
there is a pleasant mix of straightforward
historical narrative and more personal
stories about the characters involved,
and the text is interspersed with some
fascinating and quirky facts. I personally
learnt a lot from it.
Language students actually studying
in Ireland and keen to find out the
historical background of their place of
study, and those with an interest in
politics, would probably get the most out
of reading the book, and its structure
would allow for dipping in and out and
focusing on the parts of main interest if
reading from cover to cover was not an
option.
Helena Gomm
West Meon, UK
• _ •• tpl"Of ••• lonel.c:om • ENGLISH TEACHING pro/essiol/o/ ' Issue 70 September 2010 ' 45
OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM

ac( In
wor
Andrew O'Dwyer champions the teaching
of language in context.
I
t was football-speak for look u/ll, a
phrase I'd used a litany of times on
the pitch. It could have been said
in so many other ways - hI' cafe/I.II.
/te(ull.lp, lIIal/ 011. Even \I'(I/("h 011/ would
have sufficed. But. thc look of confusion
on Jose's face was enough to confirm
that thc mcaning of II"{/Icll Yol.lr hOl.lse
had been wcllllnd truly lost on him, 1l11d
a warning I had shouted on innumenlble
occasions led 10 an irreparable mistake:
wc gifted possession to thc opposition
lind ... well. I'd rather not reve,ll what
happened next! It wasn't Jose's f<lull, of
course. It was his first exposure 10
footb<l ll in <lnolher counlry, <lfler <Ill.
Conviction
The classrooms we enter every day arc
hivcs of activity. It would not be amiss
to say that, as teachers. we have the
chance 10 mould our sllldents,
particularly our less·fiucnt ones. in
whichever wlly we see fit. Thi s is not an
cxaggeration. The te,lcher can debunk
any language-learning myths Ihcir
students will no doubt h,tve acquired
during Iheir pursuit of illlprol"l'tI
English. That glorious phrase 'BIII Illy
leacher ill school wid lI1e. . still gets a
regular airing in my cl<lsses. The power
(for want of 11 beller word) that leachcrs
have in a classroom is extensive.
Learners possess almost blind faith in
teachers who teach with confidence. We
can convince even Ihe most sceptica l
students with our absolute conviction.
Context
How can we achicvc this most satisfying
result? The lInswer is cOli/ex/. Our
sllldents work in pairs and groups on 11
daily basis. We ask Ihem 10 act oUI
roleplays 10 employ new structures. I
hllve always operated, though. under the
mantra that the classroom is nOlthe r(,lIl
world. How can it be? Sludents don't
mcclthcir fricnds in thc classroom. I
have yet to witness 11 student buying a
colTee or ordering a pi zza from the
relative comfort of their chairs. J cannot
imagine the classroom being an ideal
selling for u romantic date - although
many a student has had Iheir heart
stolen by a dashing teacher, which
renders my previous assertion a little
dubious at best! As teachers, we tend to
conlextualise within the confines of <In
almost pumlld world. The cl;lssroom
functions as a portal into the real world,
the world which our students actually
inhabit. Without doubt, thc ability of
te,\chers to contextualise is scvercly
limited by the very nature of our
workplace. However, contextua l ising
docsn'l need to be shoe-horned to the
extent that the students' sole exposure to
English ,IS u language of communicati on
occurs in a four-walled room. The
classroom is adcquat e, but it is not
enough. Students who have fun act ing
out some of the aforementioned
scenarios often lament their inability to
make them II"Qrk in the real world.
Interaction
So, how do we best contextual ise what we
teach our students? I believe we achieve
this by stcpping ollHide the classroom.
There, the most common intcraction
that occurs between adult students and
teachers. almost inevitably, involves
alcohol! Wc join our students for a drink
and converse with them in ,I relaxed
atmosphere. This works to a degree. But.
why is alcohollhe constant pre-requisite
to confident communication? It is the
laziest approach to languagc immersion
that we humans employ. Surely, we can
do better. OK, I accept that our
students wouldn't appreciate us tagging
along 011 a dale, prodding them a littlc
in moments of uncertainty! I'm sure
they would rather take their chances in
th is particular social exchange!
However, Ihere must be something morc
we cun do to lIssist thcm better.
Immersion
Socialising wit h students is the key. My
golden rule is: anYlI"here bill u bar.! A
'kick-around' on a Friday e\'ening is a
great personal pleasure: Ihere is always
a smattering of nati vc speukcrs. so it is
an environment which encourages the
use of English. It doesn't always work,
but it does ensure th'lt there ,ITe some
language barriers in place. Those with
litt le knowledge of football may not
appreciate that a five-a-sidc pitch is a
melting pot of emotion - it thriving
babble of communication! Men with
46 . Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGLISH TEACHING professional . _ .• tprof • • slonal.com •
egos find it very difficult to remain quict
in this tcstostcrone-fuclled cnvironment
so it is ideal for htnguagc practice!
So, what ,Ictivities can you do with
)'01/1' students? The best ones usually
require the least imagination:
• Organise a game of footbal1. tennis or
rugby.
• Take your student s to the cinema or
theatre.
• Sample the delights at your local food
cmporium (a guaranteed stimulant of
chat).
• Go to a lecture.
• Attend a cultural event.
• Go shopping.
Don't fall into the trap of assuming that
language <lnd socialising don't mix.
These experiences are invaluable for
students. even those with only a limitcd
grasp of English. I believe we
accomplish two crucial breakthroughs
wit h these activities:
• We provide our students with a
genuine opportunity to use their
English outside the cl<lssroom.
• The students g<lin a COlllext within
which they can explore and utilise
their communication skill s..
Teachers need to step out of the comfort
zone. Roleplay is thc thespian's biggcst
deccption. It works on a certain levcl.
However, we can do more for our
st udent s. Few, if any, of them would
objcct to being invited for 11 cup of coffee,
or to play fivc-a-sidc in thc cvcning.
Students weleome these opportunities.
Confidence
This type of immersion is like tcaching
a child to ride a bicycle, We teach them
the basks. We never leave their sight in
the beginning. We push them along. We
offer them support when they need it.
We ,\ll\icipate their problems. The child
demands of us: /JOII','el 1111' go.! We
assure them we would never consider
doing such a thing. We do it, though,
eventually, We've given the child what
we can and it's up to them to try to
conjure up a formula that enables them
to function alone. It's not magic. It's
prelly easy. but they don't realise that.
The student is no different. By
contexlUalising, we instil confidence in
them, and mould them a little., so Ihat
they can now function in day-to-day
tasks. Think about it: How many of us
learnt to ride a bicycle indoors?
Making the transition from teaching
to contextualising is not difficul t.
Incorporate techniques that you use 10
develop other topics:
• Brainstorm vocllbul;lry in the lexical
arell.
• Focus in particular on itiiollllltic
language - phTllsal verbs. collocations.
colloquialisms - that the student s
may encounter.
• Employ rolepllly liS a 1111'(11/$ to an
end, rather than as an end in itself.
• Step out and be creative! Let the
slUdcnts use what they've pract ised -
in the r('(ll world.
Vocation
It is naIve of a teacher to think of their
role as being limited to a pre-approved
timet<lble and venue. Teaching is still
considered a vocation. The best teacher
I had at school was my history
professor. He also coachcd thc rugby
team on which I played. That didn't
make him a better teacher, but it gave
me the opportunity to witness him in a
differcnt contcxt. I appreciated that he
was passionate about his work and that
he could instil some of thilt passion in
me. In fact. I respected him more as
well. because 1 saw him as somebody
who cared. 11 person whosc cxpertise
and skills extcnded beyond the
elassroom wc shared. And th;1\ is
impor\;\nt. It doesn't matter what
anybody says. Teachers who care, who
are willing to do that bit extra, have a
far greater impact on their students.

,.

,.

,.
Context only cxists in the real world.
Jose has finally unlocked our coded
parlance! I W<lS playing football last
Friday when he screamed at me to
lI'(1/ch III)' hOlm'. (Incidentally, II'(I/ch
your house means you <Ire about to be
tackled.) I did a double-take. I was
astounded! A photograph of that
moment would havc becn priceless.
just to witness the alTI,lZement etched
into my brow! [ did look up alright, but
that was the limit of my reactions. My
umazement turned to despair us I gifted
possession to the opposition lind .. well
... you can guess the rest! (I1%>
Andrew O' Dwyer taught
lor si. years tn Dublin,
Ireland, but has recently
retocated to Budapest,
Hungary, where he worits
as a primary school
English teacher IClr
Janikovszky Eva A t t a t ~ n o s
Iskola, and with
tnternatlonat House and
Dover Nyelviskola. He
believes that the key to
competent, conlident and
conte)(!ual communication
can be lound within the
motto There's the official
way ... then there's the
real way,
andrewo<lwyerOgmait.com
• _,.tprof ••• ional,com • ENGUSH TEACHING professional . Issue 70 September 2010 ' 47
I
f
Titles for
English Language Teachers
Teaching English
One to One
by Priscill a Osborne
This new book provides an analysis of the problems of Icaching students
on a one- to-one basis. The book C()\'crs a wide range of topics in Ihis
field and cJllplajns leamer needs analysis and learner profiles. especially
the studcnl's current use of English and Ihe reason for IRking a one·to-
one course:; course planning: Itthniqucs which are specific 10 ooc·t().(}f1C
tcaching: techniques which don't work with one-to-one Icaching: and
using the lcamer as the resoul'« for tcaching.
Teaching English with
Information Technology
by David Smith and Eri c Baber
This new pmc1ical guide for teachers provides an introduction to. find
nnionnle for. USing infonnation technology when Icaching English. The book
explains how teachers can U ~ e-leaming in English lunguage te'.tChing. The
IOpks covered i nclude using email ; the importance of the web i n ELT
(coI'er.> \\.cbsiles: using audio wid video clips from the web. web activities.
wcbquests and treasure hunts): using CD-ROMs: professional tmining on the
web for online teacher tmining and online leaching communities; audi o- and
video-conferencing and text chat: learning man.'1gement systems: and rin.'1l1y.
using standalone software on desktop computers.
Teaching English with
Drama
by Mark Almond
This new book covers the excil1lg seC10r of teaching English language
smdents 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
thcatricaltechniques. modifying dialogue and lines for different le\'els of
student. stage management. and how these all work together to improve
language appreciation and learning: using classic plays. suggested
chamctm: resources beyond the textbook; using stories. songs. games. ctc.
www.KeywaysPublishing.com
email . admin@pavpub.com lei : +44 (0) 1243576444
LANGUAGE
ore t an pease
an
Mark Hancock recommends ways to increase
students' awareness of politeness conventions.
,say "please"J" children arc often
told. after saying something
like 'Girl' 1111' (/ bisClIit', If they
ask why, they may receive the
explal1<ltion 'Bertillse i(s polile', We
English teachers sometimes do the same,
A student asks. 'Why do El1glish
say" JVoll1d ),olllllilld ",?" when they're
not really asking a question?' and we
say. 'Becall.\'(' it's polite!' I think we
could do a lot more than this to
increase our students' awarencss of how
politeness works in English, The more
they arc awarc of it, the more they arc
empowered to use it in a way thut works
best for them, In this article. we'll look
at what politeness is. when it is used and
why. Then wc'lllook at how to make
these insights more apparcnt to students.
Positive and negative
We often think of politencss as being
long-winded ways of saying simple
things. like' Would YOIf lIIilld keepillg
)'011/' roice dOH'I1?' instead of 'SII111 liP!',
The long vcrsion is politc. thc short
version is rude. we say, This is not quite
true. however, According to social
anthropologists Brown and Levinson.
The more students
are aware of politeness,
the more they are
empowered to use it
in a way that works
best for them
politeness includes the cntire spectrum.
from convoluted indirectness through to
brief and direct. They call the former
'ncgative politeness' and the lall er
'positive politeness', Speakers choose
which degrec of politeness to usc from
along thi s spectrum, according to what
relationship they arc trying to achieve
with the listener.
Friends and strangers
In politeness terms. the significance of a
person's choice of words is determined
by when thcy use them: thc contcxt.
This includes who they <Ire t<llking to
and what they are talking about.
Typicall y. if you approach a stranger
with a request. you usc negativc
politencss. For cxample. you might say.
'Could yOIl dose tfte door, please?' The
question form gives the listener a get-
out: it implies th<lt you accept thcir
right to refuse. However, if you are
speaking to a very close friend. you can
be much more direct. such as 'Sltlll Ilwl
door - it'sfrce;il1g ill here!' This is
known as positive politeness: it implies
that you are too intimate to require
careful indirectness,
Interestingly. a speaker's degree of
intimacy with a li stener is not an
object ive fae\. It is something they
erell/e through the politeness strategies
they usc, For examplc, if you usc
positive politeness with someone you do
not know very wcll. you may be able to
create an atmosphere of intimacy
between you, It's a risky strategy. though.
because your listener may intcrpret your
directness liS rude lmd pushy. and your
relationship will be on the rocks.
The learner may be a
competent user of
politeness strategies in
their L 1 but fail to
recognise and transfer
the same strategies
to the L2
Power and authority
Choice of politeness strategies also
depends on whcther the person you are
speaking to is in a position of authority,
Typicall y. people talking to a superior
arc careful and indirect. If. on the othcr
hand. they lire talking to <I subordinate.
they may be very direct indeed, An
cmployee might say to a boss, ' Would;1
bl! possible for lI1e /0 hal'l! Ihis by
IOlIIorrow?', while the boss might say to
the employee. '} III/ell Ihis by lomorrow',
Strategies and
conventions
From the point of view of language
learning. there arc two important
factors here, First of aIL the learner
may be a competent user of politeness
strategies in their L1 but fail to
recognise lind tmnsfer the same
strategies to the L2, Secondly, the
poli teness conventions in the two
cultures may difTer. For example. in
Madrid it is commonplace for a
customer to walk into a bar and say in ......
• _ .• tprof ••• lonat.com • ENGLISH TEACHING professiol/al • Issue 70 September 2010 ' 49
More than please
and thank you
Spanish, 'Gi\'(' 11/(' (/ roffee', In Britain. a
customer using such :I direct impcr:nivc
might give the impression Ihm Ihey
think they arc superior 10 the person
behind the bar. The server would be
entitled to think. or even say .. Who do
),011 thillk )"QII art'?' In Spain. the direct
imperative in this context may be
positive politeness. implying something
like' W/:',e (11/ ill Ihis /Oge/her as "'/I/afs.
so It'e ('(1/1 dispel/se .,.;Ih lIirs (1//(1 graces',
II's good to be lIwarc of these potential
difTcrcnccs!
In any interaction, a
speaker must judge
what kind and degree
of politeness to
use, and modify the
wording of what they
want to say accordingly
So how can we go about increasing
students' awareness of politeness? One
very effective strategy in language
teaching gcncnlily is \0 show what you
arc focusing on by showing whal it is
not. For example. you can focus on the
vowel sound in bel by showing it is I/O/
the Slime as the vowel sounds in bit or
&(1/. You can focus on the meaning of
the tense choice in She's (lrr;l"ed by
contrasti ng it with She (1";1"('(1. I believe
you can use the Slime strategy to focus
on poli teness.
Saying and thinking
In lilly interaction. a speaker must judge
whll! kind and degree of politeness to
usc. and modify the wording of what
they want to say accordingly.
Consequently. there may be a difference
between what the person says and what
they really think. This contnlsl lies
behind my suggestion of showi ng wh,lI
politeness is by showing what it is not.
Let's have a look at how this could work
in two samples of classroom material.
the first activit y from a spoken
intemction lesson and the second from
a lesson focusing on writing.
Activity 1
Look at the photocopiabl e llctivity on
p.lge 51. In Ihe cartoon. we see the
beginning of a converSlllion in which a
boy tries to convince a girl to go out with
him. We can sec Ihe boy's qucstion and the
girrs response but. in addition. we can sec
what the girl is thinking. The difference
between what she thinks and what she
says is intcresting becuusc it reveals the
politeness st rategies she is using. For
her openly 10 display her horror ut the
prospect of going out with Josh would be
very offensive. Insteud, she finds un e)(cuse
why she can't go out and then pretcnds to
be interested in Josh's reason for asking.
This rencet s the general politeness rule
that if you arc giving thc answer that your
interlocutor wants to hear. you can be
direct and sincere. but if you're giving
thc answer they don't want to hcar. you
may need to be tactful and indirect.
In the table. wc can scc how thc
COlwersati on in the cartoon continues.
including Ihc contmst between what
Emma SlIYS and what she really thinks.
You could ask the students to idcntify
the politencss strategies in Emma's
replics. They could al so havc some fun
deeiding what Emma's real thoughts
were in the last two boxcs of the central
column, Some classes may cnjoy
dmmatising the dialogue. wilh the person
in the Emmll role giving hcr 'thoughts' liS
a whispered aside. before switching to a
polite smile lind giving her rcsponse.
Activity 2
Look lit thc photocopiable acti\'ity on
page 52. Te)(t I is" polite email from a
woman who has had an overseas studcnt
staying in her home. The woman.
Margaret. is writing to thc student ,
Sonia. with a couplc of queria The
writer and lIddresscc are people of morc
or less thc same status. and they know
each other a little. but they are ccrtllinly
not close friends. For thi s rellson.
Mlirgaret uses lItone which is politc-
friendly. Text 2 is a 'thought bubble'
containing the same content liS the cmai l.
but showing what Margaret really thinks.
In the classroom. you could use this
materi al to rai se awareness of somc of
the issues involved in politcness choices.
First of all. ask your studcnts to read
the cmail and imagine the context. Who
are the writer and addressee? What is
their situati on? How wel1 do they know
elleh other? Then ask them to read Ihc
thought bubble vcrsion of thc mcsSllge
and say how it is dilTcrent from the
email and why. Here are somc insights
thcy might come up with. or you might
elicit or explain:
Margaret is writing 10 accuse Sonia
of somet hing. In her thought bubble. she
docs this directly. In hcr email. shc uses
face-saving strategics - that is. she makes
hcr accus.1lions very indirectly SO Ihlll
Sonia is not upset by the suggestion she
has donc something wrong. Margaret
begins by showing an interest in Sonia's
e."<pcricnccs since thcy Ilist mct. Shc finds
somcthi ng pleasant to say about Sonia
by thanking hcr for a bunch of nowers.
Whcn the lIttuSlltion begins in the second
pamgmph. Mlirgaret tries to make it
seem trivial - somcthing small and
unimportant. She ulso a\'oids directly
at"eusing Sonia, by suggcst ing that she
herself. or her dog. mllY be responsible
for the problems. Finally. she ends on a
positi vc nole by expressi ng 1I desire to
maintain their relationShip, In the
thought bubble. al1 of thcse stmtcgies
are conspicuous by their absence,
It's imporllll1tlo notc thaI the
thought bubble version of the IllcsSllge is
not wrong. It would probably be impolitc
in this particulllr contcxt. but in may be
polite in anothcr. For example. close
friends may address cllch ot her very
directly in this way. and this directness
is 1I positivc politcness stf<ltegy. If you
wrotc lin emaillikc Margaret's to a very
close friend. it might seem cold lind
distant - negativc politcness can have that
eflcct when used inappropriately. I t is
inteTCSting to discuss with students whcn
and with whom thcy would usc these
politeness stmtegies. as thcre arc likely to
be si milarities and dilTcrences between
cultures and e\'en between indi vidual s.
As a follow-up 10 the discussion of
poli lencss stntteg.ies. students could use
the same stmtegies to make the contents
of Soni,l's thought bubble (Text 3) into
1I poli tc cmail. Gi'P
Brown, P and Levinson. 5 Politeness
CUP 1978
;.
II from
UK.
50 • Issue 70 ~ p t e m b e r 2010· ENGLISH TEACHING projes,\·;ol1l1l . _ •• tprof ••• 'onal.com.
More than please and thank you
Activity 1 • Responding to invitations

-----------j ' .
Hi , E. 'M'Mll... Ar e ':)ou \ r .. #,
dOl'h'5 0,""
Sa. -t:.-urda..:; ?
Josh:
Inv itat ion m oves
Hi, Emma. Are you doing
anything on Saturday?
Well. I'm t hinking of going to the
ice rink. Would you like to come?
Oh come on! I'll buy you lunch as
well.
Well, OK, how about one day
next week, after the exam's over?
We could go to the cinema,
OK, never mind. We can do
somet hing t he week after next
instead. I'll give you a ring ...
Emma:
Real tho ug hts
Oh no. He's going to invite me
out!
I can't think of anything worse
than going to the ice rink with
you!
YukI I'd rather starve than have
lunch with you!
(you decide)
(you decide)
oh hi, :rosh,
WeLL, l''M
r ll.. -ehe r
ll..c tUll..LL,:) .
Emma:
Tactful r efusals
Oh hi, Josh. Well , I'm rather busy,
actually. Why?
Oh. that sounds great, but I'm
afraid I've got to study for an
exam on Monday.
That 's very kind of you, Josh, but
I really can't.
I'm sorry. I've got a very busy
week with one thing and
another ...
OK, that'll be nice. Bye!
• _.8tprof.ssional . c:om • ENGLISH TEACHING professional . Issue 70 September 2010 ' 51
Text 1
Dear Sonia
More than please and thank you
Activity 2 • Polite emails
I hope you had a good journey home. Did you have a chance to look around london when you
were passing through? I'm sorry I was out when you left so I wasn't able to say goodbye properly.
It was a nice surprise to come home and find that lovely bunch of flowers in a vase on the coffee
table. Thank you for that.
I'm just writing to ask you about a small thing really. I was wondering if you used the computer at
all before you left? It's not a problem if you did, but I've had trouble getti ng onto the internet
since you left. A box appears on the screen asking for a password. Do you know anything about
that? I'm sure it was my own fault - I probably pressed the wrong button or something. Not to
worry, I can ask my son; he's good with computers.
Oh, and one other small thing while I'm writing. I don't know if you remember the Sopranos DVD
we watched the night before you left? I was wondering if you have put it somewhere because the
disc isn't in its box. Perhaps the dog's taken it outside!
Well, that's all for now. It was really great having you to stay and I hope you' ll come again some
time - or, who knows, maybe we'll come to visit you!
All the best
Margaret 0
Text 2
Text 3
Hey, Sonia, what the hell have you been doing to my computer?
I can't get my internet connection to work properly. What is this
password you've put on it? And another thing - you haven't
walked away with my Sopranos DVD, have you? I can't find it
anywhere, and I know you rather liked it .
Marge
Hi , Marge. I haven't touched your computer! I bet it's
something your son did to it. He was always playing around
with it. That boy should get out more! As for the DVD, J bet
it'll be in the OVD player if you look there.
Sonia
52 . Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGLISH TEACHING professional . _.etprofe •• lonal.com •
TEACHER DEVELOPMENT
From TDU to CPD
Bahar Gun suggests that winning teachers' approval is fundamental
to a successful development programme.
M
y 20 years'experienceasa
teacher educator. most of
which has been INSET
(in·service education of
teachers). has taught me one thing: you
can never win with teachers! I am aware
this is a strong comment to make. but
maybe after reading the following true
story of a Teacher Development Unit
(TDU) in a university selling in Turkey.
you can sec why I make it. and maybe. if
you <lfe a teacher educator yourself. you
will even agree with me. simply because
you have had similar experiences in your
own work contex\.
Background
All teacher development programmes in
English language teaching sellings are
aimed atllchieving the same goal: to
contribute to the tcachers' professional
development. Institutions try different
routes to achieve thi s common aim.
Somc try informal methods. such as
allowing the teachers to discuss their
common concerns and brainstorm
possible solutions to commonly·shared
teaching Othcrs do it more
formally. with a structured teilcher
development programme in place. As
Richard Wails has pointed out. such
programmes arc oftcn geared towards
the interests of the course organisers
and/or the authorities rather than those
of the teachers According
to Richard Rossner. in most teachers'
opinions. . leacller derelopll/em lias 10 be
bOI/OI/Hlp. 1/01 dished 01/1 by mal/agers
accordil/g 10 their 011'1/ riel!' of what
del'I'Iopml!1I1 I('({elias IIced ... '.
The TDU in our institution was
established to provide in-service support
and development to enable English
teachers to achieve their full potentiaL
operating on the premise that teachers
who eontinuc to learn lIre more effectivc.
Since the school was establ ished six
years ago, the T DU has been organising
structured development,,1 activities for
the teaching staff. The activities
conducted in the last five years inelude
classroom obscrvilt ions. workshops
(trainer-led as well as teacher-led or led
jointly by trainers/teachers). swapshops..
short courses and in-service certificate
programllles.. The types of the activi ties
offered were determined by the trdiners
of the unit as well as the school
administrators. and the teachers'
opinions were ilsked (workshop topics.
for example) through questionnaires.
Teacher development
programmes are often
geared towards the
interests of the course
organisers rather
than those of the
teachers themselves
Teachers' attendance at workshops was
mandatory. This was the situation when
a decision was made to carry out a
fecdback study on the effectiveness of
the TDU activities three years llgO. What
follows is the story of that study and
what happened in the next two
Feeding back
Feedback obtained from the teachers
through questioll1ll1ires.. st ructured
interviews and focus groups showed
that , despite some o\'emll positive
comments.. they were not entirely happy
with the development activities for the
following reasons:
• Although many teachers found
classroom observations useful, some
bel ieved that obscrvat ion was only
suitable for less experienced teachers.
• When being observed by a more
senior colleague. teachers argued that
the classroom situation was unnaturaL
• Teachers thought thill the workshops
were too frequent. unsuitably
scheduled. insufficiently practical and
tended to be repetitive. They wll11ted
the workshops 10 be optional. but
expressed interest in being involved in
workshop
• They indiCilted that the swapshop
meetings. group discussions of the
following week's teaching materiaL "''eTC
too frequent and not very effective.
Re-thinking the
programme
Taking all the feedback obtained into
consideration, the TDU Activity
Programme was redesigned for the
following year. Observill ions for
developmental purposes did continue:
workshops became optional and were
fewer in number. The workshop
programme WilS advertised. and those
who were interested signed up for the
workshops they wanted 10 attend.
Teacher involvement in the preparation
and presentation stages of workshops
continued. and swapshop meetings were
abandoned for that academic year.
Towards the end of the year.
another feedback questionnaire on the
TDU activities conducted that year was
given out. but yet again. the teachers
indicllted that theydidn't think the
TDU programme had becn very usefuL
Their reasons this time were:
• Observations themselves.. as well as the
post-observation feedback sessions..
could cause stress on the purt of the
teachers when trainers were critical
and feedback was non-constructive.
• Teachers thought workshops should
be more practice-based ntlher than
theoretical: also the pace of the ......
• _ .• tprof ••• tonat.com • ENGLISH TEACHING projbisiol/ol • Issue 70 September 2010 ' 53
TEACHER DEVELOPMENT
From TDU to CPD
programme did not allow them to
implement the practical ideas that
were provided in some of the
workshop presentations.
• Somc teachers stated that the number
of workshops had dropped
dramatically that year. and that they
would prefer more frequently
conducted workshops, like the wcekly
ones in the previous year.
• As for the teacher involvement in
workshop preparation and
presentation. a few noted that it was
sometimes diflicult to refuse when
asked by a trainer 10 prepare and
present a joint workshop. and that
they had to do it unwillingly.
Another re-think
After going through a state of confusion
as a result of the connicting feedback.
the TDU members and the management
decided to adopt an approach
combining the principles of both top-
down and bollom-up processes in
designing the in-service programme.
(Perhaps wc wcrc hoping wc could catch
the teilehers somewhere in the middle!)
The following year, as \\'ell as
regular mandalOry observations, extra
observations took place on the basis of
requests from teachers. In planning the
\\'orkshop programme. trainers prepared
two tracks: one group of practical,
optional workshops.. where tcachcrs
signed up. and another group of
compulsory ones for all teachers.
determined according 10 the trainer
observation resul ts and the perceived
nceds of the teachers.
Teacher involvement in workshops
continued almost in the same manncr:
cxcept it was the willing tcachers this
time who approached the triliners and
indicated an interest in gelling involved
in workshops.
Feeding forward
This three-year renection on a teacher
development unit in a university setting
brought out some points which any
institution with a TOU of a similar nature
might find it interesting to consider.
It was interesting to note the change
that the TOU had to undergo over the
period of three years. moving from
tilking a top-down approilch to a
bottom-up approach. suggesting that
effective professional development is
teacher-oriented ilnd thilt (as Nilashia
Mohamed expresses it) ·iIlI"O/rillg le(Jchers
ill Ihe plallllillg alld 1/11' ddil"el)" of 1/11'
programme isfim(/(llIIelllallO its sucress·.
Unfortunately, however. the
feedback obtained in the second year
showed naws in this kind of bOllom-up
approach as well and. as iI result. in the
third year both top-down and bOllom-
up approaches were adopted.
The aim in any
teacher education
programme should
be to engender
favourable attitudes to
growth and change
among teachers
In the light of this experience. it
might be claimed that iI successful teacher
education programme should be both
top-down and bOllom-up. ilnd that
taking teilchers' views into account can
have a positive impact on both the
teachcrs' professional development and
the institution. and is, therefore.
important. The aim in any teacher
education programme. maybe combining
thc principlcs of the two opposing
approiKhes.. should be to engender
favourable attitudes to growth and change
among teachers. However. an even more
important implication for alltcachcr
education programmes, as with the one
in our institution. would be to propose
adopting a new Continuous Professional
Development programmc (CPO) based
on individuill teachers· needs. Past
experience in our TOU showed that we
should abandon the 'one-size-fits-all'
kind of programmc, composed of
snapshot observations. presenting 'one
for all' workshops, circulating
conferencel seminar announcements.
sending teachers to odd conferences. etc
- simply because thcy do 1101 fit!
As Keith Hilrding points out. each
teacher is at iI different stilge of
professional development: therefore
their nceds differ. This suggests Ihat
teacher educators. by tuning into the
teachers' needs. should be aware of
individual expectations and approach
each tellcher with 1I different ·menu' for
professional development. The tritiners'
mllin responsibility should be to hc!p
the teitchers to incre,tse their awareness
of weaknesses and strengths. ie 10
become effective. rencctive practitioners,
ilnd they should be ilble to identify
individual CPO needs and provide
relevant activities to mcet them. This
would avoid the misilikes of the past -
one big Illenu for the entire stiln' - and
having a teacher devc!opment unit in an
institution would be worthwhile not only
for the teachers but also for trainers and
administrators: eventu;tlly leading to
development of the whole school.
***
I am happy that in our institution we
are now gelling closer to establishing a
new CPO programme. after the period
of painful confusion over Whill it is
teachers really want for their
development. [ find myself looking
forward to feedback from teachers 011
the CPO system in the next two or threc
years. Maybe one day we will wi n their
approv;ll. Hopefully, then. we will all be
winners! G2l>
Harding, K 'CPO' Modern English
Teacher 18(3) 2009
Mohamed, N 'Meaningful professional
development' English Teaching
Professional 42 2006
Rossner. R 'When there is a will -
facilitating teacher development' IATEFL
Teacher Development SIG Newsletter 18
1992
Watts, A J 'Planning in-service training
courses: institutional constraints and
non-native EFL teachers' perceptions'
International Journal of Applied
Linguistics 4(1) 1994
Bahar Gun currently
works at Izmir Uni versity
Of EconomiCS, Turkey,
as the Assistant Director
of the SChoot of Foreign
Languages, where she is
primarily in charge 01
teaCher education
programmes.
54 • Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGLISH TEACHING professional . __ .tprof • • slonal.com •
Teacher.
1 pus
+ Looking for new experiences within the profession?
+ Interested in different ways of developing beyond
the classroom?
+ Hoping fOf' tips on how to extend and enrich your
professional life?
Teacher Plus is a series which focuses on specific areas in which you can
step outside the strictly teaching sphere.
Getting into ELT management
Sue Leather discusses becoming an ELT manager with Andy Hockley.
I
n Issue 69 01 ETp, I wrote about
writing materials for publication,
which, I argued, often grows naturally
Oul of teaching. This time, I turn to
management, another area which. for
many of you as teachers, seems like a
natural career progression. After all, when
you look at what you do as a leacher, it is
evident thaI your work iocorpomtes some
key management skills. As well as
spending a lot of time managing people-
your students - your woril: includes the
need for effective communication, time
management, organisation 01 human and
physical space and resources, and
record-keeping.
In short, managing the diverse and
ever-changing nature 01 the classroom is
essential in lacilitatlng students' learning,
and it is vital that all teachers develop
management strategies in the classroom.
So teachers are managers, then, aren't
they?
Well, maybe. Needless to say, though,
becoming a Course Direct or, Director 01
Studies or Principal 01 a school will requi re
the further development 01 some of the
skills you already have, a.nd the addition of
some new ones. So how can you decide il
management is really for you? What kind
of training can you get? How can you go
about getting into management?
To help me answer these questions, I
discussed with my associate Andy
Hockley, an ELl management consultant
and trainer, some of the issues around
getting into management.
Why go into ELT
management?
Andy: I Ihink for many people, as you
say, it does seem like a nalural career
progression, but beyond this I'd say Ihere
are some very good reasons for getting
involved in management. The first one Is
that developing yourself and learning new
skills is always a good thing to do-
whatever direction that professional
development takes you in. In addition,
most teachers have, I hope, experienced
good management and leadership as
well as, I fear, bad management. Going
into management can allow you to t ake
some of those lessons learnt lrom being
a 'beneficiary' - or 'victim' - of
management, and apply them yourself.
It's also a path to take that has an
obvious structure in place - in many
language schools you can cut your teeth
on coordinating a level, move on 10 being
a senior teacher and then perhaps to an
ADOS position. This gives you a clear
path to lollow, but also means yoo can
decide at various stages whether
management is for you.
Managing the diverse and
ever-changing nature of the
classroom is essential in
faci litating students' learning
Sue: Yes, I agree with that. In addition, I
think that going into management is ooe
means of having an effect on teaching at
a different level from just being in the
classroom. In that way, it's a bit like going
into teacher training. II's about changing
perspective. I think that can be very
enriching, and certainly you can gain a 101.
I think most people are aware that
going from teacher to manager has some
downsides, too. Ooe of the things I
noticed when I first became a manager,
for example, was that I missed the
classroom, missed that daily contact with
my own students. You probably did, too .
What do you give up by
going into management?
Andy: Well, obviously one thing you give
up is the classroom experience, which
can be difficult 10 cope with. Many
recently-appointed managers struggle
between wanting to do as much teaching
as possible and realising that they just
don't have the time.
Another thing that new managers
often tell me is how difficult they found
the transition was from colleague/peer to
boss. However much people assume their
relationships with their colleagues will not
change, in subtle - or perhaps not so
subtle - ways they will. This will be the
case regardless of whether you enter a
management position in the school at
which yoo were previously a teacher or if
you take up a post elsewhere.
Sue: Yes, I agree that coping with your
different role can be hard. I suppose
that's one aspect that trai ning could help
with. You mentioned one pat h into
management being to take on different
responsibilities at school level. But what
about training and formal qualifications
for ELT management?
What kind of management
courses are available?
Andy: Obviously there are lots of general
management courses around, up to and
including an MBA (Masters in Business
Administration), but there are also a few
courses specifically lor the language
teaching field. Perhaps the most well-
known, and certainly most internationally
portable, is the International Diploma in
Language Teaching Management (IDLTM),
which is a qualification joinlly certified by
Cambridge ESOL, the University of ~ ~ ~
• _ •• tprof ••• lonal.com· ENGLISH TEACHING professiol/al . Issue 70 September 2010' 55
Teacher plus
Getting into ELT
management
Queensland, Australia, and SIT (School for
International Training) in the USA. Then
there is the DELTM (Diploma in English
Language Teaching Management), run by
English UK. International House London
also runs a modular online course in ELi
Management.
Sue: I think the ELi management field
has definllely developed in the last few
years, and there is certainly more specific
training available. I think it's also worth
mentioning the support organisations
such as the ELi Leadership and
Management Special Interest Group of
IATEFL (see below), which has a
newsletter and an online discussion
group and organises workshops. I think
such groups can be a very useful source
of information about current issues and
training possibilities.
So, after the training, what about the
jobs? You mentioned earlier the different
levels of management. What are your
thoughts on the range of management
jobs within the profession?
How do I get a job in ELT
management?
Most Obviously, there are Directors of
Studies jobs in various schools round the
world - within networks like International
House and Bell , for example. These jobs
can be applied for online through a
central site, Also. of course, the British
ENGLISH

This is your magazine.
We want to hear from you!
ENGLISH TEACHING professional
Pavilion Publishing (Brighton) Ltd,
PO Box 100,
Chichester, West Sussex,
P018 8HD, UK
Fax: +44 (0)1243 576456
Email: info@etprofessional.com
Council, though probably one would be
unlikely to get a job as a teaching centre
manager with the BC without prior
experience. However, in my experience,
the vast majority of people get involved
in ELT management and take their first
management position within the school
that they've worked for as a teacher-
whether that be al a private language
school, a university language department
or a state school.
One quite common way to get your
first management position is in a summer
school. Many summer schools in the UK,
say, tend to be looking for a 005 or an
academic director, and they will often
draw those managers from a pool of
experienced teachers rather than
qualified or experienced managers.
Another possibility is to ask your
current boss if you can shadow them for
a while, perhaps volunteering to take on
some extra responsibilities; see if they
will act as a mentor to you.
Sue: I got my first management job in the
school I worked for as a teacher. I had
my training ' on the job', and only later
got some formal training. There was
actually a lack of formal training for
managers in ELT at that time, which is
what made me starl a local organisation,
and then a national one, to address the
need for support and training,
As you say, though, that's quite a
common route into management. I agree
with you too that managing a summer
school is a way that teachers frequently
get their first management experience.
It's also a very good one, because you
can 'put your toe in the water' and see if
you really like it.
IT WORKS IN PRACTICE
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:
edi tor@etprofessional.com
Writing for ETp
Would you like to write for ETp?
We are always interest ed in new writers
and fresh ideas. For guidelines and
advice, write to us or email:
e ditor@etprofessiona l.com
***
ELT management is a challenging and
exciting career path, and one that
provides great scope for professional
development. Whichever route you take
into it, we hope this article has given you
some starting points. Gi2>
ELT Leadership and Management
Special Interest Group of IATEFL
http://eltm.iatefl.orgl
ELT Leadership and Management
Special Interest Group Discussion
Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/
managersELTI
Sue Leather is an
educational consultant ,
trainer trainer and writer.
She has delivered talks,
workshops and COurSeS
in over 25 countries for
the British CounCil and
other organisations, She
was the lounder 01 the
El T Management Special
Interest Group of IATEFl
and of lhe Directors of
Si udies Association
movement in the UK,
Andy Hockley is a teacher
trainer and educational
management consultant
and trainer, based in
Romania. He was
involved in the creation
and development 01
Cambridge ESOl 's
International Diploma
in language Teaching
Management, and
regulariy trains on the
L ____ ...... course as well as other
El T management
courses and workshops
round the world.
andyOsueleatherassociates.com
Do you have something to say about
an art icle in the current issue of ETp?
This is your magazine and we would
reaJly like to hear from you.
Write to us or email:
editor@etprofessional.com
Visit the ETp website!
The ETp website is packed with practical
tips, advice, resources, information and
selected articles. You can submit tips
or articles, renew your subscription
or simply browse the features.
www.etprofessional.com
56 . Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGLISH TEACHING professional . _.etprofe •• lonal.com •
TECHNOLOGY
Blanka KlimovA finds that online tuition
places new demands on online tutors.
E
-Iearning courses (using
multimedia technology to
deliver tuition) hi\Ve become an
indispensable part of acquiring
new knowledge. particularly at tertiary
level. Almost all the universities in the
Czech Republic now olTer them. both
for their own students. and also for the
general public - such courses arc
attractive to universities as they can be
an additional source of income.
E-Iearning
The FlIculty of Informatics and
Management at the University of
Hradee Knilove has been intensely
involvcd in thc lIpplication of c-learning
since 1999, liS the teachers see this liS 11
way of improving the quality of their
teaching. We also find it contributes
enormously towards increasing the
elTecti\'eness and efficiency of the
educlltional process. and it enhances
leimler autonomy. Our e-courses arc
created in a virtual learning
environment called WebCT. At present.
more than 150 e-courses lire olTered.
with more thilll 45 of these being
English language courses. Some of
them, such as Writ/I'll Busil1l'ss English.
o.;an ho.; taugllt o.;Ulllplo.:tdy unliuc.
Self-study
Each part of an online course starts
with sc1f-study information input lind
concludes with tasks, quizzes or
assignments. Self-study is very important
for our students. As Ian Badgcr has
pointed ouL the time available for
leilfllers to spend on improving their
language skills will always be limited.
For many learners. there will never be
enough time or money available to
allend regular language classes. but all
learners can find the time lind money for
self-study. There are several key factors
which innuence successful self-study:
• learner motivation - Motivating
factors can include job satisfaction,
enh1lllced job performllnce, financial
rewards, possible promotion, ilnd
success in tests and examinations.
• ti me - It is neeessary to create a level
of interest in self-study that can
compete with the other activities in
the learners' lives.
• learner support - A close link
between sc1f-study and classroom-
based tasks, regular contact with a
tutor, contact with fellow students
and access to a language support
website are all important.
• affordability - The comp.natively low
cost of self-study is allTactive to
employers.
• study materials - Materials must be
highly accessible and easy to use.
Tutorials
Usually. there arc only three face-to-
face tutorials: an illfrodIlClOr)' llIIoria/,
whcre the students meet their tutor who
will guide and support them through
the whole course. a mid-i·OIIY.\·/' II/Iorial.
where the silldents usually diseuss with
thcir tutor any problems they have come
across when doing their assignments.
and thefil1al lulOrial, where the
students' work is evaluated orally by the
tutor. This is particularly suitable for
distance silldents and those doing their
main courses at other universities.
Some students attcnd regular classes
and use the e-courses for revision. going
over the information taught in cl ass again
and doing additional practice exercises.
Finally, there arc 'blended' courses
which combine online and face-to-face
teaching. Conventional face-to-face
teaching is sometimes nccessilry for the
development of speaking communication
skills. Students can. for example, do
reading and writing tasks on their own,
and the teachers can concentrate more
on listening and speaking activities in
class. In our Academic Wriling course,
the students meet a teacher once every
two weeks to discuss and clarify any
mistakes thcy have made in their essays.
Tutoring
The e-Ieilrning courses. however
a!tractive and cheaper they might seem,
require a new approach to teaching.
Consequently, thc traditional role of the
teilcher is chilnging, with the result that
the understanding of the word leaciter
itsc1f has altered. In the e-Iearning
courses difTerent names arc employed.
for example coach, Ica(ier, lIIodl'f(l/or,
j(lcililatur. 1IIl'llia/ur or III/Of. In this
article we will usc the word III/or.
Clltherine Gerrard emphasises
severill fealUres which differentiate
online tuition from traditional tuition.
Online tuition:
• places grcilter emphasis on written
skills;
• produces a more formal tone;
• docs not follow a linear conversation,
but instead promotes multiple
conversations;
• docs not confine teaching to specific
times;
• places greater emphllsis on
student- studcnt learning;
• requires tutors to develop new WilYS
of encouraging participation;
• requires tutors to assess the worth of
online contributions.
Tutor tasks
E-Iearning tutors have to perform a
wide variety of tasks:
• Organising, delivering and evaluating
tutorials:
• Pmvicling stlldenls wi th explicit ll!1d
clear instructions and a study guide:
• Helping students to overcome
obstacles so that they achieve their
learning objectives;
• Correcting. evaluating and delivering
fecdbilck on the students' individUill
assignments - and returni ng them,
ideally within three days;
• Resolving potential study connicts;
• Supporting and encouraging the
students in their studies bye-mail and
discussion:
• Reacting to enquiries and giving
advice;
• Sometimes creating the content of the
e-learning course, which makes them
responsible for its qual ity. .. ....
• _ .• tprof ••• tonal.com • ENGLISH TEACHING professional . Issue 70 September 2010· 57
E-Iearning
Tutor skills
Stcve \Vhcctcr has listed seven skills thai
c-lcarning tulors should possess:
• They should be able to support and
encourage learners:
• They should not be afraid to take
risks with new technologies:
• They should be able to transfer good
tcaching skills into online contexts;
• T hey should be good communicators
in any medium:
• They should be non-conformists;
• They should thrive in a culture of
change;
• T hey should h<lvc the ability to see
Ihe big picture.
Tutor roles
Zane Berge has identified four main
e·tulor roles:
• Pedagogical or intellectual roles.
These are Ihe most important in the
e-Icilrning process. The C-lu\Or uses
questions and probes for SWdCllt
responses that focus discussions on
criticlll concepts. principles and skills.
• Social roles, These involve the
creation of friendly and comfortable
social cnvironments in which students
feel that learning is possible.
• Managerial or organisational roles.
These involve selling learning
objectives: establishing agendas for
the learni ng activities; timetabling
learning ,Ictivities and tasks:
clarifying procedural rules and
decision-making norms.
• Technical roles, These urc possibly
the most daunting for academics.
They involve becoming familiar,
eomfortable and competent with the
ICT systems and software that
compose the e-learning environment.
Pedagogy
There is no particular pedagogical
appro.tch recommended for e-courses.
However, certain principles are worth
following. The whole course should be
divided into separate lessons. with the
structure of eaeh lesson following these
basic learning steps:
• informing of objectives:
• presenting content:
• assessing performance;
• providing feedbac k.
The p,nticular structure of each of our
lessons is:
• Titlc;
• Ooal - a short statement motivating
the participants to study the
particular lesson:
• Prerequisites - previous knowledge
required to master the lesson;
• Skills to be learl1\ - a description of
the knowledge to be gained in the
particular lesson;
• Body - the cOl1\el1\ in the form of
texts.. exercises and questions;
• T'lsks. quizzes or assignments - ways
in which understanding can be
assessed in order to provide feedbac k.
Problems
At the introductory tutorial. studel1\S arc
acquainted with thc e-subject. its content
and requirements. Furthermore, they arc
shown how to use lhe WebCT virtual
learning environment. Unfortunately, it
is often the case, in our experience, that
not all the students p.nticipate in the
introductory tutorial. This can cause
Instructions for
working in the e-Iearning
environment should
be written clearly and
concisely, and all the
students should be made
aware that they need to
read them thoroughly
slight problems later on, not only for the
tutor but also for the students themselves.
The principal issue scems not to be
problems with the operation of the
virtual environment. but students being
unsure of where to find all the necessary
infornwtion and which tools of the
virtual environment to usc. Those
students who were not present (and
sometimes even those who were) at the
introductory tutorial often don't read the
syllabus, information about the goals of
the subject or announcements about the
mid-couTSC tutorial. As a result, they miss
the dcadlines of some assignments. This
means that they don't receive any marks
for these assignments. Another problem
seems to be that the students who opt
for e-Iearning language courses tend to
be those with lower levels in the target
language. This makes it impossible for
some students to finish the online COUTSC.
***
Online teaehing/lcarning is part of a
contemporary trend towards
personalisation and individualisution of
Icarning which has becn made possible by
advancements in informationtcchnology.
Howevcr, it imposes great demands on
its creators and the tutors who deliver
it. They must necessarily comply with
new requiremcllls if they want their
e-Iearning tutoring to be a success.
E-learning can be challenging for
students as wcll as tutors. To avoid
problems like those outlined above,
instructions for working in the e-Icarning
environment should be written clearly
,Uld concisely, and all the students (both
present and absent) should be made
aware that they need to read them
lhoroughly before they start work on
the online coursc. Moreover, students
should be told not to be afraid of
contacting thcir tlltor if they are not
surc how to handle particular tasks or
assignments. If this is done, e-Iearning
can be a successful experience for both
tutors and students. 0
Badger, t 'Self-study and the business
learner' Talk given at the 37th Annual
IATEFL Conference. Brighton 2003
Berge, Z L 'The role of the moderator in
a Scholarly Discussion Group (SOO)'
www.emoderators.comlmoderatorsl
zlbmod.html Accessed 27/812009
Gerrard, C 'Promoting best practice for
e-tutoring through staff development' In
Proceedings of Networked Learning:
Third International Conference, Lancaster
Unlvarsity and University of Sheffield
26th-28th March 2002
Wheeter, S 'Learning with 'e's'
http://steve-whee/er.blogspot.com/
200910517-skil/s-for-successful-e-
fufOr.html Accessed 2718/2009
Btanka Klimov8 teaches
at the Faculty 01
tnformatics and
Management of the
University of Hradec
Czech Republic.
Her main fietd of interest
is teaching business
Engtish. In addition, she
runs courses In the
culture and history of
Britain and the USA, and
academic writing.
5 8 . Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGLISH TEACHING professional . _ .• tprof ••• tonat,com •
Current Vacancies
To advenise in this section,
please contact Sean Close on
+44 (0)1536 747333 or
sean.tlose@'maiallnemedla.co.uk
Looking to recruil teachers
for your schools
thi s forthcoming academi c year?
Why not advertise in thi s trusted
worldwide publi cation for as little as
£140 for two months.
For more infomlati on. please call
Scali Close on + 44 (0) 1536 747333 or
email : sean.close(tl mainlinemedia.co. uk
Advertise your event to our global
network of EFL/ESL professionals from
as little as £140.
For more Information, please call Sean Close on
+ 44 (0)1536747333 or email: sean.close@malnllnemedla.co.uk

Five things you always wanted to know about
microblogging
(but were afraid to ask)
1
Blogging yes, but ' micro'? Does
this refer to very small blogs?
In a way. yes. Microblogging consists of
very short messages (or 'updates') you
send Oul via the internel, of no more than
140 characters (not w o r d s ~ . For this reason
it is also known as 'blogging for lazy
people'. The content of your mk:roblogging
messages is necessarily short (some
would say superficial). Probably the best-
known microblogging tool at the moment
is Twitter (www. twitter.com) .
2
Ah. Twitterll 've heard of that.
What does that do?
It's a bit like SMS or texl messaging. You
send out a short message via your Twitter
account, and all of your contacts (or
'followers' in Twitter parlance) will be able
10 read it if they are logged in as well. Here
are some examples of messages (known
as 'tweets') I have sent in the past week:
@harrisonmike BBC has good
podcasting sites for Eng lang learners
incl lower levels http://bit.lyllZaLQ
Worl<; ing on final proof s of new book w
@Iclandfield Teaching Online (due out
soon). How many more Ts can I cross
before going mad?
Social learning? Yes, it exists
hnp:llbiUy/dCiy1 d - @f oxden#Elearning
four ways with weblnars
http://bit.ly/cI1OJN #elearning #edtech
Back f rom 3 days on beach - heaven!
Andorra tmrw but slow vodaphone
dongle means bad connections & no
Twiner :-(
Tweets are typically a mix of the personal
and professional. Twitter requires you to
have followers, and you also need to
follow people yourself. If you follow
someone on Twitter, you will be able to
read their tweets, but they will only be
able to read your tweets if they follow
you. So you could decide to fol low
someone famous like Barack Obama or
Britney Spears, and you will be able to
read their tweets. But unless Barack or
Britney decide to follow you (which is,
let's face it, unl ikely) they won't be
reading your tweets!
Twitter has spawned (sorry, hatched) a
whole range of related vocabulary, which
you can bandy around if you want to sound
like you need to get out more: tweeple
(people in your Twitter network), dweet (a
tweet sent while under the influence of
alcohoij, mistweet (a tweet you later regret),
twitterati (cool A-list tweeters who have
thousands of followers) ... You can read
more about Twitter in Issue 60 of ETp.
3
Is Twiner the only
microblogging tool?
Twitter is certainly the most popular (and
therefore best-known) of the microblogging
tools. but there are other odd-sounding
ones, including Tumblr, Plurk and Jsiku.
They all work on the same principle - you
send out a short 'update' of a maximum
of 140 characters, and the people in your
microblogging network can read it.
4
How does microblogging rel at e
to the classroom teacher? Can
I use it with students?
There is one microblogging tool which is
particularly useful for educators. Edmodo
(www.edmodo.com) is, in fact, known as
'Twitter for teachers'. One of the big
advantages of Edmodo is that you can
very easily set up a closed group for your
students, and all they need to join the
group is an access key (password). There
is none of the hassle involved with
following and being followed by others.
Edmodo allows you to share files,
assignments and videos easily, and to
create polls for your students. If your
students have laptops or internet-enabled
smartphones in the classroom, you can
send them handouts, links, embedded
videos, and so on, via Edmodo at the
precise moment these are needed in class.
No more writing long web addresses on
the board, or handing out worksheets - all
this can be done online in your now-wired
classroom. A tool like Edmodo can also be
In this series, Nicky Hockly
explains aspects of technology
which some people may be
embarrassed to confess that they
don't really underst and. In thi s
arti cle, she explains microblogging.
used by the class out of the classroom to
chat , share links and resources, send in
assignments or do quiues.
5
What about microblogging and
professi onal development?
If we have Edmodo for students and the
classroom, we have Twitter for teachers
outside of the classroom. As a far more
public forum, Twitter is partk:ularly sulled to
creating professional networks. There is a
large and active Engl ish language teaching
community in Twitter already, and all you
need to do is to join them to be able to tap
into a wide network of expert ise, sharing
and support. Once you are connected to
a critical mass of other teachers from
around the world in Twitter, you start to
see the benefits. Here is how to do it:
• Create your own Twitter account at
www.twitter.com.
• Find at least 50 people (teachers) to
fol low. Do this by following one person
already in Twitter, then look at who
they are following, and follow the same
people! You can use my network -
fol low me at @theconsultantse.
• II will take you a few weeks to get into
the swing of Twitter. Try to allocate, say,
15 minutes twice a day in which to
read tweets from your network and to
contribute your own ideas, comments
and links. For me it has become my
most important and up-to-date source
of ongoing professional development.
Nicky Hockly has been
Involved In EFL teaching and
teacher training since 1987.
She Is Clrector of Pedagogy
of The Consultants·E, an
online training and
development consultancy.
She Is co-author of Learning
English as a Foreign
Language for Dummies (John
Wiley & Sons) and Teaching

.. ~ ___ • Online (Celta Publishing).
She maintains a blag at
www.emoderaticmskills.eotn
and you can follow her on
Twitter at Olheconsultilnlse.
Conl iICl Nk:ky II nk:ky.hockly@1hllCunsuHiWll$·e.com
and let hI!!" know or any other leT illea5 you'd like her to
elpklre In this Sl!!"ies.
60 . Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGLISH TEACHING professional . _.etprofe •• lonal.com •
Webwatcher
Russell Stannard celebrates
sites which seem simple but do so much.
T
he flood of useful technologies and tools on the internet
never ceases to amaze me. II really is hard to keep up
with so many great pieces of software. In this issue I want
to focus on some quick, useful tools thai can help either you or
your students. They are all very simple to use and you can
demonstrate them to your students very easily.
Find words that rhyme:
www.rhymes. net
When you are preparing lessons about pronunciation and you
quickly need to find some words that rhyme, this useful tool will
come to your rescue. You just key in a particular word and it
provides you with a collection of words that rhyme with it. These
are divided into groups according to how many syllables they
have. The site has some other interesting sections, too, and it is
really worth exploring.
Find a verb conjugation:
http://conjugator.reverso.net! conjugation-
engli sh.html
This can be very helpful for students who need to find certain
verb forms or conjugations. Simply key in the word, click on
'Search' and it produces a large table with all the different
conjugations. The site does a lot more and can also be used for
French, German and Spanish.
Print out some flashcards:
www.eslfl ashcards.com/
This site is amazing. It offers numerous sets of illustrated
vocabulary flashcards and they are all free. You can see the list
of sets in the middle of the screen. Hover your cursor over the
name of each set to see what words are covered in it. Click on
the name to see the cards. You can choose from three different
ways to download them: either one card, two cards or nine small
cards per page. The qual ity of the pictures is extremely good
and there are plenty of cards to choose from. Provided you have
a printer, this is a superb 1001.
Look words up quickly in a dictionary:
www.easydefine.com/
The more I use this tool , the more I like it. Imagine you are a fairly
high-level student and you are reading a text. Let's say there are
ten words in the text you don' t understand. Just key the words
into 'Easy define' and it will search for all ten words at the same
time and give you a dictionary definition for each one. This can
save you a lot of time as you can do multiple searches and then
print out the resulting definitions. It is not perfect and the
definitions tend to be quite high-level , but it is a very useful tool.
Find the origins of words:
www.etymonline.com/ index. php
This is a great site if you want to know where a word comes
from. I keyed in soccer and it informed me that it is an
abbreviation of Association in the term 'Association Football '
with er added to the end. I also looked up London, Fosbury flop
and hallmark. I received very clear and easy-to-read explanations
of the origins of these words. Just key in the word you are
interest ed in and click on the 'OK' button. I love learning about
the origins of words and it can make teaching vocabulary so
much more interesting. I can see potential for students to use
this tool , too.
Find the most popular words in English:
http://quizicon.com/ 100-Most-Common-
English-Words-Quiz.html
What a fun tool this is! 1\ gives you five minutes to think of the
most common 100 words in English. You simply press the start
button and begin wriling in the words you think will be on the list.
If they actually are in the top 100, they will appear immediately on
the screen. This is great fun to do with students. It is very easy at
the beginning (everyone can predict that words like a, the, and,
that and but will be on the list) but it gets harder and harder, and
you are limited to just five minutes. I have used it several times in
class and it has gone down really well with my students.
Use a talking dictionary:
www.languageguide.org/ engli sh/
This is a superb visual dictionary. Just click on the category you
want and a page will open up with lots of pictures related to that
topic. Roll your cursor over the pictures and you will hear the
words pronounced and see them spelled out on the screen. The
words are very clearly pronounced and the level of detail is
excellent. Encourage the students to print the sheets out and
learn the words. They can listen and repeat them, too. to get
extra pronunciation pract ice. There are also other languages on
this site. My students really like this and find it very useful.
You can find free help videos, which I have created, that
will show you step-by-step how to use these tools, plus a
few more, at:
www. t eachertr aini ngvideos.com/ 10si mple/ index.html
Russell Stannard is a principalle<:;l urer in leT al the
University 01 Westminster, UK. He won the Times
Higher Education Award lor Outstanding Initiatives in
Inlonnation and Communications Technology for his
website www.teacherirainingvideos.com. He was also
one of the winners of the 2OtO British Council ELTons
awards.
Keep sending your favourite sites to Russell .
rtlssetlstannard@btlnternet.com
Visit the ETp website!
The ETp website is packed with practical tips, advice, resources,
information and selected articles. You can submit tips or articles,
renew your subscription or simply browse the features.
www.et professi onal .com
• _.8tprof.ssional.c:om • ENGLISH TEACHING professional . Issue 70 September 2010 ' 61
Don't just take our word for it ...
" Pilgrims advertises in ETP because we know it
is one of the best ways to target like minded professionals for our courses. The magazine
reflects a fresh approach to articles and ideas as does Pilgrims so there is a great synergy.
In this age of technology and on-line media it's easy to forget many people (teachers
especially) still like to read paper magazines too! ETP lucki ly embraces new media whilst
not forgetting traditional journals - which stay on shelves in staff rooms and are passed
from colleague to coll eague. It is therefore an important part of our overall media strategy. ' ,
Jim Wright,
Head of Teacher Training
Pilgrims
" we've advertised with ETP for many years and have always been really pleased with the
service we get from the team. It's great for Macmillan to have our products featured in such
a practical and popular magazine for teachers.' ,
Beverley Clarke
Marketing Co-ordinator
Macmillan [ducation
" over the years we have consistently advertised in English Teaching professional and wi ll
continue to do so in the future. We part icularly value the diverse readership, including
committed English t eaching professionals from every part of t he wor ld. We also find there
is a very close match between the topics and concerns covered in the publication and those
covered by our own academic and professional development courses. In all respects,
English Teaching professional is a natural place for us to advertise and a great place for us
to be seen. ' ,
Dr. Juup Stelma
lolA T[SOL Course Director
University of Manchester
In this column Rose Senior explains why certain teaching techniques and
class management strategies are effective, and identifies specific issues that can assist
ali language teachers in improving the quality of their teaching.
Competitive games
C
ompetition is something we learn
about early on in our lives:
toddlers competing for the same
toy, youngsters seeing who can
run fastest, and so on. Children quickly
learn of the excitement of games, such as
desperately rushing to grab a seat in
'musical chairs' or shouting to teammates
to pass the soccer ball. Children also learn
how exhilarating it is to win a competition -
effort out of their students, worrying that
valuable teaching time will be lost if they
allow anyone to relax for a single moment.
Keeping classes under constant pressure is
often counterproductive since student s
tend to switch off, with the result that little
further learning takes place. Competitive
team games - provided they are
conducted in a spirit of friendliness and fun
parlicularly if the reward
comes in the form of a prize
- and how devastating it is
to be the loser. They also
learn how humiliating it is to
let teammates down or to
- can function as much-needed pressure-
release valves, part icularly at
the end of lessons when
One technique for
come in last in a race. In
enli vening collaborative
tasks is to include a
competitive element
students have worked hard.
Classes can easily be
divided into teams: those
Silting on the left of the room
versus those on the right, for
view of the strong mot ivati onal power of example. Allowing each team to choose a
competition, shouldn't we encourage
competition in our language classes?
recently-studied words for one of their
teammates, who is seated in front of them
with their back to the board (on which the
teacher has written the word to be defined).
'Word-swat ' is another favourite
because of the physical activity involved.
Two students holding plastic fly swats
st and on either side of the board, which is
filled with linguistic items from the lesson.
The l eacher then defines one of the items,
the student being the first to 'swat ' the
correct one winning a point for their team.
II is always tempting for students to
become too serious about winning, so
although we should praise the winning
team, we should also say something such
as 'Well done, everybody! That was a
c/ose/wel/-foughtlexciting contest', We
must remain constantly alert to the fact
that students can blame weaker
teammates for their failure to win - and
that individuals can use class competitions
designed to provide light relief as an
opportunity to settle scores with rivals. We
should therefore ensure that the
Most students are familiar with pair-
and groupwork, but they do not always
collaborate with their peers as
enthusiastically as they might. One
technique for enlivening collaborative tasks
is to include a competitive element.
Brainstorming activi ti es become instantly
more dynamic when conducted in a
competitive spirit. The teacher can say, for
example, 'Right, everyone, you have two
minutes to come up with as many English
words for jobs that you can think of,
starting ... now!' When the time is up, each
group says how many words they have
thought of, the group having thought of the
most words being the winner. A more in-
depth version of this competition (which
encourages creative thinking) is to have the
groups read out their lists of jobs, but only
scoring point s for jobs that no one else has
thought of. Variations on this theme include
having groups of students think of as many
words or concept s as possible associated
with common words, such as mouse, foot
or tree (with or without the aid of
dictionaries).
distinctive name for itself puts students in
the mood, as does the behaviour of the
teacher, who can exclaim, 'And now;
everyone, for the greatest word game of aJl
time!' If possible, use props: a vertical
spinning wheel (like a roulette wheel)
containing the leiters of the alphabet; fly
swats; bells and buzzers for panel
members to press; funny hats for
competitors; matchsticks or
composition of learns changes on a regular
basis, and that at all times
an overall spirit of
friendliness and generosity
prevails within the room,
with class members
Keeping classes
The overall atmosphere in language
classes can sometimes become
oppressive, particularly at the end of the
day when everybody is tired. Teachers
often try to squeeze every last ounce of
counters for the scorers, and so on.
under constant
But of course competitive games
can be conducted successfully
without any props at all.
pressure is often
counterproductive
following our example by
applauding the winners. If In the 'Letter of the alphabet'
game, the teacher calls out, 'The name of
an animal (or sport, or item 01 clothing, or
piece 01 furniture or any other category)
beginning with . .. (spinning the wheel) ...
the letter S!' The first person to call out a
word beginning wit h that letter scores a
point for their team. Alternatively. points
can be scored by simple word recall or
mental activity: 'a word that means Ihe
opposite of 'a word that can be
formed by the letters EZIRP' , 'a word
beginning with the prefix etc.
Teams can support their elected panel who
sit al the front with bells and buzzers,
ready to work out the answers to linguistic
puzzles posed by the teacher.
A popular vocabulary revision game
requires each t eam t o provide definitions of
we give a reward, it should be something
such as a packet of sweets that can be
shared as widely as possible.
In sum, competition, with its innate
power to enliven and motivate, can be used
to advantage by any language teacher who
wishes to boost the collective energy levels
01 their classes. Like any technique,
however, it must be appropriat e for the
class and must not be over-used. (iJ2>
]r 1260
-----
Rose Senior is a language teacher educator
who runs workshops and presents at
conferences around the wond.
rseniorOiinet.net.au.
• _.etprofe •• lonat.(:om • ENGUSH TEACHING professiollal • Issue 70 September 2010' 63
Prize crossword 43
ETp presents the forty-third in our series of prize
crosswords. Send your entry (completed crossword
grid and quotation), not forgetting to include your
full name, postal address and telephone number, to
Prize crossword 43, ENGU5H TEACHING professional, Pavilion Publishing
(Brighton) Ltd, PO Box 100, Chichester, West Sussex, POt S SHO, UK.
Ten correct entries will be drawn from a hat on 10 November
2010 and the senders will each receive a copy of the second
edition of the Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced
Leamers, applauded for its unique red star system showing the
frequency of the 7,500 most common words in English
(www.macmillandictionary.comj .
,
• •
, . . 10 11 12 13
H N
1. 15 16 '7 16 19 N
l
To solve the puzzle, find which letter each number represents. You
can keep a record in the boxes above. The definitions of the words
in the puzzle are given, but not in the right order. When you have
finished, you will be able to read the quotation.
S"cClol
.,.., .. ,..1<.;-
L
fit.
VERY FREQUENT WORDS
••• Preposition of place, used with home
••• To push air through something (such
as a whislle) with your mouth
••• SOmeone whose job is to treat
people who are ill or injured
••• Used for stating the purpose of an
object or an action
••• To put something in someone's hand
••• SOmething that you hope to achieve
••• To allow some<l!1e to have or do what
they want (lormaQ
• • • A word used for referring to a man or
boy who has already been mentioned
• •• Preposition of place, used with bed
••• The object lorm 011
••• A book about imaginary events
••• Touching a surface or an object
••• Used lor saying what is the right
thing to do (usual ly followed by to)
••• An official, elected group of people in
some countries who meet to make laws
• •• To show something by holding out
your fi nger
••• To take something that belongs to
someOf\e else without permission
••• A long sticky band for joining things
••• Used to form the infi nitive of a verb
••• The day after today
• •• A hard white object inside your
-"
• •• The failure to use something valuable
in an effective and beneficial way
••• To finish first in a competition (3rd
person singular)
••• To want something to happen
FREQUENT WORDS
•• A personal quality that attracts people
to you and makes them like you
ILA'RIA, WITH
FLoRIAN. LOlto-JZO, WlIII<
W\Tlll\'VUl.
L
R
64 . Issue 70 September 2OtO' ENGUSH TEACHING professiollal . _.etprofe •• lonal.com'
.. Books and stories about imaginary
events and people
•• When skin or borIe grows back
together and becomes healthy again
•• A cover for a container
•• A gas that all animals breathe
•• To lail to include something, either
deliberately or because you forget
•• A colour between red and yellow
•• Rest and enjoyment
•• To make a legal claim against
someone
FAIRLY FREQUENT WORDS
• A continuous, but not very strong pain
• To hit something hard, making a loud
noise
• A contai ner for putting rubbish in
• An amount of light from the sun
• A sail ing boat
LESS FREQUENT WORDS
- (abbreviation)
- To leave your country in order to live
in another country
- A strong clear alcohOl ic drink made
from grain and juniper berries
- A journey to Mecca that Musl ims
make as a reHgious duty
- The ability to solve problems in new
and clever ways
- Original Equipment Manufacturer
(abbreviation)
- A piano that plays music by itself
- Post office (abbreviation)
- A Latin word used in e)(presslons such
as sme non
- Teenage (abbreviation)
- To hit, harm or destroy something,
usually using a weapon or equipment
developed by modem technology
RtJ1) I(UIJUI, IW<"
1lf!tEE IV tn1 'i'AOVi.
I\IJll fl.dF Q.JZ .
L
R
U
. ,.: , UNrvERSITYofCAMBRIDGE
:' ESO L Examinations
,
Gain UCAS Tariff points
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What does this mean for your students?
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• • •
• • • •
• • • •
• • • •
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• • • •
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•• • •

Celebrating 30 years of the world's most trusted language reference book

www.oup.com/elt

OXFORD
UNIVERSITY PRESS

Contents
MAIN FEATURE
STRIKING A BALANCE
Michael Swan puts the language back into

A FAIR DEAL FOR ALL

25

4

Laura Loder Buchel addresses the needs of the already fluent

language leaching

TEACHER DEVELOPMENT FEATURES REPORTED SPEECH RULES. WHAT RULES?
Dave Willis explodes the myth of tense backshift

FROM TDU TO CPD

53

8

Bahar Gun investigates the impossibility of pleasing all the teachers all of the time

TEACHER PLUS

55

ACTIVE WORD POWER

12 14
16 19

Sue Leather and Andy Hockley consider how teachers can become managers

James Venema makes the most of vocabulary notebooks

CARRY ON READING!
Britt Jepsen applauds authentic materials

TECHNOLOGY E-LEARNING
Blanka Klimova outlines the benefits and demands of online courses

CORPUS DELICTI 1
Chris Payne celebrates the corpus

57

SEX EDUCATION
Rose Hickman advocates an all-inclusive classroom

FIVE THINGS YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT: MICROBLOGGING
Nicky Hockly looks at a trend that's getting bigger all the time

60

[Q EAP: AN ALL-ROUND CHALLENGE 2
Louis Rogers improves his students' seminar skills

28
30

THE TOURIST TRAP!
Rebecca Nonnan captures some keen

WEBWATCHER
Russell Stannard describes some quick and useful online tools

61

conversationalists

OVER TH E WALL
Alan Maley recommends books dealing with disability

34 37 46

REGULAR FEATURES
I!] PREPARING TO TEACH ... Crammar John Potts

LEARNI NG DISABILITY 4
Lesley Lanir describes reading difficulties

40

TACKLING THE REAL WORLD
Andrew O' Dwyer takes his students out fOf some playful practice

COMPETITIVE GAMES
Rose Senior

63 42 44 41.64
32

10 MORE THAN PLEASE AND THANK YOU
Mark Hancock looks at how we teach students

49

10 SCRAPBOOK REVIEWS COMPETITIONS

to be polite

TEACHING YOUNG LEARNERS A PRIMARY READING PROJ ECT
Betka PiAlar sees her students' reading blossom
Includes materialS designed to pOOlOCOPY [)

23

10 INTERNATIONAL SUBSCRIPTION FORM

• _ _ etprof••• lonal.eom • ENGLISH TEACHING

profen-iol1tt/ . Issue 70 September 20 10 • 1

The other articles in this issue represent some of the many different viewpoints on the way in which language should be taught. Helena Gomm Editor I heleoa.etprofessional.E~HlNG Editor. PO Box 100. Janet Olearski 1 I Advertising Sales: Sophie Dickson. James Venema then explains how students can record and remember new language efficiently. Taking a more humanistic approach to language teaching. Susan Norman. Chichester. easier for students by abandoning the teaching of rules which he believes don't actually work. Chichester. 2 • Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGLISH TEACHING professional . Part of OLM Group. Chichester. whatever their gender or sexual orientation. West Sussex.uk Publisher: Tony Greville I • j t Pages 28-29. Rose H ickman appeals to us to make our classrooms places of inclusion and safety for all students. PO Box 100. 42-43 and 51-52 include materiats which are designed 10 photocopy. Helena Gomm PO Box 100. Pavilion Publishing (Brighton) Ltd ISSN 1362-5276 SUbscriptions: Pavilion Publishing (Brighton) Ltd.com I ENGLISH T. and Chris Payne also advocates looking at real-life language. and choose between the methodologies and materials on offer to create a mix that works for them. Ru th Gairns. West Sussex. UK pro '(!sslOnal Editorial Director: Peter Collin Designer: Christine Cox Tel: +44 (0)1243 576444 Fax: +44 (0)1243 576456 Email: info@etprofessional.Editorial and he would like to see more emphasis on the actual teaching of language. while Rebecca Norman brings the language of the outside world inside by luring tourists into her conversation classes. Andrew O'Dwyer. who describes ways in which we can teach our students about politeness conventions in different situations. Northants. He favours the use of concordances to reveal not just the frequency of words and collocations but how they are actually used . Dave Willis wants to make things the classroom to get his students to practise the language they are learning and to see real language in use. stored in a retrieval system or transmitted w~hout prior permission in writing from the publishers.gomm@keywayspublishing. P018 8HD © 2010. All other rights are reserved and no pat1 of this publication may be reproduced.com · .dickson@mainlinemedia. 40-41 . POt8 8HD Printed by: Matrix Print Consultants Ltd. Directeur de la Publication: Tony Greville Advisory Panel: Dave Allan. _ . Tel: 01536 747333 Fax: 01536 746565 Email: sophie.com Editorial Consultant: Mike Burghall Published by: Pavilion Publishing (Brighton) Ltd. Michael Swan describes trends Also concerned with real language usage is Mark Hancock. sees opportunities outside in English language teaching in terms of a pendulum swinging between two extremes: form and meaning. Britt Jepsen's school students read authentic materials from the word go.75: a I·abonnement (6 numeros)" EUR59. Kettering. NN16 9QJ Tel: 01536 527297 Numero de Commission Paritaire: 1004 U 82181. Pri x a I'unite" EUR I4. for his part. P018 8HO.•tprof•••lonal.com Web: www. he comes 10 the comforting conclusion that most good teachers pick I n our main feature. Mainline Media. West Sussex.co. Nevertheless.

I.t<.co.I.trinitycollege.500 words) and a 35-minute viva voce with an examiner appointed by Trinity_ Entry requirements Participants must have a Trinity DipTESOL or equivalent academic qualification.500-12.rl ••• 1:~ in carefully graded language with activities CLIL subject links for project wOf1( IWB-compatible CD-ROM/Audio CD with game s and karaoke chants 1a Pope Street SEI 3PR LQIldon . designed to recognise the achievements of experienced professionals in t he field of TESOL Qualification structure and assessment The FTCL TESOl is not a course-based qualification. " communlcallon made easy HELBLI NG I L ANGUAGES wwwhelbhngiangullges.I'N Ill' .~INI1Y' F ' ~ Fellowship Dip loma In TESOL Education Studies Trinity FTCL A high level qualification accredited at Level 7 on the National Qualifications Framework. www. they can present a minimum of three years' work experience of appropriate subject areas in senior posts.com . 'j" .uk/FTCLTESOL A~sesslnq EnQhsh larlquaqe SUl ce 1938 Picture dictionaries on open-out cover flaps Beautifully told . . Participants should also have two years' full-time English language teaching experience and three years' work experience which includes duties beyond t he role of teaching.UK < . Alternatively. It is assessed through a project report or dissertation (11.

scanning. phraseology.they can understand all the words but don't get the whole picture. was typically analysed into up to 20 sub·skills.\llguage teaching for the last 30 ye<lrs or so. the four skills suffered a conccplUal explosion. 'Training· studcnts to 'tmnsfcr' skills like skimming. the temptation is to take refuge more and more in activity-based teaching. fixed phrases. But this takes the time it takes. Reading.is unlikely to speed things up very milch. And this 'bilttcry-of-skills' approllch still goes on • • today: any number of current tcaehing materials purport to train students in skimming. thcrc's a perennial danger that the activities language teachers use for consolidation and nuency practice can become an end in themselves. sCHnning. predicting their way through text. and facility in handling that language.. It's donc an awful lot of good. so to speak . With intermediate and advanced students. we do have to ensure th.MAIN FEATURE Michael Swan talks to ETp about the pendulum swings of language teaching. and having fun. and thut they become skilled at using them nucntly and appropriately.and have becn for a long time . this Cim huppcn more and more eilsily. capacity will be freed up. Yes. (Texts. all of which soon arrived in textbooks. understllnding text structure. and doing things can take over completely by default.com · .that a task syllabus will enable students to ucquirc most or all of the linguistic elements that they need. We need to remind ourselves that lunguage teuching docs meun teuching rl{ln a aance Iilnguuge: making sure that students arc exposed to the highest-priority language forms (words. You have said that language teaching should be about teaching language.. many teachers and course writers lovc work of this kind: it keeps everybody busy ilnd gives people something structured to do with texts. h ·s no good if students learn il lot of forms il1ld can't usc them (which often happened wi th older approilches. spoken and writtcn. I remember you once suggested that teaching reading skills is mostly a waste of time..an important languilge-teilching tool. they mllSI be learning. so we can lose sight of what.lt our students practise using the language they learn. As we movc up the levels. and that this idea can sometimes get lost. It's recognised that such 'naturalistic'languagc use may nced 10 4 • Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGLISH TEACHING professional . As decoding becomcs more automatic. il11d taken the focus even further ilway from looking systematically at the language itself. and still does in some teaching contexts today). where the focus is on meaning rather than language.. But it"s equally unconstruetive if studcn ts are made to eonccntrate on using language without being given a systematic knowledge of the language they are supposed to be using. for instance.which thcy mostly al reildy possess in their mother tongues .. or precisely which skills and sub-skills really need improvcment. BIlt in the 1970s and 80s. but it has also reinforced and legitimised our liking for doing things in the clussroom. [n fact. _ . (And don·t get me started on the notion that you can teach students to 'guess vocabulary from context'. can do nearly cvcrything . and that what they need is language to apply these skills to.•tprof•••lonat. this was the topic of a talk that Cutherine Willter und I gilve ilt IAT EFL two or three years ago. that they leim1 illld practise these forms. Because of this. If students sccm to have trouble 'comprehending' an English text that is apparently at their level . There's a question of balance here. Of course. So ilt this stilge.based learning? Communicative tasks are .) How about task. aspects of pronunciation). If the students are using English.. along with exercises carefully designed to tcaeh these sub-skills to learners who were assumcd to lack them. I think all so-callcd 'skills· teaching necds 10 be looked at vcry carcfully.. and so on and so on. Work on the so-cillied ·four skills' is vital.but that's another story. can of course be enormously useful for lill1guilge-teaching purposes if they are used properly . lel·S not waste time teaching people to do things they can do already. and they will increasingly be able to llccess their existing comprehension skills. our activities are aelUally supposed to be teaching. and so on the students most need. What is speciill <Ibollt ·task-based teaching· is the view that sllch tasks. vocabulary..this is likely to be it question of processing capacity: so muc h of their working memory is being used for low·[evel decoding thut they can't build a higherlevel menIal representation of the text as a whole. mustn·t they? This tendency has becn powerfully fuelled by the communicative movement that has dominated I. it cun really be quite hard to make clear decisions about lr/UI/ to teach . if anything.) So. so that they can deploy it easily and nuently in realtime for their communicativc purposes. with its emphasis on 'language in use'.which clements of grammar. Un fortunately. a large proportion of students) are already able to apply these skills to written text. Can you explain? Teachillg things is difficult: it's much easicr to do things. [ think a reasonable position (and one that is increilsingly supported by research) is thilt students already have domain-general comprehension skills: that those who are literate in their own language (that is to say. identifying main points and so forth . structures. as far as reading skills (and others) arc concerned.

prioriti. product is exactly what I want: a knowledge of Turkish.. 'discovery'. 'lea rner -centred' .tetua1ly take over from language teaching.be supplemetlled by some extra 'focus on form'. unsupported by structum] and lexical syllabuses. 'process'. with our current focus on language in use...tey and motherhood .tngu<tge learning.!luable dynamic in the early days of the eommuniclltive approach. 'product'. simply can't be relied on to throw up all of the top-priority language that students need to learn it from the 'use' end. which aspects of pronunciation are going 10 be crucial. 'memorisation'. may certainly be valid for a certain kind of situation . Kumaravadivelu. in his 2003 book on ' Exploratory Practice'.the formal element . T his was a v. of life il/ the lal/guage classroom'... and it gets a lot of attention now through the Common European Framework and its 'can do' statements. with perhaps three hours' cont. or c{I/(/lOl/ic. 'negotiation' and 'strategy'. and with the associated mindsct.. bUl 'traditional' systematic syllabus-based grammar teaching is strongly discouraged in the task-based model. in a book published in 2006. we can very reasonably say thaI's it's all very well teaching them all these words and structures. selection and prioritisation are vitaL And these need to be approached from two directions. In the typical 'three-hours-a-week' situation. maximum.may be downgraded in favour of the other. say. (Though it could sometimes go too far: if you gel the students to 'let it all hang out' and talk about. The academic literature in this area is full of very tendentious term inology. 'teacher-domi nated'. simply can't be relied on to throw up 1I1i of the top. nwking them increasingly autonomous and so forth . 'sentence-level'. Allwright.in !. or they've learnt the language for years and know far more than they can usc. we may risk spending so much time training our students to become better learncrs and better-rounded human beings . and so on. So leilfllcrs may practise can-do scripts. 'raising .ITC relevan t to their purposes? This perspective got a lot of allention in the 1970s when people invented needs analysis. 'holist ic'.. Is it possible to say 'this is what you need to know'? Yes.. 5 . A syllabus of tllsks alone.. costeffectiveness is crucial. rather than simply parroting meaningless sentences aboUl 10hn. 'ensuring social relevance'. priority language that students at a pilrticulilr level need to learn. 'transmission model'. there's very lillie room for the more peripheral issues that currently occupy some sociologically-oriented language-teaching theorists.etprQf • • •ional. issue 70 September 2010 . Then. training them in learning strategies. We know perfectly well that we have to teach the present tenses before the subjunctive.include 'mean ing-based'. in 1I s(:conrlllTY school in a non-English-speaking country. Certainly. if any. for example. for the tllrget group of learners. unsupported by structural and lexical syllabuses. It encouraged teachers to get their students practising language by talking ubout thi ngs that mallered to them. let alone have a chance to use it enough to fix it in their minds. BIlt they may learn to operate each script without being able to generalise thei r knowledge to other different . you can move dangerously close to casting the teacher in the role of the incompetent amateur therapist. ' Language-based'. because of gaps in basic grammar or vocabulary missing items tha t fcll through the language-in-use net. or the names of the colours before words like pUll). coming at A syllabus of tasks alone.teaching them social and negotiating skills. 'discourse' . Under the influence of current theory. which arc the next thousand commonest words. we shouldn't dismiss a concern wi th what onc might call the 'human' side of language teaching: our recognition th. cultural consciousness' and 'activating • _..com • ENGUSH TEACHtNG professiollal. So should the academic focus be on identifying what it is that students need to know? Of course. teaching poorly-motivated students in classes that arc probably too big. when and where.. These includc things like 'facilitating negotiated interaction'. wo uld we? And why is 'process' good and 'product' bad? If [ sign up for lessons in.1I students are individuals (with all that tflat implies for their learning).. Task-based learning.lIically bad? Of course not. 'Good' concepts thc applied linguistic cquivalcnts of democr. and thc thcorics on which it is based. The danger. this will be different in different contexts. one asks which arc the most widely-used structures in the language: which are the thousand commonest words. working. Coming at it from the 'form' end. Some of the more extreme pronouncements that come from the sociolinguistic cnd of the profession actually make me wonder if the scholars in question are really thinking about language teaching at all.that we m"y find ourselvcs short of time for actually teaching them what they want to learn.llly good and 'teacherdominated' <tutom. they're in an input-rich environment. who 10. For such teachers. m(lkes the remarkable statemelll that we should 'abol'e ollr cOl/cern for illstructiol/al efficiellc)'. is thlll (as happens in some foreignlanguage teaching in Britain) one half of the dyad . Mary and the gardcn. Ihe qllalil).) What worries me now is the extent to which the 'human being' focus may .let time a week for maybe 35 weeks a year. That's something we've becn doing prclly well for centuries. They won't even be exposed to half the language they need. and also social beings (with all that tfl(lf implies for their learning). or whatever. 'intcraction'. their deepest fea rs. Turkish.thcy rcfcr to supposedly bad and discredited pedagogic allitlldes.. SO that they can write a letter to an imaginary penfriend or show someone round their home town. to travel hopefully is 1/01 beller than to arrive.Illd unpredicted situations. 'repetition' and 'drill' arc dismissivc exprcssions . I think we need to \<Ike issue with this terminological polarisation. What exactly is wrong about a 'language-based' approach to language learning and teaching? We wouldn't criticise a music teacher for making her lessons musicbased.one where your students have plenty of time to work at their English. And is 'learner-centred' automatic. But one needs to questio n its value for the more typical teacher. The process involved is valueless unless it gets me wherc I want to go . [t depends on what yo u arc teaching. but docs it cnllble them to <lsk for a cup of coffee or to deal with an enquiry from a customer? C:m they actually put these things together to handle whatever everyday language functions and rCill-lifc tilsks . let's say. lists what he calls ten 'macrostrategics' for language teaching.

many teac hing contexts are oftcn seriously unfavourable to good language teaching. is a perennial feeling that we're not doing very well.. new focuses and new gurus: let's stop doing that and do this instead.. the attempt to ma ke classrooms morc like the 'real' world. however wise lllld experienced. Nevcrtheless.. imitation is important. and first-class teachers' journals (such as this one). be hard 10 lea rn and tcach. as I have suggested. and that we nced to do beller .but wc h. expression. I don' t think there's a nything wrong with that at al1 (provided it's not al1 one docs). He has had & • Issue 70 September 2010.Striking a balance . We are. I' m afraid I feel strongly that the basic principles of language leaching should have something to do with leaching language: wilh.. and we can only ever expect limited results . so they correct. Nowadays things arc very different. Some teachers don't like mista kes. <Ire innueneed by the prevailing orthodoxies. they'll probably deny it. Then YOll get a swing in the other direction... second language aCQuisitiOfl. using a lo t of skills work and communicative t.lsks. Where is the pendulum now? Language is two-faced . things were pretty much the same (except that we didn't use translation). ensuring that tcachers have an adequate command of the language they a rc teaching. His Interest s Include descriptive and pedagogic grammar. still a long WilY 1lway frOIll iI position where form and mea ning are valucd equally. Sily. language teaching swings backwards and forwards bemeen the two poles. is to identify the highest priority language items and skills that our !earners need. learning ru les. and practising by translation and reading. when Krashen told us it was unnecessary and that it achieved nothing. Part of the reason for the pendulum swings. I have suggested that the current language-teaching mindset is a long way from occupying a balanced position.we somehow ought to be ashamed of ourselves beca usc we're not gelling our students close enough to the native-speaker st1llldilTd that we use as a model. and to teach them in the best.. lllany te'lchers still feel everything has to be communicative or task-based. ENGUSH TEACHING professiollal .it's a formal code. M ultiplc Intclligences. I don't want to over-state the case. but none of Kumaravadivc1u's macrostratcgics seem to me to h. That's certainly not my intention. most effective WilY possible. And when I started teaching. we are rCilping the benefits of half a century of investment in applied linguistics resellrch. I don'. Languages arc hard to learn..a sma ll fraction of what native speakers know a nd can do. experiential learning and ski lls..wen't failed either. Everybody knew that la nguage teaching was a mailer of doing grammar. certainly. I think we need to be very cautious about accepting what 'everybody knows'. There is more understanding of the need for p roper grillllmarteaching now than there was 30 years ago. There arc periods whcn form is paramount: know ledge and learning arc good things. Second-Ianguilge Identity or whiltever are only useful if they actually contribute in a cost-effective way 10 the central process of teachi ng our students language and enilbling them 10 use it.. So everybody today knows that it's all a maller of teaching language in use. focusing on making meaning. designing syllabuses and structuring them into courses. I have suggested. When I was at schooL we were down at the form end. as [ keep saying.wc much to do with language itself lind how to leach it. It takes a mental effort to back lIway and see that one might be positioned IOwards one particular end of a ~winging pendulum. a rich and productive teacher education sct-up. classrooms tend to be disciplined. Cultural Awa reness. we're not going to get it right . No doubt these arc exciting areas to explore. or skil1s. So every ten or 20 years we dccide that we're doing it al1 wrong and go for new methods. Languages may. for example. the refore. T he pendulum is not often in a middle position where these clements become well balanced. Gll> Michael Swan writes English language teaching and reference materials. new fashions. and that they'fC doing something wrong if.mees.. ma king appropriate methodological decisions. manage to get strikingly good results. Actually. cross· language Influence. All other considerations Macrostratcgies. 11 long-stllllding trildition of good and wel1-informed teaching. a nd perhaps we'll get it right this time..com ' . I believc we have today al1 the clements we need for successfullangullge teaching if they are properly combined. Becausc of that implicit assumption that we're iliming for the S\ilrs.•tprot• • •lonal.. freedolll. I believc. In language teaching as elsewhere. intuitive heuristics'. But that's another story. Rcnective Practice. 1llld shoe-horning in a bit of grammar on the side. _ . but teachers round the world do mostly act as if deviations from the perceived norm arc a mailer for concern. control mailers. Howcver. Some worry beC1IUSC their learners don't ever seem to become really nuent. We have a weal th of excellent materials and methodologies. If you ask teachers about this. wanllO deny the value of some of those peripheral concerns. You describe language teaching as being on a pendulum between form and meaning. Others worry about breadth: they feel they must teach more and more grammar and vocilbulary. but our central task. correct and correct. with a bit of speaking on the side. and the rest of it. Because of 1I11 this. theorists and practitioners alike. There has been the communicative revolution. and it's uscd to express meanings. selecting high priority input. Naturally. We're moving back. And not leilst importilnt. we feel all too easily that we've failed.. even those working under difficult circumst. 11 great deal of excellent teaching is going on. vocabulilry and pronunciation. and this is bound to have an effect. the move towa rds making second-language leilrning more like 'n<llUral' acquisition. to select from these the clements that we actually have time for. T hey have my admiration. Teachers. not so good at teilching !eilrners to use it. or whatever. I'm afraid I may have sounded in this intervicw as if I' m denigmting everybody in our profession. and the theory-practice Intertace. to bring their students closer to nativespeaker knowlcdge.. but many teachers. and thc focus is on meowing. they do sentence-level noncomlllunicative grammar exercises. We were good at teaching language.

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present tenses become past. ' 2 Mary said she would see me that night after s he had finished work. I clin remember asking students \0 do <lctivitics like this: Rewrite the following in reported speech. Remember to change the M tenses.eam • . It informs us that: 'When the indirect speech is perceived as referring to the past. For example. etc. sometimes called illdirl. explaining that yes/erda)' may become the prel'iolls day. ' 2 I will see you tonight after I have finished worll". have 1 We will be leaving home at six tonight so we will arrive at about half past seven. but whitt Coursebooks lind student grammars regularly produce guid. Studell\s who have been wen drilled should havc litt le problcm applying the rules they hllve been taught. What the grammars tell us The rules for reported speech. next Wet/nest/a)' becomes IheJoflowillg Wedllesda)" and so on.I'Pl.'CI.LANGUAGE orte eec ru es. lilly of you will hllvc seen exercises and tests where they are doing has nothing in common with the Wll y we report things in rC<l11ifc. in their useful students' grammar tell us that: 'Tenses and pronouns (I.etpn:ofe• •lon81. Mary said This is a fa irly mechanical cxcrcisc. They also change timc references aecording to II given SCI of for mulae 10 produce the following: 1 Joan and Peter told us they would be leaving home at six that night so they would arrive at about half past seven. Issue 70 September 2010· ENGLISH TEACHING professiollal .tnce of this kind. for example.) c hange in indirect speech if the time and speaker are different.'cch. you. Michael Swan and Catherine Walte r. the tense in the reported clause usually changes to a past form of the tense of the original speech. may become he or she. my may become his or her. w at ru es? Dave Willis doesn't see the problem. _. Students chllnge thc tenses accord ing to the rules they have been taught. . Joan and Peler told us been sct out \'cry clearly by respected grammarians. a . T he prestigious Cambridge Gmmll1ar oj English by Ron Carler and Michael McCarthy is one of the besl referencc grammars currently on the markel. This process is known as tense backshift. learners are required to change direct speech into reported speech.

I c an 't afford to travel unless I ea rn s ome money on the way. Lellfners come 10 believe that there must be something mysterious and challcnging about reportcd speech 10 justify this level of dctailed treatment. She might say something like: 'Well. Fifteen years later. I plan to take a year off and I'd like to travel round the world. Unfortunately. We ve ry rilrely remember preeisely what was said. ' Nobody. not the 10th. We say Ihings like: 'I saw an interesting programme on the TV last night. So that's the 31st. You would summarise what it meant.a summarising rathcr than a reporting process.lUse it's repo rted speeeh. Bulth. then how do we report speech? [ think it·s clear that we don't even try to repor t eXilctly what was said . Of course she uses past tense for ms. . You would no t even try to remember the article word for wo rd. I have arranged instead that we meet on the last Monday. present conti nuous to past continuous. . Think of a conversation you had recenlly and think how you might tell someone about it.' The rules given for reported speech are based on the assumption that we recall exactly what was said on a given occasion Report or summary? If we don't recall wh..1I111. • T hey can become extremely complex. . don 't forget that the next m eeting will be on the las t Monday in May. be able to ofTer a brief summary. Fortunately. For examplc. and so on. explaining how present simple must be changed to past simple. and the original speech takes place on Thursday 1st April and is reported on Saturday 3rd April.. the re is really no need for alilhis. Most of us arc familiar with meetings in which the minutes of the last meeting are circulated.. but took it up ilS a C'lreer. Can you all take a note of that?' 'I read an article about that in The Guardian. but we do reca ll what was 1II(. It said . she was asked how she became an English teacher. thus. / suppose it all starte d when I was about 20. how can we possibly shift it back into the past? • T hey imply thilt there is something unusual about the way in which we usc tcnses in reported speech.com • ENGUSH TEACHtNG professiol/al • tssue 70 September 2010. it could be reported either as Ihe lol/owing Wedllesday or as yes/err/ay. is really quitc complicated. bUI you will probably be able to remcmber the contcnt lllld. Summarising is something we do all the time. I am taking my final exams ned month and will graduate in July. It was about . Almost certainly you will be unable to remember the exacl words. or when we ilre accused of having broken . then the minules would be slightly longer than the original meeting.However. And there is . / hope this doesn't inconvenience anyone unduly. And if she were reporting or summarising the contents of her letter.we summarise it. just try applying the ru les to change one of the above into reported specch and see how ridiculous they sound. It's because she is talking about someth ing that happened 15 years ago.lll exact ly what was said on a given occasion and then go through a process of 'Iense backshift'.l\'s not bee. Some coursebooks try to list all the changes we need to milke. so there is no way we ciln apply tense baekshift. So let's get away from the idea that reported speech involves some sorl of mechanical processing of someone's original words. Let us recognise it for what it is . there a re three problems wilh these formulations: • T hey are based on the mistaken assumption that we recall and report exactly whal we havc heard..but fortunately. the tenses would be past tcnse forms for the same reason: beclluse she is talking about the past...lid at the previous meeting.lid. The fact is that the tense system works in exactly the same way when we a rc rcporting o r summa rising as it docs in the rest of the la ngu'lge. Or it could ha\'e been: 'I regret to inform you that due to unforeseen circumstances we will be unable to meet as usual on the second Monday o f the mon th. that is Monday 10th May.lI was s..' All the verbs hcre a rc past tense forms. folks. We can't tell from this exactly what the chair said. then it would probably be repo rted as /oda)': if reported on Thursday 81h April. things like: 'The chair reminded everyone that the next meeting would be postponed until Monday. so I want to learn to teach English as a second language so I can make some money while I am abroad . So giving ru les aboul how to report lIeXI Wel/llest/a). wo uld be able to recall the precise words. I f it is reported on Wednesday 7th April. for example.' and ofT you go.. But I c ouldn't afford to travel unless I e arned some money .etprQf • • • ionat. if someone mentions /II'XI Wednesda). these occasions arc very few and fa r between.Inother problem: if we did recall and report exactly what was said. A false assumption The rules given for repor ted speech arc bilsed on the assumption that we rec. I was in my final year at university and I wa nted to travel after graduation. 31s t May. I'm in the final year of my English c ourse.I promise . If we cannot recall the tense used in the origina l. It might have becn: 'OK. There are occasions when we Ir)' 10 recall exactly what was said .' What about all those tenses? Here's an excerpt from a letter from a young woman 10 a language school: '/ a m a 21-year-old student at Birmingham University. ' Let's imagine that the wri ter took a course and 1101 only lea rnlto teach English. that is the 31st of May. 9 . then lIeXI Wel/nesda)' is stilillexl Wedlleslftl).in a court of law. including Ihe secretary who wrote the minutes. And there is no such thing as 'tense backshift'. These minutes contain summaries of what was s. we ve ry rarely recall exactly what was said. • _.IS we shall sec later. not the usual second Monday in the month. But of course. Even if they could. There is absolutely no need for a specia l set of rules about reported speech.

lgogic device. And you . 10 tra nspose a text from present to past time. they just plll that know led ge to work. M and Walter C The Good Grammar Book OUP 2001 Dave Willis has published widety on language description for ELT.Ul interview people inside and Olllside class and report what they have 10 say. One of the few sources to r<:cognise the true nature of reported statements is the Collills CO BU ILD English Gmll1l1/ar. then you might spend time in class doing the ki nd of exercise I exemplified at the beginn ing of this ar ticle. Everything works in 10 • Issue 70 September 2010' ENGLISH TEACHING pro/essiol/ol . or perhaps they need to do something like this for examinat ion practice.. There are many reasons why you do not quote a person's exact words./s In English Language Teaching (CUP). They don't have to stop llnd think about how to change the pronoun I. we don't need to take out the calendar to te ll us when the origil1<11 words were uttered and how to refer to the day in question. It has nothing to do with reported speech.com • . If they know the way personal pronouns work in English. you pu t the verb in the reported clause into a tense that is appropriate at the time you are speaking.\"( Wednesda)'. including the tense system.Cess'l ry and misle. ' T his makes it clear that there is nothing problematic about the dcietics of reported speech in English.britlsh council. We might. There ' are plenty of opportunities in class for learners to summarise. T hey C. as a mechanical revis ion exercise. There is no need to make life diflicult and confusing for learners by telling them tha t there is something different and complicated about reported speech. however. Patterns and Words: Grammar and LeJl. lI1y may become his or her.' The important thing is that the choice of tense forms follows the same logic as in the rest of the language And if we a rc talki ng about somethi ng that was happening ne. so I ean't say I. which tells us that: 'You are more likely to report what (someone) meant than what (they) said. J Collins COBu/LD English Grammar HarperCollins 1990 Swan. not a problem with reported speech. *** So what do we do about it? Stop spending inordinate amounts of time on un!l(. dave@willls·ell. but I am not Ma ry. But the important thing is that the choice of tense forms follows the same logic as in the rest of the language.grammar.tpl"(lf• • •ional.' T hey simply know that Ihey arc talking about Ma ry . but actually the highest is Scafel/ Pike. 'Whatever the tense of your reporting verb.Uld space rcl:ltive to the spe'l ker. so I must say he or she. not an exercise with communicat ive re levance outside the classroom. ' BUI if we think the statement is mistaken. including Rules. they will get the right tenses and the right deietic forms in pilice. for example. she said I. I must say sill'.lding rules. But you should sec it for what it is .Reported sp'eech ..rules.)·he. There's no need to tell learners that I may become he or she. we would use a past tense form: 'They said they wanted to climb Helvel/yn because it was the highest peak in England. If the day in question was yesterday.l\ion that there is something wrong with their understanding of these systems themselves. what rules? ••• Choosing the right form Sometimes. So if last week Mary sa id to you: '/ am going to stay at the Ritz because it's the most comfortable hotel in London'..uk and: So what about next Wednesday? J ust as there is no problem with tenses in reported speech.orglbook. so there is no problem wi th other deictic systems of the la nguage . and since Mary is fema le. say: 'They wanted to climb Scafell Pike because it is the highest peak in England. They can do resellrch o n thc internet or in thc libnlfY and report it in class. ' Carter.' We normally usc the present tense for something thaI everyone agrees is sti ll true.lfe not Mary. ' On the olher hand.011. _ . exactly the same way as it does in the rest of the language. They don't think 'Now when Mary was speak ing.the systems that show how things and events are situated in time . you could lake it liS telling us something <tbout Ihe Ritz Hotel and say: 'Mary said she planned to stay at the Ritz because it is the most comfortable hotel in London. If they don'Lthen it's an indiC. we say a couple of weeks (Igo. M Cambridge Grammar of English CUP 2006 So the choice of tense here is affected by what we want to emphasise and what we believe to be true. we have to choose between a past form and a present form becausc either one is possible. Often you cannot remember exactly what was said. we say 101l/0noll' and if it was 11 couple of weeks ago. and what to change it to. He is also the author of the grammar on the British CounCi l's LeamEnglish website: http://leamenglish. we Sll)' yesler(/a)" if it is tomorrow. R and McCarthy. so I can't say ). Sinclair. At other times the exact words are not important or not appropriate to the situation in which you are reporting. Clll> you could report it as a narrative: 'Mary said she planned to stay at the Ritz because it was the most comfortable hotel in London. If this is the case. Basically.pagel leam-english. Perhaps you believe it is useful for learners. We have quite enough to do in the classroom without making life any more diflicult for our learners. co.a useful but artificial ped.Uld they kn ow thaI they should rcfer to her in the third person as .

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however. Reading 111.lrners' dictionaries. Writing example sentences The next step is to imhcd the selected word in some kind of structured context with example sentences or phrases. encompass the precise meaning of a givcn word very accurately. Finally. pronunciation and form. 'Usefulness' in this context implies that a student believes they will encounter opportunities to use the word. but would like to move beyond passive knowledge to being able to usc the word aClively. A vocabulary notebook. For this reason.Ire likely to producc some rather peculiar sentences using it. a poorly-produced vocabulary notebook is.. However.Ibout it. 11 is important to note he re the diITerence between activc and passive use. it is best to provide some guidance on vocllbulary notebooks that can set the students on the WilY towards vocilbulary learning independence. Ideally. From this perspective. At the very least. sincc writing their OlVn original sentences is the silldents' first move towards being able to use 11 word effectively. ~TIf-A-bie will be less so.1 noun. say iI conversation class. not to enable them to become linguistic experts on the word selected. at the very least. tenses and forms as well as differen t meanings. When a learner first 'mcets' a word. or where the students need additional information. need to move beyond passive knowledge to actively using 1I word well before they have Icarnt all its possible varilltions.lterials provide the 1110st obvious contexL Vocabulary textbooks ty pically provide example sentences and/o r phr. Some students may also want to pursue word families and write some variittions of'l word. not vcry hclpful and C. can provide a structured first stcp in developing their ac tive vocabulary. thcy ciln also look up the word in le. While SYLL-a-ble is recognisable in quite a number of accents and less than perfect pronunciation. the students will need to note the number of syllables as well as the stressed syllable. students should be prepared to look closely at the examples of text in which thcy encoun ter thc word (more on examples later). cvcn a single word can present a rather daunting source of study. leild to error fossilisation.lses. In some cases. if a student is not aWilre that sylfabh' is. While [ will conti nue to usc the singular form of 1I'0rd in this article. Exposure to a wide selection of words is criticaL Reading materials. lit best. vocabulary lists and regulllr clllssroom teaching all provide rich sources of vocabulary. Where the original context might be morc ephemeral.VOCABULARY James Venema explains how to use vocabulary notebooks efficiently.ml. such itS the 12 • Issue 70 September 2010' ENGLISH TEACHING pro/essiol/ol .lbulary. It is importilnt that the students choose the words themselves since they are best able to mllke a decision on what words would be useful to them. Choosing words T he first step is the selection of words for active use. After all. information about pronunciation would involve writing the word in phonemic symbols. perhaps in a bilingual dictionary. they . _. However. the studenls will need some basic information . usages and meanings. they may not Writing their own original sentences is the students' first move towards being able to use a word effectively students down the slippery slope of knowing everything about a word before attempting to use it. such itS phrtlse and flhra. it is importan t not to send the L Active vocabulary Students will. at worst. eilflling vocilbulary is sometimes seen as progression from passive to active. all of which will provide good examples of the word in use. Advanced Icarners can even make usc of an online corpus. noting down the form of a word will be crit ical in helping students to use it accurately. lVith example sentences combined with student-wrilten original sentenccs. common collocations ilnd members of the silme word family. Aftcr alL the goal is simply to help them begin expanding their ilctive word voc.Ill.etprofe •• lanal. This should include. Further exposure will result in a deeper rellitionship liS the learner encounters conjugations.eam • . they might check its meaning. the selected items may often include twopart \'erbs as well as longer phrases. Where the English definition is too daunting. meaning. Noting information Once a word has been selected . Others might like to write down some common collocations straight away. While translations arc a useful start for meaning. a stude nt may already be filmiliar with the word chosen.

the students may . then the efTective analysis and usc of copied example sentences will be critical. This brings us to the final.trticularly useful word. While a student's active vocabulary typically only constilUtes a fraction of their total knowlcdge of vocabula ry. It is important to note that thc eXilmple sentences they find and copy will. with both a subject and a verb.I!tempt to write the following: My teacher was furious that the cheating in the test.lll conversation. I have fo und that the expression of mcanings not encapsulatcd in copied example sentences is the most frequent source of errors. if students wanted to write that somebody was furious about something T he cfTcctive and accurate use of vocabulary is a central component of languilge competence. Issue 70 September 2010' 13 .British National Corpus. where. they should note: • Furious collocates with absollllefy. at least with some confidence in ilccuracy. The alternative is to train the students in the efTective use of language rcsources. • _. it is possible to note unhelpful sentences sueh as: My father was angry yesterday. Writing original sentences The obvious next step is for the students to begin writing their own sentences. form thc parameters of the ones they can attempt to writc for themselves. Does the original sentence use grammatical patterns and collocations from the copied example sentence(s)? If one of the goals of having students wri te original sentences in a vocabulary notcbook is vocabulary learning independence. [t is importll11t to note that the students' ilbility to produce accuratc original sentences such as these without direct teacher help will be. dependent on the examples in which they have previously encountered lhc word. While the question of what a good original sentence might be involves. there are useful guidelines that can help students improve the ovcrall quality of their vocabulilry notebook. The attempt to express real meanings in original sentences will help students retain the word and sentence for future use lexically complex.eom • ENGLISH TEACHING professional . Not only is the mcaning of allgry clearer in the second example. He is interested in curriculum development as well as the development of professional communities of teachers. there will usually be more meaning behind them than what they actually encapsulate in a single sentence. For examplc. they would need the following example sentence: He was furious at the court's decision. with both copied example sen tences and Sllldcnt-written original sentences. 10 it degree. A vocabuhny notebook. but a good place to start is the dictionary guide typically found at the beginning of most learners' dictionaries. the chances arc that they have not sc!ected a p. In order to maintain a modicum of student independence. This relative complexity probably better replicates the demands of real-world usage. *** <D> Encouragc the silldents to write instead: My father was angry with me for coming home late yes terday. why and how. this has the advantage of encouraging long-term learner independence. critical. to iI large degree. it is also more James Venema is currenlly an ASSOCiate Professor and teacher coordinator at Nagoya Women's University in Japan. Using real meaning as a stilrting point is also one way of guiding students in the selection of useful words. and the attempt to express real meanings in originill sentences will help students retain the word and sentence for future use.etprof. question. • You can be furious willi sOll/eone. r always encourage my students to copy the example sentences they encounter into their notebooks before beginning to write their own original sentences. 1 illways have my studcnts ask themselves the following three questions: Am I really trying to communicate something with this sentence? Meaning is a kcy part of retention. A complete overview of whilt dictionaries hilvc to ofTer is beyond the scope of this article. While a more time-consuming endeavour. which should help facilitate retention. when. • The reilson for being furious Cim be givcn with 111m followed by a grammatically complete clause. using only an object. it is important to encourage them to continue to cxpand on the words they arc 'Ible to usc efTective1y. the students will need to choose useful example sentences rather than useful words. As a guide. primarily diction'lries. What is critical here is that the context provides importllnt lexical informlltion while not overwhelming the students with data. They now have enough information to write a wide variety of aceurate sentences. Are there clues to the meaning of the word given in the original s entence? White it may not always be possible 10 write sentences that would make good doze questions in a test . If they are unable to think of something to communicate with the word chosen. (Longman Active Study Dictionary) In the absence of such an example sentence. I'm absolutely furious that nothing has been done. a teacher can encourage thc students to limit their origin'll sentences to the panerns and meaning provided in the example scntence(s) they have found. including griullmil!ieal pilt!erns and collocations. r tell them that they should be able to use their original sentcnce 10 launch a sm. T his has the downside of limiting them in what they arc able to say. when they move on to write their own sentences. Look ing up the word jurious in the Longll/all AClire Sllldy Dieliollar)" one finds the following sentcnces (among others): She was furious with me. When students read these sentences.sstonal. This is the best way to ensure that they attend to important information on usage. including the prepositionjor followed by iI verb in the il1g form. some subjective opinions. to a considerable degree. After alL if they are writing the original sentences with some image of who. In fac\. can be a structured means to help students towards vocilbuhlry learning independence. In efTcct.

Recipes from cookbooks for children. _. a set of gencntllearning goals for thc rcading component of .tnguagc competence. rcading purposes and thc valuc of extcnsive reading. etc.\lld tasks presented in class.Jepsen sees the benefits for increased confidence and competence of giving students authentic texts.¥srOOIll T 'There is silllply //01 enough lillie illihe week. the students find original materials much more interesting! Young lcarncrs arc usually easy to motivate and they enjoy most of the materials .Hltly. simple short storics. eachcrs often avoid thc use of authentic reading materiaL Somc of thc rC<lsons thcy givc for ncglccting or avoiding it are as follows: Goals In the light of the demands of the curriculum and insights into how successful rcaders intcntct with tcxts.eam • . though I do believe that it is possible.l"lIi/(/bl1' lexts lIlId matl'rials. on rea In~! Britt . for students at lower lcvcls it is morc difficult to find suitable authentic texts.j'II/(/ellls prefer /() keep 10 Ihe coursebook: Ifle)' like 10 kllow howfllr Ihey //(/re progrt'ssed. T Teaching al/d Learnillg ill Ihe Lallgllilge CI(I. . / hare Ihe exam syllabus to gel Ihrollgh. whc rc the overall aim whcn it comes to gClling students to read in English is to give thcm Ihe opportunity to produce language (oral <lnd wrillcn). b<lscd on what thcy have rC<ld. Reading is involved in working towards <Ill these clements and emphasis is placed from the early stages of English Levels Naturally. 'The . will all yicld useful reading pfllctice . with the support of audio and visu<ll media.and. wi th the focus particularly on cxtcnsive reading l i S an idelll resource for English teaching. poems.l11d the "bility to make usc of such things as discourse features and cohesive devices in comprehcnding tcxts: • the ability to take a critical stance with regard to thc contcnt of texts. scanning) as appropriate: • the acquisition of knowledge about languagc (cg vocabulary.· '/1 is (/ijJiCIIII alld I(lkes lime lojilld . . since the English language is still new to them. structurc) which will faeilit<lte dcvelopment of greater reading ability: • thc building of schematic knowledgc in order to intcrpret texts meaningfully: • the development of awareness of the structure of written texts in English. simple texts on relevant and meaningful topics..etprofe •• lanal.READING instruction on the ability 10 understand short. it is important to focus on motivation. • pragmatic competence: • discourse competence: • strategic competcnce: • nuency. cartoons. more import. invitations. To find or create valid reading purposes for texts presented in class might be the key to motivating the 14 • Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGLISH TEACHING pro/essiol/ol . T he Communicativc Appro<lch to languagc teaching has had a major impact on teaching in Danish schools.1Il English language course could include: • the ability to read a rangc of texts in English: • the ability to adapt a reading style according to purposc and apply different strategies (eg skimming. letters.· In this articlc I intcnd to prcscnt somc of thc benefits of reading authentic material. postcards. (Adapted from Hedge. Its fivc major c1cmcnts are each represented in the curriculum: • linguistic competcnce. With higher-level studcnts who have better l. our 20(3) Curriculum I tCilCh in Denm<lrk.

She also teaches PE and Spanish at secondary teveL She is currenUy working at a primary schoot in Skuldelev. You can submit tips or articles. UK Fax: +44 (0)1243 576456 Email: info@etprofessionat. Denmark.!l value attributed to es/el1sire reading.etprofessional. simple or sophisticated. The pedagogic. The outcome is often a peer conference in which studcnts can take on the roles of lIsking questions as well as answering them. M A Practical Guide to the Teaching of English as a Second or Foreign Language OUP 1976 Krashen. The opportunities that extensive reading affords learners of all ages . If we are persuaded by Stephen Kr1lshen's view that learners need to be exposed to large amounts of comprehcnsible input which is meaningful. ENGLISH TEACHING prOfeSSIOnal ~ Purposes The list compiled by Wilga Rivers and Mary Temperlcy of purposes for reading is 11 uscful tool for tCllchers to use as 1I framework for text selection. but for fun! G2i> Rivers. Extensive reading reading activities in the classroom arc intcnded to train studcnts in the strategies nccded for successful reading. www. in a stress-free environment. in the long rUIl. *** Do you have something to say about an article in the current issue of ETp? This is your magazine and we would really li ke to hear from you. They should be able to find authentic material to match each of these purposes: • to get information: • to respond to curiosity about a topic: • to follow instructions: • fo r pleasure and cnjoymcnt.eom • Leilfners can build their liUlguage competence.students to read texts which would not normally interest them. relevant lind interesting. produce a bencficial effect. This is your magazine. POlS SHO. one of the most useful things teachers can do for thei r learners is to create purposes which will motivate thcm to rcad.eom • ENGLISH TEACHING professional. Write to us or email: editorOetprofessional_ com Writing for ETp Would you like to write lor ETp? We are always interested in new writers and fresh ideas. well-tried or innovative.com professional ENGLISH TEACHING Pavition Publishing (Brighton) Ltd. • They can develop confidence and motivation to carryon learning. information and selected articles. PO Box 100. lind potential student recommendation of books to their classmates. S D Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition Pergamon 1962 Britt Jepsen has been involved in teaching English for eight years.not as part of the course.ss ional. • They can progress in their reading ability. • They can become more independent in their studies. W and Temperley. resources. it is possible to construct a tcaching programmc bascd mllinly on 1luthentic texts which offers purposeful engagement with reading and is likely to prove motivating. write to us or email: editor@etprofessional_com Visit the ETp website! The ETp website is packed with practical tips. In addition. We want to hear from you! Reading syndicates An example of a useful procedure to support extensivc reading is the reading syndicate_ in which members of a group read different books lllld then share their experiences. And where there is some freedom of choice. • They can acquire cultural knowledge.l11d levels of language proficiency makes it a useful resourec: il1/f'I1Sil'(' In summary_ the reading of authcntic English texts with students of English as a foreign language has several benefits. howe\" er. advice. extensi\'e reading can be a highly productive step towards autonomous learning and gre1llly increases a student's exposure to English . " • _ _ etprof. Furthermore. techniques and activities. These purposes can be contrived to create interest. Reading syndicates combine the 1l10tiv1llion engendered by the fact that the students may hm'e chosen the books themselves. something that has worked well for you? All published contributions receive a prize! Write to us or email: editor@etprofessional_com If reasons fo r readi ng are missing from textbook tasks. renew your subscription or s imply browse the features. Indeed. it will build the learners' competence and confidence to carryon reading in English outside the classroom . West Sussex. Chichester. and this tallies with the aim of giving students an opportunity to produce language based on what they have read.which is relevant where class contact time is limited. genuinc classroom interaction among chiwging groups of learners. interest will be a key criterion in sclecting texts for learncrs. IT WORKS IN PRACTICE Do you have ideas you'd like to share with colleagues around the world? Tips. Issue 70 September 2010 · 15 . • to keep in touch: • to know what is happening in thc world: • to find out whcn and where. is based on the assumption that exposing learners to large quantities of material will. For guidelines and advice. then clearly individual extensive reading outside class timc has value.

m give us an insight into thc preferred context in which words occur . phmsal vcrbs and idioms.RESOURCES think of as common are aClllally infrequent. magazines. Collocation Corpora also show us the most common collocatcs and colligations of words. leaflcts. grammar practicc ltctivities.500 words accounts for about 80 perccnt of the words in spokcn and written texts. Some courscbook writcrs also usc corpora by consulting word frequency lists. Vocllbulary learning crCiltes an enormous memory load for our students. A corpus allows us to observe important variations in the frequency of many words and structufCs betwccn thcse two wlIys of communicliting. Wc hllve been laking lluthentic material into our classrooms for many years. Corpora arc used to crcate and inform multifarious teaching resources. Today. This is sometimes referred to as sell/tlll/ic prosot/)'. the internet and its search engines. Teachers can consult a corpus or a corpus-informed dictionary in order to asccrtilin which words are used most frequent ly and 10 keep abrcast of languagc change. orpl/.Ulguage for allteltchers. collocations. Prioritisation Corpus cvidence is extrcmely useful fo r teaching vocabulary. and it becomes an Augean task unlcss we havc a sound organising principlc. _. Thc information that corpora contain is typically prcsentcd in the form of word frt:qucney lists and concordilllCCS. What is a corpus? A corpus is a carefully laid out collection of real examples of spokcn and wrillcn languagc stored on a computcr.somc words. The box on page 17 shows the first fcw concordance lines for the word crime from a spoken corpus of British English.of not incorporating corpusinformed language into my classes. ctc. we can identify these words and teach them as a priority to elementary levcls. C Frequency Thanks to corpora. Why should we use corpora? Authenticity CorpoTll arc II vlllullblc rcsourec of iluthcntic I. and that words we 1& • Issue 70 September 2010' ENGLISH TEACHING pro/essiol/ol . it consists of dcscriptivc rather than prcscriptivc language. Thcse includc: dictionaries. Concordances displilY thc key word in context in example sentences. Although we tend to trust our intuitions about gTllmmar and vocabulary. Chris Payne confesses the error of his ways. newspapers. Recycling Words need 10 be revisited sevcm ltimes and in difTercnt contexts to increase the chllnce of them being truly acquired. corpus cvidcncc shows that thcse intuitions arc sometimes flawed . It is immediatcly clear that the collocation crime prel"l:ntioll is a frequent one. The Collills Cobllild Corpus shows that a core vocabulary of 2.). With the help of a corpus.eam • .etprofe •• lanal. exam practice tests and an array of matcrials for tcaching vocabulary and lcxiclll scts. many of us use whll! is argullbly the world·s biggest corpus. delicti is defined by the Oxford English Die/ionar)' as ·the facts and circumstances constituting a crime'. Because the language found in a corpus has actually been used. might be used mainly in a negative context. rcferencc grammars. Context As wcll as informing us about the frequency with which grammar and lexis occur. such as ("(II/S(' . we now have more information than ever before about the difTerences between spoken and written English. T he crime commilled in this case was my own . in the form of books. corpora c. to find topical or engaging tcxts for our learncrs.

but simply restricted or. Issue 70 September 2010 • 17 . It would take even the most omnivorous reader far longer to encoulller as many examples <lnd contexts with extensive re<lding. Let us look at some examples of frequcncy and semantic information we can obtain about a word. 10 usc some corpus-informed content.To your discussion on erm possible Nazi war crime trials coming up. Space allows me to cite just a few examples. Our learners will be in a better position to cope outside the classroom. Let's have sentences which fit the crime. this will cnsure that what our studcnts learn is truly represenlilt ive of the target language. But most corpus fi ndings will enable us 10 make more informed choiccs about what grammar and Icxis to prioritisc and teach. What can we learn from a corpus? Corpus cvidence can further our own and our students' language llWareness. lind when to teach it.. So you have and hospitable and generous.tprof• • •lonal. Because there are murders and murders aren't But the theft element you know this rising in crime in breaking into shops Yeah. we should rencct on how much of it we use. some data will confirm what we already know. in the unpredictable environment of Ihe classroom. My Coming up fairly soon of course is the National crime preyentjon Week and I think we ought as Sentences. when the need for communication arises outside the classroom. [t is not desimble to expose learners to lin exccss of contrived contcnt. It should be axiom<ltic that some language needs to be adapted and redesigned for the specific purpose of learning EngliSh. such as the fact that question tags (islI't il? arell'tthey? etc) are almost exclusively found in spoken English. but some of the following findings may be of interest. dcspitc there being justification for a certain amount of simplified content. Likewise. Also. • _ _ . The crackdown on switchblade crime in Glasgow. Is crime quite serious there and what about the drugs private sector people er either crime prevention which there are quite a few I mean how much do they know about the kind of crime prevent jon work Only a significant role and I think sort of crime prevent jon as a Of agencies which can have an influence on crime prevention as possible erm largely Re likely to have any im pact on the instance of crime the fear of crime that you can to then Of were having to go back what is crime prevention. we simplify our English when we arc . When the onus is on the teacher to supply more authentic languagc. Here they arc in il order of frequency: 10. cven worse. It is particularl y Stephen Krashen recommends extensive reading as an aid to vocabulary acquisition <lnd retention. Communication [f we aim and claim to teach communicatively.. Erm er for example has been working to prevent crime or if your group leader at school in the Bangkok. if we can offer them a diet of actually-used language in our !essons. Who'll win and who'lilose Just want stay in t he game? When petty crime I just want to come back I want to come Mm If they'd prom ised to reduce crime Mm and they don't deliver Which are a large reason for the rise in crime in the first place Okay. we often have to think on our feet and usc our own ·bespoke' examples of langullge. Wilh lind (If. but the use of <I concord<lnce C<lll be even more effective because learners are prescnted with a word in multiple contexts which can be read in very lillie time. learncrs can benefit considerably from hHlgu<lge content concocted specifically for tCilching. T his is undoubtedly good advice. Studcnts who encounter simplified language too often could end up learning English that is not just simplified. a corpus can be a useful tool . • The zcro conditional is the most frequcntly occurring pattern out of the diffcrent types of conditionals. our learners will be in a beller position to cope. Of course. ill. if we can offer them a diet of actually-used language in our lessons Howevcr. • Scvcn prepositions arc in the top 20 most frequent words. After all. .. Yes. Clearly. O . then our Ie<l rners ought to be exposed to I<lngu<lge that is used in real communication outside the classroom. We cannot always rely on <I coursebook to give them the naillral-sounding English they need.jor. as most of us do these d<lYs. Simplification It is naillralto simplify language. We can liken Icarning a language to lellrning 10 drive_Sooner or bier.. speaking to children and non-native speakers of English outside the cI<lssroom .com • ENGLISH TEACHING professiol/al . a le<lTller driver will need to leave the relative safety of the local industrial estate and drive in real traffic. If our teaching situation permits us Frequency information • The fUlUre continuous is]oo times more frequcn t thanthc futurc perfect. of. distorted.

a point raiscd by Pctcr Wells in Iss ue 115 of ETp. Other useful corpora are The British National Corpus and the Collins Cobuild Corpus . such as the learnability of the languagc lind whcthcr it is relevant to our le. wOllld denoting 'used to' is rcmarkably common.. conjunctions. which lets us sec the problems le(lmer. learner Writing for ETp Would you like to write for ETp? We are a lways interested in new writers and fresh ideas.com • . • Chunks containing a wo rd may account for many of ils occurrences.. Semantic information • Sixty percent of the usc of like is prepositional and mealls '\0 resemble something'..Corpus . ~ There are many corpus-based resources ava i la~e online. T hus. but nothing about the way languages are le(lrlll. M y crime was that I hud fuiled 10 muke use of the invaluable wo rk carried out by corpus linguists like John Sinclair. He has published several articles on ELT and Is particularly interested in a greater focus on lexis in language learning... T he fact that a particular example of language use is attested as frequent does not automatically mean it is suitable for teaching purposes.1'1 be flllilgry. pronouns. A. By using one we can add another string to our pedagogic bow. Other language is best taught for reception only. You can download examples of non-nativespeaker talk for free from the Michigan Corpus of Academic Spoken English.. This is tfue of halld. wo1i1d is the 46th most frcquent word. British o r o th er vitrieties of English. for this would defeat the object of choosing it as aUlhenlic material in the first place. both largc and small. where over half of all its occurrences are with chunks.. R From Corpus to Classroom CUP 2007 *** Tomlinson. Michael McCarthy and others. A corpus ncedn't be considered as an esoteric research tool or .~ might experience. Among them are general corpora of spokcn and written American. B MaterialS Development in Language Teaching CUP 1998 Tribble..1I its function for exp ressing speculation or deduction. when referring to slang. available for us to consult. As teachers.llling 'used to' are common occurrences.. and thcre is a strong casc for using them for language learning. McCarthy. T his is important because wc want 10 avoid having to modify or alter corpus information. ic articlc~ • Of the top 50 words. • Less than half Ihe uses of ill refer to place or lime. T here are also specialised corpora. Ila!J' was like 1I Third Wor"/ cOlllllry. and teachcr. corpora arc especially useful for promoting noticing. Corpora confirm for us th. which entails criticall y interpreting corpus findings Hnd selecting language wisely for teaching. Having first confessed. Perhaps its place in syllabuses should be reassessed. 1 pointed out earlicr that see mcaning 'understand' and 1I'0llld me. but nothing about the way languages are learnt elUtion is also required when consulting frequency information. Some language contained in corpora is inappropriate for the classroom. in spite of conventional E F L wisdom. delicti D words. we should rcmcmber that native-speaker corpora tell us a lot about the way native speakers use language.ming 'pcrceive with the eyes'.IS the preserve of applied linguists. We are doing our learners it disservice if we do not exploit the significance of the pattcrns of grammar and lexis revealcd by modern corporu. • In >l mixed eorpliS of Ame rican English. G Concordances in the Classroom Athelstan Publications 1997 Willis. 011 'he 0I111'( hand being by far the most common.8tprofe&&lonal. Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGUSH TEACHI NG professiollal • _.lrners' needs and interests. but they form part of the same lexical set and we would not contemplate leaving them off a beginners' syllubus. including acadcmic and business English . Nor should we use frequency evidence alone without considering other criteria. Teaching of the four skills can also benefit by looking at how communication works in speech and writing. M and Carter. C and Jones. 49 arc grammar prepositions. T he words TIIl'sf/ay and Wednesday are relatively low in frequency compared with the other days of thc weck. and some olthern are Iree. Q'Keeffe. and non-native-speaker corpora.. Native-speaker corpora tell us a lot about the way native speakers use language. cg &111"1'1'111944 (II/d 1946. is also a very frequent grammar pattcrn. Dave Willis claims that. modal and auxiliary verbs.. write to us or email: editor@etprofessional . • The word see is much morc common in spoken corpora with Ihe meaning 'understand' (cg I see or I see what )"011111/:(111) than it is with Ihc me. but are found in advcrhiuls and fixed phrases like li/fiICl. it's a good idca to look at a learner corpus. irrespective of whcther the classroom is LI or L2. as in YOII 11111. in the next issue of ETp I would like to address the use of corpora and will suggest some practical activi tics. For guidelines and advice.. How should we use a corpus? There are different kinds of corpora. T hc perfect form mllS( h(lre bel'li is extremely common in spoken English. As a linguistic resource.. Then we can compare learner and nalivespeaker corpora to see why errors occur.com 18 . • MIiSf is first taught for referring to obligation. We need to make judicious use of corpora. Yet this does not mean that these senses of the words should be taught before o r 10 th e exclusion of their othcr meanings. D The Lexical Syllabus Collins 1990 Chris Payne Is the owner of Paddington School of Engl'ch 3nd has been teaching in Spain since 1993.

One effect of not taking into consideration who is actually in thc classroom. is to 'Q1weducme al/d orer promole' specific groups. who come from cultures and languages that have their own debates. although sexualities that differ from the socially. gcnder and sexu<llity.. thcrefore. We shou ld not assume that everyone in our class is heterosexual or wants 10 be identified as eithcr male or fenmlc. need to know'l little about the issues in the language they teach and those in the Ll and culture of their students. be trying to ncgoti. and behaviours that break the supposed gcnder rules..IN THE CLASSROOM Rose Hickman looks beyond the limitations of the assumptions. and not rcgarding thcm as individuals but as one homogeneous. Steven Pinker maintains that '(lflI'IliPIS 10 il1lmduce gellder /wulrat words tikI' "hl'sll" [a pronoun encompassing he and she] .. n my articie in Issue 69. . non·differentiated blob.. But intercstingly. . who stay suspiciously quict at ccr\iLin moments in com'ers'lt ions. We need to be aware of our role in this.. we need 10 realise that doing nothing to combat inequality is equiv'llent to being part of the causc. [t said: 2 lesbians + 3 gays + I /l"{lI/sse.c:om • ENGLISH TEACHING professional . This is one of the reasons why the contcnt words of the languagc are adaptcd lind lIddcd to so frcqucntly. after:1ll.\"IIat + 4 bisexuals + f 5 heleros = III)' doss.md hasn't managcd to rcplacc Miss or Mrs.lIe between what thcy know and what they learn. And those who identify as gay. lind boys who don't like the i11l1lge thcy know they're supposed to fit. arc becoming more acccptcd. Issue 70 September 2010 · 19 .. language to describe thcm respectfully is slower to appear. If we acccpt equality as our preference. 1/(/1"1' jailed' beclluse function wo rds resist change. I see those who have same·sex parcnts and don't want to talk about their families. where I often see girls get irritated or give up whcn thcy are pressured to be quiet by boys. Evcn something as basic as Ms is still ridiculed in some quartcrs .sstonat. • • What are we teaching? Teachers . recenlly saw a T·shirt produced by 11 group of studcnts at Barcelona Univcrsity. thc And in the middle of this mincficld of dcbatc about our hlllgmige and cultures are our students. in two languages/worlds. I belicvc it is important 10 undcrstand that it is not the words themselves that resist change. _.lIic. Our slUdents certainly secm to be well aware of who is in our classes! • • . Their students will. Teachers.l1Jy part of a society that produces and reproduces eulluml beliefs: we are pmt of the process of transmillillg a message of equality or stcrcotyping. just in case. I'd now like to look at thc English language. gender and sexuality in class in more dctail. Who are our students? I work in Spain. applied hctcro 'norm'.Ire autom... nor do we all find that it mects our necds whcn it comes to expressing our experience of life.etprof. but thc society they function in . I Whose English? We don't all use English in the same way. lesbian or transsexual. we saw how being one gendcr or another has an cffcct on our experience of a class and how a tcachcr may counteract gcndcr incqu'llity.

too. dd hcteroscxualm<l1cs ill that.lTe supportcd and promoted by popular belief and the language we teach. Mall: Who is he? • • . I really think it's time to address both gender and sexual it y issues in education. Steven Pinker gives the following example: arc already being int roduced inlo the curriculum in some schools in some countries. WOIII(m. afte r all (lm/Mngl/og!' Wie in sust(lining heterOllOrmati1"e sociaf (Irf(lIIgellleIllS'. I also do not a utomatically assume a child means p(/rellf~' when they say 'my fill/It'rs' .. [ wonder why. sexuality lind kinship when we te'leh. Kinship patterns clln be differen t. even when they recl difTerenl. I would suggest that just as girls are negatively affected by stereotyping. likefillllify itself? The way we teach languilge is oftcn through majority kinship pallerns (my cul t ure's case having one male and one female parent). Le. _ •• tprof• • •lonal. Clt/ss lIuII/agel/1I.IS!>. Knowing our stuff Do we actually know if 1I word has difTerent connotations in the students' LI ? 1 once had a conversation with a teacher lIbout homophobill lind hc said he had not hcard any eXilmples in his classes. and tend to bring it up at the end of an activity to cleilr up misunderstandings without pUlling a specific student on the spo!. Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGLISH TEACH ING professional . Doing it differently We know that our learners are never oilly learning a language. but they have yet to even begin to tackle the sexuality issues. as well as linking the content to the use of Englis h and Japanese. 10 /(Ike lip a 111'11' sexisl praelicl' ill English 20 .>1l1'1. depending on where you teilch. but it turned 'Should 11'. Deborah Cameron ilnd Don Kulick cl. but also -Paul doesn't seem to work well in groups.liill:ll·!) • • •- • What can we do? Managing our classes Being in tunc with our students' needs doesn't only consist of being able to identify such things as ' Paul is weak on prepositions'. We arc educators in general as well as English teachers. bringing up problems we encounter every day.com • . Spanish speakers do not tend to know that it can sometimes refer to a person. but by no means everybody would assume this. T his is a challenging idea. heterosexual binllry system is not the great majority that many would have us believe. I belicve we should not hide behind these difficulties ilS an excuse for ignoring ilspeets of life which rencct reality for some students.lrners need to know how to address people in English correctly in modern times.lim there is a 'port pltlyed by {ul/gllflge of family. the learncrs will be using the language in a society wi th many different types of people. and they arc losing out by being ignored in CI. He'd been working in the country fo r seven years. etc. courll'sy litles which do 1101 distinguish bJI St'X or mar.Sex education according to Alistair Man!. It is not my wish to cause difficult moments for individuals. but it is important to include illl and promote equality. and we teach thilt WlIY. but the assumed two-parent.. including learners in the content while addressing gender. AlIlcarncrs would surely benefit from learning respect for everyone and acquiring the social skills necessary to work with others. married. but use gllordiml in my questions. Jacqueline Beebe asks. There are many different types Learner needs include the necd to know about the rules for social discourse. Because of this. and even more so when approaching possibly 'taboo' issues.my people. When speaking of how we need background informution to make sentences understandable. The way the missing background information h"s been understood is that it is a heterosexual situation.' Il'aeh }ap(IIl('se sludnlls \1"ho illiheir firSl klllguagl' II"0uld 1/. and they need to feel included. and research suggests this will mostly benefit mules I'd . Wltm are )"O/lr mother olldftllher's IWIlt('~'? ' Howevcr.' Including everybody T he problem of inequality in language is even more subtle than usc of greetings or personal pronouns.)'1' "SOI/" or ··slImll··. so too are people of certain sexual orientations.'11i is an umbrella term for many aspects of our job: we can include within it organising our classes so that no one feels left out or uncomfortable. and some teachers arc exploiting this in course content. ReconSidering learner needs T hcre is always a need to be aware of the culture in which we teach. We could also integrate this imo our language classes in our given contexts and cultures. It is not just gender roles thilt . I teach the words lIIolher andfillher.. which is a strong argument for including issues around gender. Every day we use our L I to perform and perpetuate stilndilrdised 'norms' in society tlmt have no basis in reillity for m. so how will that affect how we teach certain items of vocabulary. And what about children who are living in state care? We could be perpetuilting an unequal ilnd possibly uncomfortable situation for more students than we realise. not all childrcn fit into this kinship pattern. and what I can do 10 make him feel more comfortable'. I believe these skills wllieh could dall/age Ihe imagl' of Ihemsel\"es or Iheir compallY? Stlldems nl'l't/lhe knoll'ledge fO tIl'oid il/od1"ertem SI':". However.z. Ultimately. and we tend to ask questions likc . rm karillg )'011. Some ELT books havc gone some way to addressing gendcr role issues. Feminist English courses have existed in Japan since the 1980s.sl praelices SI/ch (IS (I(/ding (I IIfr 10 alllhl' names UII (/ COlllplIll'rised mailillg lfrs lisl or addressing af! adlill 11'01111'11 as J Fml/ify N(//I/e. Shouldn't we also teach the neutral if to cover all possibilities? Where I work.{(I1 S{(lWs. appropriacy.

.• . renew your subscription or simply browse the features. here arc some ideas to gct you startcd. fO ell~'lIre Ihal Cameron. techniques and activities.EACHING pr~JesslOllal E NGLISH TEACHING This is your magazine. a message is still being given. West Sussex. write to us or email: editor@etprofessional . it will be no surprise to see that child stay silent at times. when they hear the same words used pejoratively in class without this being challenged. Keep each other informed of what is going on in yo ur classes. citrefully-chosen groups and give them some questions to d iscuss.but are we not at least supposed \0 be irnp<lrtial? Th<ll would mean making a n effort to inform ourselves. _.class feedback session afterwa rds.. When we do nothing.. • If you think it will be too difficult to address these issues wi th the whole class. Write to us or email: editor@etprofessional.com P018 SHO. Also.etprof. so its connotations and the actions wc take upon hearing it used wiU be difTerClll. So if a child has same-sex parents and wi thin their world hears words like gay as positive.mge. Even simply adding the odd question here and there that doesn't assume everyone is the same.. simple or sophisticated.com Visit the ETp website! The ETp website is packed with practical lips. resources. • You can also find information on the internet to provide topics (or lessons or class discussions. R and Martinez.\' by Richard MacAndrew and Ron Martinez a good source of lessons on these themes. keep otliers silelll (/lid pQwerless'. Writing for ETp Would you like 10 write for ETp? We are always interested in new writers and fresh ideas. Chichester. for those students who have no (known) contact with gayllesbian people. A On Ues. allowing the pejorative usc of the word Pinker. as well as other lamentllble reactions. Hold an open. She coordinates e~ternal e~ams and provides guidance for new leachers. 0 The Language and Sexuality Reader Routledge 2006 MacAndrew.. well· tried or innovative.com Pavilion Publishing (Brighton) Ltd. We want to hear from you! professional 00 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. something that has worked well for you? All published contributions receive a prize! Write to us or email: editof'@etprofessional. R Taboos and Issues Thomson Heinle 2001 Mant.. • The most obvious place to begin is with your teacher colleagues: don't assume they have no views on the subject.com ENGLISH T. 0 and Kulick.com • _. COl1sl"iolls . ill I('(/ching lI"e 111:(. Spain. you may find the book Taboos (llId hSllc. A Intelligent Leadership Allen & Unwin 1997 Norton. Learners often say things in private that they wouldn't say in public: let them know their work will only be read by you. to milke a ch. • To ntise the issues in class.. PO Box 100. in class could confirm their idea that 'gay = bad' is some kind of 'univcrsal truth'. start by putting thc studcnts into small . not even a great (ield of pla nning.sstonal. information and selected articles. discuss problems and share ideas. advice. <ill> Beebe. Her personal research interests include gender in education and the buill environment. Band Pavelenko. teenagers and aduhs for 15 years in Barcelona. but sct a written homework assignment for individuals. Shouldn't teachers make an effort to be aware of the possible problems? A little help from your friends If you decide to tackle these iSSlles. For guidelines and advice. As Adrienne Rich expresses it. UK Fax: +44 (0)1243 576456 Email: info@etprofessional. Issue 70 September 2010 ' 21 . J 'Sexist language and English as a foreign language: A problem of knowledge and choice' The Language Teacher 22{5) JALT 1998 oulthal he didn"t know Ihe offending words in LI to look o ul for. Teachers arc a lso part o f society and have their own vielVs .. It just takes the desire to promote equality and a little extnt effort. You can submit tips or articles.. we should insist that everyonc is represented in our institution's equal it y and anti· bullying policies. A 'Addressing gender in the ESUEFL classroom' TESOL Ouarterly 1996 language will 1101 be IIsed to .(/ /0 be (ICuleI). who has taught English *** IT WORKS IN PRACTICE Do you have ideas you'd like to share with colleagues around the world? Tips.. Above all. so how could he possibly spot any problem? We enter into d a ngerous territory.ISS is il safe zone where students know they can speak openly and safely will help. and making it clear your C]. Secrets and Silence W W Norton & Company 1995 DELTA Rose Hickman is a qualified teacher to children. A word can mean different things in different cultures. S The Language Instinct Penguin 1994 Rich.etprofessional.eom • ENGLISH TEACHING professional .

insights into language. and reviews of the latest published materials. Every issue is packed with teaching ideas.onlineMET. You'll find MET stimulating. challenging. views and opinions of methodology and theory. Modem English Teacher is still the magazine leading the way In the development of English Language Teaching around the world.Now available in digital format Over 40 years since it was first published.com . 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 list~ning lex1s To infinity and btyond ••. news of developments In new technology. BRINGING ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHERS TOGETHER ISSN 0308 0587 Four Issues per year www.

the groups swapped books and repeated the activity with a new book. and they felt reassured as they had very little text. To avoid expense. After reading this page they were asked to say what they had read. The students found the books extremely attractive as they were all fully illustrated. Working in groups mea nt there was plenty of discussion and exchanging of ideas... The students were allowed to borrow each of their three books for one week. Afte r the presentation. Then we looked at the other dictionaries in the library. Afterwards they did some more vocabulary exercises which involved looking up new words in a simplified Engiish. When all four children in the group . giving the students an idea of t he dictionaries that were available in there. I deliberately chose books that were availa ble in the school library. and read ing in English with having fun. So I developed a project to get them involved in reading. They are open to new ideas and willing to take part in any activities offered to them. The project My project was targeted on three classes of 20 nine year o lds who were in their first year of lear ning English. The Three Billy Goats Gruff. put the students into groups of four and gave each child in a group a copy of the same book. The Town Mouse and me Country Mouse. Back in the classroom. The next step was to show t hem the books I had chosen for them to read in English. I had prepared a few amusing vocabulary e xercises for them to do and they read their books and did some of the exe rcises in pairs. I e xplained what I would like them to do after they had borrowed and read each of the three books. First. in one group a child threw the dice and the number was five. to to * motivate them read books in English: * to improve their reading skills. The Sleeping Beauty. T hese were simplified te xts adapted from traditional fairytales. and a passionate reader myself.. * to incorporate new activities in my teaching. ·················0 ················· * What animals are mere? * Who are the people in me story? * What does Goldilocks do? * Where do bears go? * What do bears eat? * Who reod bedtime stories to you when * Do you remember me title of me first * What book are you reading now? * Whot is your fovourite book? book you read in Siovenian? you were a little child? The students answered the questions and pointed to the people and things in the book. I explained to them that they would read the books at home.. She did that at the beginning of the lesson.they were eager to read the entire book and to learn what happened next. These questions proved to be a good start as they aroused the students' interest and made them discuss their reading habits (this was done in their mother tongue). the students were allowed to browse the books for a few minutes. so t hey all opened the book Goldilocks and The Three Bears on page five .) ************* Aprimary reading project Betka Pislar e ncourages good reading habits from the start. I brought the books to class. asking her to show the students the shelves with books in English and to explain the rules of the lib rary. some of the students tried to guess the meaning of new words with the help of the pictures.Siovenian dictionary.( TEACHING YOUNG LEARNERS . The activity also aro used their curiosity . I asked them to look at the covers and to read the titles. * to help them to associate learning * to increase t hei r creativity. At the end of the lesson I invited t hem to visit the school library in the next lesson. • _. which was fun for the children. To meet these objectives I decided to encourage my pupils to read at least three books in English. I then asked them to th row a dice and to open their books on the corresponding page.. which they enjoyed immensely. The plan * to encourage the students to set the following objectives: develop and expand their vocabulary. A I s a primary school teacher of English in Slovenia. I helped them by asking them questions like: had had a go at throwing the dice. I began with these questions: I then showed them my favourite nursery book when I was a child. ENGUSH TEACHI NG professiol/al • issue 70 September 2010' 23 . I explained some new words to them. I have always tried to pass on my love of reading to my students and motivate them to stan reading in English. such as Goldilocks and The Three Bears. . These exercises encouraged them to use and recycle words they met in the books. Then they sat at the desks in the 'reading corner' of the library. For example. etc. However.etprofe •• lonal. I find that the children I teach are naturally interested in what is going on in the school. ·················0 ················· I planned the visit to the school library beforehand with the librarian..(:om .

with magnificent illustrations and beautiful handwriting. and we dramatised some of them. A primary reading project ~~~ ·················0 . They were asked the following questions: * How often do you go to the library? * Who usuolly helps you to read? * Do you discuss the books you read with your parents or schoolfriends? about the book. The students were very keen to complete their flowers as quickly as possible. doing the worksheets and completing the flowers gave them a strong sense of achievement. That would mean all their tasks had been done. which resulted in increased selfconfidence and personal satisfaction. I explained that it represented the centre of a flower and that they would get a petal for each worksheet they finished to add to their flower on the poster. 4 Make 0 new cardboard cover (or the book. ··············· My after-reading activities were given to the students on a worksheet which had an obligatory part and an optional part. I also The students involved in this reading project nearly all discovered that reading in English can be a lot of fun. • In fewer than twO months. 2 Do on illustration with coloured pencils or water colours. They were asked to do these activities at home or after lessons in the school library. round piece of paper. 2 Find any new words in the English-Slovenian dictionary. All these activities gave them a strong sense of achievement. At present she t eaches Engli sh and F""Ilch at the :t:iri Primary School. I wanted to discover more about how they read and learn.com ' . After talking to the remaining seven children. :t:iri. I realised they either had less support from their families or they were not interested in reading at all. Gradually. J Write a new ending (or the book in three to ~ve sentences. After bringing me all three worksheets. done the worksheets and consequently completed their flowers on the class poster. Slove nia. I tried to persuade them to start reading and I also prepared some additional fun activities to encourage them. I asked them to do at least twO of the following: I Write what you liked or didn't like flower on the poster. We even made cardboard puppets.. some of thei r parents even went to libraries in neighbouring towns to get the books for their children. I then gave each student a small. Reading the books. especially to those with more creative skills. and when all the books in the library were out. Completing a flower on a class poster and doing worksheets was also an incentive. They became quite competitive at the same time as they read. which I carried out with the students in all three classes. They started by reading simple English texts. colour it and stick it on the poster. which proved motivational. The optional activities were meant to encourage the students to be creative and to give them the opportunity to do things that they liked doing. _ _ etprofe•• lonal. ·················0 ················· The final part of my project consisted of a survey.( TEACH ING YOUNG LEARNERS )) ************* introduced some new songs and rhymes. Then I asked them a few comprehension questions about what they had read. 3 Write what the story was about in (lve to seven sentences. S3 children out of 60 had read all three books. In class we watched some extracts from films which had been made of the chosen stories. secondary school studento and ad ults for ~r 20 ~a". and students who had al ready read the books acted out some scenes from them. I checked them and gave them each a paper petal. They could write the title of the book they had finished on the petal if they wished. we read together the names of those who had already completed their flowers on the poster. Some of them produced really nice work. ·················0 ················· I brought a large cardboard poster to the next lesson and put it on the wall next to the board. Peer competition was an important factor: more active children encouraged those with less motivation. their flower would be complete. 5 Rewrite one page a( the book in the form of a cartoon story. They were so busy competing that they didn't realise how much they were reading! It was noticeable that thei r vocabularies expanded and that they went to the library more often. They realised that by reading more books they also learnt more English. brought their worksheets to school. H er milin e duutionill interest is motivati ng pnfTlary school children to lea rn . which as their English improves will gradually become more advanced. The instructions for the obligatory activities were as follows: Write the title of the book in English. Each lesson. 4D> Be tka P iS l a~ has taugh t English to young lear ne". those students who had read one of the books at home and done a worksheet. which they stuck on their 24 • Issue 70 September 2010' ENGUSH TEACH ING professiollal. they started borrowing books which were not even on my list. They went to t he librar y very often. * ·················0 ················· At the beginning of the following lesson. and asked them to write their name on it.

from my experience in in-service and pre-service teacher trai ning courses. Culture Thirdly. they can be asked to select a story or an article that is relevant to the topiC being ta ught and to record themselves retelling it or reading it aloud. there are ways to integrate native speakers into the class so that they make progress in the language as well as benefiting the class as a whole... and English is defi ned as the most important non-official language of the countr y. Reading Firstly. There are no official statistics about the number of 'native' EngliSh speakers in Swiss schools but. However. the question is often raised of what to do in English lessons with children who speak the language at home. Mo reover. English is in the process of being introduced as a compulsory subject in elementary schools in eastern Switzerland. This recording can then be transcribed and edited by the learner or the teacher.it is assumed that the teacher has already diagnosed the class and identified that a certain child. 'I often use the native speoker os my helper though I know that this isn't always good. many children starting t hird grade come to school with a higher level of English t han might be expected. this use of the native speaker should be limited to cases where it is clear that the child can profit at least on a social level. They can prepare memory cards wi th full se ntences for the others to use. Therefore.etprofe ••lonal. The final version can be used as a listening exercise for the rest of the class or as a comparison exercise for the other learners to evaluate thei r own production. ' Native' here refers to learners who are more advanced because they have received and continue to receive more extensive exposure to the language. They can also be asked to write stories and poems that can be shared with the whole class. in English. there may be anywhe re from one to three ' native' English-speaking children per group of 20 children. That said. the native learners' experience of other count ries or with other cultures can be integrated into the Class benefits When I ask them about their experiences.( TEACHING YOUNG LEARNERS ) ************* Laura Loder Buchel integrates 'native-speaker' students into the fo reign language classroom. This is not fair. who are themselves native English speakers. learners should nor be helping others to the detriment of their own progress . The purpose of this article is to provide concrete practical ideas for allowing native-English-speaking children to benefit and develop their own language skills while working with the whole class as well as while working independently. there are often children who know more than their teacher about a specific topic.. • _. writing activi ties can be used for the benefit of the whole class. if not perhaps at a linguistic level. children come to class with varying levels of prior knowledge. Teachers can have these children write sentences using t he target vocabulary that can then be used with the rest of the class. at the same time. but at the same time. whether a native speaker or not. Knowledge As with every subject taught in schools. some teachers have little or no experience of teaching English or any other foreign language. there are activities that these children can work on independently during a lesson but which. Moreover. For example. According to the census of 2000. They often wonder what to do with the stronger A learners in their English classroom. those whose parents communicate in English although neither parent is a native speaker..' Teachers should keep in mind that while being a helper is a good lesson in diplomacy.eom • ENGUSH TEACHI NG prOfessiol/al • issue 70 September 2010' 25 . Writing Secondly. starting in the second or third grades (children of eight and nine). approximately I % of the Swiss population is 'native' English speaking. the process provides native-speaking children with valuable writing experience. These 'native' speakers may leave them feeling a little uncertain as they find their footing in t his new subiect. At the moment. needs more encouragement. In addition. are for the benefit the class. s English becomes a compulsory part of primary education across central Europe. this article does not seek to imply that native-speaking children are always st ronger in all their language skills than their peers in English lessons . and those who have spent time in an English-speaking country and may have gone to school there.. for various reasons. These may be children who speak English to one or both of their parents. As this is a new subject.. teachers on training courses invariably say.. the following suggestions about integrating native speakers can be used to cater to the needs of any more advanced learners.

.Pd( and www. they can be asked to purchase an e-book of interest to their child that can be printed out and used in class. but with more gaps for the native speakers to complete. Teachers with native speakers in their class should perhaps take the time to find the language curriculum from the country their child is from.obaeoch. and they can be the resource person with the dictionary. that's right However . They can be put in charge of materials so that the other students have to come up and ask for things... <Ill> Differentiation The first suggestion involves the preparation of handouts. Individual benefits The above ideas fully integrate the native speakers into the class for the benefit of all.III- lessons. one might see. They can be made responsible for ensuring the whole group speaks in the target language. The role the community can play in schools should also not be forgonen. However. Allowing them to choose an independent project. such as Teacher Created Materials and Scholastic. choosing another textbook for independent work can be a good idea.. Working on a computer can help native speakers set their own pace in language learning activities. 26 . word banks. The following ideas are more for the benefit of the individual. Teachers in many countries need to have a repertoire of ideas for working with native speakers in the foreign language classroom. Buche' studie d Bilingual and Multicultural Education at Northecn Arhona University in the USA and has been an instn"tor at the Zurich and Schaffhausen Universities ofTuche r Educa tion in Swiner'and for t h e past s. n yea rs. so teachers should be prepared to give suPPOrt in the main language of the school. Issue 70 Septem ber 2010 ' ENGLISH TEACH ING prof essional . for example) can be kept in a special binder and used as supplementary materials for the 'native' students. _ _. in a shop-like setting. In addition.com • .pbskids. It is useful and relatively simple to prepare at least two versions of a handout.moss. as this requi res more for mal English and use of language such as Yes. such as making a poster about a country they have lived in. Every language in the classroom should be recognised and shared. www. language awareness and cultural activities can be used which give the students the opportunity to share songs.doe. games.( TEACHING YOUNG LEARNERS ) ************* them to write reports can support their skills in thei r mother tongue and in their second language. computer work allows these children to keep up with the typical language development of thei r peers in Englishspeaking countries. offer a wide range of textbooks for children in English-speaking countries. They can also be the 'mediator'. etc) on the o nes for the native speakers. I hope this article has sparked some creative ideas for integration and differentiation. which offer educationally relevant and challenging materials for independent work. parental involvement is being highly encouraged at the moment. When assigning roles in groups. the teacher could have monolingual dictionaries for the native students and bilingual ones for the others. with less language suppOrt (model sentences. In addition. Cooperation Finally. or with an addi tional section where they have to do some extra writing or take the activity or activity reflection one step further.. Furthermore.com. though t he child still belongs to and can wor k alongSide the class.tprof• • •lonal. once a week to the English class and taking his child and a few more to another room to read them stories.. Organisation Organisationally. There are numerous sites. Extra worksheets from language classrooms in English-speaking countries (from www. stories and traditions from their own culture or those t hey have experienced. but also social skills and skills for life.discoverykids.com.edul(rameworks/elol 060 I. Publishers. a South African father coming can be created for the native speakers which have more of a focus on spelling and writing. too. Independence Schools aim not only to teach content. the same text can be given to all the other learners. and children of all language backgrounds should be provided with opportunities to improve their mother-tongue competence within and o utside the classroom. W ith gapped texts. it is a good idea to have the native speakers sit where they are not facing any language support on the board or on the wall. In some communities. The following ideas might be used for one Jesson a week for those learners who can work more independently.ncpublicschools. Afair deal for all ~ II. for example. others not. can hel p promote cultural and linguistiC knowledge and can lead to a product that can be shared with the class. some children may need more social development than content development. If the parents have enough money. Helpful websites include: www. they can be the 'writer'. such as www. This ensures they don't have the information right at their fingertips. It would be good to let every child lead a game in the language they speak at home. as they should be expected and encouraged to write more. which can benefit all the children.com and www. The ideas listed above help to suppor t language development as well as social development.org/ curriculumllonguogeortslscosl.. Furthermore. it might be useful for the native-speaking child to develop their local language skills. In SWitzertand.funbroin. Depending on the situation. letting children read books of interest in English and getting Materials While the normal textbook used with the rest of the class can be followed.com. native speakers can be used in many ways in cooperative learning contexts to their own benefit and to the benefit of the class. handouts Laura Lode..

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one student from Group B should focus on one from Group A and comp lete the table in Worksheet 3 below. are primarily responsible for their child's education. The second task encourages the students to consider a wide range of perspectives on a topic. where he taught General English. Business English and Academic English. Ask them to divide the cards into the following functions: • Partly agree • Disagree • Agree Give the pairs or groups of studen ts the second set of expressions cards from Task 2 Give half the class (Group A) Seminar topic A from Worksheet 2 on page 29 and the other half (Group B) Seminar topic B. in order to set personal learning objectives for future seminars. even if they have been presented with d ifferent viewpoints in a reading text. The first task presented here provides students with language which they can practise using in their seminar discussion. Then repeat the process with Ihe students from Group A observing those from Group B. _ •• tprof• • •lonal. However. I feellhey do give students a framework of language to use. I n an academic setting it is often important to cons ider several different perspectives on a topic. Worksheet 3 . or any other seminar activity. Get them to decide who in th eir group is going to chair the discussion. and give this person a set of the cards used in Stage 2. It also encourages them perhaps 10 modify the ir opinions after hearing different arguments. Award one point per phrase used by each student. Then ask them to discuss one of the topics below (or any other topic you feel would be of interest) using as many of the phrases as possible. Possible topics • The only reason to learn a language is if the language will help you gain a good job. Germany and Portugal. Whilst it is arguable how au thentic some of Ihese expressions may be. The third activity provides them with the opportunity to reflect on their own participation. not teachers. Give each other person in the group a set of the cards used in Stage 1. UK. Ask the students to work in pairs and to think of arguments for or against their topics and to decide what sort of people might hold these opinions (more than one person may hold each opinion). • Parents. Whilst the seminar is happening.EAP An all-round challenge 2 Louis Rogers teaches his students seminar skills. These perspectives will often come ou t of the background reading thai the students are expected to undertake before a seminar. • The most effective way to support a homeless person is to provide them with money. II Ask the students to work in small groups.Seminar observation Student Main arguments presented -4ID~ I Did th ey listen to others' opinions? Yes D No 0 Did they modify their viewpo int? Yes D No 0 No D Did th ey focus on winning th e argument? Yes 0 28 . I find initially that many of the students find it difficult to move beyond their own perspective on a situation. He has previously worked in It aly. Issue 70 September 2010' ENGLI SH TEACH ING professional . encourage them to reflec t on their experience using questions such as these: Everyone 1 Are you satisfied with how you participated in the discussion? 2 How do you think you could improve? 3 Did any person dominate or not take part? 4 How could you help to include others and stop some people dominating a discussion? The chair • How well do you think the discussion went? • How do you think you could improve as chair? *** Gil> EI EI Louis Rogers Is a course tutor on the International Foundation Programme at the University of Reading. Task 1 Give pairs or groups of students the first set of expressions cards from Worksheet 1 on page 29. Put the Group A students into smaller groups of four to six and ask them 10 take D D After your students have completed the seminar activities above.com • . Worksheet 1 and ask them to divide them into these categories: • Beginning a d iscussion • Clarifying points • Managing the discussion • Closing the d iscussion part in a seminar on the topic they have been preparing.

. : Yes. .. X.. .-----------------------~------------------------r----------------------- To sum up .com • ENGLISH TEACHING professiol/al • Issue 70 September 2010 · 29 . But surely.Different r oles and perspectives Seminar topic A Work with a partner and think about the following topic: Tobacco should be m ad e illegal .Language focus Set of cards 1 .-----------------------~------------------------.-----------------------. .. .Worksheet 1 ..------------. ' L _______________________ J ________________________ . • _ •• tprof •••lonal. let's move on to the next topic. J . . r----------. ________________________ L _______________________ J .. . . . Is Ihere anything else to cover? Moving on .. I'm afraid that's not how I see it.. . but .-----------------------.. . . . ? ~ I'm not quite sure I : _______________________ understand what you mean. -----------------------. . . I can see what you mean but.-----------------------. Who might have this opinion? ~ ~ What might be lin argument for this? Governments.. OK. . .-----------------------~------------------------r-----------------------. I'm not sure I entirely agree . Could I just check what you mean by . So. . would anyone else like to comment? .-----------------------~-----------------------~------------------------"----------------------_. .. X put it we ll when he/she said . . What might be an argument against this? A lot of people wou ld lose their jobs. . L _______________________ J _______________________ . employees of tobacco companies Seminar topic B Work with a partner and think about the following topic : Developing countries should not have to restrict C02 emissions in the same way as d eveloped countries.-----------------------~------------------------. . you have a point there.... but.. Let's start by . What might be lin argument against this? Who might have Ihis opinion? leaders of developing countries What might be lin argument for this? Restricting emissions for developing countries may limit their development and ultimately limit their standard of living.________________________ L So 10 kick off . . In conclusion . .. ' So what you are saying is. Who might have an opinion on this topic? What are arguments for and against? Who might present this argument? Use your ideas to complete the table below. You have a point there but. . do you have anything to add to Y's point? I d idn't quite catch that. I'm sorry but I don't agree that. Maybe. I comp letely agree that. As X said. so let's begin. X.-----------------------. . OK. Set of cards 2 . -----------------------~-----------------------~------------------------"----------------------- Worksheet 2 . Shall we stop there? . That may be true. Who might have an opinion on this topic? What are arguments for and against? Who might present this argument? Use your ideas to complete the table below. . I don't quite fo llow you.

but wc ClIII try to bring thc world to thcm. in the nicest possible wa)'. To reducc confusion when rotating. If thc students need to be mixcd up too. and many arc eager to volunteer.tr groups straying into interesting ilreils. every five minutes. rathe r than just 'Colf Jor de/ails'. Roam around the room. ask the tourists to rotate clockwise. calt everyone into a big circle ilnd ask if anyone heard anything interesting. narrow topics altow us to recycle with variations without getting bored: if your first topic is somcthing large like Culture. giving my students il chllnce ill conversation in sma[[ groups. These classes are separllte from my regular English lessons. I often diseover additional questions when J overhe. It kee ps the talk going. Add specific questions or leave it open. You might remind everyone to make sure they can pronounce their partncrs' namcs before they rotate :tway. you've pretty wclt made any future cultural topic into a boring repeat. I ilhernate between culling on st udcnts iUld tourists 10 ensure that my students speak. We can't send all our students abroad for experience. Of anything that they didn't undcrstand. mix thc groups up evcry fcw minutes. you may be able to recruit them to help with suc h classes.. T Tourists as resources For years I havc run a conversation class here in Ladllkh during the tou rist season. More advanced students will digress into more interesting topics. Topics J find it is hclpful to sct a clear and limited topic. to get impulse visitors saying . and thc improvcment to thcir spoken English is remllrkable. • Introductions. This is hugely popular with thc students. Tcn minutes before the cnd of the class. Hey. the samc information while thcir recent allernpt and any new words that have come up are fresh in their minds. it helps to ilrrange the smilll groups around a large cirele. I got fewer responses than when I did it myself: they didn't have it sense 01 where the backpackers gravitate. Try putting up A4 posters in populilf backpacker restaurants.com • . As I ha\"C enough tourists to run a conversation class evcry day. I mean trave[[ers with ncxible schedulcs. You Ciln announce iln additional question once in a while. look. 100. of course! Give a fixed time.and intermediate·lcvcl studcnts. _ _ etprofe•• tonal. II'I's go Ihere this lIJlemoollf' Havc them come a fcw minutes before class so you Ciln greet and orient them. Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGLISH TEACH ING professional . while the lower-level students will be glad of the structure. but this situation is difficult for students to find in their horne country. Elementary Low-level students appreciate having ncw conversation partners so they can repeat old topics for further practice. J havc also made fruitful connections with sevcntl foreign student triwel groups. Tips For low. After five to 15 minutes (shorter for introductions. Another tactic with the intractably loquacious is to iUlllounce that at the end the visitors willtelt the whole class what they learnt from thc students. Advise thcm ahead of time to tolerate long pauses and to remember how hard it is to formulate a sentence in a foreign language that one doesn't know very well. Some tourist voluntecrs talk too muc h and over the students' heads. J found that whcn I askcd our local stalT to put these up. break it down into small SUbtopics. Triwe[[ers usua[[ y appreciate the chance to interact with locals outside thc tou rism industry. inviting visitors to the country to join in. If you teilch in an area with a lot of backpackers. Rotate quickly.RESOURCES he most nalUml way to learn a language is to be plunged into a situation where it is needed for communication. Instead. and a[[ the students then gct a chancc to repea t 30 . longcr for a juicier topic Of when the noise Icvcl indicutcs that something interesting is taking place). We want to trap as many of them as wc can. By backpackers. usk one from each group to stand up ilnd rotilte anti-clockwise. eoltecting vocabulary for thc bOllrd and clarifying where necessary. since some students arc unable to maintain a conversation for much longer. and sometimes I write main points or words on the board.

such . Young people always enjoy comparing education systems.1T pronunci. • Poverty.lIe students . • Contrived topics and games are less intrinsically motivating than discussing one's own life. This topic always generates a lively (and generally noisy) discussion.-ameli sholildl/'l or ("(1/1'1 do? This topic emphasises modal auxiliaries. hilving to use English for reat communication. It is a great favourite with my studcnts. Are Ihae cerwill jobs Illtl/ I. Topics might include: Who lil"es ill YOllr hOIlSI'? Is 111(11 COlllmOIl ill your cOIIII /ry? Were YOlir p(lrC/IIS (md gralldpllrel1ls bom ill Ihe sallll' 101m? IVh(/{ age do childrell 1I0rmally mOl"e 011/ of Iheir p(lrel1ls' hOllse? Is il cOllsidered good if a SOli /ires wilh M)' p(lrel1ls whell he is 10 year.\" Ihe clolhe. • Education. What chores '/0 )"011 do in YOllr hOllse? Do boys alld girls do '/iffi'r('1/l IhillgS? Who c/e(/ns/cookshrasiJe. I do this topic early in the year. while the tourists appreciate learning about local farming. political topics are better avoided. I usc this topic with visiting foreign student groups to sensitise them to how they should dress so as not 10 offend the locals.\" old! My region still has a fairly traditional family structure. Words or tongue twisters on the board give everyone a clcar task to work on. as terminology varies widely between countries. I give a map to each group and then redistribute the maps aftcr ten minutes. • _.lTe shy about dating and sex. cD Rebecca Norman has been teaching English *** to rural students in an alternative education programme in Ladakh in the Indian Himalayas lor 18 years.I"IIOII"? • Clothing. If the students and/or tourists have photos from home. and in some countries. My female students . you can use more abstract topics and opinion questions. • Maps. Advanced When students are able to communicate more.I·· Nres alld )"ollr OWI1? This topic also focuses attention on past and present tenscs.\s Who brings lIaler /0 ). Props give low-level students. world and opinions.lIion point for the first five or ten minutes. What 1'1(1111. For example. Arl' Iherl' poor people ill )"ollr CO/llllrr? Who? Why? After five minutes for factual exchange.) elc? I ·. I have found these topics among the most successful early ones: • Family.they have trouble expressing abstract concepts and answering the IVhy questions. like 10 add questions that I know might surprise one side or the other. this conversation class is like going ilbroad for an hour a dilY. Start with vocabulary for the tourists as well as your students. Tourists as tutors Tourists with good-cnough English can be used . with each side reciting a litany of food names to blank-faced partners. For the learners. sometimes I have them teach the touristS.1 (//ul ' lIlIilllals does YOllr j(llllily I1m'e? My students come from farmi ng fllmilies and are surprised at wha t the foreigners say to this. but be sensitive 10 your particular tourists and don't make non-na tive speakers teach points that they themselves have difficulty with. These might inelude local maps that students have to explain. • Avoid religion for intermedi. <Isking the students to m<lke general statements in the present tense.etprof. and describe their own personal experience in the past tense.Ollr hOllse? Who sho\'els Ihe . and my students arc amazed by the mobility and creative family structures of the West. and again later after teaching the past tense. even if they can't make full sentences. I ask them to bring them in.\ tricky pronunciation point from the local langllage. I questions: Doe. This topic uses the simple present tense. and wi th the tourists. il.ssionat. Intermediate Exchanging factual information works best.IS small-group tutors. • Generations. I use this topic when the tourists are also students. I announce two addition.1ll encountging experience of communicating.c:om • ENGLISH TEACHING professional .• Photos. To turn the tables and raise my students' confidence. you can have them work on a partieu[. Issue 70 September 2010 ' 31 . If the tourists don't have photos..\" allyolle help poor people? Ha re YOII I'rer dOlle all)'/hillg 10 hl'lp someolle poorer Ihall YOllrsdf! • Gender. Let your imilgination Oy! Topics to avoid • Food tends to flop. and it's frustrating to garble one's dceply-held personal beliefs. too. • Plants and animals. Whal (Ire Ihe major differellcl's be/lrel'lI YOllr grmu/pllfel1l. or world maps for the tourists to show where they arc from or wherc they arc travelling. • Avoid lilly thing that might be embarrilssing or offensive to you r local students. sometimes we find a photo book about their country in our library. • Chores.

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Technically we know how to prevent blindness . especially.com • .my teacher . two autobiographies and one non· fiction manual. Deaf Sentence In Deaf Sentence. which celebrate her appreciation of the natural world largely th rough her other senses of touch and smell. II may seem unusual to introduce this set 01 books on various forms of disability.. correct. Helen Keller lost both her sight and her hearing in a childhood illness.' Essentially. the book is an account of the remarkab le education she received at the hands of her tutor and companion. The disabling effects of advancing deafness are what gets the novel off the ground and are thoughtprovoking for anyone who suspects their auditory acuit y may be duller than it once was. ••• Alan Maley considers I n this article I shall be looking at two novels. As is well-known. The edition I am reading of The Story of My Life includes a section of letters and a supplementary account of her life and achievements. all dealing with disabling conditions. and make us more conscious of the way disabilit y in one area may be compensated by exceptional gifts in others. but the issue of how we cope wi th life when we are effectively useless is more sobering still. at 19 months. acquiring not just one but several languages and becoming a leading public figure in the life of her age... the emphasis shifts away from the predicament of deafness to a more general concern with how to cope with an ageing father. As he observes. there are strikingly radical observations about the condition of being disabled: '. The Story of My Life The case of Helen Keller is perhaps the best-documented of all accounts of disability. The book remains a rema rkable account of one person's triumph over physical adversity.. so it goes well beyond the relatively short basic text (only about 110 pages long). as the novel moves on. but socially we do not know how. 'Gradually I got used to the silence and darkness that surrounded me and forgot that it had ever been different. until she came . the way to help the blind or any other defective class is to understand. However. Desmond Bates. wh ich were clearly hyper-sensitive. remove the incapacities and inequalities of our entire civilisation . and with the plight of being reti red. Socially we are still ignorant. _ . David Lodge dissects with his customary humour and intelligent observation the life and woes of retired Professor of Linguistics. However. At the outset. Perhaps that is symptomatic of an era when we are all so much more aware of disability and more positively engaged with it.Over the wall ability and disability. 'The book is also notable lor its lyrical passages. Anne Sullivan. Apart from the inspiring story of how she overcame her disabilities. I hope it may also prompt us to become more aware of our own and others' d isabling conditions. probably to compensate for her loss of sight and hearing. contains some highly comic observations on the fate of becoming deaf and its consequences for social intercourse: 'What would be the equivalent of a guide dog for the deaf? A parrot on your shoulder squawking into your ear?' And there is a good deal of witty wordplay w ith we ll-known literary quotations. I l ~ This is an era when we are all so much more aware of disability and more positively engaged with it i 3 4 • Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGLISH TEACHING professional . with beneficial effects on the way we deal with them.. 'Deafness is comic. The early part of the book..who was to set my spirit free.• tprof ••• lonal. as blindness is tragic'.

He has total recall of whatever he sees and has a head full of detailed information... 2003 Keller. Interestingly.' In fact.. The description offered of dyslexia makes the powerful point that. in fact. He has problems with social interaction and becomes uncontrollable when he panics.etprofe •• lanal. J-D The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Harper Perennial 2008 Davis A 0 The Gift of Dyslexia Souvenir Press 2010 Grandin. often acting violently. some of these. He cannot bear to be touched. translated from French by Jeremy Leggatt. India..re-living his past. he has developed routines and rituals. until recently. such as Einstein. and would only be comprehensible in the context of a real dyslexic undergoing treatment. the UK.etprofessional_com • _. managed painstakingly to send messages to her by indicating which letter of the alphabet he needed to make up the words of the book he wrote. the protagonist and firstperson narrator of Mark Haddon's novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. conscious of what is going on around them. he succeeds in getting an 'A' in A-level maths . with the patient help of his specialised nurse.. totally cut off from communication with those around him but with his mind racing . humorously philosophical. Issue 70 September 2010' 35 . Ronald Davis' book The Gift of Dyslexia is of interest partly because it also gives an insider's view of dyslexia and partly for the diagnostic and treatment tools it offers. or perhaps because of it. if anything. rather than merely to sympathise . wh ich do nothing to resolve the essential problem. and was .. renew your subscription or simply browse the features.The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Imagine that you are unable to move your limbs.co. M The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time Jonathan Cape *** Thinking in Pictures Thinking in Pictures. But he has brilliant visualisation skills and can solve quadratic equations and other mathematical problems in his headsomething he often does to calm himself down.And Other Reports from my Life with Autism Bloomsbury 2006 Haddon.' he replies when asked his age. The fundamental cause of dyslexia in relation to read ing and writing is d isorientation. Italy. It also raises the uncomfortable question of how many patients who appear to be in a deep coma are.-.. suffers from a form of autism. ~ Bauby. H The Story of My Life (Ed Berger. these books remind us of how difficult it is to empathise. even more terrifying than the book. This is 'locked-in syndrome' and is the fate that befell Jean-Dominique Bauby following a massive stroke at the age of 44. Davis describes dyslexia and its results. France. He is obsessed by numbers and by total accuracy: '/ am 15 years. it is a positive gift. in spite of her condition. Since 2003 he has been a lreelance writer and consultant. You can submit tips or articles. he has to work everything out from first principles. resources. which he cannot bear to have disturbed. The story of the difficult relations with his estranged parents and the effects of his unusual behaviour on those he These books rem ind us of how difficult it is to empathise. advice. She became. wi th conditions we do not fully understand. If nothing else. to communicate at all with those around you. informatIon and selected articles. as when he is touched by a policeman early in the story. or. rather than merely to sympathise. then moves to the unusual but. aware of how pathetic and repellent he has become: 'What kind of person will those who only know me now think J was?' So how do we know this? He was able to open and close one eyelid and. Finally. J) The Modern Library 2004 Lodge. The main messages for me from this unusual book were that dyslexia is not all negative and that it is treatable given the right conditions. He has published over 30 books and numerous artictes. while maintaining full consciousness. indeed. The former editor-In-chief of Ella was confined to his bed and wheelchair at the Naval Hospital in Berck-sur-Mer. finding his way to the station. hates crowds and does not look at people when he speaks to them. according to his c laims. The book is both an inspiration and a valuable source of information on the condition. three months and two days. and Davis cites the cases of many highly gifted people who were also dyslexic. China. a terrifying account of his condition and a testament to his courage. These practical procedures are described in great detail. Series Editor of the Oxford ReS<lurce Books for Teachers. if he encounters a new situation. Hers is part autobiography and part detailed information about autism.uk The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time Christopher. There is a film of the same title which is. besides its negative consequences. o r to ta lk.~ meets is told by him in a manner both high~ comic and with a bitter edge. The result is The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. In order to exert some control over his life. Visit the ETp website! The ETp website is packed with practical tips. which is Temple Grandin's insider's view of autism. Ghana. T Thinking in Pictures .. a highly-successful animal scientist. Singapore and Thailand. www. largely COlTOborates the symptoms of the ffctional Christopher. or groaning in an alarming way. are the same as those claimed by Grandin to have been autistic. most of which he cannot use to make sense of new situati ons: '/ know all the countries of the world and their capital cities and every prime number up to 7. effective ways of diagnosing and treating it by teaching the dyslexic to turn the disorientation on and off at will. D Deaf Sentence Penguin 2008 Alan Maley has worked in the area 01 ELT for over 40 years In Yugoslavia . outraged by his present conditi on.507. but powerless to communicate.eam • ENGLISH TEACHING professional . yelamooOyahoo. like buying a train ticket or The Gift of Dyslexia Autism is widely regarded as sharing many of the symptoms of dyslexia. but what sort of future awaits him in a wood he still does not understand and wh ich offers him little tolerance? leading to panic and to the building of compuls ive solutions such as mnemonics (like the Alphabet Song) or heavy concentration.

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dyslexia was known as 'word blindness' because it seemed that only a problem with sight and visu<ll memory could explain why some people confused letters.Ilroca's arC:1 . situated at the back of thc brain. 11>. Guy enjoyed rhyming games. or removing the last sound. causing phonological limitations. demonstrate difficulties at each of these stages and are examples of studcnts whose primary learning disability is reading. ncither are sp<. 'words' or 'language'. lack of intelligencc or poverty. Decades of research h:we cstllblishcd th. which affec ts nearly 20 percent of the population. swapped them around.el. In the same class. but ullderuse their automatic reading system sited in thc left hemisphere at the back of thc brain.IN THE CLASSROOM • locating and idcntifying the middle sound of the word: Ire!...dys means 'difficulty with' <lnd I('. Quite the reverse. lS$ue 70 September 2010 .\"ia .just seeing the lettcr in print Hctivates immediatc retrieval of all its relevant information. Trapped at the levcl of decoding. Ann<l <lnd Tony are reading quietly. Somctimes she confuses the order of the lellers or misses words or jumps lines on the page. an exact neural representation of its form and sound becomes imprintcd in the occipito temporal automatic reading system. sight problems <Ire not at the root of this reading disorder.:Uld compenS<1tory systems on the right side of the brain. these essential phonemic ski lls arc needed in order 10 appreciate how the individual sounds of words are reprcsentcd by letters th. Reduced awareness of spoken. and replacing it with Itl to form II/m: • manipulating the three sounds /. These malfunctions prevent dyslexics from perceiving and remembering speechbased information accurately and manifest themselves in poor sensitivity to: • rhyme: • syllable divisions: • distinct language sounds. it is almost as though there arc no connections between these systems. T his is known as understanding 'the alphabetic principle' or 'cr.com • ENGUSH TEACHING professiollal . Subscqucntly.lcking thc codc' and is ncedcd in order to take the first step in the reading process.mother sound to create <I different word. She's been leMning English for three years. 37 . II yellTs old. •_ •• tprof • •• ional. she can't seem to make headway.1 word's individual speech sounds. As Shaywitz puts it.'t'Ch or hearing Dyslexics.. a dyslexic would have problems: • taki ng the first sound away. and replacing it with . turned them upside down or reversed them. simultaneously decoding thc text and comprehending thc writcr's messllge. A person who has dyslexia would find it diflicult to say: • another word that rhymes with mall: • how many syllables 11/(111 has: • how many sounds it is made up of: • its individual sounds. In addition to weak phonological awarencss. yet he just doesn't understand short passages even though he get~ full marks in vocabulary quizzes.l\ion they receive through their dysfunctional phonological system becomes distorted or dcgraded and lost in the ncural system. Originally. T impairments. yet every word sti ll remains an effort and her reading is fu ll of errors.. such as l1alll: What are reading disabilities? Reading difficulties arc commonly referred to as dyslexia . reads slowly and awkwardly. learnt the alphabet fairly easily and seems to have reached the stllge of reading without any decoding errors. brain imaging studies conclusivcly point to the fact that dyslcxics overuse the slower decoding systems at the left frontal arca of the bfllin . Learning disability Lesley Lanir considers disabilities in reading . segment. eg Iplto make pall. Instead. since for thcm the distinct bordcrs betwccn each phoneme seems blurry.. As Sally Shaywitz points out. eg Iml from 11/(11/.. Interestingly. ammy. For inst:Ulce. however. known as phonemes.word sound structure also means that dyslexics cannot identify. Duc to their phonological dcficits.l\ arc scqucnced in a specific order. locate or manipulllte. Their classmates Tammy and Gu y. the word ilia/! is made up of three distinct phonemes Im/. Although thcse are simplc examples.lt dyslexill is caused by specific ncurobiological dysfunctions in the language areas of the brain. however.. learning the alphabetic principle and thus remembering which specific speech sounds correspond to which letters and letter combinations is more than a ch:lllcngc for dyslexics. after proficient readcrs have seen a letter and articulated the sound it represents a few times. I<el and In/. are unable to supply perfect imprints 10 this automatic stomge place because the language inform. Im l and Inlto form a new word./n/.

hca ring. asking the studcnts to point to the pictures which begin with this sound. I practice at the beginning of lessons. • Incremcntal and cumulative. 1/1. d-a·d. systematic and progressive. misunderstanding temporal adverbs). _. the short vowel sounds of the leiters i and a can be addcd. learning has to be gradual and must build upon preceding knowledge. speaking. ClIl.. Once students have mastered these exercises. the remcdial progTilmme hilS to be: • M ultisensory. first introduce highfrequency consonants with one predictable sound (such as b. Have the students say where the sound Iml appears: at the beginning. students with dyslexia need to do the following: 1 Underst.It a time. for example lsi. it h'ls to be 10gic. • Say one syl]. dcvcloping sensitivity to rhyme. etc. and ask the students to group those cards that rhyme <lnd those that don'\. b·a-d. etc). replace the Inl with 111 (/11m). 3 8 • Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGUSH TEACH ING professional . • recognising language structure and syntax. • poor spelling. teaching letterl sound (grapheme to phoneme) and also soundl1ettcr (phoncme to grapheme) 'ISSoci.Learning disability !I pra·llontal cortex (word analysis! articulation) Broca's alea 5 Develop reading comprehension skills by: • building up vocabulary. end or not at all.lble of a word ilnd ilsk the students to finish it. or h. working on distinguishing individual language sounds has to be tackled. • Repetitivc: thcrc has to be plcnty of over· learning to create and strengthen strong neural pathways. • Structured.linful reading. etc. picture (eg !/Ilw) and asking the studcnts to say /I1all without thc Iml (fm). T he remedial method developed by Kathlecn H ickey or the Orton· Gillinghillll programme developed by Anna Gillingham and Bessie Stillman both use these systems and can be adapted to teach foreign languagc learners. • Practise phonemc substitution by saying 111(111 and asking the students to repeat the word. • Based on phonics.tnd touching.11. Teachers necd to draw attention to language sounds by inserting ten minutes of phonologic. jill . D Mastering decoding In order for dyslcxics to master the alphabetic principle and begin the reading proccss. • Te<lch phoneme deletion by showing . difficul ty learning 1he order of the alphabet. • For phoneme location. • slow information processing. Decades of studies conclude that phonological proccssing deficits are the primary cause of reilding disabilities and also emphasise that phoneme awareness is an essential factor in the process of learning 10 read. After su bstituting beginning sounds. 2 Master decoding by: • !earning the alphabetic principle associating sounds with written symbols: • blending thc sounds into syllables and words. • becoming ski lled at decoding words and reading groups of words. For example. • internalising eomprehcnsion strategies. days of the week. Words and nonwords can be created by showing the students how to blend sounds together and create one-syllable words.ble. using a mixture of seeing.. for example. bl'{l. lUll. • handwriting difficulties. eg /a . Working on rhym es: • Have the students practise identifying if words or names follow a rhyming pattern or not. • Make picture cards. move on to end sounds: for example.\1ld that words arc made up of different sounds/phonemes. untidy desk. Working on syll ables: • Clap or tap out the number of syllables in words. 4 Improve their fluency and read with speed. say a sound. • trouble with coordination (confusion betwccn directions. Working o n pho nem es: • For phoneme identification. using Ihe most common soundl1etter correspondcnces first.ger. Fi rstly. say Imlthen mall.etprofe ••lonal. 3 Re(. D I. Then ask them to rcplace the sound Iml with It! and say the new word ({(III). Also known to accompany poor reading skills are: • memory problems: Developing phonological and phoneme awareness is paramount.com • ."(:ive word structure instruction. • slow or erroneous word retrieval. How can we help? In order to learn to read.we three sounds. • poor org. T hen progress to small sentences: Mad b(ld b(ll bi/ dad. • Ask the st udents 10 produce their own words that rhyme and don't rhyme. accuracy and expression. then moving on to teaching syllables.lIIlI/I. • Get the students to identify how many syllables there arc in the words you say. III-a·d.Ulis<llioll and sequencing skills (messy bag. This is the hardest phonological task but it is crucial in order to move to the next stage of learning 10 read. (Adapted from Suzanne Carreker) T his fifth point wil! be discussed in depth in my next article.. writing. or end with this sound. I and ti). moving .lIions. one . for example bal.ft si de right side Understanding that words are made up of different sounds Wernicke's area (word analysis) occipito temporal automatic reading system (word lorm) occipita l lobes These neurological dysfunctions result in: • difficulty learning and remembering lel\crs and their corresponding sounds: • decoding errors: • slow . After a few consonants have been acquired.lI1d p. and display sevcnl l pictures.

com. J R (Ed) Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills Brookes Publishing Company 1999 Gillingham. • word dictation.com www. the student has to writc the ICllcr).allkindsofminds. Writing and Spelling Heinemann 1989 Levine. eg pillot.com www. eg doz/en. hm'l'.xposure to thc printed word both orally and visually. eg Ihl. S 'Teaching reading' In Birsh. Il. ordering thc alphubet using woodcn or plastic lellers. adjectives. teachers and students have to go th rough many scssions of modelling and repeating word lists.spellz:one.orgl http://candohe/perpage. puzzle) 6 R combination .wordfrequency. d ivide after the consonant . mon/ster 3 One consonant between two vowels: divide after the fi rst vowel.etprofe ••lonat.hk/lexiconindexl frequencylists/words2000. Word structure knowledgc boosts feuding nucncy. CTEFLAIRSA and an MA Disabilities. B W The Gillingham Manual: Remedial training for students with specific disability in reading. il. so/lid 5 Divide vowels. Somc of my favourites a rc listed below. of 100. Foreign languagc learners with reading disabilities not only have to rely on distorted neurological pereeption and slower ncural pathways but also on arc<ls of the bTllin (hitt <I re not designcd for word storage or retrieval. but a plcthora of reading materials and intcrnet sitcs arc available for further guidancc.'. She has a SA in English and Education. • word roots: • common prcfixes and suffixes: • innections which create nouns. • the five syll<lbication rUles 2 . eg Itl' and sight words that cannot be decoded). J A (Ed) Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills Brookes Pub lishing Company 1999 Carreker. Kinds of syllabtes 1 Closed .dyslexiaaction. in order to create any kind of accurate mental impression. etc. Teach: • thc six kinds of syll<lbles 1 .uk www. She specialises in learning disabilities and foreign language learning. Therefore.org www. lam at least four correct readings are necessary for automatic word recognition to takc placc. verbs. and penmanship Educators Publishing SelVice 1997 Hornsby. For the normal reader. and so on. lenn) 2 sequencing tasks . these Icarners need massive e. hulman 4 If previOUS !"\Jle doesn't create a word. fIVe) 4 Double vowel. The next article in this series moves on from decoding and nucncy to the next stage of reading instruction: dcveloping reading comprehension.two vowels combine to make one sound (ag meal. S (Eds) The Hickey Multisensory Language Course Whurr Pub lishers 1992 Birsh. • sentcnce dictatio n. start working on automatic recognition and reading of the most common irregula r and regular words.com www. 4 devcloping fluency: [n addition . A and Stillman. 3 phonics instruction: 2003 Websites www. • repeated reading of short scntences constructed from the above words. sentences and then short passages to improve accuracy and increuse word speed retrieval. J and Briggs.org www. F Alpha to *** Remedial teaching A SO-minu te beginners' remedial reading lesson plan may consist of the following: 1 phonemic exereises: 5 Consonant + Ie (eg lable. • _. S Overcoming Dyslexia Knopf 2 Syllabication !"\Jles 1 Two consonants between two vowe ls: divkle the syllables between the consonants. • repeated reading of lists of words formcd from all thc leiters already learnt.ldonline.naming and Omega: The A-Z of Teaching Reading. spelling. Space does not allow for more delililed instructions. Modelling illld fcedb<lck are essential in helping students pronounce words properly and build more accurate neural modcls: troublc articulating words indicatcs that exact ncum! represcnta tions have not been formed ilnd that further repetitions have to take place. 01/1. M A Mind at a Time Simon & Schuster 2002 Shaywilz.erI'.vowel combined with r (eg art. T his artiele has explained why reading disabilities exist and given essential guidclines as to what to include in a remedial reading progmnlme. was. As rcading accuracy and rate improvcs through rcpe. (l1. increascs the studcnts' knowlcdge of word meanings and aids spelling and vocubulary acquisition.md syllabication skills and encouraging thcm to focus upon roO ls and affixes so as to perceive langu<lgc as chunks rathcr than individual sounds and letters prevents memory overload. B and Shear. morphological instruction should be gradually introduccd. To facilitate reading nuency.consonant(s) follow(s) a short vowel (eg man. eg po/em.one long vowel is at the end (eg she.edict. comprehcnsion will improve because fewer mental rcsourees arc invested in decoding. II Improving fluency Our overall goal in reading is to understand thc writcr's intended message. 6 introducing morphologic<l! instruction.greatJeaps . eg hun/drerJ. 5 spelling practice: • sound dictation (the teacher produces a sound.'.info/ Lesley Lanlr is a freelance writer. dol'S. eg probllem.(:om • ENGUSH TEACHING professiollal • Issue 70 Septembe r 2010 ' 39 . Both Shaywitz and Currekcr <lssert that dcveloping the students' word analysis . and) 2 Open . • introducing a new letter/sound or reviewing sounds still not being ret rievcd automatically.ortonacademy. Fluency turns decoding into comprchcnsion.EI Giving inst ruction on word structure Once a fcw sounds and symbols llfC <lcquired and C'1ll be blended togethcr. • repeated reading of frequcnt vocllbulary (words that Clln be decoded but havc to be learnt before their letters/letter combinations arc introduced.htm www. finlgar 2 More than two consonants together: divide keeping the blends together. lecturer and teacher trainer who has been involved in teaching English for over 15 years .org.llcd rC<lding to over 100 words a minute. he) 3 VoweVconsonanVsilent 'e' consonant is between a long vowel and a silent e (eg make. dUet • reviewing lettcrs/sounds already le<lTllt.> Books Augur.

___ _' _' _t_m __to t' _'_h_i_ __"_'_'_' _'_'_O_d O 'h'_ _. etc. so that they can d iscover these for themse lves rather than simply being told what it means. how important is it to getting up early. stress and intonation. past participle). Songs can also be a good veh icle. dependent prepositions and complement patterns (eg whether it is followed by an infinitive or a gerund). Language awareness: four things to consider D FUNCTION This relates to what the speaker/writer seeks to do with the language. giving advice. provided that its meaning and function are very clear from the context. For example. 4 On the other hand .etprofe••lonal. D II WORD ORDER/ SYNTAX/PATTERN . and certainly require the learners to focus and work harder at construct ing the meaning (with the teacher's help). and may not be typical of him. L1 and L2 1 Mistakes (of form . _. 4 Advertising slogans and other short authentic texts (eg instructions on packaging. for example: I used to get up early and I'm used to D APPROPRIACY In addition. otherwise they remain just that grammar structures. SPOKEN OR BOTH Many grammar structures are equall y at home in both spoken and written language. . but some are usually spoken (eg How about going for a pizza?) . what message they want to send. meaning. etc) . illustrating. simply because they don't have that form in their own language. and allow the learners to stop and question the teacher as the anecdote unfolds. 2 Listening . PRONUNCIATION The basics are sounds. The teacher tries to guide the learners towards the meaning and function of the new language. Situations and contexts Grammar structures need a context for them to make communicative sense. I This looks at a tense or other grammar structure as part of a longer utterance (eg a clause or sentence). rather than simply surface messages. It also refers to irregular forms (eg past simple. as a result . 2 Conversely. II USEFULNESS Some structures may simply not be very useful in most everyday contexts. narrating. EJ WRITTEN. 3 Situation and/or dialogue building: a classic approach but still very useful. etc. whereas others are usually written (eg Should you need further information . These approaches may take more classroom time. little may finally stick._ _' ______________'_' _' _b'___o_m_ _'_'_' _ _ ________c:::::::::::::::::::::::::::C!1 t '" i _' ___' " _ ___ ' . assimilation. Telling is quicker . pronunciation or syntax) may . etc.). for example: apologising. specific to a particular occasion. A more complex analysis of pronunciation includes features such as elision. often be due to L 1 interference. learners may overuse a form such as the present continuous. and may appeal to younger learners. making a suggestion. I think he's being silly == this is temporary behaviour.. too) and then elicits/provides the target language as the ' punch line'. Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGUSH TEACHING p professiollal .PREPARING TO TEACH Grammar Language analysis: four things to consider D ••• "ohn Potts reviews some of the components of teaching a new grammar item. guiding or discovering? The approaches outlined above all involve elements of illustrating the language.especially anecdotes told by the teacher: these can be amusing or dramatic . Here are some approaches: 1 Reading texts can provide the context . _ ' d· 40 . some structures may be inappropriate in some contexts (eg you WOUldn't (normally) tell your boss that she had better be careful about what she says). MEANING This is concerned with deeper concepts of aspect.you can teach the imperative using the instructions on a box of pasta! I D FORM This refers to how a tense (or other grammar structure) is constructed: eg present continuous = present simple of be + present participle. a typical mistake made by speakers of many European languages is to use the present pertect where the past simple is needed and th is can be traced back to their mother tongue. sometimes a form and its meaning may be very close or even identical to the learners' L 1.com ' . 3 And learners may confuse t wo similar-looking structures in English. and so they I'-_____d_' _' _o_.and you may not need more than one example in the text. For example. and the formation of questions and negati ves. The teacher builds the situation/dialogue with the learners (perhaps using visuals and/or rea lia. Things to consider include the position of adverbs. For example. weak forms .but the learners need to do very little mental work and. Telling.

0".. iserlohn.. U .both can be lively. These should be prepared in advance . I used to have dyed hair/be very shy/like Walt Disney (etc). Using and personal ising In the end. France Patricia Rufenacht.) 4 Do we know when? (No. The winner. are: . UK Elisabeth Jendraszczak.I PREPARING TO TEACH ••• Grammar The old and the new When your learners are no longer beginners. they'll need opportunities to use the language in fluency activities. you can establish a situation/context in the present. so they need their own personal example(s): Clarifying and checking II's important to clarify and check the meaning and funct ion of the new language. n ~ John Potts is a teacher and teacher trainer based in Zurich. Paris. Finally. ~ C ~ 0 M W H ~ R X MEL 0 ~ ro B Z Y P G F V n George Orwell • _. was going to. etc.SSional.ch I COMPETITION RESULTS Congratulations to all those readers who successfully completed our Pri~e Crossword 40. UK Alison Hyde.when I was 17. France Veronique Valieres. who will each recei~e a copy of the Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced Learners. future con tinuous and future continuous. iserlohn.6 K . Germany Georgeta Bradatan. He has written and co-written several adult coursebooks.eom • ENGLISH TEACHING prof ssional . Wolverhampton. and is a CELTA assessor. they have a basic repertoire of grammar structures and thei r concepts. He is also a presenter lor Cambridge ESOL Examinati ons. visuals or Cuisenaire rods.1 S . I had extremely long hair (almost 10 my waistl). etc.23456189. fun and communicative. especially at lower levels. 51 Sauveur. passive lense forms. learners have 10 produce language from their own resources and not only in control led-practice exercises.8 A a TI 2.) 2 And does he have long hair now? (No. France Roy Wilson.$ N . Drilling and practising Learners also need 10 feel conf ident about the form and pronunciation of the new language. London.. The example with used to above illustrates this for me . Drills and controlled-practice activities (both oral and written) help to achieve this. France Laura Neuhoff. perfect modals. Combined with a clear context. This approach works very well with many other forms . Then you simply switch the time zone from now 10 yesterday/last week and elic it the past con tinuous to replace the present continuous. for example by asking a set of concept questions. Vend6me. Germany Emeline Parizez. Issue 70 September 2010 ' 41 e .' ~ I J ohnpollsOswissonllne. You can build on what they already know.. For example: Our teacher used to have long hair. UK J .with equalty brief answers. For example. and review and consolidate the present continuous.etprof. Bridgend. Switzerland. They needn't be boring . for example. short and simple . 1 Did he have long hair in the past? /yes.. . Paris. roleplays.3 Wolfgang Alkewitz. Bottenwi l. wish constructions. A step towards this production is the persona/ising of language so that it takes on individual meaning for each learner.) 3 So something has changed? /yes.2. concept clarification and checking help the learners to feel confident about their grasp of the meaning of new language. But my learners probably didn't. discussions. Switzerland Stella Tatchum.) There are other ways of clarifying and checking .using Total Physical Response.they're very hard to think up on the spot! They should be kept few. using it as a platform for new grammar structures. and in tandem with a guided-discovery approach.past perfect. such as problem-solving tasks.

i/l.jSV PUll .r 1~)J1/ r / / f ----.. S!UJIM. he was sitting on the lable wondering why I was dOing an autopsy on him. in 1984 resulted in the deaths of 22 people..A!SIIUOlj pue LlI!II) poo6 10 ssepp06 aLII SII...l11t91 04M ~n\.1&l. Ie pelilUJUJO:) PIll.lI 1lut601l11 'JMotdwe .... ' 'Was this a male or a female?' *** 'How many times have you committed suicide?' 'POOl UI s.--------------. UI!!Id~63 9lH )0 J91L100ep) I~ ' \I9IlJtSV '9~!O 'SfWIMU uo pHIIq IIq 01 Pf(!S Sf a::l!lsnr . saPI:l II" ·9\fldS!p Ie6ei .. . BITS" PIECES QUOTATIONS.' *** ' Could you see him from where you were standing?' '/ could see his head. ' *** 'Are you qualified to give a urine sample?' 'Yes..30 pm. California. ~!(] :snez pue S!UI941 JO $. S$oppo6lfOOJ~ II se.' *** 'Are you Sexually active?' 'No. Which of the following is not one of those on which she is believed to be based? a) Fides b) Astraea c) Themis dj Justitia *** 'Doctor. _.li UII '~lue:)9J AjJ!lIll!lun qt ' p9S5IWSIP SleM ~ "41 poe 'S!\!! ~ I.! ~ tMJOellJ05 11II..U .JiIlW01 S.com .i1 lie S&lISsod "!I!IIP 1tS&\i1 10 SI. ...' 'And where was his head?' 'Just above his shoulders.i/l.II IO 96J1'Id S!LI Je»e snez P8'S!~pe 04 .. ODDS" ENDS: .i/l.' a 't is commonly believed that representations of Justice (a robed woman with a blindfold over her eyes.. . is that true?' *** 'Can you describe the individual?' 'He was about medium height and had a beard. ' *** 'Do you recall the time that you examined Ihe body?' 'The autopsy started around 8.1.. .PU!IQ) <Kl!ISOf' JO ~ 8eJI.. including the gunman.II11l\iI PIIW!1!iO 84S ·SUO!PII Sfll JOJ 1IIIl!SUQdsaJ J.. I have been since early childhood. _ .IO!le\IJl!":)U! IIIU!6J>o.IOIllPOllP LlIOQ _ ..fIOl/af .I1:re."' 'Did he kill you?' 'No. I said he was shot in the lumbar region.I1 WJOIUi PI!'IOM W9l..i/l.9OOatO\A S!LI P9J96G\J1 'J8Pi""'" II SII SJ~ S!l. OOIl) I. although not on anyone in particular.' a) Herbal tea and milk b) Milk shakes and smoolhies cJ Orange and guava juice dJ Coffee and energy drinks II A massacre at a McDonald's restaurant in San Ysidro.jIUfO! IlIIIM Mt.l1 10 eUOlJ 'S!W9\U . In court.' 'And what did your husband do before you divorced him?' 'A lot of things I didn't know about.".. Daniel Noble was arrested for two separate hit and run incidents... QUIRIeS.1 SUJO) 9~1I1 PlnoM 4:)e9 U941 plJII ' l:>el Ii!\!! 10 peUJi!:lUOO lJO'SJ9d ..i/l. '!lOi\!..1 IIII. ' II Which peoples used to resolve legal disputes with a head-butting contest? aJ Zulus cJ Blackfoot Indians d) MongolS *** 'Now.. I just lie there...IIIO J9lJlJ!NI .. Llloq partS ~nH I1UI3 ~ '.pueQSI1l...6 wntpOSOUOW ..HUlld PIO .UPlP ~ IiMU .~!O "Uoe'. how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?' 'All my autopsies are performed on dead people.SJ ~ r ) ~) CEMS.of what? D Courtroom quotes 'Are yOl! married?' 'No....(poq S!4 U! PlJnal SIII)9UJ JO 19~91 4B!LI 941 pull *** 'Do you have any suggestions as to what prevented this from being a murder tria l instead of an attempted murder trial? ' ' The victim lived.(q pes!1 eleunlln. holding a set of scales in one hand and a sword in the other) are based on a number of classical deities. ' 'What happened then?' 'He said. PUZZLES. WHATVOU WILL Legal eagle In 2009. where there was a victim?' b) Inuits *** 'Doctor.IIIIS ~ ISllIIiMU .. "I have to kill you because you can identify me..PtllUOQ". ' *** ' You were there until the time yOl! left. Is_ 70 September 2010 • ENG USHTEACHINGprojios. you have investigated other murders. did you say he was shot in the wOOds?' 'No.. .' 'And Mr Dennington was dead at the time?' 'No.- Dna . I'm divorced.(~ pue piOMS 'PIOJ. FOIBLES.9OIJ9181) SltonqJelS. his lawyer claimed it was a psychotic episode caused by an overconsumption .II jSlJfe6e 1Iuw.!10 "41 6u!lInq . He was extremely aggressive when he was arrested. have you not.P1191.101 Ida"_3 "'el I!lsnr pue!et:l po6 urn. Which food additive did she claim was partially responsible? a) Sodium chloride b) Red food colouring cJ Monosodium glutamate d) Antioxidants *** 'Mrs Jones..i/l. This is how I dress when I go to wor1<. His widow sued McDonald's lor contributing to his actions. is your appearance this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?' 'No.I kl pesnll:l .".U!e6e drll~}OU pjI'lOO PUll lte) auo I!IUIl 'Jel.1 PUll S. SNIPPETS..' 'PlOIPIJII<l II 9JOM At<:IUI!S 'iIll'Isnr"S&le:>5 JO 1$ II ~ eeeJlSV se&IIJo4M ' piOMS II p8!JJe:I . 9lH SI41 peulV\I 'IIlPIIW "41 '~ ION PI Ll9MSU'9' *** 'Were you present when your picture was taken? ' 42 .PlIlllO(]O. TITBITS.

Barrister: You then said that you were concerned for your salety and that.a" Barrister. (smugly) Then how do you 'know' that tile defendant bit off the ear of the plaintiff if you did not see him do it? Witness: I saw him spit il out.. You are to go to the church.\·. Banister. but that was planes .Silence in court! It is often said that if banisters allowed the jury to draw their own conclusions instead of trying to discredit witnesses through close quest ioning. moved in for th e kill. Barrister: Eighty-five. Banister.. Witness: That is correct. you turned your back on the fight ? Witness: Yes.. Here are two examples. you sought shelter elsewhere? Wit ness: Yes. Ah . I see .. I actually judged it to be 63 miles per hour.OI/{// • ' ssUfl 10 September 2010' 43 . even see the car? Witness: Well. Barrister: You further staled that during this time of seeking shelter. Now you testified that tile defendant approached the roundabout at ' about 60 miles per hour'.etprof • • •lonal. The driver maintained that he had been driving within th e 30-miles-perhour speed limit and that faulty brakes had caused the accident. Legal language How good are you at Latin legal language? What does each of these t erm s mean? a A aver et tenar a) to make or break b) to have and to hold c) to own or convey d) to relinquish or abandon IJ Ab BCtis a) in conteJct b) in relation to the prOCeedings c) in action d) in title II Ab agendo a) b) c) d) unable to act unable to inspect unable to listen unable to convict Witne ss: Yes. Barrister. Barrister. And then you testified that that was when the defendant bit off the plaintiff's A man who had crashed his car at a roundabout was accused of reckless driving. Is that correct? Witness: That is correct. The driver lost his case. smirking all the time at th e jury: Barrister: May I ask how old you are? Witness: I am 85. D Abamlta a) defendant b) victim c) great-great-great-aunt d) imposter II Abamare a) to take away by force bJ to escape detection c) to uncover and disclose a secret crime d) to declare an interest in IJ Accedas ad curiam a) b) c) d) You are to go to the clerk. they might win more of their cases. Barrister. (weakly) Yes. but I made an allowance for tile fact that it was a car ralher than a plane. Were you wearing your glasses at the time of the accident. • _. Well. Well. The defence barrister. Atter giving testimony which was very bad for th e defendant. Witness: Precisely. because of this concern.. in fact. Barrister. You said thai you saw the defendant and the plaintiff in a fight? Witness: Yes. And I notice that you wear glasses. That is why I testified that he was doing ' about 60 miles per hour'. When questioned by the prosecution. the witness was cross-examined by th e defence barrister: . A witness was testifying in court in a case that involved one man biting off the ear of another man during a fight. that makes for an interesting question. befOfll I retired I worked as an airline test pilot. then you obviously must have had the plaintiff and the defendant out of your field of vision. Well then. Witness: No. You are to go to the court. she testified that the driver had approached the roundabout at about 60 miles an hour and had then lost control and crashed. (Dead silence) Banister. then how could you possibly tell what speed the driver was doing? Could you. Barrister: I see. As to how I could tell what speed the driver was doing. no more questions. You are to go to the jail.com • ENGLISH TEACHING P/'O!I'S. Barrister. I wasn't. I see. I certainly could see the car as these are reading glasses and there is nothing wrong with my distance vision. did you see tile defendant bile off the plaintiff's ear? Witness: No. then! If your back was turned to the fight. seeing that th e woman was over 80 years old and wore t hick-lensed glasses. The only witness was a woman who had been walking along t he road at the time. Is that correct? Witness: Yes.. young man. One of the skills I learnt in that job was the ability to judge speed and distance.

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even those at intermediate level (fOf whom it is intended). quizzes. Language students actually studying in Ireland and keen to find out the historical background of their place of study. My first reaction was that a student would have to be very interested indeed In Irish history to want to plough through this. Students In a class will work in pairs to roleplay a dialogue. I have come across lew that would be genuinely satisfying for any native speaker of the language. The main attraction of such readers is that they are generalty short and largely fictionat . and the text is interspersed with some fascinating and quirky facts. too: writing graded readers is a skilled business. and its structure would allow for dipping in and out and focusing on the parts of main interest if reading from cover to cover was not an option. So it is that. presented as a reader for learners of English. This would not be an easy read for students. and then Anyone who flies would be comforted to know that those in charge of the plane had the language ski Its taught and practised in this book in order to deal with any emergency or non-routine situations that might arise! Loma Ampthill Vend6me. I still think students would have to have quite a strong interest in the history of Ireland to want to read it to the end. The language is not all that simple. also written by Henry Emery and Andy Roberts. and those with an interest in politics. but it could be used in conjunction with any other course aimed at aviation professionals. they use the target words to complete a text. Those working independently are advised to think abou t what they would say in the given situation and can then check their answers at the back of the book. self-published book on the history of lrelaoo. Nevertheless. thus gaining the satisfaction of reaching the end without too much effort. The fifth exercise checks the main vocabulary the students will need to talk about the subject of the unit. I began reading and was pleasantly surprised. Of which has been chosen for them. Fran ce A History of Ireland for Learners of English by Tony Penston TP Publications 2010 978-0-9531323-2-4 Most major publishers of ELT materials produce series of graded readers to promote extensive reading and engage learners in entoyable ways of practising their English and increasing their vocabulary. and can easily tell if something is going to interest them or not . Students can read them fairty quickly. First. The catch-all phrnse on the back cover 'would also be enjoyed by native speakers who prefer a less formal styfe of English ' rang alarm belts. would probably get the most out of reading the book. There are progress tests after every five units and the full recording scripts and answers to all the exercises are available at the back of the book. either simplifications of works of literature or original stones written specifically for learners. It is also extremely well illustrated with historical and contemporary photographs and maps. almost mooochrome cover. but the book is divided into small manageable sections with useful vocabulary exercises. etc to break up the texl. doesn't appeal. having undertaken to write a review. UK • _ •• tpl"Of •••lonel. when faced with a 120-page. The third activity involves listening to a radiotelephony exchange containing a mbcture of plain English and phraseology.at improving plain English profICiency. Students have to answer a number of questions about what they hear. First they have to match items to definitions. but there is a pleasant mix of straightforward historical narrative and more personal stories about the characters involved. the students are asked to identify the main theme of the recording and then a second part focuses on the details. The fourth exercise practises clarification techniques. but it would be a rewarding one.and if the reader they have chosen. Presumably this book has been produced as a supplementary text to Macmillan's own coursebook Aviation English. I personally learnt a lot from it. Helena Gomm West Meon. and with a very dour. and although the aim is to produce a text which sounds natural as well as being simple enough for learners to understand. they can move swiftly on to another one. my heart sank a little.c:om • ENGLISH TEACHING pro/essiol/o/ ' Issue 70 September 2010 ' 45 . The unit ends with a discussion activity.

tve acquired during Iheir pursuit of illlprol"l'tI English. Without doubt. There. My golden rule is: anYlI"here bill u bar. T hose with little knowledge of football may not appreciate that a five-a-sidc pitch is a melting pot of emotion . It doesn't always work. which renders my previous assertion a little dubious at best! As teachers. How can it be? Sludents don't mcclthcir fricnds in thc classroom. Conviction The classrooms we enter every day arc hivcs of activity. of course.lr hOl.although many a student has had Iheir heart stolen by a dashing teacher. Our sllldents work in pairs and groups on 11 daily basis. Surely.. prodding them a littlc in mome nts of uncertainty! I'm sure they would rather take their chances in th is particular social exchange! However. but it does ensure th'lt there . involves alcohol! Wc join our students for a drink and converse with them in . The cl.I relaxed atmosphere. Context How can we achicvc this most satisfying result? The lInswer is cOli/ex/. It could have been said in so many other ways . thc look of confusion on Jose's face was enough to confirm that thc mcaning of II"{/Icll Yol. Students who have fun acting out some of the aforementioned scenarios often lament their inability to make them II"Qrk in the real world. Interaction So. we have the chance 10 mould our sllldents. almost inevitably.IS u language of communication occurs in a four-walled room. • workplace.lssroom functions as a portal into the real world.II. O K . well. still gets a regular airing in my cl<lsses.lse had been wcllllnd truly lost on him. we tend to conlextualise within the confines of <In almost pumlld world. we can do better.ITe some language barriers in place. The te. so it is an environment which encourages the use of English.ll what happened next! It wasn't Jose's f<lull. This works to a degree.lcher can debunk any language-learning myths Ihcir students will no doubt h.•tprof • • slonal. as teachers. why is alcohollhe constant pre-requisite I have in a classroom is extensive. T he classroom is adcquate. I'd rather not reve. This is not an cxaggeration. Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGLISH TEACH ING professional . but it is not enough.OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM ac( In wor Andrew O'Dwyer champions the teaching of language in context. But. We can convince even Ihe most sceptica l students with o ur absolute conviction. I hllve always operated.com • .. thc ability of te.\chers to contextualise is scvercly limited by the very nature of our to confident communication? It is the laziest approach to languagc immersion that we humans employ. We ask Ihem 10 act oUI roleplays 10 employ new structures. t was football-speak for look u/ll. /te(ull. The power (for want of 11 beller word) that leachcrs Immersion Socialising with studen ts is the key. It would not be amiss to say that. though. <lfler <Ill.! A 'kick-around' on a Friday e\'ening is a great personal pleasure: Ihere is always a smattering of nati vc speukcrs. in whichever wlly we see fit. I have yet to witness 11 student buying a colTee or ordering a pizza from the relative comfort of their chairs. the most common intcraction that occurs between adult students and teachers. Even \I'(I/("h 011/ would have sufficed. a phrase I'd used a litany of times on the pitch. Ihere must be something morc we cun do to lIssist thcm better. Learners possess almost blind faith in teachers who teach with confidence. lIIal/ 011. 1l11d a warning I had shouted on innumenlble occasions led 10 an irreparable mistake: wc gifted possession to thc opposition lind . particularly our less·fiucnt ones.lp.lIl world. how do we best contextualise what we teach our students? I believe we achieve this by stcpping ollHide the classroom. . It was his first exposure 10 footb<l ll in <lnolher counlry. But. _ . under the mantra that the classroom is nOlthe r(. T hat glo rious phrase 'BIII Illy leacher ill school wid lI1e. However.it thriving babble of communication! Men with 46 . contextua lising docsn'l need to be shoe-horned to the extent that the students' sole exposure to English . the world which our students actually inhabit. J cannot imagine the classroom being an ideal selling for u romantic date . I accept that our students wouldn't appreciate us tagging along 011 a dale.hI' cafe/I.

We push them along. because 1 saw him as somebody who cared. collocations. • Take your students to the cinema or theatre. Teachers need to step out of the comfort zone. • The students g<lin a COlllext within which they can explore and utilise their communication skills. well . Jose has finally unlocked our coded parlance! I W<lS playing football last Friday when he screamed at me to lI'(1/ch III)' hOlm'. what . where he worits as a primary school English teacher IClr Janikovszky Eva Attat~nos Iskola. but has recently retocated to Budapest.. have a far greater impact on their students. andrewo<lwyerOgmait. I believe we accomplish two crucial breakthroughs with these activities: • We provide our students with a genuine opportunity to use their English outside the cl<lssroom.\nt.1\ is impor\. or to play fivc-a-sidc in thc cvcning. We've given the child what we can and it's up to them to try to conjure up a formula that enables them to function alone. My umazement turned to despair us I gifted Vocation It is naIve of a teacher to think of their role as being limited to a pre-approved timet<lble and venue. Confidence This type of immersion is like tcaching a child to ride a bicycle.tprof •••ional. of them would objcct to being invited for 11 cup of coffee. The student is no different. Teachers who care.lZement etched into my brow! [ did look up alright. years tn Dublin.. • Attend a cultural event. I respected him more as well. Roleplay is thc thespian's biggcst deccption. Ireland.\ll\icipate their problems. It doesn't matter what anybody says.com • ENGUSH TEACHING professional . It's not magic.! We assure them we would never consider doing such a thing. tennis or rugby. We never leave their sight in the beginning.. and with tnternatlonat House and Dover Nyelviskola. Few. though. I appreciated that he was passionate about his work and that he could instil some of thilt passion in me... The best teacher I had at school was my history professor. It's prelly easy. Teaching is still considered a vocation.'el 1111' go. but they don't realise that. Don't fall into the trap of assuming that language <lnd socialising don't mix. (Incidentally. He also coachcd thc rugby team on which I played. And th. you can guess the rest! (I1%> Andrew O'Dwyer taught lor si. II'(I/ch your house means you <Ire about to be tackled. The child demands of us: /JOII'. I was astounded! A photograph of that moment would havc becn priceless. .. colloquialisms .Ictivities can you do with )'01/1' students? T he best ones usually require the least imagination: • Organise a game of footbal1. • • . even those with only a limitcd grasp of English . It works on a certain levcl. That didn't make him a better teacher. We do it.lry in the lexical arell.. I f they can now function in day-to-day tasks. so Ihat Context only cxists in the real world. Issue 70 September 2010 ' 47 . eventually.) I did a double-take. but that was the limit of my reactions. Incorporate techniques that you use 10 develop other topics: • Brainstorm vocllbul. We teach them the basks. just to witness the alTI. rather than as an end in itself.. • Go to a lecture. conlident and conte)(!ual communication can be lound within the motto There's the official way . These experiences are invaluable for students. We offer them support when they need it. who are willing to do that bit extra. 11 person whosc cxpertise and skills extcnded beyond the possession to the opposition lind . we can do more for our students. we instil confidence in them... if any. In fact. but it gave me the opportunity to witness him in a differcnt contcxt. • Employ rolepllly liS a 1111'(11/$ to an end. • Focus in particular on itiiollllltic language . • Sample the delights at your local food cmporium (a guaranteed stimulant of chat). By contexlUalising. We .com • _.. • Go shopping. He believes that the key to competent. elassroom wc shared. and mould them a little. then there 's the real way. • . However.that the students may encounter. Students weleome these opportunities.phTllsal verbs.egos find it very difficult to remain quict in this tcstostcrone-fuclled cnvironment so it is ideal for htnguagc practice! So. Hungary. • Step out and be creative! Let the slUdcnts use what they've practised in the r('(ll world. Think about it: How many of us learnt to ride a bicycle indoors? Making the transition from teaching to contextualising is not difficul t.

admin@pavpub. Teaching English with Drama by Ma rk Almo nd This new book covers the excil1lg seC10r of teaching English language smdents using drama. audio. and how these all work together to improve language appreciation and learning: using classic plays. suggested chamctm: resources beyond the textbook. using standalone software on desktop computers. especially the studcnl's current use of English and Ihe reason for IRking a one·toone course:. web activities.'1l1y.cbsiles: using audio wid video clips from the web. stage management. songs.> \\.Titles for English Language Teachers Teaching English One to One by Priscilla Osborne This new book provides an analysis of the problems of Icaching students on a one. using stories.(}f1C tcaching: techniques which don't work with one-to-one Icaching: and using the lcamer as the resoul'« for tcaching.com lei: +44 (0) 1243576444 .'1gement systems: and rin. choosing appropriate texts.and video-conferencing and text chat: learning man.KeywaysPublishing . course planning: Itthniqucs which are specific 10 ooc·t().com email. The IOpks covered include using email. USing infonnation technology when Icaching English. wcbquests and treasure hunts): using CD-ROMs: professional tmining on the web for online teacher tmining and online leaching communities. The book covers a wide range of subjects for teachers including how to plan class work.to-one basis. find nnionnle for. The book explains how teachers can U~ e-leaming in English lunguage te'. the importance of the web in ELT (coI'er. www. modifying dialogue and lines for different le\'els of student. games. ctc. The book C()\'crs a wide range of topics in Ihis field and cJllplajns leamer needs analysis and learner profiles. Teaching English with Information Technology by David Sm ith and Eric Baber This new pmc1ical guide for teachers provides an introduction to. plays and with theatre techniques. working with students with thcatricaltechniques.tChing.

However. The long vcrsion is politc. the more they are empowered to use it in a way that works best for them . If. If they ask why. you can be much more direc t. they may be very direct indeed. we'll look at what politeness is. you may be able to create an atmosphere of intimacy between yo u. they lire talking to <I subordinate. a speaker's degree of intimacy with a listener is not an object ive fae\.com • ENGLISH TEACHING professiol/al • Issue 70 September 2010 ' 4 9 . if you are speaking to a very close friend. in Madrid it is commonplace for a customer to walk into a bar and say in The more students are aware of politeness. For examplc.?" when they're not really asking a question?' and we say. like' Would YOIf lIIilld keepillg )'011/' roice dOH'I1?' instead of 'SII111 liP!'. from convoluted indirectness through to brief and direct. Typically.. '} III/ell Ihis by lomorrow '. according to what relationship they arc trying to achieve with the listener.LANGUAGE ore t an pease an Mark Hancock recommend s ways to increase students' awareness of politeness conventions. say "please"J" children arc often told. This includes who they <Ire t<llking to and what they are talking about. Speakers choose which degrec of politeness to usc from along this spectrum.. you might say. they may receive the explal1<ltion 'Bertillse i(s polile'. An cmployee might say to a boss.. though. It's a risky strategy. • _ . A student asks. the politeness conventions in the two cultures may difTer. you usc negativc politencss. while the boss might say to the employee. First of aIL the learner may be a competent user of politeness strategies in their L1 but fail to recognise lind tmnsfer the same strategies to the L2. The learner may be a competent user of politeness strategies in their L 1 but fail to recognise and transfer the same strategies to the L2 Power and authority Choice of politeness strategies also depends on whcther the person you are speaking to is in a position of authority. 'Could yOIl dose tfte door. Friends and strangers In politeness terms. please?' The question form gives the listener a getout: it implies th<lt you accept thcir right to refuse.. because your listener may intcrpret your directness liS rude lmd pushy. In this article. if you approach a stranger with a request. 'Why do El1glish ~1)e(Jkers say" JVoll1d ).. Interestingly. ' Would.olllllilld ". and your relationship will be on the rocks. Strategies and conventions From the point of view of language learning. For cxample. there arc two important factors here. we say. on the othcr hand. when it is used and why. Typically. the more they arc empowered to use it in a way thut works best for them. politeness includes the cntire spectrum. We English teachers sometimes do the same. after saying something like 'Girl' 1111' (/ bisClIit'.1 bl! possible for lI1e /0 hal'l! Ihis by IOlIIorrow?'. thc short version is rude.\'(' it's polite!' I think we could do a lot more tha n this to increase our students' awarencss of how politeness works in English. It is something they erell/e through the politeness strategies they usc. For example. Positive and negative We often think of politencss as being long-winded ways of saying simple things. the significance of a person's choice of words is determined by when thcy use them: thc contcxt. This is not quite true. Secondly. such as 'Sltlll Ilwl door .it'sfrce. T he more they arc awarc of it.•tprof •••lonat. T hen wc'lllook at how to make these insights more apparcnt to students.il1g ill here!' T his is known as positive politeness: it implies that you are too intimate to require careful indirectness. 'Becall. however. . T hey call the former 'ncgative politeness' and the laller 'positive politeness'. According to social anthropologists Brown and Levinson. if you usc positive politeness with someone you do not know very wcll. people talking to a superior arc careful and indirect.

al1 of thcse stmtcgies are co nspicuous by their absence. 'Gi\'(' 11/(' (/ roffee'.011 thillk )"QII art'?' In Spain. there may be a difference between what the person says and what they really think. a speaker must judge whll! kind and degree of politeness to usc. including Ihc contmst between what Emma SlIYS and what she really thinks. Who are the writer and addressee? What is their situati o n? How wel1 do they know elleh other? Then ask them to read Ihc th o ught bubble vcrsion of thc mcsSllge Saying and thinking In lilly interaction. In hcr email. Who do ). They could also havc some fun deeiding what Emma's real th oughts were in the last two boxcs of the central column. For her openly 10 display her horror ut the prospect o f going out with Josh would be very offensive. This rencets the general politeness rule that if you arc giving thc answer that your interlocutor wants to hear. or even say. _ •• tprof• • •'onal. students co uld use the same stmtegies to make the contents of Soni. dispel/se . Consequently.negativc politcness can have that eflcct when used inappropriately. Text 2 is a 'thought bubble' containing the same content liS the cmail. close friends may address cllch ot her ve ry directly in this way. shc uses face-saving strategics ... It would probably be impolitc in this particulllr contcxt. Finally.More than please and thank you Spanish. Whcn the lIttuSlltion begins in the second pamgmph. II's good to be lIwarc o f these potential difTcrcnccs! In any interaction.l"ed by contrasting it with She (1".somcthing small and unimpo rtant. ask your studcnts to read the cmail and imagine the context. or you might elicit or explain : Margaret is writing 10 accuse Sonia of something.. o r her d og. we can sec what the girl is thinking. If you wrotc lin emaillikc Margaret's to a very close friend. T his contnlsl lies behind my suggestion of showing wh. she finds un e)(cuse why she can't go out and then pretcnds to be interested in Josh's reason for asking. so It'e ('(1/1 Activity 1 Loo k at the photocopiable llctivity o n p. a customer using such :I direct impcr:nivc might give the impression Ihm Ihey think they arc superior 10 the person behind the bar.e (11/ ill Ihis /Oge/her as "'/I/afs. T he server would be entitled to think. It's imporllll1tlo notc thaI the thought bubble version of the IllcsSllge is not wrong. Gi'P Brown.l's thought bubble (Text 3) into 1I politc cmail.ies. but if you're giving thc answer they don't want to hcar. In the table. Let's have a look at how th is could work in two samples of classroom material. as thcre arc likely to be similarities and dilTcrences between cultures and e\'en between indi viduals.ol1l1l . Mlirgaret tries to make it seem trivial . a speaker must judge what kind and degree of politeness to use. implying something like' W/:'. In Britain. In her thought bubble. the first activit y from a spoken intemction lesson and the second from a lesson focusing on writing. you could use this mate ri al to raise awareness of somc of the issues involved in politcness choices.lge 51.1"('(1. In Ihe cartoon. is writing to thc student. We can sec Ihe boy's qucstion and the girrs response but. First of all. . we see the beginning of a converSlllion in which a boy tries to convince a girl to go out with him. P and Levinson. You could ask the students to idcntify the politencss strategies in Emma's replics. wc can scc how thc COlwersation in the cartoon continues. from UK. and they kn ow each other a little. yo u can focus on the vowel sou nd in bel by showing it is I/O/ the Slime as the vowel sounds in bit or &(1/. and say how it is dilTcrent from the email and why. Sonia . but showing what Margaret really thinks. and this directness is 1I positivc politcness stf<ltegy. Activity 2 Look lit thc photocopiable acti\'ity on page 52. you can be direct and sincere. she makes hcr accus. with a couplc of queria The writer and lIddresscc are people of morc o r less thc same status. 5 0 • Issue 70 ~ptember 2010· ENGLISH TEACHING projes. Te)(t I is" polite email from a woman who has had an overseas studcnt staying in her home. she docs this directly. she ends on a positivc nole by expressi ng 1I desire to maintain their relationShip. I believe you can use the Slime strategy to focus on politeness. She ulso a\'o id s directly at"eusing Sonia.lI politeness is by showing wha t it is not. The difference between what she thinks and what she says is intcresting becuusc it reveals the politeness st rate gies she is using. the direc t imperative in this context may be positive politeness.Ih lIirs (1//(1 graces'. In the thought bubble. but they are ccrtllinly not close friends. in addition. before switchin g to a polite smile lind giving her rcsponse. In the classroom. and modify the wording of what they want to say accordingly. but in may be polite in anothcr. For example..1lions very indirectly SO Ihlll Sonia is not upset by the suggestion she has donc something wrong. For this rellson. Insteud. and modify the wording of what they want to say accordingly So how can we go about increasing students' awareness o f politeness? One very effective strategy in language teaching gcncnlily is \0 show what you arc focusing on by showing whal it is not. As a follow-up 10 the discussion of polilencss stntteg. wilh the person in the Emmll role giving hcr 'thoughts' liS a whispered aside. Margaret begins by showing an interest in Sonia's e. Here are somc insights thcy might come up with. I t is inteTCSting to discuss with studen ts whcn and with whom thcy would usc these politeness stmtegies.com . you may need to be tactful and indirect."<pcricnccs since thcy Ilist mct.\·.that is. Margaret. mllY be responsible for the problems. For example. it might seem cold lind distant . 5 Politeness CUP 1978 II . You can focus on the meaning of th e tense choice in She's (lrr. Some classes may cnjoy dmmatising the dialogue.. Mlirgaret uses lItone which is politcfriendly. by suggcst ing that she herself. The woman. Shc finds somcthing pleasant to say about Sonia by than king hcr for a bunch of nowers.

ssional. .More than please and thank you Activity 1 • Responding to invitations -V'6r. Bye! Well. Ar e ':)ou \ ------.LL... I'll give you a ring . OK. I'm t hinking of going to the ice rink.-urda. OK.c:om • ENGLISH TEACHING prof ssional . I'm sorry. I've got a very busy week with one thing and another .. Why? Oh.. J osh: Inv ita t ion m oves Hi. never mind.. -ehe r ll. Well.. OK..~: ~)d"t~". that sounds g reat. Hi .. Well. WeLL.:) .'M'Mll. E. Would you like to come? Oh come on! I'll buy you lunch as well.----j ' 0. (you decide) • _ . that'll be nice. :rosh. I'm rather busy. ? r ll. dOl'h'5 a.c tUll. after the exam's over? We could go to the cinema.. Emma. -t:. He's going to invite me out! I can't think of anything worse than going to the ice rink with you! YukI I'd rather starve than have lunch with you! (you decide) Emma: Tactful r e fusals Oh hi. That's very kind of you..8tprof. but I'm afraid I've got to study for an exam on Monday. Josh.:. Josh.. how about one day next week. Are you doing anything on Saturday? Emma: R eal tho u g hts Oh no.'t\~t hi'hg l''M ~U S'::) Sa. Issue 70 September 2010 ' 51 e .. We can do somet hing t he week after next instead. actually."" r . but I really can't. o h hi. #.

More than please and thank you

Activity 2 • Polite emails
Text 1

Dear Sonia
I hope you had a good journey home. Did you have a chance to look around london when you were passing through? I'm sorry I was out when you left so I wasn't able to say goodbye properly. It was a nice surprise to come home and find that lovely bunch of flowers in a vase on the coffee table. Thank you for that. I'm just writing to ask you about a small thing really. I was wondering if you used the computer at all before you left? It's not a problem if you did, but I've had trouble getting onto the internet since you left. A box appears on the screen asking for a password. Do you know anything about that? I'm sure it was my own fault - I probably pressed the wrong button or something. Not to worry, I can ask my son; he's good with computers. Oh, and one other small thing while I'm writing. I don't know if you remember the Sopranos DVD we watched the night before you left? I was wondering if you have put it somewhere because the disc isn't in its box. Perhaps the dog's taken it outside! Well, that's all for now. It was really great having you to stay and I hope you'll come again some time - or, who knows, maybe we'll come to visit you! All the best Margaret

0

Text 2

Hey, Sonia, what the hell have you been doing to my computer? I can't get my internet connection to work properly. What is this password you've put on it? And another thing - you haven't walked away with my Sopranos DVD, have you? I can't find it anywhere, and I know you rather liked it . Marge

Text 3

Hi , Marge. I haven't touched your computer! I bet it's something your son did to it. He was always playing around with it. That boy should get out more! As for the DVD, J bet it'll be in the OVD player if you look there. Sonia

52 .

Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGLISH TEACH ING

professional . _.etprofe• •lonal.com

TEACHER DEVELOPMENT

Bahar Gun suggests that winning teachers' approval is fundamental
to a successful development programme.
y 20 years'experienceasa teacher educator. most of which has been INSET (in·service education of teachers). has taught me one thing: you can never win with teachers! I am aware this is a strong comment to make. but maybe after reading the following true story of a Teacher Development Unit (T D U) in a university selling in Turkey. you can sec why I make it. and maybe. if you <lfe a teacher educator yourself. you will even agree with me. simply because you have had similar experiences in your own work contex\.

From TDU to CPD
structured development,,1 activities for the teaching staff. The activities conducted in the last five years inelude classroom obscrvilt ions. workshops (trainer-led as well as teacher-led or led jointly by trainers/teachers). swapshops.. short courses and in-service certificate programllles.. The types of the activi ties offered were determined by the trdiners of the unit as well as the school administrators. and the teachers' opinions were ilsked (workshop topics. for example) through questionnaires. • When being observed by a more senior colleague. teachers argued that the classroom situation was unnaturaL • Teachers thought thill the workshops were too frequent. unsuitably scheduled . insufficiently practical and tended to be repetitive. They wll11ted the workshops 10 be optional. but expressed interest in being involved in workshop pTCsentation~ • They indiCilted that the swapshop meetings. group discussions of the following week's teaching materiaL "''eTC too frequent and not very effective.

M

Background
All teacher development programmes in English language teaching sellings are aimed atllchieving the same goal: to contribute to the tcachers' professional development. Institutions try different routes to achieve this common aim. Somc try informal methods. such as allowing the teachers to discuss their common concerns and brainstorm possible solutions to commonly·shared teaching problcm~ Othcrs do it more formally. with a structured teilcher development programme in place. As Richard Wails has pointed out. such programmes arc oftcn geared towards the interests of the course organisers and/or the authorities rather than those of the teachers themselve~ According to Richard Rossner. in most teachers' opinions. . leacller derelopll/em lias 10 be
bOI/OI/Hlp. 1/01 dished 01/1 by mal/agers accordil/g 10 their 011'1/ riel!' of what del'I'Iopml!1I1 I('({elias IIced ... '.

Teacher development programmes are often geared towards the interests of the course organisers rather than those of the teachers themselves
Teachers' attendance at workshops was mandatory. T his was the situation when a decision was made to carry out a fecdback study on the effectiveness of the TD U activities three years llgO. What follows is the story of that study and what happened in the next two year~

Re-thinking the programme
Taking all the feedback obtained into consideration, the T DU Activity Programme was redesigned for the following year. Observill ions for developmental purposes did continue: workshops became optional and were fewer in number. The workshop programme WilS advertised. and those who were interested signed up for the workshops they wanted 10 attend. Teacher involvement in the preparation and presentation stages of workshops continued. and swapshop meetings were abandoned for that academic year. Towards the end of the year. another feedback questionnaire on the T DU activities conducted that year was given out. but yet again. the teachers indicllted that theydidn't think the TDU programme had becn very usefuL T heir reasons this time were: • Observations themselves.. as well as the post-observation feedback sessions.. could cause stress on the purt of the teachers when trainers were critical and feedback was non-constructive. • Teachers thought workshops should be more practice-based ntlher than theoretical: also the pace of the

Feeding back
Feedback obtained from the teachers through questioll1ll1ires.. structured interviews and focus groups showed that, despite some o\'emll positive comments.. they were not entirely happy with the development activities for the following reasons: • Although many teachers found classroom observations useful, some bel ieved that obscrvat ion was only suitable for less experienced teachers.

The T DU in our institution was established to provide in-service support and development to enable English teachers to achieve their full potentiaL operating on the premise that teachers who eontinuc to learn lIre more effectivc. Since the school was establ ished six years ago, the T DU has been organising

......

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.• tprof ••• tonat.com • ENGLISH TEACHING projbisiol/ol

• Issue 70 September 2010 ' 53

TEACHER DEVELOPMENT

From TDU to CPD
programme did not allow them to implement the practical ideas that were provided in some of the workshop presentations. • Somc teachers stated that the number of workshops had dropped dramatically that year. and that they would prefer more frequently conducted workshops, like the wcekly ones in the previous yea r. • As for the teacher involvement in workshop preparation and presentation. a few noted that it was sometimes diflicult to refuse when asked by a trainer 10 prepare and present a joint workshop. and that they had to do it unwillingly.

period of three years. moving from tilking a top-down approilch to a bottom-up approach. suggesting that effective professional development is teacher-oriented ilnd thilt (as Nilashia Mohamed expresses it) ·iIlI"O/rillg le(Jchers ill Ihe plallllillg alld 1/11' ddil"el)" of 1/11' programme isfim(/(llIIelllallO its sucress·. Unfortunately, however. the feedback obtained in the second year showed naws in this kind of bOllom-up approach as well and. as iI result. in the third year both top-down and bOllomup approaches were adopted.

Another re-think
After going through a state of confusion as a result of the connicting feedback. the TDU members and the management decided to adopt an approach combining the principles of both topdown and bollom-up processes in designing the in-service programme. (Perhaps wc wcrc hoping wc could catch the teilehers somewhere in the middle!) The following yea r, as \\'ell as regular mandalOry observations, extra observations took place on the basis of requests from teachers. In planning the \\'orkshop programme. trainers prepared two tracks: one group of practical, optional workshops.. where tcachcrs signed up. and another group of compulsory ones for all teachers. determined according 10 the trainer observation resul ts and the perceived nceds of the teachers. Teacher involvement in workshops continued almost in the same manncr: cxcept it was the willing tcachers this time who approached the triliners and indicated an interest in gelling involved in workshops.

The aim in any teacher education programme should be to engender favourable attitudes to growth and change among teachers
In the light of this experience. it might be claimed that iI successful teacher education programme should be both top-down and bOllom-up. ilnd that taking teilc hers' views into account can have a positive impact on both the teachcrs' professional development and the institution. and is, therefore. important. The aim in an y teacher education programme. maybe combining thc principlcs of the two opposing approiKhes.. should be to engender favourable attitudes to growth and change among teachers. However. an even more important implication for alltcachcr education programmes, as with the one in our institution. would be to propose adopting a new Continuous Professional Development programmc (CPO) based on individuill teachers· needs. Past experience in our T OU showed that we should abandon the 'one-size-fits-all' kind of programmc, composed of snapshot observations. presenting 'one for all' workshops, circulating conferencel seminar announcements. sending teac hers to odd conferences. etc - simply because thcy do 1101 fit! As Keith Hilrding points out. each teacher is at iI different stilge of professional development: therefore

their nceds differ. This suggests Ihat teacher educators. by tuning into the teachers' needs. should be aware of individual expectations and approach each tellcher with 1I different ·menu' for professional development. The tritiners' mllin responsibility should be to hc!p the teitchers to incre,tse their awareness of weaknesses and strengths. ie 10 become effective. rencctive practitioners, ilnd they should be ilble to identify individual CPO needs and provide relevant activities to mcet them. This would avoid the misilikes of the past one big Illenu for the entire stiln' - and having a teacher devc!opment unit in an institution would be worthwhile not only for the teachers but also for trainers and administrators: eventu;tlly leading to development of the whole school.

I am happy that in our institution we

***

are now gelling closer to establishing a new CPO programme. after the period of painful confusion over Whill it is teachers really want for their development. [ find myself looking forward to feedback from teachers 011 the CPO system in the next two or threc years. Maybe one day we will wi n their approv;ll. Hopefully, then. we will all be winners! G2l> Harding, K 'CPO' Modern English Teacher 18(3) 2009 Mohamed, N 'Meaningful professional development' English Teaching
Professional 42 2006

Rossner. R 'When there is a will facilitating teacher development' IATEFL
Teacher Development SIG Newsletter 18

1992

Watts, A J 'Planning in-service training courses: institutional constraints and non-native EFL teachers' perceptions'
International Journal of Applied Linguistics 4(1) 1994

Feeding forward
This three-year renection on a teacher development unit in a university setting brought out some points which an y institution with a TOU of a similar nature might find it interesting to consider. It was interesting to note the change that the TOU had to undergo over the

Bahar Gun currently works at Izmir University Of EconomiCS, Turkey, as the Assistant Director o f the SChoot of Foreign Languages, where she is primarily in charge 01 teaCher education programmes.

5 4 • Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGLISH TEACH ING professional .

_ _ .tprof• • slonal.com •

In addition. You mentioned one path into management being to take on d ifferent responsibilities at school level. I hope. move on 1 being a senior teacher and then perhaps to an ADOS position. Getting into ELT management Sue Leather discusses becoming an ELT manager with Andy Hockley. Needless to say. In that way. Ooe of the things I noticed when I first became a manager. I agree that coping with your different role can be hard. is the International Diploma in Language Teaching Management (IDLTM). and certainly most internationally portable. In short. it does seem like a nalural career progression. maybe. up to and including an MBA (Masters in Business Administration). But what about training and formal qualifications for ELT management? Managing the diverse and ever-changing nature of the classroom is essential in facilitating students ' learning Sue: Yes. which is a qualification joinlly certified by Cambridge ESOL. which 0 can be difficult 1 cope with. What do you give up by going into management? Andy: Well. which. it is evident thaI your work iocorpomtes some key management skills.of management. However much people assume their relationships with their colleagues will not change. After all. most teachers have. a. organisation 01 human and physical space and resources.or perhaps not so subtle . though. often grows naturally Oul of teaching. for many of you as teachers. obviously one thing you give up is the classroom experience.your woril: includes the need for effective communication. seems like a natural career progression. but beyond this I'd say Ihere are some very good reasons for getting ~ ~ ~ • _ •• tprof •••lonal. time management.ways they will. pus 1 + + + Looking for new experiences within the profession? Interested in different ways of developing beyond the classroom? Hoping fOf' tips on how to extend and enrich your professional life? Teacher Plus is a series which focuses on specific areas in which you can step outside the strictly teaching sphere. was that I missed the classroom.nd the addition of some new ones. I suppose that's one aspect that trai ning could help with. In addition. and it is vital that all teachers develop management strategies in the classroom. and certainly you can gain a 101. I agree with that. another area which. What kind of management courses are available? Andy: Obviously there are lots of general management courses around. This gives you a clear path to lollow. I n Issue 69 01 ETp. experienced good management and leadership as well as. I think that can be very enriching. So teachers are managers. as you say. becoming a Course Director. an ELl management consultant and trainer.com · ENGLISH TEACHING professiol/al . the University of Why go into ELT management? Andy: I Ihink for many people. in subtle . Many recently-appointed managers struggle between wanting to do as much teaching as possible and realising that they just don't have the time. I think that going into management is ooe means of having an effect on teaching at a different level from just being in the classroom.Teacher. II's about changing perspective. it's a bit like going into teacher training.or 'victim' . Director 01 Studies or Principal 01 a school will requi re the further development 01 some of the skills you already have. I turn to management. bad management. managing the diverse and ever-changing nature 01 the classroom is essential in lacilitatlng students' learning. Going into management can allow you to take some of those lessons learnt lrom being a 'beneficiary' . This will be the case regardless of whether you enter a management position in the school at which yoo were previously a teacher or if you take up a post elsewhere. and record-keeping. The first one Is that developing yourself and learning new skills is always a good thing to dowhatever direction that professional development takes you in. Issue 70 September 2010' 55 . Another thing that new managers often tell me is how difficult they found the transition was from colleague/peer to boss. Sue: Yes. then. It's also a path to take that has an obvious structure in place . too . when you look at what you do as a leacher. This time. but there are also a few courses specifically lor the language teaching field. too. I argued. I fear. I wrote about writing materials for publication. I discussed with my associate Andy Hockley. I think most people are aware that going from teacher to manager has some downsides.in many language schools you can cut your teeth 0 on coordinating a level. aren't they? Well. some of the issues around getting into management. and apply them yourself. Perhaps the most wellknown. involved in management. As well as spending a lot of time managing peopleyour students . So how can you decide il management is really for you? What kind of training can you get? How can you go about getting into management? To help me answer these questions. for example. missed that daily contact with my own studen ts. but also means yoo can decide at various stages whether management is for you. You probably did.

trainer trainer and writer. Then there is the DELTM (Diploma in English Language Teaching Management). Chichester.etprofessiona l. see if they will act as a mentor to you. and only later got some formal training. information and selected articles. perhaps volunteering to take on some extra responsibilities. I had my training 'on the job'. I agree with you too that managing a summer school is a way that teachers frequently get their first management experience.orgl ELT Leadership and Management Special Interest Group Discussion Group: http://groups. West Sussex. and one that provides great scope for professional development. workshops and COurSeS in over 25 countries for the British CounC and il other organisations. techn iques and activities: simple or sophisticated.. He was involved in the creation and development 01 Cambridge ESOl 's International Diploma in language Teaching Management. However. to address the need for support and training. www. How do I get a job in ELT management? Most Obviously. For guidelines and advice.yahoo. a university language department or a state school.. Write to us or email: editor@etprofessiona l.com Visit the ETp website! The ETp webs ite is packed with practical tips.com ENGLISH IT WORKS IN PRACTICE Do you have ideas you 'd like to share with colleagues around the world? Tips. renew your subscription o r simply browse the features.etprofe••lonal. there are Directors of Studies jobs in various schools round the world . It's also a very good one.com ~~f1ilit!JACJI ENGLISH TEACHING professional Pavilion Publishing (Brighton) Ltd. What are your though ts on the range of management jobs within the profession? Council.com Do you have something to say about an article in the current issue of ETp? This is your magazine and we would reaJly like to hear from you. for example. Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGLISH TEACHING professional . the British Andy Hockley is a teacher trainer and educational management consultant and trainer. after the training . ELT management is a challeng ing and exciting career path. the vast majority of people get involved in ELT management and take their first management position within the school that they've worked for as a teacherwhether that be al a private language school. International House London also runs a modular online course in EL i Management.iatefl. because you can 'put you r toe in the water' and see if you really like it.com • . UK This is your magazine. course as well as other El T managemen t courses and workshops round the world. I think such groups can be a very useful source of information about current issues and training possibilities. So. resources. Australia. Another possibility is to ask your current boss if you can shadow them for a while. and regulariy trains on the L _ _ __ .com Fax: +44 (0)1243 576456 Email: info@etprofessional. andyOsueleatherassociates. tend to be looking for a 005 or an academic director. Sue: I think the ELi management field has definllely developed in the last few years. in my experience. and then a national one.com 56 .within networks like International House and Bell. and there is certainly more specific training available. write to us or email: e ditor@etprofe ssiona l. well-tried or innovative. and SIT (School for International Training) in the USA. She has delivered talks. that's quite a common route into management. advice. though.com/group/ managersELTI Sue Leather is an educational consultant. *** Gi2> ELT Leadership and Management Special Interest Group of IATEFL http://eltm. which is what made me starl a local organisation. though probably one would be unlikely to get a job as a teach ing centre manager with the BC without prior experience. We want to hear from you! Writing fo r ETp Would you like to write for ETp? We are always interested in new writers and fresh ideas. Whichever route you take into it. Sue: I got my first management job in the school I worked for as a teacher. and they will often draw those managers from a pool of experienced teachers rather than qualified or experienced managers. say. which has a newsletter and an online discussion group and organises workshops. something that has worked well for you? All published contributions receive a prize! Write to us or email: e d i to r@ etprofessional. These jobs can be applied for online through a central site. One quite common way to get your first management position is in a summer school. She was the lounder 0 1 the El T Management Special Interest Group of IATEFl and of lhe Directors of Siudies Association movement in the UK. As you say. run by English UK.. of course. Also. we hope this article has given you some starting points. There was actually a lack of formal training for managers in ELT at that time. based in Romania.T eacher plus Getting into ELT management Queensland. I think it's also worth mentioning the support organisations such as the ELi Leadership and Management Special Interest Group of IATEFL (see below). P018 8HD. Many summer schools in the UK.. what about the jobs? You mentioned earlier the different levels of management. _. PO Box 100. You can submit tips or articles..

:tdy unliuc. • places greater emphllsis on student. thc traditional role of the teilcher is chilnging. In this article we will usc the word III/or. for example coach. • requires tuto rs to develop new WilYS of encouraging participation. with the result that the understanding of the word leaciter itsc1f has altered. whcre the students meet their tutor who will guide and support them through the whole course. liS the teachers see this liS 11 way of improving the quality of their teaching.. • learner support . Almost all the universities in the Czech Republic now olTer them. Clltherine Gerrard emphasises severill fealUres which differentiate online tuition from traditional tuition. In our Academic Wriling course. with more thilll 45 of these being English language courses. contact with fellow students and access to a language support website are all important. • docs not confine teaching to specific times. • Correcting. • study materials . lIIodl'f(l/or. the students meet a teacher once every two weeks to discuss and clarify any mistakes thcy have made in their essays.The comp. j(lcililatur. • ti me . for example. At present. • requires tuto rs to assess the worth of online contributions. Conventional face-to-face teaching is sometimes nccessilry for the development of speaking communication skills. Consequently. delivering and evaluating tutorials: • Pmvicling stlldenls wi th explicit ll!1d clear instructions and a study guide: • Helping students to overcome obstacles so that they achieve their learning objectives. As Ian Badgcr has pointed ouL the time available for leilfllers to spend on improving their language skills will always be limited.. Finally. and it enhances leimler autonomy. • Sometimes creating the content of the e-learning course. .. • Supporting and encouraging the students in their studies bye-mail and discussion: • Reacting to enquiries and giving advice. where the silldents usually diseuss with thcir tutor any problems they have come across when doing their assignments.A close link between sc1f-study and classroombased tasks. Self-study Each part of an online course starts with sc1f-study information input lind concludes with tasks. Tutorials Usually. Some students attcnd regular classes and use the e-courses for revision.• tprof ••• tonal.such courses arc attractive to universities as they can be an additional source of income. regular contact with a tutor. 1IIl'llia/ur or III/Of.natively low cost of self-study is allTactive to employers. which makes them responsible for its quality.It is neeessary to create a level of interest in self-study that can compete with the other activities in the learners' lives. but instead promotes multiple conversations.Materials must be highly accessible and easy to use. Online tuition: • places grcilter emphasis on written skills. E • learner motivation .and re turni ng them. Our e-courses arc created in a virtual learning environ ment called WebCT. possible promotion. -Iearning courses (using multimedia technology to deliver tuition) hi\Ve become an indispensable part of acquiring new knowledge. • affordability . • docs not follow a linear conversation. there arc 'blended' courses which combine online and face-to-face teaching. but all learners can find the time lind money for self-study. evaluating and delivering fecdbilck on the students' individUill assignments . There are several key factors which innuence successful self-study: •_ . ideally within three days. financial rewards. Students can. This is particularly suitable for distance silldents and those doing their main courses at other unive rsities. and also for the general public . particularly at tertiary level. there will never be enough time or money available to allend regular language classes. Some of them. quizzes or assignments. where the students' work is evaluated orally by the tutor. require a new approach to teaching. For many learners. taugllt o. however a!tractive and cheaper they might seem. • Resolving potential study connicts.TECHNOLOGY and the teachers can concentrate more on listening and speaking ac tivities in class. there arc only three face-toface tutorials: an illfrodIlClOr)' llIIoria/. going over the information taught in class again and doing additional practice exercises. E-Iearning The FlIculty of Informatics and Management at the University of Hradee Knilove has been intensely involvcd in thc lIpplication of c-learning since 1999. Tutor tasks E-Iearning tutors have to perform a wide variety of tasks: • Organising.studcnt learning. . such as Writ/I'll Busil1l'ss English.Motivating factors can include job satisfaction.. and thefil1al lulOrial. We also find it contributes enormously towards increasing the elTecti\'eness and efficiency of the educlltional process... T he e-Ieilrning courses.com • ENGLISH TEACHING professional . Self-study is very important for our students.Ulllplo. more than 150 e-courses lire olTered. enh1lllced job performllnce. do reading and writing tasks on their own.an ho. Tutoring Blanka KlimovA finds that online tuition places new demands on online tutors. ilnd success in tests and examinations. o. a mid-i·OIIY. • produces a more formal tone.. Ica(ier. In the e-Iearning courses difTerent names arc employed.\·/' II/Iorial. Issue 70 September 2010· 57 . both for their own students.

seems to be that the students who opt for e-Iea rning language courses tend to be those with lower levels in the target language. They must necessarily comply with new requiremcllls if they want their e-Iearning tutoring to be a success. • Technical roles. Brighton 2003 Berge. exercises a nd questions. • T'lsks.ways in which understanding can be assessed in order to provide feedbac k. Furthermore. not only for the tutor but also for the students themselves. H owever.. C 'Promoting best practice for e-tutoring through staff development' In Proceedings of Networked Learning: Third International Conference. • Body . Z L 'The role of the moderator in a Scholarly Discussion Group (SOO)' www.a short statement motivating the participants to study the particular lesso n: • Prerequisites . Her main fietd of interest is teaching business Engtish. t 'Self-study and the business learner' Talk given at the 37th Annual IATEFL Conference. The C-lu\Or uses questions and probes for SWdCllt responses that focus discussions on criticlll concepts. and all the students (both present and absent) should be made aware that they need to read them lhoroughly before they start work on the online coursc. T hese involve selling learning objectives: establishing agendas for the learning activities. Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGLISH TEACHING professional .a description of the knowledge to be gained in the particular lesson. it is often the case. its content and requirements. • providing feedbac k. *** 0 Badger. they arc shown how to use lhe WebCT virtual learning environment. information about the goals of the subject or announcements abou t the mid-couTSC tutorial. with the structure of eaeh lesson following these basic learning steps: • informing of objectives: • presenting content: Btanka Klimov8 teaches at the Faculty 01 tnformatics and Management of the University of Hradec Kr8Iov~ .nticular structure of each of our lessons is: • T itlc. Czech Republic. • Managerial or organisational roles.comlmoderatorsl zlbmod. • T hey should thrive in a culture of change. certain principles are worth following.nticipate in the introductory tutorial. studel1\S arc acquainted with thc e-subject. T hese urc possibly the most daunting for academics. • T hey should h<lvc the ability to see • assessing performance. Problems At the introductory tutorial.the cOl1\el1\ in the form of texts. and academic writing.Ictivities and tasks: clarifying procedural rules and decision-making norms. • T hey should be good communicators in any medium: • T hey should be non-conformists. Another problem Online teaehing/lcarning is part of a contemporary trend towards personalisation and individualisution of Icarning which has becn made possible by advancements in informationtcchnology. they miss the dcadlines of some assignments. 5 8 . T hese are Ihe most important in the e-Icilrning process. Instructions for working in the e-Iearning environment should be written clearly and concisely. but students being unsure of where to find all the necessa ry infornwtion and which tools of the virtual environment to usc.com • . T he p. Ihe big picture. • Ooal . • Social roles. T hese involve the creation of friendly and comfortable social cnvironments in which students feel that learning is possible. • Skills to be learl1\ . S 'Learning with 'e's' http://steve-whee/er. she runs courses In the culture and history of Britain and the USA. instructions for working in the e-Icarning environment should be written clearly . If this is done. _ . In addition.com/ 200910517-skil/s-for-successful-efufOr. To avoid problems like those outlined above.html Accessed 27/812009 Gerrard.blogspot. in our experience. This means that they don't receive any marks for these assignments. it imposes great demands on its creators and the tutors who deliver it. E-learning can be challenging for students as wcll as tuto rs. Moreover. As a result. Lancaster Unlvarsity and University of Sheffield 26th-28th March 2002 Wheeter.•tprof•••tonat. e-Iearning can be a successful experience for both tutors and students. timetabling learning .E-Iearning Tutor skills Stcve \Vhcctcr has listed seven skills thai c-lcarning tulors should possess: • T hey should be able to support and encourage learners: • T hey should not be afraid to take risks with new technologies: • T hey should be able to transfer good tcaching skills into online contexts. and all the students should be made aware that they need to read them thoroughly slight problems later on. Unfortunately. quizzes or assignments . T his can cause Tutor roles Z ane Berge has identified four main e·tulor roles: • Pedagogical or intellectual roles.html Accessed 2718/2009 Pedagogy T here is no particular pedagogical appro. principles and skills. eomfortable and competent with the ICT systems and software that compose the e-learning environment. T he principal issue scems not to be problems with the operation of the virtual environment.Uld concisely. T hey involve becoming familiar. T his makes it impossible for some students to finish the online COUTSC.tch recommended for e-courses. that not all the students p. Howevcr.previous knowledge required to mas ter the lesson. Those students who were not present (and sometimes even those who were) at the introductory tuto rial often don't read the sylla bus. students should be to ld not to be afraid of contacting thcir tllto r if they are not surc how to handle particular tasks or assignments.emoderators. T he whole course should be divided into separate lessons.

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then look at who they are following. As a far more public forum.twitter.edmodo.• Five things you always wanted to know about In this series. There is none of the hassle involved with following and being followed by others.com) is. You can read more about Twitter in Issue 60 of ETp. She maintains a blag at www. twitter.you send out a short 'update ' of a maximum of 140 characters. If we have Edmodo for students and the c lassroom. and the people in your microblogging network can read it. via Edmodo at the precise moment these are needed in class. Here is how to do it: • Create your own Twitter account at www.@foxden#Elearning four ways with weblnars http://bit. in fact. assignments and videos easily. So you could decide to fol low someone famous like Barack Obama or Britney Spears. 5 What about microblogging and professional development? 2 Ah. Nicky Hockly explains aspects of technology whic h some people may be embarrassed to confess that they don't really understand. Probably the bestknown microblogging too l at the moment is Twitter (www. For this reason it is also known as 'blogging for lazy people'. say. and all of your contacts (or 'followers' in Twitter parlance) will be able 10 read it if they are logged in as well.com.com • . embedded videos.. and all they need to join the group is an access key (password). and so on. No more writing long web addresses on the board. Microblogging consists of very short messages (or 'updates ') you send Oul via the internel. known as 'Twitter for teachers '.etprofe• •lonal. or handing out worksheets . used by the class out of the classroom to chat. She Is Clrector of Pedagogy of The Consultants·E. and to create polls for your students. If you follow someone on Twitter.all this can be done online in your now-wired classroom. • Find at least 50 people (teachers) to fol low. Edmodo (www. There is a large and active English language teaching community in Twitter already. you will be able to read their tweets.hockly@1hllCunsuHiWll$·e. Britney decide to follow you (which is. Do this by following one person already in Twitter. it exists hnp:llbiUy/dCiy1 d . For me it has become my most important and up-to-date source of ongoing professional development. and all you need to do is to join them to be able to tap into a wide network of expertise.emoderaticmskills. yes. 15 minutes twice a day in which to read tweets from your network and to contribute your own ideas. Edmodo allows you to share files. Issue 70 September 2010 ' ENGLISH TEACH ING professional . . But unless Barack or 4 How does microblogging rel ate to the classroom teacher? Can I use it with students? There is one microblogging tool which is particularly useful for educators. hatched) a who le range of related vocabulary. One of the big advantages of Edmodo is that you can very easily set up a closed group for your students.lyllZaLQ Worl<. and you will be able to read the ir tweets. @ harrisonmike BBC has good podcasting sites for Eng lang learners incl lower levels http://bit. Plurk and Jsiku. but there are other odd-sounding ones. she explains microblogging. mistweet (a tweet you later regret). The content of your mk:roblogging messages is necessarily short (some would say superficial).ly/cI1OJN #elearning #edtech Back from 3 days on beach .com) . She Is co-author of Learning English as a Foreign Language for Dummies (John Wiley & Sons) and Teaching • .. an online training and development consultancy. you start to see the benefits. Try to allocate. links. How many more Ts can I cross before going mad? Social learnin g? Yes. but 'micro'? Does this refer to very small blogs? In a way. microblogging (but were afraid to ask) 1 Blogging yes. you can send them handouts. You send out a short message via your Twitter account. Here are some examples of messages (known as 'tweets') I have sent in the past week: 3 Is Twiner the only microblogging tool? Twitter is certainly the most popular (and therefore best-known) of the microblogging tools. including Tumblr. ing on final proofs of new book w @ Iclandfield Teaching Online (due out soon). send in assignments or do quiues. Nicky Hockly has been Involved In EFL teaching and teacher training since 1987. In this article. 60 . twitterati (cool A-list tweeters who have thousands of followers) . sharing and support. What does that do? It's a bit like SMS or texl messaging. and follow the same people! You can use my network fol low me at @theconsultantse. let's face it. • II will take you a few weeks to get into the swing of Twitter. unlikely) they won't be reading your tweets! Twitter has spawned (sorry. They all work on the same principle .com and let hI!!" know or any other leT illea5 you 'd like her to elpklre In th is Sl!!"ies. Twitter is partk:ularly sulled to creating professional networks.heaven! Andorra tmrw but slow vodaphone dongle means bad connections & no Twiner :-( Tweets are typically a mix of the personal and professional. but they will only be able to read your tweets if they follow you. _. share links and resources. which you can bandy around if you want to sound like you need to get out more: tweeple (people in your Twitter network). Once you are connected to a critical mass of other teachers from around the world in Twitter. If your students have laptops or internet-enabled smartphones in the classroom. and you also need to follow people yourself. comments and links. of no more than 140 characters (not words~. Twitter requires you to have followers.~_ _ _• Online (Celta Publishing). Twitterll 've heard of that. dweet (a tweet sent while under the influence of alcohoij. A tool like Edmodo can also be Conl iICl Nk:ky II nk:ky.eotn and you can follow her on Twitter at Olheconsultilnlse. we have Twitter for teachers outside of the classroom.

You can choose from three different ways to download them: either one card. There are also other languages on this site. I keyed in soccer and it informed me that it is an • _. abbreviation of Association in the term 'Association Football ' with er added to the end. resources. this is a superb 1001. they will appear immediately on the screen. German and Spanish. If they actually are in the top 100.languageguide.et p rofessiona l. You just key in a particular word and it provides you with a collection of words that rhyme with it. UK.com Find the origins of words: www. and.Webwatcher T he flood of useful technologies and tools on the internet never ceases to amaze me. Provided you have a printer. I received very c lear and easy-to-read explanations of the origins of these words. Issue 70 September 2010 ' e 61 . I also looked up London .teacherirainingvideos. Fosbury flop and hallmark. and you are limited to just five minutes. Hover your cursor over the name of each set to see what words are covered in it. too.com / 10simple/ index. Imagine you are a fairly high-level student and you are read ing a text. the. This can save you a lot of time as you can do multiple searches and then print out the resulting definitions. This is great fun to do with students. at: www.com/100-Most-CommonEnglish-Words-Quiz. I have used it several times in class and it has gone down really well w ith my students. to get extra pronunciation practice. Click on the name to see the cards. The words are very clearly pronounced and the level of detail is excellent. It is not perfect and the definitions tend to be quite high-level. Simply key in the word.com. Russell Stannard celebrates sites which seem simple but do so much. rtlssetlstannard@btlnternet. The site does a lot more and can also be used for French. teachertr ainingvideos. You can find free help videos. renew your subscription or simply browse the features. click on 'Search' and it produces a large table with all the different conjugations. useful tools thai can help either you or your students. These are divided into groups according to how many syllables they have.html Russell Stannard is a principalle<:. which I have created. It offers numerous sets of illustrated vocabulary flashcards and they are all free. php This is a great site if you want to know where a word comes from . Use a talking dictionary: www. They are all very simple to use and you can demonstrate them to your students very easily.ssional.com/ index.c:om • ENGLISH TEACHING prof ssional . Find words that rhyme: www. this useful tool will come to your rescue. They can listen and repeat them. I can see potential for students to use this tool.reverso. You simply press the start button and begin wriling in the words you think will be on the list. He won the Times Higher Education Award lor Outstanding Initiatives in Inlonnation and Communications Technology for his website www. and it is really worth exploring.eslfl ashcards. It is very easy at the beginning (everyone can predict that words like a. Roll your cursor over the pictures and you will hear the words pronounced and see them spelled out on the screen. the more I like it. too. The quality of the pictures is extremely good and there are plenty of cards to choose from. Just key the words into 'Easy define' and it will search for all ten words at the same time and give you a d ictionary definition for each one.com/ This site is amazing. information and selected articles. plus a few more. My students really like this and find it very useful. II rea lly is hard to keep up with so many great p ieces of software.etymonline. Let's say there are ten words in the text you don't understand. net When you are preparing lessons about pronunciation and you quickly need to find some words that rhyme.org/ engli sh/ This is a superb visual dictionary.easydefine.com/ The more I use this tool. Visit the ETp website! The ETp website is packed with practical tips.l urer in leT al the University 01 Westminster. You can see the list of sets in the middle of the screen. Keep sending your favourite sites to Russell . Just key in the word you are interested in and click on the 'OK' button. Find a verb conjugation : http://conjugator. In this issue I want to focus on some quick. but it is a very useful tool. The site has some other interesting sections.net! conjugation engli sh. Encourage the students to print the sheets out and learn the words. that will show you step-by-step how to use these tools.com Look words up quickly in a dictionary: www. advice.8tprof.rhymes. I love learning about the origins of words and it can make teaching vocabulary so much more interesting. Just click on the category you want and a page will open up with lots of pictures related to that topic. too. www.html What a fun too l this is! 1\ gives you five minutes to think of the most common 100 words in English. that and but will be on the list) but it gets harder and harder. two cards or nine small cards per page. Find the most popular words in English: http://quizicon .html This can be very helpful for students who need to find certain verb forms or conjugations. You can submit tips or articles. He was also one of the winners of the 2OtO British Council ELTons awards. Print out some flashcards: www.

which stay on shelves in staff rooms and are passed from colleague to colleague. Head of Teacher Training Pilgrims " we've advertised with ETP for many years and have always been really pleased with the service we get from the team. ' . English Teaching professional is a natural place for us to advertise and a great place for us to be seen. ' . It is therefore an important part of our overall media strategy. J uup Stelma lolA T[SOL Course Director University of Manchester . " Pilgrims advertises in ETP because we know it is one of the best ways to target like minded professionals for our courses.. The magazine reflects a fresh approach to articles and ideas as does Pilgrims so there is a great synergy. We part icularly va lue the diverse readership. In this age of technology and on-line media it's easy to forget many people (teachers especially) still like to read paper magazines too! ETP lucki ly embraces new media whilst not forgetting traditional journals . Dr. It's great for Macmillan to have our products featured in such a practical and popular magazine for teachers. In all respects. We also find there is a very close match between the topics and concerns covered in the publication and those covered by our own academic and professional development courses. including committed English teaching professionals from every part of t he wor ld.Don't just take our word for it .' . Beverley Clarke Marketing Co -ordinator Macmillan [ducation " over the years we have consistently advertised in English Teaching professional and wi ll continue to do so in the future. Jim Wright..

If game. Like any technique. or most words being the winner. day when everybody is tired. points wishes to boost the collective energy levels can be scored by simple word recall or thought of. depth version of this competition (which beginning with . we should also say something such competitive element versus those on the right. In sum. funny hats for basis. etc. conferences around the wond. worrying that ompetition is something we learn valuable teaching time will be lost if they teammates. ready to work out the answers to linguistic classes can sometimes become Rose Senior is a language teacher educator who runs workshops and presents at oppressive. can be used groups read out their lists of jobs. the group having thought of the such as a packet of sweets that can be an animal (or sport. with the result that little learn of the excitement of games. (iJ2> words or concepts as possible associated formed by the letters EZIRP'. pressure is often with class members minutes to come up with as many English can be conducted successfully without any props at all. words for jobs that you can think of. counterproductive following our example by starting .. such as because of the physical activity involved. Children also learn conducted in a spirit of friendliness and fun filled with linguistic items from the lesson. (spinning the wheel) . A more inpiece 01 furniture or any other category) shared as widely as possible. who is seated in front of them about early on in our lives: toddlers competing for the same with their back to the board (on which the allow anyone to relax for a single moment.can function as much-needed pressurehow exhilarating it is to win a competition The l eacher then defines one of the items. 'And now. Teachers A popular vocabulary revision game rseniorOiinet. release valves. to be the loser. friend liness and generosity under constant example.provided they are stand on either side of the board. We view of the strong motivati onal power of example. it should be something thought of. further learning takes place. youngsters seeing who can Keeping classes under constant pressure is teacher has written the word to be defined). everyone. now!' When the time is up. 'a word with common words. requires each team to provide definitions of often try to squeeze every last ounce of ]r 1260 ----- • _. but only word beginning w ith that letter scores a to advantage by any language teacher who scoring points for jobs that no one else has poin t for the ir team. and groupwork. 'The name of group says how many words they have we give a reward. and so on. Competitive Two students holding plastic fly swats desperately rushing to grab a seat in 'musical chairs' or shouting to teammates team games . They also Classes can easily be become too serious about winning. for counters for the scorers. Variations on this theme include 01 the ir classes. but they do not always everyone.In this column Rose Senior explains why certain teaching techniques and class management strategies are effective. the teacher calls out. mental activity: 'a word that means Ihe having groups of students th ink of as many however. such as mouse. and identifies specific issues that ca n assist ali language teac hers in improving the quality of their teaching. . In c/ose/wel/-foughtlexciting contest'.etprofe ••lonat. or item 01 clothing.. Allowing each team to choose a distinctive name for itself puts students in competition. who can exclaim. which is to pass the soccer ball. One spinning wheel (like a roulette wheel) opportunity to settle scores with rivals. toy. particularly at the end of the puzzles posed by the teacher. We containing the leiters of the alphabet. for as 'Well done.and Most students are familiar with pairteacher. so tasks is to include a divided into teams: those learn how humiliating it is to although we should praise the winning Silting on the left of the room let teammates down or to team. with its innate encourages creative thinking) is to have the the letter S!' The first person to call out a power to enliven and motivate. you have two But of course competitive games prevails with in the room. shouldn't we encourage must remain constantly alert to the fact that students can b lame weaker competition in our language classes? the mood. The overall atmosphere in language sit al the front with bells and buzzers. 'Right. and so on. 'a word that can be class and must not be over-used. each In the 'Letter of the alphabet' applauding the winners. The teacher can say. and that at all times Keeping classes an overall spirit of more dynamic when conducted in a competitors. Alternatively. competition. for the greatest word game of aJl that individuals can use c lass competitions designed to provide light relief as an collaborate with their peers as time!' If possible. use props: a vertical enthusiastically as they might. Competitive games C recently-studied words for one of their effort out of their students.. swats. as does the behaviour of the teammates for the ir failure to win . particularly at the student being the first to 'swat ' the parlicularly if the reward One technique for the end of lessons when correct one winning a point for their team. foot beginning with the prefix ~dis_m. matchsticks or competitive spirit. 'Word-swat ' is another favourite often counterproductive since students run fastest. bells and buzzers for panel compos ition of learns changes on a regular Brainstorming activi ti es become instantly members to press.. comes in the form of a prize ..and how devastating it is II is always tempting for students to enlivening collaborative students have worked hard. fly technique for enlivening collaborative tasks should therefore ensure that the is to include a competitive element.au.(:om • ENGUSH TEACHING professiollal • Issue 70 September 2010' 63 . it must be appropriate for the opposite of ~heavyn>. .net. everybody! That was a come in last in a race. or tree (with or without the aid of Teams can support their elected panel who dictionaries). Children quickly tend to switch off.

. PO Box 100. West Sussex.1<. I\IJll fl. LOlto-JZO.The ability to solve problems in new and clever ways ..~" .To leave your country in order to live in another country . either deliberately or because you forget •• A colour between red and yellow •• Rest and enjoyment •• To make a legal cla im against someone FAIRLY FREQUENT WORDS • A continuous. You can keep a record in the boxes above. L L L fit.A strong clear alcohOl ic drink made from grain and juniper berries . used with home ••• To push air through someth ing (such as a wh islle) with your mouth ••• SOmeone whose job is to treat people who are ill or injured •• • Used for stating the purpose of an object or an action ••• To put something in someone's hand ••• SOmething that you hope to achieve ••• To allow some<l!1e to have or do what they want (lormaQ • • • A word used for referring to a man or boy who has already been mentioned • •• Preposition of place. 15 16 • '7 16 . you will be able to read the quotation.macmillandictionary. -" L-~' h. . Issue 70 September 2OtO' ENGUSH TEACH ING professiollal .. making a loud noise • A contai ner for putting rubbish in • An amount of light from the sun • A sail ing boat LESS FREQUENT WORDS . • H 19 ~ N ~ . UK.etprofe••lonal.. ..A piano that plays music by itself .comj .A Latin word used in e)(presslons such as sme non .. 1.~""""'''' S"cClol ..JZ . RtJ1) I(UIJUI.A journey to Mecca that Muslims ma ke as a reHgious duty . to Prize crossword 43. IW<" 1lf!tEE IV tn1 'i'AOVi. harm or destroy someth ing. postal address and telephone number. _.com ' . R R 64 . not forgetting to include your full name.. Chichester.Post office (abbreviation) . ~ 10 ~ 11 12 ~ 13 ~ N l To solve the puzzle. Books and stories about imaginary events and people •• When skin or borIe grows back together and becomes healthy again •• A cover for a container •• A gas that all animals breathe •• To lail to include something. crosswords. WlIII< W\Tlll\'VUl.- • •• The failure to use something valuable in an effective and beneficial way ••• To finish first in a competition (3rd person singular) ••• To want something to happen FREQUENT WORDS •• A personal quality that attracts people to you and makes them like you . used with bed •• • The object lorm 011 ••• A book about imaginary events ••• Touching a surface or an object ••• Used lor saying what is the right thing to do (usual ly followed by to) ••• An official. Send your entry (completed crossword grid and quotation). . usually using a weapon or equipment developed by modem technology ILA'RIA.Original Equipment Manufacturer (abbreviation) ..To hit. WITH FLoRIAN.Teenage (abbreviation) .Ed~ion (abbreviation) . ENGU5H TEACHING professional. find which letter each number represents. The definitions of the words in the puzzle are given.500 most common words in English (www. but not in the right order.dF Q. Pavilion Publishing (Brighton) Ltd.Prize crossword 43 ETp presents the forty-third in our series of prize Ten correct entries will be drawn from a hat on 10 November 2010 and the senders will each receive a copy of the second edition of the Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced Leamers. but not very strong pain • To hit something hard. elected group of people in some countries who meet to make laws • •• To show something by holding out your fi nger ••• To take something that belongs to someOf\e else without permission ••• A long sticky band for joining th ings ••• Used to form the infi nitive of a verb ••• The day after today • •• A hard white object inside your finished. applauded for its unique red star system showing the frequency of the 7.. PO t S SHO. When you have VERY FREQUENT WORDS •• • Preposition of place.

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