MARCH/APRIL 2009 - issue 2/09
DEVELOPING TEACHERS.COM NEWSLETTER
Welcome to the March/April Newsletter.
2. THE SITE
3. TEACHING LINKS
4. DAYS OF THE MONTH
5. WEEKLY TEACHING TIPS
6. RECOMMENDED BOOKS
7. PS - Internet/computer-related links
8. THE BIT AT THE END
This month we have several articles, two about CLIL from Richard Kiely &
Andrew McBeath, a look at the type of communication we promote in our
classrooms by Mark Wilson, & Hank Kellner continues his series of
articles abpout using photos in class. Wendy Arnold joins us with a
review of Andrew Wright's excellent resource book 'Storytelling With
Children'. And then there are the usual sections of links & information.
Hope you find it all useful.
We are continuing with the chance for you to try
out Moodle for a month free of charge. As you know we offer web
hosting to language teachers at Developing TheWeb.com
(http://www.developingtheweb.com) & one of the hosting plans is
the online course hosting with Moodle software. With this you can
provide a meeting place online, courses, lessons, forums & a host
of other things with this content management system. So if you
would like to try it out for a month, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with 'MoodleTrial' as the subject.
You can find out more about Moodle at: http://www.developingtheweb.com/moodle.htm
GENERAL WEB HOSTING PLANS
We have very recently upgraded all of our hosting plans so that you get much more for the same price.
We have four plans:
Basic Plan - 1gb of space, 20gb of bandwidth/month -10 email accounts, 5 MySQL databases
Business Plan - 2gb of space, 30gb of bandwidth/month - 15 email accounts, 8 MySQL databases
Professional Plan - 3gb of space, 50gb of bandwidth/month - 20 email accounts, 15 MySQL databases
Corporate Plan - 5gb of space, 60gb of bandwidth/month - 35 email accounts, 30 MySQL databases
All plans come with the excellent cPanel & MailScanner - anti-virus & anti-spam
For more information:
A COUPLE OF ARTICLES:
A 224-Word Palindrome - "Dammit I’m Mad" by Demetri Martin
Dammit I’m mad.
Evil is a deed as I live.
God, am I reviled? I rise, my bed on a sun, I melt.
To be not one man emanating is sad. I piss.
Alas, it is so late. Who stops to help?
Man, it is hot. I’m in it. I tell.
I am not a devil. I level “Mad Dog”.
Ah, say burning is, as a deified gulp,
In my halo of a mired rum tin.
I erase many men. Oh, to be man, a sin.
Is evil in a clam? In a trap?
No. It is open. On it I was stuck.
Rats peed on hope. Elsewhere dips a web.
Be still if I fill its ebb.
Ew, a spider… eh?
We sleep. Oh no!
Deep, stark cuts saw it in one position.
Part animal, can I live? Sin is a name.
Both, one… my names are in it.
Murder? I’m a fool.
A hymn I plug, deified as a sign in ruby ash,
A Goddam level I lived at.
On mail let it in. I’m it.
Oh, sit in ample hot spots. Oh wet!
A loss it is alas (sip). I’d assign it a name.
Name not one bottle minus an ode by me:
“Sir, I deliver. I’m a dog”
Evil is a deed as I live.
Dammit I’m mad.
Fertile minds need feeding
Are schools stifling creativity? Ken Robinson tells Jessica Shepherd why learning should be good for the soul
Begin the year with a teacher development course. At Developing
Courses.com we offer a variety of online development courses to
suit any level of teacher experience. Mention this newsletter &
get a 20% discount. For more information:
CONTRIBUTE TO THE SITE
Lesson plans, activities & articles are very welcome.
Send them to email@example.com
If you have any information you'd like to include in the Monthly
Newsletter, please do email it with the subject: 'Monthly News
ADVERTISING - We reach more than a few thousand teachers every week with the Weekly Teaching Tip & the same each month with the Newsletter, not to mention the 2000+ unique visitors a day to the Site, & the site has the Google PR5. If you've got a book, course, job...anything that you'd like to advertise, then do get in touch.
TO GET IN TOUCH
2. THE SITE
Our main site with a host of teaching ideas, plans & articles.
ONLINE DEVELOPMENT COURSES @ DEVELOPINGCOURSES.COM
A choice of online development courses to enhance your teaching.
MOODLE HOSTING @ DEVELOPINGTHEWEB.COM
A range of web hosting options for teachers.
NETWORKING FOR TEACHERS @ DEVELOPINGT2T.COM
Blog, share, communicate & collaborate with other teachers.
A COUPLE OF ARTICLES:
CLIL – The question of assessment by Richard Kiely
Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), where a subject is taught through the medium of a second language, is a growing trend in all levels of education in Europe and in other parts of the world. CLIL has always been part of organised schooling systems. Sometimes it has involved children from minority L1s (first languages) where education is not provided in that language. In other contexts it has been in the context of language maintenance projects, for example, children from English-speaking families in Ireland or Wales learning in Irish or Welsh medium schools. The growing trend in CLIL in Europe now however, involves learning through English communities in communities which speak other languages. There are many challenges in implementing CLIL. In this paper I focus on the issues around assessment in CLIL classrooms, schools and education communities.
Assessment in CLIL is a complex area for a number of reasons. First, there is the dual focus – language and subject – which inevitably means there are two assessment processes involved. Key issues here are the extent to which language and subject assessment are integrated, that is, they are assessed at the same time and through the same tasks and activities. Where they are integrated, the impact of the mode of integration on the assessment outcomes needs to be understood. For example, if a child in a primary school assessment task in geography performs poorly, is it because of her limited understanding of the geography concepts or details, because she has not understood the question or because she cannot express her understanding clearly? Second, there is the purpose of assessment: a learning purpose which focuses on understanding and supporting learning, or an accountability purpose which demonstrates the success of the CLIL policy and implementation. Third, there is a complex set of practical issues, from tests, activities, standards, criteria and the teachers’ skills in bringing all these together in the classroom and in the wider school community. The key issue here is the basis on which a teacher, in relation to either the language or the subject, makes a judgement about achievements in learning (language and subject), or about a need for further work in a given area.
A further complexity is the innovative nature of CLIL and the range of ways in which it affects school life, and the work of teachers. This is particularly important in interpreting the outcomes of assessment processes: where the results are positive, we have a basis for continuing with the policy and practice. Where the results are unsatisfactory, a further set of questions need to be engaged: Are the results an outcome of unsatisfactory tests and assessment processes? Do they derive from problems in implementation in the classroom? Or do they reflect deeper problems with the CLIL policy in that context? In addition to these innovation concerns, there is a question of expertise in assessment in CLIL. In many contexts, practices in CLIL from lesson design to assessment are novel. This means that the ways in which established assessment practices are valid may not apply to CLIL.
In this article I examine these issues – the dual focus of CLIL, and its implications for assessment, both in terms of assessment purpose and practical issues in making judgement abut learning achievements and needs. I draw on perspectives from the field of assessment, teaching and learning, from the rationale and implementation of CLIL, and from personal experience, particularly as a team member and consultant evaluator of the Comenius-funded Pro-CLIL project (http://www.proclil.org/ ), which is currently looking at the implementation of CLIL at Primary and pre-primary levels in four European countries.
2. The dual focus of CLIL
CLIL is often implemented as a language pedagogy. The goal of the CLIL curriculum is effective competence in a second language (Mackenzie 2008). This has in the past been the situation in language maintenance projects, such as the teaching through Irish in English-speaking regions of Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s (my own initial experience of CLIL); and language imposition, where minority language users are educated in the dominant language (Coyle 2007). More recently, the basis of the communicative approach to language teaching owes much to the experience of people such as Henry Widdowson and Chris Brumfit teaching the school curriculum through English in contexts such as Bangladesh and Tanzania. For them the context of subject learning at school and college was the naturally communicative context in which language teaching and learning could be developed. Currently, as a response to the role of English in a globalised world, stakeholders such as parents, political leaders and employers are advocating the early integration of a second language – typically English – as core curriculum for the development of a 21st century workforce (Dafouz et al 2007). An additional motivation for CLIL is the development and maintenance of multilingualism in contexts where dominant and minority languages co-exist (Serra 2007). CLIL has emerged as a viable strategy for achieving such goals in Europe and beyond. A major element of the rationale here is efficiency in learning: two fields of learning – a school subject and the target second language can be progressed at the same time. The language development, viewed in a communicative framework as a means of understanding and sharing ideas, takes place through exploring concepts.
The theoretical rationale for CLIL is particularly clear and persuasive where the focus in on the target language. Subject learning activities provide a meaning context for the language use, and learning interactions push the developing language resources. In addition the reduced focus on language forms may assist with engagement and confidence. However, good language teaching is not necessarily good content teaching. Merrill Swain articulates clearly the potential tension of education in a developing second language:
Content teaching needs to guide students’ progressive use of the full functional range of language, and to support their understanding of how language form is related to meaning in subject area material.
(Swain 1998: 68)
For the subject teacher of science, geography, art, etc., there are two issues:
i) the extent to which the essential knowledge and concepts can be learnt as well by all pupils in the CLIL language as in comparable L1 classrooms; and
ii) the extent to which the same range of learning opportunities, including activities which develop enthusiasm, motivation and confidence can be engaged in the CLIL classroom as in comparable L1 classrooms.
In contexts where teachers are implementing CLIL, there are many views on these issues. Research into and development of CLIL in many contexts however, focuses on process and achievements in language learning (Lasagabaster 2008). There are two reasons for this. First, the leaders and developers of CLIL initiatives tend to be second language teachers and researchers looking for novel ways of enhancing L2 learning in schools. Second, the CLIL initiative is likely to be innovative in terms of the language of instruction. The subject learning is not itself the focus on curricular change, or a context of dissatisfaction with educational stakeholders. The assumption in CLIL is that the subject curriculum does not change.
This dual focus is a major challenge both for CLIL organisation at school and curriculum level, and for the work of the teaching in the CLIL classroom. This challenge is particularly important in assessment policy and practice.
To read the rest of the article:
CLIL, or Deep Level ESP? by Neil McBeath
Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) is the new buzzword. According to Mehisto, Marsh and Frigols (2008; 9) "the term CLIL was coined in 1194 in Europe" although they claim the CLIL-type programmes actually go back 5000 years, to the Akkadians in Iraq. When, however, they claim that CLIL "seeks to support second language learning while also favouring first language development" (P. 9) then a certain ambiguity enters their argument.
This has been recognized by TESOL Qatar, whose 2009 theme is Language and Content / Content and Language. The TESOL Qatar website states that "whether you know it as Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), Content Based Learning (CBL) English for Specific Purposes (ESP), or another acronym English language teaching and content can be successfully linked."
This is milder than Khoury and Berilgen-Duzgun (2008; 26) who characterize CLIL as "an umbrella term, used to describe a whole spectrum of approaches" They expand this by saying that "Content Based Instruction (CBI) – an approach familiar to many ELT practitioners where the focus is on the topic which students learn about, but the aim is developing linguistic ability – would fall under the umbrella of CLIL. Other CLIL approaches include ICL (integration of content and language), TTE (teaching through English), CLIC (content and language integrated classrooms), FLAC (foreign languages across the curriculum), and FLIP (foreign language immersion programmes)." (P. 26)
This paper will suggest that much of what passes for CLIL is, in fact, fairly straightforward good practice, and that ESP practitioners, in particular, have been using this methodology for years.
Learning Language without Content
When I was working as the Technical English Language Specialist at the Royal Air Force of Oman base on Masirah Island, I had a request from the OC Engineering Wing to produce a short course for his junior officers. Accordingly, I went to see some of these men and asked them what, exactly, they wanted to learn.
"Grammar," they said.
"You're not interested in vocabulary, then?"
This is interesting, because it exemplifies the uninformed layman's view that "real" language learning is the learning of grammar. It is in line with Masuhara and Tomlinson’s (2008; 18-19) remark that “learners themselves do not seem to be able to articulate what exactly they mean by “grammar” apart from their wish to ‘speak/write perfect English without errors like native speakers’, the myth still widely believed by teachers as well as learners.” It is also a view that derives from the classical syllabus that was imposed on British education until at least the 1970s, when comprehensive education forced out the old Grammar Schools.
I spoke about this at last year's TESOL Arabia Conference (McBeath 2008) suggesting that the Grammar Schools had, in some instances, relied on the ability of their students to compensate for inadequate materials and/or inferior teaching. Preparing this paper, I was reminded of my Second Year Latin class, which consisted primarily of translating decontextualized sentences from English into Latin and vice versa.
One frequent example was "The girls are going to the woods with spears and arrows." This is hardly the type of sentence that any EFL teacher would EVER use as an example. Why, one might ask, are girls taking these weapons to the woods? Why are they not taking bread and fruit, if they want to have a picnic, or taking axes and rope so that they can gather wood?
The answer lies in the choice of the nouns. "Spears" and "arrows" in Latin are feminine nouns, but they have irregular ablative plurals and that, effectively, is what was being taught. Howatt and Widdowson (2004) refer to this approach to language teaching, but its effectiveness is fairly limited in EFL. It would be possible to ask students to make the following sentences plural;
- The man is talking to the woman.
- The child is feeding the ox.
but most of us would agree that little would be gained.
This approach is, in fact, not unlike the method that Lowe (2008) describes being used in East Bengal when Michael West joined the Indian Education Service in 1912. That method was so ineffective that West used his subsequent appointment as Principal of the Dacca Teachers' Training College (1920-1932) to introduce the New Method and develop the genre that we now know as supplementary, or graded, readers; each of which integrates content with language.
For my own part, having been "taught" Latin by the old method, it was a relief to find that, at university, Anglo-Saxon was introduced using an Anglo-Saxon Reader (Sweet 1876; 1967) which contained content from the beginning. Gordon's (1927; 1957) Introduction to Old Norse, moreover, actually appended the grammar, placing its main emphasis on selections from the sagas.
To read the rest of the article:
The Perils Of Junk Communication by Mark Wilson
What is meaningful?
Consider the following oral activity:
Why do birds have wings? So that they can fly.
Why do we eat with knives and forks? So that we don’t get our fingers dirty.
Why do we brush our teeth?
Why do we have traffic lights?
Why do we cut our hair?
Why do we lock things?
Why do cars have brakes? etc.
From the viewpoint of orthodox communicative methodology, the activity above would be criticised on the grounds that as everybody already knows the answers, there is no motivation to ask and answer – they are simply "display questions". It is more meaningful, it is argued, to use questions which are genuinely interesting or which prompt unpredictable responses, such asWhy do people build fences around their gardens?
orWhy do people ask celebrities for their autographs? or Why do governments have spies?
This argument is a sound one as far as it goes – the latter types of question are undoubtedly “more meaningful” to most people. Yet I have never been convinced by the implication that the “unmeaningful” type of practice is somehow worth less, or even worthless, and that we must prioritise genuine communication above all else. To my mind, genuine communication as a worthy and orientating goal does not rule out "non-genuine" stretches on the road towards it.
For all its eventual benefits, “more meaningful practice” usually entails two major practical classroom problems. Firstly, it usually requires a delay for students to mull the question over, and this adversely affects pace and hence attention levels. Secondly, learners often lack the vocabulary to respond as they really want to.
The advantage for the learner of “unmeaningful” practice is that there is very clear immediate right/wrong feedback, and that the restricted use of form, and the careful selection of questions so as elicit a limited range of possible responses, provide what we might call a good “assimilation zone”. Once the form has been more or less assimilated, then it becomes useful to pass on to more meaningful practice – but not before. If teachers try to force the pace, then we end up all too often with stumbling, hesitant, inadequate production which frustrates and embarrasses the learner. It is junk communication.
I should confess perhaps that this is not the result of my extensive study of the literature; it is simply what I have seen in classrooms over more than twenty years.
For me, the “unmeaningful / meaningful” dichotomy is spurious. It fails to acknowledge that denotational and referential meaning do not hold the monopoly on meaningfulness for the learner at the moment of first engaging with unfamiliar language forms. For the learner, the immediate meaningfulness of what they are engaged in may have less to do with its communicative usefulness than with its purely formal aspects. For the student of language (by which I mean “one who has chosen to study it”), the meaningfulness of a tricky new form lies in what it is, and not yet what it does. It has meaning as artefact, not yet as medium. It means something for me, the student, to get to grips with it uncommunicatively – then, when I’ve done that, I’ll start using it (the same applies, for example, for a guitarist learning new chords).
Granted, to provide only the “unmeaningful” type of practice would be insufficient. But to ignore it altogether and attempt to plough straight on through to real communicativeness is a recipe for something just as bad. Practice in which the “meaningful” aspect is afforded undue prominence yields awkward, error-strewn, unsatisfying student output. Junk communication.
There is an assumption that the following kind of classroom communication is to be looked down upon because it is not genuine:
(Prompt 1) When we got back our house had been burgled
(Expected Response) Oh! That must have been a shock / awful or You must have felt terrible, etc.
(Prompt 2)But fortunately they hadn’t stolen anything really important
((Expected Response) Oh, that must have been a relief, etc.
...whereas this is genuine, and therefore in the communicative classroom, more “pedagogically correct”:
T: What did you do at the weekend?
S: Nothing special.
T: Didn’t you go anywhere?
S: I met with my friends.
T: And what did you do?
S: We went for a walk and (suddenly remembering a handy chunk) things like that.
In the first instance, there is of course an important sense in which the exchanges are not genuine. But in a classroom where students accept that they are there to study and learn a language, it does have an instrumental or ludic genuineness – “we are playing this little game so that we get used to using this little bit of language”. To deny that this type of genuineness exists seems to me almost perverse. It’s like saying that practising penalties is not a genuine act of football.
To view the of the article:
Using Photographs To Inspire Writing IV by Hank Kellner
Most students probably don’t realize that they exercise the mental process of contrast every day. For example, each morning they may contrast two choices of clothing. Or they may contrast two kinds of breakfast cereals. Or they may even contrast you to other people who influence their lives.
But when it comes to using contrast in their writing, students don’t seem to make the connections as easily as they do at other times. Fortunately, photographs can easily help students develop compositions using this pattern of organization.
Contrasting Two Women
(photos of two women)
Using the photographs similar to those shown here, students could develop papers that are organized in terms of the differences between the two women.
In their compositions, the students could discuss the differences in clothing, hairstyles, facial expressions, lighting, and even the jewelry the women are wearing. They could also speculate as to the period of time during which the photos were taken.
Contrasting Two Men
(photos of two men)
The two photographs of the men looking at the camera with what appears to be hostility offer many opportunities for students to write papers in which they point out the differences between not only the men, but also their environments.
And that’s not all. Students could also use their imaginations to write about the men themselves: their backgrounds, their work, their hopes, aspirations, and dreams.
Of course, it’s possible to use photographs to inspire writing that isn’t based on a specific pattern of organization. You can use photographs to stimulate compositions based on example, process analysis, comparison, definition, classification, analysis, cause and effect, or any combination of these techniques. The following two photos illustrate this idea.
Writing About a Lonely Man
(photo of a man)
Is the man in this photograph frustrated? Is he disappointed? Is he waiting for someone to arrive? Unsure of the future? Recalling an unhappy event? Neglected by his friends and family? Wishing that he were somewhere else? Wishing that he had done something differently?
Those are just a few of the many questions that can help even the most hesitant students overcome their reluctance to write. What’s more, some students may choose to ignore the questions and create biographies of the man based on their imaginations. Others may write poems or stories from the point of view of the subject.
Can You Hear Me Now?
(photo of a phone box)
Farewell conventional telephone! Hail cell phone! Did you know that in 2006 there were an estimated 219 million cell phone users in the United States? That said, one can’t help speculating as to how many cell phones make their way into classrooms every day. And one can’t help wondering if traditional phones will soon go the way of 78 rpm records and vacuum tubes for radios.
Using a photo as simple as the one shown here, you can easily inspire students to express their thoughts about traditional phones and cell phones. They could, for example, discuss whether or not telephones help people become closer in their relationships. They could discuss some of the positive and negative effects cell phones have on their users. They could write about some ways in which using phones can be annoying to others or even dangerous. They could tell how many times they talk on the phone each day. And they could relate several of the most interesting telephone conversations they have had or overheard.
How Some Master Teachers Use Photographs
At the University of Mississippi Writing Project, Co-Director of Special Programs Allison Movitz’s students use their own photographs to spark various kinds of writings. The students also incorporate their photos into multi-genre presentations and portfolios. “Most recently,” writes Movitz, “we’ve used Microsoft’s Photostory™, a digital camera, and a microphone to recreate a ‘who done it’ from a mock trial in speech/debate classes.”
Mary Birky is an English teacher at the Papillion-LaVista High School, Papillion, Nebraska; a Nebraska Writing Project Advisory Board member, and a contributor to a forthcoming book on place-conscious education. Birky uses student-generated photos to stimulate writing assignments based on the content of the photos, the mood of the photos, and the imagery of the photos. “I tell my students to ‘paint the photographs with words,’” she writes, before she asks them to create free verse poetry based on the photos they have selected.”
Justin Van Kleeck’s very successful writing activity with students he tutors involves a seagull that simply can’t get enough Doritos. A former adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Piedmont Community College, Van Kleeck shows his students a video of a seagull that steals a bag of Doritos from a store in Scotland every day. In the first part of his assignment, he directs the students to become the thieving seagull and write process papers in which they tell their fellow seagulls how to steal, open, and eat the Doritos. In the second part of the assignment, he tells the students to write from the point of view of a shopkeeper who, in a creative, non-violent way, is telling other shopkeepers how to prevent the seagull from stealing Doritos. “The key to the exercises,” writes Van Kleeck, “is for students to use the process approach while also using their imaginations.”
To view the article:
Desert Island Adventure: By Accident or By Choice by Alicia Delahunty
Let us get started…
Many people love an adventure story. Do you? What would you do if an adventure happened to you? Today, you will have your own survival adventure marooned on a desert island. In addition, we will talk about other types of adventure.
One type of adventure story is the survival story. The most famous survival story may be The Odyssey (Greek: ?d?sse?a) about the Greek hero Odysseus (Ulysses) who had many adventures during his return home from the Trojan War. Another famous survival story is Robinson Crusoe, a novel by Daniel Defoe, based on the true story of a shipwrecked Scottish sailor. Robinson Crusoe inspired the recent British/Irish-created TV reality program in Sweden, Expedition: Robinson, known in the USA as Survivor.
Your survival story –shipwrecked on a desert island:
To view the rest of the plan:
You are on a cruise sailing from Miami, Florida, USA to Isla de la Juventud in the Caribbean Sea. On the second night out at sea, there is a hurricane. The ship runs aground somewhere on an uninhabited island in the middle of the ocean. You and a few other passengers wash up on the shore, alert and unharmed. (The captain, the crew, most of the other passengers, and all the lifeboats have disappeared!) The wreck has destroyed almost everything in the ship. You are dressed only in your pajamas and it is hot!
At Developing Teachers.com we occasionally carry out consultancy work. The different projects have included tutoring DELTA candidates by email, offering advice on curriculum design & materials choice & short training courses in person & by email. If you would like us to help in any way, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Back to the index
3. TEACHING LINKS
The Mature Student's Study Guide.
100 Interesting Ways -
Thirty-Eight Interesting Ways to use your Interactive Whiteboard
Twenty-Two Interesting Ways to use Google Earth in the classroomirty
Fourteen Interesting Ways to use Google Docs in the ClassroomT
Thirty-Five Interesting Ways to use your Pocket Video Camera in the Classroom
Taking stock and Looking Ahead: Humanistic Education in the 21st century - Pilgrims Conference.
'The conference seeks to be a forum for teachers, trainers, educationalists and policy-makers interested in language teaching and humanistic education. It features five plenaries and a host of various workshop cycles led by first rate professionals.'
16 August - 22 August 2009, University of Kent at Canterbury, UK
'Inanimate Alice' an interactive multimedia
novel - a dark, spooky, tale targeting a young teens audience.
This series is gaining a lot of interest amongst teachers who are seeking high
quality screen-based texts.
New lingua franca upsets French
Globish allows you to:
# Communicate in English, using only 1500 words
# Employ simple, but standard grammatical structure
# Learning enough pronunciation and spelling for 1500 words only
# Provide a tool for leading a conversation in business or as a
tourist, anywhere in the world
100+ Language Learning Websites
We are launching the project we started at 2008 Hornby Regional Summer School: THE IMPACT OF STORYTELLING. It is aimed at all teachers, students, learning contexts, schools and levels. You'll find in this website videos, activities, tips, photos, etc. You are also all invited to share your anecdotes, experiences and comments.
We are passionate believers in the impact of stories and we would love to "hold your hands" in this journey.
Help them face the Speaking exam with confidence!
We've written a FREE e-Book to help your students organise their time and take practical steps to improve their English proficiency. This mini-course is suitable for students preparing for any advanced English Speaking exam, particularly Cambridge exams such as CAE, CPE, BEC Higher, BULATS, IELTS, ICFE and ILEC. It will help them:
1) know exactly what to expect in the Speaking exam.
2) understand how they'll be assessed.
3) identify areas that they need to work on before the Speaking exam.
4) get as much speaking practice as possible before the big day.
Doing Research on the Web - Explore and apply the tools and strategies you'll need to conduct effective research on the Web.
IATEFL site that offers videos from last year's conference as well as info about this year's.
Download Tony Buzan's iMindMap. Try it out & see how efficient it
can make you.
If you've visited a site that you think would be beneficial for all or would ike your site to appear here, please get in touch. Thanks.
Back to the index
4. DAYS OF THE MONTH
A few days, among many, to plan your lessons around in April, May & June:
1st - April Fool's Day
2nd - International Children's Book Day
7th - World Health Day
14th - Anniversary of Titanic sinking
International Moment of Laughter Day
18th - Crossword Puzzle Day
22nd - Earth Day
23rd - St. George's Day - England
25th - International Noise Awareness Day
1st - May Day - Labour Day
5th - Cinco de Mayo - Mexico
8th - World Red Cross Day
12th - Limerick Day - birthday of Edward Lear
18th - International Museum Day
24th - Victoria Day - Canada
5th - World Environment Day
6th - D-Day WWII
20th - United Nations World Refugee Day
21st - Summer Solstice (& Dec 21st)
27th - Happy Birthday, "Happy Birthday"
Mother's Day - dep. on country
To see the list of Days:
Wikipedia's excellent focus on days of the year:
Back to the index
5. WEEKLY TEACHING TIPS
Free weekly practical teaching tips by e-mail.
Recent Tips have included:
Incorporating the individual - The Learner
Getting personal - The Learner
World Water Day - Lesson ideas
Accufluent - Accuracy & fluency
Doodling - Lesson ideas
Oscar time - Lesson ideas
Video viewing - Video
Valentine's Day - Lesson ideas
Campaign for real - Reading skill
Major monitoring - Speaking skill
To see the Past Tips:
To sign up to receive them:
Back to the index
6. RECOMMENDED BOOKS
Storytelling with Children (2nd ed.09 (OUP)) by Andrew Wright
Wendy Arnold enthusiastically tells us not to miss picking up
this new edition:
As Liz Jones says in her review of the First Edition of ‘Storytelling with Children’ which was published in 1995 and reviewed in Developing Teachers.com, storytelling is not a new phenomenon in classrooms. It has been an ‘effective and enjoyable’ activity, dare I say since the early days of man. It is still the main way of passing down culture/lore in many parts of the world where the spoken language does not have a written component e.g. some tribal languages in Africa.
The Second Edition of ‘Storytelling with Children’ is a ‘genuine’ new edition with at least 50% of the content changed. There are 13 new stories and lesson plans, as Andrew felt that there was a need to have more variety of cultural origin, as well as to introduce more mime and action drawing based stories (pages 62-133). If you fell in love with the First Edition, then the Second Edition of ‘Storytelling with Children’ will not disappoint!
At this point I will make a personal definition of ‘storytelling’ as contrasted with ‘story reading’. Storytelling is way beyond text on a page. It is the means of exploring concepts in many ways, which are personalized by the storyteller, thereby increasing understanding through various media e.g. voice, props, gestures etc. It is initially an absorbing listening activity which can then be developed into using the other linguistic skills. But foremost it engages the listener’s imagination and the more skillful the storyteller the myriads of ways to ‘tell a story’ (and retain the listeners attention) will be used (pages 20-28). By contrast ‘story reading’ is usually decoding text/symbols on a page with no attempt to encode or make meaning with the listener/reader. One is multi-dimensional, whereas the other is rather flat.
Andrew says ‘The food we eat makes our bodies and the stories we hear make our minds’, this has powerful implications on what we as teacher/educators do in the classroom. We are one of the ‘mind shapers’ in a child’s life, Andrew goes on to imply that the act of making meaning of a story helps the child understand the world around them. How the child understands the world has consequences on how the child behaves in ‘his’ world. This again has strong inferences on our selection of materials/concepts to which the child is exposed.
To read the remainder of the review:
To buy the book:
If you're going to Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk then please go
through our Books page. You will pay the same & we will receive a
few pennies to keep the site & newsletters free. Thanks.
Send friends an Amazon gift certificate & support the site.
7. PS General internet/computer-related links
A few computer use rules of thumb:
- make copies of all
- important files
- run scan disk & then defragment the hard drive
- use firewall software - use a virus scan & update the files
- install security patches that software providers offer
- update your DirectX files regularly
- don't open attachments without scanning for viruses first
- don't respond to spam
- just delete & forget
- don't send personal or bank information by email
- turn off your computer at night
My Space page for The Whitest Boy Alive.
TED Talk - Tim Berners-Lee: The next Web of open, linked data
The Ultimate Guide for Everything Twitter
'The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has created this Surveillance Self-Defense site to educate the American public about the law and technology of government surveillance in the United States, providing the information and tools necessary to evaluate the threat of surveillance and take appropriate steps to defend against it.
Surveillance Self-Defense (SSD) exists to answer two main questions: What can the government legally do to spy on your computer data and communications? And what can you legally do to protect yourself against such spying?'
A search engine that presents you with pages rather than links.
Ten Must-Have Gmail Filters Available for Download
20 of the Best Free Linux Books
'SETI@home is a scientific experiment that uses Internet-connected computers in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). You can participate by running a free program that downloads and analyzes radio telescope data.'
How fast can you type?
'A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math & language.'
'Find file extension details here including easy-to-understand descriptions and
associated applications. Search by extension, view common and most visited extensions, and click
to extension categories including audio and music files, game files, system files and text files.'
'...easily create your fake pictures, captions and fake magazines and other funny jokes for you and your friends.'
EveryScape. The real world. Online.
Worlds are not born, they are created. This is just the beginning of ours. And yours. Welcome to EveryScape beta — where together the real world is being created, online.
'15 free downloads to pep up your old PC - Can't afford a new PC? These free tools for Windows will help breathe new life into your old machine.'
'31,892 travel experiences from 142 countries shared this week!'
A handful of Firefox tweaks that will double your browser speed
50 Totally Free Lessons in Graphic Design Theory
Free online guitar lessons.
Download Intenet Explorer 8.
'UberSpat is a unique internet site that provides the world with a place to debate the most controversial topics of the day. UberSpat encourages users to list topics, provide supporting or opposing evidence and rate the usefulness of the evidence for a particular side of the debate.
UberSpat is also an excellent tool for researching a particular topic and world opinions in support of, or against the thesis. UberSpat provides a scientific approach to analyzing controversial topics.'
Encrypt files on your hard drive.
GMail gets Undo send feature
See settings > labs - you get 5 seconds to change your mind.
Atmospheric Optics - photos.
Set yourself an alarm on your computer.
Get chapters of literature emailed to you for free.
Back to the index
8. THE BIT AT THE END
This newsletter is ReferWare. If you enjoy reading it and find useful information in this newsletter, you are asked to help spread the word about it. You can do this by forwarding a copy to your friends, telling them about it, and/or putting a link to http://www.developingteachers.com from your site. You cannot:
1.Post this newsletter in part or in whole on your site.
2.Forward this newsletter issue after issue to people - just send them a single ssue and tell them to subscribe.
Has to be.
Disclaimer - all of the recommendations for computer-related software are personal recommendations. We take no responsibility for anything that might go wrong when downloading, installing or running them - not that anything should, but you never know. It's your decision, your responsibility. The same applies to the jobs mentioned above. And anything else that you can think of that we might be responsible for as a result of this newsletter!
Comments, suggestions, questions, advertising or problems unsubscribing then please contact us
SUBSCRIBE - it's free!
If you are reading a friend's copy why not subscribe yourself - it's free! Get along to the Front Page of the site & fill in the box.
Have no fears about your e-mail address - we will not pass it on to any third party.
CHANGE OF ADDRESS
If you change e-mail address please use the link above to unsubscribe the old one & then subscribe with the new one. This helps us enormously. Thanks.
This newsletter is a free service of the Developing Teachers.com and is Copyright (c) 2001-2009 Developing Teachers.com. All rights reserved. No part of this Newsletter may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission.
To subscribe to the Newsletter
To the index of Past Newsletters