Motivation of EFL Teachers
Motivation of EFL Teachers
“Language shapes the way we think, and determines what we can think about.”
– Benjamin Lee Whorf
“I’ve just had the most awful time,” said a boy to his friends. “First I got angina pectoris, then arteriosclerosis. Just as I was recovering, I got psoriasis. They gave me hypodermics, and to top it all, tonsillitis was followed by appendectomy.”
“Wow! How did you pull through?” sympathized his friends.
“I don’t know,” the boy replied. “Toughest spelling test I ever had.”
Here is the video of the week for the seventh issue of ELTWeekly:
Adrian Underhill takes a practical approach to teaching pronunciation in this video from Macmillan ELT. You will learn new ways to help your students work on English sounds, words and connected speech.
More information on pronunciation is available here: www.macmillanenglish.com/methodology.
Germany considers scrapping English lessons
Germany is considering scrapping English classes for primary school children after a study showed no advantage in starting lessons at an early age.
The country is among many in the world which adopted the mantra of ‘the earlier the better’ when it came to teaching pupils English.
Poor marks in the international Pisa studies of educational prowess in recent years gave even more urgency to start English lessons – in some cases for children aged as young as four.
Read the complete news item here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/4306975/Germany-considers-scrapping-English-lessons.html
Hinglish – a ‘pukka’ way to speak
NEW DELHI // In a shampoo advertisement currently playing on Indian television, Priyanka Chopra, the Bollywood actress, sashays past a line of open-top sports cars, flicking her glossy mane, before looking into the camera and saying: “ Come on girls, waqt hai shine karne ka!”
Part English, part Hindi, the line – which means “It’s time to shine!” – is a perfect example of Hinglish, the fastest growing language in India.
Read the complete news item here: http://www.thenational.ae/article/20090122/FOREIGN/303267224/1103/ART
Program lauded for teaching English as added language
NOBLESVILLE — The outlook is improving at Noblesville Schools for students who primarily speak a language other than English.
Those students have posted large gains on ISTEP scores throughout the district.
About 352 of Noblesville’s 8,779 students natively speak a foreign language, and 40 different languages are spoken in the district.
Director of Students Services Mark Booth credits the improvements to a two-year-old program that includes individualized plans for students as well as small groups at the elementary, intermediate and middle schools.
Read the complete news item here: http://www.indystar.com/article/20090120/LOCAL0104/901200409/1015/LOCAL01
English language institutes make hay in global era
English had always been a language, which just could not be ignored but after globalisation, it has become more or less a compulsion. Many MNCs have found their way to the land of snake-charmers. Thousands of job openings have been created.
CLASS OF 30; students belonging to different backgrounds and age groups… a young female teacher is teaching them the basic grammar of English language. Yes, you got it right, this is a view of a class of English-speaking institute, which claims to teach spoken English in just 90 days. Take a round of the city and you will find such institutes at every nook and corner. In Lucknow, where many students hail from outlying districts having Hindi-medium background, these institutes get ample scope for success.
Read the complete news item here: http://www.merinews.com/catFull.jsp?articleID=156547
Call to nurture the English language empire
BRITAIN’S colonial empire is long gone but the language that helped run and often unite it has helped build an empire of a different kind.
This English language empire needs to be nurtured and protected by universities in English-speaking countries such as Australia, Britain and the US if it is to survive and prosper, according to the University of Melbourne’s vice-chancellor Glyn Davis.
Delivering the 2008-09 Menzies Lecture at the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies at King’s College London on Monday night, he said that the place of English in global affairs meant universities in English-speaking countries were likely to enjoy some enduring advantages.
Read the complete news item here: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24940069-12332,00.html
The ELT book of the week for the seventh issue of ELTWeekly is:
99 Ideas and Activities for Teaching English Learners with the SIOP Model
The Perfect Companion to Making Content Comprehensible for English Learners: The SIOP(R) Model!!!
This long-awaited new book by acclaimed authors MaryEllen Vogt and Jana Echevarria offers research-based, SIOP(R)-tested techniques for lessons that include the eight SIOP(R) components. The 99 ideas and activities in this book include a few familiar techniques that have been shown to be especially effective for ELLs, as well as many new ideas for SIOP(R) teachers. All promote student-to-student and teacher-to-student interaction and involvement proven to be so necessary for English language acquisition and content development.
This book is surely to become an indispensable resource for teachers of English learners. Overwhelming response from reviewers! “[T]he strategies in [the book] are useful for any classroom teacher. It supports everything teachers learn in SIOP in a concrete, easy-to-follow format. While obviously it would be best to use in conjunction with the SIOP model, some of the strategies could also be used in isolation to improve teaching practice as well.Teachers are always looking for ways to “beef up” their classroom instruction–this book gives them what they want! ”
What makes 99 Ideas and Activities for Teaching English Learners with the SIOP® Model a must-have?
“[T]he strategies in [the book] are useful for any classroom teacher. It supports everything teachers learn in SIOP in a concrete, easy-to-follow format. While obviously it would be best to use in conjunction with the SIOP model, some of the strategies could also be used in isolation to improve teaching practice as well. Teachers are always looking for ways to “beef up” their classroom instruction–this book gives them what they want!”
–Karen Fichter, Zebulon GT Magnet Middle School, NC
“This book would help to answer so many of the questions that teachers have about how to enhance their teaching. This textbook would be a welcome addition to our program and would be one of those books that teachers would keep and use for a long time after they complete their graduate course work.”
–Julia S. Austin, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Bridging Worlds: Making Connections in Education – 14th Internation Conference on Educatin, Brunei, Darussalam, May 21-24
Theme / Topic of event: Bridging Worlds: Making Connections in Education
Day / Date: May 21-24
Place: Brunei, Darussalam
Education encompasses a variety of worlds – home, school, university, the workplace and industry – situated within the national and the global communities. The resulting tensions and competing paradigms in these worlds of education provide a rich framework in which to explore and examine strategies necessary for their resolution.
This conference will provide a platform for researchers, practitioners and policy makers to discuss and negotiate how bridging this diversity demonstrates the interdependence of these worlds.
Aim of the Conference
The aim of the conference is to enable participants to share and reflect on issues related to preparing learners for the global challenges of diversity and independence, and to provide educators with an opportunity to network.
Bridging home and school.
Connecting school and community.
Connecting across subject areas in the school curriculum.
Linking the school curriculum and the workplace.
Linking standards and the needs of individual learners.
Linking educational practice and national development.
Linking educational policy and global imperatives.
Forging school-university partnerships.
Forging university-industry partnerships.
Connecting worlds through technology and education.
Balancing accountability and innovation in education.
For registration and other details please visit the conference website: http://www.ubd.edu.bn/conference/webice09/home.html
2009 ACTFL ANNUAL CONVENTION AND WORLD LANGUAGES EXPO, California, November 20-22
Theme / Topic of event: Speaking Up for Languages… The Power of Many Voices
Day / Date: November 20-22
Place: San Diego, California
The Annual Convention and World Languages Expo of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) will be held Friday, November 20 through Sunday, November 22, 2009 in San Diego, CA with Pre-Convention Workshops scheduled on Thursday, November 19. The ACTFL Convention features over 500 educational sessions and events covering the whole spectrum of the foreign language profession. The entire selection of sessions is designed to provide attendees with an exciting array of sessions and events to further their knowledge and help them be better teachers or administrators. We welcome you to submit a proposal for consideration. When you login, please read carefully the Submission Guidelines before proceeding to complete your online submission.
The convention draws approximately 6,000 attendees and is the only national event bringing together all languages, levels and assignments within the profession.
For registration and other details please visit the conference website: http://convention3.allacademic.com/one/actfl/actfl09/index.php?cmd=actfl09&id
ACCESS:1st Philippine International English Language Conference and the 11th UK Education Fair, January 31-February 1, Philippines
Theme / Topic of event: 1st Philippine International English Language Conference
Day / Date: January 31-February
ACCESS: the 1st Philippine International English Language Conference and the 11th UK Education Fair is a weekend education extravaganza happening on 31 January – 01 February 2009 at the SMX Convention Centre in Pasay City. It showcases the exchange of strengths and expertise of British and Filipino experts in the areas of English and study opportunities in the UK.
The 1st Philippine International English Language Conference is a gathering of English experts and practitioners from all over the world. It aims to bring to the fore, issues on how English is being taught in the classroom and how it is needed in the workplace, especially in the BPO sector. Plenary speakers include David Nunan Chair Professor of Applied Linguistics and Director of the English Centre at the University of Hong Kong, Kingsley Bolton Professor of English Linguistics at Stockholm University and Jane Lockwood head of the English Language Centre at the Hong Kong Institute of Education.
This English Language Teaching (ELT) conference is organised in partnership with the country’s 4 leading universities namely the Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, University of the Philippines and the University of Sto Tomas.
Alongside the ELT conference is the UK Education Exhibitionwhich is an annual exhibition of UK institutions. These UK institutions come to the Philippines to discuss study opportunities with Filipinos who wish to avail of a UK education.
The participant fee for the English Language Conference is at Php 3000.00 whilst the UK Education exhibition is free admission.
ACCESS is co presented by the British Alumni Association.
For registration and other details please visit the conference website: http://www.britishcouncil.org/philippines-common-about-us-our-events-access.htm
Avoid using mother tongue while teaching target language
by Rajesh Bharvad
In the traditional classroom scenario a teacher often uses mother tongue to clarify some difficult points or to enable the students to understand some difficult vocabulary items. And it seems that it is an effective technique. But I propose an alternative idea which is creative and innovative and at the same time denies the use of mother tongue in the classroom.
The use of mother tongue in the classroom is suggestive of the teacher’s lethargic attitude which results into the escape from sincere duty by taking recourse to mother tongue while explaining difficult concepts. Similarly, it is merely an excuse when a teacher says that the use of mother tongue is necessary in the classroom.
With the remarkable entry of technology in the arena of teaching, things have changed dramatically. Previously a teacher had only verbalism and pictorial aids to choose from. But with the arrival of computer assisted language learning things have changed. A proactive teacher can have no excuse to use mother tongue as he can teach more effectively with the use of technological aids without taking any help of mother tongue.
There are some abstract and complicated words which are difficult to explain through verbal description. These words can be easily explained through audio video aids. For example, the word ‘emotion’ can be easily explained through some video clips which portray different emotional scenes.
Hence, my point is that the complete reduction of mother tongue in the classroom is possible with the help of technological aids. In doing so, one can generate a better exposure of the target language in the classroom itself.
Ultimately, it will create a better understanding of the target language.
Second Life and English Language Teaching
by Kip Yellowjacket
Language teachers who have not yet taken it upon themselves to investigate the viability of Second Life as a language learning/teaching platform often approach me with the following concern.
Isn’t the learning curve confronted in virtual worlds (e.g. Second Life) a bit too steep for “the masses” (in this context language learners and teachers) to fully realize their potential?
There is no doubt that the virtual world of Second Life (SL) is fraught with challenge after challenge, especially for language teachers who are not necessarily considered tech-savvy. That said, I see the so-called “steep learning curve” confronted by users of SL (SLers) as both a blessing and a burden. In my mind, the obstacles confronted often create opportunities for the language learner/teacher to engage in “natural conversation”. In other words, real reasons to communicate quickly become apparent. The “small-talk phase” is generally quickly surpassed due to the constantly increasing plethora of activity on the grid. Language learners therefore very soon reach their linguistic limits and either have to focus on improving knowledge of the required language (often English) or accept the repeating sense of frustration that comes with not being able to express oneself properly. Persistent learners AND TEACHERS are the ones who find Second Life particularly useful and rewarding. Reluctance to “adopt” and the tendency for some SLers (language teachers/learners and general users of the platform) to “drop out” are issues which are more difficult to remedy, as the decision to leave or ignore Second Life is often based on a variety of factors, e.g. time constraints, non-gamelike nature of SL, etc.
Second Life is for language learners/teachers who have an insatiable PASSION FOR LEARNING!
To respond to the question more directly, other virtual worlds that are a bit more simplistic in nature than Second Life also exist. THERE (www.There.com) is an example of a virtual world which also has potential for language learning/teaching. However, simplicity also has trade-offs. My own experience in THERE has led me to believe that it is more difficult to get past small-talk and move on to creating chances for “serious learning”. I think the platform’s simplicity has had the consequence of primarily attracting users who are not seeking a learning experience, who instead wish to just hang out and “shoot the bull”.
I don’t think virtual worlds (as language learning platforms) are currently for the masses because there are indeed, as many sceptics have indicated, many factors which can lead certain people to either not see their value and/or be reluctant to take on the challenge of exploring them. I suppose this will primarily be overcome by improving platform usability and augmenting teacher/learner internet technology skills and awareness. This takes time…
Kip Boahn (Kip Yellowjacket in Second Life)
Online/Offline Language Facilitator
(*EFL/ESL, German, French)
Skype/TokBox/Google Talk: SecondLifeEnglish
** ELTWeekly Team would like to thank Kip Yellowjacket for contributing this article.