Meaning: 1 : suave, urbane 2 : lighthearted, nonchalant
Example: David, a handsome and debonair bachelor, is a much sought-after guest for dinner parties.
To know more about the word ‘debonair’, visit: http://www.merriam-webster.com
The purpose of Progressive-ELT.org is to create a web space where teachers and students of English can learn about and discuss the global spread of English from a critical perspective. This means: investigating English’s connection to globalization; questioning assumptions regarding English as neutral and beneficial; realizing that English is embedded in its cultural history; and exploring how English language teaching can serve to replicate and perpetuate inequalities on a global scale.
Progressive-ELT team says, “Our intention is to reposition the practice and profession of ELT in order to create a fuller understanding of how it can be made to serve emancipatory rather than colonial and capitalistic ideals. This means keeping the focus on communication that surfaces local knowledge as opposed to undermining it. We hope that increased multi-directional communication taking place across traditional cultural boundaries will contribute to our collective stock of knowledge as a human species.”
Progressive-ELT is the the process of initiating a newsletter.
The heart of Progressive-ELT.org is the Progressive-ELT.org Forum. This is where teachers and learners of English can come together with concerned community members, academics and others to work collaboratively toward a critical English teaching pedagogy. We believe that the best way to improve the practice of teaching English is to make it possible for the greatest number of voices to be heard. Too long have experts from the centre dominated the discussion surrounding English language teaching. By giving everyone concerned a voice and taking into account the uniqueness of each individual teaching and learning experience while keeping the global environment in perspective, we can then truly develop a new and better English language teaching pedagogy. The forums are accessible to all. Registration is required to post in the forums and is free to everyone.
UsingEnglish.com is a general English language site, specialising in ESL (English as a Second Language) with a wide range of resources for learners and teachers of English, and has been running since the beginning of 2002. Different varieties of English are used; there are contributors from the United States, Canada, Pakistan and non-native speakers, but much of the site uses British English as it was set up in the UK. A list of staff members and site contributors can be found here.
Oxford Reference online
Oxford Reference online: Premium Collection combines rich and scholarly resources with authoritative, quick-reference coverage of the full subject spectrum. It also offers excellent functionality, and a wide range of additional material such as maps, illustrations, and timelines.
A vast online reference library…
The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language
By Melvyn Bragg
From Publishers WeeklyThis compelling and charmingly personal companion to an eight-part television documentary (scheduled for the fall) makes for an idiosyncratic rival to PBS’s bestselling blockbuster The Story of English, by Robert McCrum et al. Titling a history of the evolution and expansion of a language an “adventure” presupposes a hero, with such obvious choices as Alfred the Great, for defeating the Danes; Chaucer, for his Canterbury Tales; Shakespeare, for his poetic inventiveness; or Samuel Johnson, for his groundbreaking dictionary. Bragg, a British TV and radio personality and novelist (The Soldier’s Return), gives all their contributions their due, but English itself, with its “deep obstinacy” and “astonishing flexibility,” emerges as his favorite character. Bragg’s enthusiasm for his subject-hero, whether the Old English of Beowulf or the new “Text English” of the Internet, makes up for his shortcomings as a linguist: his sources, unfootnoted, are at times at variance with the OED or Webster’s Third. For instance, Bragg furnishes only one putative origin for the disputed “real McCoy.” Moreover “candy” does not seem to have Anglo-Indian origins (it’s from the Arabic “qandi”), and the first recorded use of “vast” is not from Shakespeare (the OED cites Archbishop Edwin Sandys). Nevertheless, this “biography” succeeds in its broad, sweeping narrative, carrying the reader from the origins of Anglo-Saxon through the Viking and Norman invasions to the consolidation of “British” English and outward to America, Australia, India, the West Indies and beyond. After some 1,500 years, with one billion speakers now worldwide, according to Bragg, the English language has displayed an amazing ability to repair and reinvent itself, as Bragg ably shows. 32 pages of color illus.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Why do Americans say fall when the British say autumn? How was English altered by the Black Death? What is Singlish and how has it evolved? Novelist Bragg explores these and other questions in his look at the English language’s long march from obscure Sanskrit origins to a global lingua franca. Along the way, he examines the roles played by the Viking invasions, the Norman Conquest, the Tyndale Bible, the writings of Chaucer and Shakespeare, and the Industrial Revolution. He also traces English’s journey across the globe in the wake of British imperialism, following it to America, India, Australia, and elsewhere. Several chapters are devoted to American English and how it has been transformed by influences as diverse as the journals of Lewis and Clark and the African dialects that were transported with the slaves. Looking ahead, the book considers how standard language will be shaped by “other Englishes” employed by those for whom English is a second tongue. It is Bragg’s contention that the prevalence of English can be explained in part by such inherent virtues as “astonishing precision and flexibility,” and whether one agrees with him or not, he is the ideal tour guide here, both entertaining and informative. Mary Ellen Quinn
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
T. Hooper (Osaka, Japan)This easy to read volume discusses the history and development of the English language. It covers the period from the invasion of the Angles and Saxons up to modern times. There were a few close calls in the history of English. We could be speaking Danish or French, if history had turned out differently. What would the world be like then?
Each chapter covers a different era of English history and towards the end of the book, American and International English history. It breaks down how certain important events influenced the development of the English language. It also provides some samples of word origins, and how grammar has gradually changed over the centuries. I think that anyone who is interested in English or history, and especially anyone who is interested in both, should pick this up.Gordon C. Duus (Glen Ridge, NJ USA)In this book Melvyn Bragg presents, in an easy to read style, the story of the evolution of the English language. Starting with the origins of Old English in the fifth century, he describes the impact on the language of the Viking invasion of England in the ninth century, the enormous effect of the victory of the french-speaking Normans over the Anglo-Saxons at the Battle of Hastings, the breakthrough of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, how the publication of various bibles spread English to the households of Britain, and Shakespeare’s preeminent impact on the development of the language. The focus then shifts to the influence on English of colonial America, the Wild West, African Americans, the Indian subcontinent, the Caribbean and Australia. His central thesis is that English is uniquely adaptive, absorbing other languages with which it comes into contact, thereby growing and becoming richer and more expressive.
This book is designed to accompany a PBS series to debut in 2006. It is aimed at the typical PBS viewer. The critical reviews on this site, which scold the author for not being more rigorous or scholarly, often seem to miss this point. This is an excellent introduction to the origins of the English language.Eric Williams (Wollongong, NSW, Australia)If you love the beauty, subtlety and adaptability of English, this book will give you very many insights into how English has reached its current position, as probably the world’s pre-eminent language. At no stage a ‘dry’ text book, Bragg’s book moves at the speed of light and with all the twists and turns of a Michael Connelly crime novel. This is the history of a people as well as its language. Of how it emerged from three hundred years of French rule during which French and Latin were the only ‘recognised’ written lnaguages. And how from these languages it absorbed adapted, enriched and broadened English so it could communicate on an ever wider range of issues. Touches on the Roman Catholic Church in England and, shamefully, how it insisted on all bibles being in Latin and therefore having to be mediated by the ‘chosen’ ones the bishops and priests who where then able to misuse their power of being, effectively, the voice of God. I could not put down this book and would select it as a present for most of my friends. Buy it and experience the thrill of discovery which so many readers will find. I also saw the book presented in a 25 episode program on Australian TV, enjoyed it then, and was further delighted by the book.
43rd ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL IATEFL CONFERNCE AND EXHIBITION, CARDIFF, March 31
IATEFL’s conference in Cardiff in 2009 year promises to be every bit as exciting as previous conferences. We plan to provide you with a Welsh flavour and a very memorable experience. It will be held at the City Hall and Musuem.
Claudia Ferradas (Argentina)
Bonny Norton (Canada)
Marc Prensky (USA)
Fauzia Shamim (Pakistan)
Elana Shohamy (Israel)
Dates to note
22 September 2008 – deadline for speaker proposals and scholarship applications
30 January 2009 – deadline for other delegates to benefit from the earlybird registration fee
31st March 2009 – Pre-Conference Events and Associates’ Day
1-4 April 2009 – Conference and Exhibition
For further details and pre-registration please visit: http://www.iatefl.org/content/conferences/2009/index.php
12TH NATIONAL ELT CONFERENCE 2009, Colombia, April 23 – 25
“Perspectives in Bilingualism: Current views and trends”
23 – 25 April 2009, Universidad de La Salle, Sede Chapinero, Bogotá, Colombia
Proposals for sessions should fall on one of the following topics in relation to Bilingualism:
- Issues in EFL, ESL, CLIL, Content Based Learning, immersion programmes, and international curriculum (IB, CIE etc)
- Global views: Intercultural communication, culture and identity, English as a global language
- Evaluation & Assessment: Benchmarks, testing, and the role of International Exams
- Spanish and English coexisting in the bilingual classroom
- EFL teachers in Content-Based learning classrooms
- Teacher development for non ELT specialists
- Non native English-speaking teachers: challenges and paradigms
- Effective practices in the elementary, secondary and higher education classrooms
- Research in bilingualism in the our contextFor further details and pre-registration please visit: http://www.britishcouncil.org/colombia-eltconference.htm
National Chengchi University is proud to announce the 3rd Conference on College English, a stimulating and rewarding academic forum for the presentation and discussion of College English issues. Under the heading College English, we include such programs as Freshman English and Practical English, and indeed any program at a university or college, in which English is taught to non-native speakers.This year, we are pleased to welcome an international keynote speaker, Dr. Paul Kei Matsuda (see the Call for Papers for details). It is hoped that researchers and teachers outside Taiwan will also take the opportunity to offer papers.
The conference has now become an annual institution, and this year it will build on the themes explored in the previous two conferences. In the first conference, topics included the role of College English as a General Education subject, and the concomitant expectation that we must go beyond the English teaching brief, and help our students to learn important life skills such as civic responsibility. Needed changes to College English curricula, due to the trend towards longer mandatory English programs at Taiwan universities, were also the subject of fruitful discussions. In 2008, the accent was again on the proliferation and growing importance of College English courses, and how innovative pedagogical research can support the changing expectations and needs of learners and other stakeholders.
This year’s conference theme, Opportunities and Challenges for Teaching and Learning, is intended to reflect an even broader focus for discussion and presentation. Contributions on specific aspects of teaching any of the four skills are just as welcome as papers on more holistic approaches. Other areas of interest include cross-cultural issues, motivating less enthusiastic students, and handling large student numbers, as well as curriculum and policy issues, which might include the use of 1L in the classroom, Needs Analysis, and learner assessment, to name a few. The use of technology in teaching, including of course Data-Driven Learning and the use of corpora, is another fruitful area. Here are some further suggested topics.For further details and pre-registration please visit: http://flc.nccu.edu.tw/Conference/3rd/index.html
Educators teaching English should utilize literature as a tool – The Comment Factory
TESL (Teaching English as a foreign language) books always try to be cool and update and reflective of the latest educational doctrines. But they are obviously composed by a bunch of middle aged didactic experts sitting in a room trying to figure out what the youth will like and and to find “cool” topics to discuss, completely forgetting what they used to think of people their age when they were young.
The rise of high-tech and the importance of scientific subjects such as physics, chemistry and biology now means that English is often just being taught in order to serve the future ability of a student to read scientific, instructive books in English. English is perceived as an obstacle that a person must overcome or a mere functional tool to understand other subjects, as it is the lingua franca of our times. English is being taught not because it is a subject in of its own. But his is travesty. As Charlemagne said, “To speak another language is to possess another soul”,
Read the complete news item: http://www.thecommentfactory.com/educators-teaching-english-should-utilize-literature-as-a-tool-1919
English-learning students on rise – Freepress.com
More than 30 languages are spoken among the students of Mankato Area Public Schools.
One out of every 25 students is enrolled in the district’s English-language learner program — well over double the ratio of the 1998-99 school year.
Read the complete news item: http://www.mankatofreepress.com/local/local_story_046233059.html
Why are the British so bad at languages? – Telegraph.co.uk
The Times devotes a slightly pompous second leader to the question. (Don’t you think Times leaders are miles better, by the way, since they moved to page two?) The Thunderer chides us for our laziness, concluding: “Linguistic nationalism, like economic nationalism, is a recipe for recession”.
Read the complete news item:http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/daniel_hannan/blog/2009/02/16/why_are_the_british_so_bad_at_language
Valentine’s Day / Teaching Material for the English language – Teachersnews
Valentine’s Day is one of the most famous holidays in the world. It falls on February the 14th and is celebrated across the world. It is the traditional day for lovers to express their love to each other. They do this by sending Valentine’s cards with romantic messages. It is common to leave the card unsigned.
Read the complete news item:http://www.teachersnews.net/artikel/sek__i/englisch/010367.php
TKT: Teacher, know thyself! – Arab News
JEDDAH: The British Council in Jeddah is to follow the success of the Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) course with one for teachers who regularly encounter second language speakers.
The Teacher Knowledge Test (TKT) is designed for teachers at all levels of experience who would benefit from a deeper understanding of the difficulties encountered by students who use English as a second language in a learning environment … The course delivers strategies and techniques specifically designed to improve both teaching quality and the student’s learning experience.
Read the complete news item:http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1§ion=0&article=118985&d=8&m=2&y=2009&pix=kingdom.jpg&category=Kingdom
Do You Tutor English Language Learners? Set Clear Expectations – Especially For Speaking Skills!
By Eric Roth
Are you tutoring English students on speaking skills? How do you effectively teach speaking skills to a private English language learner? What will you actually do for 60-120 minutes together? How will you make the conversation lessons meaningful enough that your client feels satisfied and wants to retain you for future lessons?
Speaking English means being able to actually holding clear, comfortable conversations. Yet holding a conversation in English remains a challenging task for many ESL and EFL students. Personally, I blame an old-fashioned, grammar-obsessed curriculum for creating the common situation where students can recite obscure grammar rules, but can’t discuss their weekend plans or talk about the movies. Yet here we are. Students want to develop their speaking skills, but crowded English classes provide little opportunity for authentic conversations. Therefore, many English students hire English tutors to help them develop their conversation and speaking skills.
Yet effectively tutoring English students in conversation can be more difficult than it sounds. What does the student want to learn? What will you really teach? How will progress be measured? While sometimes younger students just want to talk and be heard, I have traditionally worked older, more serious students. Time is money, and money matters.
I strongly suggest you establish clear expectations about both content and business matters. Some tutors even present a written contract outlining their rates, the location and times of meetings, and payment policies. One of my university colleagues makes students sign a form allowing her to videotape the entire tutoring session for her research. Another demands prepayment for packages of 10 sessions at a time. I’ve never been that formal, but I have also never been burned the way some tutors have been. In fact, I’ve had only very positive experiences with conversation clients.
Why? Perhaps luck; perhaps because I carefully screen potential clients. I only work with professionals, graduate students, and/or friends and spouses of friends with a solid foundation in English. Be explicit about what you want and don’t want to teach a client. Be prepared to provide options for potential clients that you reject.
I also set very clear expectations. This process eliminates potential confusion and establishes clear benchmarks. We will review X number of articles and discuss Y number of topics during the next month or semester. We will cover a significant amount of ground in a comfortable, relaxed manner.
For students who want to improve their conversation, I strongly suggest that you select the topic and materials in advance. You can use newspapers and/or magazines to find appropriate articles to begin the conversation. I used to assign the articles a week ahead and give English students my conversation worksheets.
Partly as a result of these tutoring lessons over a few years, I wrote Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics. The conversation book includes 45 chapters with over 1400 questions, 500 quotations, and 450 targeted vocabulary words. The combination of poignant questions, vocabulary lists, proverbs, and witty quotations makes your job much easier. Each chapter is self-contained.
If you have a weaker student looking to improve their speaking skills, then I would advise using a picture dictionary. There are several fine choices. You might use the Oxford Picture Dictionary to open conversations, and I would be tempted to ask the client to bring in photographs and ads each week. Confession: I almost always referred weaker students to other English tutors who enjoyed working with lower level ESL students.
Naturally, you will need patience tutoring ESL clients on speaking skills. Be prepared to repeat words, listen very carefully, and remind students to pronounce word endings. Many students will want to work on their pronunciation. Recording your tutoring lessons can be quite helpful for students.
You can also ask/assign them listening activities on the web. I like Voice of America’s Special English programs for intermediate and advanced students. You will have to direct lower levels to websites to practice their listening and speaking skills with drills. They will love the work; you might go mad repeating vowel sounds and noting stress words.
Finally, the key to tutoring ESL students – or anyone else – remains respecting the student, meeting their needs, and providing a solid structure for your lessons. I have found that using a set text, developing a known routine, and combining conversation, vocabulary and some writing skills makes for a successful and satisfying experience.
As William Shakespeare noted four centuries ago, “All’s well that ends well”. Therefore, you should also have the grace to know when to end your lessons. Some clients will want to keep working with you. Yet you remain the tutor. Therefore, set a clear goal for your package of lessons, and conclude when the students have reached that goal. As the Hollywood cliché goes, “leave them wanting more.”
What are your plans and goals for tutoring English students this year?
Eric H. Roth currently teaches English at the University of Southern California to international students. He has previously taught English and writing to immigrants, refugees, and college students from over 50 countries. He is also the co-author of Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics, an ESL textbook to improve speaking skills. (Free chapters can be found at http://www.CompellingConversations.com)
With the advent of technology, we have got several aids to strengthen the English Teaching process. Among all the devices, the one which requires minimum of technical knowledge is OHP, or overhead projector.
In this article I am going to share some of the ways of using OHP for ELT.
The OHP is a small machine designed to project an image onto a small screen or whiteboard. If you have a screen, which can be placed above the whiteboard and pulled down accordingly, it will stop the glare. The materials we normally use with it are pens, which can either be permanent, or cleanable. In addition to these there are transparencies (OHT), which you can write or draw on, and a special type of transparency which a text or image can be photocopied onto. (Alan Finch, British Council Paris)
Why use OHP?
– It is cheaper option as compared to any other technology
– Use of OHP can reduce paper consumption to a great extent
– Use of OHP enables the teacher to provide students with the handouts of a lesson discussed
– Use of OHP reflects the well-preparedness of the teacher. Students can realize the effort put in by the teacher to prepare the transparencies
– Students’ work can be presented in the classroom. This can enable the teacher to correct the most common mistakes made by the students.
– Ready materials are available to teach grammar and other components of language. Also the materials can be used again and again.
– Having OHP in the classroom, a teacher can save a big amount of time (by not writing anything on the blackboard)
– Teacher can gain more control over the content of the topic.
– Teacher can also gain the control of the students with the help of such educational device.
– The use of OHP also allows a teacher to make available the images of whatever is taught to the class. This makes the process of teaching more lively and meaningful.
– Know how to use OHP before taking it into a classroom. If possible, hold a mock session with your colleagues wherein you are using OHP.
– Make sure that the transperancies you are using are visible enough (keeping the number of students in mind)
– Use a pointer to describe important pointes from the transparencies
In the end, once again I would like to quote Alan Finch “The OHP is extremely practical and versatile as every classroom activity can be adapted for the OHP and even the worst technophobe can use it with confidence. Allowing you to have complete control of the class and holding your students’ attention, it is a useful tool for any teacher or indeed worthwhile purchase for any school which doesn’t have one. Finally, as global warming threatens to devastate our world, using the OHP can play more than a small part in saving paper, therefore trees, and the environment.”
Here are some links where you can get more information on OHP in an English classroom:
By Tarun Patel
When your students have finished doing an activity on their own, put them in pairs or in groups and ask them to check their answers together.
Tell the students that if the answers are the same, they are probably correct but if they are different they need to explain/justify their choice of answer to their partner – in English! They can change their answers if they like.