Skip to main content


Je ne suis pas adonné à Facebook (étant plutôt attiré par certains forums), mais j'ai l'impression que beaucoup de mes élèves le sont. J'ai entendu dire également qu'il existe une corrélation entre l'usage de Facebook et les résultats aux examens. Quoi qu'il en soit, voici un reportage intéressant:

Article tiré de Maxisciences:

"Qu'importe la cote de popularité de certains sur Facebook : la science prouve que nous sommes tous logés à la même enseigne en ce qui concerne notre réseau social. 
Le professeur Rubin Dunbar, de l'Université d'Oxford, vient contrarier quelque peu l'idéologie des inconditionnels de Facebook. Le scientifique vient de rendre les conclusions de son étude sur les groupements sociaux à travers les siècles. Celle-ci s'attarde sur le phénomène Facebook et démontre qu'il est impossible, pour le cerveau humain, d'entretenir un lien social avec plus de 150 amis, quel que soit le niveau de sociabilité.
Selon lui, le néocortex, zone du cerveau qui gère la pensée consciente et le langage, serait responsable de cette restriction. Il n'y aurait donc aucune différence entre les membres du site qui posséderaient des milliers d'amis et ceux qui n'en auraient "que" quelques centaines.
D'autre part, les femmes seraient plus douées pour les relations sociales sur Facebook que les hommes. Ces messieurs auraient en effet davantage besoin de se rencontrer physiquement pour maintenir le contact.Les conclusions du Pr. Dunbar, qui devraient être publiées cette année, sont attendues par les psychologues qui souhaitent prévenir les utilisateurs des effets néfastes du site. Ce dernier serait, en effet, à l'origine de conduites addictives et causerait un sentiment d'insécurité chez certaines personnes."


Popular posts from this blog

Delayed dictation

What is “delayed dictation”?

Instead of getting students to transcribe immediately what you say, or what a partner says, you can enforce a 10 second delay so that students have to keep running over in their heads what they have heard. Some teachers have even used the delay time to try to distract students with music.

It’s an added challenge for students but has significant value, I think. It reminds me of a phenomenon in music called audiation. I use it frequently as a singer and I bet you do too.

Audiation is thought to be the foundation of musicianship. It takes place when we hear and comprehend music for which the sound is no longer or may never have been present. You can audiate when listening to music, performing from notation, playing “by ear,” improvising, composing, or notating music. When we have a song going round in our mind we are audiating. When we are deliberately learning a song we are audiating.

In our language teaching case, though, the earworm is a word, chunk of l…

Responsive teaching

Dylan Wiliam, the academic most associated with Assessment for Learning (AfL), aka formative assessment, has stated that these labels have not been the most helpful to teachers. He believes that they have been partly responsible for poor implementation of AfL and the fact that AfL has not led to the improved outcomes originally intended.

Wiliam wrote on Twitter in 2013:

“Example of really big mistake: calling formative assessment formative assessment rather than something like "responsive teaching".”

For the record he subsequently added:

“The point I was making—years ago now—is that it would have been much easier if we had called formative assessment "responsive teaching". However, I now realize that this wouldn't have helped since it would have given many people the idea that it was all about the teacher's role.”

I suspect he’s right about the appellation and its consequences. As a teacher I found it hard to get my head around the terms AfL and formative assess…

Sentence Stealers with a twist

Sentence Stealers is a reading aloud game invented by Gianfranco Conti. I'll describe the game to you, then suggest an extension of it which goes a bit further than reading aloud. By the way, I shouldn't need to justify the usefulness of reading aloud, but just in case, we are talking here about matching sounds to spellings, practising listening, pronunciation and intonation and repeating/recycling high frequency language patterns.

This is how it works:

Display around 15 sentences on the board, preferably ones which show language patterns you have been working on recently or some time ago.Hand out four cards or slips of paper to each student.On each card students must secretly write a sentence from the displayed list.Students then circulate around the class, approaching their classmates and reading a sentence from the displayed list. If the other person has that sentence on one of their cards, they must hand over the card. The other person then does the same, choosing a sentenc…

The age factor in language learning

This post draws on a section from Chapter 5 of Jack C. Richards' splendid handbook Key Issues in Language Teaching (2015). I'm going to summarise what Richards writes about how age factors affect language learning, then add my own comments about how this might influence classroom teaching.

It's often said that children seem to learn languages so much more quickly and effectively than adults. Yet adults do have some advantages of their own, as we'll see.

In the 1970s it was theorised that children's success was down to the notion that there is a critical period for language learning (pre-puberty). Once learners pass this period changes in the brain make it harder to learn new languages. Many took this critical period hypothesis to mean that we should get children to start learning other languages at an earlier stage. (The claim is still picked up today by decision-makers arguing for the teaching of languages in primary schools.)

Unfortunately, large amounts of rese…

Dissecting a lesson: teaching an intermediate written text

This post is a beginner’s guide about how you might go about working with a written text with low-intermediate or intermediate students (Y10-11 in England). I must emphasise that this is not what you SHOULD do, just one approach based on my own experience and keeping in mind what we know about learning and language learning in particular. Experienced teachers may find it interesting to compare this sequence with what you do yourself.

You can adapt the sequence below to the class, context and your own preferred style. I’m going to assume that the text is chosen for relevance, interest and comprehensibility. The research suggests that the best texts are at the very least 90% understandable, i.e. you would need to gloss no more than 10% of the words or phrases. The text could be authentic, or more likely adapted authentic from a text book, or teacher written. It would likely be fairly short so you have time to exploit it intensively, recycling as much useful language as possible.

So here w…