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Showing posts from October, 2019

Informed Language Teacher

Just to let you know that I’m rather excited about a new project I’m embarking on shortly. I’m going to set up a website, working title “Informed Language Teacher”. This site will be a free portal for trainee language teachers and older hands who want to access some interesting research information to support and maybe improve their teaching.

It’ll work as follows. The site will comprise around a dozen pages or so,  each of which will contain links to readings, videos or podcasts about key issues in language learning and teaching. The result will be a sort of “one stop shop” to enable busy teachers to have an overview of research.
My themes will include: the big ideas of second language learning (e.g. how we learn, the role of input and interaction), lesson planning, grammar, vocabulary, listening, reading, speaking, writing and assessment. I’ll include a page of sources about how to run a classroom, including the big issues of behaviour management and formative assessment. The conten…

“Ask the expert”

A while ago I blogged about the task-based activity “Ask and move”, where four ‘expert’  pupils, A-level or GCSE, each have some written information which the rest if the class have to put together by going round asking questions they have been provided with. To remind you, the point of the exercise is to be able to exploit information-heavy texts in a communicative fashion. Now, with small A-level groups if, say, under 10 students, the task becomes barely viable as there are too few questioners for the number of experts. So how about the following as a variation?

Instead if three or four experts, just have one. This could be the teacher or, perhaps better, one proficient member of the group. So, to remind you, this expert has a written text about your topic (sub-theme)  at hand. They have some time to study it, while the rest of the small group look at some questions you have given them.

The questioners then proceed to ask away, taking notes from the answers in the target language. (…