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ENGLISH Issue 78

January
2012

Tprofessional
EACHING
The Leading Practical Magazine For English Language Teachers Worldwide

A second self
Jill Hadfield

The power of circles


Brendan Ries

Community spirit? Me?


Crystal Hurdle

The battle of the boards


Sarn Rich

practical methodology

fresh ideas & innovations

classroom resources

new technology

teacher development

tips & techniques

photocopiable materials

competitions & reviews

w w w . e t p r o f e s s i o n a l . c o m
Contents MAIN FEATURE TEACHER DEVELOPMENT

A SECOND SELF 4 COMMUNITY SPIRIT? ME? 50


Jill Hadfield reviews some theories of motivation Crystal Hurdle resents the tyranny of the
and announces an alternative approach sharing circle

REAL REFLECTION 2 52
Simon Brown believes trainee feedback
FEATURES
is an invaluable resource
SHHHHH! 8
Sonja Wirwohl suggests that silent speaking
stimulates participation TECHNOLOGY

ELF IN THE CLASSROOM 12 THE BATTLE OF THE BOARDS 54


Simon Andrewes outlines suitable tasks Sarn Rich speaks up for traditional technology
for teaching English as a Lingua Franca
WEBWATCHER 57
THE POWER OF CIRCLES 16 Russell Stannard sets his students talking
Brendan Ries promotes harmony and respect outside class
through circle activities
FIVE THINGS YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO 58
HOLISTIC GRAMMAR TEACHING 6 20 KNOW ABOUT: CROWDSOURCING
Rod Bolitho wonders what if ... Nicky Hockly gets in with the in-crowd

MAKE IT MEANINGFUL 25
Maxine Mangat puts more emphasis on vocabulary
REGULAR FEATURES
as a skill
LANGUAGE LOG 40
THE WONDER OF WARMERS 28 John Potts
Alicia Artusi and Gregory Manin break the ice
RICE ON THE MENU 59
HELPING LEARNERS TO LEARN 32 Rose Senior
Claire Gibbs advocates autonomy

IT WORKS IN PRACTICE 36
OVER THE WALL 38
Alan Maley recommends books about the
global financial meltdown SCRAPBOOK 42

NO GAIN WITHOUT PAIN 46 REVIEWS 44


Peter Wells evaluates extensive reading

COMPETITIONS 41, 64

TEACHING YOUNG LEARNERS

VYLS 23 INTERNATIONAL 30
Greg Davies nurtures the very young SUBSCRIPTION
FORM
A GRAMMAR GAME 24
Yuvaraj Arokiyadas teaches grammar through
a guessing game Includes materials designed
to photocopy

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 78 January 2012 1


Editorial ou may detect a slightly circular theme to to find that extensive reading of simplified novels has

Y this issue. From crop circles and wedding


rings in the Scrapbook to articles on very
different types of circles by Brendan Ries and Crystal
the same efficacy. Graded literature has many
supporters, so some readers may disagree with him.

Whatever direction we are coming from, our goal is


Hurdle, it seems you cannot escape the power of this
likely to be the same, and whether this goal is
simple geometric figure.
achieved by having our students imagine what it would
I am reminded by the different viewpoints taken on the be like to be a successful learner, as Jill Hadfield
value of circles that English Language Teaching is a advocates in our main feature, or by getting them to
broad church, encompassing both complementary and sit in a circle and share their thoughts, our aim is to
conflicting perspectives. So whilst some might view do our best to help our students become successful
the circle as a reflection of perfection and a symbol of language learners.
peace and harmony, the sort of circles Crystal Hurdle
endures in the touchy-feely development sessions she
is obliged to attend are, for her, akin to Dantes nine
circles of hell.

And speaking of the Italian poet, Peter Wells points out Helena Gomm
that although T S Eliot is supposed to have learnt Editor
helena.gomm@pavpub.com
Italian by reading Dante, few of our students are likely

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2 Issue 78 January 2012 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


M A I N F E AT U R E

A second
self
Jill Hadfield
considers motivation,
Theres no desiring without
imagination. Aristotle

What I desire I must first imagine.


What I imagine I create. Michelangelo
Dominant ideas in L2 motivation
over the last 50 years have been
expressed in two dichotomies. The first is
the opposition between instrumental and
imagination and identity. integrative motivation, instrumental
motivation being the desire to learn a
his is the first article in a series

T looking at a new theory of


motivation, Zoltan Drnyeis
L2 Self System. Subsequent
articles will look at how to derive
practice from theory, sample some
language for a purpose finding a better
job, for example and integrative
motivation being the desire to learn a
language because of an interest in or
love of the language, culture and L2
community. The second is the dichotomy
practical classroom activities derived
from the theory and consider how to
build these into a motivational
programme and incorporate them into
Motivation
a language learning syllabus. is our students
Lets begin with a short history of L2
motivation research, then consider why reason for learning,
in recent years psycholinguists have the drive that makes
begun to feel that existing theories are
inadequate. We will discuss developments them study
in mainstream psychology, in particular
Future Possible Selves theory, and see
how these have been adapted and refined between intrinsic and extrinsic
to form Drnyeis L2 Self System theory motivation, or inner motivation versus
of motivation in language learning. external motivation, arising from specific
situational factors, for example good
teaching, interesting topics, etc.
The motivation research Instrumental, intrinsic and extrinsic
Motivation is our students reason for motivation are concepts that can apply to
learning, the drive that makes them any branch of learning; integrativeness,
study. As such, it is, according to however, is specific to language learning,
Drnyei, the most common term and because of this has been the focus
teachers and students use to explain what of much research over the years.
causes success or failure in learning. It Recently, though, integrativeness has
is, therefore, not surprising that over the become an increasingly problematic
years psycholinguists have been concept and researchers have been
fascinated by what causes motivation turning back to mainstream psychology
(or its absence!). in search of alternative theories.

4 Issue 78 January 2012 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


The issue of endorsed items. She replaced integration The motivation
with a new concept, which she called
integrativeness international posture, defined as a
connection
Robert Gardner, the originator of the tendency to relate oneself to the The connection between future possible
integrativeness theory, defines international community, rather than any selves (also called self-guides) and
integration as a genuine interest in specific L2 group ... to see oneself as motivation is outlined in what is called
learning the second language in order to connected to the international self-discrepancy theory. Higgins finds
come closer to the other language community, have concerns for that people are motivated to reach a
community, along with an openness to international affairs and possess a condition where their self-concept matches
and respect for other cultural groups and readiness to interact with people other their self-guide and that motivation can
ways of life. In the extreme, he states, than Japanese. She finds that be defined as the desire to reduce the
this might involve complete identification international posture is a valid construct discrepancy. In other words, having a
with the community and possibly even that relates to motivation to learn and clear vision of a desired future self
withdrawal from ones own group, but willingness to communicate [WTC] motivates you to work towards reducing
more commonly it involves integration International posture affects learners the distance between your actual self and
within both communities. motivation, which leads to proficiency as your future ideal. Motivation is thus
well as self-confidence which in turn defined as a form of desire.
accounts for L2 WTC.
Having a Motivation, imagination
clear vision of Future Possible Selves and possible selves
theory If motivation is a form of desire, then it
a desired future Other new theories of motivation, is intimately connected to the power of
self motivates you similarly questioning the validity of the imagination. The more clearly you
integrativeness in the new millennium, can imagine your desired future self, the
to work towards began to link motivation with research stronger your motivation will be:
reducing the distance on the self. Imaging ones own actions through
The key to understanding these construction of elaborated possible selves
between your actual theories is the post-modern view of achieving desired goals may directly
identity not as single and fixed, but as
self and your multiple and complex. These multiple
facilitate the translation of goals into
intentions and instrumental action.
future ideal selves can exist in the present but also in (Markus and Ruvolo)
the imagination as Future Possible
Selves. This has been put more succinctly by
In recent years, however, the rise of According to Hazel Markus and Etienne Wenger:
English as a global language has made Paula Nurius, Future Possible Selves are Imagination is looking at an apple seed
the notion of community problematic, individuals ideas of: and seeing a tree.
and researchers have begun to pose the what they could become; And by Richard Boyatzis and Kleio
question: How relevant is integrativeness Akrivou:
what they would like to become;
in situations where learners have no
direct contact with a community of the what they are afraid of becoming. Throughout history humans are driven
L2 speakers? and, according to Susan by imagination and the ability to see
To this list, Edward Higgins adds: images of the desired future.
Coetzee-Van Rooy, the notion of
integrativeness is untenable for L2 what they would like to be (the ideal
Imagination and imagery are, therefore,
learners in World English contexts. self);
central to Possible Selves theory
Researchers then began to posit the what they feel they should be (the possible selves harness what Markus
need for a new focus. Jeffrey Jensen ought-to self). terms the remarkable power of the
Arnett suggested the need for a focus on imagination in human life. Markus and
These two slightly different but
bicultural identity, and other Nurius also emphasise that future ideal
overlapping definitions in fact define
researchers have asked whether the selves are a reality for people, a vivid
four future possible selves:
focus should now be on integration, not and tangible image that they can see
with any particular English-speaking The Ideal Self: what we would like to and hear.
nation, but with an imagined global become
community.
Tomoko Yashima, for example,
The Ought-to Self: what we feel we Fusion of the cognitive
should become and affective
found that it has become increasingly
difficult for Japanese EFL learners to The Feared Self: what we are afraid of However, motivation through imagining
identify a clear target group or culture, becoming a future possible self has to be more
and a study she conducted in 2000 The Default Self: what we could than idle daydreaming. A vision of a
revealed that of the many reasons given become (ie if we did nothing to future self must be accompanied by a
for studying English, identification with transform our Future Self into the concrete route map that outlines steps
Americans/British was among the least Ideal Self). to achieving the goal. 

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 78 January 2012 5


A second
positive impact of success, the enjoyable Arnett, J J The psychology of
quality of a language course). globalization American Psychologist
57(10) 2002
Thus, the L2 Motivational Self System
Boyatzis, R and Akrivou, K The ideal self

self
offers a tripartite structure of the
as the driver of intentional change Journal
motivation to learn a foreign/second of Management Development 25(7) 2006
language: Coetzee-Van Rooy, S Integrativeness:
the internal desires of the learner; untenable for World Englishes learners?
World Englishes 25(3) 2006
 Harry Segal has described Possible the social pressures exercised by Drnyei, Z Motivation and the vision of
Selves theory as fantasy tempered by significant people in the learners knowing a second language IATEFL
expectation or expectation leavened by environment; Conference Selections 2009
fantasy ... the social cognitive act of Drnyei, Z and Ushioda, E Motivation,
the experience of being engaged in the
future planning combined with the Language Identity and the L2 Self
learning process. Multilingual Matters 2009
equally human act of generating fantasy.
What is so attractive to me in this Drnyei outlines conditions for Gardner, R C Integrative motivation and
theory is partly its intuitive appeal motivation through future self-guides: second language acquisition In Drnyei, Z
and Schmidt, R (Eds) Motivation and
who has not been motivated by the The individual has a desired future self-
Second Language Acquisition University of
vision of a more attractive future? but image, Hawaii Press 2001
also its fusion of affective and cognitive which is elaborate and vivid; Higgins, E Self discrepancy: a theory
elements thought and emotion, relating self and affect Psychological
imagination and practicality. which is perceived as plausible and is in Review 94 1987
Shakespeare, who understood most harmony with the expectations of the Higgins, E The self-digest: self knowledge
aspects of human psychology before individuals social environment; serving self-regulatory functions Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology 71 1996
psychologists were around to invent which is regularly activated in his/her
theories, saw how powerful this fusion Higgins, E Promotion and prevention:
working self-concept; regulatory focus as a motivational
of opposites could be: principle Advances in Experimental Social
which is accompanied by relevant and
blest are those Psychology 30 1998
effective procedural strategies that act
Whose blood and judgement are so well Markus, H and Nurius, P Possible selves
as a roadmap towards the goal;
commingled American Psychologist 41 1986
That they are not a pipe for Fortunes which contains information about the Markus, H and Ruvolo, A Possible selves:
finger. (Hamlet) negative consequences of not achieving personalised representations of goals In
In other words, if you combine the desired goal. Pervin, L A (Ed) Goal Concepts in
Personality and Social Psychology
emotion and reason, imagination and He then details a six-step process for Lawrence Erlbaum 1989
practicality, you are not at the mercy of motivation through construction of an Markus, H (2006) Foreword In Dunkel, C
chance you have some control over Ideal L2 Self: and Kerpelman, J (Eds) Possible Selves:
your destiny. What better summary Theory, Research and Applications Nova
could there possibly be of Future Selves 1 Creating the vision: helping the Science 2006
theory? learner to visualise their L2 Self. Segal, H Possible selves, fantasy
2 Enhancing the vision: strengthening distortion and the anticipated life history:
exploring the role of imagination in social
The L2 Motivational Self and elaborating the initial vision. cognition In Dunkel, C and Kerpelman, J
System 3 Substantiating the vision: subjecting (Eds) Possible Selves: Theory, Research
and Applications Nova Science 2006
the vision to a reality check to make
Drnyeis Motivational Self System Wenger, E Communities of Practice:
sure it is achievable.
proposes a new approach to the Learning, Meaning and Identity CUP 1998
understanding of L2 motivation, the 4 Operationalising the vision: planning Yashima, T International posture and the
L2 Motivational Self System, with out how to actualise the vision. ideal L2 self in the Japanese EFL context
three components: In Drnyei and Ushioda (Eds) Motivation,
5 Keeping the vision alive: maintaining Language Identity and the L2 Self
The Ideal L2 Self the L2-specific facet enthusiasm. Multilingual Matters 2009
of ones ideal self: If the person we would 6 Counterbalancing the vision:
like to become speaks an L2, the ideal L2 students are driven by the desire to Jill Hadfield has worked as
self is a powerful motivator because we a teacher and teacher trainer
achieve but also by the desire to in Britain, France, China,
would like to reduce the discrepancy avoid negative outcomes. Tibet, Madagascar and
between our actual and ideal selves. New Zealand. She edits
ELTmag (www.eltmag.com),
The Ought-to L2 Self the attributes  and her books include the
Communication Games
that one believes one ought to possess to series (Pearson), Oxford
avoid possible negative outcomes and In future articles I will look at the Basics, Classroom Dynamics
and An Introduction to
which may bear little resemblance to the process of translating this theory into Teaching English (all OUP).
persons own wishes. practice, offer some practical, instantly Motivation, co-authored
with Zoltan Drnyei, will
The L2 Learning Experience motives useable classroom activities, and give be published by Pearson
suggestions for incorporating them into this year.
related to the immediate learning
a language syllabus. ETp jillhadfield@mac.com
environment and experience (eg the

6 Issue 78 January 2012 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


IN THE CLASSROOM limit is up, tell the groups to swap
posters and write comments on their
peers contributions to another topic.

Shhhhh!
Encourage them to challenge each other
and defend their points of view. This
way, it is possible to have several
students contributing to the same
subject, and everyone voicing their
views at the same time.
Once every student has commented
on each issue, each poster returns to the
Sonja Wirwohls students speak in silence students who considered it first. They
now have the opportunity to see how
and chat on paper. their initial input has developed and, in
turn, to add further points.
If you are feeling brave, you could
Now turn to your partner and For these reasons, I have decided to
distribute piles of sticky notes in the
discuss the question. experiment with a different technique:
class for any extra-curricular
Why not turn the tables by placing a
ets be honest, how often do communication. This way, I have
ban on speaking for a period of time

L we use this phrase in an


average teaching day? And
how often, then, do we find
that classroom discussions have their
limitations, especially if our speaking
and setting up a paper chat, where the
written word is the only allowed
medium of communication?

Paper chats
conducted completely silent periods of
discussion, which, apart from adding
novelty, gently forced the students to
improve their written fluency by also
making them resort to writing in order
lesson comes at the end of a busy day? to ask about spelling, borrow pens, etc.
Like me, you have probably observed In preparation for the discussion, make This has proved a great way to practise
that your students skilfully avoid using several A3-sized posters and write a question forms with lower-level classes.
the target language that you have different discussion question in the
laboriously taught, concept-checked and middle of each. Placing the question in
practised. Apart from this, the more the centre rather than at the top allows The process of
vociferous students in the group for consideration of, and contribution writing gives everyone
sometimes tend to take over in terms of to, all responses, rather than assuming a
volume and output, leading to a less linear commentary in which only the an equal opportunity
than balanced discussion. Alternatively, last statement is addressed. The
spidergram approach also has the
to express themselves,
the students may rattle through the
discussion points, only to produce a proud advantage of mirroring the creative with no one talking
Finished! in order to then sit in silence. process of generating and evaluating
I have been teaching mixed-level ideas for essays and other longer pieces non-stop or politely
classes of students from different cultural of writing. I generally allow one poster waiting their turn
backgrounds, and have tried to find a for two to three students. At this stage,
solution in which the students are it helps to rearrange the seats so that
everyone in one small group can reach
encouraged to express opinions in equal
the poster comfortably.
Considerations
measures whilst being given time to
process and order the language they want After answering any questions Paper chats work in many set-ups, but I
to use. In my own experience of teacher concerning the discussion topics, have found that they are extremely
development sessions, periods of silent announce that the students will now only effective in balancing participation in
reflection have always provided a very be allowed to communicate their opinions classes in which there is a large
welcome breather as they allow me to in writing, all at the same time. Encourage discrepancy in the students willingness
order things in my own head before then them to write wherever there is space on to speak. The process of writing gives
addressing further points in discussion. the poster. Why not demonstrate by everyone an equal opportunity to
adding a quick comment on one of the express themselves, with no one talking
posters yourself ? You can, of course, set non-stop or politely waiting their turn.
The more a time limit for the first writing phase, The technique can also be used with
which will depend on the level of the classes which need to improve their
vociferous students class and the complexity of the issue. writing yet are reluctant to do so, whether
in the group sometimes The students then work individually, this is because of a lack of confidence
writing their initial response to the topic or a general aversion to writing. Less
tend to take over in next to the question. Remind them that, laborious than essays set for homework,
just as in an oral discussion, the paper chats offer a fun change from
terms of volume traditional writing practice. Mimicking
purpose of the exercise is not 100-
and output percent accuracy, but communicating real interactive communication makes
and responding to ideas. Once the time writing more enjoyable, especially for

8 Issue 78 January 2012 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


generations for whom written students critical faculties are challenged awareness of exam candidates is
communication tends to be limited to in an environment which can be drawn to the process of writing,
online chats in front of the computer. perceived as less pressured than, say, a which they can then employ in further
Since the technique is easily group debate. It follows that paper chats studies.
adapted, paper chats also work can be excellent confidence boosters for
brilliantly in basic writing lessons at more reticent students who might feel If computer facilities are available, an
sentence level (topics such as Whats shy or have difficulties in contributing online chat seems the obvious way of
your favourite food? or Whats the traffic spontaneously to spoken discourse. conducting this kind of lesson. I
like in your city?) and exam classes Almost a pleasant side-effect is the personally prefer having the whole
(IELTS questions, for instance). fact that, in one students words, conversation on paper or at least as a
achieving small successes makes the hard copy, however, as this allows for
prospect of attempting longer pieces of the use of the discussion as a starting
Writing down their writing (exam tasks, for example) much point for further reflection, as
less daunting, which has a positive indicated above. While virtual learning
views gave them a little environments (VLEs) such as
knock-on effect on the students general
more time to process attitude towards writing. Blackboard may be used for posts, you
need to make sure that the students
other students make the most of the opportunity to
Possibilities respond actively to each other: I have
contributions and Of course, the writing process need not observed a tendency for learners to
respond appropriately end here. There are plenty of see the task as completed once their
opportunities for exploiting the contribution is posted online.
students output once the actual chat
Observations has concluded. Apart from the obvious Paper chats also make a suitable basis
one of peer- or teacher-led error for an additional post-writing
Whilst experimenting with paper chats, discussion, focusing on evaluating
I have observed that the students correction, the posters make a great
starting point for the evaluation of what was said and how it was said, in
curiosity about their peers comments order to raise awareness of the process
proves a real driving force. There tends ideas and contributions, thus training
the students critical faculties. of gathering and reacting to ideas.
to be a general sense of empowerment
in the democratic process of everyone I can imagine that paper chats could A paper chat could equally be used as
actively participating in exactly the also make a nice written ice-breaker a follow-up to a previous lesson, to
same thing at the same time, and at the beginning of a course, whilst consolidate or recycle lexis the students
gaining almost instant gratification giving the teacher a chance to have encountered in a reading or
through others responses. surreptitiously assess the groups vocabulary exercise.
As some of my students have writing skills. Instead of elaborate discussions on
remarked, expressing an opinion on
Having taught a lot of IELTS posters, during a mini-chat students
paper within a limited time frame exerts
preparation courses, I always pounce can make up their own questions to
gentle pressure on them to express
on any technique that can help less write on individual pieces of paper,
themselves clearly and concisely. While
confident students approach IELTS which are then passed around and
we could argue that this is the same
writing with less dread. (An IELTS added to. This way, the students
process in speaking, some of my
task might present a point of view practise their skills in bite-sized
students made an interesting
and ask the students to justify their writing tasks whenever you can spare
observation. They felt that in real
response, eg As higher education is far a few minutes.
discussions, the pressure of having to
listen, think and respond in an instant more accessible nowadays than it was to
posed a problem in terms of confidence previous generations, university degrees 
and language output. However, as the are losing their value. To what extent do
you agree with this view?) Paper chats In conclusion, paper chats make a
act of writing down their views and
can help in this situation by leading valuable addition to any teachers
responses naturally occurred more
the candidates towards the completion toolkit, as they can easily be adapted
slowly, this gave them a little more time
of an exam writing task and are for a wealth of classes and lessons. ETp
to process other students contributions
and respond appropriately. particularly beneficial early on in a Sonja Wirwohl has been
With students who are reluctant to course. In groups, the students can an English teacher and
examiner since 2000 and
participate in discussions, seeing an evaluate the strength of the different is currently involved in
argument develop on paper helps to arguments put forward and choose the provision of EAP at
University College,
make them realise that the responses the most pertinent contributions. Why London, UK. A self-
Yes, I agree or No, I disagree dont not distribute highlighter pens and confessed wordaholic,
encourage the students to underline she has a passion for
amount to fruitful conversations, be it in language in all its
a class discussion or a discursive essay. the most convincing points? These can creative expressions.
Since their peers questions are bound to then be organised to suit the structure
demand the backing up of statements for an exam task and written up into
a coherent argument. This way, the s.wirwohl@ucl.ac.uk
with examples and evidence, the

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 78 January 2012 9


Welcome to
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M E T H O D O L O G Y

ELF in the
classroom
For Simon Andrewes, a shift in teaching purpose signifies a shift in tasks.

n Issue 77 of ETp I argued that interviews planning, teaching, training or

I there was a shift taking place in


English language teaching from
EFL (English as a Foreign
Language) to ELF (English as a Lingua
Franca). I suggested in the article that




press conferences
service encounters
seminar discussions
working group discussions
assessment and examinations. The
University of Cambridge ESOL
Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)
examination, for example, is marketed
as a demonstration of competence in
the focus of EFL was most typically on workshop discussions English for high achievers in the
interpersonal exchanges and meetings professional and academic world, its
communicating individual, and maybe panels publicity acknowledging the fact that
idiosyncratic, responses and preferences. English is an international language,
question and answer sessions
Crudely put, it was often seen as the used globally for business and study.
language of getting what you want on a conversations. The shift of focus from EFL to ELF
personal level in an English-speaking Generally speaking, these settings for will not only affect the choice of
environment. EFL taught English for cross-cultural communication through language norms and models, but also
unequivocally native-speaker contexts, English require skills for communicating the choice of classroom activities. It will
where the non-native speaker was in the public or semi-public domain. mean a shift in repertoire, and the rest
clearly in the minority, a foreigner, There is clearly a shift away from the of this article will turn its attention to a
expected to adapt to the native interpersonal and transactional selection of tasks and activities that
speakers fixed and given norms. exchanges, communicating individual could usefully be part of this repertoire.
By way of contrast, typical contexts responses and preferences, that were
in which ELF is used are workplace central to the teaching of EFL. And, 1 Pausing and nuclear
professional and managerial meetings above all, the assumption of EFL that
and academic tutorials and seminars. the non-native speaker was in the stress
Skills required in these contexts might minority and so expected to adapt to Rationale
include reporting, exchanging and/or the native speakers norms is no ELF is used predominantly for oral
passing on information and ideas; longer valid. The aim of participants in communication, where few assumptions
participating in conferences; giving and ELF communicative exchanges is to can be made about the familiarity of the
understanding talks in a variety of ensure maximum comprehensibility for participants with, or their expectations
situations; giving and appreciating those participants, who will have a of, standards of pronunciation. Pausing
presentations; analysing, summarising variety of L1s, irrespective of native- and nuclear stress, I emphasised in my
and/or synthesising ideas. speaker norms and expectations. previous article, can be essential for
These contexts are reflected in the The need for English in the making meaning clear in these situations.
sources used for compiling the most professional and academic worlds in Pausing is the spoken grammar which
important ELF corpus that there is to cross-cultural contexts is tacitly indicates units of meaning and works
date: the Vienna Oxford International recognised today in all sectors of very much like punctuation works for the
Corpus of English. This corpus is made English teaching to speakers of other reader. The more fluent the reader, the
up of recorded ELF interactions, languages (TESOL) and a shift of less the need for punctuation is a maxim
classified under a number of speech emphasis is taking place, be it in that also applies to pausing and nuclear
event types, listed 1 as: publishing, course design, syllabus stress in spoken language.

12 Issue 78 January ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


Task be done in groups. The sentences of Text
Break up the following, admittedly not- 2 were distributed at random among the
3 Dictogloss
very-academic, text into nuclei, with members of the class. Each student in Rationale
pausing for easily comprehensible turn was made responsible for dictating This activity involves representing heard
delivery and indicate the nuclear- one sentence to the others. The students texts in writing, a task that may well
stressed words. The solution can be could ask for the sentence or a part of the reflect a commonly required skill in
discussed in class afterwards. sentence to be repeated as often as they ELF contexts, involving listening, note
wanted, and they could ask for words to taking and text writing. Indeed, it is a
Text 1 be spelt. Only when all the students were communicative, task-based activity that
melt the butter in a large saucepan satisfied, could they move on to the next develops writing skills in a meaningful
and add the finely sliced whites of the sentence. The activity raises awareness context for ELF. Dictogloss has gone out
leeks saut for a few minutes and add of and gives practice in aspects of both of fashion in EFL teaching. Originally,
the sliced potatoes and chicken stock delivery and reception. To what extent the purpose was the discrete teaching or
bring to the boil add plenty of salt and do breakdowns or difficulties in consolidation of some grammar point. It
pepper and a little ground nutmeg communication occur with the speaker or was promoted as an alternative form of
simmer until the vegetables are soft the listener? For example, in Sentence 1, language input, an alternative to print
and sieve chill stir a little cream into the consonant cluster /ldz/ in the word text-based lessons. It is a classroom
each bowl and sprinkle with chopped worlds was problematic for the Chinese dictation activity where learners are
chives before serving speaker, complicated by the difficulty required to reconstruct a short text by
Possible solution many Asians have in distinguishing listening and noting down key words,
Melt the butter / in a large saucepan // between the phonemes /l/ and /r/. When which are then used as a basis for
and add the finely sliced whites / of the speaker perceived the problems of reconstruction in pairs or groups.
the leeks // saut for a few minutes // his listeners, he was able to adjust his My use of dictogloss deviates from
and add the sliced potatoes / and pronunciation and overcome the potential the traditional form, its aim not being an
chicken stock // bring to the boil // communication breakdown. An example accurate reconstruction of the dictated
add plenty of salt / and pepper / and a of misunderstanding, which some text, but an own words reconstruction,
little ground nutmeg // simmer / until listeners failed to resolve, due largely to in which all the points of content of the
the vegetables are soft // and sieve // wrong word stress occurred in Sentence 3 original have to be included in the
chill // stir a little cream into each bowl with the word circumference. And finally, reconstruction, but not the precise
/ and sprinkle with chopped chives also Sentence 3, a combination of poor wording. Indeed, the text is not read as
before serving pronunciation of the word beneath and a dictation, but told as a story, with
confusing pausing (metres beneath / the some paraphrasing and, at times,
Franco / -Swiss border ...) led to repetition of certain sections word-for-
unexpectedly insurmountable difficulties word. Although any re-telling may vary
2 Reading aloud/peer of comprehension. in the words used, key words do need to
dictation be maintained. Essential information
Rationale Text 2 should be repeated and given more or
Reading aloud has long been anathema 1 The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is less the same emphasis in each re-telling.
to the communicative approach to EFL the worlds largest high-energy
particle accelerator. Task
teaching as being an artificial classroom
The text I used for this activity was
task rather than an authentic real-world 2 Its purpose is to find the answers to based on a story very widely reported in
form of communication. Yet writing a some of the paramount questions of the early weeks of 2011 in popular
report and delivering its content, findings contemporary physics. newspapers and on news websites. Here
or conclusions orally seem perfectly
3 The LHC is a circular tunnel, 27 again, the text itself is not academic,
natural features of communicative
kilometres in circumference and but the technique is relevant for ELF
English in ELF settings. In this respect,
over a hundred metres beneath the contexts. The procedure is more or less
it cannot be coincidental that tasks such
Franco-Swiss border. as follows:
as reading aloud and sentence repetition
and dictation have been included in the 4 The term hadron refers to particles Tell (dont read) the story (see Text
new online Pearson test of academic composed of quarks. 3A) at a reasonable pace, but too fast
English (PTE Academic). for the listeners to write detailed
5 The Large Hadron Collider was built
The following activity encourages notes. Notes should preferably not be
by the European Organization for
clear enunciation and sensitivity to taken at this stage.
Nuclear Research (CERN), a well-
interlocutor response, and demonstrates
known and highly-respected centre Give the students a list of key words
the need for linguistic accommodation
for sub-nuclear scientific research. for focus, for contextualisation and
(adjusting language to guarantee
mutual understanding). 6 CERN is driven, not by profit also for pre-teaching or ensuring
margins, but by a commitment to understanding of the key vocabulary
Task collaborative scientific research needed to reconstruct the story. Here,
This particular activity was trialled after between countries, universities and they are restricted to proper nouns
a coursebook unit on international scientists. and place names, as well as dates and
cooperation. With large classes it could time expressions (Text 3B). 

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 78 January 2012 13


Scribes are invited to come to the front

ELF in the
used, such as delivering a written report
of the class and write up their own or orally to a meeting.
their groups versions of the text on
Task

classroom 4
the board for all to see and discuss.

Converting written
This is a basic exercise in converting
noun phrases into verb phrases. The
students first offer their solutions. The
 Tell the story a second time. As they texts into spoken texts validity of these is then discussed in
listen, the students can and should Rationale class, as in real-life communication such
take notes. automatic conversion re-formulations
The assumption of this activity is that
In pairs or small groups, or working noun phrases are characteristic of are often likely to be inappropriate. In
alone, they then reconstruct a version written texts, whereas spoken delivery is this example text, noun phrases related
of the text from their (shared) notes, more likely to use verb phrases and to climate change are converted into
aiming at grammatical accuracy and skill at switching between the two verb phrases.
textual cohesion and logical sense or enhances communicative competence,
consistency, but not trying to especially in the formal or semi-formal Text 4
reproduce the original text exactly. situations in which ELF is commonly Noun phrases
These are some of the natural
Text 3A phenomena relating to climate
This news story from the USA tells how The New York Police Department change which have been observed:
Carlina White solved her own took over the investigation, arranging  an increase in heavy downpours
kidnapping case. for DNA tests that, last Tuesday,  unpredictable river flow variations
Carlina was abducted from a hospital confirmed that Carlina was the daughter
 earlier snowmelt
in Harlem on 4 August 1987, when she of Joy White and Carl Tyson, who are
was just 19 days old. She had been now separated.  a lengthening of ice-free seasons in
taken there by her mother, Joy White, But Carlina had not waited for the oceans and on lakes and rivers
because she was suffering from a results of the police investigation. She  rapidly retreating glaciers
persistent high temperature. But when had held her first reunion with her  a thawing of the permafrost
Joy returned to the emergency room mother on the previous Friday, and after
 longer growing seasons
after two hours, she found her the results of the DNA tests she returned
daughters cot empty. once more to New York from her home  rising sea temperatures and levels
There were reports of a woman seen in Georgia to be with her new family. Solution
consoling the mother. According to one Im overwhelmed. Im just so Verb phrases
witness, this woman later picked up the happy. Its like a movie; this is all brand The following natural phenomena
baby and walked out of the building with new to me, Carlina told reporters. have been observed:
her. Although the kidnapping was very Her 18-year-old half-sister, Sheena,
of whose existence Carlina had, of  Heavy downpours have increased.
high-profile, reported in all the
newspapers and on TV, the police were course, known nothing, said: We spoke  River flows have varied/tended to
never able to trace the mystery woman and got to know each other, and she vary in unpredictable ways.
and the case was never solved. looks exactly like my mom. It felt like we  Snow has melted/been melting
Carlina was then raised as Nejdra knew each other even before we met. earlier.
Nance in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Police are now investigating the
 Ice-free seasons in oceans and on
some years later her family moved to woman who raised Carlina. lakes and rivers have lengthened.
Atlanta in Georgia. But as she grew up,
Text 3B  Glaciers have retreated
Carlina began to wonder why she did
How Carlina White solved her own rapidly/noticeably.
not look like anyone else in her family.
She had the feeling that she did not kidnapping case (January 2011)  The permafrost has thawed/been
belong. Then, she had reason to suspect Names Dates/times thawing.
the woman who raised her was using a People: Last Tuesday  Growing seasons have got longer.
fake social security ID. Carlina White Last Friday
 Sea temperatures and levels have
So, at the age of 23, she began making Nejdra Nance 19 days
risen.
her own inquiries. Her breakthrough came Joy White 23
when she contacted the National Center Carl Tyson 4 August 1987
for Missing and Exploited Children, and Sheena 4 January 2011
there, on the Centers website, she Places:
5 Paraphrasing
thought she recognised a photograph of Harlem Hospital Rationale
herself as a baby. The Center was very New York Paraphrasing, or reformulation, is a
cooperative and provided information Bridgeport, Connecticut vital skill when it comes to ensuring
about the case, and on 4 January Carlina National Center for Missing and effective communication between
telephoned the woman she believed to Exploited Children interlocutors of whom we cannot make
be her biological mother. Atlanta, Georgia sure assumptions about shared language
norms, common previous knowledge or

14 Issue 78 January 2012 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


equal levels of skills and abilities. The The game is more interesting, more classroom tested, but is presented here
re-writing tasks which feature in the difficult and more productive if as a guide for teachers to develop a drill
Cambridge ESOL exams provide strictly taboo words are included: words suitable for their own classroom
controlled practice in the ability to that cannot be included in the circumstances.
reformulate something that has been prompts and clues.
said, giving the listener another chance Text 7
Text 6 is an example only and has not
to grasp your meaning. been tested in classroom conditions!  an increase in heavy downpours

Task  rising sea temperatures and sea


Text 6 levels
Text 5 gives the wording of the
instructions and example sentence of Words/expressions to be guessed  rapidly retreating glaciers
Part 4 of the Cambridge FCE Use of 1 particle accelerator  lengthening growing seasons
English paper. The CAE exam Use of  the finely sliced whites of the leeks
2 contemporary physics
English paper, Part 5, has the same kind
3 the Franco-Swiss border  plenty of salt and pepper
of sentence re-write task, only in this
case between three and six words are to 4 quarks  a fake social security ID
be used, while in the CPE exam Use of  the National Center for Missing and
5 CERN
English paper, Part 4, the range of Exploited Children
words to be used in the paraphrase is 6 collaborative scientific research
 The New York Police Department
between three and eight words. This Taboo words
kind of task can be adapted to  the worlds largest high-energy
 LHC, Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator
classroom needs.
 European Organization for Nuclear  twenty-seven kilometres in
Text 5 Research circumference
Complete the second sentence so  research  a commitment to collaborative
that it has a similar meaning to the scientific research
 collaborate, collaboration
first, using the word given. Do not
change the word given. Use between
2 and 5 words, including the given 
word.
7 Fluency/pronunciation
drills Teachers will find that many of the tried-
First sentence: You must do exactly and-tested communicative activities of
what the manager tells you. Rationale the EFL classroom will be transferable
Drills no longer have the central role in to the needs of ELF learners. As they
Word given: CARRY
EFL that they once had, but many gain more insight into these needs via
Second sentence (solution): You must methodologists and teachers still find a classroom interaction, teachers will
CARRY OUT THE MANAGERS place for them in the classroom. Before gradually adjust their repertoires and
instructions exactly. Michael Lewiss lexical approach 2 learn to disregard preconceived ideas of
taught us to think in terms of language what communicative tasks and activities
chunks, drills were essentially grammar should look like. It is my contention
6 Defining or explaining drills. The purpose of this activity is to that a shift is taking place in English
focus on chunks of language, but not in language classrooms from a classic EFL
vocabulary game order to learn formulaic expressions or classroom repertoire to one more
Rationale fixed collocations by heart. Its aim is, oriented on ELF settings and needs, a
If you think a more entertaining way of rather, to accustom the learners to stress belief reflected in the choice of activities
developing the ability to paraphrase, and pronunciation patterns, in this case I have suggested above. ETp
define and/or explain vocabulary is of noun phrases. This activity might not
appropriate, this well-known and much only improve fluency but also raise 1 www.univie.ac.at/voice/page/corpus_
loved classroom game, popular among awareness of the grammatical function description
children and adults alike, would be of pronunciation (such as indicating 2 Lewis, M The Lexical Approach LTP
suitable. units of meaning and the relationship of 1993
words to each other within that unit).
Task Simon Andrewes has
Note that some linguists claim that been involved in TEFL
Write six words or expressions on the chunks tend to get unmanageable if since the mid-1970s. At
board. The game works better if they present, he is DoS at the
they exceed seven words or so. English department of a
are thematically linked. One student higher educational
sits with their back to the board and Task college in Greenwich,
London. One of his
tries to guess the words while their The students listen and repeat (choral greatest defects as a
teammates give prompts and clues; and individual repetition). Use the teacher, he regrets to say,
is that his attention is
they cannot, of course, utter any technique of back-chaining to build up more easily attracted to
word or any part of the expression to the sentences, eg downpours ... heavy the grand overview than
the nitty-gritty detail.
be guessed. Give a time limit: longer downpours ... an increase in heavy
simon@granadalabella.eu
at first, then shortened. downpours. Note: This text is not

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 78 January 2012 15


IN THE CLASSROOM

The power
of circles
Brendan Ries
connects with his students
Everything the Power of the World does
is done in a circle. The sky is round, and
I have heard that the earth is round like
sit in circles bring a natural positive
force into the classroom that enables
dialogue, community and the possibility
a ball, and so are all the stars. The of freedom of expression, resulting in a
in an environment of wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds more holistic, communicative and less
make their nests in circles, for theirs is stressful environment.
mutual respect. the same religion as ours. The sun
comes forth and goes down again in a A glitch in the system
circle. The moon does the same, and
Because our society has traditionally
both are round. Even the seasons form
believed that it is good to obey orders
a great circle in their changing and
and respect superiors, we know a great
always come back again to where they
deal about how authority works. We
were. The life of a person is a circle
know a lot about competition, little
from childhood to childhood, and so it
about cooperation; more about the
is in everything where power moves.
male than the female, the outer world
Black Elk
than the inner, the rational than the
s I travel and teach in many intuitive, the machine than the garden.

A countries I see there is beauty


and love everywhere, as well as
deep-seeded prejudices built
up over centuries of oppression and
religious and cultural misunderstanding.
Mary OReilley (1993)
To understand why circles are powerful
and significant in the classroom, we
must first analyse some parts of the
education system.
When we have the chance to share views In the world of higher education,
and take a glimpse into other peoples there is a hierarchy of knowledge where
personal emotions, the opportunity for respect is undervalued and skills are often
positive change arises. Dialogue is an based on the analytic rather than the
important tool in this process of holistic. This promotes competitiveness
unification and understanding. In The and feelings of superiority and
Little Book of Circle Processes, Kay aggression. Levels of competitiveness
Pranis states that discussing values, are obvious, with grades, publications
creating guidelines and showing unseen and degrees factored into the equation,
aspects of ourselves are all part of creating instilling militaristic levels of honour
the foundation for dialogue that engages students, masters, PhDs, captains,
participants spirits and emotions as well lieutenants, and so on.
as their intellect. These unseen aspects In Frames of Mind, psychologist
of ourselves that create a foundation for Howard Gardner of Harvard names
dialogue are most often forgotten in the seven different intelligences and states
classroom setting. No matter what the that schools traditionally teach to only
context of a teaching situation, two of these mathematical and verbal
activities in which the students stand or competencies. He identifies two further

16 Issue 78 January 2012 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


iStockphoto.com / AlexMax
competencies as forming the basis of
the concept of social and emotional
literacy: intrapersonal (the ability to
recognise and manage ones own
feelings) and interpersonal (the ability
to understand and get along with
others). Circle activities create a place
for these other intelligences to exist in
the classroom sphere.
Governments are frequently run
Everything the
according to a militaristic structure, and Power of the World
this same structure can also be seen in
homes and in schools. People often grow does is done in a circle.
up watching the parent give orders, the The life of a person is a
teacher give orders, the boss give orders,
the police, and so on. As a result, many circle from childhood to
then become the boss, the parent, the
teacher, etc, giving orders and assuming
childhood, and so it is
an air of authority without any insight in everything where
into other options for facilitation. As
Mary OReilley claims, young people power moves.
learn by being insulted, bullied and turned
into objects to insult, bully, and turn
others into objects, and these actions
contain the seeds of war. It follows that,
therefore, the first step in teaching peace
is to examine the ways in which we are
already teaching war.
My hope as a teacher is not to bring
an oppressive attitude into my classroom. in silence. In order to facilitate speaking up the monotony of this style of
No matter what the cultural setting, opportunities in an English class, teachers education and change the institutionalised
people want and need to be respected need to structure the lesson with feel of the classroom, giving the
and heard, yet many institutional groupwork and content-focused tasks in participants a different view of what
curricula do not include the teaching of order to encourage production. education is, and what it could be. Part
understanding through dialogue. It is, Of course, this isnt only the case in of changing this type of education
therefore, up to us as teachers to find Japan. I personally never had a class means a liberation from the teacher-
room for this in our lessons. Circle throughout my middle school and high focused classrooms of the past and a
activities are one of the ways we can school years that allowed me to offer move into classrooms which are more
encourage this process and bring about much opinion during the lesson. I feel student-centred and community-driven.
a closer connection between students that this would have been a valuable
and teachers. process and would have helped with my The peaceable
own inability, as a young person, to
classroom
The oppressive express how I felt about issues. Perhaps
this is one reason I love using circles so Peace education contributes to the
classroom social growth of all children if it helps
much: I can give my students the chance
The Ministry of Education decides I never had to participate in dialogue. them develop characteristics essential
what is good to think, while denigrating The type of education which I and for the attainment of peace a sense of
individual opinion. Individuality is many people I know received consisted dignity and self-worth, a confidence to
punished, and no one is encouraged to of the teacher or professor teaching and question their values, communication
think on ones own. the students taking notes, thus skills, an ethical awareness, and an
Katsuichi Honda, quoted in Suzuki funnelling the knowledge that the empathy for others.
and Oiwa teacher supremely held onto a piece of Harris and Morrison
In Japan, one of the problems in the paper. An education system in which The term peaceable classroom was coined
education system is the lack of students are seen as empty vessels to be by William Kreidler in the 1970s. As
communicative and collaborative filled with information, as Paulo Freire Lantieri and Patti report, Kreidler
classrooms, thus excluding the intra- and puts it, doesnt seem to involve concern stressed that the strength of the peaceable
interpersonal. At times, it can be difficult for the students emotional selves. With classroom is in the synergy that develops
to get Japanese students to offer opinions this type of education, the teacher is from the presence of six principles:
about different topics. They arent given always right and the students wrong. cooperation, caring communication, the
many opportunities to share critical This is one of the biggest problems in appreciation of diversity, the appropriate
opinions in school, and culturally it is many education systems. expression of feelings, responsible decision
often more acceptable to express opinion Circle activities offer a way to break 
making and conflict resolution.

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 78 January 2012 17


 The way of council
The power
classroom, specifically the possibility of
a collaborative, community classroom. One of my professors in graduate school,
I get all my students to stand in a Paul Levausseur, introduced me to this


of circles circle, give everyone a cup and start to
pour water into each cup from a pitcher.
Initially, I dont address what the water
represents; I just assess the students
activity, which is based on Native-
American philosophies. It is called The
way of council and is used to facilitate
Past mistakes have created the heart-felt discussion on a specific,
problems we see in the classroom today. reactions when for some students I fill the focused topic. It employs a talking
Students these days generally feel the whole cup, for some I fill it only partially piece; this can be anything a piece of
classroom is boring and say they feel and for others I pour in only a drop. The wood, a stone, any object the teacher or
disconnected. Even the literature and look on most students faces becomes the students bring to class. Only the
curriculum that teachers choose have a very interesting as this happens, and there person holding the piece at any one time
message that they impart to the students. are clear signs of competitiveness. Some can speak. This process calls for active
The question is, what is the message and students say, Hey, why did I get so little? listening and active speaking. There is no
are teachers including their students in In the second part of the activity, I ask rehearsing what one will say, and those
dialogue is it peace education? the students to share some of their water listening have to listen actively and not
with each other. I play no role as they do think about what they will say when the
Circle activities this. Then, I move onto the third part talking piece comes to them. Any
and say to the students: Lets all share participant who doesnt feel anything has
To find voice and to mediate voice in a our water together. In this stage, everyone come up for them to say should simply
circle of others is one of the central in the room, including me, shares their pass the talking piece on. When all
dialectics of the peaceable classroom. water. Next, I ask each student to express participants are focused and totally
OReilley (1993) their feelings as to which process they active, this process is breathtaking and
Here are three circle activities which I liked best and how they felt during the simply the most holistic healing
often use with my students. different stages. I also ask them to say experience and beautiful phenomenon I
what they think the water represents. have experienced in any classroom.
 Circles for beginners It is interesting that when I did this
I learnt this activity, in which knowledge activity in Turkey, most students said  Rotating circles
is symbolised by water, from a workshop that they preferred the second part of The students stand in two concentric
on Training for change by George the activity where the students shared circles with the inner circle facing out
Lakey. I often use it as an introduction their water. I then asked What about me? and the outer circle facing in. Each
to circle activities as it opens the I feel left out. Shouldnt we all share this student is, therefore, facing a partner
students eyes to new possibilities in the knowledge with each other? with whom they converse. The outer
and inner circles at times rotate so that
the pairs are changed. Questions for
discussion might be provided by the
teacher, at other times they can be
provided by the students.
I often use this for active listening
and speaking, where the participants in
the outer circle speak and those in the
inner circle listen. Afterwards, those
listening repeat what their partner has
To find voice just told them. Students say that they
and to mediate voice like this activity because they feel
listened to and respected, and want to
in a circle of others respect and listen to others in return.
is one of the central
Circles in action
dialectics of Human beings have a host of emotional
the peaceable needs for love and recognition, for
belonging and identity, for purpose and
classroom. meaning to their lives. If all these needs
had to be subsumed in one word, it
might be respect.
William Ury
When I began teaching at a university
in Turkey, some of my fellow teachers
expressed negative views of the
students, their behaviour and their
attitudes to learning. I believe that when

18 Issue 78 January 2012 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


said they also felt respected as I too
quietly listened to what they had to say
without interruption.

  
As teachers, we have the opportunity to
overcome the weaknesses of past
classrooms and show in a positive way
Human that our students are respected for their
beings have a host ideas, no matter how different they are
from those of the teacher or their
of emotional needs classmates. Promoting a sense of
for love and recognition, community and student-centredness
through the use of circle activities is a
for belonging and step towards developing a peaceable
classroom. It challenges the negative
identity, for purpose feeling toward the classroom setting
and meaning to that many students bring to their
lessons and offers insights into the
their lives. students views in the process.
In our future classes, lets not forget to
make time for the power that circles can
produce, make time for the intrapersonal
and interpersonal intelligences to be
acknowledged and, at the same time,
promote a peaceful community. ETp

Black Elk, N and Neihardt, J Black Elk


Speaks University of Nebraska Press 3rd
teachers take on a negative mind state while other people were speaking. No ed 2004
and believe that change is not possible, matter how often I explained the Freire, P Pedagogy of the Oppressed The
the battle is already lost, but I did find process, there were many who continued Continuum Publishing Corporation 1970
out from experience that in general talking to other students after the Harris, I and Morrison, M Peace
there was a negative feeling amongst the talking piece had passed by them. In Education McFarland and Co 2003
students with regard to the classroom, this context, smaller group circle Lantieri, L and Patti, J Waging Peace in
the teachers and the number of English activities were more positive and much Our Schools Beacon Press 1996
classes per day. easier to maintain. The topics that Lakey, G Training for change: conflict
transformation across cultures
I knew that I wanted to create a worked with the whole class in this
(CONTACT) Conference workshop at The
peaceable classroom and I decided to activity were those that focused on the School for International Training 2008
use circle activities to achieve this. I felt students interests and included giving
OReilley, Mary R The peaceable
that they would bring a natural appeal thanks to your ancestors and the classroom College English 46(2) 1984
to these classes and a fresh spark of Bayram holiday (a holiday which takes OReilley, Mary R The Peaceable
something new place after Ramadan). Putting the Classroom Boynton/Cook 1993
First, I decided that I wasnt going students in smaller circles did allow Pranis, K The Little Book of Circle
to be a disciplinarian and would always everyone the chance to speak, but these Processes Good Books 2005
endeavour to show the utmost respect circles were never as powerful as the Suzuki, D and Oiwa, K The Other Japan:
for my students. I thought about my whole-class ones with these topics. Voices Beyond the Mainstream Fulcrum
own tutors activity The way of When the council circles did break Publishing 1996
council and about how it opens up the down, I would tell the students that if Ury, W Getting to Peace Viking Adult
opportunity for everyone to stand on you are speaking while someone else is 1999
equal ground. speaking, not only are you not listening,
Brendan Joseph Ries
It is a simple fact that change is but you are not showing respect. At times has been a language
uncomfortable, and at first many students when a student started speaking without teacher for eight years
greeted my instructions with cries of We the talking piece, another student would and has taught in Japan,
South Africa, Turkey and
are having a circle again? and made jokes say, Respect, please! These responses the USA. His interests
about circles. However, the following showed me that some students wanted to include critical thinking
in the classroom
week as I entered the classroom they honour the circle and were learning in the through problem-posing
asked, Can we have a circle? process. When more students became education, creative
writing and community/
Some students had difficulty accustomed to this process of respect in collaborative learning.
honouring the rules of the activity; the classroom, it was much easier to
they found it very difficult to be quiet change the full dynamic. My students b.revel@gmail.com

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 78 January 2012 19


G R A M M A R

Holistic
grammar
teaching 6
Rod Bolitho considers he tyranny of form over It is easy to see the superficial attraction

our teaching of if clauses


is nothing if not iffy.
T meaning is still a reality in
many English language
classrooms around the world.
There are some very understandable
reasons for this: teachability,
of this categorisation. It is neat and
tidy, and it has a kind of built-in
discipline which appeals to teachers as a
way of determining what is right and
what is wrong in learners speech and
convenience, deep beliefs about writing. But it contains both
grammar and how it should be taught, oversimplifications and fallacies:
lingering structural organisation in 1 There is no such category as the
textbooks and supplementary materials,
future tense. Grammarians are now
teachers own uncertainties when
pretty much agreed that there are only
confronted with the shock of real
two tenses in English (present and past),
language in real contexts, to name but a
and that views of the future are
few. The result, inevitably, is collusion
essentially modal. Thus, in the Type 1
by teachers in ways of making English
example above, will is a modal verb,
seem simpler and more formulaic than
which in this context expresses a degree
it really is. Nowhere is this more evident
of likelihood. For more on this, see my
than in the case of conditional
article on modal meaning in Issue 73 of
sentences, frequently (and misleadingly)
ETp.
referred to as if-sentences. Many
textbooks still deal with them in the 2 The verb in the if clause in the
time-honoured way, using three, or Type 2 example may look like a past
sometimes four, categories: tense, but there is nothing past about its
meaning. As can be seen more clearly in
Type 1: If I have time (present tense),
utterances beginning If I were you ...,
Ill go (future tense) to the doctors
for example, what we are dealing with
tomorrow.
here is the subjunctive form, used to
Type 2: If I had more time (past tense), express hypothetical meaning, in this
I would go (conditional tense) to the sentence with the communicative effect
doctors. of making the visit to the doctors seem
less likely. Referring to the verb as past
Type 3: If Id had more time (past
tense is not only wrong, but also serves
perfect tense), Id have gone (past
to make understanding and learning far
conditional) to the doctors yesterday.
more difficult for students with a
Type Zero: If you heat water to 100C mother tongue (eg German) which still
(present tense), it boils (present tense). has an overt subjunctive form in

20 Issue 78 January 2012 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


contexts such as this. And once again, done soon. You know well frequent in spoken discourse. It is worth
the verb would go in the main clause is have to pay the top rates exposing intermediate learners to this
modal in nature, expressing a lesser unless ... kind of text and getting them to
degree of likelihood than the will in identify and think about these different
Wife: ... I know, I know ... unless
Type 1. options in a context which is familiar
we book at least three
3 The same set of distinctions applies
and readily comprehensible.
months in advance. Thats
in the Type 3 example, which is firmly all right provided that were
rooted in the past, and may express absolutely sure about where A working hypothesis
regret or just a reason for not doing we want to go. The element of hypothesis which is part
something. The verb in the if clause is and parcel of so-called Types 2 and 3
Husband: Thats exactly why I want to
not a simple past perfect, but a past conditionals can be activated and
talk to you. To be honest,
subjunctive; the main clause expresses practised in a number of ways, but here
Im not sure whether I want
here an unfulfilled intention and is, once are two examples to work with in the
to go to Benidorm again.
again, modal in nature. intermediate or upper-intermediate
Wife: I wouldnt mind a change classroom.
Breaking the rules either. OK, suppose we
decide not to go to
Many would argue that it is better to Benidorm, what are the On condition
teach a system first and deal with alternatives? You know I Split the class into groups of three or
exceptions later, and there may be some wont be happy if I dont get four. Give each group a hypothetical
truth in that. But the system outlined my sun, sea and sand! situation in the form of a question on a
above seems in many cases actually to slip of paper. Here are some examples:
be an impediment rather than an aid to Husband: Well I was wondering
some learners, and often only adds to about Greece this time. On what conditions would you try
the verb tense neurosis that many of bungee-jumping?
Wife: Greece? After Ive spent the
them develop while grappling with last two years going to On what conditions would you go
English. In any case, all the evidence in Spanish evening classes! white-water rafting?
samples of spoken language points to
the fact that native speakers prioritise Husband: It was just an idea. On what conditions would you let a
meaning over form, and do not hesitate stranger into your home?
Wife: OK, Ill think about Greece
to break so-called rules in order to but on one condition. On what conditions would you report
ensure that they are understood. a fellow-citizen to the police?
Learners need to be prepared for Husband: Whats that?
examples like these (from my own data): Give each group ten minutes to work
Wife: That you learn the language
out a number of conditions and then let
1 If I manage to get a baby-sitter, I this time!
them report to the class, expressing
would consider coming. their conditions in at least three
(transcribed and slightly adapted from a
2 Id have shouted to you if Id have seen conversation overheard in a staffroom in different ways. The listeners are allowed
you! the UK) to ask questions beginning with Would
... or Wouldnt ... (eg Wouldnt you feel
3 If youd got down to work when I told
scared? Would you take your mobile
you to, you wouldnt be in this mess Even a quick scan reveals seven or eight phone with you?).
now. different ways of expressing conditions,
But theres more to this than just verb all of them common enough in contexts
choice and rules about sequence of like this one, and some of them In the next example, quite manageable
tenses. A more generous view of ways of structurally quite straightforward. The in an intermediate class, there is
expressing conditions can be picked up whole conversation revolves around potential for discussion to emerge and
from study of a dialogue like this one conditions within the framework of an develop within a natural and whole
(you might like to try the task for informal negotiation between husband hypothetical context which will in itself
yourself): and wife. Yet the fixation with if be familiar to learners, especially
sentences alluded to above tends to teenagers.
squeeze out the teaching and learning of
Identify and comment on the items such as provided that, on condition
conditions expressed in this text. Turning points
that, as long as and suppose at
intermediate level, and to defer them Think of a turning point in your own life
Husband: We need to talk about our
until much later stages of learning and be ready to talk about it to your
holiday. Have you got a
that is if they are taught at all. The learners in the form of a personal
moment?
same applies to features such as the anecdote. Heres an example:
Wife: Well, if you could just wait a seemingly incomplete If you could just When I was 18 and was about to leave
moment ... wait a moment ... which is, in fact, a school, I went for a job interview with a
Husband: OK, I dont mind as long as perfectly complete and understandable cotton company in Liverpool. They
we can get the booking utterance of a type which is very wanted someone with a qualification in 

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 78 January 2012 21


ask a couple of volunteers to tell the

Holistic
and yet it is such a valuable hook for
class about their turning points, and learners to hold onto and work with.
reinforce this use of was going to.

grammar Ask them to keep their own stories in
mind and return to your own story in
this way:
Taking a meaning-based and holistic
view of areas of language like this helps

teaching 6 I often wonder where I would be now if I


had taken that job. Perhaps Id have
made a million. Maybe Id still be in
Ecuador. But Im really very happy that I
learners to think about how they can
find ways of expressing what they want
to express, rather than worrying them
constantly about rule-based accuracy.
 Spanish to join their team in Ecuador. I
became a teacher. English, especially in its spoken form,
got the job and I was all ready to go. I
remains a very badly-behaved language,
went home and told my mum I was Then turn to your volunteers and ask
and raising learners awareness of ways
going to work in South America. She them to speculate in the same way,
in which people communicate is a very
was upset but said If thats what you helping them as necessary to express
important element in the process of
really want to do .... Later, my dad these purely hypothetical notions about
guided acquisition that will eventually
came home and when I told him the past and present. Finally, get them all
lead to fluency. ETp
news, he exploded. He told me I was back into pairs to share their What if ...
going to go to university, not South thoughts.
America, and Id better get used to the
Rod Bolitho is Academic
idea! Can you guess what I did? Director at Norwich
This activity is particularly suited to a Institute for Language
Theyll have no problem guessing! Now more mature class at intermediate level Education, UK.
or above. It makes a deep-level Previously, he spent 17
invite the learners to think back to a years at the University
turning point in their own lives connection between the use of was going College of St Mark and
(something they were going to do but to to express something incomplete or St John in Plymouth. His
most recent book is
which didnt happen) and to talk about unfulfilled, and the kinds of Trainer Development,
it in pairs. Stress that they should only hypothetical meaning usually expressed co-authored with Tony
Wright.
speak about something they feel through Type 3 conditionals. This
connection is not found in coursebooks rodbol44@yahoo.co.uk
comfortable with. After a few minutes,

ENGLISH TALKBACK!
Tprofessional
EACHING IT WORKS IN PRACTICE
Do you have ideas youd like to share
Do you have something to say about
an article in the current issue of ETp?
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with colleagues around the world? really like to hear from you.
Pavilion Publishing (Brighton) Ltd, Tips, techniques and activities; simple or Write to us or email:
PO Box 100, Chichester, sophisticated; well-tried or innovative;
West Sussex, PO18 8HD, UK something that has worked well for you? editor@etprofessional.com
Fax: +44 (0)1243 576456 All published contributions receive
Email: info@etprofessional.com a prize! Write to us or email: Reviewing for ETp
editor@etprofessional.com Would you like to review books or other
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Visit the ETp website!
The ETp website is packed with practical Writing for ETp looking for people who are interested in
writing reviews for us. Please email
tips, advice, resources, information and Would you like to write for ETp?
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22 Issue 78 January 2012 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


TEACHING YOUNG LEARNERS 

VYLs
but more about critical thinking,
developing confidence (through drilling,
repetition and pronunciation activities)
and working on the basic skills needed
for future language development.


The point is that we should use English
to teach other things: rhymes, art, simple
Greg Davies considers the challenge of very young learners tasks, or even the motor skills needed to
and what to do about it. cut out shapes and glue them onto card,
etc. Done largely in English, this will
increase the VYLs exposure to the

T
eaching very young learners (VYLs) I firmly believe that VYLs gain significant
usually considered to be those benefits from learning English at the language. They will find classes fun and,
between three and five years of age youngest possible age. Early exposure to very importantly, they will not be
can be daunting when you consider the L2 allows them to become comfortable inhibited or frightened by L2. There is
power which you, the teacher, hold to with it, with the result that these students little probability that younger learners can
influence the lives of your young students. dont perceive the significant differences be taught to read and write in L2 when
Children under five can be a marvel to between L1 and L2 and the possible this hasnt yet been achieved in L1, but
teach because their minds are like sponges barriers to learning that older students exposure to L2 in other ways is critical.
and, as everything is new to this age group, can sometime feel and experience. You, the teacher, are very often the
you will have lots of fun with them. You Remember that what they remember or only opportunity for VYLs to hear and
can incorporate and experiment with forget is not as important as the fact that feel the language and this is why it is
classroom activities in a way that is not you are laying the foundations for a paramount that the English class is
possible with older students, and VYLs lifetime of confident learning. maintained in English, without L1
have an amazing energy that you will intervention.
rarely find in older children. The keys to success Jumping between one language and
Success with younger age groups is another will undoubtedly confuse the
The limitations dependent on the classroom teacher and children, so I recommend that you
However, when it comes to teaching the teaching strategy they adopt. We concentrate on fun activities which
English to VYLs, many teachers ask the need to be teaching younger learners involve other skills, using English
same question: How can I teach young about English, but this should be throughout the lesson. If the students
learners English when they still have interpreted as meaningful use of English. dont have a particular skill in their L1,
problems with their L1? In fact, research It is probably a complete waste of time then look for teaching strategies to
does suggest that it can be difficult to trying to teach younger learners about circumvent this, remain focused on plenty
teach students L2 when L1 is still being grammar, sentences, structures and of repetition, lots of engaging activities to
learnt and, clearly, there are limitations. possibly even writing, because they still develop chunking, and boost their general
VYLs have very young brains so teachers struggle with these things in their L1. confidence in using English. Additional
do need to treat this age group very The key to success here is exposure pronunciation activities will significantly
differently, recognising the limits of what to English through teaching language build the VYLs confidence for future
can be achieved and what is needed to chunks and set phrases by means of learning, which, after all, is the main
facilitate as much learning as possible. A activities such as songs, chants, games, objective of teaching this age group. ETp
simple example is that, even though VYLs dance, etc. Not only do these things
pick up target language very quickly, they provide good exposure to English, but Donaldson, M Childrens Minds Routledge
may also forget it with the same speed! they are also great fun for students. 1987
Teachers, therefore, not only need to Another point to note is that the Harmer, J The Practice of English Language
introduce new language, they need to appropriate selection of materials and Teaching Pearson 2007
incorporate a very large amount of re- coursebooks is essential. Books with
Greg Davies currently
cycling and repetition into their lessons. fictional, fairytale stories and lots of visual works for Pearson
This doesnt just mean drilling, it means content are hugely beneficial as they tend Education as an
academic consultant
combining the same language in a variety to focus not so much on grammar but based in Mexico City,
of activities so that the children can on phonics and they place an emphasis having previously taught
encounter it again and again. on high-frequency words. Once VYLs students of all levels in
his own language centre
Another problem is that VYLs cannot have mastered a few high-frequency in Tlaquepaque, Mexico.
comprehend abstract ideas. They need English words, their learning will proceed His interests include
mixed-ability classrooms
practical examples of language in use to at an accelerated pace as they can then and reflection.
be able to understand and reproduce it. build upon this knowledge. Teaching VYLs
gregdavies75@hotmail.com
However, despite the limitations, shouldnt be about grammatical accuracy,

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 78 January 2012 23


TEACHING YOUNG LEARNERS 

A grammar game
 The questions had to be complete
sentences.
 The questions had to be
grammatically correct.
Noise
Most of the learners enthusiastically
participated in the relaxed and stress-free
Yuvaraj Arokiyadas makes grammar teaching fun. atmosphere of the game. The noise level in
the classroom was rather high as they

G
rammar, though an important  They create a stress-free atmosphere were excited. Teachers of English in India,
aspect of any language, is often in the classroom. at all levels, are often expected to maintain
treated with contempt by  They ensure learner involvement, silence in the classroom. However,
learners at all levels and, at times, by motivation and participation. advocates of communicative language
teachers, too. Teaching the rules of a  They cater for mixed-ability classes. teaching believe that a silent classroom
language in the traditional way often fails  They create a meaningful context for is anathema to language learning, and the
to yield a positive outcome in young language use. noise generated in the classroom was a
learner classes in particular, as children  They can serve as a diagnostic tool small price to pay for the involvement
easily get distracted and bored. I should for the teacher. and motivation of the learners.
like here to explore the answers to the
Correction
following questions by sharing my Guess the celebrity
Some of the learners were keen to
experiences of using a language game to A grammar game
correct any errors that their team-mates
teach and practise grammar rules: Objective To revise the rules for
made. Though the intention was to
 Are there interesting ways to teach interrogative sentences.
Procedure
create a positive atmosphere, the game
grammar?
 Thirty young learners aged eight to did provide opportunities for peer
 Do grammar games provide authentic
nine were randomly assigned to six learning and incidental correction.
contexts for young learners to
learn/revise the rules? equal teams, labelled A to F. Outcome
 Do games sustain learner interest?  All the teams had ten minutes to The game provided ample opportunities
make a list of well-known celebrities. for the children to practise question forms
Fluency versus accuracy  Team A was then asked to tell the and they participated enthusiastically as it
I acted as a facilitator to improve the oral name of one of their celebrities to a induced a spirit of competition among
communicative ability of young learners member of Team B. them. The teacher had opportunities to get
in a private school in Chennai, India.  The other members of Team B then feedback on the teaching/learning process.
had to ask their team-mate questions Furthermore, although this was not
Activities to enhance oral skills were used
(up to a total of eight) in order to actually the object of the game, the
in the classroom and it was heartening
identify the celebrity. learners had an opportunity to brush up
to observe that most of the learners
 Similarly, Team B told the name of one
enthusiastically participated in these. on their general knowledge.
of their celebrities to a member of
However, in the course of these
activities, I observed that the majority of
Team C, and so on. 
 The game continued until all the teams
the learners had problems in framing had used up their celebrity names. Teaching young learners can be challenging
grammatically-correct sentences and as their attention span is much shorter
questions. Here are some examples: than that of adults. Using games that
 Is the birds flying? Guidelines sustain their interest can ensure learner
 Did he received the prize? It soon became apparent that the children participation and motivation. Of course,
 Did he became prime minister of India? were more interested in identifying the language games can also be used to cater
 Does he plays cricket? celebrities than framing questions with the to the needs of all learners, irrespective of
 What is his achievements? appropriate sentence construction. They their age, learning styles and strategies. ETp
 Did she won the gold medal? became so excited that they simply asked Yuvaraj Arokiyadas is
Though the major objective of the course one-word questions to their team-mates, an Assistant Professor
was to improve the childrens oral such as Male? Indian prime minister? Politics? at SSN College of
Engineering in Tamil Nadu,
communicative skills, the teachers felt a Sports? etc. Moreover, one of the challenges India. He has done
need to draw their attention to the errors in a mixed-ability classroom is that, in research on some
of the core pedagogical
they were making. We decided to use a group activities, some learners prefer to issues pertaining to the
game to teach and reinforce the rules. remain passive spectators. To combat these teaching of English to
young learners in mother-
problems, therefore, the learners were tongue-medium schools.
Why a game? given the following guidelines:
Here are some convincing arguments for  Every member of the team had to
yuvaraja@ssn.edu.in
using language-learning games: ask at least one question.

24 Issue 78 January 2012 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


V O C A B U L A R Y

Make it
meaningful
Maxine Mangat eve all heard about Make it a real lesson
integrates vocabulary
into her lessons and her
W scaffolding or schema
building, otherwise known
as building on prior
knowledge. However, it can be a challenge
to build meaningful opportunities for
plan!
In order to create a focus on vocabulary
acquisition, teachers need to integrate
vocabulary teaching concretely and
curriculum. vocabulary development into our lessons. directly into their lesson plans.
Lets consider adopting a new mentality Vocabulary has its place in every lesson
and some new methods for taking and can be organically pulled from the
vocabulary further in our teaching. By other skill areas covered in the lesson. A
actively creating building blocks for collaborative, student-centred approach
vocabulary acquisition in our lessons, works well, and ensuring that each
hopefully we can also provide direction student provides a word for a
and opportunities for real vocabulary collaborative wordlist makes them all
development in our students. accountable. Perhaps the students could
be asked to work on their collaborative
wordlist for the first ten minutes of the
Four skills? How about lesson every lesson; or maybe it could
nine skills? be set as a group homework assignment.
In order for the students to focus their In this way, vocabulary work can be
attention on vocabulary, the teacher must either the appetiser or the dessert course
do so as well. In fact, in order to give it to any lesson. Electronic (try
sufficient prominence in our lessons, I PowerPoint or Prezi) and hard-copy
believe we must consider it equal to any wordlists should include the following:
of the skills of reading, writing, Must-haves for wordlists:
listening and speaking. These traditional students name (so that if there is an
four skills dont take into account the error, you can find out which student
other skills necessary for language is accountable)
development, all of which require focus:
picture of the word (or a picture that
vocabulary; describes the word)
spelling;
translation of the word
grammar;
pronunciation; meaning
study skills. part of speech
By widening our focus as teachers, example
integrating all these skills into our daily suffix/prefix
teaching and sharing this new mentality pronunciation (through the phonemic
with our students, we can ensure that alphabet or, on an electronic wordlist,
everyone remains on target so that these with a sound clip so that the students
important elements dont get overlooked. can hear the word being pronounced) 

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 78 January 2012 25


Get online Learning about the authors voice in

Make it Trying to stay current?


Try a corpora-based idea. Go online
a creative writing class? Explain the
relevance of thoughtfully-chosen

meaningful and type in the following web address:


www.lextutor.ca. Dont be scared off by
the formatting; rather, take some time to
vocabulary.
Lessons that grow organically and
naturally encourage efficient vocabulary
 browse through Dr Tom Cobbs lifes work. growth.
Word power is student This corpora-based website for second
power language instructors and students can:

Increasing the focus on vocabulary also help you to build vocabulary lists and Often it is the new vocabulary which
means giving control to the students. quizzes based on your own materials; students acquire that makes them
Student-led qualitative and quantitative help you to assess text to decide on its conscious of the progress they are
vocabulary self-checks are great ways to level of difficulty (based on the making in their language development.
keep the students in the drivers seat. Try vocabulary within it); Taking our vocabulary activities further
one of these options in your classroom: in our lessons will foster the students
help you to assess student work based
intrinsic motivation that feeling of
PowerPoint wordlists on the vocabulary used in it;
self-motivation that encourages them to
Are your students using a graded reader? provide support for the reading keep on going with their learning.
Have them write a PowerPoint slide with materials in your curriculum. One recommendation would be to
the wordlist must-haves given above for
start a small vocabulary group among
each word they learn while reading. Get
the whole class to share their lists! Efficiency is the spice interested teachers at your institution.
Meeting monthly or quarterly over a
Alternatively, each student can hand their of life coffee and sharing new activities that
wordlist in as part of their final project. Most teachers and students complain work is a great way not only to remind an
Vocabulary ice-breaker that there isnt enough time to learn instructor that vocabulary is one of the
Running out of ice-breaker ideas to get everything on the curriculum. This nine skills, but also to ensure that your
your students motors running? often leads to a lack of focus on all nine creative and useful vocabulary-building
Start the lesson by writing a simple word skills outlined above. But in order for activities are taking it further. ETp
on the board, such as interesting. Have vocabulary study to be meaningful, it
cannot just be an add-on to a lesson Maxine would like to thank all of the members
the class shout out as many words as of Seneca Colleges English Language
they can that are close in meaning. or to the curriculum. It needs, instead, Institute for involving her in the Vocabulary
to be embedded in a complementary Interested Faculty Group and helping her
Suddenly interesting becomes amusing vocabulary pedagogy to emerge.
and so does your class. way into the activities already present in
the lesson and curriculum: Maxine Mangat has been
Vocabulary boot camp a passionate educator for
Doing pronunciation work? Use seven years and enjoys
Tired of editing your students work?
examples from the vocabulary learnt sharing her love of
Run a vocabulary peer-editing boot camp Volkswagens with her
in the unit. students. Having taught
with your class. Collect in their writing
Practising the past perfect? Take the ESL, EAP and TESL
assignments and distribute them domestically and abroad,
randomly around the class. Give the opportunity to review the she is currently the
pronunciation of -ed endings. Associate Chair of
students five minutes (or more, depending English and Liberal
on age and level) to read the text they Performing timed readings? Pull Studies at Seneca
College, Toronto, Canada.
receive and edit out boring or simple keywords from the text and add them
vocabulary with better suggestions. to your wordlists. maxinemangat@gmail.com

Writing for ETp Reviewing for ETp


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IN THE CLASSROOM

The wonder
of warmers
Alicia Artusi and Gregory Manin get their lessons off to a successful start.

n theory, always starting out your coursebook or other material you are

I
3 Brainteasers
lessons with a fast, fun, group- using: focus on a grammar point or
These are usually short, puzzling
building, attention-getting warm- vocabulary area dealt with in a previous
situations that students have to solve. If
up activity is a great idea. In lesson. So, for example, if you are
they are already written on the board
practice, there is homework to be studying past tenses, you could ask
when the students come into the
checked, several pages of the coursebook What did you do on Saturday? or
classroom, they get their attention
to get through, new homework to assign, What were you doing at six oclock
without you having to ask or beg for it!
projects to be discussed. In other words, yesterday? Then have the students ask
For example:
the everyday demands of the class make each other questions and report the
A man went to Paris and bought
doing any kind of extra activity look answers and/or get them to guess the
something expensive. He then went out
either impossible or simply a waste of answers you would give.
and gave it to a series of total strangers
valuable time. Both academic and personal
who, in turn, each handed it back to him.
But is it really an impossible goal, or relevance can be included in this kind of
What was it? (Answer: a camera)
could spending a few minutes of each quick activity, and it has the added
lesson on this kind of irrelevant benefit of being a natural, everyday use 4 Complete the sentence
activity make a big difference to how of a language that may otherwise seem
abstract and alien to your students. This is usually a drill-type activity
your classes function and progress? We
Even a quick quiz on irregular past found in workbooks, but it may look
certainly think so.
forms can act as a fun warmer if its different when used with riddles,
The reasons for doing a short warm-
presented as a game or contest. proverbs, aphorisms, and so on. These
up activity at the beginning of a
offer a good opportunity to put the
language class are simple:
students brains to work, teach them
to get students with limited language Ideas for quick about culture and check if they can
exposure to think in, or at least think warm-ups complete a sentence with grammatical
about, the target language; accuracy. For example:
1 Questions and answers
to focus the attention of the students; Write an incomplete aphorism on the
Name a topic (yesterday, nature, sport,
to encourage group cohesion among board, eg
music, etc) and either ask the students
students who have just come from a questions or have them ask each other, A conclusion is the place where
variety of pursuits and places; or you, questions about it. Train them ___________________.
to set a welcoming, positive and not to respond at all to incorrectly- (Answer: you got tired of thinking)
productive tone for the lesson. formed questions its a great challenge. Ask your students to work
Here are some points to keep in mind individually or in groups and to try to
2 Speculation
when choosing a warm-up: complete the idea.
Pose simple questions such as What do
Keep it short (510 minutes). you think I did yesterday? What am I After a minute, check the different
Keep it simple. going to do on Saturday? etc. Accept all answers, provide the answer you have
Make it relevant. correctly-formed statements, and reward and display some of the best
Make it enjoyable. a correct guess by making that student alternative answers from the students.
Warm-ups can easily be related to the the focus of the speculation. The same activity can be done with the

28 Issue 78 January 2012 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


blank at the beginning, and with a
proverb, eg
_______ is the mother of all wisdom.
(Answer: Experience)

5 Tongue twisters
Tongue twisters can be used as either a
warm-up or a cool-down activity.
Get the students to practise a tongue
twister for one minute.
Get them to say it to the class
individually or within smaller
groups if they feel embarrassed.
If you have a mobile phone or MP4
player with a recorder, you can record
the class repeating the tongue twister,
play it and finish the class with a
smile.
The following tongue twisters are good
for practising the /C/, /s/, /r/, /J/ and //
sounds, which are difficult for Latin
American students and those in some
other cultures:
the answer to the challenge correct, they teachers and also by some students, who
 /C/ and /s/ can enter the house. If not, they have to see it as a waste of time. But it is a fact
I can think of six thin things and of six keep on trying till they find a place to that students learn best when they are
thick things, too. stay. relaxed and happy. So, set a positive
tone. Acknowledge and encourage every
 /r/, /J/ and // 8
Around the rugged rocks the ragged
Find someone who ... student in the class. And give your
rascal ran. This is a good way to get your students students a reason to feel good every
walking around the classroom and time they enter your classroom. ETp
6 interacting with each other. Tasks you
Sticky ball
might set include: brainteasers:
Write several words that you want to http://brainden.com/
review on the board. Give each word  Find someone who
proverbs:
a value, for example 20 points for a likes your favourite colour. www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/
difficult one, 12 points for one that is was in the park yesterday. proverbs.html
easier. tongue twisters:
will celebrate his/her birthday this http://thinks.com/words/
The students take turns to throw a month. tonguetwisters.htm
sticky ball or a paper ball at the
PowerPoint templates and puzzles:
board, and they have to make a  www.englishmixsite.com
sentence using the word that they hit.
The sentences the students make Other simple, impromptu activities you
should all contribute to a short story. could use for warmers include
They win points for correct sentences. hangman, noughts and crosses, miming
and 20 questions. These are good for
7 Open the door practising vocabulary, and for any of
If you have access to a projector or an them you can use the wordlists included
interactive whiteboard, you can design in most coursebooks. A quick quiz or
some colourful PowerPoint templates to simple, real-life conversation can also
be used in different classes and with serve as a warm-up or cool-down
different purposes. In the example shown activity. We suggest keeping a list of
Alicia Artusi and Gregory Manin are teachers
here, there are a number of doors, behind proverbs, tongue twisters, riddles, puns, of English and material writers. They are the
each of which is a challenge (for example, aphorisms and brainteasers so that the authors of No Problem! and On Target (two
coursebook series for Spain), ECCE Result!
Give two synonyms for the word steal, material is ready whenever you need it. and Engage, all published by Oxford
Is this sentence correct: Ive been in this Some websites where you can find ideas University Press. They have created a free
class last year?). website for ESL/ELT teachers and students at
for many of these activities are listed www.englishmixsite.com.
Tell the students that they are all below. aliciartusi@gmail.com
looking for a place to stay. The have to In conclusion, it seems that
take turns to choose a door. If they get enjoyment is underrated by some gjmanin@gmail.com

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 78 January 2012 29


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LEARNER TRAINING students have changed. No longer are
teachers expected to control the whole
learning process and pass on knowledge

Helping
to passive recipient students. Nowadays,
the teacher is seen as a facilitator and a
guide who can help the students
towards their individual goals and
objectives, whilst the students, in turn,
must take responsibility for their
learning and their progression towards
their aims. The ultimate aim of

learners
language teaching should be to help
students learn how to learn and take
charge of their own learning.
This involves choosing materials
and evaluating them, organising a
schedule and seeking out learning
opportunities. It is being active rather
than reactive, and from a Constructivist
viewpoint it is seeking meaning from

to learn
the input received. Learner autonomy is
important because taking responsibility
for ones own learning leads to higher
motivation, which in turn leads to more
likely success in learning. This success
leads to confidence and further
increased motivation.

What is learner training


Claire Gibbs trains eachers daily meet students

her students to be more


independent.
T with a wide variety of needs,
goals and objectives. Students
come to class with different
expectations, motivations and, above
all, personalities. Some attend classes
and why is it needed?
Helping learners attain the conditions
necessary for autonomy through learner
training can be extremely beneficial.
Marion Williams and Robert
twice a week but do little work on the Burden define learner training as a way
language outside class, yet they are of teaching learners explicitly the
frustrated when they dont progress at techniques of learning a language, and an
the pace they would have hoped. Others awareness of how and when to use
have the determination to seek out strategies to enable them to become self-
every opportunity to develop their directed.
language skills but may not know the Autonomy requires certain things to
best way of going about this. Teachers be present: cognitive and metacognitive
can help encourage autonomy in their strategies (planning of studies and
students so that they can develop their analysis of language and its use,
language learning outside the classroom. respectively), motivation, knowledge
This brings benefits for both teachers about language learning, external
and students! support and a raised consciousness as
In this article, I will give a brief to the importance of being responsible
outline of the benefits of helping for ones own learning. Learner training
students become more autonomous (which could include explicit work on
through learner training and then all the above features except motivation)
suggest some activities that teachers can empowers the learner and can lead to
use in the classroom to do this. more successful language learning.
Research has shown that attributes
What is learner autonomy which successful learners have in
common include an awareness of
and why should it be possible differences between the L1 and
encouraged? the target language, being involved in
Since the onset of communicative the learning process, interest in
approaches to language teaching and expanding knowledge, and awareness of
learning, the roles of teachers and what is necessary to learn a language.

32 Issue 78 January 2012 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


What role can Ask the students to pick the two ideas Activity 2 Record of study
that they like most and to try these
computers play? first. They must report back in class Aim
Modern teaching benefits from access the following week. This will be the To help the students organise their
to a vast array of technology. This can start of keeping a record of study (see studies.
be used in the classroom by teachers, or Activity 2). Procedure
for self-access and study by students. Explain the importance of regular
There are many reasons why technology, Teachers answers study. Highlight the range of ways of
specifically computers, should be (suggestions only) studying as shown in Activity 1. Tell
incorporated into language learning. the students that by writing a plan
Firstly, it can be extremely motivating Things students can do outside class:
and reflecting afterwards on their
for the students. It gives a different Listening work, they can see their progress and
medium through which to work, adds  Watch English films. determine which study methods are
variety and can enable learners to make  Listen to English songs. most and least successful for them.
choices about the material and pace. It  Use the following websites:
is flexible and can be adapted to suit the Hand out the worksheet (see page 34,
www.eslhome.com
needs of individual students. In bottom). Tell the students that they
www.shambles.net/pages/learning/
addition, it can be interactive and give must complete this each week.
EnglishP/eslpodcast/
instant feedback. www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/ Each week, have a 20-minute
Most importantly, technology can learningenglish discussion between the students in
support autonomy as students select www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice pairs, in which they say how
and evaluate material. There are also
Speaking successful their study has been that
many ways in which computers can be
 Speak to other English speakers. week and the areas they particularly
used for self-study. Online newspapers,
enjoyed or didnt enjoy.
radio shows, podcasts, wikis, blogs and Writing
webquests are just some of the  Email other learners or English
possibilities. By taking advantage of the speakers. Activity 3 Webquest
vast range of computer-based material,  Become involved in online chats Aim
learners are using various strategies to in English. To expose the students to the wide
plan and execute their language learning  Write letters. variety of learning resources on the net.
and, at the same time, enhancing their  Keep a diary in English.
autonomy.  Write essays. Procedure
Explain to the students that the
Reading
  Read a newspaper or articles from
internet can be a great place to find
resources for studying English.
it (online or paper).
The following activities are ones that I Hand out the webquest (see page 35)
 Read graded readers.
have used with students of various and give them one week to complete
levels and which have given them ideas Pronunciation
all the tasks.
that they can adapt to suit their own  Listen to as much English as
personal needs and preferences. The possible.
Williams, M and Burden, R Psychology
activities can all be adapted to meet  Learn the phonemic script.
for Language Teachers CUP 1997
your own classroom situation and the  Record yourself speaking and
language can be graded to suit the level listen to your recordings. Claire Gibbs has been
of your students. Hopefully both you involved with ELT for
Grammar over ten years and has
and your learners will get some benefits!  Use your coursebook. lived and taught in
several countries,
 Do exercises in a grammar book. including Estonia, Japan
 Practise using new structures in and Australia. She is
Activity 1 Ways to study currently teaching in
your speech and writing. London, UK.
Aim
To make the students aware of the Vocabulary
many forms that self-study can take and  Write words on cards with the
to enable them to choose the ways that translation on the back. gibbsyc@gmail.com 
they would enjoy the most.  Write sentences with new words
in them.
Procedure
Hand out the worksheet (see page 34,
 Buy a good dictionary.
 Draw pictures and label them.
TALKBACK!
top) in class and tell the students to Do you have something to say about
General
brainstorm ideas together in pairs. an article in the current issue of ETp?
 Find a study buddy and practise
This is your magazine and we would
Elicit their ideas and write them on together.
really like to hear from you.
the board, adding any extra ideas  Take advantage of every Write to us or email:
from the Teachers answers box that opportunity to use your English. editor@etprofessional.com
they didnt think of.

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 78 January 2012 33


Helping learners to learn


Ways to study
Think of ways that you can study or improve in the areas shown in the table. An example of each has been done for you.

Listening Speaking
Listen to English radio (eg BBC World Service). Use Skype to make group calls.

Writing Reading
Start an online blog. Read magazines in your interest area.

Pronunciation Grammar
Use podcasts and repeat sentences. Do online grammar exercises.

Vocabulary General
Keep a vocabulary notebook. Keep a learning journal.

Record of study
Plan of study for the week beginning ...................................

Day Area of study Work done

Notes

34 Issue 78 January 2012 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


Helping learners to learn

Webquest

Grammar Which do you like the best?


Find some websites that offer online grammar exercises by Listen to a podcast from your favourite site.
doing a search for online grammar for esl students.
What was the subject?
Write the names of three different websites which have What did you learn?
exercises practising these structures:

the second conditional Speaking


................................................................................................................ Set up a Skype profile.
the past simple
Chat online to other classmates.
................................................................................................................
Skypecasts can just be listened to or you can join in
comparatives and superlatives and talk. Try one.
................................................................................................................
What was the subject of the Skypecast you heard/talked
Which website do you like best? on?

Vocabulary Pronunciation
Look at the following websites: Go to www.englishclub.com/pronunciation/index.htm.
www.englishclub.com/websites What are the rules for pronouncing the in English?
http://a4esl.org/q/h/vocabulary.html
Write a popular English tongue twister and practise
www.manythings.org/vocabulary
saying it.
Write down five new words that you learnt from one of
the sites.
Writing
Which site was it? Write an email in English to a friend.
Who did you write to?
Did you like this one best?
Go to www.englishclub.com. Look at the blogs, chats
and forums.
Reading
Find an online magazine on a subject you are interested in. Which would you like to write on most?

What is its name and what is the website address?


General
What is the topic of the website/magazine? Look at the following websites:
The Guardian website is www.guardian.co.uk. www.eslcafe.com
Find an article on it about your country. www.learnenglish.org.uk
http://a4esl.org/
Give a general summary of what the article is about.
www.manythings.org
Look at the following website: www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/
http://iteslj.org/links/ESL/Reading/
Which do you like the most?
Choose a link and read a story or article.
Write down three things that you used this website for
Which one did you choose? Why? Did you like it?
and that you would recommend to somebody else.

Listening
Look at the following websites:
www.eltpodcasts.com
www.podcastsinenglish.com
www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/multimedia/

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 78 January 2012 35


IT WORKS IN PRACTICE
Do you have an idea which you would like to contribute All the contributors to It Works in Practice get a prize!
to our It Works in Practice section? It might be We especially welcome joint entries from teachers
anything from an activity which you use in class to a working at the same institution. Why not get together
teaching technique that has worked for you. Send us with your colleagues to provide a whole It Works in
your contribution, by post using this form or by email Practice section of your ideas? We will publish a photo
to helena.gomm@pavpub.com. of you all.

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Return to: It Works in Practice Or email: helena.gomm@pavpub.com


English Teaching professional
P O Box 100
Chichester
West Sussex PO18 8HD
UK

36 Issue 78 January 2012 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


IT WORKS IN PRACTICE
More tested lessons, suggestions, tips and techniques which have all worked
for ETp readers. Try them out for yourself and then send us your own
contribution. Dont forget to include your postal address.
Both the contributors to It Works in Practice in this issue of ETp will receive
copies of the Macmillan Collocations Dictionary for Learners of English and
Macmillan Phrasal Verbs Plus. Macmillan have kindly agreed to be sponsors
of It Works in Practice for this year.

Use my word Poll position


Quite a number of students find Polls have been used in ELT for Here are ten lesson ideas:
making conversation is not an decades as a way to get students 1 Write a question on the board and ask
easy thing to do even in their talking and discussing. your students to vote and present a 30-
mother tongue, let alone a foreign Theyre great for starting off a class second comment.
language. As teachers, we often or finishing off a topic, and can 2 Tell the students the topic of the question
try to give them practice in this even be used as the basis for an and get them to guess the question itself.
skill and provide some hints for entire lesson. Polls basically involve
3 Put the students into groups, give each
maintaining conversations, such proposing a question, having a vote
group a series of questions and get them
as never answer just yes or no, ask and presenting comments/having a
to discuss each one.
questions, maintain eye contact, discussion. In class, you can play
around with these steps by putting 4 Give the class a choice of three questions
try to sound interested, etc.
the vote at the end of a discussion and ask them to decide which is the most
To make speaking activities more interesting and why.
or having an initial vote and then a
exciting, I often give each of my
discussion, or even having no vote 5 Write up one question and get the
students a different word before but just comments. You could also students to brainstorm the background to
the activity starts. They have to start with a broad discussion, vote it and why people might want to ask this
keep this word secret from their on a question and then discuss it question.
partner, but their task is to steer further. The options are endless,
6 Ask pairs of students to make their own
the conversation in such a way as almost.
to get their partner to use their questions and canvas the opinions of the
An interesting source of daily rest of the class.
word at least once during the
contemporary poll discussion ideas 7
conversation. If you want, you can Make a question at the end of the class
is www.sodahead.com, an online linked to the topic you have been
specify that they cannot say the
polling site where readers ask studying and elicit some opinions. Then
word themselves, but will score questions and then vote and add
points every time their partner put it on www.sodahead.com. For
comments. This site also has homework, ask the students to add their
uses it. slideshows and lets you make your comments and keep track of other
The choice of words is up to you: own poll and post it on the site. peoples.
they could be simple everyday Whats great about it is that
8 As in 7, but ask pairs of students to come
words or expressions, or ones that anything you put up can be voted
on and answered by anyone; the up with questions.
you want to revise with your
comments soon add up, so within a 9 Ask the students to create a slideshow of
students.
day youll have plenty of responses. important images related to their
This technique is great fun and Another good thing is that all the question and then put it on the site.
provides plenty of speaking questions are about topical US/UK 10 Get the students to canvas the opinions
practice as the students work hard stories, which will encourage the of their friends, family, host family or
to force their partners into saying students to read and watch the other teachers for homework and to
their words. news and understand the report back in the next lesson.
Nataliya Potapova importance of learning about Phil Wade
Uzhhorod, Ukraine culture alongside language. Bordeaux, France

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 78 January 2012 37


Over
the
wall ... Alan Maley invests
some time reading
about the mystery of
global finance.

he world of global economics, unmitigated growth. The books reviewed the less well off, and making greater

T banking and finance is a


mystery to most of us, full of
arcane terminology leverage,
derivatives, hedge funds, securitisation,
etc. Until recently, we stood in awe of
here examine these twin issues from
slightly different perspectives.

The Gods That Failed


This book, written by two journalists, is a
investment in education, technology and
infrastructure. But this is not so simple to
achieve. In the final chapter, they argue for
a New Populism based on the policies of
Roosevelt, old Labour and the European
those great minds who could navigate blistering indictment of the global financial social democratic parties. This would
this world with ease and assurance. Alas, system which started to collapse in 2008. entail imposing tighter controls on lending
the last few years have disabused us of The 12 gods of this system globalisation, and credit, splitting retail from corporate
this illusion. We realise that these communication, liberalisation, privatisation, finance, breaking large banks into smaller
politicians and financial wizards are as far competition, financialisation, speculation, ones, strictly regulating all derivative
out of their depth as we are. They have recklessness, greed, oligarchy, excess and products, instituting protection for top-
no clue what to do when the going gets arrogance are analysed and polemicised class industrial companies, increasing
rough except to cry for help from in the succeeding chapters. As the taxes on hedge funds and private equity
authors point out: It is an axiom of the and deregulating small firms and the self-
The world of global global order that there is never too much employed sector. What they dont
of anything; never too much growth, never question is the return to an economy
economics, banking driven by growth, something I, personally,
too much speculation, never too high a
and finance is a salary, never too many flights, never too believe to be unsustainable.
many cars, never too much trade. There
mystery to most of us The Storm
is detailed analysis of cases such as the
government. As the UK governments failure of the UK building society Northern A similar criticism must be levelled at Vince
Business Secretary Vince Cable remarks, Rock and the sub-prime mortgage Cables The Storm. He makes a detailed
no one fully understands what is debacle, and of the speculative and intellectually-challenging analysis of
happening or how the current drama will instruments like derivatives, which enable the current situation, covering issues such
play out. These little emperors now have financial wizards to maximise profit while as the Northern Rock crash, the collapse
iStockphoto.com / Steven Robertson

no clothes (though their personal bank passing the risk to others. And the of credit, peak oil, food and water
balances remain intact), while the rest of solution? They cite Stiglitz: What is shortage, the rise of new economies such
us are losing our shirts. Alongside this required is in some ways simple to as China and India, and the reactions to all
largely bubble economy, however, there describe: ... ceasing our current behaviour of this. His final chapter, The Future a
stalks the spectre of a real world of and doing exactly the opposite ... not Road Map, offers his solutions for the UK:
swiftly depleting resources and rapidly spending money we dont have, increasing cutting interest rates, government loans to
mounting problems with disposing of the taxes on the rich, reducing corporate big firms, the government spending its way
pollution created by the monster of welfare, strengthening the safety net for out of recession, quantitative easing (ie

38 Issue 78 January 2012 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


printing more money), nationalising banks, voices such as that of Larry Summers, surely have a responsibility for developing
more regulation of the financial sector, Obamas chief economic adviser: There critical awareness in our students, as well
separating retail from investment banking, are no limits to the carrying capacity of as teaching them language. In fact, the
etc. The book was published in 2009. Two earth that are likely to bind any time in two things can be powerfully combined,
years later, most of these solutions have the foreseeable future. There isnt a risk as some recent coursebooks have shown.
been tried and do not so far seem to be of an apocalypse due to global warming I close with a quote from Cormac
working. What is most concerning is his or anything else. The idea that we should McCarthys The Road, a bleak vision of a
touching belief in the free-market system put limits to growth because of some possible future if we do nothing:
and his wish to get back to growth, and natural limit is a profound error. This is On the far side of the river valley the
his almost contemptuous dismissal of so crass it is scarcely credible. road passed through a stark black burn.
any alternative view. He refers to anti- In the second two chapters, McKibben Charred and limbless trees stretching
globalisation protesters as a ragbag of examines possible survival strategies: away on every side. Ash moving over the
discontents and sees political and slowing down, making smaller, aiming for road and the sagging hands of black wire
economic liberalization as inexorable and maintenance not growth, localising strung from the blackened light poles
positive forces. He refers disparagingly to production especially agriculture, whining thinly in the wind. A burned
a reassertion of the Limits to Growth fostering bio- and agri-diversity, localising house in a clearing and beyond that a
thinking that flowered briefly in the 1970s. renewable energy generation, etc. (For stretch of meadowlands stark and grey ...
(In fact, most of the predictions made in the those interested in the precise details of Farther along were billboards advertising
Club of Rome report have come true; see how this might be done, see David motels. Everything was as it once had
Meadows, Randers and Meadows.) Only MacKays proposals in Sustainable been save faded and weathered. ETp
on the last two pages of the book does Energy Without the Hot Air.)
he briefly mention climate change and Cable, V The Storm: The World Economic
the elimination of hunger, poverty and Prosperity Without Crisis and What it Means Atlantic Books
disease. This myopic concentration on Growth 2009
global market-economy issues is deeply Elliott, L and Atkinson, D The Gods that
Tim Jacksons book takes these ideas Failed: How blind faith in markets has
worrying, especially since Cable is now a
forward, combining economic, ecological cost us our future The Bodley Head
government minister. The willingness to
and social perspectives. The book focuses 2008
sacrifice the planet on the altar of growth,
on the questions: What can prosperity Jackson, T Prosperity Without Growth:
and the unwillingness to consider its
possibly look like in a finite world, with Economics for a Finite Planet Earthscan
effects, is suicidal. As Seabrook reminds 2009
limited resources and a population
us: If the creation of wealth itself destroys McCarthy, C The Road Picador 2006
expected to exceed nine billion people
and wastes humanity, that wealth, however
within decades? Do we have a decent McKibben, B Eaarth: making a life on a
vast, will never suffice to repair the damage tough new planet St Martins Griffin 2010
vision for such a world? Is this vision
it has wrought.
credible in the face of the available See also:
evidence about ecological limits? How do MacKay, D J C Sustainable Energy
Eaarth we go about turning vision into reality? Without the Hot Air UIT 2008 (free
In Eaarth, Bill McKibben reminds us that download at www.withouthotair.com)
The book then closely analyses the factors
it may well already be too late. Its Meadows, D, Randers, J and Meadows,
involved, many of which overlap with those
apocalyptic vision is not, sadly, a work of D Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update
in the books above. Jacksons suggested Chelsea Green 2004
the creative imagination. It is all too real. solutions come under three headings:
While the economists and politicians Sandel, M BBC Reith Lectures
Fixing the limits reducing emissions, (www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/special
continue to focus on the chimera of global fostering green solutions; Fixing the reports/2009/06/090612.shtml) 2009
growth, this book spells out in stark terms economic model structural transition to Schumacher, E F Small is Beautiful: a
where we are heading. It focuses on low-carbon, labour-intensive activities, study of economics as if people mattered
building the kind of communities and financial and fiscal prudence; Changing Vintage 1973
economies that can withstand whats the social logic reducing working hours, Seabrook, J The Race for Riches
coming. The first two chapters lay out tackling structural inequality, measuring Marshall Pickering 1988
the problems: climate change, global capabilities for flourishing (life expectancy, Stiglitz, J Globalisation and its
warming, depleting fossil fuels and the participation in education and the Discontents Penguin 2002
effects on glaciers, disappearing rain community, etc), strengthening social
forests, loss of marine life, extreme capital and diminishing the culture of Alan Maley has worked in
destructive weather, lakes drying out, the area of ELT for over
consumerism (eg by media regulation). It 40 years in Yugoslavia,
drought, etc. McKibben claims that were is the authors focus on the social factors Ghana, Italy, France,
running Genesis backward, de-creating. China, India, the UK,
which gives this book its unique quality. Singapore and Thailand.
The earth we thought we knew is gone: all Like Fritz Schumacher, his attention is Since 2003 he has been
we can do is prepare for life on what is a freelance writer and
focused on re-defining what we mean by consultant. He has
left, and it will be tough. He argues that prosperity in terms other than GDP. published over 30 books
another burst of expansion will simply and numerous articles,
and was, until recently,
accelerate ecological and economic  Series Editor of the
collapse. The best we can do is to slow Oxford Resource Books
for Teachers.
down and manage our descent. And we These are worrying books, but the global
reality warrants worry! As teachers, we yelamoo@yahoo.co.uk
have to do this in the face of powerful

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 78 January 2012 39


LANGUAGE LOG

Im sorry, I havent a clue!


John Potts charts the intricacies and idiosyncrasies,
the contradictions and complications that make
the English language so fascinating for teachers and teaching.
In this issue, he discusses the way language ages.

ts a truism to say that languages never stand still and process can be traced in a dictionary which gives historical

I that they are constantly changing, with older uses and


meanings dying out and newer ones coming in. The
trouble is, how do we know whats in and whats out?
When does contemporary become old-fashioned or even
dated? Is one persons contemporary usage considered
examples and meanings, such as the Oxford English
Dictionary. A fascinating development is that sometimes
people know only the very new meaning of a word. In
Michael Quinions weekly email from his highly
recommended World Wide Words website
old-fashioned by another? (www.worldwidewords.org), I learnt about uragnosia.

Heres the item as it appeared there:

Slang and idiom are obvious examples, and ones that are The Feedback column in New Scientist has introduced me
perhaps relatively easy to deal with as they are, to a great to a newly coined word: uragnosia. It was created by
extent, date-stamped. Consequently, because we are Andrew Ross, who was responding to a query by another
aware that our slang and idiom may give away our age, we reader, Alastair Beaven. The latter wanted a term for a
adopt newer, more contemporary expressions, often taken person who knows a word only in a novel sense and not its
from TV and the internet. And we also know that these new original. The example he gave was of an interpreter in
expressions are themselves usually ephemeral theyll fade Afghanistan who knew about viruses in computers, but not
away with time, like yellowing newspapers. We may be about biological viruses. Andrew Ross generated his word
thinking outside the box and pushing the envelope today, from ur-, origin, plus Greek agnosia, ignorance (from
but we wont be in a few years time. Not unless we want to gnosis). So uragnosia means ignorance of origin.
sound square, daddy-o.

Grammar is equally subject to change. In 1964, the pop


But what about vocabulary and grammar? Last Christmas, I group The Honeycombs had a (UK) hit with Have I the right
asked my brother whether his wireless was now working to hold you? at a time when many (British) English speakers
properly at home, and my mum chipped in to say that her still routinely formed questions and negatives without do
father had had a wireless that had never worked very well when using have as a main verb. Not many would do so
either. (I was referring to my brothers wifi network; my today. However, the old form lingers on in some fixed
mother was talking about what most people now call a expressions many people who today would normally form
radio.) This phenomenon of a standard vocabulary item negatives and questions with the do auxiliary (I dont have
becoming superseded and replaced by a newer meaning enough time for hobbies, Do you have any idea what this
is widespread. Sometimes, an older, superseded word is means?) nevertheless sometimes still use the older form in
renamed in order to distinguish it from its usurper. Once phrases like I havent the faintest idea, Have you no
upon a time, all guitars were acoustic, so there was no need shame? etc. There is an American English example dating
to distinguish them from an electric guitar. All music was from the 1954 McCarthy anti-communist hearings (Have
once live; all watches were analogue; all trains were powered you no sense of decency, sir?), so clearly the form survived
by steam. These new-words-for-old-things (acoustic guitar, in the USA until the 50s. Recently, Johnson, the language
live music, steam train) are called retronyms. blog at the Economist, used the headline Have you no?
to neatly and wittily combine the old grammar form and the
now ubiquitous heart icon.
Other words gradually lose their original meaning and
adopt the new use, as in my wireless example. This

40 Issue 78 January 2012 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


LANGUAGE LOG Im sorry, I havent a clue!

Similarly, some speakers continue to form used to He ran hither and thither, trying to serve all the customers.
questions and negatives without the do auxiliary, as in Passengers are requested to tender the exact fare.
Used you to like him? (from a 1977 short story by the Irish I didnt meant to eavesdrop, but I couldnt help hearing ...
writer Jennifer Johnston) and I used not to be so impressed
Once-commonplace activities such as sailing and riding lie
with Bob Brookmeyer ... (Amazon.co.uk online reviewer,
behind these:
March 2010). These forms were much more common 30 or
I gave him a wide berth.
40 years ago, in British English at least.
He says that more changes are in the offing.
And many British speakers continue to use need as a true There are no hard and fast rules for this.
modal verb, in contrast to the semi-modal need to: If she Now that hes got the bit between his teeth theres no
wants help, she need only ask. You neednt come with me if stopping him.
youd rather not. Need I say more? Again, this old- If hes not careful, hes going to come a cropper.
fashioned modal may be on the wane certainly, North She gave free rein to her imagination and produced a
American speakers tend not to employ it. great story.

And, from weaving:


In many respects, dialect and idiom are the warp and weft
To return to the starting point, paradoxically some idioms of English literature, whether it be Coleridges and
and fixed expressions retain archaic and obsolete words Wordsworths Lyrical Ballads or Thomas Hardys Wessex
whose original meanings and references are largely chronicles. (The Guardian December 2009)
forgotten these days. Although we may not know what they
I suspect that if you asked native speakers what these
mean in their literal sense, we happily use them. Here are
expressions literally refer to, many would say Im sorry,
some examples: look them up from an etymological point
I havent a clue ...
of view, if you are curious:
John Potts is a teacher and teacher trainer
She succeeded by dint of all the effort she invested. based in Zrich, Switzerland. He has written
Shell be suitably rewarded for her work, as is meet and and co-written several adult coursebooks, and
is a CELTA assessor. He is also a presenter for
proper. Cambridge ESOL Examinations.
The vandals escaped scot-free.
As is his wont, he arrived 20 minutes after the meeting
started. johnpotts@swissonline.ch

COMPETITION RESULTS
12 3 22 26 13 6 26 19 18 23 16 13 3 Congratulations to all those readers who successfully completed our
P R O T E C T A N S W E R
13 18 22 3 22 19 1 19 19 Prize Crossword 48. The winners, who will each receive a copy of the
E N O R O A M A A Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced Learners, are:
22 15 13 3 20 13 19 3 21 22 7 3
O V E R H E A R B O Y R
12 3 10 2 10 11 19 18 26
M A Anscombe, Lymington, UK
P R I F I X A N T Thomas Checkfield, Atlanta, USA
24 22 15 10 18 17 24 7 17 18 13
L O V I N G L Y G N E Luigina Contarelli, Urbania, Italy
13 10 14 3 5 8 10 6 9 19 Donna Hutchins, Milan, Italy
E I D R Q U I C K A
8 12 4 19 25 25 10 24 1 Lydia Manners, Manchester, UK
U P J A Z Z I L M Maria Messano, Laveno Mombello, Italy
22 18 6 12 19 26 10 14 13 16
O N C P A T I D E W Sue Mitchell, Paris, France
24 19 12 19 18 23 7 3 26 22
L A P A N S Y R T O
Ian Paine, Guildford, UK
20 13 3 21 24 7 12 10 26 3 Eva Beverly Wong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
H E R B L Y P I T R
23 24 13 26 24 22 22 9
Catherine Young, Baden-Dttwil, Switzerland
S L E T L O O K
6 22 1 12 8 26 13 3 23 19 3 13 8
8 23 20 13 3 7 13 19 3 24 7
U S H E R Y E A R L Y C O M P U T E R S A R E U
23 13 24 13 23 23 26 20 13 7 6 19 18
S E L E S S T H E Y C A N
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 22 18 24 7 17 10 15 13 7 22 8 26
M F R J Q C Y U K I X P E O N L Y G I V E Y O U T
14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 20 13 19 18 23 16 13 3 23
D V W G N A H B O S L Z T H E A N S W E R S Pablo Picasso

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 78 January 2012 41


SCRAPBOOK Gems, titbits, puzzles, foibles, quirks, bits & pieces,
quotations, snippets, odds & ends,
what you will

Vicious and Wheels


virtuous circles In this digital ag
e, it would within wheels
ds , wh ee ls. Th ey are lia nc e on the
Circles, roun
n seen seem that our re
e circle is of te is diminishing:
everywhere. Th m bo ls hu m ble disc shape
rfection, so sy are no longer
as a symbol of pe ts , are cogs and gears
it, lik e ta ng en the time, and
that depart from ing of f necessary to tell
go rd
a sign of imperfe
ction. Th us ous spinning ha
th e pl ot (o r even the ubiquit
ns losin g s, be replac ed
at a tangent mea drive will, it seem
r on e ... ). Ou r view of en t solid state
finding anothe ha t by a sinisterly sil
ver, be som ew be able
circles can, howe You wont even
as Do n t re -in vent device. r is
he re mpu te
contradictory. W ee l ha s to hear if your co e
the wheel! implies
th at th e wh course, en if th
ev
n an d breathing ... Of ,
d perfe ct io tually sp inn ing
already achieve wheels arent ac
im pr ov ed on , going round wi ll still be relying on
cannot be
th is ca se , the machine
in circles sugges
ts that, in cuit is a word
id eal! circuitry and cir
e is fa r fro m m the circle!
the circular rout which derives fro

What is the cheapest type


of bicycle you can buy?
A penny-farthing.

Ive really had it with my dog:


hell chase anyone on a bicycle.
So what are you going to do leave him at the
dogs home? Give him away? Sell him?
No, nothing that drastic. I think Ill
just confiscate his bike.

My granny started cycling at the age of 97.


She has been doing ten miles per day and
now we dont know where in the world she is!

Grain geometry The wheels on my trolley made a horrible


scraping sound as I pushed it around the
supermarket. Nevertheless, when I had finished
Crop circles are circle
s (and sometimes comp my shopping and saw a woman looking for a
iStockphoto.com / Joze Pojbic / stocksnapper

arrangements of circle lex Q: What did


s and other geometric trolley, I offered it to her, saying, It makes an
shapes) found in ripe the farmer use
cornfields before harve awful noise, but it works.
They are made by flat st. to make crop
tening the corn in patte Thats OK, she said, taking it. I have a
and usually appear ov rns, circles?
ernight. There are ma husband at home just like that.
believe that they are ma ny who A: A protractor.
de mysteriously by alie
but others suspect the ns, A: Arent you wearing your wedding ring
culprits are not small
green and that they live or on the wrong finger?
very much on this pla
net B: Yes, I am. I married the wrong man.

42 Issue 78 January 2012 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


Circular
argument
Did you know that in the United States
the standard railway gauge (the distance
between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches?

Thats an exceedingly odd number. Why


was it chosen?

Because the US railways were built by


people who had emigrated from England
and thats the way they built them in Out of circulation
England. The unbroken circle
is a traditional symbo
ring symbolises eterna l of eternity, so the we
l love and, some sa dding
Why did the English people build them y, is an indication tha
wearer is no longer in t the
like that? circulation! Try our we
dding ring quiz.
1 Tradit
Because the first railway lines were built ionally, the British roy 3 When
al was the custom of ha
by the same people who had built the family have their wedd ving
ing a rin
rings made out of We g for both the bride and the
rails for horse-drawn trams, and thats the lsh gold groom first made popu
(famous for its purity lar?
gauge they used. ). How
many gold mines we a) the 1820s d) the 1940s
re
Why did they use that gauge then? operating in Wales at b) the 1890s
the end e) the 1960s
of the 20th century?
Because the people who built the c) the 1920s
tramways used the same jigs and tools a) none c) two
4 Betw
that they used for building horse-drawn b) one d) four een the 14th and 17th
wagons, which used that wheel spacing. centuries, rings often
carried
2 Wedd secret messages on
ing rings have at vario the inside
Why did the wagons use that odd wheel us
times been worn on: face. What were these
rings
spacing? called?
a) the right hand on
any
Well, if they tried to use any other spacing finger except the thumb a) regard rings
or
the wagons would break on some of the the little finger. b) posey rings
old, long-distance roads, because thats b) on either hand on c) pledge rings
any
the spacing of the old wheel ruts: the finger except the thumb
. d) gemmel rings
grooves in the road caused by the c) on either hand on

iStockphoto.com / Anton Balazh


any
passage of wheels over the centuries. finger, including the thu
mb. poesy, an old word for
poetry
d) on the left hand on ers of home 4 b) from
So who built those old rutted roads? any wanted them as remind
die rs in World War II
3 d) sol
finger except the thumb 1999 2 c)
. the last one closed in
The first long-distance roads in Europe Answers 1 a) none

were built by the Romans for the benefit


of their legions. The same roads have
been used ever since. And the ruts? The

s y o u r ro u n d
initial ruts, which everyone else had to
match for fear of destroying their wagons, It w hi ch two or more
voices sing
n in
were first made by Roman war chariots.
musical com
posi tio definitely),
A round is a co nt in ue repeating it in
Since the chariots were made for or by
me melody (a
nd may ent parts
ac tly th e sa er en t time so that differ
Imperial Rome they were all alike in the ex ing at a diff rtheless fit
voice beginn es, but neve
matter of wheel spacing. Thus, we have but with each the di ffer en t vo ic
ing,
y coincide in s of part sing
the answer to your original question. The of the melod is on e of th e easiest form lo ngs
together. It s, and it be
United States standard railway gauge of harmoniously ed be le ar nt by all part
line of melod
y ne voured in
4 feet, 8.5 inches derives from the original as only one nd s w er e particularly fa
ition. Rou gular drinking
!
musical trad nging with re
specification for an Imperial Roman army to a popular d am at eu r si
hich combine
war chariot! glee clubs, w

Scrapbook compiled by Ian Waring Green

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 78 January 2012 43


Reviews
pair of terms they are for example,
Being Creative: The challenge
Are you a dictionary or a novel?
of change in the classroom
Section C, the shortest of the three,
by Chaz Pugliese
discusses the creative challenge to
Delta Publishing 2009
teachers and offers advice on overcoming
978-1-905085-33-0
fear of change, of failure, of non-conformity
The book follows the Delta Teacher (and its consequences) and uncertainty.
Development Series format, with Section A small number of teacher development
A as a general introduction, Section B activities follow, focused on reflection on
offering classroom activities and Section teaching. I found this the least stimulating
C suggesting activities for the teacher to part. Most of the activities simply ask
develop further. teachers to think back on some
In Section A there is a useful and aspect of their learning or teaching
concise overview of the concept of career. It might have been better to invite
creativity and how it has evolved them to apply a heuristic process to their
historically, together with possible own practice. For example, Fanselows
applications to the classroom. The aim is famous Do the opposite. streets to bring language learning alive.
to achieve flow in classrooms: When I only noted one other, relatively At present there are four routes available:
everything flows, when the interaction is minor shortcoming, namely that the Camden (suitable for pre-intermediate
smooth we can talk about teaching in instructional rubrics are occasionally students), Soho (intermediate), South Bank
aesthetic terms that is, an experience unclear or ambiguous but this could (upper-intermediate) and Westminster
that results in a sensorial perception that easily be put right in a new edition. (advanced). They are designed around a
not only satisfies the teacher/artist, but I feel overwhelmingly positive about coursebook, which includes notes for the
also their audience/groups. When this this book. It is not simply a collection of teacher on how to run the tours, activities
happens, teaching ceases to be an action highly ingenious and creative activities. It and lessons, maps, student handouts,
and becomes an art. There follow is also a passionate plea for a change in transcripts and additional ideas. Some
suggestions for strategies to implement the way we view learning. As Pugliese courses also involve an interview task in
creativity as change: simplicity, says: Because I love teaching, finding a which the students talk to residents,
combinatorial creativity making new creative voice is the only way I know to visitors, market traders, etc. Subscribers
associations between previously avoid getting stuck in a rut. But more receive a pack of 16 customised audio
unconnected items play and risk taking. generally, the book challenges the way players with all four audio tours,
Section B is divided into three we have become institutionally headphones and the coursebook, plus
chapters. Chapter One, Classrooms, offers accustomed to doing things: the big training for teachers on the most effective
a wide variety of activities for making the pull is towards standardisation, exams, way to use the material is also provided.
classroom a creative space. The aim is to regimented syllabi, a senseless dont I attended an audio tour of
establish a positive atmosphere where rock the boat attitude intellectual Westminster, with a group of ten students
creative responses are actively encouraged shortsight that will do nobody a favour ... from Malvern House school. Their
through personalisation and sharing. Think how much better off we would be if teacher, Wil, had done some preparatory
Chapter Two, Resources, offers a public education opened itself more to work with them, and on the tube from
large number of activities drawing on creative collaboration with the students. Malvern House to Westminster, we were
music, song, art and expressive texts. I Yes indeed! Think about it, read the book, all given a handout of texts which the
found this the richest of the three and see how it could be done. students, working in groups, had
chapters. There is at least one innovative Alan Maley prepared in advance about three topics
idea on every page, often giving an Fordwich, UK related to the tour. They had chosen the
established idea a new and creative twist. Battle of Britain, Number 10 Downing
An example of this is the activity Story London Language Experience Street and the London Eye. We read
backwards, where one student in a group www.londonlanguageexperience.com these on the train as a warm-up exercise
re-tells a story starting from the end, while to get us in the mood for what we were
another re-tells it conventionally. Half way LLE is a company which offers audio about to see.
through, they change roles. walking tours of London designed for The tour itself started on the
Chapter Three focuses on Students language students. These tours are bought Embankment outside Westminster tube
their feelings, ideas, thinking skills, physical on a monthly subscription by language station and facing the London Eye. The
activity and reflections on the learning teaching institutions and can be audio players were synchronised, we all
process. Again, there are some highly incorporated into general English courses pressed Play at the same time and we
original activities, as well as familiar ones for long-term students or used as separate were off, guided every step of the way by
given an unfamiliar twist: Who Am I? week-long courses for short-term students. a series of ghosts. We began with
invites the students to choose which of a The tours take the students out on the Reggie Watlins, who led us along the

44 Issue 78 January 2012 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


Reviews
Embankment to the Battle of Britain Responses ranged from Most of it to
Memorial, where he gave a vivid About 60%. They had all clearly enjoyed
description of his life and death as a it and were eager now to produce their
bomber pilot in World War II. He was own tour, which would be recorded and
followed by Winston Churchill, who led us then tried out a few days later.
past the Ministry of Defence and a series LLE provides a service which is
of statues and monuments to Whitehall, clearly great fun for the students. There is
the Cenotaph and Number 10 Downing more than adequate support for teachers
Street, the official residence of the British who want to run these tours and, in the
Prime Minister. Another colourful character hands of a talented and creative teacher,
from British history, Guy Fawkes, the possibilities for further exploitation
celebrated for his attempt to blow up the are limitless.
Houses of Parliament and kill King James Helena Gomm
I, took over the narration here and swiftly West Meon, UK
found himself in a lively argument with
Queen Elizabeth I over religious
Teaching Spelling to English
persecution and the rights and wrongs of brought to light in accessible, lucid
Language Learners
their age. Queen Elizabeth then took us prose. Though the book predominantly
by Johanna Stirling
back down Whitehall to Parliament explores these systems using British
lulu.com 2011
Square, where the tour ended. All the English spelling patterns, there is
978-1-4476-0678-9
ghosts spoke very clearly (the impression comparison with North American English
of Winston Churchill was particularly When learners ask how they can improve spelling standards where relevant.
good) and their stories were enhanced by their spelling in English, many teachers The second section then reflects on
helpful and exciting sound effects. including myself have responded by how to bring this knowledge into your
Wil then handed out small maps of the advising them to do more extensive teaching practice, dipping into the
area with the outline of a further tour: one reading and to revisit their vocabulary potential quagmires of correcting and
which the students had to prepare and notebooks with regard to problem words. testing spelling. There are references to
record themselves. Each pair of students Teaching Spelling to English Language teaching spelling to users of English as a
was made responsible for one section of Learners attempts to enable teachers to first language, but the book remains
the route and they were sent off to take go further than this by providing us with solidly focused on the spelling challenges
photos on their mobile phones of anything the relevant knowledge and strategies for faced by ELT professionals.
interesting that they came across on their developing learners spelling. Self- The third section the activity bank
section of the route. Back at the school, published by Johanna Stirling (and and resources was, in this readers
they would research these things online available on Amazon), it is divided into opinion, weaker than the earlier two
and use the information to put together three sections. The first two deal with sections. Many of the activities are very
the commentary for their part of the tour. issues in spelling and the teaching of humanistic and some teachers may not
Before they left, I asked them how much spelling, and the third is an activity bank feel they can deploy these easily in their
of the recorded tour they had understood. of over 50 tasks, some with teaching contexts. Nonetheless, there are
related photocopiable resources. plenty of activities which will be able to
The first section will make it into a variety of classrooms,
fascinate any user of English though the coding scheme for denoting
who has ever been baffled by levels was confusing and easily
its seemingly complex and forgettable. As the book is likely intended
contradictory spelling for reference and dipping into, this was
characteristics. Beginning with an unfortunate, if minor, detraction.
a brief history of English Despite these reservations, this is a
spelling, the reader is taken on wonderfully useful addition to the ELT
a captivating adventure teachers bookshelf. For teachers who
through the systems which believe that having strategies and
inform English spelling today. resources is a better situation to be in
(Yes, that was a plural form, than leaving spelling competence to grow
as the book demonstrates organically and, in many cases, at a
that English spelling is not distance from your teaching input, this
underpinned by any single book on English spelling in the ELT
spelling system.) Usual context is a valuable purchase.
spelling suspects, as well as Peter Lyn
subtler spelling patterns, are Cambridge, UK

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 78 January 2012 45


R E A D I N G A widely-promoted answer to this
problem is extensive reading of graded
readers, or ER. Graded readers are being

No gain
advertised with increasing intensity by
publishers, by teachers who think they
have found a painless way of learning
English and, particularly, by teachers
who write graded readers in their spare
time. The argument runs thus:
1 These books are really interesting.

without
2 Therefore, as soon as you introduce
them to students, they will become
hooked on them, and get what is called
the reading habit (which sounds like
compulsive nail-biting).
3 This will induce them to read,
willingly, thousands of words, including
hundreds of repetitions of words and

pain
constructions at the right level for them.
As the stories are interesting, these
repetitions are meaningful, and will
therefore be retained in their memory.
In the words of a writer of a former
generation (Geoffrey Broughton) the
patterns of collocation and idiom are
established almost painlessly.
The subtext of these advertisements is
particularly attractive to administrators:
Peter Wells believes t is generally accepted that English 4 Because the students are learning

that the case for extensive


reading needs extensive
I coursebooks, and therefore most
courses, do not in themselves give
students sufficient exposure to the
language to ensure retention. A unit on
clothes, for example, might cause the
English swiftly and efficiently while
happily reading enjoyable stories, they
dont need so many lessons. Books are
cheaper than teachers or classrooms.
The logic of this train of thought is
re-examination.. students to use the words skirt and impeccable, but if any one of the
socks a dozen or so times, but in the rest premises is factually incorrect, the
of the book these words will probably conclusion is false. What if, for example,
not be recycled. They will, therefore, be the books are not interesting? In that
quickly forgotten. case, few students will get the habit.
Estimates of the required number of What is more, the many carefully-devised
meaningful repetitions of lexical items repetitions will be not meaningful, but
for effective retention vary, but hover meaningless, and therefore ineffective.
around 50. The figure for grammar is
harder to ascertain, but the answer is
definitely a lot. Interest and enjoyment
So the Holy Grail of ELT is to find Graded readers were first used in the
a method of exposing students, in Reading Method of learning English,
speaking, writing, listening or reading, associated with Michael West, the
to a large number of repetitions of new originator of the General Service Word
words or constructions. But they must List. However, it is not often
be meaningful repetitions. Drills, for appreciated that in Wests method the
example, offer many repetitions, but readers were not an extension or
they are generally unsuccessful because optional addition to the course; they
they are decontextualised and, therefore, were the course. Wests readers usually
meaningless. Movies, on the other hand, adaptations of classics were intended
offer linguistic items in meaningful to introduce vocabulary in the right
situations, but the number of repetitions order, based on the Word List, and
is inadequate, and many of the items consolidate it by carefully-paced
offered are too low-frequency for most repetition so that students in Bengal
students. could learn to read and write English

46 Issue 78 January 2012 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


without a native-speaking teacher to a poster for a film of the book, acting asked what they need or want from
help them. As such, the books some out a scene from it, etc. However, such their English classes, say speaking or
of which are still on library shelves activities, whether successful or not, are conversation, not reading. The English
today contain comprehension not extension programmes. They are of oral communication is very different
questions and writing exercises. just ordinary, integrated classroom from that of novels (even from direct
Proponents of graded readers also English lessons, plus homework. The speech in novels).
invoke Stephen Krashen, of original claim that students are
2 If they do need to learn to read,
Comprehensible Input Hypothesis fame. motivated to do extra work by reading
His approach to reading, called Free for pleasure has evaporated. what sort of reading do they
Voluntary Reading, has given rise to a need?
practice called Sustained, Silent Students of English may need to learn
Reading. SSR, which, ironically, is not
Volume and speed to read (depending on their overall aim)
voluntary, consists of a session in which A key emphasis in the modern approach advertisements, blogs, emails, forms,
all the students in a class are obliged to is volume. For example, according to Rob handouts, instruction manuals, leaflets,
read for about 15 minutes. However, Waring (www.robwaring.org), in order to letters, notes, notices, product
apart from being compulsory, SSR is encounter the 50th most common word descriptions, reference books, reports,
entirely different from the Reading in English, like, 50 times, and thus to signs, textbooks, web pages, and so on.
Method. Students can read whatever really learn it, students need to read Graded readers, however, are extended
they want and they dont have to finish 20,739 words, or about six elementary narratives, most of them fictitious, with
their selections. Also, they are not graded readers. The number of words a content whose main interest is
required to prove they have read their required for learning a new word by ER emotional. The skill of reading literary
books. There are no book reports, no rises rapidly as frequency levels fall. To narrative is quite simply the wrong
assignments and no grades. The idea encounter the 2000th most common word reading skill for nearly all our students.
(stumble) 50 times, students need to read Reading a story about two people
1,156,250 words, which would take about falling in love will not help a
Most students, 168 hours. Along with other practitioners, backpacker to answer the question
Waring recommends that elementary SEX? on an immigration form, or a
when asked what students read 34,000 words per week, gynaecologist to study the latest
intermediate students 12,00015,000 research in English. Reading novels
they need or want and advanced learners up to 50,000. might be regarded as a minor goal of
from their English Assuming reading speeds of 80100 learning a language, but never as a
words per minute, this is asking the major tool.
classes, say speaking students to read for between one hour a
week, at the lowest level, and eight 3 What is the place of the novel
or conversation, hours, at the highest. in your students culture?
not reading Most graded readers are based on novels,
Questions and or are novelistic in nature, and this
Western genre is alien to many cultures.
behind SSR is that the students will find
considerations Before you impose these books upon
that they enjoy reading so much that If your students are prepared to do this students from such cultures, consider
they voluntarily read even more books amount of homework, or voluntary how acceptable they are, and how much
outside school. work (and its a big if), should you use pre-teaching would be required.
Like the practitioners of SSR, this time for ER? Youve probably got
some graded readers in your institution 4 Even if their culture does have
modern proponents of ER have realised
that most students will not read and feel theyre a resource that should a tradition of writing novels, do
anything without compulsion, so they not be wasted. However, before you your students read them?
have developed a battery of devices to embark on an ER programme with your Out of all the possible language
ensure that the students do read. In students, I advise you to ask yourself activities you can give young people,
addition to, or instead of, compulsory the following questions: especially boys, reading a book is the
silent reading in class, they stipulate a one least likely to interest them, with
1 Do your students need
mandatory number of books to be read the possible exception of learning lists
in a given period for homework, chosen principally spoken or written of words. Reading novels is a solitary
from a restricted range of books English? and passive activity, which requires long
specially written for the purpose If the former, then there are many periods of concentration. Young people,
graded readers. They give rewards for online sites for listening (eg by contrast, are gregarious and active,
reading books, or sanctions for failing www.elllo.com) or even speaking (eg and tend to have short attention spans.
to read them, sometimes based on www.englishcentral.com) which would be So their reading of graded readers tends
quizzes (eg from www.xreading.com). a better use of their spare time than to be reluctant and desultory. In two
They also use oral or written book reading. This is assuming they have no recent surveys in my university, the
reports or worksheets, or exploit a access to native speakers of English, respondents (pre-intermediate, non-
range of fun activities such as writing which most students these days do have, English majors) placed reading library
letters to one of the characters, writing if only online. Most students, when books firmly at the bottom of a list of 

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 78 January 2012 47


No gain
readers in a surprisingly short time. The decisions are either boringly simple or
easiest ones can be read in a matter of incomprehensible and that you get very
minutes, and youll find you know quite little pleasure from the experience. You
a few more from your previous reading wont particularly want to know how

without or movie-watching.
An additional reason for reading
some of the books yourself is that, after
reading them, you may think again
the story ends, and you certainly wont
want to answer a quiz on it.
If you cant do this experiment,
imagine what it would be like to see a

pain about foisting them on your students.


You will find that the simplified classics
often contain errors, due to clumsy
omissions, and that all the features that
movie in black and white, with no
sound and the speech in subtitles. Or
just read the film script. Literature
devoid of literary features is just like
 possible English activities in terms of make literature interesting the voices cinema devoid of cinematic features.
how useful or enjoyable they were. of the characters, the style of the
8 What benefits can you
According to Nicky Hockly, people author, the atmosphere, the little
in Generation Y read eight books a significant details, nuances of feelings reasonably expect from the
year, as opposed to 2,300 web pages and and motivation, descriptions of peoples amount of ER you can
1,281 Facebook profiles. Very few young appearance and settings have been persuade your students to do?
people in any country voluntarily read expunged in the interest of brevity and If you ask an elementary class to read
classic or even modern novels. There simplicity. The stories lack cohesion and one elementary reader per week, as
are, these days, so many other coherence: Henry Widdowson once Waring recommends, after ten weeks
interesting things to do. If your students described them as not instances of your students will have read about
dont enjoy reading novels in their own genuine discourse but contrivances for 35,000 words. Going back to Warings
language, how can you possibly expect language learning. table, you will find that this gives them
them to enjoy reading them in a foreign As for original stories written to fit about 50 repetitions of the 100th most
language? the various student levels, while these common word in English (hear), and
Theres a serious danger that, by avoid some of the pitfalls of about ten of the 500th (present). So
forcing your students to read graded simplification, the restrictions on after six or seven hours of compulsory
readers, you might create a degree of expression caused by the elementary reading they should have learnt the
resentment, which could harm your linguistic level still apply. most common 100 words in the English
relationship with them and affect the Additionally, due to the need for language (which surely they knew
rest of your work with them. economies of scale, the content of these already), and will be beginning to learn
books has to be acceptable to people of some of the less common.
5 Do you yourself enjoy reading different ages and cultures, resulting in a This sort of gain is pretty minimal,
novels? nearly universal blandness and failure and it assumes they find the stories
Many ELT teachers, like me, come from to deal with issues that interest young interesting and read them alertly and
a background in English literature, but people, notably sex. Here, for example, enthusiastically, which many of them
others do not, and some of the latter are is an account of a weekend of carnal dont. Is there a better use of this
not lovers of literary fiction. They are passion from a graded reader in which homework time? Why not, for example,
perfectly entitled to hold this opinion, the sexy stranger, Dave, has lured Anna ask them to write for about 40 minutes
but they are not entitled, while holding away to London to have his evil way each week instead (say, a personal
it, to insist that their students read with her: journal)? (OK, I know. Youd have to
novels on the grounds that they are Anna enjoyed the weekend. They mark it.)
interesting. That would be hypocritical. arrived in London late on Friday evening
9 Do you have reliable evidence,
If, on the other hand, you love and stayed at a big hotel. On Saturday
literature, are you happy about forcing they went shopping and in the evening from published research or
your students to read the travesties of they went to a cinema. On Sunday they your own experience, that ER
novels found in most graded readers? went to a park. is the most effective extension
See the next question. Wow! Steamy stuff, eh? activity available to your
students?
6 Have you read any of your 7 Do you know what reading a The research evidence that ER is an
institutions graded readers graded reader is like for your effective tool of English teaching is
yourself? students? patchy and unreliable. David Hill, an
If you havent, your students will This is not the same question as the internationally famous supporter of
quickly spot that you know nothing preceding one, because you will read ER, recently admitted: What all we
about the books theyre reading, and graded readers in English as a native enthusiasts do desperately need is hard
this will demotivate them. If youre not speaker, at skimming speed. For the full evidence first that extensive reading
interested, why should they be? You will experience, you should try reading a benefits at least a proportion of students
be unable to advise them on their choice graded reader, as I did, in a foreign in improving their general proficiency, or
of reading or discuss with them what language you have tried to learn. You will one of a particular range of language
theyve read. Its quite easy to acquaint find that the characters do not come to skills. Unfortunately, this is very difficult
yourself with a large number of graded life, that the reasons for the protagonists to obtain.

48 Issue 78 January 2012 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


My own experience has not been original book in order to follow it. which all types of students can learn
encouraging. Coming from an L1- Another way to find the most English swiftly and painlessly, by reading
teaching background, I have readable and engaging books is to ask for pleasure, without the expense of a
enthusiastically pushed ER in Africa, your own students to grade them. This teacher or a classroom. There is no gain
Singapore, the Middle East and Japan. can be done on a class website or without pain. Few of our students are
But everywhere I have found the same classroom chart, or by sticking a sheet like T S Eliot who, we are told, learnt
listless and unproductive response to the into the front of each book and asking Italian by reading Dante. For most
texts. In a large-scale study in the late each reader to give their opinion of it. students, learning a language is hard
70s in Malawi, with 360 students over a I also have considerable sympathy work and requires constant skilled
one-year period, I found no correlation with the view of Britt Jepsen (ETp Issue supervision and direction. ETp
whatsoever between the amount of ER 70), who advocates the use of authentic
they had done and their success in materials, though of course these are not Broughton, G, Brumfit, G, Flavell, R, Hill,
external and internal examinations in accessible to elementary students. The P and Pincas, A Teaching English as a
English. This, presumably, is because language of such materials may not be Foreign Language (2nd ed) Routledge
1980
even if the students are interested in the controlled in the approved ER manner,
stories, their focus is maximally on but the content is usually incomparably Hill, D Extensive reading a way
forward Extensive Reading in Japan
content and only minimally on form. more interesting, and that must count Journal 2(2) 2010
Whenever a study claims to find for something (bear in mind that SSR
Hockly, N Five things you always wanted
significant gains from an ER allows students to read whatever they to know about blogs (but were afraid to
programme, you invariably find on like). It is probably the case that ER ask) English Teaching Professional 63
further examination that it was neither works better with more advanced 2009
an extension programme nor solely a students than with elementary ones, and Jepsen, B Carry on reading! English
reading one, but an integrated one. better with highly-motivated ones. Teaching Professional 70 2010
Therefore, it is impossible to say if the Widdowson, H G Teaching Language as
gains came from the reading or from  Communication OUP 1978
the writing and speaking activities
associated with it. In conclusion, if youre an enthusiastic Peter Wells studied
reader, have read all the graded readers English and Applied
It is not enough to show that students Linguistics at Durham and
who do a standard course plus voluntary in your library and have made sure that Manchester Universities,
theyre all of good quality, then, for UK. He has taught English
extensive reading make more progress and trained English
than those who just do the course. highly-motivated students at a fairly teachers in Africa,
advanced level ER might be one of a Singapore, Japan and
Students who are prepared to read books the Middle East. Beside
outside class without compulsion are range of activities you could offer them teacher training, he is
more highly motivated than their to increase their exposure to interested in discourse
analysis and the teaching
classmates, and therefore probably work comprehensible input. This is a far cry, of writing. He is now living
harder at all the activities. What is needed however, from the increasingly strident and working part-time in
York, UK.
to prove that ER works (or doesnt) is claims of publishers that by purchasing
ER libraries we can create a situation in peter_wells@hotmail.com
serious, large-scale, properly-conducted
research comparing the benefits of a
range of different extension activities,
including ER, done by students who
took the same basic course. So far as I ENGLISH
know, this has never been done.
10 If you still want to go ahead
Tprofessional
EACHING IT WORKS IN PRACTICE
Do you have ideas youd like to share
and use ER, do you know how with colleagues around the world?
to find the most interesting and Tips, techniques and activities; simple or
best quality graded readers? sophisticated; well-tried or innovative;
something that has worked well for you?
Some graded readers are better than
All published contributions receive
others. The Extensive Reading
a prize! Write to us or email:
Foundation (www.erfoundation.org) holds
annual competitions for the best new editor@etprofessional.com
graded readers. The 2008 winner in the
Adolescents and Adults Intermediate
category, for example, was Billy Elliot in ENGLISH TEACHING professional
TALKBACK!
the Penguin series. This book is quite a Do you have something to say about
Pavilion Publishing (Brighton) Ltd,
pleasure to read, and does, courageously, an article in the current issue of ETp?
PO Box 100, Chichester,
address the homosexuality of Billys This is your magazine and we would
friend Michael, as well as other issues West Sussex, PO18 8HD, UK really like to hear from you.
such as gender stereotyping. Unlike Fax: +44 (0)1243 576456 Write to us or email:
many simplified readers, you dont need Email: info@etprofessional.com editor@etprofessional.com
to have seen the movie or read the

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 78 January 2012 49


TEACHER DEVELOPMENT

Community spirit? Me?


Crystal Hurdle asserts her right to keep her thoughts to herself and shes not alone.

t an educational retreat, I discover and others to please stop talking and then feel about the dividend tax credit rate? Are

A that I am not a touchy-feely


person. Being invited to come to
the sharing circle and participate in the
to please shut up and then to just shut
up! But to no avail. When people talk too
much, I go silent, erroneously believing
you spiritually OK with that? I tell him to
join my healing circle and to help me with
the lyrics for our new group song about
lighting of the candle at its centre makes that giving up my turn will bring the the joys of group processing. Colleague
me want to vacate the premises. On the session to completion a bit sooner. As if. Sam says he will have to be dosed on
first night, we are all invited to say what Sometimes all 16 of us are called Ativan before he shares, or joins, a circle.
weve left behind to be here. Having been upon to share. One at a time. The emoting But were the exceptions, right?
briefly introduced to my room with its soon has the reek of damp cabbage. The
nun bed, not to mention the communal extroverts breathe it in as aromatherapy. Sally
bathrooms, I long to say jacuzzi tub, Friend Sally has been taking a workshop
but that would not be conducive to Wanda about finding your bliss. One suggestion
discussion, and I want to be a team player. My sister, Wanda, is involved, miles away, is to ask your parents what you were like as
at an educational retreat, too, specifically a baby or a toddler. Maybe I never learnt
All by myself a World Caf: a creative process for properly about sharing. Maybe I was an
The next morning, I take my plate, bowl, facilitating collaborative dialogue and the only child for too long before my sister
mug and glass off my tray and spread sharing of knowledge and ideas to create a came along. (Then whats her excuse?) Or
them out. May I join you? asks a voice, living network of conversation and action. maybe World Cafs and their ilk are just
but its a statement more than a question Its hype, written in the passive voice, with cheap and cheesy ways for employers to
or, if a question, a rhetorical one. This words such as ambience and, especially, get out of sending their employees on
happens again and again. The table, cross-fertilised, which seems another, much deserved vacations to Gay Paree,
reputedly for four, was already full with kinder word for bullshit, intrigues her as crowding them instead around faux French
my breakfast. My elbow now rests in much as it does me. She emails: World bistro tables to discuss increasingly lame
someone elses yoghurt, and somebody Cafs as group activities are the new rage, ideas as if they were manna from heaven?
drinks my water. Ah, community. Isnt this and Id rather be shot in the head.
what life and education have come to be After shes moved from table to table, 
about? And whats a poor, pitiful introvert each with its own issue or question, with I dont want to rain on anyones parade,
to do in a world of extroverts? What has the table host summarising the previous dowsing a lit candle in the process, but
become the role of thoughtful reflection in conversations, she writes: I dont give a its ironic that so little time is spent on
a world of shared feeling and blablablah? tiny rats ass about the mom who is solitary reflection. Is this payback for the
After breakfast, the conference is ripe breastfeeding and cant make her babys cognitive domain having been privileged
with feeling. Apparently, we learn through immunisation appointment on time because for too long? Now were mired in the
the cognitive, affective and psychomotor she has to take a bus and missed it because affective domain? Can you spare a share?
domains, but rarely do we get off our she discovered puke and poop on her sleeve. If a World Caf is implemented at my
chairs in the healing circle except to waddle Now, theres a convert! Now, thats university, Ill be the one at the bistro table
off for more food. I sit and steam, and its compassion! And why is she able to move for six, with all of my stuff (including
not the good steem of self-esteem, about physically from beyond the circle? preventative Ativan) spread out, marking
which I hear entirely too much. Versions of Whats with all the sharing? And my territory. The issue/question sheet
How do you feel? are asked repeatedly. My why is every idea, even a stupid one, will be left blank. If you want to see
current seven dwarves are Sleep-deprived, given credence? Is it because of something through a new lens, be
Disenchanted, Sluggish, Dopey, Resistant, blogging? Reality TV? The cult of empowered by your verbal diarrhoea or
Bitchy and Disbelieving. Others say celebrity? Everybodys 15 minutes of be self-actualised by sharing, sharing and
Replete, Energised, Happy, Joyful and fame has stretched to hours? sharing, ask to join me at your peril! ETp
just to mix parts of speech, thereby irking
the cognitive part of my brain that is still Brian and Sam Author of After Ted &
Sylvia: Poems (published
functioning Community, Creativity and Brian, my friend, a law professor, is by Rondsdale Press),
Sharing. Its as if their Disney movie has dismayed by the move towards group Crystal Hurdle teaches
creative writing and
been spliced with mine by David Lynch. processing in education. Specifically, he is English at Capilano
We talk (or rather, they talk and aghast at a faculty proposal to teach more University in North
Vancouver, Canada,
talk and I listen) about self-actualising, to the emotional and spiritual needs of where she lives without
authenticity, visualising. One man does its students. Did I mention he teaches arranging her chairs in
a circle.
so in a soporific monotone that has me corporate tax law? He formulates possible
nodding and not in agreement. I will him questions for his students: How do you churdle@capilanou.ca

50 Issue 78 January 2012 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


TEACHER DEVELOPMENT

Real
reflection 2
Simon Brown proposes that trainers make good use of trainee feedback.

ELTA trainers ask their reflections merit expression in a more

C trainees to reflect on
everything they do at every
stage of the course, not
simply because it is a requirement of the
award but because we instinctively know
When do we trainers
give ourselves the
time to consider what
structured, focused format with a
developmental aim in mind. Designing
a trainer feedback sheet should be fairly
simple as it is bound to mirror what we
ask our trainees to reflect upon.
that reflection is an integral part of the worked, what wed Consider the following examples of
developmental process. After each what you could include on such a sheet:
lesson they teach, we hand them a change and what wed
How did this course compare to the
formatted reflection sheet and ask them like to discuss? previous one(s)?
to commit their immediate thoughts to
paper. We ask them for a general gut How did your input sessions go?
reaction, we ask them to reflect on daunting set of criteria, culminating in
a balanced, reflective, overall grading of What input sessions are you a little
what worked and what didnt work, how
themselves. Again, this is a necessary bored with?
they would change the lesson, what they
feel they need to work on and what and important process, which helps us What input sessions havent you
points they would like to raise with the to assess their own self-awareness. We delivered yet?
tutor in group feedback. These also give them an assignment Lessons
from the classroom and ask them to What would you change / How would
reflections vary greatly in terms of
reflect upon the whole experience of you develop the sessions that you
detail and reveal to us how self-aware
teaching and observing. As much as the ran?
the trainee is. I can think of several
occasions when these hot reflections CELTA award is about assimilation and What would you change / How would
have swayed a final decision on the implementation, it is about reflection. you develop the feedback you gave?
grading of a lesson, whether it be a
What would you change / How would
sway upwards or downwards. We then Reflection goes both you develop the tutorials you gave?
ask the trainees to fill out a further
delayed, or cold reflection on the ways Were there any challenging trainees
lesson, armed with the tutors official So, when do we trainers officially on the course and how did you deal
feedback and notes taken during the reflect? When do we sit down and with them? / What have you learnt
group feedback. commit our own reflections to paper? from them?
We ask them to go through pages 12 When do we give ourselves the time to
What points would you like to raise
to 17 of CELTA 5, the official consider what worked, what wed
with the team / head of TT / main
Cambridge ESOL document which change and what wed like to discuss?
course tutor?
narrates and records the progress of the While we may have many
trainee. These pages guide the trainees private/internal thoughts about the The final reflection we ask our trainees
through a self-assessment procedure at points above, and while we may make a to do is to give feedback on the course
the halfway point of the course, few passing comments to a fellow itself. A typical course feedback sheet
requiring them to reflect upon a trainer, it seems to me that these will ask them to comment on the

52 Issue 78 January 2012 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


TEACHER DEVELOPMENT

administration, the facilities, the 3 I felt there was a lot of dead time and how that can seriously affect
delivery and the content. Essentially, we around the teaching practice. The morale and motivation.
are asking them to reflect on our school discussion in the preceding hour Number 10 suggests that the trainee
and on us. often completely left out a lot of has failed to assimilate and appreciate
And what do we do with these final the group, as did the post-lesson the progress toward autonomy.
reflections after weve bathed in the glory feedback.
of how supportive and professional we Numbers 2 and 3 create an
4 It would be useful to get feedback impression that the trainer was not
are and after weve laughed at some of
the surreal suggestions they have made on our lesson plans the day before promoting and maintaining a solid
(one trainee on a recent course suggested the teaching practice session. group dynamic in which the highs
that we should do input sessions in the 5 Conflicting advice was given by and lows were dealt with collectively.
style of famous people ranging from different tutors, so I was marked Numbers 5 and 9 appear to criticise
Graham Norton to Lady Ga Ga)? We down by one when implementing the teamwork of the trainers and,
file them and forget them. the suggestions of another. while this is almost an inevitable
And what about the negative 6 and I would argue a desirable
I would appreciate clearer
comments they make about us from hazard, we do consistently need to
definitions of what is expected
time to time? Do we petulantly dismiss reassure the trainees that we are
from us at each stage of the course.
them? Do we internalise them and feel singing from the same hymn sheet.
deflated for a few hours? Do they 7 Teachers and colleagues should not
be scared to point out teachers Numbers 6 and 13 are two of the
prevent us from going for that end-of-
weaknesses during the feedback most frequently expressed comments,
course drink? Are all the comments
stage; its not very helpful to focus and over the years we have tried
forgotten when Monday morning comes
only on what the teacher did well. different ways to make general
and we find ourselves back in the
expectations and specific gradings
classroom or starting another CELTA 8 It would be useful to see a more transparent. My personal
course? All of the above certainly ring professional teacher giving feeling is that the system you adopt
bells with me and I have been guilty of correction. should be made clear to the whole
all of them from time to time.
9 We noticed the other two tutors group at the beginning of the course
involved up until 1.15 and until and that the written feedback of the
Mirror, mirror on the 5.30, whereas we often stopped by trainer on the teaching practice will
wall ... 12.30 and 5.00. be the ultimate guiding light. (We
10 Perhaps more detailed guidance need to encourage our trainees to
While moving premises last summer, I read what we write, rather than just
packed up a particularly dusty file could have been offered before
look to see which box weve ticked.)
which contained over 200 feedback teaching practice in the last week.
sheets and I decided to go through them 11 If X could be a little less direct and Number 8 is one of those comments
all again, just to remind myself of how which can too easily be dismissed as a
Y could be more so, theyd be
supportive and professional we had trainee hallucination, but correction is
perfect.
been. There were, however, one or two one of the techniques which trainees
12 To be told that some people arent always seem slow and reticent to
little ego dents along the way and I
meant to be teachers was not very adopt, so perhaps this should be one
decided to make a note of all of these,
motivational. I cried a lot. of our modelling priorities in our
with the intention of running some kind
of developmental workshop for the 13 It would have been helpful to have demonstration lesson on day one of
trainers here. This has not yet a clearer system of grades for the course.
happened. The comments below are all lessons. For me, number 15 is the most
genuine comments from CELTA 14 How about teaching a lesson from frustrating and the saddest comment
trainees, and they are presented to ring someone elses plan? on the list. I wonder how this
some bells and hopefully create obligatory final lesson went? ETp
15 Why did I have to teach grammar
discussion within the CELTA training Simon Brown has taught
community. They are, above all else, in my last lesson? in France, Spain and the
intended for the aforementioned UK, and he is now a
freelance teacher,
community to reflect on. Reflecting on the CELTA tutor/trainer and
assessor. He is
1 Being told that your lesson plan reflections interested in the welfare
and motivation of CELTA
isnt going to work approximately I am not suggesting that any of the candidates as they
one hour before you teach is not progress through their
above comments have prescriptive intensive training, and is
helpful as it simply causes panic. solutions, but I am suggesting that they an enthusiastic
advocate of teachers as
2 I felt a little uncomfortable when are all pertinent and worthy of debate. humanists rather than
my Not to standard lesson was linguistic technicians.
Numbers 1 and 12 clearly point the
discussed by the group. snickolas2002@yahoo.co.uk
finger at the language the trainer uses

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 78 January 2012 53


T E C H N O L O G Y

The battle of
the boards
Sarn Rich defends the f, like many ETp readers, you have screens on these things can be any

interactive nature of the


non-interactive board.
I little access to an interactive
whiteboard, or if, like most
teachers worldwide, you have never
even seen one, you might envy the lucky
few who have these devices installed in
colour you like. Here is a better name,
to distinguish it from the traditional
MUB (Multi-User Board): SUB
(Single-User Board) or DUB (Dual-
User Board) for the latest versions. This
every classroom. Please dont. would reflect how limited it is when it
My objection to these things is not comes to how many people can actually
that they occasionally break down (they write or draw on it at the same time.
may, but will do so less often as the Often we worry about TTT (Teacher
technology improves), or that some Talking Time) and try to cut down to
teachers find the technology daunting make more space for our students to
(they might at first, but really it is not speak. Should we not also address TWT
that difficult to master), or that they are (Teacher Writing Time) and make more
so expensive. Of course, they are opportunities for our students to write?
horribly expensive but perhaps this, The more we hand over the boardwork
perversely, is one of the attractions. I to students simultaneously writing, the
know of a language school which,
having lost a lucrative teacher-training
contract because they were told they Interactive has a nice
had no interactive whiteboards,
seriously considered investing in one for buzz about it, but ought
a display classroom, purely to impress
agents and potential clients with this
not the thing that gives
ostentatious display of wealth. us a buzz be interacting
No, the objection in this article is
that the traditional board (black or students, not teachers
white) which the IWB is supposed to interacting with bits
supersede is in ways that really matter
better. of technology?
Before explaining why, let me begin
with a grumble about the name:
Interactive White Board. (After all, if more practice they get. When issuing
any professionals ought to question the timetables and books at the beginning
names given to products by those that of a course, perhaps we should issue
want to sell them to us, it is surely those chalk or board markers to our students,
of us involved in language!) Interactive too? Enthusiasts for the new boards are
has a nice buzz about it, but ought not apparently excited that they can invite a
the thing that gives us a buzz be student to the front and hand over the
interacting students, not teachers pen, but at a traditional board,
interacting with bits of technology? depending on its size, you can have any
And White is strangely modest: the number of learners working at once.

54 Issue 78 January 2012 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


In defence of democracy their own time and in their own way. defile with anything but a finished
And does the use of exciting product), a refuge for the amateur, an
According to advocates for the new multimodal displays really do much asylum from sterile slickness, a space for
technology, you can bring democracy to more than desperately drag the learners learners to present themselves and to
the classroom by allowing all the attention toward the screen, when what approach others in designs and doodles,
students at once to pick options on we ought to be doing is to encourage writing and drawing, announcements
electronic voting devices, and have their (or allow) them to pay attention to each and murals, messages and mess. A
responses displayed in colourful, other? And not just each other: with its computerised board can be these things,
computer-generated graphs. The internet links and webcams, the screen with a bit of thought and a bit of time
democratic ideal is thus reduced to may be a window onto the real world and a bit of know-how (Tom Waltons
occasional permission to choose from a out there, but surely we have the real blog is well worth looking at for ideas:
restricted range of options. Admittedly, world right here. If a students eyes are http://blogs.ihes.com/tech-elt/), but the
it might be argued that political wandering toward the window or a traditional board demands little more
democracy amounts to little more than friends doodles or the clock on the than willingness to let it happen. You
this in practice (a point made by the wall, lets make a resource of the world dont even have to turn it on!
graffiti which sometimes appears during outside the window, the doodles and
national elections, consisting of a short whats on the walls. 
row of crosses and the tag: Here is your
lifetimes supply of democracy), but Admittedly I am not keen on either
surely in our lessons we can aspire to a Does the use of chalk dust or board marker fumes (but
deeper notion of democracy than this? then the rumble of a computerised
Far from being deeply democratic or exciting multimodal board digesting its electricity supply can
participatory, the pedagogic model for
the computerised board is of a (no displays really do much be pretty irritating, too), and it is true
that SUBs have some handy features if
doubt benevolent) dictatorship, or a more than desperately you want a big stopwatch, for example,
priesthood, with its miracles flashes, or to find your place quickly in a
spotlights and zooms to entrance the drag the learners coursebook listening exercise. But if we
flock, perhaps with a selected student to
hold the sacramental pen and assist at
attention toward want to maximise our students
individual engagement and interaction
the ceremony, all slickly and seamlessly the screen? with each other, they are very little help
presented. There is a serious point here at all. Meanwhile, they can pose a
for teachers who want their learners to menace: the pressure, once they have
engage critically with how ideas are This is another reason to rename been installed, to make use of them,
delivered and to take ownership of the this device a SUB. It is a SUBstitute for more to justify the financial investment
learning process. The slicker and more the world (and that includes our (or perhaps to impress an observer
seamless we make these things, the less students) immediately at hand. Perhaps sitting at the back of the room with a
accessible their inner workings become it also substitutes superficial sensory tickbox for use of technology) than for
to scrutiny, the less confident our stimulation for depth of thought and the actual good of the learners.
students may feel about subjecting them individual reflection (an illuminated No doubt there are teachers who
to critique, and the more we screen does not make for illuminated make excellent, impressive use of the
circumscribe their questions and learners). It SUBverts a valuable lesson SUB, just as there are teachers whose
engagement. from communicative language teaching: use of the MUB is limited or inefficient.
of the benefits of learning by doing; But, however impressive the benefits
instead, it encourages reverting to
In defence of the real teaching by showing. It leads
appear to be of having our boards
digitally enhanced, we must always
world technologically forwards and beware of being digitally bedazzled.
Of course, unthinking technophobia is methodologically backwards.
no more desirable than uncritical On page 56 you will find a list of 12
techno-enthusiasm. We should not, for activities which I believe the old board
In defence of the does better. ETp
example, simply scorn the opportunity
to display relevant, interesting texts or students
websites. But we should be aware of And what about the traditional board? Sarn Rich taught in a
dozen countries in Asia
how teaching tools incline us to teach. At its best it is everyones, not just the and Europe before
Whole class heads up concentration on teachers. It is a communal noticeboard, settling in the UK, where
he now teaches and
what is on the screen, for instance, helps a graffiti wall, a canvas for collaborative learns about language
teachers to see who is paying attention artwork, a background for a collage, a and learning from
colleagues and students
and to control and synchronise part of the classroom carnival, an at Canterbury Christ
everyones reading of the material, but invitation to take the limelight or to Church University, and
from his family at home.
compared with books, photocopies or share an insight, a huge slab of scrap
computer monitors handled individually paper for drafting thoughts and work in
or in pairs offers less encouragement progress (not an intimidating piece of
to students to engage and respond in perfection that it seems blasphemous to sarn.rich@canterbury.ac.uk

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 78 January 2012 55


In defence of the old board
A dozen activities which the old board does better

1 Collecting names Tell everyone they will have to write them, you or the coursebook on
Mark off a column on either side of the words of a particular kind (for example, whatever topic youre working on).
board, and get one student to write the body parts, personality adjectives, past Listen in and write up on the board
names of half their classmates in one simple verbs, etc). On your signal, they some things you overhear (A few
column, and another student to write the run to the board, write a word, pass the people think that cats are cruel. Karel
rest of the names in the other. This is marker/chalk to the person behind and could only marry a cat-lover. Dogs
good for practising basic questions dash to the back of their line. The next seem quite popular in this class, for
(Whats your name? How do you spell person runs to the board, writes a word, example, if the topic is pets). Bring the
it?) and the pronunciation of letters, and passes the marker back, and so on, until mingle to a close and get the students
for working out instructions (E, not I! L you signal the end of the race. to add more comments to the board,
before A, not after A), as well as for Whichever team has the most different based on what they have discussed.
learning names. It works best with words wins.
10 Drawing to revise vocabulary
minimal teacher involvement.
6 Work for early finishers and spelling
2 Studentstudent dictation While the class are working on an Divide the class into two teams, each
Get some students to write two or three exercise, write up several similar with one writer, who stands by the
sentences each (all different) on the questions on the board. The first three or board, and one artist, who stands next
board, dictated simultaneously by their four students to complete the exercise to you. Whisper a word to the artists,
classmates. If they have just done an can come to the board and write their who run to the board and elicit the
exercise involving ten sentences (for answers to these extra questions. They word from their team mates only by
example), divide the board into three, can be checked by the rest of the class drawing pictures (they may not speak
and get three students to write up once everyone has finished the exercise. or write). Their team mates shout their
sentences 13, 46 and 79. Whoever suggestions to the writers, who each
7 Reporting on classmates try to be first to write the word,
finishes their batch first can do number
10. This is good for listening, speaking Divide the board into a grid with every correctly spelt, on the board.
and spelling practice, and useful for box labelled with the name of a student
in the class. Hand out several board 11 Collaborative labelling
getting answers up on the board in order
to check homework or classwork. markers/pieces of chalk and get Brainstorm a large number of
everyone to write up a sentence about a vocabulary items on the board
3 Deductions from pictures classmate, and then to pass on the (preferably written up by several
Give each student a word to read in marker to another student. When all the students), then get the students to
secret and to draw a picture of on the boxes on the board are full, everyone label the items with symbols or letters
board, within a strict ten-second time can sit, and you can all read and discuss to indicate what they know or feel
limit. When everyone has drawn and and/or correct what has been written. about them. For example, the items
signed their name by their picture, put (This is a good follow-on from activities could all be food, labelled sweet,
the students into pairs and get them to in which students have been telling each crunchy, delicious, etc; nouns
discuss what they think the pictures other about themselves.) (abstract, countable, formal ); animals
represent, using adverbs or modal verbs (dangerous, beautiful, four-legged ).
8 Discussion write-up The students check the labels
(Maybe Alis picture is a house. No, it
must be a car its got wheels. Could it After pairs or small groups of students together, and question and/or justify
be a bus?) have been discussing a topic or them. This is useful for consolidating
brainstorming vocabulary for a while, vocabulary, distinguishing between fact
4 Listening race appoint two or three students to go and opinion and degrees of certainty,
Write words or phrases on the board and round separately gathering ideas and to and for discussion.
give different coloured markers/chalk to write them up on the board together, for
everyone to look at and check and 12 Up to the learners
several students, who race to circle the
words as they hear them (in a song or in consider as a class. For example, they If you have a mid-lesson break, or the
a recorded conversation, for example). might collect arguments for and against students are still in the classroom after
Whoever circles the most is the winner. a proposition, or verbs, nouns and the end of the lesson, hand everyone
adjectives to use in writing a story, or some chalk or a board marker before
5 Writing race words which feature specific phonemes you go. You never know what you
Divide the class into two or three teams, might find on your return, but you may
9 Post-mingle write-up well find something on the board worth
each lined up facing the board. Give
markers to the students at the head of Get the students up and mingling, asking seeing, reading or knowing, or
their teams (those closest to the board). and discussing questions (devised by something to learn or teach from.

56 Issue 78 January 2012 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


Webwatcher
Web Russell Stannard
celebrates the connected classroom.

thought it might be interesting to look at an actual lesson Part seven

I which formed part of a series of experiments we have been


recently doing at the University of Warwick, UK. The focus of
these experiments is on using technology to get the students
speaking more outside class and several of the techniques we
have tried out have been very successful.
All 25 students made recordings. I listened to them and made
notes in Word for each student, explaining any mistakes they
had made with grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. I sent
the feedback directly back to the students.

Part eight
A while back, I mentioned a tool called MailVU. It allows you
In the next lesson, I played two of the best recordings and talked
to make video emails, so instead of simply writing an email, you
about why they were so good, focusing on the elements I liked best.
can record yourself speaking using a webcam and then send the
message. MailVU lets you make recordings of up to ten minutes 
and it is very easy to use; in fact, it only takes three clicks to
make a recording and send it. What is even more impressive is This was a very successful activity. Follow-up questionnaires
that the service is free! indicated that the students liked it a lot and realised they could
make further recordings in their own time to improve their speaking.
Events in my life Some of the students explained that they had made the recording
several times before sending it in other words, they had spent 30
The lesson was with a group of 25 Japanese students.
or 40 minutes speaking and practising to get their recordings right
Part one and this is exactly what I was hoping for. The great thing about this
I started the lesson by drawing the following timeline on the board idea is that it can be used for so many different scenarios and the
and explaining that it showed some important dates in my life: technology is incredibly easy to use. Students pick it up in minutes
and they will probably find uses for it outside the ELT classroom.
1979 1983 1986 1988 1993 1997 1999 2000 2008 2009 2010 Some might even see that they can use this tool as a way of
developing and keeping a record of their fluency development.
I began to talk about some of the dates, explaining what
Other scenarios you could use it with might include the following:
happened and telling the story behind each event. This lasted
for about ten minutes. (When you put up a timeline, you can add talking about a best friend
a few notes under each date if you want to give the students a holding up an object to the screen and describing it
few clues as to what happened on that particular date. This is talking about their typical day
especially good if you are going to get the students to ask describing a great holiday or day out they have had
questions about the dates, rather than simply talk about them.) talking about future plans and ambitions for the future.

Part two The key point here is that, for activities like this to be successful,
I then put the students into groups and asked them to talk about we need to connect what we do in the classroom with the
the dates and what they had understood from my talk. As they speaking activity we want the students to do at home.
did this, I moved around the class, listening and taking notes. The more you prepare your students for the speaking activity,
the better they will do the recordings at home. Some teachers
Part three have likened the idea to a task-based approach to teaching: the
I then gave some feedback to the students about mistakes with goal is to get the students to record something at home and send
grammar and vocabulary that I had heard, and we talked a little it to the teacher, so there is a task for the students to achieve. I
about describing events in our lives and any verbs and adverbs particularly like these types of activities as they get the students
that might be useful. speaking and using technology outside the class. This may not
be a lesson that you can do at the moment if you are limited by
Part four
internet access or the level of computer penetration in your
I then asked the students to draw their own timelines. I
country, but keep it in mind as in the future an opportunity to try
encouraged them to add lots of events, such as starting a
something like this will probably be available to you. ETp
certain course or school, meeting friends, holidays, travelling,
important social events, etc. I told them to add one or two notes
to each date to help them explain them. For help on using MailVU, go to:
www.teachertrainingvideos.com/mailVu/index.html
Part five
I then put the students in pairs and asked them to explain their Russell Stannard is a Principal Lecturer in ICT at the
timelines. Again, I moved around the class, listening and taking University of Warwick, UK, where he teaches on the
MA in ELT. He won the Times Higher Education
notes. Award for Outstanding Initiatives in Information and
Communications Technology in 2008, TEFLnet Site
Part six of the Year in 2009 and a 2010 British Council ELTon
I then told the students that for homework they had to go onto award, all for his popular website
www.teachertrainingvideos.com.
MailVU (MailVU.com) and record themselves talking about their
timelines. I showed them how to do this and explained that they Keep sending your favourite sites to Russell:
russellstannard@btinternet.com
should send their finished recordings to me.

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 78 January 2012 57


T E C H N O L O G Y
In this series, Nicky Hockly
explains aspects of technology
Five things you always wanted to know about
which some people may be

crowdsourcing
(but were afraid to ask)
embarrassed to confess that
they dont really understand. In
this article, she explains how
you can source the crowd.

So the trick is to get the right crowd to I didnt set up my PLN overnight. Its an
1 Ive heard of outsourcing but
crowdsourcing? input into your issue more on this below. ongoing project which has lasted several
years and is a permanent and significant
The term crowdsourcing first appeared in
a Wired magazine article in 2006
(www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.06/ 4 What does crowdsourcing have
to do with language teaching?
part of my continual professional
development. For you to ask the right
crowd, youll first need to find it by
crowds.html). The concept is, indeed, Nothing on the surface. But think about
similar to outsourcing, and means putting it: collaboration, aided by technology, is setting up your own PLN. Below are
out a public call (to the crowd) in order increasingly the way we work. Many of some resources to get you started with
to find solutions to an issue. Think of it as our (younger) students are already using that. Good luck!
a crowd brainstorm. The advent of Web their networks on Twitter or Facebook to
2.0 collaborative technologies has made work on or share answers to school and How English language teachers
crowdsourcing a lot easier, and has given university assignments (see the Visitors and can go with the Twitter flow,
birth to crowdsourced collaborative Residents project from Oxford University a recent Guardian Weekly
projects like Wikipedia, where the general for more on this: http://bit.ly/q9H7ZE). As newspaper article by fellow
public (the crowd) have contributed to teachers, we are no longer limited to just ETp writer Russell Stannard:
the largest encyclopedia in history. swapping ideas and activities in the http://bit.ly/ngchcO
staffroom. We can now go online and
An official Facebook for
bounce ideas off colleagues from all over
2 Can you give me more
examples of crowdsourcing? the world via online teacher discussion
groups, or via our own PLNs (Personal
Educators site with guides
and tips:
Crowdsourcing has been used in politics: http://facebookforeducators.org/
for example, in 2010 the British Learning Networks) on Facebook,
Google+ or Twitter. Google+ for Educators:
government asked its citizens for
http://bit.ly/njThOH
suggestions of outmoded laws to be
repealed. It has been used in business:
after the disastrous BP Gulf of Mexico oil 5 But how can crowdsourcing
help me?
See also my article on PLNs in
ETp Issue 69.
spill in 2010, suggestions for how to stop Let me share an example: for this article I
the spill were solicited from the general decided to crowdsource a topic that you
Nicky Hockly has been
public after BPs first efforts failed. Its might be interested in if you are a regular involved in EFL teaching and
reader of this column. I asked my own teacher training since 1987.
used in science: if youre an astronomy She is Director of Pedagogy
fan scanning the skies for new astral PLN to contribute one tip for teachers of The Consultants-E, an
about using technology in the classroom. online teacher training and
bodies, you can add any findings to a development consultancy.
public database. Its used in computing: The response was overwhelming. Youll She is co-author of Teaching
find these crowdsourced tips on my blog Online (DELTA Publishing),
open-source software such as Moodle or which was nominated for a
the Linux operating system were at www.emoderationskills.com/?p=629. 2011 British Council ELTon
To get this great list of tips together, I had award. She maintains a blog at
developed by a crowd of interested geeks. www.emoderationskills.com.
to ask the right crowd: namely tech-
Contact Nicky at nicky.hockly@theconsultants-e.com and
savvy experienced language teachers.
3 So its just collaboration under
another name, right? Well, I have lots of these in my PLN.
let her know of any other ICT areas youd like her to
explore in this series.

Er, yes. In fact, Jimmy Swales, the


founder of Wikipedia, dislikes the term
Visit the ETp website!
crowdsourcing, and points out that not
everyone is equipped to offer solutions or
ENGLISH The ETp website is packed with practical
input on all topics. A certain degree of
expertise may be needed to solve certain
Tprofessional
EACHING tips, advice, resources, information and
selected articles. You can submit tips
issues (such as the BP oil spill) or to or articles, renew your subscription
provide meaningful input on a certain This is your magazine. or simply browse the features.
topic (such as a quantum physics We want to hear from you! www.etprofessional.com
Wikipedia entry).

58 Issue 78 January 2012 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


In this column Rose Senior explains why certain teaching techniques and
class management strategies are effective, and identifies specific issues that can assist
all language teachers in improving the quality of their teaching.

RICE on the menu


n this article I present four principles that and put on their ordinary person masks Olympic gold medallist from another country, a

I language teachers should keep in mind


as they go about their daily teaching:
Rapport, Inclusivity, Connectedness and
Engagement. The acronym RICE is easy to
remember because, being the staple diet of
from time to time. There are myriad ways
that teachers can maintain rapport with their
classes, ranging from smiling and making
spontaneous, appreciative responses when
individuals say or do unexpected things to
teacher might bring the topic closer to home
by eliciting from the students knowledge about
key national sports or local sporting heroes.
When teaching in their students home
countries, language teachers can seek to
millions of people around the world, rice is a apologising to the class when they forget select materials, topics and tasks that are
commonly-known foodstuff. It also reminds something or make an error. relevant to local contexts and that reflect
us that, just as its successful cultivation in Related to the principle of rapport is that current areas of interest. By so doing, they are
traditional rice-based economies is based of Inclusivity: keeping in mind that all classes implementing the principle of connectedness:
on the allocation of water resources for the are composed of students with individual ensuring that their students readily connect
mutual benefit of the whole community, so linguistic strengths and weaknesses, with the overall content of the lesson.
successful teaching depends combined with unique personalities, The final RICE principle is that of
on creating classroom It is easy for teachers backgrounds and personal Engagement: providing classes with the
environments in which all to notice high-ability, circumstances. Teaching is such a opportunity to be actively engaged in the
class members (including the complex, all-consuming business learning process. The notion of engagement
teacher) are able to flourish. extrovert students that it is easy for teachers to notice reflects the third part of Confucius dictum: I
The first RICE principle is that of high-ability, extrovert students and to ignore hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do
Rapport: teachers developing an open, the quieter ones. Teachers whose behaviour and I understand. There are countless ways
trusting and empathetic relationship with is governed by the principle of inclusivity seek of encouraging student engagement. At one
their classes. Although some teachers ways of drawing low-profile students more end of the spectrum there are speaking
believe that children and young adults need fully into the collective learning experience: activities, such as information-gap tasks,
to be treated in strict, unbending ways, showing that they value their contributions by roleplays and communication games, that
increasing numbers realise that this displaying their work, ensuring that they have involve and enliven students as they seek to
approach is unsustainable: once students the opportunity to answer questions, and so get their message across, while at the other
are alienated and the battle-lines are drawn, on. Inclusive teachers also foreground low- end there are activities and tasks that involve
teaching becomes far more of a struggle. In profile students when the opportunity arises: students at a more reflective, cognitive level.
contrast, once rapport has been established, inviting them to share with the class a These include hands-on activities, such as
a critical mass of students within the class personal circumstance (that of being a twin, shifting word cards around to create different
starts to behave in responsive, learning- for example, prior to the class categories, or making word
oriented ways. As a result, peripheral class reading a passage about twins). There are countless maps to signify understanding
members influenced by the behaviour of Teachers guided by the principle ways of encouraging of a text. Even doing routine
the main group start to behave more of inclusivity also behave tasks in different ways, such as
responsively, too. Even though classes may generously towards problematic student engagement having the students shut their
contain individuals who persist in pursuing students: regarding every student as a clean eyes and try to recall what is on the page,
their own agendas, once they sense that slate at the start of each lesson and ensuring can make learning more engaging and,
the majority of the class is on-side, that they give praise where it is warranted. therefore, more memorable.
teachers become more relaxed, teach more The third principle, the principle of Each of these principles relates to the
enthusiastically and pay less attention to Connectedness, reflects a key understanding notion of class-centred teaching: a concept
the behaviour of wayward individuals. from cognitive psychology: people learn best which helps teachers keep in mind that
The beginning of each new course when they can relate what they are learning to classes are communities of learners, whose
provides a golden opportunity for teachers to their personal experience, knowledge or success depends on the degree to which
start off on the right foot with their classes. worldview. There are many ways in which individuals function collaboratively for the
To initiate the development of rapport, astute language teachers can help students mutual benefit of everyone. ETp
teachers need to show their students that make connections between their learning and
they are human: revealing snippets of themselves. When focusing on a linguistic
information about themselves, such as their structure such as the second conditional, for
enthusiasms or phobias. As a famous example, a teacher might ask the class to Rose Senior is a language teacher educator
educational psychologist once said, teachers write sentences on what they would do if they who runs workshops and presents at
conferences around the world.
need to be prepared to come out from had a million dollars to spend in any way they
rsenior@iinet.net.au
behind their conventional teacher masks liked. If a class is reading a passage about an

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 78 January 2012 59


Prize crossword 51
ETp presents the fifty-first in our series To solve the puzzle, find which letter each number represents. You can keep a record
of prize crosswords. Send your entry in the boxes below. The definitions of the words in the puzzle are given, but not in the
(completed crossword grid and right order. When you have finished, you will be able to read the quotation.
quotation), not forgetting to include your
VERY FREQUENT WORDS FREQUENT WORDS
full name, postal address and telephone number, to Prize
*** Like most people or things of the same ** An amount of something
crossword 51, English Teaching professional, Pavilion kind ** To make the body well again,
Publishing (Brighton) Ltd, PO Box 100, Chichester, *** Indefinite article used before nouns that particularly after an injury
West Sussex, PO18 8HD, UK. Ten correct entries will be begin with a vowel (in two places) ** To risk money by saying what you
drawn from a hat on 10 March 2012 and the senders *** A place where people sell goods on stalls think will happen
will each receive a copy of the second edition of the *** ___ Bertrams Hotel (novel by Agatha ** An object for a child to play with
Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced Learners, Christie) FAIRLY FREQUENT WORDS
applauded for its unique red star system showing the *** A small amount * Poisonous or harmful
frequency of the 7,500 most common words in English *** To give money in order to buy something * An extremely unpleasant and often
*** A single unit of written or spoken long-lasting experience
(www.macmillandictionary.com).
language LESS FREQUENT WORDS
*** __ You Love Me? (hit song by The A soft fruit with purple or green skin
8 12 17 15 25 2 4 23 25 12 24 10 22 Contours) and many small seeds
*** A level of quality or achievement, All the people in your family
22 25 19 23 12 3 9 17 16
D especially one that people consider normal Not changed or influenced by
16 25 26 22 16 25 12 17 13 25 or acceptable something
*** ___ Crooked Vultures (rock group) To check someones character or
16 9 8 22 5 14 13 25 15 22 5 *** Who you are, or what your name is reputation to see if they are suitable for
13 23 17 26 19 2 9 10 18 2
*** The science of the management of a job
money The yellow part of an egg
25 5 16 25 22 7 25 2 22 *** To move or travel to somewhere else Something said or done to make
*** ___ the Beach is an apocalyptic novel people laugh
12 12 23 24 2 25 17 22 2 10 2
by Nevil Shute. (in two places) A small bed for a child
9 6 6 12 13 10 12 2 11 12 10 *** The part of something that is furthest An old word used to tell someone to
from its centre look at something
6 17 6 17 6 22 14
*** Information kept about something that An expression used to show surprise
1 25 24 2 22 26 9 5 22 26 26 9 2 has happened or incomprehension
*** ___ Country for Old Men (film by the Full of energy and enthusiasm,
26 5 17 2 9 12 9 Coen brothers) particularly in matters of politics or religion
24 2 12 5 16 12 17 16 10 9 13 20
*** The final part of a period of time A police officer involved in drug-related
*** Rather cold, often in a pleasant way crime
25 9 5 25 13 9 22 *** The part of something that is furthest The organs of animals that are eaten
O from the sides or ends You feel this when you think you are
25 16 14 25 26 12 5 5 12 17 26
*** To make a choice about something going to vomit
19 21 25 12 13 9 23 24 5 *** Paintings, drawings or sculptures Something that doesnt happen very
*** ___ Kill a Mockingbird (novel by often
Harper Lee) Severe and rigid economy
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
O *** A long time ___ in a galaxy far, far To move suddenly in a jerky and
14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 away (Star Wars) uncontrolled way
D *** Near the beginning of a period of time Southwest (abbreviation)
An informal greeting used for attracting
25 26 9 5 9 8 22 26 24 22 24 25 20 2 17 25 8 25 13 10 23 attention
24 25 6 23 13 12 24 12 6 9 17 8 9 6 25 8 11 13 9
Well known and representative of a
John particular idea
10 8 25 5 2 6 9 17 25 26 9 5 9 8 22 24 2 24 Kenneth To move around and talk to different
Galbraith people at a social event

60 Issue 78 January 2012 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com