Buy a megaphone: Non-discriminatory language is not enough by Karin Krummenacher

TEFL Equity Advocates

Do you believe in primal scream therapy? I am not going to lie to you: It had not been a great day before I set foot into the weirdly medievally furnished meeting room that would be the backdrop of scenes that made me want to scream. Feeling like King Arthur, waiting for the other parties to arrive I had no idea I was only half an hour away from considering buying a pillow just so I could scream into it to release my frustration.

Spoiler: I did not buy that pillow. I postponed my tantrum to the privacy of my own home, as decent postmodern humans do. And now I write about it on the internet. As postmodern humans do.

Back to the meeting room. The interviewers have arrived. Now listen to this:

Roberta: You come highly recommended by the person who used to teach this course. Do you have…

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Learning Myths vs. Learning Facts

The Effortful Educator

*The following article originally posted on the American Psychological Association’s Psych Learning Curve website on July 17, 2017: 

http://psychlearningcurve.org/learning-myths-vs-learning-facts/

Unless you’ve been under a rock, avoiding the most infamous jargon of education, you’ve heard the term ‘learning styles’. It has become quite the buzzword in the last decade or so and is almost said with a cringe today. In what can be described as a neuromyth, learning styles have taken a beating by recent research and should be laid to rest with other famous falsehoods of psychology and education. Shockingly enough, though, its proliferation still exists.

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Guest Post: Aleksandra Grabowska Reflects on Learning English as an L2

CriticElt

Inside Warsaw Wniwersity Library

I’m very pleased to introduce Aleksandra, who accepted my open invitation to NNS teachers to tell us about how they learned English.

Aliksandra lives in the north-east of Poland with her family and their dog. She studied agricultural science at university, but got drawn into the world of ELT through her determination to be a really proficent English speaker. She currently works freelance, teaching English at private language schools and doing on line courses via Skype. Aliksandra is an avid reader with a special penchant for whodunnits, she enjoys spending time in the country with her family, and I get the imnpression that she laughs a lot.

So, here’s Aliksandra’s story and her reflections on language learning; I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Actually, you might enjoy it even more, particularly the bits where my favorite hobbyhorses get a gentle roasting.

 

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Guest Post: Ljiljana Havran Reflects on Learning English as an L2

CriticElt

A few days ago, in reply to a comment by Aleksandray Grabowska, I invited bloggers for whom English is an L2 to tell us how they learned English. Today, I’m delighted to introduce Ljiljana Havran, the first to respond to the challenge (to be followed soon, I hope, by Aleksandray and others).

Ljiljana has an MA from the University of Belgrade and has been teaching General and Aviation English at the Aviation Academy in Belgrade for the last 18 years. She has a great blog,  Ljiljana Havran’s Blog: My English language teaching & learning adventure, where she combines excellent practical advice and teaching tips with critically acute, progressive views of ELT.  Apart from sharing many views on ELT, Ljiljana and I also like the same poets, jazz bands, parts of the UK and Belgrade pastry shops.

Over to Ljiljana.

It is my great pleasure to write this guest post. The post is inspired…

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Adults

Sam Shepherd

Thercycle-sticker1e are, in this world, many things which annoy me. Things that irk me. Things that get my goat, wind me up, rattle my cage and downright piss me off.Things like muttonheads in cars speeding and/or playing crap music loudly (on no level cool); things like people who justhave to check Whatsapp in the middle of a film; things like driving 4x4s in an urban setting; things like the stupid excuses people have for driving a 4×4 in an urban setting; things like the phrase “I’m not a racist but…”; things like close passes and left hooks; or things like the “Cyclists Stay back” sticker (and notjust because of the random approach to capital letters).

However, this is not just me letting off steam about the things that annoy me, although I could really go on about these for some (probably quite cathartic and therapeutic time). Even…

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Envy

An valuable insight into some of the difficulties faced by ESOL practitioners. Worth a read.

Sam Shepherd

I envy my colleagues who teach vocational and academic subjects, sometimes, I really do. I envy the way FE standards and processes are based around the way those courses are run (oh to be a dominant majority) and the fact that their subjects are widely recognised and valued across most of society. Particularly, however, I envy the way they get to plan a whole year of course content in advance, and then use it again the following year with another group of broadly similar students. And then, probably, use it again the year after that. Even if the content changes, as well it might, or the subject needs a little updating, there is likely to be a whole load of content which can be recycled before being reused once again. They are, essentially, jammy bastards.

Because this kind of forward planning is simply not a possibility in ESOL, not really…

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5 things I wish I’d known before my MA

Lauraahaha

I’ve spent the past two years studying part-time for my MA at King’s College London.  I finished it this summer and just got my dissertation back this week (if you’re interested, you can read the full thing here: Patsko_MA_2013 and – update from spring 2014 – click here to read about the recognition it received!).

I guess that means I’m now officially a master (mistress?) of ELT & Applied Linguistics!

Looking back and reflecting on the whole experience, there are quite a few lessons I learnt along the way, other than things directly related to the course content.

Here are my top 5.

1. How to use the literature

At the top of my list is the thing which easily caused me the most (avoidable) stress throughout the whole MA programme.

I don’t consider myself a great reader–not because I have any specific difficulty, but more because I have a…

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Patterns first – why you should ‘ditch’ word lists and traditional grammar rules

The Language Gym

(Co-authored with Steve Smith and Dylan Vinales)

Introduction

Last week, during a workshop on vocabulary learning that I delivered in my faculty, I carried out a little experiment with my colleagues which aimed at raising their awareness of the limitation of human working memory by making them experience cognitive overload (i.e. the inability of working memory to cope with a task due to excessive demand on their processing capacity).

The task was simple. One person had a list of twenty words and had to utter each word on the list, one by one ( first word 1, then word 2, followed by word 3, etc.) to their partner. The latter had to repeat at each round all the words read so far, rigorously in the same order as they had been read to them ( relying solely on their memory as they had not access to the list).

As expected…

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