Sunday, June 12, 2011

aPLaNet Project: A WizIQ online meeting

Message pasted below as posted by Graham Stanley on Webheads and Twittermates FB page:

Graham Stanley Jun 12
aPLaNet Live from Athens - Meeting Online today 3:30 PM GTB with Partners (13:30 GMT) - come and find out how you can join in -

Webinar: International Collaborative Project

Recording of the Session is available at
* and the full URL is:

Pasted here is the message posted by Vance Stevens on the EVonline Webheads list.

Sunday June 12,

Ayat Al-Tawel (from Egypt) and Maria Bossa (from Argentina) are two EFL teachers who would like to share their international collaboration project. They have both worked with their students so they can interact with each other, not only to practise their English, but also to go beyond the walls of the traditional classroom to meet other cultures, customs, traditions and likes. This Sunday they'll tell us about their students' collaborations between Egypt and Argentina; e.g.

When and where:

* noon GMT, start gathering at for distance coordination and setup
* 13:00 GMT, start the discussion in Elluminate
o Time where you are:
o or:
* Eluminate is at,
and the full URL is



Here are some screenshots taken during today's webinar:

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Vicki Hollet's Webinar

Vicki Hollet's presentation materials, Download pdf file

Some screenshots taken during the webinar

Free Online Conference sponsored by Flexible Learning in Australia

As posted by Michael Coghlan to the Webheads' listserv.
A free 3 day conference begins today at
Everybody welcome :-)

- Michael

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Cultural Fluency: An Essential Skill for Today's World

Here's a screenshot of Joan's Webinar

As POSTED by Pearson Longman

Event: Cultural Fluency: An Essential Skill for Today's World
Date: Wednesday, June 08 2011 11:00 AM (GMT +01:00) Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

Add this event to your calendar

Approximately 80 % of the people who speak English in the world today are not native speakers of English. This startling reality compels us to broaden our pedagogical focus for today's learners, who will have to navigate the world of work, study, and travel among people of diverse language backgrounds and unfamiliar cultures. Offering a rationale and a syllabus for integrating the skill of cultural fluency with language instruction, this presentation proposes shifting the treatment of ?culture? from content to skill, greatly accelerating students' ability to communicate verbally and socially with confidence and ease.

Joan Saslow

Joan Saslow has taught in a variety of programs in South America and the United States. She is author of a number of multi-level integrated-skills courses for adults and young adults: Ready to Go: Language, Lifeskills, and Civics; Workplace Plus: Living and Working in English; and of Literacy Plus. She is also author of English in Context: Reading Comprehension for Science and Technology. Ms. Saslow was the series director of True Colors and True Voices. She participates in the English Language Specialist Program in the U.S. Department of State?s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Before the event
To be sure your computer is setup correctly for this event, run: System Check

Link to attend the event

This session may be recorded and each attendee may have the capability of distributing this recording. Each participant's use of recordings and participant information is subject to U.S. and international privacy laws.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Why use poems in class

Notes from Linda Yael's session yesterday

Why use poem
Linda Yael

Authentic content
Encourage students' personal reactions

Trigger students' own writing
General educational value

Deal with values

Give insights unto other cultures while increasing awareness if own

Use both sides of the brain

Motivating and enjoyable

Characteristics of poems
Focus on language eg vocabulary, intonation, stress, collocation

Can be dealt with one lesson and can be tied in with topics in syllabus

Deal w universal themes students can identify with

Poems by Wendy Cope
Robin Thurston

For young learners, use pictures. Eg lions are ___

The Veggie Lion (Spike Milligan)
I'm a vegetarian lion... 

Students can work in pairs

Oh homework, oh homework
I hate you! You stink! ( a teacher from Poland) 
- long version on presenter's ppt

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Notes on Richard Cauldwell's presentation on accent and identity

Notes on Richard Cauldwell's presentation on Accent and Identity: Prejudice and insecurity

Sonocent audio note taker

Accents, identity, change, variation
Insecurity and self-worth
Thriving with 

Prejudice: OALD, 8, an unreasonable dislike

Prejudice league table
Best- received pronunciation (RP)

Worst- Birmingham 

Prestige accent: BBC type of worry (A Lloyd James)

It is spoken by those who properly called the best people

If you want clarity- go to non standard accent

Prejudices: self-loathing, poor self-worth

Foreign language syndrome. Accent can change dramatically if you've got a stroke. 'losing accent. Losing identity.'

People change, accents change

Multiple accents, vary depending on who they're talking to

Prestige accent: embarrassment

John Wells's blog, BrE

Attainment Models? Target pronunciation? Richard's argument

Typical learner's problem: leave
Thriving in English

English as a lingua Franca (Jennifer Jenkins)

English is not ours
Reference models are very useful, but they are not what people speak
ELF movement can help us identify attainment model

ELF can remove the sense of poor self-worth

Final thoughts:
No such thing ad good accent
People are multi-accented

We are surrounded by voices od people who not speak the reference model- they thrive. 

Use prestige accent ad a reference model, not model/achievement target

Not as a measure of professional expertise

Notes from the AS Hornby Scholars' Presentation

AS Hornby educational Trust presenters
Teacher Development Language Proficiency

A. Confidence and language proficiency

Recognizing reality
A. pre-service
B. In-service

possible suggestions
Teacher training courses
Workshops and seminars
Prof devt courses

B. Teacher Motivation
Low level motivation- or no motivation at all

Poor motivation- leads to attrition

Causes of low motivation
1) Job context
-poor facilities eg no chalks etc
-teachers not considered in educational decision making process
- teachers are nit given professional autonomy

2) Job Content
- teacher and student ratio
-work load eg 36 hours of teaching per week

3) lack of incentives and poor salary
70£ per month
Poor socio economic situation

Realistic solutions
1) creative positive working environment

2) provide opportunities for continuous training
Enhance self-esteem
Update their skills

Implications fir teacher training and education

Trainers should be aware of these situations

C. Contextual Factors (Ramzi)
1. People involved- not aware of contextual realities

2. Objectives- not clear, realistic, and practical

3. Training
A. Content- emphasizing theories, ignoring practical implications
B. Timing- too short to achieve objectives
C. Trainers- not properly trained
d. Evaluation- no learning from previous experience

Effects if ignoring contextual factors

1. Cascade programs- trickle
2. Irrelevance- demotivation
3. Impracticality- lack of administrative support
4. Investment of time, money, and energy- wasted
5. Unrealized national curriculum objectives

1. Involve more stake holders in planning- teachers, training

2. Integration of planners and implementers

3. Post-training support

4. Readjustment and fine tuning based on feedback

5. Decentralization/localization 

Teacher Development: the Kerala model

Context: Kerala is a small state in India

Focus of the governments- time independence

A. General trend- infrastructure
B. Budget deficit 13.5%

English graduates teach English
A. New legislation in the 21st century

B. English teachers teach only in English

A. Secure job
B. Pensions after retirement
C. Salary increment at oar with inflation in addition to annual increment based on the existing scale of pay.

2. Teaching Organizations

3. Regular teacher development workshops
5 day annual workshops
Practicing teachers as resource persons

4. Resource Person development workshops

3-6 months training at Bangalore

Teachers support offered online- IT@Schoolproject
Eg subsidized laptop

Cluster meetings- teacher share
Avoid backwash from exams- teachers can test what is taught

Caveat of the method 
Not perfect
Practical issues


Fullan (1991) educational change depends on what teachers do and think. It is as simple and complex as that.

Notes from Peter Grundy's talk, IATEFL Plenary

Peter Grundy Plenary

Maximize content, 
Formulaic questions, obvious yes or no answer

What is language?
Communication? Answer to the question what is language for?

To communicate what precisely?

Meaning comes from the use of language; what we mean by our words; implications

Particularized understanding. Depending on context.

Type of inferences. Token understanding. 

Does your boyfriend know you're here?  The question asked if folks from Brighton go to a football match. (joke)

Pg: that's a nice pair
Lady: thank you

Pragmatics: contextual and cognitive effects

Inference and metarepresentation

Our thoughts are more precise than our words

Hedges: I think, probably, really, by the way

The phenomenon of speaking in the wrong language

What we want our learners to achieve?

Cognitive mapping?


L1-l2 w/o thought is translation

Meaning and humanistic approaches

Pragmatic competence

Receptive learning vs productive learning

Semantics- what words mean

Thought- unspoken though that we intend to communicate

Pedagogical implications if the two

Breadth, depth and context
Corpora and context
Dictionaries and metalinguistic explanations
E.g. Chinese writing system, the use of classifiers (fire, fo, huo)

Orientation to the properties of the public word

Utterance is an index for thought


Convention Center

Sunday, April 03, 2011


Click the link below to view (in PDF file) the IATEFL 2011 in Brighton conference programme. I had to squeeze my limited budget to attend this conference as a full participant- yes, first time ever. And I'd like to make the most out of it.

I'd love to meet colleagues and friends whom I've been interacting with online for the past several years but never had the opportunity to meet f2f. Now here's my chance :-)

Conference Programme:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Free Online TPD (IATEFL)

Posted on behalf of the Brighton Team.


Online conference coverage of the 45th IATEFL Conference

The Brighton Online website is now live at:

The British Council and IATEFL have launched the Brighton Online website
which offers live web coverage of this year's IATEFL Conference in Brighton.

The Brighton Online website allows gives you an opportunity to follow one of
the world's biggest ELT conferences free online.

Brighton Online offers:
- video recordings of selected sessions
- live interviews and streamed plenaries
- moderated special interest discussion forums
- text reports and photo albums

To visit the Brighton Online website, go to:

This initiative builds on earlier collaboration between the British Council

Last year over 50,000 teachers and trainers participated in Harrogate

This year we expect a much larger audience, and this is a real opportunity
to take part in the biggest online ELT training community.

The Brighton Online website gives you an opportunity to share ideas with
teachers all around the world. There will be interactive live coverage with
video presentations, reports and interviews from Harrogate.

We look forward to meeting you online, and hope that you will share this
information with your colleagues worldwide.

Gavin Dudeney - Honorary Secretary, IATEFL
Julian Wing - British Council Brighton Online Project Manager
Nik Peachey - IATEFL Online Editor