Changes to the First Certificate exam, 2015

As most of you will know, there are major changes coming up from January 2015 in both the Cambridge: First (FCE ) and the Cambridge: Advanced exams. Both exams move to the four paper format from the five paper format they have had up till now, in line with the changes made in the Cambridge: Proficiency exam last year. Here is a video from Cambridge English TV which explains the changes in the Cambridge: First exam.

Newsflash: Hoey Well; Monitor Theory and Lexical Approach Still Dead

David Bradshaw:

Here is an interesting debate to come out of the recent IATEFL conference which does not involve Sugata Mitra.

Originally posted on aplinglink:

hoey

On April 4th, 2014, Michael Hoey in his plenary address to the IATEFL conference made the following claims:

  • Michael Lewis’ Lexical Approach and Krashen’s Monitor Model are true.
  • Krashen’s & Lewis’ models are supported by the Lexical Priming theory.

I would like to make these counter-claims:

  • Michael Lewis’ Lexical Approach and Krashen’s Monitor Model are not true.
  • Krashen’s & Lewis’ models do not receive support from Hoey’s theory.
  • Hoey’s theory offends basic considerations of rational theory construction.

Summary of Hoey’s plenary address (You can watch a video of the address by clicking on this link: http://iatefl.britishcouncil.org/2014/sessions/2014-04-04/plenary-session-michael-hoey )

lewis

According to Michael Lewis, the successful language learner is someone who can recognise, understand and produce lexical phrases as ready-made chunks. So in teaching, the emphasis needs to be on vocabulary in context and particularly on fixed expressions in speech. When someone learns vocabulary in context, they pick up grammar naturally.

krashen

According…

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Exploiting video in the language classroom: IATEFL Harrogate

iatefl-conference-sign

I’ve just got back from my first IATEFL Conference, in Harrogate, still feeling elated from the buzz that such big conferences always produce. It’s been great to meet up with so many people I’ve only seen online before, and make new friends. It’s also been great to attend so many fantastic talks and workshops.

I’d like to thank everyone who came along to my session on exploiting video in the classroom. As promised, here is the link to the powerpoint of my presentation. The video clips used are in the same folder, just in case the links in the presentation don’t work. I hope you find it useful.

Write-ups for some of the activities included in the session can be found in the following posts:

Pigeon Impossible

Dubbing exercise (Armstrong and Miller RAF Pilots)

Video listening comprehension

Real Beauty – Film English

How to … use video in the classroom

 

Conferences…why bother?

David Bradshaw:

A great post on why we should.attend conferences.

Originally posted on swandos:

I’ll tell you why, if you are someone who is wondering if ELT conferences are worth it.  Worth the money (and very often it is teachers who self fund to attend).  Worth the time (you may have to use annual leave to attend, or give up a weekend).

I’ve had teachers say to me ‘I don’t need to attend trainings/conferences any more,  I’ve been teaching 10/20+ years’.  In every way, these are the teachers who need to attend conferences and training the most (and it shows in their teaching, obviously)!  And who have the most to gain from attending a conference such as, say, the IATEFL conference coming up next month in the UK (and see here for the online sessions).

So, why bother?

iatefl-conference-sign

First of all, teacher development is for you and benefits YOU.  It’s not something to do for your school (though the school undoubtedly benefits…

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Upcoming event – IATEFL Conference, Harrogate

This year’s IATEFL Conference will take place from 2nd to 5th April in Harrogate. I will be presenting on Friday 4th April at 2:35 in Hall Qe. I am looking forward to meeting up with friends and colleagues, and to taking part in this fantastic conference.

The talk I will be giving is ‘Exploiting video in the language classroom’, which is based on a post I wrote for this blog in collaboration with the TESOL Spain e-Newsletter, which you can access here. The workshop explores different techniques we as teachers can use to exploit video in our classrooms in order to motivate our students, rather than simply putting on a film and expecting them to be content. I hope to see you there!

TESOL Greece – Motivation in the 21st Century.

It’s been a hectic week, with TESOL Spain last week in Madrid and now TESOL Greece here in Athens. This is just a quick post to publish my powerpoint form this afternoon’s closing plenary. More to come soon.

TESOL Greece Plenary Speakers

Do *you* use a global coursebook? If so, please read on…

David Bradshaw:

I’m sure many of us find ourselves in this situation, so here’s a chance to help out some colleagues and share our ideas.

Originally posted on Reflections of an English Language Teacher:

When it comes to global coursebooks, everyone has an opinion regarding their qualities and flaws, and everyone has their own special ways of using them when required to do so…

Heather Buchanan (Leeds Metropolitan University) and Julie Norton (University of Leicester) are doing some research on this topic and are interested in finding out about your views and uses. They will share the results of this research as part of a presentation at the IATEFL conference in Harrogate next month.

Participation in this project is completely voluntary and anonymous. If you would like to help, by sharing your views on global coursebooks and your uses of them, please visit the following link:

Global coursebook questionnaire

When you click on this link, you will be taken to a page which provides you with more information about the project and will then be given a choice of…

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