Author: Peter Pun

Teacher at British Council Bangkok

Materials writing news and views, April 2019

April update has got a bit long, sorry. It’s mainly because of IATEFL and ELTONS.

 IATEFL talks

There were some interesting talks related to materials writing. Equality, diversity and inclusion was certainly a theme.

Two interesting points from John Gray’s talk, Gender and sexuality in ELT

  • Gray notes from his analysis of 10 top-selling ELT textbooks that there was ‘a blanket avoidance of any LGBT representation’
  • He promotes ‘… a collective effort on behalf of teachers, teacher trainers, materials writers, textbook reviewers, etc to come together to create learning environments that address gender and sexual diversity.’

View the talk here. (more…)

Review: NILE Technology-assisted Language Learning course

I took the MA module in Technology-assisted Language Learning through NILE back in 2017. Here are some thoughts on the course (views my own).

Overview

The course “covers the uses of technology in language education and includes theoretical perspectives, practical applications and opportunities for hands-on practical experience.”

Module content included the following…

  • The role of edtech in ELT
  • Evaluating edtech in your own institution
  • Working with the web: search literacy, tagging literacy, etc
  • Working with media – images, audio, video, remixing
  • Mobile learning- what is it and how can we use it? QR codes, virtual reality, augmented reality, e-readers, SMS, etc
  • Syllabus design; implementing tech
  • Teacher development online: PLNs etc

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Review: NILE Materials Development course

I completed the MA module on Materials Development through NILE back in 2016. Here’s a quick review of the course (all views my own).

Overview

The online course runs for 8 weeks, with a mid-course break. It explores ‘many aspects of effective materials development, from key principles to practicalities.’

After an introductory unit, the rest of the course content covers the following:

  • Learners, contexts and materials
  • Cognitive demand
  • Language input and output
  • Exploiting texts
  • Affective factors in materials
  • Visual design and image
  • Teacher notes

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Materials writing news and views, March 2019

A longer post this month – some overspill from the last post and then happenings over the last few weeks…

What’s new out recently?

Here are some recent coursebooks from publishers that I’ve clocked mainly on LinkedIn…

  • Oxford Uni Press have a new Pre-Primary series out – Archie’s World (shared by Jen Dobson). That link suggests it’s for the Spanish market, but I’m not sure.
  • Macmillan released Language Hub earlier in the year, and were promoting this at the English UK Academic Conference. I was involved in the digital content for the product so it’s great to see it on the market…

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More PronPack – contrastive stress

More PronPack in class today. I’m just making a quick note of a follow-up activity I did – worked well.

I used ‘Stress Jigsaw’, a cool activity for raising awareness of contrastive stress. It involves matching questions with the correct answer, using the tonic stress in the answer as a clue. Here is a pic, but not of all the matching pairs as the publishers might not be happy with that… (more…)

Webinar: The Value of Gamification for Language Learning

I watched this short webinar today from Cambridge Assessment English on gamifying learning (Sarah Albrecht and Ollie Wood). It was a straightforward introduction to the topic of gamification, then a short Q+A between presenters and live listeners. Here is the recording, as shared by Ollie Wood on LinkedIn:

(more…)

Using PronPack

I’ve been using PronPack a bit in class recently. I was going to review it, but I think it’s more interesting to write about how I’m using it instead.

I’ve just taught my teen classes the phonemic chart and we’ve been identifying some of the sounds they have difficulties with. Hancock’s Vowel Breakout (Book 2) was a good springboard for practice the other day. If you are unfamiliar, this is an activity where learners find their way out of a maze by following a path of words which include a certain sound.

I used this task as a quick review of our vowel focus the previous week, but I extended it by getting learners to make their own mazes for sounds they found difficult/problematic to produce or identify. (more…)