Here is Brian Tomlinson’s recent webinar in written form: ‘What about principles for materials development?’ The session was delivered as part of the MaWSIG ‘What about…? Webinar series. It was full of take home points so this post is pretty long!
Tomlinson started by stressing that materials development of any kind (writing, editing, teacher-created resources, etc) should be principled. He defined ‘principled’ as the following:
‘they should match criteria related to second language acquisition research, classroom research, materials development research, and also from [teacher] experience of adapting and using materials’
He moved on to outline a series of key principles for materials development, based on SLA research findings. He didn’t make specific references to those research findings during the talk, but implies that these are general tenets of SLA backed up by research. He supported his ideas with brief example activities/tasks/procedures to help include these principles in ELT materials.
Learners must be exposed to language in use which is…(more…)
This talk was specifically about in-service feedback for teachers, not about feedback on training courses
If we are not giving feedback for the right reasons, and getting the right results, then why bother?
Studies (e.g. Kluger and Denisi 1996) have shown that only a third of feedback has a positive effect – two-thirds has either a negative or no effect. With this in mind, Kennedy considers how to change the way we approach professional learning, and the impact of feedback on teaching performance and ultimately student learning.
What is feedback?
Feedback is limiting the discrepancy between current performance and future goals.
We often think of feedback in narrow terms (e.g. observations). Hattie and Timperly (2007) point out that even reading a book related to teaching can be a form of feedback.
Only feedback that is sought and accepted is likely to have an impact
Keddie knows how to warm an audience and started at his anecdotal best in this talk. He was a model of good storytelling – reminding me a lot of a former colleague who was just as engaging. He started with a couple of stories about misunderstandings he (or people he knew) had encountered – barmaids mistaking ‘pints of lager’ for ‘pina coladas’ and a family member referred to as ‘a hungry old man’ rather than ‘a hundred year old man’.
These highlighted the point that anecdotes are a compelling way to introduce a topic. Keddie is known for his interest in using video in the classroom – he pointed out that teachers often use videos as a way to introduce topics when a story from the teacher could be just as effective. (more…)
I’m a DipTESOL graduate so ‘pron’ is close to home for me. OxfordTEFL is also top of my list for places to work so I was excited about this one!
McKinnon and Meldrum started by mentioning the need to treat pronunciation as equal among language systems, and to integrate the teaching of ‘pron’ into our daily practice. ‘Sounds’ good to me.
They led with a video of one of their learners, Isabel, who was recorded completing a speaking task. As an audience we analysed some of the pronunciation problems she had. The point was to emphasise that analysing our learners’ pronunciation was important – once we know what the issues are then we can ‘begin to integrate relevant and useful pronunciation work’. True. (more…)
This week I watched a presentation called ‘Changing the way we approach learner styles in teacher education’. This was delivered at IATEFL 2016 by Carol Lethaby and Patricia Harries. If you get a spare half an hour this week I thoroughly recommend seeing it – you can access it on the British Council/IATEFL site. (more…)