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ENGLISH Issue 75


The Leading Practical Magazine For English Language Teachers Worldwide

Open learning
Laura Bergmann and Gemma Ruffino

Front-wheel drive
Chris Roland

Swearing in class
Simon Dunton

John Potts
Language log

practical methodology

fresh ideas & innovations

classroom resources

new technology

teacher development

tips & techniques

photocopiable materials

competitions & reviews

w w w . e t p r o f e s s i o n a l . c o m


Laura Bergmann and Gemma Ruffino Simon Neale introduces changes to make classes
offer their students the freedom to choose more communicative


FEATURES Steve Hirschhorn is critical of the academic
tendencies of teacher training courses
Chris Roland finds that pumping up the tyres LEARNING COACH 5 53
makes for a more comfortable journey Duncan Foord and Daniel Barber get their students
to manage and maintain their own motivation
Rod Bolitho explores choice of voice
Marjorie Rosenberg rejects a one-method-fits-all Russell Stannard revisits a favourite site
approach to learning lexis
Marianne Raynaud promotes a programme that Nicky Hockly blends technology with traditional teaching
gives her students more speaking opportunities


Phillip Brown puts the case for pattern practice
Peter Viney finds a place for sample sentences
that make a point PERSONALISATION 59
Rose Senior
Sasan Baleghizadeh and Hadi Barzegar IT WORKS IN PRACTICE 36
tell their students to team up

Alan Maley is amused
Sarah Brewer helps her students reference correctly COMPETITIONS 41, 60

Simon Dunton has a sensible strategy INTERNATIONAL 32
for a sensitive topic SUBSCRIPTION


Laura Gambles students respond well if they
know whats coming next Includes materials designed
to photocopy

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 75 July 2011 1

n this issue, several contributors report on their can make students aware of the different factors that

I efforts to introduce changes or innovations into their

classroom teaching which will improve the learning
environment, provide more opportunities for the
make up their motivation and, having identified these,
encourage them to take charge of their own motivation,
boosting and maintaining it.
students to practise the language and encourage them
Simon Neale relates how he made changes to his
to become stakeholders in their own learning.
teaching routine, overcame the limitations of the
Laura Gamble starts at the very beginning with learners required textbook and bravely entered the world of the
of only four or five years old. By establishing routines Korean teenage girl to ensure that his students were
and putting on the board a list of things to be covered in genuinely communicating in English rather than just
the lesson which can be understood even by those who repeating by rote.
cant yet read, she keeps her learners focused,
Marianne Raynaud also discovered that her students
enthusiastic and on track.
didn't know how to communicate in English, so she
In our main feature, Laura Bergmann and Gemma found a way to increase speaking opportunities for them
Ruffino report on successful moves to give school in class by instituting a combined language lab and
students more autonomy and encourage them to take tutorial programme.
responsibility for their own learning by introducing a
system of open learning, which offers students more
choice in what they do and even when and where they
do it. There will be more from them on the practicalities
of this in future issues. Helena Gomm
Daniel Barber and Duncan Foord continue their series
on teachers as learning coaches by examining how we helena.gomm@pavpub.com

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Pages 1314, 3839, and 42 43 include materials which are designed to photocopy. All other rights are reserved and no part of this publication
may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted without prior permission in writing from the publishers.

2 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com

M A I N F E AT U R E a standard classroom situation. In this
approach, the learners are given a pre-
planned menu of materials to choose

from, and they work their way through
whichever of them they choose.
Wherever possible, the materials allow
them to check their own answers.

So, open learning may be possible, but

is it useful? We would argue that it is,
for several reasons. Most teachers will
recognise that each and every classroom
contains a mixed-ability group. Even in
streamed classes, students learn at
different paces. Open learning can give
members of heterogeneous groups what
they need when they need it by offering
different learning paths, with activities
Laura Bergmann aria Montessori thought for different learner types and levels. It

and Gemma Ruffino

pass the power to learn to
M that the greatest sign of
success for a teacher ... is
to be able to say, The
children are now working as if I did not
exist. Many pedagogues, including
can help learners to take an active role
in their studies by putting them in
control, whilst still giving them a plan to
navigate by and feedback in the form of

their learners. Montessori, have developed open

learning methods that give learners
more freedom and demand more
independence. Research suggests that
these methods have benefits. However,
we do not all work in environments that
are open to new and radical approaches.
Ministries and education inspectors, or
language school directors and our
paying customers may have very
different expectations. So what is open
learning, and can we bring any aspects
of it into our conventional classrooms?
answer keys. The private nature of this
What? feedback allows the learners to make
Open learning approaches are mistakes without embarrassment, and
characterised by self-determination, we know how important it is for learners
independence and the following of the to feel able to risk making mistakes.
learners own interests. They give the However, the main advantage can be
learners some degree of choice in what, seen by looking through the door of any
when, where, with whom and how they open learning classroom. The teacher is
learn. These are decisions we are used no longer standing at the front talking,
to taking for our students, and the idea but moving through the room,
of letting go is, in most situations, addressing the learners individually and
impossible. However, one approach to responsively and coaching and
open learning, known as materials- supporting them. A weaker pupil gets
centred, can be easier to integrate into extra help, a stronger one gets a more
interesting and complex task, but neither
is singled out. The lesson proceeds not
at the pace set by the teacher, but at the
pace of every individual.
It is important that the students
decide on their learning path on their own,
but without being left alone, a colleague,
Jay, explains. Teachers are still important,
but their roles change. They are not only

4 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com

the providers of material but also
mentors. Jay feels it is important for
teachers to learn to take a back seat in
the process: When pupils hand in their
work, it is important to give them time for
reflection first, and only then to give them
feedback and make suggestions for the
future. This way they can develop meta-
knowledge about how they learn.
vacuuming first, but in the end I still have exercises from each section, but they can
Meta-knowledge is not the only lesson
to do the whole lot, so having a choice choose which they want to do. This
that open learning can teach, alongside
doesnt improve my mood much. It could allows them to choose tasks that reflect
the main topic of the lesson. It also
also be argued that this way of teaching their own intelligences and learning
teaches learners how to organise
is, in reality, still completely teacher- styles. It also improves cooperation as
themselves, and makes them feel the
centred as the teacher is still deciding the teacher does not tell the students
consequences if they dont. If it is well-
exactly what the student has to do. what to do they can choose the topics
planned, open learning allows students to
they are most interested in. If I want to
experience the fact that their studying Can do statements
train the students in writing magazine
behaviour can make a difference to their A way of avoiding this problem can be to
articles, I dont really care what they write
learning outcomes. This fosters beliefs that write can do statements, similar to those
about. I can easily give them three or four
are very productive for language learning in the Common European Framework of
topics to choose from, says a colleague.
and, in fact, for their studies in general: Reference, which define the goals for the
the belief that their actions can make a session. The teacher then prepares or
difference which is vital for motivation finds a selection of exercises for each can Ways to prepare
and a belief in their own agency. do statement. At least one exercise for Teachers already hard-pressed for time
Together, these reasons form a each can do must be done, but there are will have taken notice of the recurring
powerful argument in favour of open phrase the teacher prepares in the
learning, leading to the next question of preceding paragraphs. Changing to a
how to start. form of teaching that increases the
preparation burden is a difficult move for
How? a full-time teacher to make. However,
there is no reason why open learning
The choice of approach is important: as
should not involve choosing rather than
with any other teaching style, open
making. As long as the teacher defines
learning can lead to disappointing
beforehand what the learning goals are
results if teachers dont understand the
and then finds materials to fit, rather
reasons they have been asked to teach in
than letting the availability influence the
a certain way. We had a lot to learn,
materials, using already-existing
says a teacher from a school that has
materials can be a valid approach.
been implementing open learning for the
Coursebooks or workbooks that teachers
last few years. Some colleagues tried it
for a few months and stopped, saying it no extra points for tackling additional
didnt work, while others were exhilarated exercises. Students have to do as many
by the successes they had. We found out exercises as they feel they need. They
that these colleagues had completely then ask the teacher to test them on the
different understandings of open learning. can do. The students soon come to
realise that it is useful to do more
Non-optional exercises exercises in order to master the can do
One common approach is to provide a
and perform better in the test. Teachers
set of non-optional exercises, with the
from one school reported, We knew
freedom to choose the order in which already use make a perfectly good source
that this approach worked when students
the tasks are completed. This usually of tasks to meet learning goals. If these
came to us and asked us to provide them
works well at first, but soon the books do not provide enough material,
with more material for a certain can do
students realise how little freedom they or if schools do not use a book, other
because they felt they needed more
have and become frustrated. If they are books or the internet can provide
practice. They took responsibility and
under time pressure, they may start to activities. Language learning magazines
this is ten year olds were talking about!
simply tick off lists, seeing no meaning can also be a good source of extra tasks.
in what theyre doing and perhaps even Skills training Teachers are, of course, well-used to this
copying from one another or from the Another successful approach, especially magpie approach.
answer key, as the point of the work with 1315 year olds, is skills training. As the learners perform the
becomes the ticking off of the exercise. The teacher prepares or chooses several activities one after the other, rather than
One colleague comments, Its just like exercises for each skill and for focusing all at the same time, it is possible to
doing the housework. I can decide on particular language structures. The prepare more complex and playful
whether I do the ironing or the students have to do a number of materials than you would usually make

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 75 July 2011 5

important so that they can avoid any Thinking about your own school
pitfalls that you have experienced and situation, you might imagine that things
so that a particular exercise, or perhaps can get difficult if some students are
only the instructions, can be improved. working on roleplays and dialogues

learning Finally, attention should be paid to

building up a long-lasting stock of
exercises. By laminating items or using
card instead of paper, you can ensure
while the rest try to concentrate on
silent work. Open learning also means
open classrooms. Theres no reason why
your students cant use the corridor, the
for a whole class, as you dont need 25
that the materials remain useful for library, the canteen or the playground to
sets of cards for 25 students, but only
years to come. work. If you really cant send them
two or three. Matching and gap-fill
However, it cant be denied that outside, its a good idea to set up a
exercises can use cut-out cards so that
producing attractive materials for young speaking corner in the classroom, where
the learners physically manipulate the
learners means extra work for the speaking activities are done, and make
words to complete the tasks; this is
teacher. One head teacher reports: In sure the noise stays at an acceptable
popular with younger learners and
our school we told teachers to start open level. If it is impossible to cope with the
useful for kinaesthetic learner types.
learning in only one of their classes. If level of noise, you might have to refrain
One simple trick to make very
you start to produce material for four from using roleplays in open learning.
ordinary activities exciting is to
different levels at the same time, you However, even if the environment
laminate the worksheet. Students can
might not be able to cope. If you do one does not actively encourage open
then complete the task with a wipe-off
level a year, its fun and within a few learning, it is still possible to implement
marker, check their answers and then
years youve got a full set of materials it in your teaching. When I started with
wash them off. This can be done for any
ready for all the levels. Once the basic open learning, I was the only teacher in
kind of cloze or tick-box activity. I
material is done, its easy to add a few my school, reports one teacher. Within
dont know why its so much more fun to
exercises here and there if need be. a few years we were a small guerrilla
write on laminates, a colleague
force that had conquered the library and
comments. A little novelty can go a long
the computer room. At the moment were
way. Maybe its because its fun to wipe
fighting for the corridors some
off your answers afterwards. Perhaps it
colleagues still look annoyed when they
reminds them of those wipe-off drawing
see students wandering around, but as
games. I dont understand it but it
long as they dont disturb the other
definitely makes my students enjoy the
students in other classes, people dont
exercises more. Although making
complain and recently we even got
laminated sheets sounds like more work,
permanent desks in the corridors.
it actually reduces the teachers
So you see that a small change in
workload. Remember that you only
how lessons are organised can change
need two or three laminated sheets,
the atmosphere of the whole school. In
instead of 25, and these are ready to be
the next issue, we will look at how open
reused in the years to follow.
learning works in practice, including
Finally, the students will enjoy
external observation and feedback from
anything that seems real: authentic board
the students. ETp
games, for example, or real blank playing Ways to continue
cards, which can be bought cheaply and Laura Bergmann has
As the students get older, open learning been working as a
turned into simple games, either by the teacher and coursebook
works without any material provided by
teacher or the students themselves. writer for 11 years. She
the teacher and, as the time taken to teaches English in a
complete tasks gets longer, the number of secondary school in
Ways to share tasks that are needed is reduced. I got
Graz, Austria, and has
written coursebooks and
Many hands make light work, and astonishing results when I sent the students digital materials for the
1014 age group. She has
introducing such an approach for a off in groups to produce a radio report also conducted seminars
whole school rather than for just one about a historic event, reports a colleague. on open learning
throughout Austria.
class can spread the workload across All the students needed was a place to
several teachers. Using a Moodle course work and something to record with. When laura@futurefactory-software.com
or online file store to save all the they presented their work I was amazed Gemma Ruffino is a
material online can be helpful: nothing and the students were really proud. They freelance editor and
materials writer based
can get lost, everything is always in the cant wait for the next radio report. in Vienna. She is
right place, and students can also Another way to engage your currently completing
research in ELT
download worksheets they have missed students in longer open activities is to let materials development
out on or lost. Resources can also be them put together a magazine featuring at the University of
interviews that they perform themselves, Cambridge, UK, and
shared across more than one school. also teaches at the
If using the internet is not a or reviews they have written of stories or University Language
learner literature that they have read. Centre.
possibility, a file of resources can be
started in the staffroom. In the initial
phases, giving colleagues feedback is very  gemma@ruffino.co.uk

6 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com

IN THE CLASSROOM It all took no more than three minutes.
Then we got on with the lesson. Later, I
gave them the following exercise from

our coursebook:

Fill each of the gaps with one word

from the box to complete the
common expressions in bold.

all lot none any

one few little most
each every either

1 Weve got an awful ______ to do
and precious ______ time to do it
in, so lets get started now.
2 The service in the restaurant is
first class and the quality of the
food second to ______.
3 He gave five concerts in London
and I went to ______ single one

of them.
4 You can get there by bus or train.
______ way, itll cost you a lot of
5 ______ too often students fail to
read the instructions properly and
few, if ______, get full marks.
6 We had to queue a good ______
hours to get the tickets, but we
Chris Roland primes I stood in front of my made the ______ of our time,
advanced group and said: reading, talking and playing cards.
his students for success by 7 She turned the pages ______ by
Right, chaps, weve got an awful lot
one, carefully studying the
oiling the wheels in advance. to do and precious little time to do it in.
information on each one.
As a class, I rate you guys as second to
none. 8 Id like to thank ______ and every
What does that mean? asked Mar. one of you for all your hard work.
If you come second, then someones (from Norris and French)
better than you, yeah? If you come second
to none, then whos better than you? A few seconds into the exercise, a round
No one. of little tutts, ahs, nods and smiles
So, yeah, as a group you guys are rolled around the room the sort of
second to ... (I had one of my customary noises and smiles that tell me that my
vague moments and the class obligingly students are aware that they are making
completed the phrase for me) ... but connections and that something good is
today I want us to work mega-hard so happening in the class.
that every single one of you goes home But thats cheating, said Mar (who
having learnt more English than ever is, in fact, a real person and who will be
before in a class. Now weve got a good receiving one of my contributors copies
few hours four hours, its quite a long of the magazine). She later commented
time, yeah? so lets make each and that she would never forget second to
every activity count. You with me? none and proceeded to prove it by using
One class member asked me if I had the phrase regularly throughout the rest
a second job as a football coach and of the term.
then another turned up late, giving me
an excuse to repeat my little pep talk.

Later in the week, I wiggled my feet

about quite ostentatiously in a business

8 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com

English class. As I generally try to avoid coursebook. When the first student This time, the input had been provided
drawing attention to the state of my came in, the conversation went like this: to one learner only, so any questions I
own footwear, this blatant flaunting was How are you, Blanca? received, I redirected to Blanca and she
received as a novel curiosity. Im fine thanks, and you? was able to help the others.
Do you like my new trainers? I asked. (Thats what I was looking for ...)
Of course my students did. Im tired. I was up till four am last The driving force
Solomons, Salamans, something like night.
that (I peered down at the trainers So you can see what Im doing here. If
Four? you like it, then my job is basically over.
themselves and finally got it right). I Yeah, just watching YouTube clips.
hadnt ever heard of the brand before I If youre still not sure, heres my rationale
Silly, really. Im old enough to know in a little more detail and in answer to
got them. better. I used to be able to stay up all
A good mark, said one of my a number of possible objections:
night but these days Im starting to feel
students. my age. Still young at heart, though. But, Chris, its actually quite difficult to
Brand. Brand. Brand ... Young at heart dyou get that? engineer sentences with target
Brand. Blanca nodded. language in it. Thats what we have
Really? So what about you, as a coursebook writers for. This would
They told me that Salomons were representative of the youth of today, do take too much preparation time.
quite big in Spain a few years back. you do four am jobs? The examples above are all real ones;
Really? I dont think they were so big She told me that she normally tries none of them took more than a couple
in the UK at the same time. Maybe they to get to bed by 11 pm, which we both of minutes and that was without writing
needed to boost brand awareness there a agreed was more sensible than my own anything down. All this involves is a
bit. schedule. quick glance at an exercise five minutes
I was asked to explain boost, which I Very mature obviously an old head before class and, if nothing springs to
did, before going on: on young shoulders. mind, you leave it for another day.
My previous trainers were Chirucas. She understood that as well. Nothings lost. You dont have to try to
Do you know them? I dont think they Now the last bit of the conversation include all the items, either: a handful is
had been launched in the UK before I left was a little more forced than I might good, and even just a couple will help
for Spain. Anyway, they were good, but I have liked and Blanca could tell I was the exercise go more smoothly. In the
fancied a change. I suppose Im not a up to something teacher-ish, but I had first example above, Id wanted to
very loyal customer really. Anyway, thats no reason to hide this and she was include make the most of in my little pep
enough about my feet. Have a look at happy to play along. A later exercise talk, too, but realised later that Id left it
page 46. contained, amongst others, these out. It didnt matter, though nobody
Page 46 was this: expressions to match: was any the worse off. I could also have
included brand building in the second
Complete these reasons for a My 90-year-old grandfather has example but no problem.
advertising, using the words in the only recently begun to feel his age. We consciously work words and
box. b The children shouldnt have acted phrases into our conversation on a daily
so irresponsibly. They are old basis. In fact, we work whole
awareness boost quotations, opinions and arguments
enough to know better.
building customer into it, let alone a few items of lexis.
launch market c Some people say that the secret
With respect to coursebook writing,
of staying young is to remain
this might even be an interesting
As a brand- 1 .............. activity young at heart.
training exercise if you are thinking
To increase 2 .............. of the brand d The youth of today seem so about trying your hand at materials
To 3 .............. a new product onto different from when I was a writing yourself.
the market youngster.
This is nothing new. Ive been telling my
To 4 .............. sales and to increase e Tims only 14 but very mature. He
classes primer anecdotes with target
5 .............. share has an old head on young
structures embedded in them for years.
To maintain 6 .............. loyalty Thats great; me, too. I tell students what
(from Brook-Hart) 1 be mature enough to act in a Ive been doing all day, ask them to share
more sensible way some of their own experiences and then
Again, more of the same smiles, tutts 2 young people hit them with a present perfect board
and nodding. presentation or exercises. The difference
3 be more mature than is expected
with what Ive outlined above is that here
for someone so young
we are shamelessly taking the answers
4 still feeling and behaving as you straight from the exercises in question
did when you were younger and strategically inserting them into a
The next day, my class of advanced 5 be physically aware of your real little monologue or steered conversation
teenagers were late (yes, all of them) age to radically improve success rates later.
and I found myself sitting in an empty (from Gude and Stephens)
An anecdote involving the present
classroom, contemplating our perfect may show students the

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 75 July 2011 9

exercise as a vehicle, lets say a delivery Obviously, this is one small technique
van, loaded with wonderful language. amongst dozens, hundreds even, that a
Normally, the cognitive strain comes at language teacher might use. Ive spent
the end of the exercise when the students time writing this one up, and hoped that

wheel have got a bit bogged down and youre

trying to dig the rear wheels of that
vehicle out of a lexical quagmire of all-
you might spend time reading about it,
because I think that the deliberate style
and focus involved warrants covering in

possibles. With the little trick discussed its own right.
here, we can spread the strain more To end, I shall give you four more
evenly, loading some of the weight over reasons why I am in favour of the
the front axle of our metaphorical van. occasional front-wheel driven exercise.
grammatical formula they need for The van metaphor is completely
production, but not necessarily the superfluous. Four-wheel drive
exact verbs that they need in subsequent Yes, but it links in nicely with the title.
exercises. Here, our embedded language Grant me a little artistic licence, please. Students seem to enjoy the
corresponds with the exercise answers surprise they get when they find
completely. It is the answers. The type of dialogues you are creating the items in the exercise familiar.
Gapping is also used particularly here are forced and unnatural. You are They are tickled and this
often with vocabulary items and idioms, manipulating discourse and to some contributes a more enriching
so youll notice that the examples given extent your students, too. They will emotional contour to the class.
are not actually grammar exercises feel cheated when they discover that
what they were partaking in was not Students enjoy being able to
themselves (although the first one does
genuine communication but an tackle the exercise in question
have the grammatical focus of
instrumental device. with greater success than they
might otherwise have done.
What is an English class if it isnt a
Arent you just reinventing the wheel
manipulated set of conditions to Students realise that the teacher
here? The students are basically doing
enhance language learning? The mere has actually looked at the
the exercise twice.
fact that were all together at the same exercise before class and has
I wouldnt really claim to be either time means that the students have had an idea, in language terms,
inventing or reinventing anything. The to manipulate their own schedules to be about where the lesson is going.
students are doing the exercise once, but there. In the language classroom we
they are receiving the target language as It helps to lessen the distance
manipulate roles, turn taking, language
an additional form of input once as well between teacher and students
tasks and a hundred other parameters to
prior to the exercise. on one side and the exercises in
try to speed up our students language
Lets think about the actual design the book on the other, lending
acquisition, give them quality instruction
of many exercises and about what mutual credibility to both
and a chance to practise their English.
happens in our classes for a moment. teacher talk and to the exercise,
This is fairly much understood when a
Coursebook exercises often dont and strengthening the lesson
student walks in the door better
provide the target language itself as holistically.
perhaps by the students than by us.
input. They gap the target language and Most of them are not there primarily to
provide a vacuum in context into meet other people and feel good about Brook-Hart, G Business Benchmark
which the target language is sucked, themselves. The students have just paid Advanced Students Book BEC Edition
hopefully, by inference and deduction. at reception or the course office for us CUP 2007
Its a kind of anti-input that, in my to help them learn a language. Within Gude, K and Stephens, M CAE Result
experience at least, works for between reason, I dont think they mind too OUP 2008
about 50 and 70 percent of the target much how we do it. I must also say that Norris, R with French, A Ready for CAE
language per exercise. For the remaining all the reactions I have had to this sort Macmillan 2008
uninferred and undeduced target items, of strategy have been positive.
the teacher normally ends up giving the Chris Roland is based
target language as additional input at I notice that all of the examples given at the British Council,
Barcelona, Spain, and
some point in any case. If its not prior come from advanced-level throughout the year is
to the exercise, then it will often be coursebooks. Is this only for high-level involved with as much
teacher training and
during the exercise when students get learners and, if so, what about me? The conference speaking as
stuck and start asking for meanings; or highest level I have is intermediate. is possible on top of his
regular teaching schedule.
it might be after the exercise, when the These just happen to be the classes I He writes primary,
students have already got the answers was teaching when I tried the technique. secondary and business
material for several
wrong and the teacher is trying to There is absolutely no reason you cant publishers and is also
explain what the correct answers are do it with lower-level students. Please let involved in projects such
as Inanimate Alice and his
and why. me know how it goes! own PowerPoint stories
Language exercises are meant to be for very young learners at
a vehicle for language learning. So I ask
you now to imagine your typical gapped

10 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


teaching 3
Rod Bolitho views the What do our learners need to know
about voice? Why do so many
explore this area in greater depth and to
get learners thinking about it instead of
importance of voice. coursebooks and teachers make such a responding mechanistically.
big issue of the passive as a structure?
Are we making it more difficult for 
learners than it really is?
Each of these activities is designed to
here is nothing structurally push learners far beyond the immediate

T difficult about the passive voice

in English. Once learners have
a command of the parts of the
verb to be and the form of the past
participle (V3), they have the means at
comfort zone of formulaic transformation
exercises and simple rules of usage. They
are designed to be mulled over and
discussed in pairs or groups in order to
help the learners to work towards a feel
their disposal to construct passive for how English speakers make decisions
forms. And yet, for decades, structural about active and passive use. To do this,
syllabuses insisted dogmatically on they need to work on whole texts like
providing for teaching the passive tense those in Activities 1 and 2, where the
by tense, and for practising it by asking writer has made considered choices, but
learners to transform active sentences they will also benefit from becoming
into the passive. Recent coursebooks aware of how activeness and
have begun to focus much more on the passiveness underlie aspects of the lexical
uses of the passive in English, and this system, as in the third activity. All this
is an important step forward as some implies thinking and talking about
languages use the passive less than English, and if this means that some of
English does, making use of other the discussion takes place in the mother
options such as impersonal constructions tongue, that should not be a problem. It
(German man and French on, for is the quality of the thinking and talk
example, and third person plural or a that counts in cases like this.
reflexive, as in Russian). However, very Rod Bolitho is Academic
few coursebooks explore reasons for the Director at Norwich
Institute for Language
choices of voice that writers and speakers Education, UK.
make as a text unfolds and, still less, the Previously, he spent 17
years at the University
wider notions of activeness and College of St Mark and
passiveness, which have their St John in Plymouth. His
most recent book is
equivalents in all languages. Here on Trainer Development,
pages 13 and 14 is a straightforward co-authored with Tony
sequence of activities (plus keys) at
upper-intermediate level designed to

12 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com

Activity 1
Look at the following text and answer the questions alongside it.

What happens when you 1 Why does the writer address the reader
press the Start button on a photocopier? directly here?
Inside a copier there is a special drum. The drum acts a lot like a balloon it
can be charged with a form of static electricity. 2 Why does the writer choose the
Inside the copier there is also a very fine black powder known as toner. The passive in these two cases?
drum, once it is charged with static electricity, can attract the toner particles.
3 Who made it? Is it important to know?
The drum, or belt, is made out of photoconductive material.

Here are the actual steps involved in making a photocopy: 4 Why becomes charged and not just
is charged here?
1 The surface of the drum becomes charged.
2 An intense beam of light moves across the paper that you have placed 5 Why the active voice again here?
on the copiers glass surface. Light is reflected from white areas of the
paper and strikes the drum below. 6 Look at the three verbs in this
3 Wherever a photon hits, electrons are emitted from the photoconductive sentence. Why does the writer switch
from active to passive and then back?
atoms in the drum and they neutralise the positive charges above. Dark
areas on the original (such as pictures or text) do not reflect light onto
7 Do these adjectives imply that the
the drum, leaving regions of positive charges on the drums surface.
toner and the paper are charged
4 The negatively charged, dry, black pigment called toner is then spread during or before the process? Can you
over the surface of the drum, and the pigment particles adhere to the see the hidden passive in them?
positive charges that remain.
5 A positively charged sheet of paper then passes over the surface 8 Can you see why this is sometimes
of the drum, attracting the beads of toner away from it. called a telescoped passive? Can you
find two more examples in the text?
6 The paper is then heated and pressed to fuse the image formed
by the toner to the papers surface. 9 Why is the passive used so often in
this kind of text?
And your photocopy is ready all in a few seconds!

Activity 2
Look at this short newspaper extract and answer the questions alongside it.

1 Why is the passive used in the 7 ... are believed to have been
Tiger murdered in Arunachal Pradesh headline and in the first sentence killed ... Is this vague or
On January 7, a tiger was poisoned and bled to death of the report? precise? Why does the
journalist choose a passive
by inhabitants of Namuk, a village 30 km from 2 What does the first sentence tell
construction here? Would a
Siang district in Arunachal Pradesh. On January 8, us that is not in the headline?
writer in your language use
the tiger was brought to the village, where an 3 Who brought the tiger to the the passive here?
environmental activist caught it on camera before its village on January 8? Who
coat was removed and presumably sold. removed its coat and sold it? 8 ... never even get reported.
There is rumoured to be a flourishing trade in Why doesnt the journalist name Why not just ... are never
tiger skins and other body parts in the area, but these people? reported? What does get
villagers refused to confirm this. They claim that the add here?
4 Why does the journalist start the
tiger was killed to protect their farm animals from second paragraph with a passive 9 Who do you think the journalist
attack. The local police superintendent promised a construction: There is rumoured actually spoke to at first hand,
full investigation into this illegal activity, saying If to be ...? Would a writer in your and which parts of his report
smugglers are involved, they will be severely language use the passive here? seem to be based on hearsay?
punished under the Forest Act. How can you identify this
5 Why the switch to the active difference?
Over 200 tigers are believed to have been killed in
voice with They claim ... at the
India in the last twelve months. Activists are trying 10 Why do you think journalists
start of the next sentence?
to help local people to understand that this rate of find the passive so useful?
slaughter cannot be maintained if the tiger is to 6 Who will punish the smugglers
survive. Far too many cases never even get reported. (second paragraph)? Do we need
to know?

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 75 July 2011 13

Holistic grammar teaching 3
Activity 3
Which of the nouns and adjectives in
the list opposite have a passive a) loot b) drinkable c) trainer d) employee
flavour about them? Try to use a
passive construction to define each e) incredible f) manager g) patient h) unrepeatable
of them and an active construction
to define the others. When you have i) travel agent j) addressee k) soluble l) trainee
finished, think about words like these
in your own language, and how they m) payee n) manageable o) victim p) tolerable
are expressed and defined. Do you
notice any differences? (It may be best to do a couple of examples with the whole class to get them started.)

Key to activities
Please note that in many of these cases there may be no absolutely right answer. The process of thinking and discussion
that learners go through is far more important than the final answers they come up with.

Activity 1 writing as it is not an option in many point, and so covers himself by using
1 To attract the readers interest. To other languages. This is why it is good to the passive are believed to have been
provide an informal and personal way take every opportunity to raise their killed ....
into the description of a technical awareness of it in texts like this.) 8 A difficult one to answer, but the
process. 9 Because it is a description of a use of get seems to make the passive
2 Probably because the agent, or process in which the doer of an action, more dynamic here, almost as if he is
doer of the action, simply isnt important or agent, is usually irrelevant to accusing his fellow journalists of
here. understanding. ignoring an important issue on the
grounds that killing tigers has become
3 We dont know and its not important
Activity 2 so common as to be uninteresting.
to know.
1 To keep the focus on the main 9 He seems to have spoken to some
4 It emphasises a change of state character in the story, in this case the villagers and to the police, and has used
(very common in scientific and technical tiger. the active voice to report what they said,
contexts). even quoting the police superintendents
2 More detail on the way the tiger died
5 To re-engage the readers and to and who was responsible. exact words. Much of the rest of the
remind them that this is something they report seems to be based on second-
3 We dont know and the journalist
do regularly. hand information and, here, he uses the
doesnt name those responsible, for any passive to protect himself and to
6 The choice here seems to be mainly of the following reasons: a) he doesnt indicate a greater degree of uncertainty.
stylistic; it allows a ready sequencing of actually know exactly who did these
three interconnected phases in the 10 For many of the reasons stated
things; b) he believes the names to be
process, with the electrons as the subject unimportant and irrelevant to the story; above. It can be used to protect
of the second and third main verbs and c) he knows, but he is protecting himself sources, to protect the writer or to focus
therefore the main focus for a reader. from legal action or revenge by not on the main character or incident in the
7 They were charged before this revealing the names. story, especially where the doer of an
action is unknown or not relevant.
stage. You can spot the hidden or 4 Possibly because he doesnt know,
underlying passive if you extend the or wants to protect, the source of these
noun phrase into a clause in each case:
Activity 3
The toner which has been negatively Some examples will suffice here:
5 Possibly because he is reporting
charged ... and The sheet of paper A trainee is someone who is being
exactly what the villagers said to him. He
which has been positively charged .... trained.
seems to be sure of his ground here.
8 Sometimes also called a telescoped If a substance is soluble, it can be
6 There is no need to include an agent
relative, it can be readily expanded to dissolved.
here there is an assumption that every
the image which has been formed by the
reader will be familiar with the way the A victim is someone who has been
toner. The other examples are: a very
law works. attacked, hurt or killed.
fine black powder known as toner and
the actual steps involved. 7 It is deliberately imprecise. The A travel agent arranges journeys and
(Note: Learners often find it difficult to writer doesnt have access to exact holidays.
build this telescoping into their own statistics but still wants to make the

14 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com

V O C A B U L A R Y word. For one group of learners, a
number of these criteria may hold true,
while others may feel comfortable simply

knowing the meaning or translation of
a word. As teachers, we hope that our
learners will go beyond the simple
meaning of a word in order to be able
to use it correctly and to understand its
further implications. Discussing these
points with learners can be a first step

towards learner autonomy. When
learners feel bombarded by new
information, they often dont take the
time to delve further into meaning,
context, collocation, origin, etc. By
discussing these points with them, we
can offer them more opportunities to

own words, a first step towards helping
them to discover their own strategies.

Learning vocabulary
The next step can be to look at the
specific methods we used to learn
vocabulary. Some people feel the need

to use highlighters or underline words,
others create vocabulary lists with
translations or meanings; some write
words on file cards to carry around with

As teachers,
we hope that our
Marjorie Rosenberg earners are often overwhelmed learners will go
maintains there are as many
ways of learning lexis as
L by the amount of vocabulary
they are expected to learn.
However, they are rarely given
tips on methods to help them with this
task. Many of us who teach English
beyond the simple
meaning of a word in
order to be able to
there are learners. around the world have learnt a second
language ourselves and, if we take the use it correctly
time to think about the methods we
used, we can incorporate them into our
lesson planning to help our students them, others create sentences using the
learn, recall and use vocabulary in an words and hold conversations with
appropriate manner. imaginary people. Brainstorming ideas
with your learners and asking them if
they have favourite methods for learning
Knowing vocabulary can lead to a lively discussion and give
It is helpful to spend some time having them the chance to think about how to
learners think about what goes into the learn and not just what to learn.
learning of vocabulary. Ricky Lowes Learners often feel that they have to use
and Francesca Target recommend that a methods suggested to them by teachers
good place to start is to discuss what it or parents, even though these methods
really means to know a word. Does it may not be suitable for them. By
mean that we can translate it into our discussing possibilities, we can open up
mother tongue, give a definition of the the dialogue to include a wide variety of
word in English, identify the context in ideas and demonstrate to learners that
which it is used, its origin, what it other possibilities exist. It may be that
collocates with or which part of speech the most unusual methods are the most
it is? These are some of the criteria helpful and can inspire other learners to
which can determine knowledge of a try them out. In addition, explaining

16 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com

methods we ourselves have used can be Roleplays
a rapport-building exercise in the Learners can Roleplays and simulations are extremely
classroom. By sharing this information
effective with physical learners as these
with our learners, we set up an also be encouraged types of students tend to remember
atmosphere of trust and can act as the
living proof that a method can work.
to look for their situations in which they have used a
word and use these as a hook to recall
There is every possibility that wide own words to bring the word itself.
differences will occur in these discussion
sessions. The reason for this may to class to see if the Realia
depend on the learning style of each
individual learner and the way they others can figure out Working with realistic materials, such as
train schedules, hotel brochures, menus,
prefer to process information. One what they mean instruction manuals and objects, is
model for looking at different styles is
to take into account cognitive, physical needed to help physical learners to
and affective approaches to learning. this game with a new twist. Inspired by imprint the new vocabulary. Activities I
an activity by Felicity ODell and Katie have used include feeling items in a bag
and guessing what they are, miming
Cognitive learners Head, I have begun giving my learners
putting on and taking off articles of
lists of words and having them come up
Cognitive learners are often quite clothing, labelling a colleague in the
with the reason why each of the words
analytical. They frequently demand very classroom by using small pieces of tape
could be the odd one out. For example,
specific explanations and may be on which they have written different
I might give them a list of school
interested in word origins. Simply parts of the body, or playing dominoes
supplies, such as stapler, glue, paper clip
memorising words rarely works for or matching games by giving each
and hole punch, and ask them to come
them if they dont feel that they truly learner a card and having them
up with reasons why each of these
understand where the word came from, physically find the person or people
individual items could be the odd one
how it is used, etc. These learners like whose cards match theirs.
out. Suggestions from learners have
making decisions about words and
included: the stapler attaches items
enjoy analysing the fine differences
together permanently with metal, the Snowball activities
between words of similar meaning. Snowball activities in which learners ask
glue is sticky, the paper clip can be
They learn by categorising and making each other questions and get answers
easily removed and the hole punch does
word charts. They seek structure and and then exchange cards before moving
not attach items. As there is no one
like to break down sentences into the on to the next learner are also enjoyable
correct answer, analytical learners enjoy
various parts of speech. for physical learners. In general, any
searching for logical explanations and
So, what types of activities can we activity which requires some sort of
often come up with a number of ideas.
offer these learners? physical movement combined with
Logic puzzles language work is helpful for them.
New words
Cognitive learners also enjoy logic
One effective activity is finding new
words and having the learners work out
puzzles. There are a number of Affective learners
deduction puzzles written specifically for Affective learners are those who need to
their meanings. When we choose words
language learners in which they are given make personal associations to new
which have recently come into the
information and have to solve the puzzle material. They may look for ways in
English language, like biphonal, we give
by using logical thinking. They often get which the words are important to them
them the opportunity to use their
so involved in working out the solution personally or connect them to other
analytical skills. Learners of at least
that they dont think about the fact that familiar material. They enjoy words
intermediate level will certainly know
they are doing it in a foreign language. which deal with feelings, although the
that the prefix bi means two and that
phonal refers to the telephone. When intrapersonal among them will not
they then see the definition speaking on Physical learners readily discuss their own feelings. These
two phones at the same time, this Physical learners exhibit different learners may enjoy choosing their
makes sense to them. New words come characteristics. In order to learn, they favourite word in a sentence, deciding
up in texts from newspapers, magazines need to connect words to concrete that they like a word because of the way
and the internet. Learners can also be objects or physical movement. They it sounds or looks. In addition, they
encouraged to look for their own words often remember a word better when they may be interested in using words to
to bring to class to see if the others can have actually done something connected reach emotional goals.
figure out what they mean. with it, such as miming it or using the
object it represents. They may also need Experience
Odd one out to learn a word by physically feeling the Suitable activities for these learners
Odd one out is a standard vocabulary shape of their mouths and the position include those in which they can write
exercise in which the learners have to of their tongues when pronouncing it. about personal experiences. One
say which word in a list of words is Realia and things that they can touch successful essay topic I have used is to
different from the others. I find that and use are useful resources for working write about an important first in their
cognitive learners, in particular, enjoy with these learners. lives. As most people have some first

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 75 July 2011 17

on each other, as well as joint projects
where participation from each member
of the team is necessary to reach a goal, As we often teach in the way we

learners, will appeal to these learners.

Developing autonomy
ourselves learn best, we often forget that
those sitting in front of or across from
us may not share our preferences. When

different Outside the classroom, learners need to

take charge of their learning processes
we recognise that people have different
needs and different learning styles, we

learning and discover both their own strengths

and weaknesses and what to do about
them. By examining their preferences
become more tolerant and open to the
diversity in our classrooms. By
expanding our repertoire and looking
experience that they remember well, I for new ideas to reach our learners, we
and truly thinking about learning rather
rarely hear anyone complain that they not only become more successful
than just learning by rote, they can
cant think of anything to write about. teachers but we help our students to
begin to find out for themselves what
For those who need help, a short become more successful learners. It is,
works and what does not.
brainstorming session can come first therefore, essential to remember that
and the learners can be prompted by there are as many methods to learn
being asked if they remember the first Outside the classroom, vocabulary as there are learners.
time they rode a bicycle, went abroad, Helping our learners to find the one
spoke to a native speaker of English, learners need to take which works best is the key to setting
etc. As these stories are personal, I read them on the road to success. ETp
and correct them but do not share them
charge of their learning
Lowers, R and Target, F Helping Students
with the class unless the writers give processes and discover to Learn: A Guide to Learner Autonomy
their permission. Some learners who Richmond Publishing 1998
have held back in class produce their own strengths
ODell, F and Head, K Games for
wonderful material as they get involved
in writing their own stories.
and weaknesses Vocabulary Practice CUP 2003

Marjorie Rosenberg
Collaboration The ultimate goal of encouraging teaches at the University
of Graz, Austria. She is
Cooperative activities which create an learners to understand how vocabulary also a teacher trainer
atmosphere of positive interdependence is acquired, remembered and recalled is and Cambridge ESOL
examiner, presenter and
are also good for affective learners. to help them on the road to learner materials writer. Her
When learners feel they are an essential autonomy. When they begin to think publications include
In Business (CUP),
part of a team, they will generally try to about what words mean to them and Communication Business
do their best so as not to let the team discover strategies they can use to Activities (now available
at www.English 360.com)
down. Cooperative activities, such as improve their vocabulary, they can and two sets of
crossword puzzles where each learner begin to make decisions for themselves textbooks for Austrian
schools. Currently she is
has a set of clues and must contribute on how to learn. Our role is to joint-coordinator of the
to help the group solve the puzzle, introduce a number of methods, theirs Business English Special
is to discover for themselves which Interest Group of IATEFL.
jigsaw reading or information-gap
technique works best for them. Marjorie.Rosenberg@aon.at
activities where partners are dependent


Do you have ideas youd like to share
EACHING with colleagues around the world? Do you have something to say about
Tips, techniques and activities; simple or an article in the current issue of ETp?
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18 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com

S P E A K I N G miracle activity that they would enjoy. I
didnt give much homework in fact I
didnt require much of them at all.

What I really needed to do was to
come to grips with the students real
requirements in order to understand
what would make them speak. So I
talked with the students out of class
and started working in a team with my
teaching colleagues. Suddenly, it dawned
on me that the students didnt speak

simply because they couldnt express
themselves orally in real time. Above all,
they needed training, just as they would
in order to participate in a sport. So I
had to find a way to increase STT
(Student Talking Time) dramatically
especially individual STT.

The deconstruction of
class time
When a teacher asks all the questions
and only one student at a time replies,
the average amount of talking time for
each student is very limited, even with
enthusiastic students. Imagine a class of
20 students. You spend ten minutes per
Marianne Raynaud sk dedicated language

hour giving explanations and an
teachers what their most
is pleased when she gets the frustrating task is and they
will invariably say it is getting I really needed
most out of her students. the students to speak. No matter how
good students are at reading or writing, to come to grips with
they often fall silent when teachers start the students real
asking questions. This silence can be
very nerve-wracking for teachers, as I requirements in order to
learnt when I started teaching at a
technological university in France. Like
understand what would
most teachers, I sensed something was make them speak
wrong. I tried very hard to do what I
had been taught in the official teacher-
training programme, ie find the most additional five minutes distributing
interesting texts and ask the most documents or asking students to take
judicious questions. I chose ESP texts, out materials, so you have 45 minutes left
current events texts, cultural texts, but for oral production. If you use questions
nothing seemed to work. Of course, a to elicit answers, you will be sharing this
few students would participate if I remaining time with your students.
called on them, but with the rest it was Undoubtedly, you will have to repeat
like pulling teeth. Moreover, we had a certain questions, make comments or
language lab and I almost had to beg the explain incorrect answers. Most probably
students to go in. The director of the you will use up at least 25 minutes doing
engineering school had warned me at our this, leaving only 20 minutes for the
first meeting that the students wouldnt members of the class. And if the
be interested and, after a few months, I students have to raise their hands and
had to concede that he was right. speak one after another, the average
amount of STT will be one minute per
student per hour. With larger classes it
The disease to please will be even less! Six years of traditional
I soon realised that I was afflicted by instruction 60 hours per year will
the disease to please. I desperately give students a maximum of six hours
wanted the students to like me, so I kept of oral production: hardly enough to
searching for the miracle text or the make them operational in English!

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 75 July 2011 19

for their tutorials, and the teachers had concentrate on the sounds they hear and
the opportunity to point out incorrect are not distracted by pictures. Language
usage without embarrassing them in assimilation is quicker because the brain
front of their classmates. creates its own pictures in order to recall

talking Creating a lab

words or expressions. Workbooks with
written exercises to do while listening or
repeating are excellent, as writing

time programme
Our language lab has technology that
was cutting edge at the time it was
installed: 15 years before the advent of
reinforces learning and students have a
written record of the work they have
done in the lab for further study or to
prepare for tests. In order that students
Teachers who are very talented and
very energetic can often get all the the internet. Today, teachers can organise never feel lost, we make sure answer
students, particularly young learners, their own lab with tutorials system in keys are always available to correct
responding together in harmony, but any room equipped with computers finished work or simply to help the
older students seldom appreciate this (with or without a connection to the students understand what is being said.
chorus technique. Some educators may internet). In the future I see language Audio files can also be used as keys for
say the silent ones are actually labs composed of MP3 players with written homework assignments and, of
participating by giving the answers in amplifying headsets that are simply course, a song at the end of a lab hour
their heads. This may be true to a linked through wifi to a central server, is always appreciated. Songs can involve
certain extent, but the best way to learn to an interactive whiteboard or to the gap-filling exercises or the students can
something is to have the opportunity to teachers own computer. just sing along with the lyrics. With
explain it to someone else, to have the Getting our students to prepare for challenging exercises, all the students
chance to articulate an answer in their one-to-one tutorials was easy. The will be speaking or practising intensive
complete sentences, and not just think listening 9095% of the time in the lab.
about it.
Having a teacher The importance of lab
The importance of correct you, show work
tutorials interest in what you are Some teachers may object to lab work,
In order to increase individual STT saying that students can listen to English
dramatically, my team and I decided to saying and give you and do online exercises on their own out
emphasise oral activities that would of class. But we all know the importance
enable many, or even all, the students to
positive feedback is a of motivation. We may promise on
speak at the same time. My idea was unique experience January 1 to exercise every day, but if
simple: if I could get all the students to we dont join a gym, we often give up
work on their own in the schools very quickly. Another advantage is the
language lab on activities designed to difficult part at the beginning was wonderful library atmosphere you can
perfect their speaking skills, then I creating lab programmes that would create. Students go into the lab on time
would be able to work with one student keep all the other students busy for 60 and start working independently out of
at a time, tailoring my teaching to suit minutes. Today, resources are readily respect for classmates who are about to
their individual needs. I wanted to give available online free or for a minimal do their tutorials. Our lab has no
all the students the opportunity to fee. Our programme had the students partitions but, with their headsets on,
speak with their teacher alone for 20 repeating, responding to stimuli or the students cannot hear those who are
minutes on a subject of their choice translating into English for the first half having their private sessions with their
several times during the year. I thought of the hour. I made sure that recordings teacher. Nobody ever raises their voice,
this lab + tutorial setup would allowed space for listen and repeat and if students do speak with their
encourage autonomy and allow the activities. I found interactive grammar neighbours they do so in whispers.
students to choose the materials they drills were valuable, too. They may seem Our tutorials are not limited to 20-
wanted to study. difficult and tedious, but they are very minute talks. We also get the students to
From the very beginning, the effective as they develop spontaneous give shorter presentations in the form of
tutorial system totally changed the verbal reaction. We found that exercises interviews, reports or stories. We have
teacherstudent relationship. My taking about 20 minutes were ideal for even used the same system for oral tests
colleagues were delighted, since we all this first part. During the last 30 minutes towards the end of the term.
saw that the students were breaking out of lab, we had the students work on Having a competent and dedicated
of their shells and talking to us on topics listening comprehension with written teacher correct you in real time, show
about which they were passionate. By cloze exercises, on pronunciation pitfalls interest in what you are saying and give
eliminating peer pressure and focusing with grids to fill in, or on the correction you positive feedback is a unique
on personal interests, we enabled them to of homework with audio keys. experience. In large classes, tutorials can
hone their speaking skills. Moreover, we Recordings lasting ten minutes proved be conducted in pairs with students
were able to ask authentic questions not to work best for the last half hour. asking each other questions towards the
pre-prepared ones. The students put in a Audio files seem to work better than end in a debate or discussion. Whatever
tremendous amount of work preparing video, as the students have to the class setup, do try to give some

20 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com

private tutoring to your students. It is grammar point. No student was ever assigned to prepare a thank-you speech,
well worth the effort. called upon to recite in front of the explaining what they had learnt, giving
class so there was no embarrassment, positive feedback and inviting their
Increased STT during and the listening student was allowed to classmates to applaud the speakers. The
follow along with the text so they could rest of the class took extensive notes, as
the classroom hour help. Teachers are frequently afraid of they were told that an analysis of one of
In our programme all the students had giving students texts to memorise, but the talks (chosen at random) would be
a two-hour session once a week, with the memory potential of students is part of their end-of-term oral exam. Of
one hour in the lab and one hour in the extraordinary, and I feel it is our duty course, the students were given detailed
classroom. Once we had achieved more to train this innate mental capacity. worksheets with advice and suggested
or less 90 percent talking or intensive At other times, the assignment would or required language to prepare for each
listening time in the lab through the be to translate sentences orally into of these presentations. The language
tutorials and intensive lab work, we had English from the students native tongue they would need was often practised
to find an effective plan for the classroom with a partner giving prompts. This ahead of time in the lab exercises.
hour. Obviously, questionanswer activity was often followed by an ad-
routines were out. We searched for a way libbing session, with students producing 
to have all the students talking as much sentences based on a topic suggested by
as possible, with the teacher intervening the teacher. Much gesticulating and With hindsight, I can say that focusing
very seldom. We aimed at 60 to 70 natural laughter generally ensued. on individual STT was the best
percent individual STT. An additional Next, we would have a guided professional decision I ever took.
concern was ensuring the students were group activity in threes. Students would Former students often write to thank
speaking correct English. We tried spontaneously discuss topics or negotiate me for making them learn by heart and
various solutions until we decided on on themes presented in documents. speak in class all the time. They
the following strategy: we would have remember how much they laughed.
the students teach each other. Today there is much emphasis on
Homework correction lends itself Former students exploiting new technology, but many
very well to pairwork. Students are lent teachers are not confident in using it
one key for each exercise. One student
often write to thank and find it stressful. I believe there is a
reads out their answers, while the other me for making them middle way that can benefit everyone.
checks, advises or explains orally. We Have your students use all the
make it a firm rule that the student with learn by heart and communication tools available today to
the key must never show it to their read, study what they are interested in
partner. When keys are easy to follow speak in class all and prepare amazing visuals or video
(eg duplicates of the worksheets but with the time documents on their own. Then, in class,
the right answers inserted), teachers train their speaking skills, guide them
dont have to intervene. Everyone is towards correct usage and give them
speaking or listening intensively all the During their discussions they would have positive feedback, complimenting them
time. Try it and you will see homework to tick off the expressions they had used on their technological prowess. There is
correcting goes three times faster, and that were listed in their workbooks. Of no need for us to compete in this area
teachers can answer questions course, during all these activities the with our digital natives. And that is not
individually. When several teachers share teacher would walk around the room what they expect from us. Try to reach
keys (stored in binders in plastic sleeves and correct the students discreetly. They the 75 percent rule: students speaking or
and only lent out to students), this accepted such correction well as it was listening attentively for 45 minutes out
reduces photocopying time, saves paper done in the presence of only one or two of every hour. Become a guide, coach
and encourages teamwork. Finally, when other students. and cheerleader instead of the master.
correcting written answers to questions Finally, for the last half hour we You may have to learn to be silent, but
based on a text, the students dont even would have oral presentations. These your students will never forget you! ETp
need keys. Most often they have come up could be individual with one- to two-
with the same answer and copied it from minute presentations in rounds the Marianne Raynaud is a
the text. Through pairwork, this written students would say the same thing four former professor at
Grenoble Institute of
checking exercise becomes oral work. times to different groups of three, Technology, France, and
according to a chart. We also had is the author of
QualityTime-ESL: The
Increased participation presentations done by pairs in front of Digital Resource Book.
the whole class. First they were very She was awarded the
in classroom activities short, consisting of reports on surveys
prestigious Palmes
Acadmiques for
After the pairwork correction activity, with graphs and ongoing projects found innovations in teaching.
Today she is webmaster
we decided to have our students recite on the internet and delivered in four of QualityTime-ESL.com
short texts or poems to each other. PowerPoint slides. Later they became and airs three podcast
series on iTunes:
These were generally the listening longer (with 15 minutes speaking time QualityTime-ESL, Your
comprehension exercises they had and a ten-minute follow-up activity for English and 5-Minute
worked on the week before in the lab. the class). To get even more active
They could also be poems illustrating a participation, two other students were

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 75 July 2011 21


Laura Gamble recommends the reinforcement of rites for her very young students.

s adults, we often like a change which are predominantly in lower case. show them story on the list and count
in our routine, something to It is rare to see big chunks of language with them up to that point. I feel that
shake it up a little. If we found written anywhere in capital letters. this enables students who are too
ourselves in a classroom, learning a VYLs can usually count if not in young to have any real concept of time
second language or any other new skill, English, then in their native language to follow the lesson plan.
we would most probably be bored if the and a total of seven or eight points
teacher followed the same format week seems manageable. Putting a picture 
in week out. Young children do not next to each item is even better, as Once a routine is established, its hard
have this problem. They like routine and portraying things visually is key at this but not impossible to change it,
anything that differs from the norm may age. My board may look like this: especially if it is something the students
be met with questions and confusion. like doing or have previously been
It is important to create a safe and 1 game praised for. In one of my classes, I used
comfortable learning environment in to let the children put away their own
the classroom, and the teacherstudent 2 old sound whiteboards, thinking this would allow
relationship is central to this 3 new sound them to develop responsibility for
environment. Students need to be able
to trust their teacher. They also need to
4 all sounds a b c keeping the classroom tidy. The
problem was that they started fighting
feel that the teacher believes in them. 5 writing over who could do what. Its simply no
And paramount for children is, I believe, good telling a four year old that its
to establish a routine. This article will 6 song
Jamies turn this week. This awareness
focus on the teaching of very young of time is too sophisticated for
7 story
learners (VYLs): three to four years old. students of this age group.
8 bye bye! Change is not, then, impossible.
Lists and lower case Obviously, when students progress from
Once you have planned your lesson and one level to the next there are inevitable
are ready to start teaching it, you need changes. Likewise, if you observe a fellow
to find a way to convey your plan to Lessons and likes teacher and you decide to try out his
your students. Children as young as I have found over time that putting bye or her way, this will necessarily involve
three can often understand the meaning bye at the end really does make a changes to your own routine. Children
of simple ideas, such as new sound, story difference. When I first started teaching are adaptable and once the change has
and song. These can be markers for them VYLs, I didnt recognise this as an actual been explained and carried out a couple
to look for throughout the lesson. I stage in the lesson. I would also get a of times in practice, it becomes a new
have found that writing a numbered list little upset when students asked if it was routine and they can barely remember
on the board helps enormously. Even home-time next, as I thought this was an how it was done before. Just be
though the children cant read, they can indication that they werent enjoying the prepared for all the questions! ETp
see how many points are on the list. lesson. On reflection, I dont believe this
Laura Gamble taught
The stages of the lesson should be to be the case at all. Its just something business English in
written in lower case as this is more that they understand. Germany for two years
and has also taught in
recognisable to VYLs (as it is to any As the lesson progresses, I tick off the UK. She is currently
learners). When learning the sounds each point covered as we go along and teaching and writing
materials in Hong Kong.
represented by different letters, the put a smiley face next to it. Then I let
letters are generally presented in their the children count how many more
lower-case form. Moreover, the biggest things we have to do before its time to
exposure to written language that VYLs leave. If, for example, early in the lesson
get is probably through story books, a student asks if its story next, I will

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 75 July 2011 23


Phillip Brown suggests nitting patterns are, or so I a student begins a talk or essay by

that practice makes perfect.

K am told, easy to follow once
you get going. Its just a
question of getting the hang
of them. Thats the beauty of a pattern,
any pattern: its repeatable. And what is
saying, The violence is a very serious
problem, and .... Candidates who begin
like this have, from the word go,
announced their inability to use the key
word properly, causing sighs of despair
repeatable can be practised, and practice and knitted brows from the examiners.
makes perfect. Herein also lies the The use or non-use of articles is a key
beauty of patterns, when discoverable, in feature of nouns such as these and is no
the business of language teaching and easy matter. A candidates L1 may well
learning. In this discussion, I shall limit contain articles, but the rules of usage
myself to two types of pattern. may be different (as they are in French,
These patterns are useful in the Italian and Spanish); or they may
teaching and practice of what we have contain articles of an entirely different
come to call discursive English, both species, if we can even call them articles
written and spoken. at all (for example, Japanese, Korean
and Turkish).
Pattern 1 So what? Well, simply this: a pattern
is something that can be followed. And
Most teachers who prepare candidates then, once you get the hang of it, well ...
for examinations such as IELTS, CAE Consider the following text:
and CPE will agree that it is difficult to
get their students to follow the rules of Unemployment is a very serious
correct lexical and grammatical issue. The unemployment of the
structure in the context of discussions younger generation, in particular, is a
of global topics such as poverty, problem that should concern us all.
homelessness, terrorism, education, The unemployment of very large
ignorance, pollution, and so on. numbers of people obviously affects
Topics like these are expressed as the social and economic fabric of
abstract general uncountable nouns, and society, and this could have
examination questions are, of course, disastrous effects on the political
not a test of philosophical or political future of the country concerned.
originality but of the candidates ability, There are many other issues that
among other things, to use such nouns should worry us. However,
according to the canons of correct unemployment is not something that
English. These topic nouns are key can be ignored indefinitely, because
words, so errors concerning them are the unemployment of the 1920s and
regarded as fundamental. Moreover, the 30s in Western Europe taught us
ability or inability to use them correctly lessons we should never forget.
is often immediately apparent, as when

24 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com

Can we see a pattern here? Well, who are Abstract general nouns take the definite sociological function of grammar and
you asking? If I speak a language which article in such constructions as the + of choice of grammar. Since it relates
doesnt use articles in the same way, the noun + of , the + noun + between ..., grammar to real life and to real-life
point may yet be lost on me. So, lets try and so on, which are constructions of choices, it should appeal to students
again, and this time with a topic which greater specificity. They also require the who very naturally seek a practical
may touch us all even more closely: definite article in clauses which take framework for the understanding of
which or that, or in clauses where which English grammar. Our context is still
Love is a house of many mansions, or that can be employed but are omitted discursive English. Again, consider
which is to say that it is of many according to the preference of the topics such as pollution, violence,
different kinds. The love of a person speaker or writer. homelessness, poverty, etc. The point is
for their job is very different from the The point here, however, is not to that we are providing students with a
love which exists between mother or argue the grammar of abstract general grammar framework suitable for the
father and child. The love of a man nouns, but merely to point out the discussion of many different topics,
or woman for their partner is very importance of establishing patterns almost like a picture frame: the frame
different from the love of music or of which students should then be remains the same, but the picture can be
art. The love of ones job is different encouraged to imitate. changed.
from the love between composer and We can also present students with
music. The love of mathematics is the wrong pattern and invite them to Type 1 Conditional:
not the same as the love between correct it:
Romeo and Juliet. The philosopher a) If we fail to address the problem
Bertrand Russell says that love is The beauty is a house of many properly, the consequences may
wise and hatred is stupid. What kind mansions, which means that it is of be dire.
of love is he talking about? different kinds. Beauty of mathematics b) The consequences may be dire
is very different from beauty of Mother if we fail to address the problem
Is the pattern clear now? No? Well, lets Teresa or of Jesus Christ. Beauty we properly.
try again. Lets try poverty: may associate with a piece of music
c) If we should fail to address
is very different from beauty of
the problem properly, the
Poverty is a global issue. The poverty Catherine Zeta Jones. Beauty of
consequences may be dire.
of so-called third-world countries has Catherine Zeta Jones is not beauty
been much publicised. However, the Don McLean sang about in d) The consequences may be dire
poverty we can associate with, for connection with life of Vincent Van if we should fail to address the
example, the poor quarters of Brazil, Gogh. The beauty is not, therefore, problem properly.
is abject and totally unacceptable. one thing. It is not easy to talk about e) Should we fail to address the
Although poverty is on the political the beauty without talking about problem properly, the
agenda of most civilised countries, beauty of very different things. consequences may be dire.
the poverty we only occasionally hear f) The consequences may be dire
about is almost beyond belief. The Texts demonstrating correct or incorrect should we fail to address the
discussion of poverty should therefore patterns can be presented in a variety of problem properly.
take into account the poverty which ways, including dictation by the teacher
most civilised people would consider or by the students themselves. The aim Type 2 Conditional:
totally reprehensible in modern times. is to teach our students to knit language
together, and to follow the right pattern a) If we failed to address the
Still not clear? No matter, we could go in doing so. problem properly, the
on and on, through pollution, hunger, Having established the pattern, it consequences could be dire.
inflation, drug addiction, beauty ... may now be time to try it out in spoken
b) The consequences could be dire
Lets try beauty: English. Aspects of the pattern may be
if we failed to address the
made more memorable by inviting
problem properly.
Beauty is of different kinds. The students to discuss together, for example,
beauty of mathematics is very Platos suggestion that the purpose of c) If we were to fail to address the
different from the beauty of Mother education is to teach us to love beauty. problem properly, the
Teresa or of Jesus Christ. The beauty Note in this quotation it is education, consequences could be dire.
we may associate with a piece of not the education, and beauty, not the d) The consequences could be dire
music is very different from the beauty. Or how about The world will be if we were to fail to address the
beauty of Catherine Zeta Jones. The saved by beauty (from The Idiot by problem properly.
beauty of Catherine Zeta Jones is not Dostoyevsky)? Note: the world, not
e) Were we to fail to address the
the beauty Don McLean sang about world, and beauty, not the beauty.
problem properly, the
in connection with the life of Vincent
consequences could be dire.
van Gogh. Beauty is not, therefore, Pattern 2
one thing. It is not easy to talk about f) The consequences could be dire
beauty without talking about the My second structural pattern, which I were we to fail to address the
beauty of very different things. believe students should be encouraged problem properly.
to imitate, also shows us the practical, 

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 75 July 2011 25

Structural patterns are also found in opinions are matters of their own
retrospective judgements, which should choosing, of their own evolution as
appeal to students for the same reasons thinking human beings, of their own

patterns that they appeal to us all. Consider

historical speculation:

a) If Charles I had defeated

perceptions of logic and of goodness
knows what else. However, whether or
not they can express their ideas and
their views correctly in English is not a
 Teachers know best how to teach what Cromwell, the course of English matter of their own choosing, nor is it
they teach. Granted. But here we have a parliamentary history might have of ours as teachers. It is a question of
pattern, and patterns are repeatable. been very different. the rules of language, of what they
Consider the political/sociological/ b) The course of English make possible and what they do not.
psychological difference between If we parliamentary history might have
fail to address the problem properly, the been very different if Charles I 
consequences may be dire and Were we had defeated Cromwell.
to fail to address the problem properly, Whether you are a student of
the consequences could be dire. c) Had Charles I defeated Cromwell, mathematics or of a language, it is
If you were a party leader the course of English parliamentary comforting to be presented with the
contemplating the imminent elections history might have been very phrase and so on. It means If youve
and you had been preaching the different. grasped the point, you can go on by
importance of positive attitudes, you d) The course of English yourself, with confidence. If the point
would much rather hear Were we to lose parliamentary history might have has not been grasped, well at least we
the election, the consequences for the been very different had Charles I can try again. It may be true that the
party could be dire than If we lose the defeated Cromwell. point in language is not what it is in
election, the consequences for the party mathematics. If it were, the Tower of
will be dire. Here, in c), we have a third conditional Babel would collapse in an instant.
Not very clear? Well, what about pattern including inversion. And there is Even so, patterns can sometimes be
simple courtesy and sensitivity? a mixed third conditional in a) below: found, which is why we can speak of
Suppose a sensitive, hardworking but rules. As teachers, our job is to
not exceptionally bright student is understand patterns and point them
a) If Charles I had defeated
worried about his performance in a out. Do it like this means Do it as we
Cromwell, the present role of the
forthcoming examination. Would you do it, and doing it as we do it means
British monarchy might be very
say If you fail, it wont be the end of the following a pattern. ETp
world or Were you to fail, it wouldnt be
b) The present role of the British Dr Phillip Brown teaches
the end of the world? The decision is English at Studio
yours, but in the interests of sensitivity, monarchy might be very different School, Cambridge, UK.
if Charles I had defeated He has a PhD in
I should choose the latter as it doesnt Philosophy from St
suggest the inevitability of failure in Cromwell. Johns College,
Cambridge, and has a
quite the same way that the former c) Had Charles I defeated Cromwell, continuing interest in his
does. the present role of the British area of specialisation.
The simple point here is that there He plays classical guitar
monarchy might be very different. as a hobby.
are patterns to practise, and in the above
d) The present role of the British
examples I would argue that the
monarchy might be very different phillip.brown7@ntlworld.com
differences between the choices are
had Charles I defeated Cromwell.
differences involving diplomacy and
sensitivity; they are not simply straight
alternatives, differing purely in their And for more immediate effect, lets Writing for ETp
structure. apply this to a student: Would you like to write for ETp? We are
The conditional sentences given here always interested in new writers and fresh
are items which can be practised and a) If Laura had stayed in Italy, she ideas. For guidelines and advice,
would have worked in a beauty write to us or email:
applied to the topics denoted by
abstract general nouns of the type we salon.
began by discussing. Such sentences are b) Laura would have worked in a Reviewing for ETp
expected in discursive English, and the beauty salon if she had stayed in Would you like to review books or other
patterns and range of choices should be Italy. teaching materials for ETp? We are always
presented to students so that they can looking for people who are interested in
then apply them in their own work. If writing reviews for us.
we can get across to them such notions And so on. Please email
as sensitivity and diplomacy and The pattern continues. And the object is editor@etprofessional.com
common human decency, so much the for advice and a copy of our guidelines for
precisely to get students to go on in the
reviewers. You will need to give your postal
better. After all, grammar should have same way. Isnt that what we always try address and say what areas of teaching
evolved to suit our needs and our to do? We should try to get students to you are most interested in.
values, not vice versa. think for themselves; their ideas, their

26 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com

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TA L K B A C K Foreign Student) or I have an elbow on
my arm. I havent an elbow on my leg
(Success With English). A clever

contextualiser can usually think of a
possible situation where the lines occur.
For example, Mary has just removed her
veil after an arranged marriage, and her
husband has never seen her before. The
other is harder. Perhaps Frankensteins
monster is exploring his new body? But

a good
the artificiality was clear to everyone.
I was having a bath when the phone
rang is not artificial in the same way. Its
an example sentence and, unlike I
usually have tea with breakfast, its a
memorable example sentence. In real
life its more likely to be I was having a

bath when the f*!%*! phone rang. It was
a cold-call phone survey, too!

Memorable images
If I were writing a grammar summary
on the past simple and past continuous
tomorrow, I was having a bath when the
phone rang is probably the example
Peter Viney hasnt got sentence Id use. Why? Because we all
I was having a bath when
know that for some reason the phone,
an elbow on his leg, but the phone rang. the doorbell, the bath, the toilet and the
shower have a mystical connection in
hed remember it if he had. real life. My postman rings the doorbell
hat is it with this sentence

W that has led to so many

irate articles and lectures?
I remember Christina
Latham Koenig mentioning it in a talk
ten years ago. If only shed copyrighted
about twice a week, and inevitably does
it at least one time in three when I
literally have my trousers down or off.
Thats probably as fake as any other
statistic, but thats what it feels like when
the example and charged later users a fee! it happens. And if its not the doorbell,
Ive heard it mentioned at least six times its the phone. Why? Because I remember
in the last ten years. It was the title of a the times when it happens vividly.
talk in Brighton last year, and now Pete The example of someone relaxing
McFarlane focuses on it in ETp Issue 73. happily in a bath or shower when the
Pete MacFarlanes point is that telephone interrupts them sticks in the
people dont really say that. I dont mind. Its mildly funny. It illustrates
suppose people often say I usually have beautifully with a cartoon, with a
tea with breakfast or I went to school in doorbell example being even funnier.
London either, though the latter is a Students need memorable examples on
reasonable answer to the telephone which they can hang a structure. Its a
identity check. Where did you go to good example for an exercise, too,
school? Whats your mothers maiden because having a bath and phone rang are
name? What was your favourite school easily substituted. Its not subtle stuff,
subject? What was the make of your first and even beginners can feel the pleasure
car? They sound brusque and artificial, of thinking of a replacement: having a
but they are all questions used by banks shower, sitting on the toilet, cleaning my
to establish identity on the phone. teeth, making love Theyre bending
the structure around, playing with its
parts, grasping the concept.
Artificiality There is an art to composing
In my early teaching days, I used to examples which pin down a grammatical
moan about the artificiality of sentences point clearly and exemplify it, and which
in textbooks, but these were surreal, are also memorable. Mundane isnt
along the lines of I am Mary. I am your memorable. Corpus frequency has little
wife (Present Day English For The to do with it. I could even argue a case

28 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com

for the ridiculous Frankensteins monster the scale. I suspect that umbrella appears interviewed on radio or TV, they think
seeking his elbow. It would make a funny in so many example sentences because its hard about what theyre saying. So we can
sketch, re-cycling vocabulary for parts a convenient noun to demonstrate a/an, only record truly authentic transactions
of the body. Students would laugh, and and its easy to illustrate. So its a without the speakers knowledge. Theyre
laughter creates a relaxed and positive known vocabulary item from early on. full of hesitations, false starts and
environment. The idea that I take issue with is that incomplete sentences. Writers knew that
either the teacher or the learner believes already, without consulting corpora. We
that its a useful or transferable just didnt consider it to be particularly
Sequential learning sentence. Its function is slotting together interesting in teaching the language. So
Theres a difference between a grammar known and transparent concepts to an authentic speech act might be:
explanation designed to be comprehensive explain the basic meaning of the Well. Im like Urgh? Yuk! and
at intermediate level, and a grammar structure. It may rain. It may not rain. If so hes like Right! then its just
summary in a starter or elementary it rains, Ill take an umbrella. If it doesnt you know, kinda SO random, cos now he
coursebook. The former can draw on rain, I wont take an umbrella. No one is is like No way! Why are you askin
everything at that level for examples. labouring with meaning here, and no me? and so Im kinda like, You what?
The summary in a lower-level book is one is deluded into believing theyll ever I dunno if I mean, like
restricted to what students know at that need to say it. Theyre getting used to Authentic. Yeah, right. Useful?
point in their studies. A big grammar the basic mechanical fact: we use the Kinda not.
book doesnt have to consider the present If it rains not the will future If
sequence of student acquisition either, so it will rain. The basic meaning has long 
it can use a present perfect sentence to been supplanted by derived uses (Pete
illustrate object pronouns: Ive met her, but McFarlanes If youre interested in art, We cannot and should not teach learners
Ive never met him or If youd met them, youll love the Van Gogh Museum). You to be inarticulate. Our model language
youd like them. However, the grammar focus on those in the communicative demands clarity and communication.
summary in a lower-level book has to take parts of the lesson. Then you have a clear There is no reason for a learner to emulate
grammar summary that learners use for an inarticulate native speaker. Given
later checking and revision. Id add that a enough exposure, they might acquire the
Model sentences truculent 12 year old can understand the ability to be as inarticulate, and sound as
are designed for dull but transparent concept of rain and dumb, as a native speaker. But they dont
umbrella, but may find it even duller still have to do that. I cant count the times
explanation, not to discuss visiting art museums, feeling when non-ELT people have asked what I
do and, after Ive told them, theyve said
immediate transfer to that the only interesting thing about
Foreigners speak English so much better
Van Gogh is that he cut his own ear off.
real-life situations than we do. Yeah. Well, they gotta, see,
to be like, understood, innit?
into account that the student seeking
Authenticity Example sentences are not
information on object pronouns will Authentic material may or may not be phrasebook examples for repeating
almost certainly not have studied beyond memorable. Its often incomprehensible parrot fashion. Theyre designed to
the present simple and continuous tenses, for beginners, anyway. If you take a explain a grammatical point. All students
if that far. So the grammar summaries corpus extract with the target word in need the set phrases, the formulas and
accumulate sequentially. This is why they the middle and the authentic stuff that fixed expressions (There you go. Anything
have to be composed rather than winkled goes either side, youll have a bunch of else? 5.67 altogether. Bear with me )
out from corpus examples. Going back to authentic sentences that make little and the coursebook should provide those
I was having a bath when the phone rang, sense outside their context, and youll fixed formulas. Exemplifying grammar is
we can predict that students at the level find it hard to detect a pattern. All of us different. Model sentences are designed
where they might seek information on the create unique or near unique sentences for explanation, not immediate transfer
past continuous and past simple will know on a daily basis. to real-life situations, nor as a statistical
bath, phone and ring/rang. This might not Are corpus examples truly frequency sampling of what native
be so easy with Pete McFarlanes real authentic? Probably not. Anything from speakers say to each other. ETp
English example What were you just a TV or radio programme is scripted,
Peter Viney is the co-
saying? because, while the next utterance and when you script a TV programme, author of Streamline,
is unpredictable, reported speech is likely you remind people of the unfolding plot Grapevine, Handshake,
In English and many
to be involved. The response might well within your scripted dialogue. You use video courses. His latest
be I was telling you that Id forgotten her characters names more often than in book is Fast Track To
Reading (Garnet
name or I was saying that Id texted you unscripted dialogue so as to orientate Education). He has
20 minutes ago reported speech with the viewer. You move from A to B with recently re-published
licensed DVDs of his
past perfect. The sequence of acquisition clarity. Any examples of native-speaker first two video courses,
has just leapt forward several places. vague communication are decoration. A Weekend Away and
Authentic dialogue, for me, is not A Week By The Sea
Id take issue with the other example (Three Vee).
in Peter McFarlanes piece, too: If it rains dialogue designed for native speakers, Blog: http://peterviney.
tomorrow, Ill take an umbrella. Its but that which results from people being wordpress.com/

frequency, I entirely agree, would fall off recorded surreptitiously. If people are peter@viney.uk.com

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 75 July 2011 29

IN THE CLASSROOM grouping students. One way is to
choose a different topic for each of
the teams, put words connected to

Hot seat
each topic on slips of paper,
distribute them randomly amongst
the students and get them to find
their team members by discussing
the words on their slips of paper and
deciding which topic they relate to.
2 When the students are successfully

divided into teams, explain the
game procedure to them and ask
each team to distribute the
following roles among its members:
One team member is the person
who sits in the hot seat.
Three team members will be the
word finders, and one of them is
also the team secretary.
Sasan Baleghizadeh and Hadi Barzegar The remaining two team
members are word definers.
promote teamwork and a team activity.
3 Set up chairs so that there is a hot

ot seat is a game which is nor is the interviewee pretending to be a seat for each team. The students in

H frequently played in
language classes. It was
originally a TV game in
which an interviewer asks several
questions about the personal life and
celebrity. Our Hot seat plus game is
more of a word-guessing game, in which
the person in the hot seat is part of a
team and they have to work together to
try to guess words. The words are put
the hot seat should be facing away
from the computer screen or
wherever you are displaying your
PowerPoint presentation or sheets of
paper with letters. The students in
career of an interviewee, usually a together by the rest of the team from the hot seat must not see the letters
celebrity, who sits in the hot seat. letters displayed in a place where the and take no part in trying to make
Questions are typically things such as student in the hot seat cannot see them. words out of them.
Who is your favourite singer and can you The game involves teamwork and 4 Display the first group of six letters.
sing like him/her? and Would you like the practises the skill of speaking. Points The word finders try to make words
chance to go to Mars? are scored, but the points are allocated out of the letters; they must be
In the classroom, the activity can be to the whole team, not just the student actual words, not abbreviations. As
conducted in a similar way, with one in the hot seat. the word finders come up with
student acting as the interviewer and suggestions, the secretary writes
another as the interviewee, either Playing the game them down.
playing themselves or pretending to be a
celebrity. Either role can also be taken Preparation 5 Once they have found and written
by the teacher. To play Hot seat plus, you will need to down three words, these are handed
In its traditional form, the classroom put together several PowerPoint slides, to the word definers. The word
version of Hot seat rarely goes beyond each with a set of six letters, chosen at finders then continue looking for
the asking and answering of a set of random but from which the students more words. The word definers job
basic questions. The questions mostly can reasonably be expected to make is to think of definitions of the
revolve around the lesson topic or words. You will also need a computer words they are given and tell them
concentrate on a particular vocabulary with a large monitor or a data projector to the person in the hot seat so that
set or grammatical structure. When the and screen in the classroom. If these they can guess what the words are.
game is played in this way, the role of facilities are not available, you could They are not allowed to use
the teacher is vital: the situation can prepare several large sheets of paper synonyms, antonyms or collocations
easily get out of control if the students with the sets of letters on. as these make the defining and
ask unsuitable questions or give guessing process too easy.
inappropriate replies.
1 Put the students into teams of six. 6 Each team has five minutes to find
There are many different ways in as many words as possible from the
Hot seat plus which students can be allocated to given letters before the next group
We have modified the game, retaining teams and the actual process of of letters is displayed. For every
only the seat part of the original. Our selecting teams can act as a warm- correct word guessed by the person
version does not involve asking personal up activity. Teachers will all have in the hot seat, the team is awarded
or clichd questions of the interviewee, their own preferred methods of one point. At the end of the game,

30 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com

teamwork means to them. The reason
Characteristics of effective teams, based on for this is that companies are often
those identified by Larson and LaFasto looking for people who are team
players, who are able to get along with
their colleagues and who can work
The team must have a clear goal.
together in a cohesive group to achieve
Avoid vague statements. Team goals should call for a specific performance
the same goal. Some companies will
objective, expressed so concisely that everyone knows when the objective has
even go to the trouble of organising
been met.
team-building events in an attempt to
The team must have a results-driven structure. get their staff to work as a team rather
The team should be allowed to operate in a manner that produces results. It is than as individuals.
often best to allow the team to develop its own structure. Several characteristics of effective
teams were identified by Carl Larson and
The team must have competent team members. Frank LaFasto in their book Teamwork:
In an educational setting, this can be taken to mean that the problem given to What Must Go Right/What Can Go
the team should be one that the members can tackle given their level of Wrong (see box). Hot seat plus fulfils
knowledge. many of Larson and LaFastos criteria: it
The team must have unified commitment.
presents the students with a clear goal;
This does not mean that team members must agree on everything. It means that
encourages the teams to work within a
all individuals must be directing their efforts towards the goal. If any individuals
results-driven structure; promotes team
efforts are directed purely towards personal goals, then the team must confront
commitment and collaboration; and
this and resolve the problem.
provides the external encouragement
that is key to motivation.
The team must have a collaborative climate.
This is a climate of trust produced by honest, open, consistent and respectful 
behaviour. In such a climate, teams will perform well, without it they will fail.
We recommend that you try Hot seat
The team must have high standards that are understood by all. plus in your classroom. Your students
Team members must know what is expected of them individually and collectively. will enjoy it and you will be impressed
by their ability to work together
The team must receive external support and encouragement. towards a common goal. ETp
Encouragement and praise work just as well in motivating teams as they do with
individuals. Larson, C and LaFasto, G Teamwork:
What Must Go Right/What Can Go Wrong
Sage Publications 1989
the team with the highest score is Teams and teamwork Sasan Baleghizadeh is an
the winner. As this score has been
Hot seat plus is a way of preparing Assistant Professor of
achieved as a result of groupwork, TEFL at Shahid Beheshti
it is attributable to the whole team, students for their roles as team members University (GC), Iran,
in business and real-life situations where he teaches applied
not just the person in the hot seat. linguistics, syllabus
outside the classroom. Our intention is design and materials
The teachers role not to promote the notion that the development. He is also a
member of the Research
Once the game is up and running, all individual is not important, but to and Planning Department
the different stages will be happening encourage the students to appreciate at the Iran Language
Institute, where he
simultaneously, so the teams never that efficient and effective teamwork designs, develops and
waste time waiting for other students to can take them beyond what an edits English language
examinations and
finish their tasks. individual can accomplish alone, and to teaching materials. He
The teachers role is to control the demonstrate that the most effective has published in TESL
workflow and make sure that every teamwork is that in which all the Reporter, Modern English
Teacher, The ELT Journal
group within a team is performing its individuals involved work together in and The Teacher Trainer.
own tasks and that there is no harmony to share their contributions sasanbaleghizadeh@yahoo.com
interference between the groups. For and work towards a common goal.
Hadi Barzegar has an
example, the teacher should make sure Successful teamwork requires the MA in TEFL from
that the word definers are using words team members to recognise the different Khatam University in
Tehran, Iran. He is
which have come from the word finders, strengths and abilities found within interested in exploring
not ones they have worked out their team and to apply them to solve a the effect of CALL on
the writing skills of EFL
themselves from the letters on display. problem or achieve a goal. The concept learners.
The teacher should also monitor and is well known in the worlds of sports
judge if each guessed word deserves a and business where, in many situations,
point or not, checking that the word goals cannot be accomplished by people
definers are using only proper word working individually.
definitions, not synonyms and Candidates in job interviews are
antonyms. frequently asked what the concept of

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 75 July 2011 31

wall ... Alan Maley
has a good laugh.

umour, like some kinds of wine, Chapter 1, the second chapter deals with useful sourcebook for anyone remotely

H does not travel well. What is

funny in one culture or language
falls flat when transposed to
another. So, although laughter is a
universal human behaviour, what causes
things people joke about, including other
ethnic groups (Irish jokes, Belgian jokes,
etc), religion, politicians and, of course,
sex and the relationships between the
sexes, especially marriage. There is a
interested in the subject of humour. But I
felt it was somewhat superficial. The
overloaded lark, in fact!

Stop Me If Youve
it is not. And, although humour causes us good deal on language itself: Chapter 4 Heard This
to laugh, we laugh for other reasons, too. examines compounds, blends, prefixes,
An early classic investigation into euphemism, etc; Chapter 5 deals with By contrast, Jim Holts Stop Me If Youve
laughter was Bergsons Laughter, way puns and Chapter 6 grammatical Heard This is a serious look at humour.
back in 1900, and Koestlers The Act of ambiguities; Chapter 9 is on language in The book is in two parts. In Part I, History,
Creation (1964) draws upon Bergson to context; Chapter 10 is on errors (slips of it traces the history of jokes back to
make parallels between what causes classical times: in collections of jest-
laughter and what constitutes creativity. There has also books, such as the Philogelos (fifth
There has also been considerable century AD), through Poggio Bracciolinis
speculation about the possible
been considerable Facetiae of 1441 and the 18th-century Joe
evolutionary value of laughter, and the speculation about the Millers Jests. Many jokes prove to be very
benefits it has for our health (lower pain old, and are continually being elaborated
thresholds, better general physical health,
possible evolutionary or reinvented. There have been more
strengthened immune system, etc). But in value of laughter recent collections of jokes, such as G
this column I am reporting on just a few Legmans Rationale of the Dirty Joke and
of the very many titles which offer Alan Dundes Jokes and Their Relation to
insights into humour itself. the Unconscious. In Part II, Philosophy,
Holt tackles the issue of theories of
the tongue, malapropisms, spoonerisms, humour. Essentially, there are three: the
Playing With Words misinterpretations, etc); Chapter 11 looks Superiority theory (humour at the expense
iStockphoto.com / Steven Robertson

Playing with Words by Barry Blake is an at rhymes. In between, Chapter 7 of others that makes you feel superior to
attempt to offer a view of the whole attempts a typology of jokes, including them); the Incongruity theory (which
range of humour through word play. It is cannibal jokes, blonde jokes, knock- places two incompatible frames of
a somewhat unwieldy book, which knock jokes, graffiti, headlines, questions, reference together, needing a flash of
attempts to cram into 170 pages virtually oxymorons, etc. Inevitably, this falls far insight to perceive the humorous
everything that might count as word play, short of being comprehensive. There are, connection); and the Relief theory (where
including quite a lot which hardly counts however, many, many examples of jokes the humour helps people escape from
as humorous. After an overview in throughout the book, and it is certainly a their inhibitions). These days, most

34 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com

commentators tend to favour the When the mouth is open for laughter, do the verse forms of the limerick, the
Incongruity theory, with its strong links to you may be able to shove in a little food clerihew and the cautionary tales of Hilaire
the creative spark in other fields. But for thought. Belloc. Neither have I discussed the more
others, such as Ted Cohen, refute the idea recent excursions into absurd and political
of a general theory completely: Every In the final chapter, a number of important humour in television or radio shows such
general theory of jokes known to me is points are reiterated about the seriousness as The Goon Show (with Peter Sellers),
wrong Such a monotonic theory always of humour. The ability to choose to find the Fawlty Towers (with John Cleese),
seizes upon one or two kinds of jokes, and world funny is a powerful survival tool Jonathan Miller and Peter Cook in the
misses the other kinds. This leads into a Jokes are a chink in the fundamentalists Footlights revues, Yes, Minister, the
consideration of the different kinds of armour. I highly recommend this book. Woody Allen films, and Rowan Atkinson
jokes: topical jokes, classic jokes, jokes as Mr Bean and Blackadder. These are all,
about different groups of people, about Humour and laughter to a large extent, a matter of individual
musical instruments, geography, politics are essential markers taste; personally, I find Mikes, Jerome and
and national disasters. There are clean Wodehouse deeply unfunny, whereas
jokes and dirty jokes, intentional and of being human Wilde, Thurber and Dahl unfailingly push
unintended jokes, short ones and long the laughter button. Most also rely for
shaggy-dog stories and, again, this their effect on the kind of shared cultural
typology leaves out as much as it knowledge not possessed by most of our
includes. Holt discerns a shift over the students hence their omission.
centuries from initial lewdness and Laughing Matters Humour and laughter are essential
aggression towards puns and wit: What markers of being human. Perhaps our
I dont normally refer to ELT books in this
is fun is the way the incongruity of the classrooms would be the better for
column, but I feel bound to mention Peter
punch line marks a defeat for a necessary drawing on them more than we
Medgyes book Laughing Matters. It is
tyranny: the tyranny of bourgeois morality sometimes do. ETp
unique in that it offers the teacher a rich
in some jokes, of reason itself in others.
selection of humorous material, together
The pleasure lies in finding connections Featured books
with a genuine sense of the importance
and contradictions where none were Blake, B Playing with Words Equinox
of humour in language learning. As he
expected. This is a thought-provoking 2007
himself says, ... humorous texts and
book, and if brevity is the soul of wit, it Carr, J and Greeves, L The Naked Jape
activities have to be light-hearted, as befits
scores highly, with only 126 pages. Penguin 2006
humour, and useful, as befits learning.
Holt, J Stop Me If Youve Heard This
He has also taken the trouble to spell out
Profile Books 2008
The Naked Jape the potential advantages of using humour
Medgyes, P Laughing Matters CUP 2002
Jimmy Carr, one of the two authors of in language teaching. These include:
The Naked Jape, is himself a stand-up providing authentic cultural information, Some other titles
comedian, and the book is written by offering genuine language contexts, Baring-Gould, W S The Lure of the
enthusiasts, not academics. Perhaps bonding between class members, Limerick Panther 1974
because of this, it is a more stimulating releasing tension and creating a relaxed Bergson, H Laughter downloadable free
and engaging book than some of the atmosphere, promoting creative thinking, from Gutenberg www.gutenberg.org/files/
others here. It is not only a book about enhancing motivation and offering a 4352-h/4352-h.htm 1900
jokes but also a joke book, with 450 welcome change from fixed classroom Jerome, J K Three Men in a Boat
routines. The content is arranged into ten Penguin Classics 1999
jokes spread throughout its pages. Some
of these are at the bottom of the pages, chapters, including Jokes and wisecracks, Koestler, A The Act of Creation
Puns and puzzles, Proverbs and Arkana/Penguin 1964
others at the end of each chapter. There
quotations, Poems and songs, Pictures Mikes, G How to be an Alien Wingate
are 12 chapters, dealing with different
and images, Stories and anecdotes, 1946
aspects of humour: the value it has, the
Sketches and dialogues, Errors and Thurber, J Fables for Our Time Harper
role of clowns and jesters, childrens
failures and Children and schools. The Colophon 1983
humour, explaining how humour works,
material itself is well-chosen and genuinely Wodehouse, P G The Inimitable Jeeves
gender in humour, offensive jokes, ethnic Arrow Books 2008
jokes, the role of the court jester and funny, and the pedagogical framework of
censorship and persecution. There are activities is both practical and useful to
teachers wishing to introduce an element Alan Maley has worked in
highly quotable quotes throughout: the area of ELT for over
of humour into their teaching. 40 years in Yugoslavia,
a good joke can offer even the Ghana, Italy, France,
stuffiest of adults the opportunity to  China, India, the UK,
Singapore and Thailand.
throw open an internal window on to the Since 2003 he has been
I have not mentioned the many aspects of a freelance writer and
fresh, freewheeling creativity of childish consultant. He has
imagination. humour encountered in English literature, published over 30 books
but the names of Charles Dickens, and numerous articles,
A joke defies definition, defies control, and was, until recently,
Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll, Oscar Wilde, Series Editor of the
because its a scrap of chaos pinned P G Wodehouse, Jerome K Jerome, Oxford Resource Books
proudly to the lapel of the individual in for Teachers.
George Mikes, James Thurber, Mark
defiance of society. Twain and Roald Dahl spring to mind, as yelamoo@yahoo.co.uk

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 75 July 2011 35

IT WORKS IN PRACTICE More tested lessons, suggestions, tips and techniques which have all
worked for ETp readers. Try them out for yourself and then send us
your own contribution. Dont forget to include your postal address.
All the contributors to It Works in Practice in this issue of ETp will
receive a set of Young Learners English Practice Tests by Sandra Fox
and Bryan Stephens, published by Macmillan. Macmillan have kindly
agreed to be sponsors of It Works in Practice for this year.

Big brother mistakes Colour-coded cooperation

My students can already communicate Most teachers will be all too familiar participate actively in discussions,
freely and know the rules of grammar, with the following situation: You ask I handed out coloured cards. I used
but they still keep making mistakes, a question that is supposed to trigger six different colours and gave cards
and I often find these difficult to deal a discussion among all the students of the same colour to three or four
with. Fluency seems to be much easier in the class, but only those who students. (Of course, this also works
regularly participate actively raise with numbers or different symbols
to achieve than accuracy! Of course,
their hands in response. I expect that on pieces of paper.) I kept one set of
there are plenty of strategies one can
in every class there are students who cards of all the colours for myself.
try for this sort of problem, and here
are more eager to participate in
is one of my favourites. The rule now was that when I held
discussions than others. However,
up a card, it was the turn of those
At the beginning of the lesson, I write especially with students of
students with cards of the same
on the board: The mistake I dont intermediate level or above, this is
colour to talk next. This seemed to
not necessarily due to their lack of
want to make today is ... and ask my work pretty well. By cheating a bit
confidence in their own language
students to think of ways to complete when distributing the cards I created
skills, but may be related to their
the sentence. Together we choose one colour groups consisting of students
personality. In some cases, they are
mistake for that lesson for example, who were usually quite active and
simply slow to raise their hands and
use of third person s for present groups consisting of those who were
by the time they do so, the faster
simple forms, conditional sentences usually quite quiet. Thus, the quiet
students have already had their say.
or articles and keep the rest for our students could no longer rely on the
Some students might simply enjoy
future classes. more active ones to do the talking
listening to discussions rather than
for them. On the other hand, as
actively participating or may consider
During the lesson everybody tries to there was more than one person in
their opinions not important enough
monitor their speech for the chosen each group, there was always a way
to be expressed in larger groups.
mistake. They do this naturally, with out if one of them simply couldnt
Some students, of course, simply
greater attention and concentration find anything at all to say.
cant be bothered to participate.
than usual because the mistake is
There was an additional advantage:
there on the board watching them. There are many tricks teachers use to
the technique prevented the
I find that the students also correct try to involve as many students as
students from automatically
one another, and I encourage them to possible: roleplays, passing on a ball,
switching off, as there was always
assigning tasks or opinions. But in
do so. At the end of the lesson, we the chance of their own colour
the course of a whole term, these
recap on the mistakes made during coming up, encouraging them to
activities can wear out quickly.
the class. speak or demanding that they did.
Nataliya Potapova A while ago, I tried something new. Britta Hofmann
Uzhhorod, Ukraine In order to give everyone a chance to Leipzig, Germany

36 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com

Political presidential debate Whats the
Ive been doing this activity for years, and it really works as you can adapt it word, Mr Wolf?
to any level or age or topic. It is based on electing a new president and This game combines the old
enables and encourages discussion and debate along the way. favourite Hangman, a word-
guessing game, with the
1 To set the scene, elicit some of 8 Explain the following debate childrens game Whats the
the different political parties in procedure: time, Mr Wolf? in which
the UK (or some other country). One party leader will be asked a participants move forward one
Make sure you have some major question and will give a two-minute step at a time, trying not to
parties and some minor ones to answer. be seen by the wolf at the
make it interesting. Have a class front. It caters for students
Another party leader will then give
discussion of their main agendas. with the bodily-kinaesthetic
a one-minute response.
2 Put the students into groups of intelligence profile, as
An optional one-minute extension
four and ask each group to create defined by Howard Gardner in
will then be given to any leader who
their own political party, giving his theory of multiple
requests it or is thought to need it.
it a name and an agenda. (This intelligences.
9 Ask the leaders to prepare on their
is the point at which you can Draw a dash on the board
introduce any particular topic, own by thinking of questions they
for each letter of your
if you want to, asking for the may be asked and deciding on their
chosen word (jazz is a good
agenda to reflect the partys responses. While they are doing this,
choice because nobody ever
views on this topic.) choose someone to control the
gets it right straight away).
debate: the moderator or presenter.
3 Ask the students to prepare for This person should ask the voters for Ask the students to form a
a leader election within their questions that they would like to be horizontal line across the
groups by creating speeches, put forward to the leaders. centre of the room. Tell
using language such as: them they should shout out
10 The debate begins and the voters
Vote for me because ... letters that they think
participate with clapping and booing. might be in the word you
A vote for me is a vote for ...
11 You can also add the following have chosen. If a letter is in
This party needs a leader who your word, you write it in
can ... and ... thats me! the correct position. If it
Open-floor questions from the
4 Each candidate presents their isnt, you write it at the
speech and the parties hold side. Each time they shout
Candidate-to-candidate open-floor out a correct letter, they
debate (the leaders should speak can take a step forward, but
5 The elected leaders give short to and even walk over to the voters each time they shout out a
acceptance speeches and make to make their points). wrong one, they have to
three promises: 12 take a step back.
Hold the election.
I promise to ...
13 The winner makes an acceptance Furthermore, if they guess
I swear that I will ... the word and get it wrong,
speech and the losers make speeches
I will not rest until ... conceding the election. the penalty is double: two
steps back.
6 Elicit the parties agendas and Here are some useful YouTube clips to
put common policy areas on the The winner is the person
demonstrate the activity:
board, eg education tuition fees, who shouts out the answer
defence, immigration, housing, (the whole word), or the
unemployment. person closest to the front
www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRPcUu4du14 of the room when you bring
7 The leaders canvas the electorate www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZdQ0kA3ksg the game to an end.
(the whole class) and note down
Phil Wade Michael Berman
their wishes.
Bordeaux, France London, UK

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 75 July 2011 37

EAP An all-round challenge 7
Sarah Brewer refers to referencing and references.

ll students, whether they are with the advent of technology and the

A undergraduates or postgraduates,
have to produce work that is
referenced. If they fail to reference
use of e-resources, writing references
has become increasingly complicated.
Students now need a far greater range
Editors note: In keeping with other
references in this article, the APA style
has been used below rather than the
usual ETp house style.
properly by means of in-text citations of models or samples so that they can American Psychological Association.
and lists of references, they will, at best, reference all the varied sources they may (2005). Concise rules of APA style. (5th
lose marks and, at worst, be accused of have used for their writing. For this reason, ed.). Washington: American
plagiarism. For many students, the whole the exercises in this article are based on Psychological Association.
concept of referencing is an alien one, the APA system, which has a published Neville, C. (2009). How to improve your
and the difficulty of coming to grips with manual: Concise Rules of APA Style. assignment results. Maidenhead: Open
it is compounded by the range of Despite the many (and interesting) University Press.
different systems available, the huge complexities of referencing, the basic Neville, C. (2007). The complete guide to
variety of sources they can access and premise is that the essay writer is looking referencing and avoiding plagiarism.
use in their essays, and sometimes the for an author, date, title and source (ie Maidenhead: Open University Press.
lack of organised guidance at the time place of publication and publisher in the Pears, R., & Shields, G. (2010). Cite them
they need it. case of a paper source, or web address right: the essential referencing guide. (8th
in the case of an electronic one). These ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Systems and styles should always be written down in the Soles, D. (2010). The essentials of
Probably the most widely used system in same order and it is important to academic writing. (2nd ed.). New York:
the UK is the Harvard one. This method establish this with the students from the Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
sounds scholarly and is, indeed, a useful, very beginning.
versatile system. However, the problem The exercises in the worksheet on this Sarah Brewer is
Co-ordinator of
lies in its very versatility. Unlike other page and page 39 are an introduction to Research, Development
major referencing systems (for example, referencing to be completed before the and Publications at the
International Study and
APA, MLA and Chicago), there is no students embark on an essay. They give Language Centre at the
easily accessible and frequently updated the students some examples that they University of Reading,
UK. She teaches on
manual, so each department or academic can draw upon as models and some both pre-sessional and
school develops its own individual scaffolding to develop their understanding in-sessional courses,
supporting students in
variation on the Harvard theme. This of the basic principles. The students can developing their
posed few problems in the days when then keep the completed worksheet for academic reading and
writing skills
students and academics relied on books future reference.
and journals for their sources. However, s.m.brewer@reading.ac.uk


Badger, R., & White, G. (2000). A process genre approach to teaching writing. ELT Journal 54 (2) 15360.

Bamforth, R. (1992). Process versus genre: anatomy of a false dichotomy. Prospect 8 (Pt 12) 8999.

Brinton, D. M. (1997). New ways in content-based instruction. Alexandria, VA: TESOL.

Hyland, K. (2002). Teaching and researching writing. Harlow: Pearson Education.

Johns, A. M. ed. (2002). Genre in the classroom: multiple perspectives. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Johns, A. M. (2003). Genre and ESL/EFL composition instruction. In Exploring the dynamics of second language writing
(B. Kroll, ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kelly, S., Soundranayagam, L., & Grief, S. (2004). Teaching and learning writing: a review of research and practice summary.
Retrieved January 10, 2006, from www.nrdc.org.uk?uploads/documents/doc_342.pdf.

Swales, J. (2004). Research genres: explorations and applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Tribble, C. (1996). Writing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

38 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com

References to your sources have to be included twice, once in the text of your essay
(an in-text reference or citation) and then again in your list of references at the end of the essay.
Task 1
Look at the following paragraph and the list of references (see page 38). The paragraph is taken from a student essay
on the topic of writing. The reference list includes all the sources that the student used.
Compare the citations in the text with the references in the list.
Decide which part of the full reference is included in the text.
Write down the necessary components of the in-text reference below:
1 ___________________________________ 2 ___________________________________ 3 ___________________________________

Writing can be seen as a social, cultural and political activity, guided activities, turn these into a text. Alternatively, they
as opposed to a learner-centred, cognitive activity (Hyland, themselves generate content and, again, through guided
2002, pp.1722; Johns, 2003, p.195). Partly because of the activities produce their own individual text. The genre
nature of this dichotomy, the genre approach has developed process, conversely, requires learners to analyse model
as a top-down method of teaching writing, whereas the texts, deduce organisational patterns and then produce their
process approach has developed a bottom-up method. own texts following these structures (Tribble, 1996, p.94).
Learners are given materials to work from and, through

Task 2 Task 3
Now number the references in the list and decide which references are: Answer these questions:
a book available on the internet What kind of order do the references
a journal article part of another book follow?
Which parts of the reference helped you to decide on the type of source? What do you notice about the use of
Discuss your answers with another student and check with your teacher. italics?

Task 4
In authordate systems, the bibliographical descriptions of sources are always organised in a similar way.
You can follow the same pattern of referencing for all the sources that you use. The example below can
be analysed to give you a basic referencing pattern.

Hyland, K. (2002). Teaching and researching writing. Harlow: Pearson Education.

Copy out the different parts of the reference into the table Analyse the different parts of the reference that you have
below (first row). One part has been filled in for you. filled in (second row). Use the labels in the box below to
fill in the table.


Title in italics Authors family name Place of publication Name of publisher Date of book Initial of authors first name

1 References or bibliography? 2 Different referencing systems
The list of sources at the end of a text is sometimes called The list of references here follows the APA referencing system,
References and sometimes called Bibliography. Sometimes which is an authordate system. There are other authordate
these terms are used interchangeably. However, often the term systems, one of the most popular being the Harvard system.
references is used when the sources match exactly with the This system is adopted by many university departments
sources in the text; and bibliography is used when the list because they can adapt it to their own individual style.
includes extra sources which have not been referred to in the However, the advantage of the APA system is that there is a
text. These are usually sources that have been used for published manual, Concise Rules of APA Style, which gives
background reading but have not been cited directly in the nearly 100 examples of different types of paper and electronic
finished piece of writing. You need to check what kind of list sources that you may come across and need to reference.
you are expected to produce.

Task 5
Now list the books and articles that you have found for your essay. Try to include all the relevant information in the
correct order. You may need to use the computer to find any details that you have forgotten to record.

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 75 July 2011 39


The spreading present continuous

John Potts charts the intricacies and idiosyncrasies,
the contradictions and complications that make
the English language so fascinating for teachers and teaching.
In the first of this new series, he wonders if you are loving it.

ne piece of contemporary English that upsets clear in examples like: This angora sweater feels so soft
many a language teacher is Im lovin it, the versus She was feeling her way to the door when the lights
slogan used by McDonalds. We spend hours in suddenly came back on. Its clear that the dynamic
the classroom teaching our students about meaning is something like search or grope, and is
stative verbs and everywhere we look, theres a something we do with our hands (or feet).
McDonalds slogan, contradicting our carefully-established
But what about this pair: I feel ill and Im feeling ill? Here,
rules and explanations.
the above distinction in meaning doesnt hold. So what (if
Im loving it no, no, no, it should be I love it. Why? anything) is the difference?
Because love is a stative verb, and these verbs describe
how people or things are, not what they do (thats the job
of event or dynamic verbs).
Well, we could introduce a new idea to the discussion. So
far, the parallel stative and dynamic meanings are clearly
different perceive versus meet, exist versus behave, have
And because they are concerned with states, stative verbs texture versus search, etc. But in the feel ill/am feeling ill
dont have a continuous aspect, with its attendant example, the core meaning is the same I perceive this
concepts and meanings you are either tall or youre not. sensation of illness.
You either have a brother or you dont. You cant be in the
Could it be that the difference now is one of perspective,
middle of being tall, or temporarily having a brother.
rather than basic meaning? When I say that I feel ill, I seem
But its not quite as cut-and-dried as that. to be making a general and encapsulated statement about
myself. It says: I am ill. Thats a fact. Thats all there is to it.

But when I say Im feeling ill, I seem to be focusing on

First of all, we all know examples of stative verbs that enjoy whats going on inside me. Things are happening: my head
a parallel life as dynamic ones, such as see. Its stative is aching, Im shivering. My illness is developing. Its in
meaning is perceive (visually or cognitively): Do you see progress. Symptoms are changing (getting worse!). Notice
that house over there? Do you see the problem? In its that ideas like these are all concepts related to the
dynamic life, it means meet: Im seeing them on Sunday for continuous aspect.
So, Im feeling ill turns the rather generalised and global
Then theres be: its stative meaning is existential He is statement into a much more dynamic event. Ive turned my
tall/English/35/a teacher/silly, whereas its dynamic meaning all-encompassing perception of illness into an ongoing and
is behave or act He is just being silly. active process.

And also smell: The milk smells off versus The dog was
smelling the suitcases, where the stative meaning says
what the milk is, and the dynamic what the dog does. By choosing to use the continuous form, we allow a
normally stative verb to become the acting of itself, rather
So far, so good. We could say that there are two parallel
than just the static state of it. Hence the difference between
verbs: one stative, one dynamic, and that their meanings
I think and Im thinking: the former expresses my formed
are crucially different: the dynamic meaning requires the
thought/opinion, while the latter says that Im still in the
subject to do something.
process of forming my thought or opinion.
Lets try this with another verb of sensation, namely feel.
The contrast between the stative and dynamic meanings is

40 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com

LANGUAGE LOG The spreading present continuous

Which takes us to modern usage. There are numerous Here are some song lyrics from the 1960s: Ive Been Loving
examples of verbs that would normally be used only in the You Too Long (Otis Redding), Since Youve Been Loving Me
simple forms being used in the continuous. Here are some (Velvelettes) and the 1970s: Since Ive Been Loving You
Ive collected from the media: (Led Zeppelin).

Pay Bills With a Click? More Americans Are Doing It And a professor of philosophy who specialises in
and Banks Are Loving It epistemology, the study of the grounds of knowledge:
(New York Times headline 2006) ... for in believing this we are believing that when all the
truths are in, our justification will remain ...
Only someone badly lost would find himself driving
(Jonathan Dancy, An Introduction to Epistemology 1985)
through a village as unremarkable as this, Im thinking.
(Charles Simic, US poet, London Review of Books 2011) And finally, the oldest example Ive found to date:
I repeat, the woman I have been loving is not you.
Credit Suisse agreed to sell Winterthur, the insurance
(Thomas Hardy, Tess of the DUrbervilles 1891)
business it has been wanting to divest since 2004,
to AXA for SFr12.3 billion ($10 billion) in cash.
(The Economist 2006)
In all these examples, the focus seems to be on the
So this might be an interesting new product but Im
process and activity that may (eventually) result in a state.
not really believing this is going to turn the industry
From loving to love, thinking to thought, believing to belief.
upside down.
(CEO of Dell, quoted by cnet news 2005) So, to return to McDonalds: Im really enjoying the
experience of eating this burger, these fries ... yes, Im
As much as it pains a Wolves fan to say this, Im seeing a
loving what Im doing.
Portsmouth-West Brom final with West Brom winning.
(Ben from Wolverhampton, via text, BBC website 2008) John Potts is a teacher and teacher trainer
based in Zrich, Switzerland. He has written
Im ready to battle Mariah over this because Ive been and co-written several adult coursebooks, and
is a CELTA assessor. He is also a presenter for
Mary Carey for a long time, she told Reuters. Its kind of Cambridge ESOL Examinations.
funny because Im a porn star and Ive been being myself
for a long time. I think shes being silly.
(Mary Carey, BBC news website 2006)

22 19 2 21 7 19 12 9 2 14 2 18 5 Congratulations to all those readers who successfully completed our
26 10 16 7 15 2 15 Prize Crossword 45. The winners, who will each receive a copy of the
R K I A U O U Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced Learners, are:
7 20 7 26 4 23 26 16 25 12 6 7 14
9 5 12 13 11 2 1 12 4
Iwona Anchim, Michalowo, Poland
C Y E S T O H E D Tatyana Belskaya, Moscow, Russia
12 8 20 20 1 2 12 20 12
E X W W H O E W E Alessandra Cingi, Cardiff, UK
24 9 26 16 21 3 15 16 11 12 2 26 Lorraine Traynor, Andjar, Spain
15 13 16 11 23 15 11 19 16 12 Christine Muz, Seville, Spain
U S I T P U T L I E Mara Rosario Cela Snchez, Utrera, Spain
19 2 15 11 7 2 24 24
L O U T A O F F Naiara Navas Torre, Miranda de Ebro, Spain
18 12 7 10 16 14 24 15 14
Aileen Wilsdorf, Tarbes, France
21 12 17 2 10 12 13 1 7 19 19 Fedelma Woodhouse, Belfast, UK
26 2 7 7 12 14
Catherine Young, Baden-Dttwil, Switzerland
11 12 18 23 12 26 16 14 11 12 22 26 7 19 12 4 15 9 7 11 16 2 14 16 13 11 1 12 18
2 13 11 23 2 20 12 26 24 15 19 20 12 7 23 2
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 20 1 16 9 1 5 2 15 9 7 14 15 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 12 11 2 9 1 7 14 22 12 11 1 12 20 2
26 19 4
R L D Nelson Mandela

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 75 July 2011 41

SCRAPBOOK Gems, titbits, puzzles, foibles, quirks, bits & pieces,
quotations, snippets, odds & ends,
what you will
Bakers dozen
ns sometimes arise
Popular misconceptio
from misleading name
s. For example, many True or false?
scriptions of things in
oddities show up in de Next, to challenge you a little further, can you tell which of the following
rest is neither new (it
England: the New Fo statements are true and which are false?
blished in the 16th
was already well-esta
est (it is heathland). 1 The Portuguese Man oWar (a 11 The naked, bow-carrying statue
century), nor is it a for ls,
UK are indeed schoo type of jellyfish) is named after a in Londons Piccadilly Circus is
Public schools in the
an d gene rally Portuguese warship. the Greek God of Love, Eros.
but they are private
extremely exp en siv e! 2 A mince pie contains fruit, not 12 The Munich Oktoberfest beer
thoughts, see if you minced meat. festival is held in November.
So, armed with these
ing questions by 3 13 A velvet ant isnt an ant.
can answer the follow Bombay duck is a cooked fowl.
t the answers are
now you will realise tha 4 Orange blossom isnt orange in 14 A horned toad is a lizard.
not obvious! colour. 15 The liquid inside a coconut is
ssians celebrate
1 In which month do Ru 5 According to the Bible, two coconut milk.
the October Revolutio examples of each animal were 16 Wolfgang Amadeus were not
ars War
2 How long did the Hundred Ye taken onto Noahs ark. Mozarts original names.
last? 6 The characters Bugs Bunny, 17 A Spanish fly is a kind of fly.
3 From which animal do we get Brer Rabbit and the Easter
18 Blackboard chalk is what it says
hats? Bunny were not inspired by
4 Which country makes Panama chalk.
de of? rabbits.
5 What is a camels hair brush ma 7
19 Roman emperors gave the
Tulips originally came from
6 What colour is a purple finch
? thumbs-down sign to call for
nds the death of a gladiator.
7 What animal are the Canary Isla 8 There were four members in
20 Kangaroo means I dont
named after? the band The Thompson Twins.
t name? understand in one of the
8 What was King George VIs firs 9 The kilt originated in Ireland.
s from? aboriginal languages of
9 Where are Chinese gooseberrie 10 Mock turtle soup has fish as its Australia.
in a
10 What colour is the black box main ingredient, not turtle.
commercial aeroplan
11 What kind of creature is a kill
er whale? Aboriginal word for a grey kangaroo. September. 13 True. Its a wasp. 14 True.

dont understand. In fact, gangarru is an for the poor of London. 12 False. Its held in
12 What did Stone Age people passing local was Kangaroo, meaning I philanthropic love of the Earl of Shaftesbury
tools out of? are these called? and the reply from a was intended to commemorate the selfless
d dogs jumping around in Australia and said What brother, representing mature love. The statue
13 Where do Australian Shepher pointed to the funny-looking animals he saw brains. 11 False. Its Anteros, Eros younger
come from? commonly believed that Captain Cook either. Its made from calfs head, foot or
the contestant was spared. 20 False. It is Theres no turtle in it, but theres no fish
the Pyrenees) a fist, this signified a sheathed sword and 8 False. There were three. 9 True. 10 False.
United States (though drawn sword. If the thumb was clenched in by hares. 7 False. They came from Turkey.
they probably originated
12 Wood and bone (as in
well as stone); 13 The die, they gave a thumbs-up sign, signifying a cows and goats). 6 True. They were inspired
known as kiwi fruit.); 10 19 False. To show they wanted a gladiator to take seven of each clean animal (eg sheep,
Orange; 11 A dolphin;
beloved husband.); 9 18 False. It is gypsum (calcium sulphate). 5 False. In Genesis 7:2, God told Noah to
New Zealand (They are
king should ever be cal also
led Albert, the name of Theophilus Mozart. 17 False. Its a beetle. 3 False. Its a fish dish. 4 True. Its white.
respected Queen Victori her
as wish that no future called Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus a savoury dish which did contain meat.
8 Albert (When he cam of the coconut. 16 True. He was originally England. 2 True now, though it originally was
e to the throne in 193
Latin name was Insula 6, he
ria Canaria: Island of derived by grating and squeezing the flesh 1 False. The Man oWar design originated in
4 Ecuador; 5 Squirrel Dogs.);
fur; 6 Crimson; 7 Dog 15 False. Its coconut water. Coconut milk is Answers
1 November; 2 116 yea s (The
rs; 3 Sheep or horse;

Scrapbook compiled by Ian Waring Green

42 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com

More fallacies
History Swallowed chewing gum does not been cited as an example of the slow
The Vikings didnt wear horns on their remain in the digestive system for ever, flow of glass over centuries. However,
helmets or, at least, there is no evidence nor does it take seven years to digest. this unevenness is actually the result of
that they did. In fact, chewing gum is mostly the window manufacturing processes
indigestible, but passes through the used in earlier eras, which produced
John F Kennedys words Ich bin ein
digestive system at the same rate as glass panes that were unevenly thick.
Berliner are German for I am a Berliner.
other matter. Normally, the thick end of glass would
It is widely believed that his use of the
indefinite article ein means that he be put at the bottom of the frame during
claimed to be a jam doughnut, and that installation, but it is also common to find
Lightning can strike twice in the same
the population of Berlin was amused by old windows where the thicker end has
place. The idea that it cant is one of the
the supposed mistake. been installed to the sides or at the top.
oldest and most well-known
The Great Wall of China is not the only superstitions about lightning. There is no The natural world
man-made object visible from the Moon. reason why lightning would not be able An earthworm does not become two
In fact, none of the Apollo astronauts who to strike the same place twice. If there is worms when cut in half. Only a limited
landed on the Moon reported seeing any a thunderstorm in a given area, then number of earthworm species are
man-made object, and even Earth-orbiting objects and places which are more capable of anterior regeneration. When
astronauts can barely see it, although city prominent or conductive are more likely most earthworms are bisected, only the
lights are easily visible on the night side of to be struck. For example, lightning front half of the worm (where the mouth
the Earth. The misconception is believed strikes the Empire State Building in New is located) can survive, while the other
to have been popularised by Richard York City about 100 times per year. half dies.
Halliburton decades before the first Moon A coin dropped from the Empire State It is not harmful to pick up baby birds
landing. Shuttle astronaut Jay Apt has Building will neither kill a person nor which have fallen to the ground and
been quoted as saying the Great Wall is crack the pavement. The terminal return them to their nests. There is a
almost invisible from only 180 miles up. velocity of a falling coin is about 3050 common belief that doing so will cause
miles per hour, and it will not exceed the mother to reject them.
The human body
this speed, regardless of the height
Human hair and fingernails do not Bulls are not enraged by the colour red.
from which it is dropped. At this speed,
continue to grow after death. When a Cattle are dichromats. This means that
its energy is not enough to penetrate a
person dies, their skin dries and shrinks although they can distinguish between
human skull or crack concrete.
away from the base of their hairs and some colours, their colour vision is
nails, and this gives the appearance of Glass is not a liquid at room limited and red does not stand out as
growth. temperature. It is an amorphous solid, particularly bright. It is not the red
although it does have some chemical colour of the cape of a professional
Humans cannot catch warts from toads.
properties normally associated with matador that angers the bull, but rather
Warts on human skin are caused by a
liquids. Panes of old stained glass the movement of the fabric, which
virus, the human papillomavirus, which is
windows often have thicker glass at the irritates the bull and incites it to charge.
unique to humans. The bumps on the skin
bottom than at the top, and this has
of a toad are not even warts at all.

Following the crowd The suicide myth was

mainly popularised co
urtesy of
toon adventure
l by now be , an Uncle Scrooge car
ting fact from myth wil Disney Studios: in 1955
he difficulty in separa h without mselves off

T very apparent! If someth

challenge or justificatio
truth, and once suffici
ing is repeated enoug
n, it will take on the va
ent time has passed to
origins, the verificatio
lidity of
make it difficult or
n becomes even
showed huge numbers
Norwegian cliffs. In 19
winning documentary
of lemmings hurling the
58, Disney made an Ac
called White Wilderne
certain death from clif
ss, also showing
fs. The sad truth
impossible to trace the ge what are lemmings jumping to nes staged for the
der is the will to challen were the migration sce
harder. What is also har emerged that not only for the occasion),
me example is the s specially transported
accepted facts: one pri cameras (using rodent
apparently universally it suicide when nch ed from the
for lemmings to comm mals were, in fact, lau
supposed propensity but the unfortunate ani
ly happens is that
iting cliff. What actual clifftop using a turntable
faced with a suitably inv vel in large useful to
ses the rodents to tra tap ho r of lem ming suicide is indeed
the urge to migrate cau rivers which
Th e me
op inio n even when
they will swim across following of popular
numbers; occasionally deaths of the describe unquestioning k its pro bably time
the utmost, causing the dangerous, but I thin
stretch their abilities to the consequences are
community in the animals reputation!
e size of the migrating to rehabilitate the poor
weakest. Given the larg
s can be numerous.
first place, these death

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 75 July 2011 43

accept that language learning is more
The Construction of English than just a linear, criterion-referenced
by John Gray
development of linguistic skill and
Palgrave Macmillan 2010
knowledge. Many successful English
language learners may feel it is
The Construction of English is a precisely this. The final difficulty this
research-based study by John Gray reader had was with the validity of the
which explores major British English ELT study of the 22 ELT teachers. Gray
coursebooks for adults learning English acknowledges that much more research
around the world. It has an intriguing into teacher opinion on ELT materials is
approach to materials analysis because needed, but what was here felt open to
it does not focus on methodology or the charge that it could well have been a
syllabus. Instead, it examines how biased selection of reactions.
materials seek to make English mean Despite these difficulties, Grays
in specific and highly selective ways. study raises awareness of subtler
This introduces a cultural studies phenomena occurring in the global ELT
perspective to the work which reviews coursebook. This should interest ELT
how culture is represented, produced teachers and those involved with
and consumed in materials. Elements materials creation. However, although
of culture in a number of coursebooks encouraged in the conclusion to
Streamline Connections (Hartley challenge these phenomena as
and Viney, 1979), Building Strategies educational professionals rather than
(Abbs et al, 1979), The New passive consumers, the working realities
Cambridge English Course 2 (Swan of many teachers, along with the profits
and Walter, 1990) and New Headway of ELT publishers, may mean that Grays
Intermediate (Soars and Soars, 2003) are concerns are not satisfactorily addressed
discussed, along with references to other noted as further evidence of how ELT in future global ELT coursebooks or
materials. Gray then interrogates the role publishers routinely opt for safe materials.
of publishers in materials productions materials. Peter Lyn
before concluding the study with the Perceived commercial imperatives Cambridge, UK
reflections of 22 EFL teachers working in are also coupled to the development of
the Barcelona area of Spain about such artwork. Gray wonders if todays ELT
material. artwork has a positioning effect on the Academic Writing A Handbook
He makes several engaging points. student by encouraging material for International Students
On female participation, he notes that in aspiration and linking this with learning (3rd ed)
newer materials there are more women English. He also asks if commercial by Stephen Bailey
relative to men and that women are forces rather than pedagogy have Routledge 2011
increasingly associated with created the neat syllabi and limited 978-0-415-59851-0
independence, material wealth and models of language across ELT materials
career success. Materials also today. This third edition of the comprehensive
demonstrate a progressive There were, however, some academic writing textbook for
multiculturalisation of content over time disappointing strands in the work. Owing international students from Stephen
by showing a wider variety of ethnicities to the age of three of the books Bailey is considerably improved since the
and social customs. However, Gray asks analysed, some conclusions about previous second edition of 2006. It
if this indicates progress or whether real female and multi-ethnic representation benefits from a new, more appealing and
issues of power and inequality are were predictable. This selection also clearer design, brighter, better quality
elided. Interestingly, he quotes an ELT limited the opportunity to explore and paper for reading ease and a substantial
publisher stating that the topic of compare representational practices in the expansion and reorganisation of content,
environmentalism can make it into ELT best-selling global ELT coursebooks on without becoming unwieldy. Designed for
materials in challenging ways as it the market today. The work also contains self-study or for use in class, the new
doesnt harm anyone. He continues by a language style which punishes the edition also has a companion website
suggesting this harm is publishers code casual ELT reader: Applied Linguistics (http://cw.routledge.com/textbooks/bailey/)
for any content which might threaten jargon, long multi-clause sentences and that includes further exercises relating to
their global sales by offending more over-reliance on flowery words mean the the books current content, extra topics
socially conservative customers. The text is not as lucid as it could have been. not covered in the print edition, a
distinct lack of disabled or homosexual Furthermore, for readers to accept plagiarism quiz and a glossary of
characters in ELT global materials is also many of the points raised, they need to academic writing terms.

44 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com

As before, this handbook attempts to prepositions. Meanwhile, instructors
address a variety of writing needs and is may appreciate that the answers
divided into four sections: Part 1, The section (previously provided at the
Writing Process; Part 2, Elements of back of the book) has now moved
Writing; Part 3, Accuracy in Writing; and online, so that students may not
Part 4, Writing Models. A new addition in have recourse to it during class.
Part 1 is a greater recognition of the Web Gone also are the short writing tests
2.0 world, manifest through a critical in the end material, replaced by
approach to dealing with internet texts. equally brief self-assessment
Overall this is a book that
bridges the gap between simpler
academic writing textbooks
designed for ESL students and
more forbidding or formidable
textbooks for novice native-
speaker academic writers, such as
Kate Turabians A Manual for Writers
of Term Papers, Theses, and the text of the story itself are fingerprints,
Dissertations. No current textbook indicating the presence nearby of
ticks all the boxes as far as writing important information and clues.
for second-language writers in an Gray and Benevides have taken the
international academic environment traditional end-of-chapter comprehension
goes, but this revamped edition of questions and transformed them so that
Baileys Handbook contains they dont just support the story, they are
sufficient nods to all the key areas an intrinsic part of it. The questions form
necessary to set students on the part of a puzzle, which the students need
path to further inquiry. to solve in order to gain further clues as
Tina Ottman to who committed the crime. There is also
Kyoto, Japan a review section at the end of each
chapter with class discussion activities
and the audio for each chapter (on a CD),
which can be anything from the original
The ever-growing important issue of Whodunit call to the emergency services which
plagiarism receives more extensive by Adam Gray and Marcos Benevides sparked off the investigation to a phone
coverage. Insertions into Part 2 include Abax 2010 call from someone at the crime lab
structuring the evaluation of various 978-1-896942-33-9 passing on important forensic information.
solutions to problems; and in a nod to
Whilst trying to solve the crime, the
diversity of university assignment Most teachers are delighted if their
students are encouraged to take notes in
approaches (and possible future students get involved in extensive reading,
a delightful Detectives Notebook
professional requirements), there is a new but introducing them to the pleasures of
inserted in a pocket in the inside back
section on groupwork. Writing Models reading in English often consists simply
cover. This acts as a place to record vital
(Part 4) now includes a brief section on of giving them access to a range of
clues from the story, a useful vocabulary
emails; for more advanced writers, the graded readers and letting them get on
notebook and a workbook with extra
concept of the literature review is with it in their own time. The authors of
quizzes and exercises.
introduced, together with a model review. Whodunit describe their book as a
All in all, a book that is well worth
However, given that this is sometimes the coursebook that is a bridge to extensive
investigating if you want to solve the
topic of whole chapters or entire reading and it is an imaginative way of
problem of how to get your students
textbooks for research students, its introducing students to the pleasures of
interested in reading in English. Whodunit?
mention here may seem somewhat reading fiction in English in class in a
Youll have to read the book and find out.
perfunctory. structured and engaging way.
Helena Gomm
International students will find the The book contains two gritty detective
West Meon, UK
books Part 3 (Accuracy in Writing) a stories, each divided into six chapters. At
particularly helpful resource, dealing with the beginning of each chapter, there is a Note: ELB, the UK distributor of this
challenging language items such as pre-reading section, presenting an book, will give a 15% discount on
abbreviations, academic vocabulary, the opportunity to pre-teach any vital Whodunit to anyone who mentions this
thorny problem of articles, conjunctions, vocabulary and to remind the students of review. Contact Anthony Forrester
singulars and plurals, time words and events so far in the story. Scattered over (anthony.forrester@elb-brighton.com).

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 75 July 2011 45


for failure
Simon Neale sees his article will explore my uncommon; writing on literacy, Linda

the need for training

teachers to move away
T experiences of teaching
English in Korea to classes of
40-plus girls aged from 14 to
17. The level of these students is quite
low, to the point where if I talk to them
Bausch initially struggles to find the
connection between what occurs inside
the classroom and what occurs outside
it: In school you learn school stuff and in
the real world you learn real stuff. So
from the curriculum. outside the classroom, they often where is the connection? Theyre separate.
struggle to deliver any kind of Everyone knows this. Although the
communication beyond a basic greeting. students in my school gave the correct
Having taught at the school now for answers to their teachers, they had little
over a year, it is clear to me that the interest in or understanding of the
curriculum and teaching methods are words they were using.
not producing improvements in the
students language competence, so I aim
to look at the factors that are leading to
The overall effect
this failure and how in my class I have on the students was
come to try different strategies which I
believe could improve the students that they saw English
language levels.
as just another subject
First impressions which had to be studied,
My early impressions of the fluency not a skill that could
levels at my school were high. After
spending my first week observing my be used in life
new classes, I had the sense that most
students were capable of producing clear
and correct verbal answers to their Time and tests
teachers questions. It later became clear, When I questioned my colleagues about
however, that the answers asked for and the students apparent lack of interest in
given were rigidly defined by a textbook the subject that they teach, several of
that consisted of a series of very short them were aware of the problem but felt
dialogues, which were easy to memorise constricted by a lack of time and by the
and repeat with little understanding of curriculum in which they work. We
the actual meaning. This was not dont have time to teach anything other
communicative language use, it was a than what is in the book, Miss Yu told
series of verbal signs, each one designed me. She showed a desire to connect with
to provoke an exact response. The her students lives and interests by
overall effect on the students was that encouraging them to bring in objects
they saw English as just another subject from home to talk and write about, but
which had to be studied, not a skill that said these activities only occurred in
could be used in life. This view is not extra-curricular classes, ironically for

46 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


the students who needed the least help. Materials and motivation
She said, We do lots more fun activities I began to analyse My lessons are dictated by the schools
in extra classes, but I dont have time for
anything other than our textbook in day- which aspects of my curriculum, which I have to follow. In
to-day lessons. Progress is determined one sense, this makes life simple for me;
lessons were successful, I do not have to develop new materials
solely by their test results. The students
have no motivation to speak up in class, and also how I had and teach them. Instead, I only have to
as their tests are exclusively writing and find a way to use the materials I am
listening tests. This problem was come to find the presented with at the start of term.
When I started teaching, this did,
confirmed by another colleague, Miss methods that engaged however, quickly lead to problems, with
Do, who stated that attempts were being
made to change the system of my students the most my students becoming bored and
measuring students progress, but that restless in class, merely repeating my
the process was slow. The government is words in an attempt to match my
hard to really get to know her students: pronunciation, or reading with one
trying to implement change, and we know
As a substitute teacher, I found this term voice words that I had written on the
the current system is not perfect.
hard at first because I did not know the blackboard. Apart from my uninspiring
However, change would bring more work
students at all, and was restricted in what teaching methods, the problem for me
for teachers, and we are also unsure of
I could find about their previous studies was that the material we were using had
how to implement speaking tests when
as that kind of information only exists as little relevance to the students and,
our own English is not perfect.
a number on a report card.
Research has shown that when
Information and insight educators have the time to understand I came to realise
From speaking to my colleagues, then, the background of a student, that I needed to
it became apparent that many students improvement is often made by both the
view English in school as a subject to be teacher, in terms of how they can frame develop lessons that
studied, not something to be used. In my the curriculum, and also by the student,
school, the problem is compounded by in terms of improvements in were relevant to my
an exclusively results-based test system, achievement. This is illustrated by students, as well as
and the tests are of a type where the Barbara Comber and Barbara Kamler,
answers need only be memorised which who analysed the work of a young fulfilling my duties
does not encourage genuine learning. teacher in Melbourne who was able to
turn around his view of a particular
to the school
Nor is this a problem confined to my
school; Victoria Carrington identified student thanks to knowledge gained
similar factors contributing to low levels from home visits and other time spent therefore, only interested them in the
of achievement in Australia, finding that with the student out of school. Key sense that it was further information in
students were disconnected from the findings were that with knowledge came another textbook which had to be taken
world, intellectually unchallenged, and respect rather than judgement and that home and memorised. The students had
distanced from classroom practice. It this knowledge can be used as a no outlet in the classroom for using their
seems that the students are not being springboard to think differently about the own relevancy as people with outside
viewed as individuals, rather as statistics literacy curriculum. interests, friends and families. They left
to be recorded on report cards. This view Both Miss Yu and Miss Do the person they were at the door before
was confirmed by further comments recognised the faults in such a system, every lesson and came in, chanted their
from Miss Do. When I asked her but stated that they were hampered by words back to me in unison and left.
whether the teachers wrote report cards the numbers of students they had to The result was English that sounded
for students, she stated they did write deal with. Both felt it would be correct, but was spoken with no
them, but only in terms of recording test impractical to meet with such a large meaning, understanding or feeling.
scores. She spoke about how this made it number of parents and write so many I came to realise that I needed to
individual reports for students. The develop lessons that were relevant to
problems of an exclusively test-based them, as well as fulfilling my duties to
Change would bring system and the lack of room for insight the school. This would mean using their
into the students background have abilities to read and speak aloud the
more work for teachers, sentences in their textbooks, but also
helped to create students who do not
and we are unsure how have the language skills that they should having them produce sentences
have. When looking at my own role in independently of the textbook and with
to implement speaking this situation, I began to analyse which a relevancy to their own lives. Now when
tests when our own aspects of my lessons had been I reflect on these ideas, I find similarities
successful and which had not, and also in the work of other educators and
English is not perfect how I had come to find the methods researchers into education who speak of
that engaged my students the most. the importance of being aware of the 

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 75 July 2011 47


PowerPoint slides to accompany every
page of our textbook, which Although the work
incorporated aspects of Korean popular
we were doing was
for failure
culture. There were two important
aspects to this. The first was the content essentially the same in
of the PowerPoint slides, which I wanted
to reflect the interests of my class; the terms of the language
 lives of the students outside of the second was their visual layout, which I
classroom. I knew that I needed to find wanted to be far removed from the rigid
we were covering,
ways to engage with my students, to format of the textbooks we use, and the students were less
allow some of their personality, which more similar to websites, magazines and
does not have other outlets at school, other forms of new media that my restless, more involved
into my classroom. Once I decided to
learn more about my students and use
students know and enjoy. and easier to engage
A key feature of websites and other
their funds of knowledge in our classes, new media is their unusual layouts. This
I realised that there were many places to was something I wanted to tap into with with another. In understanding this they
seek inspiration. To quote Bausch again, my PowerPoint presentations. Not only were not just using code-breaking skills,
I realised that there were resources all did I want a visual focus to my lessons they were also analysing the text.
around me. She states: There is an that more closely resembled the world
unbelievable vastness and diversity of the that the students had knowledge of, but Changes and challenges
literacies at large. In my case, those that I knew it would produce a more
could be harnessed for my classroom My new strategies have made lessons
challenging classroom environment for
purposes consisted of messages of love, more difficult for the students, a fact
my students to study in. This was
devotion and desire written on school that some of them have acknowledged.
important to me, as the ineffectiveness
bags, pencil tins and various body parts. One second-grade student, Su Bin, said
of previous methods was largely the
There were also song lyrics and movie that lessons were a little bit difficult to
lines to consider, as well as posters, follow at first, but that she had got used
newspapers and flyers. In short, I was My aim was to engage to it and knew that it was good for
entering the world of the Korean concentration. That she understood my
teenage girl.
them in the classroom, reasoning was heartening; she could see
the benefit of more challenging work, a
whilst exploiting and point which has been made by many
Texts and technology developing the skills researchers, including Madeleine Gregg,
My early attempts at changing the who asserts: Childrens reading makes
structure of my lessons involved asking they need in the the most progress ... when they are
my students to think about their modern world challenged and supported at a level just
favourite pop and movie stars, and to above the ability to read easily on their
use these names when speaking their own, and when they are engaged in
parts of a dialogue. This led to some result of students knowing in advance meaning-making conversations about the
enthusiasm from the students, but this of lessons exactly what would be texts. Although she was referring to
slight change in our lessons did not expected of them, to the point that they reading, specifically, I have found that
hold their attention for long. The did not need to concentrate in order to by planning and teaching all my lessons
partial success did, however, lead me to be participating members of the class. and materials at a level just above the
consider other aspects of their lives In order to achieve a more productive level my students are comfortable with,
which I could use in the classroom. environment, I used different fonts for they are more attentive, more
After each class, the students always dialogue, changed the position of the enthusiastic and produce better work.
dive onto the computer, and are able to dialogue, replaced correct words with The incorporation of PowerPoint in
navigate websites of complex incorrect words and used pictures of our lessons quickly led to more
appearance with great skill and speed. I people and speech bubbles to highlight responsive and focused students.
realised that if I could develop lessons who was speaking. This allowed the Although the work we were doing was
which not only featured topics they like students to think more critically about essentially the same in terms of the
to discuss outside of school but also the English they were learning: they language we were covering, the students
more closely resembled the media which were no longer merely relying on code- were less restless, more involved and
they are familiar with, my teaching breaking skills but had to go some way easier to engage. When asked if they
would be more effective. My aim was to towards using genuine communication preferred the lessons with PowerPoint,
engage them in the classroom, whilst skills. Identifying incorrect words was the students replied that they did. Min
exploiting and developing the skills they usually accompanied by laughter as the Yong, a first-grade student, said, It is
need in the modern world. students reacted to how a sentence had easy to follow and see, and we do not
The outcome of my decision to become bizarre, funny or horrifying need our books. Another student, Min
redevelop our classes was a series of because of the replacement of one word Su, also in the first grade, said that she

48 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


liked them for the visual effect. I was outdated, unchallenging and which the
encouraged by these comments and
further comments made with regard to
students see as having no bearing on
who they are. Teachers who would like
the use of Korean celebrities in our to make changes are limited by the
lesson, which the students really pressures they are under to get the This is your magazine.
enjoyed. One student, Ji Min, said, students to pass exams which are based
Lessons are familiar and fun; it makes solely on memorised answers and by
We want to hear from you!
the lesson more like speaking real lack of practical help from the
English. This last comment, in government in making lessons more
particular, was very heartening as it communicative.
seemed I was achieving my aim of
moving our lessons away from
The positive response to my attempts
to make my lessons more relevant to the
something which happens solely in the students indicated that using their own Do you have ideas youd like to share
classroom, to something which has a interests and knowledge was a good with colleagues around the world?
function outside in the real world. approach, but the reaction of some older Tips, techniques and activities;
teachers indicated that they themselves simple or sophisticated; well-tried
or innovative; something that has
Colleagues and may need educating in how to teach
worked well for you? All published
language in the 21st century. For levels
competence of fluency to improve in my school, the contributions receive a prize!
Another interesting outcome of how I teachers need better training and they Write to us or email:
use PowerPoint was the reaction from could start by taking a greater interest editor@etprofessional.com
my Korean co-teachers. It gave me in the lives and abilities of students
further insight into the problems of outside of school. If this knowledge
language teaching and learning in my
school. It became apparent to me that
could be harnessed to a curriculum that
is less heavily reliant on tests from a
my older Korean co-teachers found it as single textbook as a way of measuring Do you have something to say about
difficult, or more difficult, than my progress, then achievement levels would an article in the current issue of ETp?
students to follow the layout of my rise. At present, however, the majority This is your magazine and we would
PowerPoint slides. Often, they found it of students are not interested in English really like to hear from you.
hard to locate the different parts of the lessons and find little reason to Write to us or email:
dialogue. This highlights the changes participate fully in class. ETp
that are occurring in society, whereby editor@etprofessional.com
older generations are lacking the skills The names of teachers and students in
to function in the modern world. Whilst
very competent at what they do, the
this article have been changed.
Writing for ETp
older-generation teachers I work with Would you like to write for ETp? We are
Bausch, L S Just words: living and
emphasise the importance of grammar learning the literacies of our students always interested in new writers and
and teach through explanation and lives Language Arts 80(3) 2003 fresh ideas. For guidelines and advice,
exercise. There is little engagement with Carrington, V Rethinking Middle Years: write to us or email:
the students, and little acknowledgement Early adolescents, schooling and digital
culture Allen & Unwin 2006 editor@etprofessional.com
that the world has changed from the
time when they trained to be teachers. Comber, B and Kamler, B Getting out of
This view was confirmed by Miss Yu, deficit: pedagogies of reconnection
Teaching Education 15(3) 2004
Visit the
who pointed out that the older teachers
teach as they were taught to teach. The Gregg, M and Sekeres, D C Supporting ETp website!
childrens reading of expository text in
teaching styles of my colleagues The ETp website is packed with practical
the geography classroom The Reading
indicated that teachers, and older Teacher 60(2) 2006 tips, advice, resources, information and
teachers in particular, may need selected articles. You can submit tips
educating in how to teach languages in Simon Neale spent the or articles, renew your subscription
the twenty-first century. This is unlikely first three years of his or simply browse the features.
teaching life in various
to be a problem confined to my school, locations in China. He
also lived and worked in www.etprofessional.com
or even Korea, however.
the Czech Republic for
three years. In 2007 he
 moved to Korea to work ENGLISH TEACHING professional
in a public school.
Pavilion Publishing (Brighton) Ltd,
Whilst reflecting on the issue of how PO Box 100, Chichester, West Sussex,
English teaching can be improved in my PO18 8HD, UK
school, several key points arose. Firstly, Fax: +44 (0)1243 576456
there were those points that stemmed Email: info@etprofessional.com
from the curriculum itself, which is

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 75 July 2011 49


Initial teacher
training 1
Steve Hirschhorn n an apparent attempt to Education Academy, a Senior Lecturer

argues the case against an

over-academic model.
I professionalise initial English
language teacher-training courses
(ITTCs), colloquially known as
the four-week course, exam boards
seem to have lost sight of what such
in Applied Linguistics, external
examiner for three UK universities and
Principal of a respected language
school. If current regulations had
existed in the 80s, I would never have
initial training should be doing. As a had this career. It is also true, again
provider of Trinity College London anecdotally, that some of the best
(TCL) courses since 1996, at my peak trainees to pass through my hands have
overseeing the delivery of 14 courses per been qualification-free! Perhaps they
year, I feel qualified to comment on the
change in emphasis which has occurred
and which now causes trainee teachers This process seems
to hurl themselves headlong through to ignore the fact
hoops of quasi-academia, instead of
focusing on developing the attributes of that being academic
a good teacher.
or having the ability to
Entry pass exams is not part
Even before the TCL Cert TESOL of what creates a
course starts, the emphasis for potential
course members is less on recognising good teacher
the qualities which might contribute
towards becoming a teacher and more have more to prove. In most fields these
on the proverbial ticking of boxes. In days, one can cite ones life experience
order to qualify for acceptance on the in lieu of study but not, apparently, to
course, applicants must demonstrate take Cert TESOL.
that they have sufficient qualifications Surely it should be left to the ITTC
to enter UK higher education or an provider to decide on entry qualifications
overseas equivalent. This is the start of the exam board should be there to
a process which seems to ignore the fact ensure that certain predetermined
that being academic or having the standards are achieved by the provider
ability to pass exams is not part of what and the course participant.
creates a good teacher. We probably
throw away hundreds of potentially
good UK teachers every year because Demands
they didnt leave school with A levels. While teaching practice is still a central
When I took the course in 1980, aged component of the course, trainees are
30, I had no relevant formal overwhelmed with written tasks right
qualifications at all, but I passed with from the start. One implication is that
an A grade. Since then, I have gone on just as some language learners will take
to gain an MA, a PGCHE (distinction), refuge in grammar to avoid the risks of
become a Fellow of the Higher speaking, so trainees can hide

50 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


themselves in written work rather than is the Language Learner Profile in which
face the real challenges of developing Isnt it what happens course participants must engage with a
teaching skills. student, conduct a recorded interview
Just in case the reader is not clear in the classroom which with them, list and analyse errors, plan
about the demands placed on a TCL determines whether or and deliver a one-hour lesson, create a
course member these days, there are five needs analysis, prepare a future syllabus,
separate pieces of written work to be not a teacher might be and so on. This assignment requires
completed during the course (not upwards of 2,500 words and many
including lesson planning). The total
considered good? hours work. The results are that
word count for these, excluding the trainees cite this as the straw which is
exam (which in our case is a take-home view of what the profession requires most likely to break the camels back.
affair), is about 7,600. Thats around from its new members. It is time to Under those conditions of practically
half of what might be expected for a challenge this view and return towards forced labour, is it likely that efficient
Masters dissertation! Assignments range the values which were set originally by learning is going to take place? I have
from a relatively short (2 x 400 words) John Haycraft: an initial teacher- never undertaken a viva for this
but precise account of two sets of training course should be exactly that; assignment, but it would be interesting
materials, through to a major study of a it should be designed and delivered, to note the results I dare to suggest
learner and their needs, error analysis examined and interrogated to develop that they would be very poor indeed.
and devising of a future syllabus. and nurture the qualities of a good This is the assignment most likely to trip
Although we tell course participants language teacher, nothing more and up those who have no formal academic
that when prioritising is required, they nothing less. qualifications (and many who do), but
should put their energies into lesson in my view it does not achieve what it
planning and preparation, the fact is Argument sets out to achieve: commensurately
that they must complete all components greater subject knowledge.
In order to focus an ITTC on the
of the course to qualify and therefore
qualities of a good language teacher, it
prioritising becomes putting off. The
stress build-up, which I believe almost
is obviously essential to know what Experiencing life as
those are a dilemma, indeed, since
every participant experiences, is due in
nobody has ever been able to create a a beginner can be very
part to teaching nerves, which is
definitive list of such qualities with useful but why cant
completely understandable and
which all agree. Having said that, I
probably even desirable to a certain
extent, but the stress is multiplied by the
would challenge anyone who states that course members and
an academic background will help to
burden of written work which distracts
create a good general language teacher course providers decide
them from considered preparation for
the teaching experience. In reality,
or that the ability to work late into the how they would like
night under considerable pressure helps
trainees spend less time planning and,
particularly, preparing lessons than they
to develop the qualities needed by a to reflect on their
good teacher or, indeed, that the
should but also sometimes work so
inability to function under such a
late into the night that their
workload signifies an inability to teach.
performance suffers substantially. This,
Isnt it what happens in the classroom One could also challenge the view
as far as I am concerned, has nothing to
(and in its immediate vicinity, at least in that writing a 1,800-word report on the
do with training entry-level teachers: it
metaphorical terms) which determines experience of four hours of language
simply represents an external bodys
whether or not a teacher might be learning contributes to ones subject
unchallenged and arguably misguided
considered good? If so, then we should knowledge. Note that I am not arguing
examine what is needed for that context: against the task itself, only the way the
awareness, empathy, sense of humour, report should be written. Experiencing
Trainees spend sensitivity, reflectiveness, leadership, life as a beginner can be very useful (and
less time planning authority, ability to guide, responsiveness, may even have some impact on subject
flexibility, determination and, of course, knowledge) but why cant course
lessons than they subject knowledge must be amongst the members and course providers decide
qualities which language students might how they would like to reflect on their
should but also experience? This could as well be done in
expect from their teacher in most
sometimes work (though perhaps not all) cultures. brief note form or even in an oral form
And yet, even the one area mentioned as a sharing session in small groups and
so late into the night which would seem to support TCLs would thus save huge amounts of time
that their performance stance on written work subject without sacrificing learning.
knowledge is debatable. In addition, I would make a strong
suffers substantially The assignment most obviously argument in favour of having little
designed to increase subject knowledge formal grammar input during the

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 75 July 2011 51


Initial teacher which would be able to focus more

effectively on each participants
strengths and weaknesses. There would
certain ways to certain criteria, but just
as we would advise our students against
a particular learning strategy as being
training 1 be greater possibilities for peer feedback
and trainees would become more
inefficient, surely the exam boards have
the duty, expertise and authority to
sensitive to each others needs, they guide the QCA towards an
training itself since every teacher knows would have more time and focus to understanding of what our profession
that one cannot cover enough of the support and assist each other. Video needs. Or perhaps this is actually the
English grammar system in four weeks could be used as a genuine tool (as more final straw in the long process (started
to make any impression and that many time to view would be available) rather in the 1970s) of attempting to gain
of us learn this aspect of our subject than, as currently on my course, as a professional status; if so, it is
knowledge as we go along in the first tutor back-watcher when a participant misconstrued and misguided. Even the
year or so of full-time teaching. Even is having difficulty. In short, we could best four-week courses are now tending
the keenest of linguists cannot hope to attend to our learners just as we advise towards quasi-academic boot camps,
gather enough grammar knowledge in our learners to attend to theirs. despite the very best efforts of excellent
four weeks. Instead, we could be tutors all over the world. It is to their
opening new doors into the world of credit that some four-week courses are
collocation and corpus something we Even the best still managing to create new teachers of
already do but havent the time to cover four-week courses are a high calibre, but it is those trainers
sufficiently. We could also be spending and their students who are battling
more time on showing new teachers now tending towards quite unnecessarily against a system
how to deal with questions to which which was born as an inspiration but
they dont yet know the answer! quasi-academic has grown into a monster.
boot camps
If I am right, then we should be
My lone voice will not carry very much
focusing on helping individuals develop Assessment weight and probably wont attract the
those parts of themselves which are Moderation, the name that TCL gives notice of those who are ultimately
relevant to the classroom context and to the assessment at the end of the responsible for this negative shift in
recognising those parts which are not so course, has become a true box-ticking emphasis but, if others agree, then we
appropriate to professional teachers. activity. A moderator not long ago must begin to put pressure on institutions
This training programme must be largely criticised us because the sessions on our such as the British Council who know
based on the practical, through both timetables hadnt been initialled by the our business and could provide the
peer teaching and real teaching. tutors properly. This, I suggest, is a guidance necessary to change direction
Drastically reducing the written load distraction. When moderators focus on before it is too late. ETp
would allow for time to explore and the regulations (because they are
reflect on the trainees performance in a instructed to) and not on whether or Steve Hirschhorn
wide variety of contexts. We could easily has been in ELT
not good new teachers are being since 1979, lecturing,
increase the amount of time allotted to produced through our efforts, teaching and training in
teaching practice and allow for both something must surely be wrong.
mainstream and fringe
methodologies. One of
observed and unobserved lessons; we Moderators should be focused on several current projects
could experiment with planned and the quality of course delivery and the
is a history of ELT
methodology 19502000.
unplanned sessions. In short, we could course participants experiences and He is Principal of
challenge trainees with relevant and development but, most of all, they
Eckersley Oxford, UK,
and an external examiner
substantial experiential learning. should be assessing whether an ITTC is for the University of
Reducing the written workload would doing what it says on the tin Wales (Bangor).
permit more detailed feedback sessions, producing new, employable teachers. steve.hirschhorn@eckersley.co.uk

My purpose here is not to attack

We should be focusing individuals but to challenge the

on helping individuals
requirements of the exam boards and
their masters, too. TALKBACK!
Do you have something to say about
develop those parts
Validity an article in the current issue of ETp?
of themselves which I understand that in order to have the This is your magazine and we would
really like to hear from you.
are relevant to the Cert TESOL recognised by the British
Write to us or email:
Council and the QCA (or now Ofqual)
classroom context at Level 5 of the National Qualifications editor@etprofessional.com
Framework, the course has to adhere in

52 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com


Learning coach 5
In the fifth article in their series on learner coaching, Duncan Foord and Daniel Barber look
at how teachers can help students recognise and maintain their motivation.

s teachers, we can design personal goal or a project of some 3 Were going on holiday to New

A classroom activities which we

think will tap into our
learners motivation as
individuals and as a group, but if we are
to coach our learners towards greater

3 Think about what you have written.

Try to identify important motivational
factors. In Dans case we could
York in October.
4 I always wanted to learn English
again, but until now I havent tried.
English will help me develop
personally and professionally. Id
point to:
autonomy, then we need to hand over
the race as a motivator. Dan had really like to be able to express
the motivational controls so that they
something to prepare for, an event myself in English.
can tap into their motivation themselves
which would measure his progress 5 I wasnt very good at English at
when we arent around. Motivation is at
in some way. school; we had a terrible teacher
the heart of effective independent
Dans autonomy. He made the and it was just another subject,
learning, so learners need to do two
decision to print and follow a another obligation. But now its my
training schedule, and he chose the hobby and Im learning it because I
recognise their motivation best schedule for him. want to, not because I have to.
maintain and boost it. Dans discipline. He kept to the
schedule and didnt give up. 6 I tried English classes three times
Here are two activities which you can
before but they never lasted more
do with your learners to help them
4 Compare with a partner or in small than a few months. Then, two years
recognise and take charge of their own
groups. What common factors are ago, a good friend said that she
motivation. We conclude with a
there in your stories? What wanted to do the same, and now I
checklist of ideas to help you sustain
differences are there? never miss a class. Knowing that
and boost your learners motivation.
shell be there means I dont want
5 Relate what you have talked about to
to stop.
Recognising motivation your English learning. What can Dan
learn from his marathon training 7 The world is such a small place
Activity one experience that he can apply to these days: travelling, the internet,
This activity helps students explore their improving his Spanish? What can films and TV, and so on, and its all
own motivation. you learn from your motivation English, English, English. I want to
stories, which you can apply to be part of the global community.

1 Read an example of Dan talking about learning English? 8 I remember the first time I went to
a time when he felt very motivated. Dublin; I couldnt say anything. I felt
Recently I did my first half marathon. like Tarzan! I just pointed to things
Activity two that I wanted and smiled. But the
Ten weeks before the race, I found a
This activity helps students think about last time I went to Ireland was much
training schedule on the internet,
the different reasons they may have for better. I could order food in a
which told me when and how far to
learning English. restaurant and ask questions
run each week. I printed it out and put
it on the wall in the kitchen. It was politely. My boyfriend was very
magic! That little piece of paper made impressed. A good feeling!
1 Read what other learners say about
me run four times a week ... and I their motivation for learning English. 9 I dont know; Ive always enjoyed it,
always did it. Ive been running for a Tick ( ) any reasons that are similar ever since I was at school. I was
couple of years, but I was never as to yours. How are your reasons good at it so I carried on. Its a part
motivated before. Not surprisingly, different? of my life that Im really happy with.
since the race I usually only go
1 Im learning English because it will Did you tick more than one of these
running once or twice a week.
be useful for my job. reasons? Thats good because it means
2 Write about a time when you felt very 2 Its the language of science and your motivation is strong enough to
motivated about something. It could research. I need to pass English to help you keep learning, even if things
be at school or at home, a hobby, a succeed in my studies. change.

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 75 July 2011 53


4 Now write about your motivations. relates to their needs, such as the Trinity
Learning coach 5 You may sometimes want to look at
them, so write them in an important
GESE exams for spoken English.
7 Promote the out-of-class activities
2 Now read the text below about the place in your notebook or on a piece
different types of motivation that suggested in previous articles in this
of paper in your wallet. You can write
those nine learners illustrate: series. If self-study is stimulating, the
them like this:
students will be more likely to choose to
Learners 1, 2 and 3 have clear, practical Im learning English because do it in their own time.
reasons for learning English. English is
Im learning English so I can ...
necessary in their lives, jobs, hobbies 8 Do activities in class such as the
and interests. We can call these I think the most important reason why two suggested in this article and follow
extrinsic motivations or goals, and Im learning English is up on them.
they can be very important because they But I also
9 Ask your students how they are
help us decide our long-term objectives. Maybe in the future I will feeling about their English on a regular
Learners 4 and 5 are motivated because basis. Ask them where their motivation
they can make their own decisions levels are from one week to the next.
about how, when, who with and for how
Maintaining and Get them to ask each other.
long they do it. If they are in control, they
take responsibility for learning. Their boosting motivation 10 Be a role model by paying attention
motivation comes from autonomy. Here is a checklist for helping your to your own motivation!
Learners 6 and 7 enjoy sharing the students maintain and boost their
learning experience with other people. It motivation. (Can you relate each item 
is important to be part of a community to the four motivators identified in
Activity 2?) Finally, it isnt enough to do a lesson on
and to speak to people with similar
motivation and think your job is done.
interests: to have friends! We can call 1 Make sure your classroom is a
A motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar (yes,
this motivation relatedness. community where learners have the really!), said: People often say that
Learners 8 and 9 want to keep learning chance to participate and have a say in motivation doesnt last. Well, neither
because they are good at it. They enjoy what happens, when it happens and how does bathing thats why we recommend
making progress and it makes them feel it happens (whatever their age). it daily. ETp
good about themselves. We can call
2 Suggest they keep a learning
this motivation competence. Recommended reading
journal in which they reflect on what
3 Think about your motivation. How they have learnt, what activities they Drnyei, Z and Ushioda, E (Eds)
have liked or disliked and what is Motivation, Language Identity and the
much of it comes from competence,
L2 Self (Second Language Acquisition)
relatedness, autonomy or some affecting their learning. Alternatively, or Multilingual Matters 2009
extrinsic reason? Mark them from 1 in addition, allow class time for them to
Pink, D H Drive: The Surprising Truth
to 5 on these motivation dials: report on this to a partner or in small About What Motivates Us Canongate
groups. Books 2011
2 3
3 Exploit the motivational tools that
1 4
Daniel Barber is a
accompany coursebooks these days. teacher, teacher trainer
0 5 These may include progress tests, can and writer. He worked in
Mexico, Oxford, London
COMPETENCE do self-evaluative checklists and and Barcelona before
portfolios based on the Council of moving to Cdiz, Spain.
2 3 Europes Common English Framework.
1 4 All aim to foster feelings of competence.
4 Wherever possible, give your
0 5
students a choice of what they do in
class and for homework, either as a daniel@activelanguage.net
2 3 group by voting for one activity which
Duncan Foord is Director
1 4 everyone will do or allowing them of Teacher Training at
individually to choose different OxfordTEFL. He lives in
0 5 Barcelona and is author
activities. of The Developing
AUTONOMY Teacher, published by
5 Help your students set goals for DELTA Publishing, and
themselves, as a group and individually. co-author, with Lindsay
2 3 Clandfield, of The
1 4 Encourage them to write these down Language Teachers
and check their progress. Survival Handbook,
published by iTs
0 5 Magazines.
6 Offer your students the opportunity
EXTRINSIC REASONS to prepare for an external exam which duncan@oxfordtefl.com

54 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com

IN THE CLASSROOM personally dislike the use of such words
and phrases; the topic could lead to
embarrassment, complaints and even

loss of students.
The pros are equally strong: we are
here to encourage the learning of the
English language all of it; students
need to know how to defend themselves
or react naturally if confronted with
swearing in an English-speaking

in class
environment; some students are
personally interested in it, whether or
not the teacher is; these words can be
heard in films, songs, etc, and teachers
should demonstrate how to use them
correctly, and how not to use them, to
avoid future misunderstanding.
It is clear that the issue really
Simon Dunton depends on the personality and wishes
Dont be so nervous about it; it of the teacher and their respective
will be OK. Anyway, they already
canvasses students and students, the teacherstudent
know these words. relationship, the general comfort level
teachers on whether we within the classroom and the personal
use of L1 swearing in the real world.
his was the response of my
should study swear words
and how we could. T former Director of Studies
when I explained that the film
she was recommending for use
in class (Up in the Air) was full of
cursing and swearing. What surprised
Other issues arising include when and
how to start teaching such language;
whether swear words can be seen as
idiomatic expressions and introduced

me most was that this is Russia, where

the use of MaT (swear words) is taboo
It is clear
(so much so that in one region an that the issue really
experimental programme of on-the-spot
street fines was attempted) and they depends on the
would never be heard in an officially- personality and wishes
certified film translation. Eventually,
believing the use of parts of the film of the teacher and
would be of great benefit to the class, I
agreed to go ahead with the idea, but their respective
only after giving the students a brief students
warning regarding the contents of the
film and requesting that they never
repeat this type of language in class. along with these around the intermediate
This event led to several interesting level, or perhaps introduced slowly in
discussions in the teachers room, their varying parts of speech forms; and
focusing on the central question: should whether it is possible to imagine a
we teach swearing and, if so, how and general coursebook including at least
when? some of these words, or whether they
should remain, as now, dealt with in
Teacher opinion separate and specialised lessons.

The cons were clearly stated: swearing is

simply not acceptable classroom Materials
language; it isnt comfortable to bring So what is available out there in terms
up such a topic in a natural way; it can of lesson plan material for the brave
be culturally offensive (especially if we teacher who takes up the challenge? A
include blasphemy); it doesnt sound brief search on the internet reveals that
right coming from a non-native speaker; some pre-made lessons exist, mostly
groups of mixed ages might react badly based on Swearing, a lesson in
to such a lesson topic; it could be Richard MacAndrew and Ron
extremely difficult to teach in a serious, Martnezs book Taboos and Issues.
educational way; some teachers The bulk of this lesson relies on the

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 75 July 2011 55

Swearing Books
Student-produced ideas


in class Several of my students had read (or

even owned or carried about) books
specifically written about swearing,
which give very detailed translations
English songs played on the radio
are usually in their original format in
Russia, so the explicit version can
be heard at all times of the day.
students previous lexical knowledge,
and clear examples. Though Questions about lyrics could be
and asks for their opinions on swearing
in general, as well as focusing on two shocking, these at least give accurate asked on a one-to-one basis, since
specific cases in reading task format. It information. More detailed books like songs are very personal anyway.
is not for the weak of heart or the easily An Encyclopedia of Swearing by Once the students have checked if
embarrassed teacher as it requires them Geoffrey Hughes is a philologists the teacher is comfortable with such
to hear and speak the offending words dream, giving the origin and history a role, they could ask for further
repeatedly (through gap filling and of many contemporary and past explanations where the meaning is
drilling) and even to help define a fairly swear words, but it is not for the not clear.
comprehensive list of blasphemous, average language student.
weaker, stronger and taboo-strength
words. It should be noted that that the The internet Films are perhaps the easiest and
F-word is listed as the strongest. Sites such as urbandictionary.com most common way to see how
Again, this begs the question: Should give real (though at times bizarre, swearing is used in a natural way.
students be taught that there is a colloquial or obsolete) definitions. Translations should absolutely be
stronger word (the C-word) and that it Noswearing.com offers not only a avoided and, as with songs, any
is totally taboo for some people? There clear dictionary with softer definitions, queries could be discussed in private
is, of course, a plethora of YouTube.com but also a bad word filter which can with a willing teacher.
and Videojug.com videos that also tone down entire obscenity-
attempt to teach expletives, though containing sentences typed into it.
most if not all cannot be considered
as educational or suitable for a
classroom atmosphere. Watching a film/listening to a song encouragement. Some of the students
and exploring the precise meaning of ideas are shown in the box on this page.
Student opinion the phrases and words
Drilling the words for intonation 
Of course, its all very well asking
teachers and checking what lesson plans Roleplaying situations in which they My satisfaction with this simple idea
are already out there, but what do the might be used came not only from the fact that a
students think? Should it be the choice Seriously examining the grammar, variety of ideas on how to self-learn or
of the teacher or the students to teach formation and function of each word. revise these words was drawn up, but
or study profanities? What sort of that the entire talk was carried out
reaction could we expect if we decided The answer to each of the above was a completely without swearing or teacher
to conduct one such lesson without resounding No. The interest in swearing embarrassment, and it was entirely
warning? How many complaints could was there, but the question of how a student-focused. It was, therefore, an
the DoS expect? Or would it be a total lesson on the subject might be executed effective and delicate way to approach
success? Would it be possible, in fact, to appeared to stump them, too. the issue and useful for any of those
have a swearing lesson without swearing? I continued by asking the students who wished to go away and make use of
Making use of one of my long- to discuss the following questions in these words in future. ETp
standing, advanced-level groups, I pairs (where they could feel more at
decided to put this to the test, though ease and use what language they liked):
MacAndrew, R and Martnez R Taboos
not quite as directly as the material in and Issues Thomson Heinle 2001
Why should swearing be taught?
Taboos and Issues. Within a pairwork
discussion based on the topic World How have you learnt these words? Simon Dunton taught
English, I added the question: Should the full spectrum of
How could it be taught? ages and levels whilst
English swearing be taught in class? working at three major
Class feedback showed that the students How would you feel if you were asked language schools in
were overwhelmingly in favour of this, to teach Russian swear words? Moscow, Russia. He is
currently Director of
at which point I decided to tackle this Would you use the same methods? Studies of a smaller
school in the Universitet
issue directly by asking which of the district of the city.
These mini-discussions worked
following would be the most
extremely well and, during whole-class
comfortable way of doing this for them:
feedback, a very long, detailed and
Writing up all the words we know on engaging discussion took place, almost
the board without teacher intervention or

56 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com

Web Russell Stannard thinks
Wallwisher is well worth a second visit.

ack in Issue 69 I wrote about the Wallwisher tool, but only videos and pictures and add these to the wall, which doesnt

B in passing. Recently, I have been giving a number of

presentations about it at conferences, and I have begun
to get quite a lot of feedback which indicates that I may have
involve them in much language work. One way to avoid this is to
insist that each picture, video or link includes some text
explaining what it is. You could also insist on a certain number of
overlooked its potential. So I have decided to devote an entire written posts (remember, sticky notes can be used just to write
article to it, pointing out some of the benefits of the tool as well on). I have had all sorts of feedback from teachers regarding this
as some of the things that you can do with it. idea. It can help in the writing process as a way of encouraging
the students to get their thoughts and ideas together. This can
Wallwisher be done in the class or as homework, as long as the students
have access to computers.
Wallwisher is really like an electronic noticeboard. You create a
wall on the Wallwisher site (www.wallwisher.com), you are given
an address for your wall, and you can then begin to add sticky
Class walls
notes to it. You can set it up so that only you can add notes to Teachers can set up a wall, add a few posts to get it started and
it and other people can only read it, or you can set it up so that then share it with the students and get them to add things to it.
everyone can add their own notes. By allowing everyone to add This is easily done by setting it up so that anyone can contribute
notes, it becomes a useful classroom tool for groupwork and a to it. I often use class walls for brainstorming vocabulary and
great place for brainstorming ideas and projects. ideas on a given topic. The students dont even have to be in
There are four things you can do with sticky notes: the class to participate: you could set up a wall and then get the
students to contribute for homework. If they are working in
1 You can add a sticky note to your wall and write on it, so it groups, then you or they can set up a wall for each group to
simply contains your thoughts on a topic or idea. work on to collect ideas and contributions.
2 You can add a sticky note with a link to a YouTube video, so
that people can click on the note and watch the video. Bricklaying
3 You can add sticky notes that link to pictures. When people Using Wallwisher is very easy. You simply go onto the site and
click on the note, the picture appears on the screen. click on build a wall. You then have to give your wall a title and
4 You can add sticky notes that link to webpages. If people click a subtitle, select an icon to go in the corner, set the control
on the note, they will be taken to the linked page. levels and click on done. You can start adding things to your
wall immediately. You just do a couple of clicks on an empty
You can see an excellent example of the use of sticky notes on a
space to add a sticky note. It is that simple!
wall at www.wallwisher.com/demo. Just click on the different
You dont even have to sign up to Wallwisher to create a
sticky notes and see what happens.
wall, but it is much better if you do. Once you are signed up, you
have a profile where you can see all the walls you created. You
Another brick in the wall can edit, delete or view your walls at any time. It is also a good
Teachers can use Wallwisher to prepare material for a class. idea for you to get your students to sign up. The reason for this
Imagine, for example, that you want your students to do a is that if they are signed up, then when they add a sticky note to
project about a famous person, such as Nelson Mandela. On any wall, it will clearly show you who added it. This makes it
your wall you can add links to videos, websites, articles and easier for you to track who wrote what.
pictures, and you can put sticky notes with ideas for things to One last useful tip is that if you are worried about what your
think about. The students can then use your wall as a starting students might write on the walls, then there is a very handy
point for reading and gathering information about the topic. It setting that only allows new sticky notes to be added to the wall
can be used at any level. For a lower-level class, your wall might once you have approved them. Again, to be able to moderate
simply have a collection of links to useful tools, websites, what is written on a wall, you need to sign up. ETp
videos, etc that can help the students learn vocabulary.
Teacher trainers might create a wall with links to different The videos at www.teachertrainingvideos.com/wall/
articles, videos, pictures, etc about a particular methodology. index.html go through everything in detail and will help you
The possibilities are endless. to use Wallwisher.

Student walls Russell Stannard is a Principal Lecturer in ICT at the

University of Warwick, UK, where he teaches on the
Students can also make their own walls. A project in class might MA in ELT. He won the Times Higher Education
Award for Outstanding Initiatives in Information and
involve the students choosing a famous place and then creating Communications Technology in 2008, TEFLnet Site
a wall about it. They could then share these with the teacher or of the Year in 2009 and a 2010 British Council
ELTon award, all for his popular website
with the class. One thing you can do is to get some of the www.teachertrainingvideos.com.
students to stand up and present their walls to the rest of the
Keep sending your favourite sites to Russell:
class. This way you bring an oral component into the work.
There is the danger that the students will simply find links,

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 75 July 2011 57

In this series, Nicky Hockly
explains aspects of technology
Five things you always wanted to know about
which some people may be

blended learning
(but were afraid to ask)
embarrassed to confess that
they dont really understand.
In this article, she examines
blended learning.

2 An English for Academic Purposes

1 What exactly is blended
learning? teacher at a university teaches her B2-
level students for one hour a day, Monday
(reading &
(writing &
(grammar &

The most common definition of blended

learning is learning that combines face-to- to Friday. The university has decided that Week
at least 50 percent of all courses must be 1
face (f2f) teaching with online elements. Topic:
delivered online. So now she meets her _____

2 Why would I want to use

blended learning?
learners for one hour on Monday and on
Friday, and offers them three hours per
week of online work.
As technology becomes increasingly
ubiquitous, learners expect it to be 3 A language school in the UK offers
intensive 25-hour-per-week summer estimated time the activity will take
integrated into their language classes. This
courses to international students. After interaction (individual, pair- or groupwork)
means not only bringing technology into the
they leave the UK, they complete an if the activity is online, if it is synchronous
classroom, but offering learners technology-
additional ten hours of online work. (takes place in real time) or asynchronous
enhanced options outside of class time.
4 A secondary school teacher meets her (learners can contribute to the task when
Learners today increasingly expect to be
learners for three hours per week of f2f they like within the task deadline)
able to fit learning into their own busy lives
EFL classes. For homework, she regularly Its important to start with an overview of
and working schedules. This is particularly
sets tasks using a range of Web 2.0 your course, and a clear awareness of
true of university students and adults who
tools, such as creating online posters, which elements to offer online and which
are busy professionals.
mobile phone video or audio clips and to offer in the f2f classroom. Mapping
If you are a freelance teacher, offering
posting to the class blog or wiki. your coursebook syllabus for an entire
a blended option to your learners may
Scenario 4 is often where teachers month or term onto a grid can help you
provide you with a unique selling point
start experimenting with blended learning, keep the big picture in mind.
and an attractive degree of flexibility. In
if they have a choice. The best way is to
some situations, teachers are being asked
by their institutions to offer blended
options to learners. In other contexts,
start small, preferably with one class and
offering as little as ten percent of the work
5 How can I deliver the online part
of my blended learning course?
Email is a low-tech possibility. It could
there may be Ministry of Education online possibly simply as an extra, as in
work in scenario 4, where the teacher
directives expecting teachers to offer scenario 4 above. Once you and your
could send homework instructions and
blended learning in many disciplines. learners gain confidence with the tools
links to online tools, or to the class blog
So in some cases, teachers may want and online work, you can build more
or wiki, by email. But in a proper blended
to start using blended learning, while in online components into your course.
course, you would want to look at
others they may have to start using it. keeping your learners tasks and work in

3 Whats the right blend?

4 I need to offer at least 50
percent of my course online.
Where do I start?
one place online, such as in a class wiki,
a blog or in a virtual learning environment
Take a look at your syllabus. Identify those such as Moodle.
There is no one right blend. The amount of
areas that are most easily delivered online, Whatever tool you decide to use, start
f2f instruction versus online instruction can
such as reading, writing and listening. small, try it out, get feedback and then
vary widely, and will depend on factors
Although speaking can also be delivered adjust your task types and online delivery
which include your teaching context, the
online (via group audio or video tools in the light of reflection and hindsight.
needs and expectations of your learners,
the resources you have available and the conferencing sessions, for example), you Nicky Hockly has been involved in
content and design of your course. will want to keep as much speaking as EFL teaching and teacher training
since 1987. She is Director of
Lets look at a number of possible possible for your f2f classes. You could use Pedagogy of The Consultants-E,
blended learning scenarios: a blank grid in which to map out the main an online training and development
consultancy. She is co-author of
1 A business English teacher meets her elements and activities of your course. Teaching Online (DELTA Publishing),
learners for three hours a week. Because Then write in the following for each which was nominated for a 2011
element: British Council ELTon award. She
her learners are busy professionals, they maintains a blog at
cannot come to more than one hour per topic www.emoderationskills.com.
week of f2f class time. So she offers language focus Contact Nicky at nicky.hockly@theconsultants-e.com and
them an additional two hours per week of whether this element will be offered let her know of any other ICT areas youd like her to
online work. online or f2f explore in this series.

58 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com

In this column Rose Senior explains why certain teaching techniques and
class management strategies are effective, and identifies specific issues that can assist
all language teachers in improving the quality of their teaching.

ommunicative language teaching and, rather than simply letting students communicative value because we know

C (CLT) is all about helping students

to develop their speaking skills by
giving them a range of
opportunities to interact in English with
fellow students during class time. A powerful
discuss their responses to the coursebook
questions in pairs or small groups, spend a
few minutes finding out what activities
individuals have done and what the general
class feeling is towards extreme sports. This
nothing about the people or the situations
described: the statements are devoid of
context and are, therefore, empty.
Astute teachers make a point of
selecting linguistic structures from grammar
technique for encouraging oral interaction is promotes the feeling: This is our class, and exercises and giving their students the
that of personalisation: giving students the these are some of the feelings/interests of opportunity to personalise them. With
opportunity to share with others aspects of our overall class group. As a result, class example 1, they might spring one or two
themselves as people their likes and solidarity as well as fluency is enhanced. quick questions on their class, such as
dislikes, feelings, personal experiences, It is easy for native English-speaking When will this class finish today? or When
knowledge, opinions, and so on. teachers to provide their classes with will you finish your homework tonight?,
Personalisation opportunities for free interaction inviting individual or choral responses
is powerful because Personalisation is powerful of the kind outlined above, which, if students laugh or groan, indicate
it enables students because it enables students to since they can readily step in that their responses are genuine. (The
to link the subject and provide additional words teacher will, of course, insist that students
matter of the lesson link the subject matter of the or phrases as needed, correct use the correct grammatical form in their
to their own lives, lesson to their own lives linguistic errors on the spot, responses: at four oclock, at midnight, and
thereby making new and so on. However, teachers so on). Students soon learn to respond to
concepts or linguistic forms more who themselves learnt English by more teachers questions with personally
meaningful and relevant. It also provides traditional methods and who may be less meaningful statements such as I learnt to
them with opportunities to use English in confident in their own levels of fluency are ride a bicycle when I was six (following the
unique ways making statements that no likely to want to teach in more structured, structure of example 2). Teachers can also
one has heard before and that can, safer ways. Other teachers who may be set up controlled pairwork. After example 3,
therefore, be highly memorable (and reluctant to give their students the students could ask each other questions,
sometimes amusing). Provided they show opportunity to use English freely in class are with individuals reporting back to the class:
that they value the unique statements those who believe that grammar exercises Kim asked me whether I liked rap music,
made by individual students (rather than are the best way to consolidate and so on. By writing
ignoring them or indicating disapproval), linguistic forms and that Personalisation is a highly individual students
teachers say that personalisation makes valuable teaching time will be lost effective technique for statements on the
their classes more alert and alive; it is as if if students are given opportunities board as models of
the students think: The teacher values me to personalise their learning. A encouraging students to grammatically correct
and what I can say in English, so I am further reason why grammar speak from the heart English, teachers not
willing to contribute to this class! exercises are widely used is that only validate those
Many coursebooks provide students they are regarded by many teachers as a students contributions but also strengthen
with opportunities for personal expression means of keeping large classes of the classs awareness of common English
through post-reading activities. Questions potentially unruly teenagers under control. sentence patterns.
accompanying a reading text about Grammar exercises typically take the In sum, personalisation is a highly
exploring cave systems might include Have form of a series of sentences that must be effective technique for encouraging
you ever been caving or done any other manipulated in some way: completed by students to speak from the heart and to
sport which involves taking risks, like having gaps filled with grammatically correct improve their overall levels of fluency. It is
parachuting or mountaineering? What do forms of verbs or other linguistic items, or also a valuable way of helping students to
you like about the sport? Would you like to restructured to say the same thing differently consolidate linguistic structures in more
do one of these sports or a similar one? (eg changing direct to reported speech). traditional language-focused lessons. ETp
Why? Why not? Questions such as these Here are some examples: 1 The seminar will
typically elicit personal responses from finish (in/on/at/the) five oclock. 2 She learnt
students that give them practice in (ride/riding/to ride) a bicycle when she was
speaking spontaneously and focusing on nine years old. 3 He said to her: Do you like Rose Senior is a language teacher educator
the content of what they are saying rather chocolate?  He asked her ) The problem who runs workshops and presents at
conferences around the world.
than the form. However, teachers who are with such exercises is that the language
intuitively class-centred go one step further contained within them lacks genuine

www.etprofessional.com ENGLISH TEACHING professional Issue 75 July 2011 59

Prize crossword 48
ETp presents the forty-eighth in our series of prize Ten correct entries will be drawn from a hat on 10 September
crosswords. Send your entry (completed crossword 2011 and the senders will each receive a copy of the second
grid and quotation), not forgetting to include your edition of the Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced
full name, postal address and telephone number, to Learners, applauded for its unique red star system showing the
Prize crossword 48, ENGLISH TEACHING professional, Pavilion Publishing frequency of the 7,500 most common words in English
(Brighton) Ltd, PO Box 100, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 8HD, UK. (www.macmillandictionary.com).

12 3 22 26 13 6 26 19 18 23 16 13 3 VERY FREQUENT WORDS ** To move slowly and in a tired or

*** A reply to a question unhappy way, often behind other
13 18 22 3 22 19 1 19 19 *** A male child people
*** To receive money for work
22 15 13 3 20 13 19 3 21 22 7 3 FAIRLY FREQUENT WORDS
Y that you do
* Lack of clarity because there is
*** To fasten something so it
12 3 10 2 10 11 19 18 26 more than one possible meaning
cannot move
* A small insect that lives
24 22 15 10 18 17 24 7 17 18 13 *** To direct your eyes towards
something so you can see it
13 10 14 3 5 8 10 6 9 19
* A tool used for making holes
*** A negative answer
* A type of music in which the
*** ___ Golden Pond (a film
8 12 4 19 25 25 10 24 1 players often improvise
starring Henry Fonda)
22 18 6 12 19 26 10 14 13 16 *** A lonely number LESS FREQUENT WORDS
*** A word used to connect To fight with someone
24 19 12 19 18 23 7 3 26 22 possibilities/choices This kind of tea has no caffeine
*** The plural of person A document, sometimes with a
20 13 3 21 19 24 7 12 10 26 3
*** To keep something from photo, that gives personal details
harm In a way that expresses affection
23 24 13 26 24 22 22 9
*** Able to move fast To hear a conversation in which
8 23 20 13 3 7 13 19 3 24 7 *** To express in words you are not involved
*** Life shrinks or expands in A castrated bull often used to pull
proportion ___ ones courage. a wagon or plough
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 (Anas Nin) A small plant with large bright
Y *** You never achieve real flowers
14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
success ___ you like what you A hole dug in the ground to put
L things in
are doing. (Dale Carnegie)
To solve the puzzle, find which letter each number represents. You *** You have enemies? Good. To travel with no particular
can keep a record in the boxes above. The definitions of the words That means youve stood ___ for purpose
in the puzzle are given, but not in the right order. When you have something, sometime in your Informal British English for thank
finished, you will be able to read the quotation. life. (Winston Churchill) you
Work done by a group of people
6 22 1 12 8 26 13 3 23 19 3 13 8 Full of strong emotions, especially
** The place where your foot
sexual ones
joins your leg
23 13 24 13 23 23 26 20 13 7 6 19 18 To lead someone politely
** Thick, plastic-covered wire
22 18 24 7 17 10 15 13 7 22 8 26 ** The daily rising and falling of
A very important person
the level of the sea
20 13 19 18 23 16 13 3 23
Done once every year
Pablo Picasso ** An object for a child to play
Strange or unusual in a funny way

60 Issue 75 July 2011 ENGLISH TEACHING professional www.etprofessional.com