Articles by June, 2017
The profile of EAP and ESAP is often very low key and under the radar of many academic departments. It is often seen as remedial and an afterthought. As EAP teachers we are aware of the difficulties non-native and indeed native speakers face in becoming familiar with the academic culture and acquiring an academic voice of their own. This article shows a way that as EAP teachers we can raise our own profile and by doing so can help to raise awareness that we are not just a remedial service or a basic study skills provider. It helps to show that we are professional members of the university by achieving Fellowship of Higher Education status and have an important role to play in learning and teaching.
I have almost twenty years teaching experience including ten of EAP and ESAP in three tertiary establishments in the UK. However, in this time I have often felt that insessional support has been viewed as an add on or as something that we give to the weaker students or just ...
~~An Integrated EAP approach
The article is about a successful collaborative project within the Computer Science department. It shows how by working together with the department, the library and the study skills centre ESAP can have its profile raised and can make a real impact. It suggests that this collaboration can integrate the support the students receive, show them how the univeristy is connected and that ESAP is an important and relevant part of the university support network.
Academic English is often seen as an odd on to departmental classes. Academics often do not see it as a valuable integrated part of their programmes. As a result of this students also neglect to see its value and often believe that as they are on their courses that those courses should get their undivided attention. This makes the role of the EAP practitioner extremely hard and we can often feel like we are facing an uphill struggle. However, where there is cooperation and when the role of ...
Jun 19, 2017
TOEFL/TOEIC/IELTS 1046 Views
IELTS Test is regarded as one of the most popular and trusted 'English Language Test' all over the world. As per records, 135 countries accept the IELTS certificate and nearly as many as 2.7 million candidates take the test, annually. Naturally, the benchmark of the test is set very high and only the most competent candidates become able to come out with success. Candidates know that clearing the test with a high band score is as good as ensuring a bright career overseas. Though clearing the IELTS Test is not as tough as it appears to the mind of most of the non-native English speakers, but not as easy as to call it 'Anybody's job'.
1) IELTS Academic Test and the 2) IELTS General Training Test, are the two modules of the IELTS tests, and the tests are designed and structured in such a flawless pattern that, calling it 'The Ultimate Test of Proficiency in the English language' is not an exaggeration at all. So, for the ultimate test a candidate's preparation has to be absolutely ...
~~Teaching very young learners (i.e. under 5s) can be particularly daunting for many teachers. For most it is the first time they have had to cope with children this young, and many are concerned or worried about how best to approach the class. However, it is important to remember that while this age does present a set of unique challenges it is a lot of fun and very rewarding.
On the whole very young learners are focussed on having fun, playing games and being entertained; they are naturally curious and want to know about the world around them. Everything is new and interesting and worthy of exploration, using all five senses.
Most very young learners are, initially, very shy of their new teacher; especially as to them the new teacher is a strange scary looking foreigner. It is not uncommon for them to become fixed to their mothers, barely acknowledging your presence. The main thing that works in your favour is their innate curiosity, so with the aid of funny faces, silly noises etc ...
Jun 21, 2017
Teaching 1239 Views
~~These are just a few ideas of how to make whole-class correction of homework more of an active challenge.
• Give learners a chance to compare their answers in pairs. They can then correct / change / complete their own answers before a whole class check.
• Take names out of a hat to nominate who will answer (make sure this is done in a ‘fun’ way, explaining they have an opportunity to PASS if they want).
• Use a ball nominate who gets to give their answer to questions. Whoever gets the ball throws it to the next learner. Again, give them an opportunity to pass if necessary.
• Alternate between asking for answers to be volunteered and calling on specific learners to answer questions.
• Pre-prepare a grid that includes the question numbers for the various exercises that are to be corrected. Leave a space next to each question number. At the beginning of the lesson, get learners to put their name down to answer the various questions. Tell them that, even if they did not do the homework ...
~~'Language games' are seen as an activity where learners use language to achieve a goal (usually by exchanging some kind of information), according to clear rules, in an enjoyably competitive environment. A classic example is 'Back to the board', where players identify unseen words written on the board using clues from their team-mates.
Teachers should see games as a legitimate use of classroom time and a useful motivational tool, offering valuable language practice. There is a plentiful supply of published materials featuring a wide variety of language games.
The advantages of language games are that they can:
1. Reduce learner stress and so increase their receptive to learning
2. Offer demanding and thorough language practice
3. Provide a context for genuine, purposeful communication
4. Allow teachers an opportunity to analyze learners' strengths and weaknesses
However, fun can be a trap for inexperienced teachers, because they might assume that learners who are 'having fun' are ...
~~Teaching children can be a challenging prospect, especially to those who are new to teaching. But don’t worry! Below are some FAQs about teaching English to young children, with suggestions and tips.
Q: What should my main role be when teaching?
A: In a young learner class your role is very special. Your enthusiasm for English and having fun will be transmitted to the children. This leads to their love of coming to your lesson and learning English!
As a teacher of young children you need to be prepared to do silly things the children enjoy – for example, putting your hands on your head to make rabbit ears and jumping around the classroom pretending to be a rabbit.
As a teacher it is important to demonstrate new vocabulary and language, either by showing the children realia/pictures or actually doing the action. Young children learn by watching and imitating a model. So by seeing the language in action the child understands what this ‘strange’ English is all about. Children watch, ...
Jun 21, 2017
Lesson Planning 1073 Views
~~ What’s a lesson plan?
Your lesson plan should be a framework for your lesson. A successful plan has a strong start and a clear finishing point. The stages in between are to get you from one to the other. A Lesson Plan is simply a step-by-step guide to what a teacher plans to do in the classroom on a given day: the more detailed the better. Ideally, you should be able to produce a plan that could be read by another teacher who would know exactly how to teach your class. A good plan might also include specific gestures and cues used in different parts of the lesson.
How do I plan?
The best plans consider the finishing point or aims first (e.g. Role play “Eating in a restaurant”) and then work backwards to consider all the language and practice needed to be able to do that (e.g. making suggestions; food and drink vocabulary; listening practice; preparation time.)
Why is planning important?
You need to consider your aims carefully. This will enable you to anticipate problems and ...
~~What knowledge are you using to read this? One thing you are using is your knowledge of the grapho-phonemic relationships of English, i.e. the links between written letters and the sounds they represent. You’ve also had a lot of practise with English spelling conventions. You’re using your knowledge of English grammar and quickly take in the morphemes of English, the grammatical units of meaning such as the –ed ending we use to make the regular form of past tenses. All these skills took a while to build up. It’s also going to take our learners a long time to build up these same skills.
Let’s start by considering the basic skills you need to build up to become literate. Reading can be seen as decoding different pieces of information. We use visual information when we recognise written symbols. We use phonological information when we connect these symbols to sounds. Finally we use semantic information when we use these symbols and their sounds and connect words to meaning. Phonics ...
~~Children, especially very young children, are physical, tactile and use all their senses to experience the world around them. They need a variety of activities to acquire the language they are presented with: music, games and movement.
Research has shown that using craft in the classroom results in:
• curiosity about the language and the task
• behaviour and socialization
• more involved children
Craft activities can be anything from simple colouring pages to more complicated constructed projects. They combine learning and fun while providing an opportunity to personalise the language and increase opportunities for social development. During craft activities learners are exposed to a wider range of vocabulary and lots of repetition of key terms, such as colours, numbers, in addition to developing their fine motor skills.
Every lesson should contain some sort of practical task (painting, cutting and sticking etc.).
Tips for using craft successfully:
• Preparation: Prepare as much as ...