Exploit the c**ts at #IHTOC9

26 05 2017

At #IHTOC9 on Friday 19th May 2017, I gave a thirty minute presentation called ‘The Key to EFL – Exploit the c**ts!’.  The video of the talk and the talk slides are both available on the conference blog:

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as well as right here:

Exploit the Cont**ts

Enjoy!

And it’d be great to hear what you think of the talk and how you exploit the c**ts in your context!

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IHTOC9 Conference Blog

26 05 2017

On Friday 19th May 2017 IH World hosted the 9th International House Teachers Online Conference – IHTOC9, which was a fabulous demonstration of the strength and quality of our network with over 30 talks given by IH teachers.  Throughout the day, we travelled virtually around the world to hear talks from as far afield as Buenos Aries and Sydney.   With talks in Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish, the conference reflected the diverse spectrum of languages we teach.

In addition to the excellent teacher-led talks, this year we had two plenaries kindly sponsored by ETpedia with Lindsay Clandfield and Vanessa Reis Esteves bringing us ideas for using games and storytelling, so a big thanks to them for being involved.

Since the end of the conference Shaun Wilden, the teacher training coordinator and conference co-organiser, has been working hard to make all the recordings available at https://sites.google.com/site/ihtoc9/.  Here you can find all of the recordings and the slides of every talk.  Please do share this fabulous teacher development resource site with your colleagues.

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Thank you once again to everyone who worked to make this conference a success and we look forward to doing it all again next May!





The London 2012 Olympics

22 07 2012

This week sees the beginning of the Olympic Games in London.  Why not get your students into the mood by doing some Olympics related activities in the classroom?  The idea of this blog is to provide a space for us to share ideas and resources we create around IHWO so that we can motivate and inspire our students to learn English as well as enjoy the way London hosts the Olympic Games.

Please do add your ideas and resources to the platform both as files and here as comments.  I’ve been brainstorming a few ideas to get you underway.  Hope you like them:

Olympic Activities

Present an Olympic sport:

            Rules

Students explain to classmates how one of the Olympic sports / disciplines works.  Great for developing vocabulary and research and speaking skills.  When giving their presentations, the classmates can be making notes, filling in a chart (to later compare sports) or thinking of follow up questions to ask. 

            Olympic history

Students present the Olympic history of a sport or discipline.  How long has it featured in the games for?  When was it first included?  Who were its most famous winners?  What Olympic stories are most connected to this sport.  Listeners can fill in a chart or ask questions or decide on the most Olympic sport / best presentation. 

            Olympic timetable

Students present the where and when and how to watch this Olympic sport, aiming to make it as attractive an event to the other students as possible.  Listeners can choose one event to watch, fill in an info chart or decide which presentation was most successful.  

 

Present the athlete

            Biography

Students choose a favorite athlete to present to the class, giving a summary of their careers to date and previewing their possible participation in the games to come.  Listeners can rank athletes in order of interest of decide on the best presentations.  or ask follow up questions on each athlete.  

            Career in pictures

SS can post a blog about an athlete, describing their career highlights and accompanying it with pictures from the web.  Students then comment on each others’ posts, asking follow up questions about their careers or making simple comments on the pictures posted. 

            Daily Olympic journal

 Students choose an athlete to follow throughout the games and each day / class/ week write a journal entry as if they were that athlete.

 

Present the country

            Top three athletes

Students research a country’s Olympic team and choose three athletes to focus on.  These can be presented as an article, a blog post, a picture presentation or a short speech.  

            Top three teams

As above, but focusing on teams rather than individuals (e.g. the women’s football team, the cycling team, the yachting team). 

            Gold medal possibilities

Students write a summary of a country’s best medal prospects.  The class can keep a log of each student’s recommendations as the games progress – did they win the medals predicted? 

            Country background /  Country history

 Students choose a country to write or speak about and can summarize their background or history, either sporting or entire, perhaps focusing more on lesser known or smaller countries. 

 

The host country

There are myriad articles available on the internet about all of the topics below and many more.

Students can each choose an article to read from the internet on the given theme and then in class they discuss the information in their articles, comparing and contrasting their research or giving each other tasks to do based on their texts (e.g. use of Englsi closes or reading comprehension tasks).

            Games preparation

            The bidding process

            The Olympic village

            Security arrangements

            The Olympic torch

            The Opening Ceremony

 

The Olympics

History

Each group can present a summary of a previous Olympic games 

Ideals

Students discuss what the Olympics mean to them and debate their value to society in the modern world.  

Future

How will the Olympic movement continue beyond 2012?

Students could prepare a pitch for their countries/cities to host the Olympic games.  

 

I’m sure there are millions of other activities that can be done using the Olympics theme and making the most of all the written and spoken materials that there is out there on the web.  but I hope some of these ideas help you to incorporate the excitement of the games into your lessons and help your students learn some English in a fun way.  

Happy Olympics everyone!

Neil 





From Dogs to Elves – My fave tweets from #ihdos 2012 Day Two

6 01 2012

The IH Directors of Studies Conference takes place every year in London and unfortunately I can’t be there this year, so I’m following it on Twitter and avidly waiting for the videos to be published on ihworld.com after the conference.

Day Two of the conference is External Speaker day, where guests are invited to come and talk to the IH DoSes about anything and everything.  The programme looked like this:

0900 – 1000 Jeremy Harmer
Teaching unplugged beats acquisition? What to teach who, with what, and why
1000 – 1100 Luke Meddings
1130 – 1230 Nicky Hockly
Digital Literacies
1400 – 1500 Robin Walker, OUP

Teaching pronunciation for English as a lingua franca

1500 – 1600 Chia Suan Chong, IH London
My ELF Conversion – An exploration into the Pragmatics of ELF
1630 – 1800 Panel discussion

moderated by Nick Kiley

19.00 Quiz night (dinner and drinks provided) – SPONSORED BY THE IH TRUST


And these were my favourite tweets from the day: with my reaction to them. Looking forward to your reactions to the tweets and my reactions! 

chiasuan Chia Suan Chong

@Harmerj clarifying for Dogmeticians that doing #dogme doesn’t mean being lazy,but on the contrary requires teachers2be v attentive. #ihdos Yes, it’s very hard work this dogme business, which makes me wonder how many of us are up to it?

@Harmerj asks: Are the three pillars of dogme structurally sound? #ihdos He thinks there might be a few cracks I’ve seen Jeremy’s talk before, in Buenos Aires, so apologies for the lack of tweets chosen on it. 

@Harmerj on what happens 2 sts who don’t function well on conversation& interaction&prefer2get their knowledge in other ways? #dogme #ihdos Yes, both learner styles and teacher styles mean any one approach, Dogme or not, is probably not enough.  What’s wrong with the context approach? 

@Harmerj says the magic moments where teachers work with what sts want to talk abt is simply good teaching, not #dogme #ihdos Gotta agree with this.  It’s called going off at a tangent and a good teacher knows when to do this and how to take advantage of it to provide learning opportunities.  Using a course book well can provide as many tangents if not many more than only student input…

@LukeMeddings on Grammarbks & gr exercises being like Coleman’s mustard. You slap on too much but never use all of it. #dogme #ihdos I’d never do that with my Coleman’s! Not after smuggled it out here in my suitcase.  Seems like the debate is swaying from good teachers to bad course book writers (or perhaps better said, editors and publishers)

@LukeMeddings : our sts r coming to us with their English and not for English. What sts want is 2 engage with it. #dogme #ihdos Nice emphasis, but we’re coming to you for answers, not with answers, so where are they? 

tgscott00 Tom Scott

#ihdos Materials-light now means bottom-up… ? LOL, I always wondered this too.  Language emerges at the beginning of a ninety minute lesson, so we jump on it and analyse it to bits and get students to use it everywhichway – the lack of materials can push us towards overanalysis perhaps?

chiasuan Chia Suan Chong

@LukeMeddings -the need to change how see teacher training&writing of lesson plans, which encourages people2teach the plan. #dogme #ihdos This is definitely an idea I’d like to develop were I ever to have the time. 

jemjemgardner Jemma Gardner

RT @phil3wade@chiasuan @LukeMeddings I do far more grammar and lexis in a dogme lesson – Same here – so much more to work with! #ihdos For me another concern.  Skills work and decent input seem to take a back seat…

aClilToClimb Chiew Pang

#ihdos #dogme is actually difficult to pull off bc you’d need a good knowledge of #grammar! Correction – knowledge of language.  Much more important to be able to feed in language that improves the clarity and concision of the student’s message

Shaunwilden Shaunwilden

Ooo there’s a term ‘synoptic learners’ and ‘ectenic learners’ #ihdos  One to look up and then use on my DELTA course next week. 

chiasuan Chia Suan Chong

@LukeMeddings Ectenic learners prefer control of their learning. Synoptic learners go with the flow & isn’t systematic. #dogme #ihdos

@LukeMeddings quoting Kat from Madrid how added space&organic interaction can spur inquisitiveness & bring class together.#dogme #ihdos Any more on this anyone?

Shaunwilden Shaunwilden

“Its about being independent, creative and asking questions, we need to be truly communicative” #ihdos Sounds more like doing Communicative Approach properly rather than Dogme

timjulian60 Tim Julian

@LukeMeddings says dogme has a social dimension for a questioning world #IHDOS Is he trying to say Dogme introduced Critical Thikn ing to ELT?  I hope not.  CT has much more of a future than Dogme, which let’s face it, is dead.  Long live the king!

aClilToClimb Chiew Pang

@antoniaclare @chiasuan cnt coursebook based classes B conversation-driven 2? #dogme #ihdos >Of kurs! But how many tchrs do that oftn enuf? This is where Dogme debate doesn’t help.  We need to train teachers to do more with the students and their coursebooks, not worry about trying to introduce radical and catchy new methodologies / techniques. 

tgscott00 Tom Scott

@Harmerj was about to reach for a copy of “teaching unplugged” then he came to his senses… #ihdos Bet this got a laugh or two.  Although was it clear from his talk whether or not Jeremy had read the book or not? 

chiasuan Chia Suan Chong

@TheConsultantsE Nicky speaking about how we can save the tree octopus! #ihdos Shame it didn’t exist in the end. 

@TheConsultantsE : sts need to be taught how to analyse the veracity of the information found on the web. #ihdos Critical Thinking rears its beautiful head once again. 

Shaunwilden Shaunwilden

if you want to see the definitions of the literacies Nick is referring to go here bit.ly/d7i4hu #IHDOS Very useful link, thanks Nicky

louisealix68 Louise Alix Taylor

@antoniaclare: dogme debate btwn @lukemeddings & @jharmerat #ihdos conf in London | should be on telly ;)” I wish! It will be on IHWorld.com very soon!

Shaunwilden Shaunwilden

RT @LukeMeddings: any #dogme colleagues got thoughts/tips on teaching low-level, unmotivated older teens in Oman -unplugged? #ihdos #eltchat I thought the whole point of Dogme was it magically motivated everyone to come up with topics and texts for discussion, even low-level teens in Oman?

nickkiley Nick Kiley

#IHDOS Using literal videos and parodies, some great ideas… What’s a literal video and please share the ideas Nick. 

The #IHDOS conference is good for your elf (badum tish – I’m here all week…) LOL, miss you and your humour Nick – wish I was there all week too!

timjulian60 Tim Julian

360 million English speakers in the “inner circle” 150-330 million in “outer circle” #IHDOS Up to 1,500 million in “expanding circle” I’d like to hear more about these circles. Is inner NS, outer NNS and expanding those learning but not really speakers yet, perhaps? 

emilyvbell Emily Bell

#IHDOS Robin Walker suggests ‘native speakers’ need to learn how to be intelligible in international meetings. Perhaps teacher trainers like myself could set up shop in NS contexts teaching NS to grade their language like teachers do?  How to market this need and make my millions from it?

timjulian60 Tim Julian

Consonants critical to ELF, with the exception of TH #IHDOS Again, I’d like to hear more.  Maybe I need to read Jenny Jenkins? 

Consonants, consonant clusters, vowel length and sentence stress key to intelligibilty #IHDOS Exactly what we preach on our CELTA courses at IH Buenos Aires (and Delta as from Monday)

chiasuan Chia Suan Chong

Robin Walker :Assimilation, coalescence, schwa and weak forms in fact are damaging to intelligibility in ELF communication. #ihdos Shame, I’m a big fan of the schwa…

Robin Walker- a good analogy of using ballroom dancing and breakdancing to show the diff between NS-target English and ELF. #ihdos Very helpful analogy indeed, helps to convince not a lowering of standards…

timjulian60 Tim Julian

A lot of NNESTs avoid teaching pron as standards are intimidating #IHDOS And therefore we need to do something to change the standards – ELF does this nicely

emilyvbell Emily Bell
#IHDOS Ts can use Ls’ L1 to help teach pron by showing links rather than seeing L1 as an issue to battle with Indeedy

#IHDOS would you rather have a rally driver or instructor teaching you to drive? Pedagogy needs to be dominant factor Another excellent analogy for the NS / NNS misnomer.  I need more analogies in my conference talks…

Harmerj Jeremy Harmer

@emilyvbell @chiasuan yes I think NS are often less ‘charitable’ than NNS when dealing with NNS ‘politness’?#ihdos Same here Jeremy.  More opportunities for training for NS from us English teachers there then. 

Shaunwilden Shaunwilden

@emilyvbell tweeting for @shaunwilden for the next hour while he runs around with the mic for panel debate #IHDOS Idea of Shaun running around with a mic like a roving reporter is my visual of the day

mcneilmahon Neil McMahon

RT @chiasuan@Harmerj on benefit s and inevitability of CLIL. #ihdos > Not in institute contexts where they already get it at school though Am only including my own tweets here to save me re-reacting to the great original tweets.  Hope you don’t mind. 

RT @Harmerj: cloning’= taking model speaker (e.g. Penelope Cruz in Spanish) + using as model 4 lang learning #ihdos > Bet her model was NS!

RT @Shaunwilden@harmerj – the need for organisation & planning for managing difficult classes #IHDOS > which goes beyond the classroom

RT @Shaunwilden@chiasuan – dogme doesn’t mean hippy rule free classrooms! #IHDOS > Not at all, they can be samey due to need 4 structure

Shaunwilden Shaunwilden

RT @mcneilmahon: So #ihdos panel say niche teaching, project work, pron, CLIL are the most important developments in EFL? >yes & no. Not all new developments but all relevant > Surprised Critical Thinking didn’t make an appearance here > agreed @mcneilmahon #IHDOS

Fighting almost breaking out between @harmerj & Robin Walker! #IHDOS – can NS examiners switch from accent to intelligibility? Can imagine these two rising to each other’s baits…

@TheConsultantsE – setting up a blog is an easy way of including digital literacy in ELT while also teaching skills & language #IHDOS Simple, but excellent point

@LukeMeddings – importance of critical literacy also includes digital literacy #IHDOS

Robin Walker – there is no ELF relevant coursebook yet. Need to train Ts pre-service to promote ELF so that ideas can change #IHDOS I’m open to offers if a publisher needs an author…

mcneilmahon Neil McMahon

RT @Shaunwilden: Experience of learning has been that coursebook can bring Ls together + dogme #IHDOS > Tasks are key to success, not texts

From tweets, sounds like @Harmerj / @LukeMeddings dogme debate at #ihdos was a draw, but @alastairjgrant outshone them both yesterday?

So that was Day Two of the IH Dos Conference 2012.  Lots of Dogme, lots of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), lots to think about and lots of great tweets from some great people.  Many thanks to all who’ve contributed and kept us up to date through #IHDOS.

Looking forward to your thoughts on the day’s events…