ESL

I've been playing with methods to make using video (and audio) easier to use in the classroom and also by students for self-study.  The essence is a synchronised, scrolling transcript with indexed play buttons.  You've seen this recently with Youtube and TED.com, but often a teacher wants to embed those play/pause buttons conveniently within lesson […] Read More

Video Control Framework For Teaching

I’ve been playing with methods to make using video (and audio) easier to use in the classroom and also by students for self-study.  The essence is a synchronised, scrolling transcript with indexed play buttons.  You’ve seen this recently with Youtube and TED.com, but often a teacher wants to embed those play/pause buttons conveniently within lesson material.  This allows lessons to be more accessible to language learners where the language of instruction itself can be a barrier to learning.  Here’s a prototype lesson based on a song by Ralph McTell – Streets of London.

Effort to create the framework is not yet complete, and the user interface still needs tweaking.  It is fine on a desktop and tablets, but the real challenge is usability on small mobile devices.

I am adding quiz question types including an embedded cloze similar to that found in Moodle, but much more flexible.  It will allow adding progressive hints to lead the learner towards the answer.

This framework is mainly designed for developing language skills, but it could be used in any media-based training or education.

Song Lesson

ESL Teaching Tech

ESL

For ESL/EFL learners, this audio is a good example of natural Australian English. Try the comprehension questions below. Higher level learners should try to extend their answers as much as possible, and you may even try this as a listening only. Lower level learners should just listen for the main ideas and use the video […] Read More

ESL/EFL Lesson – For the Love of Nerf

For ESL/EFL learners, this audio is a good example of natural Australian English. Try the comprehension questions below. Higher level learners should try to extend their answers as much as possible, and you may even try this as a listening only. Lower level learners should just listen for the main ideas and use the video to help understand the context.

For the Love of Nerf
https://open.abc.net.au/posts/for-the-love-of-nerf-84za3dd

General:
What is NERF?

Past:
How did Alex get into Nerf?

Present:
What special skill has he developed with Nerf?
What is his role in the local NERF community?

Future:
How does Alex regard the future of his Nerf hobby?

https://www.facebook.com/mikesmithteacher/posts/326813590792602

https://www.facebook.com/BEPIndigo2013/posts/362803470521134

AUSELT BEP Indigo 2013 ESL Mike Smith Teacher Teaching

ESL

Posts in this category are useful to ESL learners. Sub categories include: engineering science medicine aviation […] Read More

ESL Resources

Posts in this category are useful to ESL learners. Sub categories include:

  • engineering
  • science
  • medicine
  • aviation

ESL

ESL

Want authentic material in your ESL lessons? It's all online, do less work, make better lessons! Wondering about social media and web technology for teaching? You'll be amazed, then you'll be a legend! Tired of standing at the photocopier? Jump the queue and print instead. Let's look at ways to engage language learners using social […] Read More

Social Interactive Teaching with the Internet

Want authentic material in your ESL lessons? It’s all online, do less work, make better lessons!

Wondering about social media and web technology for teaching? You’ll be amazed, then you’ll be a legend!

Tired of standing at the photocopier? Jump the queue and print instead.
[click to continue…]

ESL Teaching

ESL

I posted this in the Business English Teachers group but I thought others here might be interested in discussion on the the advent and usefulness of ESP course books for other domains. https://www.facebook.com/groups/beteachers/permalink/470565476337166/?comment_id=470579356335778&offset=0&total_comments=1 As one of the "few and far between" ESL teachers from a science/engineering/aviation/(and dance) background I have also found ESP coursebooks useful […] Read More

ESP Course Books

I posted this in the Business English Teachers group but I thought others here might be interested in discussion on the the advent and usefulness of ESP course books for other domains.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/beteachers/permalink/470565476337166/?comment_id=470579356335778&offset=0&total_comments=1

As one of the “few and far between” ESL teachers from a science/engineering/aviation/(and dance) background I have also found ESP coursebooks useful both for working with learners and also for training up new aviation English teachers. Such coursebooks are also few and far between, unfortunately, although more are coming into press. They also don’t yet quite address the need, and this reflects a misunderstanding of that need (see further below).

Producing Good ESP teachers:

I reckon it is by far easier to turn an industry trainer into an ESL teacher than it is to turn a humanities background ESL teacher into an ESP ESL/EFL teacher.

The main reason is what needs to be learned by the teacher. An ESL teacher would need to learn a lifetime’s worth of new domain knowledge to really be effective, say as an aviation English teacher. Whereas in contrast, you can put an aviation flight instructor through a CELTA in a few weeks and within a year or so they will speedily overtake the ESL teacher as a competent aviation ESP teacher.

The added benefit is that the flight instructor is already trained as a trainer/assessor. The flip-side is that an aviation English teacher is almost unavoidably faced with questions about aviation concepts, e.g. aerodynamics, aircraft systems, air traffic control, etc, that a superficial knowledge of terms and acronyms just cannot properly address.

As in any context, language exists to communicate concepts. The language cannot really be properly taught totally separately from those concepts.

The real role for ESL teachers here, I believe, is to become ESL mentors for the up-and-coming ESP trainers coming from the vocational and professional domains.

Training/Assessment Program Integration

Taking the aviation example further, I believe the ESP needs to be fully integrated into the flight training program anyway – not tacked on before or (worse) after large slabs of flight training. Removng the domain vocabulary and concepts out of context is extremely inefficient teaching/learning at best, and potentially hazardous at worst.

Furthermore, I believe focussed, tailored language aptitude and language skills testing (many people don’t understand the difference) needs to be incorporated into the pre-flight-training course selection process and at the various training milestones as well. Such tailored testing is fairly difficult to design, but certainly not so difficult that we should simply rely on a generic test such as IELTS which is patently inappropriate for these purposes yet is used widely.

A Missed Need

Finally, both in aviation and medicine (less so in engineering), a key need is language skills to cope with situations out of the ordinary. That is, reverting to plain language to describe and manage an emergency or incident. Coursebooks don’t yet do that very well, and neither would ESL teachers without deep domain knowledge.

All these considerations apply equally to engineering, medicine, law, construction trades, and practically all other vocations and professions.


ESL

ESL

When I started as an ESL teacher I really struggled in some areas.  So I put a lot of effort into understanding English grammar, and how best to teach it.  Some of this effort became teacher training professional development sessions which I delivered in Sydney in 2001 and later in Brisbane in about 2003.  Recently […] Read More

ESL Teacher PD – Infinitives and Gerunds

When I started as an ESL teacher I really struggled in some areas.  So I put a lot of effort into understanding English grammar, and how best to teach it.  Some of this effort became teacher training professional development sessions which I delivered in Sydney in 2001 and later in Brisbane in about 2003.  Recently I started classroom ESL teaching again here in Brisbane.  So, I have another opportunity to help my fellow ESL teachers find their way through some of the trickier aspects of language teaching.  These sessions will be posted here on my blog.

The first session is on teaching infinitives and gerunds on 16 Dec 2012 at Browns ELS in Brisbane.  Following sessions will cover articles (determiners), then prepositions, and then adjective order.  These areas have always proved difficult for both teachers and learners.

Note that an expanded and indexed version of this PD will appear later.  (80 minutes. First 45 minutes is background and explanation.  Last 35 minutes from Ch 26 is practical application and teaching examples.)
http://mjcsmith.net/media/tutorials/infinitives-and-gerunds/infinitives-and-gerunds.html

Presentation File

Blurb-flier File

 

ESL Teaching