Monday, June 18, 2018

A Joke A Day Part 2

(TESOL Worksheets--Comprehensible Input)
Google Drive Folder HERE
Slideshow: slidespub

4 years ago, I posted my "A Joke A Day" project.
At the time I said I would add to the list as I got new ideas.  But shortly after posting that, my schedule changed, and I lost my class of 10-12 year olds.  (10-12 years old is right about the perfect age for corny jokes.)
I've gone back to these jokes a few times over the past few years, particularly when doing a last minute cover.  I turned the collection of jokes into a PowerPoint, and turned that PowerPoint into a full lesson.  But I haven't really been adding to my collection of corny jokes.

But, now I'm once again teaching 10-12 year olds.  So it's once again time to bring out the corny jokes.  (I'm a huge believer in using jokes for ESL.  I think learning to play with the language is the perfect way to remember the vocabulary).

After using all the jokes from my old PowerPoint, it was time to create new ones.
These are all the ones I've come up with so far, but it's still an ongoing project (i.e. I'm still adding new jokes to this slideshow every lesson.)
So.... If anyone knows any good jokes, let me know.  As you can see from this slideshow, I'm already running out of good ideas, and have had to resort to some really awful jokes.

None of the jokes are mine.  Some of them are old chestnuts.  Others I've stolen from various places on the Internet.  All the pictures and illustrations are also stolen from the Internet using a Google Images search.

English World 6 Unit 5 Vocabulary

(Supplementary Materials for Specific Textbooks--English World 6)

Google Drive Folder HERE
Unit 5 Vocabulary Slideshow: slidespub
Quizlet Handout: docspub

English World 6 Unit 5 Vocabulary

English World 6 Unit 5 Vocabulary

English World 6 Unit 5 Vocabulary

Thursday, June 14, 2018

TEFLology: Episodes 66-76 (And an End to Regular Reviews)

(TEFLology Podcast)

TEFLology Episodes 66-76

So, over the last few months, I've gotten super behind on my regular TEFLology reviews.  (I'm currently about 10 months behind).  Which indicates to me that perhaps its time to end this little project.
In fact, in retrospect, perhaps it was never that great of an idea to begin with.
I mean, sure, LISTENING to TEFLology is a great idea.  (I've picked up loads of interesting little tidbits from their podcasts.)  But REVIEWING every episode?  What's the point of that?
I had been telling myself that it was for my own professional development.  But upon reflection, perhaps I was lying to myself. I think the real reason I wanted to keep doing regular reviews was because of my obsessive completist urges.  Once I had posted a review of the Podcast, it bothered me that my review was incomplete, because the podcast was still ongoing.

But writing up a review of every episode is time consuming.  (The actual reviews are usually pretty short, but I sometimes waste a lot of time thinking about what I'm going to write.  And I often listen to each episode several times over to make sure I catch everything.)
I've decided it would be better for my professional development if I would listen wider rather than deeper--that is, instead of going over every episode of TEFLology in detail, I want to start listening to some of the other TEFL or linguistic related podcasts.  (My immediate next step is to catch up on The Ling Space).

However, I still want to help promote the TEFLology podcast, so here's the new plan going forward: I'm going to link to each new episode from this blog.  I'm not going to write reviews, but if I have anything to say, I may add one or two short sentences.  But that'll be it.


While I'm talking about this, I might as well get something else off of my chest.  The truth is, since I posted my original review two years ago, I've been feeling guilty that I may have been too critical of TEFLology.  And I may have said some things that were too harsh.

The line between honest criticism and bad manners has always been in debate.  But it seems to be generally accepted that you are allowed to harshly criticize the professionals.
For example, in my book reviews, I will often have harsh criticism about an author's writing style.  Despite the fact that I myself could never write a novel.  But they are published professionals, so I'm allowed to be super critical.

I've never been sure how to categorize TEFLology.  Are they professionals, or are they colleagues?

To the extent I was openly critical, it was because I viewed myself as criticizing professionals.  (If the rule of criticism is: "You can punch up, but you can never punch down."--then I viewed myself as punching up.)

But I've since had occasion to feel guilty that my criticisms were were uncollegial.

(I'm probably making too much of this.  I've poured out thousands of words critiquing TEFLology over the past couple years, and I've had mostly positive things to say about this podcast, and very few negative things to say.  But to the extent I was occasionally critical, if I crossed the line even once, then I apologize.)


Below are my quick fire comments on all the episodes I missed the past 10 months.  (These kind of short quick-fire comments are the kind of commentary I'm going to be doing in the future.)

Episode 66:
* Research Relevance for Teachers-- I've got so many thoughts on this, I don't know where to begin.  So I think I'll just skip it.
One quick observation; this debate is nothing new.  In Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition way back in 1982, Krashen was already complaining about the relationship between researchers and teachers.
* Textbooks--another subject that I've got a lot to say about.  The short version is that I hate textbooks, but at the same time I have to admit I'd be frightened of doing a course without a textbook.

Episode 67
Cambridge Main Suite Exams, Mental Health, and The Committee of 12--all interesting subjects.  I have nothing to add.

TEFL Interviews 34: Mario Saraceni 
Another great interview.  There was a LOT of interesting stuff in here to chew on.
* Much of this, particularly the discussion of Braj Kachu and the circles of English, overlapped with the book I read recently: Teaching English as an International Language by Sandra Lee McKay.
* I thought it was interesting when Saraceni said that the moment you classify different varieties of English, you open the door for someone else to rank them.  I hadn't thought of that before.

Episode 68
* I don't really know that much about John Dewey, but his name comes up a lot.  (Chomsky often references him.)
* I actually had some interaction with the author they mention--Neomy Storch.  At the University of Melbourne she helped guide me through some of the paperwork necessary for filing my thesis.  She also guest lectured once in our class on collaboration.

Episode 69
* Learning Styles--I've been skeptical of learning styles ever since I saw Russ Mayne's presentation on it.  Link to Russ Mayne's blog HERE.  (And to give credit where credit is due, I found out about Russ Mayne via TEFLology.)
* Steven Pinker got mentioned in this episode--my review of his book HERE.
* The British Council--this was interesting.

TEFL Interviews 35: Steve Mann 
* Interesting. I don't have any particular comments, but it was interesting.

TEFL Interviews 36: Reiko Yoshihara and 37: Hugh Starkey
I was intrigued by both of these interviews in which the participants talked about bringing political ideologies (feminist pedagogy and human rights education respectively) into the ESL classroom.
As someone who was once an idealist, I find this attractive.
In my 20s, I tried to integrate peace education into my ESL classrooms.
At a JET conference, I led a workshop on Educating Global Issues in the Classroom.
In my adult English class, I used “Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can’t Kick Militarism" as a the set textbook.  I talked about that in this post here
And my interest in applying for the Peace Boat (even though my application was ultimately unsuccessful) was motivated by the same concern.

BUT... over the years I've also developed concerns about this mixing ideology and ESL.
Firstly because ESL often involves a native-speaker going abroad to teach in a foreign country.  (It's dangerous enough to politicize the classroom when you're in your own country, but it becomes much more problematic when you do so in a foreign classroom.)  There's a real danger that foreigners too quickly develop a missionary zeal.  Their primary concern (especially in their first year in the country) should be to listen and try to understand, not try to preach.
Secondly, ESL often involves adult education.  And teaching adults about human rights, or feminism, or peace education, can easily become patronizing.  There's a danger that the 23 year-old ESL teacher may think that they are morally entitled to teach 50 year old Japanese people people about human rights simply by virtue of being their language teacher.  (At least I was guilty of this in my youth.  And I know plenty of colleagues who have also been guilty of this.)

TEFL Interviews 38: Forum Discussion
A really interesting discussion.  My only complaint is that it was way too short.  (I wanted it to go on longer).  But I imagine there must have been some sort of external time constraints with the conference schedule.
Some of the concerns I brought up above were addressed a little bit.

Episode 70
* Banning English--an interesting little piece (I hadn't heard the news about Iran).  The relationship between teaching English and Western values is an interesting discussion, but it's too complex for me to get into here.
* Dynamic Language--I don't really know anything about this, so no comment.  Interesting to hear that Diane Larsen-Freeman is involved in this, though.
* I didn't know about Randolph Quirk, so this was really interesting.  Interesting to hear about his connection with David Crystal.
Like the TEFLologist, I had heard somewhere about the Quirk-Kachru debates (although I didn't know who Quirk was at the time.)  I don't remember where I heard about these debates.  Possibly a previous TEFLology episode?  (Did they cover this before?) Or possibly it was in Teaching English as an International Language by Sandra Lee McKay.

Episode 71
* Stephen Bax--I knew nothing about Stephen Bax, so I found this section very informative.
* Latin--As someone who studied Latin in high school and college (video HERE), and as someone who is still interested in ancient Roman history, I have a fair amount of sentimentality towards the subject.  But I'd be hard pressed to come up with a good practical reason why anyone else should study it.
Also--I studied Latin for 4 years (including two semesters at college) and I never got to the point where I could read authentic Latin literature.  By the last semester, there were some authentic Latin texts in the coursebook, but me and my classmates couldn't make heads or tails of it without the professor explaining everything to us.  So unless you study the language for years and years, you can forget about reading authentic historical texts.
* Negotiation of Meaing--I'm familiar with Mike Long's work on this (via Long being summarized in other authors), but it was interesting to hear the TEFLologists' much more expansive discussion.

TEFL Interviews 39: Gabriel Diaz-Maggioli
Another fascinating interview.  I don't have anything to add.

Episode 72
* Richard Schmidt--I've never read Schmidt directly, but his noticing hypothesis comes up in many of the books I've read.  Most recently in Uncovering Grammar by Scott Thornbury
On language teachers and language learning... I did a good job learning Japanese, but I've done a horrible job with both Cambodian and Vietnamese.
* CAMTESOL--ah, good old CAMTESOL.  I used to go to this every year when I worked in Cambodia.
I won't get into all my thoughts on CAMTESOL here.  Other than to say that I actually like the 30 minute time limit.  (Just when you're starting to get bored, the session ends.  And you can fit much more sessions in per day).
* PHD--this depresses me, to be honest.  I know I probably need a PHD to get job security in this field, but I don't think I have it in me to do one.  The Master's degree just about killed me.  I don't think there's any way I could do a PHD.

Episode 73
* N.S. Prabhu--N.S. Prabhu and the Bangalore Project is something that is often mentioned in the books I've read, but I really knew nothing about it.  So this section was interesting.  (Like one of the TEFLologists, I had also had this confused with the Madras Snowball).
When I was reading Task-Based Learning by Jane Willis, Jane Willis briefly mentioned Prabhu.  So in the bookclub Facebook page, I recommended this TEFLology episode to my Bookclub--as I mentioned in the notes.

TEFL Interviews 40: John Fanselow on Teacher Observation
I've never heard of John Faneslow before, but he is on this episode, and then he pops up two episodes later in another interview.  He's a very interesting guy.  I agree with him on some stuff, and I disagree with him on other stuff, and I'll leave it there.

Episode 74: Research Trends, Otto Jespersen, and Action Research
All interesting topics.  I don't have anything to add.

Episode 75: ExcitELT (Live)
There's a lot of interesting stuff in here.  I don't have much to add.
The comment that resonated with me the most is John Faneslow's comment about how we as a profession read too many books. I've noticed this myself.  I tend to view my own professional development in terms of how many books I can read.  But I've noticed there are a lot of teachers in my staffroom who are much less well-read than I am, but who are much better teachers.  Because they have been working on picking up practical classroom activities instead of reading books.

TEFL Interviews 41: Gary Barkhuizen on Language Teacher Identity
An interesting interview.  I have nothing to add.

BONUS! TEFL Interview 42: Eric Hawkinson on Augmented and Virtual Realities
Again, I don't really have anything to add.  But this was interesting.

Episode 76
* Linguistic Complexity: This was interesting.  I've been hearing people mention this theory in connection with Diane Larsen-Freeman.  But I had no idea what it was.
* Linguaphobia: I wonder if I have a case of Linguaphobia.  I did alright learning Japanese, but I've been doing terrible learning Vietnamese.  In part because mastering all those tones scare me, so I often give up.
The TEFLologists also discuss the second definition of Linguaphobia, which is connected to Xenophobia.  This has been in the news a lot lately, but it's actually old news.  See this paper I did back in 2010.
*  M.A.K Halliday--This was interesting.  I had heard the name of M.A.K Halliday before, but had no idea about his work.
The TEFLologists admit to being a bit out of their depth on this one, and I'd have to include myself in that category as well.  But what they discuss seems to broadly relate to The Language Instinct and The Language Myth.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Project: Write About an Endangered Animal

(TESOL Worksheet--Projects)
Google: docs, pub

Group Name:________________________

Name of Endangered Animal:________________________

Where does it live?

What does it eat?

Interesting Facts:

Why is it endangered?

How many are left now?

What can we do to help save it?

Finished: Speaking by Martin Bygate (Review coming soon...hopefully)

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Lesson Planning Templates

(TESOL Worksheets)
Google Drive folder HERE
Flowchart PDF HERE
Flowchart PDF Black and White (for printing) HERE
Productive Skills Lessons: Speaking/Writing Template: docs, pub
Receptive Skills Lessons: Reading/Listening Template: docs, pub
Systems Learning: Grammar / Vocabulary Template: docs, pub

This is designed to help new teachers with their lesson planning.  The Flowchart PDFs are NOT mine.  They were developed by a colleague.  My only addition is to convert these Flowcharts into a Google Doc where teachers can write out their activities and plan their instructions in a table format.