Friday, January 20, 2017

Market Leader: Intermediate Unit 4 Organisation Listening p.42-43

(Supplementary Materials for Specific Textbooks--Market Leader Intermediate)


Table: docs, pub
Transcript: docs, pub

Now listen again, and find the 5 mistakes in the transcript

C=Carl, F=Francoise, JP= Jean-Pierre, P=Paulo

C: I suppose you’ve all seen the Vice-President’s message on the notice boards. What do you think, Francoise?
F: Huh, it’s pretty typical, isn’t it?  It’s all about how the company will benefit.  What about us?  Don’t we count?
ALL: Yeah / Right / Exactly.
F: I mean, why should we leave this beautiful building, on one of the most famous avenues in the country?  We love it here.  The move’s not convenient for me at all.  If we go to Beauchamp, my husband will have to drive 120 kilometres every day to get to work.  He’ll soon get tired of doing that.  And what about my husband’s education?  Will the schools be any good in Beauchamp?  I have no idea.  How about you, Jean Pierre?
JP: Well, to be honest, it doesn’t bother me.  I’m really tired of living in Paris.  It’s so relaxed here, everyone rushing around, trying to make money.  I wouldn’t mind moving to a quieter area.  Beauchamp sounds quite nice, and the countryside outside the town is pleasant, I believe.  What about you, Paolo?  Do you think the move will be good for us?
P: I am absolutely against it.  It will upset families and cause a lot of problems for some staff.  I will have to sell my house if we move.  I only bought it last year, so I will probably lose a lot of money--I don’t think I will get any compensation for that, do you?  You don’t agree, Jean Pierre, I can see that.
IP: Well, you’re right, Paolo. it’ll cause a lot of problems, there’s no doubt about that.   But the company will benefit a lot, and that’s important, too.  In the long run, the move will increase our revenue, make us more competitive and keep us in jobs.  That’s a good reason for moving, isn’t it, Carl?  What do you think?
C: Maybe, but I feel pretty depressed at the moment.  I hope they’ll postpone the proposal.  There’s a lot of good feeling about it.  I tell you one thing, a lot of our best staff will refuse to relocate.  They can easily get another job here in Paris, they won’t want to move.  They’ve got a really good lifestyle, and they won’t want to give it up.  The management will get a big shock if the relocation goes ahead.
C=Carl, F=Francoise, JP= Jean-Pierre, P=Paulo

C: I suppose you’ve all seen the Vice-President’s message on the notice boards. What do you think, Francoise?
F: Huh, it’s pretty typical, isn’t it?  It’s all about how the company will benefit.  What about us?  Don’t we count?
ALL: Yeah / Right / Exactly.
F: I mean, why should we leave this beautiful building, on one of the most famous avenues in the (1)world?  We love it here.  The move’s not convenient for me at all.  If we go to Beauchamp, my husband will have to drive 120 kilometres every day to get to work.  He’ll soon get tired of doing that.  And what about my (2)children’s education?  Will the schools be any good in Beauchamp?  I have no idea.  How about you, Jean Pierre?
JP: Well, to be honest, it doesn’t bother me.  I’m really tired of living in Paris.  It’s so (3)stressful here, everyone rushing around, trying to make money.  I wouldn’t mind moving to a quieter area.  Beauchamp sounds quite nice, and the countryside outside the town is pleasant, I believe.  What about you, Paolo?  Do you think the move will be good for us?
P: I am absolutely against it.  It will upset families and cause a lot of problems for some staff.  I will have to sell my (4)apartment if we move.  I only bought it last year, so I will probably lose a lot of money--I don’t think I will get any compensation for that, do you?  You don’t agree, Jean Pierre, I can see that.
IP: Well, you’re right, Paolo. it’ll cause a lot of problems, there’s no doubt about that.   But the company will benefit a lot, and that’s important, too.  In the long run, the move will increase our revenue, make us more competitive and keep us in jobs.  That’s a good reason for moving, isn’t it, Carl?  What do you think?
C: Maybe, but I feel pretty depressed at the moment.  I hope they’ll postpone the proposal.  There’s a lot of (5)bad feeling about it.  I tell you one thing, a lot of our best staff will refuse to relocate.  They can easily get another job here in Paris, they won’t want to move.  They’ve got a really good lifestyle, and they won’t want to give it up.  The management will get a big shock if the relocation goes ahead.

Complete the table with a partner:
Company







Offices in







Factory in







key issues







Beauchamp’s characteristics










So, About Trump Then...

I suspect my emotional trajectory about Trump over the past few months mirrors yours.  But lets put this to the test and find out.  I'll tell you how I've been feeling, and then you tell me, and we'll compare notes.

Immediately after the November 2016 election, there was a panic about Fascism and a resurgent-racism.

Rightly or wrongly, that panic seems to have mostly died away now.  (I'm not saying that it's good that people are becoming more relaxed about Trump, I'm just saying that it's happening.)

And instead, the predominate emotion I have when I think about Trump is not panic now, but just disgust.

The reality is beginning to sink in that we have elected an absolute buffoon to the office of President of the United States.

It hardly seems real.  Surely this guy who gets in twitter fights with Rosie O'Donnell and bragged about his sex life with Howard Stern isn't really going to assume the host honored office in the country?

With any luck, Trump and his cronies will all get voted out in 2020.  But the damage to America's legacy is already done.  Whatever else happens from now, this guy is going to go down in the history books as the 45th President of the United States

This is the moment American democracy officially jumped the shark.

Link of the Day
Noam Chomsky on Trump and the decline of the American Superpower

Thursday, January 19, 2017

I linked to some Firing Line archived videos last week, so indulge me briefly as I link to a couple more.

There's a video of Buckley interviewing Nixon in 1967 here.  And Reagan in 1980 here.

Now, if you're a liberal like me, you tend to have a very dim view of these guys based on the kind of articles popular in liberal circles.

Nixon was a paranoid maniac who kept secret enemies lists and would often get drunk at night and make long rambling phone calls in which he said very compromising things.
Reagan, it is often said by liberals, was a dumb actor, who was in the early stages of dementia by the time of his presidency, and who was essentially just a puppet for the people behind the scenes.

I don't doubt any of that's true.  In fact some of it is a matter of public record.

And yet, when you listen to these guys being interviewed, they don't sound like ignoramuses.  They come off as being very articulate and knowledgeable.

I suspect back in the 1960s and 1980s you couldn't have won an election if you sounded like a complete ignoramus.

How far our country has fallen!





Counterpoint:
Upon reflection, I can think of at least one counter-example to my theory above that Trump represents an unprecedented degeneration in politics.
George Wallace didn't win in 1968, but he did much better than anyone ever thought he would.   And George Wallace was essentially the 1960s version of Trump.

Reflections on 8 Years of Obama


(Another 8 years have come and gone, so it's time to do this again.  For the last time I did one of these, my reflections on Bush's legacy, see here.)

If I'm being completely honest, my primary emotion upon realizing we're coming to the end of the Obama era is just surprise at how fast the time went.

8 years already?  Where did that time go?

They say time passes faster as you get older.  The Reagan years, the Clinton years, and the Bush years all felt to me like long stretches of time.
At the end of the Reagan, Clinton, and Bush years I felt like I had gotten so used to seeing their face on TV that it was difficult to remember a time when they hadn't been president, and it seemed impossible to imagine that anyone could ever take their place.

But with Obama? Man, it feels like 2008 was just yesterday, and that I've barely gotten used to seeing him behind that podium.

Anyway, like a lot of liberals, I was absolutely in love - with Barack Obama in 2008.  I remember getting chills down my spine when I listened to him speak, and I recall at least a couple conversations from 2008 when I was passionately telling other people that Barack Obama was the kind of leader our country desperately needed.

At the same time, though, I knew enough history to be somewhat cautiously pessimistic.  Liberals had had enormous optimism for Jimmy Carter back in 1976, and then he had let them down.  Liberals were also unrealistically optimistic about Bill Clinton in 1992.

If history had taught us anything, it was that Barack Obama was likely to disappoint his liberal supporters.

And yet, remember the aura Barack Obama had around him back in 2008?
He seemed so sincere, so earnest, and so capable.  It was hard not to think we were witnessing the birth of a new George Washington, and I had hopes that I was privileged enough to be living when America was entering a new golden age.  (I had some fantasies of one day being able to tell my grandchildren what it was like to be living when the great Barack Obama was president.)

Writing immediately after the 2008 election, I was conflicted between my historical pessimism, and my infatuation with Obama.  And so I hedged my bets and wrote up both possibilities.  To quote myself from November 5, 2008:

Of course the graveyards of politics are littered with young charismatic eloquent politicians who turn out to be total duds. Most of them were Democrats. (Both Carter and Clinton came into the white house on a wave of optimism promising change from their Republican successors).
But perhaps on this night, in spite of everything we can allow ourselves a bit of optimism. And so I admit that I, as much as anyone, have high hopes for Obama. I imagine he'll carve out a path in history, and perhaps join Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson as the greatest US presidents in history. I like to think that someday he'll be the next face on Mount Rushmore, and the next portrait on our currency. Bush has sure left the country in a mess, but if anyone can sort it out, it looks like Obama can.

When, inevitably, Barack Obama turned out to be a lot more moderate than we liberals had hoped, I contented myself with saying, "Oh well.  At least he's not as bad as Bush was."

I was, therefore, somewhat taken aback when I started encountering leftist students who told me that Barack Obama was much worse than Bush.  (I was in grad school in 2010, and so spent the year on a university campus).
I didn't believe it at first.  Obama wasn't perfect, but surely he wasn't worse than Bush!
And yet, these kids made a very convincing case.

First as background:
A critique that leftists often make of Democrats is that Democrats get away with worse stuff than Republicans, because people only get outraged when Republicans do it.  (Nader had made this critique of Clinton-Gore back in 2000, arguing that Clinton-Gore's economic policies were actually incredibly right-wing, but liberals had been lulled into inaction because Clinton seemed to be one of our own).

Now, the same argument went again, because Bush was no longer in charge of the war on terror, people had stopped getting outraged over it.  And as a result, the war crimes were actually getting worse.

Under Barack Obama, the US military presence was actually expanding into parts of Pakistan and Yemen.  The war on terror was getting bigger than it had ever been under Bush.
Drone strikes were increasing.  Assassinations and extra-judicial killings increased under Obama.

And Obama's legacy would continue to get more problematic as the years went on.
The Obama administration aggressively moved to destroy Wikileaks.
And Bradley Manning (as she was still known in those days) was held in inhumane cruel conditions in solitary confinement.
And then the NSA revelations.
And the fact that Obama's administration punished whistleblowers more aggressively than the Bush administration had ever done.
Or that Obama's administration had prosecuted more people under the 1917 Espionage acts than all the previous administrations combined.

And yet... and yet for all that, Obama was so skilled at saying all the right things in his speeches, that whenever I listened to him speak, I would almost be won over by him all over again.  I suspect most liberals had the same problem. (Ditto with Michelle Obama).

Inspite of everything, I always had a hard time believing that Barack Obama wasn't a good man at heart.  Which made it so much harder to accept all the bad things his administration had done.

Perhaps future historians will puzzle over the Barack Obama problem.

It may well be that he was just a very good actor, and he fooled us all.
Or, this may be an indication of what happens to a good man when he gets to Washington, and the limits of the power of the President.

*****************************************************

Back in 2008, Obama's critics were already predicting that his oratory would be more impressive than his actual governing skills.
This prediction turned out to be correct.

And yet, although making good speeches isn't the only job of the president, it is part of the job of the president.  He is the voice of the nation.  His speeches carry influence at home (like FDR's fireside chats) and abroad (like Kennedy in Berlin).
Having a president who is a skilled speaker is at least of some value.

Whatever else Barack Obama's faults may have been, it was at least of some value to have a President who could speak well.

In that respect, at least, we're all going to really miss him when he's gone.
Now that we have a thin-skinned narcissistic monosyllabic man-baby buffoon coming into the White House, we're going to miss a President who used to talk to us like adults.

****************************************************

Also in Barack Obama's favor: he was really popular abroad.

The Japanese loved Barack Obama.  So did the Vietnamese.  (When Obama came here to Vietnam, he absolutely charmed the young people here.)

I suspect this popularity abroad translated into some sort of "soft power" for the USA during these years, but someone better educated in political science than me would have to quantify it.

For us expatriates, though,  2008 was a turning point.  During the Bush years, and especially after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, it was really embarrassing to be an American.  Then, suddenly with the election of Barack Obama in 2008, it was cool to be an American.
Now, it's gone back to being embarrassing.

*************************************************

On June 4, 2008, after winning the Democratic Primaries, Barack Obama made this speech:
generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal;



I remember seeing that speech on the news at the time, and getting really optimistic.  I really wanted to believe that this was the start of the end of global warming.

Now, 8 years later, and not only have we not made any progress on global warming, the situation is much worse than it ever was.
It is looking increasingly likely that I, and my generation, will witness ecological catastrophes within our lifetime.

Future generations will probably resent us.  But I hope they won't judge us too harshly.  It's not that we didn't care.  We did, after all, vote for politicians who promised to end climate change.  It's just that those politicians never did what they promised.

*********************************************************

Okay, last thought:

For most of my childhood, until I was 10 years old, Ronald Reagan was the only President I knew.

I was born in 1978, so technically I lived through 2 years of the Carter administration.  But I don't remember those years.  From my earliest memories, until the time I was 10 years old, Reagan was the only President I knew.

As a result, the words "Reagan" and "President" are forever linked in my mind.  To this day, if you asked what my image of an American President is, it would be someone resembling Ronald Reagan.

Of course, back then, the idea that a black man could ever be President was unimaginable.

But for any kid who is around 10 years old today (or younger) Barack Obama is the only President they have ever known.  So for them it is entirely normative to have a black person in the position of the highest authority of the United States.
That should be worth something, right?

At the moment, we're seeing a reversal in progress in race relations.  But I wonder if this will be eventually offset when the the generation that grew up under Barack Obama reaches political maturity.
Time will tell, I guess.

That's the glass half full side of the equation.
The glass half empty side of the equation is when you think about the children who will grow up under President Trump, and will think it normative to have a buffoon in control of the country.

Link of the Day
Chomsky: Obama's Imperialist Policies

The Secret of Nimh: Movie Worksheets

(Movie Worksheets)

Link to Folder on Google Drive HERE

Slideshow Presentations on Google Slides
Part 1 (slides, pub), Part 2 (slides, pub), Part 3 (slides, pub), Part 4 (slides, pub), Part 5 (slides, pub), Part 6 (slides, pub), Part 7 (slides, pub), Part 8 (slides, pub), Part 9 (slides, pub), Part 10 (slides, pub), Part 11 (slides, pub), Part 12 (slides, pub), Part 13 (slides, pub), Part 14 (slides, pub), Part 15 (slides, pub), Part 16 (slides, pub), Part 17 (slides, pub), Part 18 (slides, pub), Part 19 (slides, pub), Part 20 (slides, pub), Part 21 (slides, pub), Part 22 (slides, pub), Part 23 (slides, pub), Part 24 (slides, pub), Part 25 (slides, pub)

Worksheets on Google Docs:
Part 1 (docs, pub), Part 2 (docs, pub), Part 3 (docs, pub), Part 4 (docs, pub), Part 5 (docs, pub), Part 6 (docs, pub), Part 7 (docs, pub), Part 8 (docs, pub), Part 9 (docs, pub), Part 10 (docs, pub), Part 11 (docs, pub), Part 12 (docs, pub), Part 13 (docs, pub), Part 14 (docs, pub), Part 15 (docs, pub), Part 16 (docs, pub), Part 17 (docs, pub), Part 18 (docs, pub), Part 19 (docs, pub), Part 20 (docs, pub), Part 21 (docs, pub), Part 22 (docs, pub), Part 23 (docs, pub), Part 24 (docs, pub), Part 25 (docs, pub)

These are movie worksheets that I used for the movie The Secret of Nimh with a group of young children studying English as a foreign language.
This is the 6th in a series of movie worksheets I designed for young learners.  See also Peter Pan, The Jungle Book, 101 Dalmatians, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad, and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
The ideology and justifications for using movies in the classroom have all expounded at length in the previous posts (see also my post on using movies in the classroom, and my post on Comprehensible Input with Young Learners). So in order to avoid repeating myself I am going to try to keep the explanation here to a minimum.

I believe that children learn a foreign language best by plenty of exposure to the input.  The majority of this input should NOT be authentic materials like movies.  Rather the majority of input should be simple graded input that is easy for the learner to understand.  (For example graded readers and story books).
For that reason, I try to limit the movie to only about 5 minutes per lesson.  (That is, 5 minutes of playing time for the movie.  Including in all the activities built in around the movie, this has the potential to take up somewhere between 20-30 minutes of class time).
However, used sparingly, I believe authentic input like movies have their place.  The majority of the input will likely be beyond the students level of comprehension, but at least some of the input will be at the students level.
Interacting with authentic material is beneficial because it gives students the exposure to rich input with all the language features.  It has the potential to increase the students' enjoyment of English if they enjoy the movie.  And it helps to build confidence by giving the students a sense that they can interact and understand authentic material at at least some level right now, rather than having authentic material be some distant goal in the future.

All of those reasons are  exactly the same as all my previous movie worksheets.

There was, however, one major shift in methodology with this particular set of movie worksheets, which I will now explain.
With all the previous movie worksheets, the students were given the full script of the movie on their worksheets, even though the actual task was kept very simple  The reason for this was to provide the maximum opportunity for interacting with the full input, but to keep that interaction optional.  Higher level students can (and did) read through the script completely, followed along with the movie, and asked questions about words they didn't understand.  Lower-level students were content to simply match the words to the blanks.

My teaching assistant voiced some concerns to me that the lower-level students were not interacting with the input as much as they should be.  They would do the bare-minimum necessary to complete the worksheet, and then would tune-out and ignore and sentences that did not have a task assigned to them.

In an attempt to combat this, I decided to put the whole script of the movie on the Slideshow, by expanding The Story Last Time section.

In all my previous worksheets, The Story Last Time section was used to review SOME of the dialogue from the previous class.  Now, under this new method, The Story Last Time  section was being used to review ALL of the dialogue from the previous class.

I had been doing a lot of picture books with this class, and my intent was now to turn the movie itself into a sort of picture book.

This shift in methodology is not evident from the first several worksheets.  The talk with my teaching assistant happened once we had already started this movie.  The first 5 worksheets and slideshow presentation are done in the old style.  Part 6 is a transition and reviews half of the previous lesson, and from part 7 the entirety of the previous lesson is reviewed under "The Story Last Time" section.

The purpose of doing this is to force the students attention on every single sentence in the input.
Because this is authentic input, much of the input is going to be incomprehensible to the students.  So even though I'm forcing them to read through the entire script now, I still understand and expect that they will only comprehend a small percentage of it.  And that's okay.
Anything that is beyond the students' level of comprehension will still be beyond the students' level of comprehension, and I don't expect that forcing them to read anything will cause them to acquire any structures beyond their level.
However, what I am hoping is that there will be at least some vocabulary and grammar at their level, and forcing them to read the entire script will ensure that anything at their level will not escape being noticed.

In my classes, the students chorally read out "The Story Last Time" sections.  In order to prevent fossilization, I correct any pronunciation problems (even with words and structures far beyond their level of acquisition) but that's it.  I don't explain anything. Unless of course the students ask me to.
(Occasionally students will have questions about a particularly vocabulary word, especially if they are at an important plot point, and only one word is hindering their comprehension.  And I'm happy to answer any questions that they ask.  But if they have no questions, then I'm happy for them to just read through the section, and I accept that some of it they will understand, and some of it will be over their heads.)

In addition to forcing attention onto the input, there is one more hidden agenda for this.  And that is to build up bottom-up listening.  In the natural speed of English, EFL students frequently have a problem telling where one word ends, and a new word begins.  Reading through the script of the movie before listening to it helps the students notice where word boundaries are, and hopefully develops sharper bottom up listening skills.
(I think this is a useful activity provided that it's not the first time the students hear the movie.  The students should first have an opportunity to practice their top-down listening skills by listening to the movie before hand, and only afterwards should they read the script and focus on their bottom up listening practice.)

The classroom procedure works like this:
1) The students are given ten vocabulary words.  (The Slideshow is set up to try to elicit the words if possible, but the teacher can also give the words if eliciting fails.)
The purpose of the vocabulary is to force interaction with the input, and so the vocabulary is chosen based on which words are most salient and easiest to identify in the input.  It is not based on how useful the words are for the students.  Many of the words will either be already known to the student, or too low frequency to be of much use at this level.  Words are often repeated.
2) Students read through "The Story Last Time" section as a class.  ("The Story Last Time" is a review of the section of the movie that they have already watched in the previous class.) The teacher corrects pronunciation where necessary.
3) Teacher plays the movie.
Typically the movie will be about 5 minutes, and will include 2.5 minutes of old material (the same material that was just reviewed in "The Story Last Time" section) and about 2.5 minutes of new material--although in designing these worksheets, I based in around how many lines of dialogue I could fit on 4 sheets, and not on the timing, so the timing will vary).
4)  The students are given the worksheet.  They match the vocabulary to the pictures, and are also encouraged to read through the script and predict which words go with which sentences.  Some of the higher ability students will often fill out the whole worksheet before the movie is played a second time.
5).  The movie is played a second time.  Students listen and check their answers.  To help weaker students, I keep my finger on the pause button, and pause after answer is given to ensure that all the students have the answer.
6). Final Feedback on PowerPoint

By the time all of these steps have been completed, the students will have been through the same lines of dialogue 7 times  across two separate classes. (2 listenings, 3 readings, and 2 listening and readings)
First Class
1st time: listening to the movie
2nd time: reading the script, and matching the words to the blanks
3rd time: listening to the movie and reading the script to check their answers
The Next Class
4th time: in the next class, the students then read through that same dialogues in "The Story Last Time" section
5th time: the teacher plays the movie again--the material from the previous class is again repeated along with approximately 2.5 minutes of new material
6th time: the students are given the script.  The material from the previous class is printed again, along with about 1.5 pages of new material.  The students have the option of reading through the script again.
7th time: the movie is played again.  (Old material and new material).  For the newer material, there is a task (matching the words) but for the older material, the students have the option of reading their script as they listen (which some students choose to do) or just listening.

I didn't conduct any careful research, but just anecdotally, I certainly felt like my student's listening has gotten a lot sharper over the past couple months as a result of this method.  It seemed to me that as we went through the movie, their level of bottom-up listening, and their understanding of words in contexts, was also increasing dramatically.

There were, however, a couple of trade-offs which worry me slightly.
One is that the amount of class time dedicated to studying the movie was increased, which came at the expense of other materials.

The second problem was that this method decreased the students enjoyment of the movie.  The students wanted to just sit and watch the entire movie through with no interruptions, and were frustrated that they only got to watch it in small increments.  Many of them disliked all the reading exercises.  As one student complained to me, "We read so much, and we watch so little!"
Many people feel that students learn best when they are enjoying their learning, and according to it might be a problem that these increased tasks were decreasing student enjoyment.
On the other hand, I did really feel that they were absorbing much more of the language through this method.
So I don't know.
If anyone wants to run the experiment on their own classes, I encourage you to copy these Google slides over to your own folder, and then edit them to suit the interests and attention span of your own classes.

In my case, I found it helpful to encourage the students with rewards.  Everyone got stars for paying attention during the vocabulary, for reading nicely during "The Story Last Time" sections, and for listening quietly during the movie.  If we got through the entire movie-time with no behavioral incidents, the students were rewarded with a game.

Addendums:
I limited myself to 2 pages of script per class (that is, 2 pages double-sided--4 pages on Google Docs).  In most cases, I used 0.5 margins, but in some cases I found it necessary to go down to 0.3 margins.  In the rare cases when I went down to 0.3 margins, I had to be careful with the photocopiers to make sure everything stayed on the page

* See also this post for a grammar question I had about a sentence in worksheet 2.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

TEFLology Podcast: TEFL Interviews 28: BONUS! Forum Discussion (Live at JALT 2016)

(TEFLology Podcast)

So I'm once again late with my review of the TEFlology podcast.
This episode was released over a week ago, and now is no longer even the most current episode.

But better late than never, here are my two cents.

This episode is on the TEFLology website here. It's a 20 minute Q&A session with the audience and the - 3 - interviewees from the TEFLology forum at the JALT 2016 conference.

Because this is a Q&A session, the conversation runs all over the place, from the validity of test scores to even getting into the meaning of life.

I'm going to avoid the temptation to try to insert my two-cents on every topic raised, and just say I thought the discussion was interesting.  (Although you should probably listen to the 3 interviews first before listening to the Q&A session.)

In fact, I've really enjoyed this whole JALT 2016 series the TEFLologists have done.

At the end, one of the TEFLologists mentions his ambition to build up an archive of these type  of interviews for posterity, and I think this is a great idea.  I hope to see more episodes and interviews like this in the futre.

"No, it isn't" versus "No, it is not"

(Grammar Questions I Couldn't Answer)

This question comes again from a colleague instead of from a student.

He was preparing a lesson for beginner students, in which they he was supposed to drill "Is it a...?" questions, and the answers "Yes, it is." and "No, it isn't".

He asked me if there was a difference between "No, it isn't." and "No, it is not"

I told him there was no difference in meaning, but possible one of the forms reflected a change in emphasis or nuance.  Although exactly what the difference in nuance was, I didn't know.

I googled the different forms, and I found some people speculating on various forums, but I couldn't find any one speaking with authority