Teachers as Workers – interview with Paul Walsh part 1

Issues in ELT

tawsigThe TEFL show presents part 1 of the recent interview with Paul Walsh of the Teachers as Workers Special Interest Group (TaWSig) by Robert William McCaul. In this part we talk about some of the problems that teachers face in the industry: poor pay, low job security, a lack of sick pay, unfair contracts, compulsory unpaid duties such as attending meetings, homework correction, professional development programmes etc. Paul also talks about the frustrations of being a freelance teacher in Berlin- frustrations that ELT freelancers face around the globe. You can find TaWSig on Google+ and Twitter.

As always, we’re looking forward to your comments ūüôā

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A guide to English pronunciation part 2 – consonants

British English, IPA, Pronunciation, Underhill's Phonemic Chart

Underhills Phonemic Chart with Examples

In this episode we continue our discussion from the previous one, where we spoke about English vowels, and now look at the consonants.¬† We go through each of the consonants, discussing how they are produced, giving example words and offering some tips for remembering the symbols. We finish off with practical implications, so the episode should hopefully be useful for all those teachers who’d like to be better able to teach pronunciation.

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Lesson plans, observations and PD programs – Interview with Anthony Ash

Observations
Photo by David Muir under Creative Commons from: http://www.doshort.com/4Oyl

Photo by David Muir under Creative Commons from: http://www.doshort.com/4Oyl

In this episode we talk to Anthony Ash about lesson plans, observations and professional development (PD) programs. This podcast was triggered by a post about lesson plans and observations Anthony Ash wrote on his blog which you can read here. We then had a very interesting chat on Twitter (you can still read it here) together with Marc Jones, who also wrote a very interesting post on the topic. As a response to their posts and the Twitter chat, I also wrote an article on my blog where I criticised the insistence on writing long lesson plans for formal observations (read my article here).

So in this podcast we pick up the discussion where we originally left it and continue chatting about the importance of lesson plans and observations in PD programs. We start off by discussing whether preparing a formal lesson plan for an observation should be necessary. We then look at formal observations and chat about their importance in PD programs. We finish off by suggesting what our ideal PD program would look like.

What would your ideal PD program look like? How do you feel about preparing formal lesson plans for observations? Let us know in the comments section or tweet to @theteflshow and @ashowski

About Anthony: I completed the¬†CELTA at IH Wroclaw (Poland) in August 2011 and I completed the¬†DELTA at IH Newcastle (UK) in autumn 2014. I have an MA in English Language and Linguistics in which I focused¬†on the historical development of the English language. I have taught adults and Young Learners general English and Business English¬†in Dresden (Germany), Oxford (UK), Poznan /¬†Torun (Poland) and Buenos Aires (Argentina). I also¬†teach English for Academic Purposes at the University of Newcastle (UK). I have worked in ELT management since September 2013. I was a¬†Senior Teacher at IH Torun (Poland) and I am currently an Assistant Director of Studies at IH Buenos Aires involved in¬†Teacher Training and Development. [bio from Anthony’s blog].

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Teaching writing

Methodology
Photo by Fredrick Rubensson under Creative Commons from: http://bit.ly/1O300JB

Photo by Fredrick Rubensson under Creative Commons from: http://bit.ly/1O300JB

In this episode we look at different methods and ideas for teaching writing. We discuss the pros and cons of the two main approaches, that is product and process approach. We also look at the importance of writing and ways of encouraging our students to write more. We mainly focus on academic writing, but also discuss issues relevant to teaching writing in a general English class.

We’d love to hear from you. How do you teach writing? Do you have a favourite approach? Any tried and tested activities? Leave us a comment below the post.

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How to learn a foreign language – some tips from our experience learning Italian and Arabic

Learning languages
Under Creative Commons from: https://flic.kr/p/5uJVxM

Under Creative Commons from: https://flic.kr/p/5uJVxM

In this episode of The TEFL Show we look again at different tips and tricks for learning languages. Both of us have recently started learning a new language, so we’d like to share with you our experience, and give some tips which hopefully you can apply to your own language learning. Rob’s taken on the challenge to learn Italian, and I’m trying to tackle Arabic. Find out how we’re trying to make the experience enjoyable and effective by listening to the podcast.

Don’t forget that the podcast is also available on a number of music services. Just click on one of the logos below¬†to be redirected the service. If you enjoyed one of the episodes, we would appreciate if you rated it or left a comment.

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Language learning myths

Learning languages
Under Creative Commons from: https://flic.kr/p/5uJVxM

Under Creative Commons from: https://flic.kr/p/5uJVxM

Continuing with our myth busting theme from this podcast about teaching methods¬†and this one with Russ Mayne, in this episode of The TEFL Show we use our own language learning experience to debunk some of the most common myths and misconceptions about learning languages, such as that you need talent or a very long time to get to a high level. We also give several tips that will hopefully boost your language learning progress.¬†If you’d like to get more language learning tips, you might want to listen to this podcast.

What do you think? Are there any other myths about language learning that need debunking? What’s your experience with learning languages been like? Leave us a comment below.

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What evidence is there to support the different ELT methods and approaches? with Russell Mayne

Methodology
Photo by Mythpunk under Creative Commons from: https://flic.kr/p/9VDJcK

Photo by Mythpunk under Creative Commons from: https://flic.kr/p/9VDJcK

In one of our previous podcasts: ‘ELT methods and approaches: the emperor’s new clothes?’, which you can listen to here,¬†we explored the question of whether there was any scientific evidence behind the most common methods to teaching English. The episode was so popular that we decided to invite Russell Mayne to do a follow-up one. Russ is well-known for his blog ‘Evidence based EFL’, where he debunks the most common myths concerning ELT and SLA, so we thought he’d be the perfect guest to tell us if and what evidence there is to support the most common ELT methods and approaches.

What do you think? Which methods do you normally use in class? Is there one best method or does its effectiveness depend on the socio-cultural context? Leave us a comment below.

russ mayne

Russell Mayne has taught English for over 15 years, in Japan, Taiwan and the UK and is interested in evidence-based teaching. He is currently teaching EAP in the English language teaching Unit at the University of Leicester. He blogs about Evidence based EFL here. You can also find him on Twitter @ebefl

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Working conditions in ELT

Issues in ELT
Photo by Ian MacKenzie under Creative Commons from: https://flic.kr/p/bBucPk

Photo by Ian MacKenzie under Creative Commons from: https://flic.kr/p/bBucPk

In this episode of The TEFL Show podcasts we discuss working conditions in the ELT industry. While there are certainly some regions where the pay and conditions for English teachers are very good, it seems to us that in many countries teachers in language schools are not only severely underpaid, but may also lack basic insurance or sick pay. We discuss why this is the case and suggest several ways to overcome this situation.

If you’re interested in this issue, you might want to follow Teachers as Workers Special Interest Group. You can find them on Twitter @taw_sig and on Google+ here, where there is a discussion group.

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ELT Methods and Approaches – the emperor’s new clothes

Methodology
Vilhelm Pedersen's illustration to Kejserens nye klæder. From Wikimedia Commons.

Vilhelm Pedersen’s illustration to Kejserens nye kl√¶der. From Wikimedia Commons.

In this podcast we discuss different approaches to teaching English, such as the Audiolingual Method, Dogme, Lexical Approach, PPP and TBL. We also look at whether there is any evidence to support the efficiency of these methods, and argue that perhaps their rise to fame and subsequent demise¬†have much more to do with the changing fashion than we’d like to admit.

What do you think? Do the ELT methods have any clothes on? Leave us a comment below.

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Apps for learning and teaching English with @joedale

Technology
Under Creative Commons from: https://flic.kr/p/dQLaR4

Under Creative Commons from: https://flic.kr/p/dQLaR4

In this episode of The TEFL Show we’ve invited Joe Dale to have a chat about different apps for teaching and learning languages. Joe is an independent languages consultant and recognised expert on technology and language learning. He introduces several great apps which, among many other things,¬†can be used for creating content in class, getting students to speak, revising vocabulary, giving students feedback and various self-study activities.

Some of the apps that we discussed in this podcast include: Bossjock junior, Yakyt kids, Balloon stickies plus, Opinion app, 30 hands, Book creator, Picolage, Cahoots, Memrise and Quizlet. Which apps do you regularly use? Have you got any tried and tested ones? We’d love to hear from you, so please leave us a comment below.

5B30F60EB39248828A656DA6946131B2 [2806397]Joe Dale is an independent languages consultant from the UK who works with a range of organisations such as Network for Languages, ALL, The British Council, the BBC, Skype, Microsoft and The Guardian. He was host of the TES MFL forum for six years, former SSAT Languages Lead Practitioner, a regular conference speaker and recognised expert on technology and language learning. He has spoken at conferences and run training courses in Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East, the Far East and Australia . He was a member of the Ministerial Steering Group on languages for the current UK government and advised on the Linguanet Worldwide project for The Language Company. He created ICT activities for the new Institut Fran√ßais, ALL and Network for Languages Primary French Niveau Bleu course and was short-listed for a NAACE Impact Award in 2013 too. Joe was recently described in a Guardian article as an ‘MFL guru’ and ‘the man behind the #mfltwitterati. He tweets @joedale and can be contacted by email at joedale@talk21.com

Don’t forget that it’s also available on a number of music services. Just click on one of the logos below¬†to be redirected the service. If you enjoyed one of the episodes, we would appreciate if you rated it or left a comment.

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