Saturday, February 13, 2016

#NRC01PL A Personal Learning #MOOC

for your consideration. Stephen Downes explains in his post on Half an Hour 

This course should interest self-paced learners, ELL instructors, other educators and more advanced English learners. Stephen Downes' Personal Learning MOOC runs February 22-April 8 (7 weeks) and
...explores the topic of learning in three ways: first, through an examination of research and development issues related to the topic; second, through interaction with a personal learning environment (specifically: LPSS) to take the course; and third, through activities supporting the development of a personal learning environment at a conceptual level. 
Course objectives: participants will develop an appreciation of different models of online course delivery, ranging from the traditional LMS through connectivist MOOCs to potential future models of personal learning and performance support.
#NRC01PL Course Registration now open:

Monday, February 08, 2016

SOLE? It's like learning a new language

What is SOLE? It is a  Self-Organized Learning Environment, (SOLE) that can exist anywhere there is a computer, Internet connection, and willing learners.

SOLE is increasingly being used in many different settings, including some where it might not seem a natural fit, such as Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).   
Traditionally an area which relies on individual learning or teacher-led in a classroom.... Prof Sugata Mitra caused a bit of a stir when he gave a keynote speech about learning needing to be far more self-organised at an IATEFL conference. 
...[E]arly findings suggest that while SOLE is not suitable for teaching higher level grammar, it can be effective in terms of language fluency and confidence.... Further research is now being planned between SOLE Central and International House.
Read the rest of SOLE? It's like learning a new language at School in the Cloud

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

The Unsuitability of English

as a topic for blog about learning English, this may seem a change of pace but is still appropriate.

Utrecht, Holland—My mission in this pleasant central Holland town: giving a keynote address at the 25th anniversary conference of Sense, the Society of English-language Native Speaking Editors, in the palatial surroundings of the beautifully restored 16th-century Paushuize (pictured). Knowing that the editors and translators who belong to Sense are much concerned with the international character of English, I chose to speak about the global role that the English language has taken on. And I stressed that English doesn’t deserve its role, linguistically: In many ways it is a terrible choice for a world language.
Read the rest at The Unsuitability of English – Lingua Franca - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

About ESL Newsletter: Listening Practice

Good morning (or whatever time of day it is wherever you are). Here's the current About Education ESL Newsletter. This one features listening.  The internet is full of places to practice listening: movies, learning videos, audio books, online radio stations and podcasts. Here are just a few: 
  • Charles Kelly's Many Things site (free, many interesting things for English learners, not just listening)
  • English Listening ($3/month subscription) I just found this so don't know enough about the site to recommend it. If interested, please check out the site thoroughly first. Let us know what you think about this resource.
What are your favorite listening sites? Please share them with us.
English as 2nd Language

This week's newsletter features two listening quizzes, as well as some suggestions on improving English fluency by learning from your mistakes. There's also a pointer to 18 stories that contain idioms and expressions in context with each idiom defined. 

About ESL Listening Practice Quizzes

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Using Knowledge of a Movie Plot to Practice English

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Using Knowledge of a Movie Plot to Practice
This week's newsletter features a lesson that asks students to describe the final scene of a movie to practice a wide range of forms. There's also a review of how to use make and do, and a look at using dialogues to practice reading comprehension and speaking in class.  
Kenneth Beare
English as 2nd Language Expert

Friday, September 11, 2015

Read A Book In A Second Language To Avoid Emotion; Reading In Your Native Tongue Improves Empathy

Do you agree or disagree?  How does this affect your reading in English? Does reading level or lived experience in the target language's culture make a difference?   

Vicariously experiencing the emotions of a character in a book brings readers closer to the storyline, but the way readers react to fictional emotions depends on the language they read it in. Research conducted at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Italy examined the empathetic power of reading in a native language. The findings, published in the journal Brain and Cognition, not only revealed how mother tongues evoked readers’ emotions, but also the limitations of a second language.
Keep reading .... Read A Book In A Second Language To Avoid Emotion; Reading In Your Native Tongue Improves Empathy

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Does 'English' exist?

from an article by Eric Kowal from Wordwizard • Members' articles

The English language is, and always seems to have been, a perpetual battleground whose skirmishes take the form of controversies over usage and grammar....There has also never been a shortage of vociferous listeners to the BBC (the state-owned British broadcasting organization) complaining of its supposed failure to uphold standards of English usage - these standards presumably having been handed down from some mystical, mythical golden age of grammatical and vocabularian rectitude which often seem to be located in the decade of the complainer's childhood. Mix into this already-potent brew of linguistic controversy and personal prejudice the element of class rivalry described in Professor Alan Ross's notoriously provocative article of 1954, 'U and non-U', and it really starts to fizz!

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