Masala ELT and Chai

Spicy ELT and some chai

My students don’t read.

I was reading a blog post by Asli Saglam on her blog which also had a presentation full of ideas on how to encourage reading in EFL/ESL students . I have taken the title from her post.

Interest in reading has declined all over the world. The reasons for this are ample. In my opinion, applying or trying to apply too many strategies to encourage reading in EFL/ESL students may create chaos in both teaching and learning how to read. The very simplemethod of leading in the students to the topic of the text, engaging their interest, doing some word-mapping for vocabulary and creating some questions works really well. I am saying this from having taught EFL to university students. I have seen this working in the class and students like to fetch some more information on the topic outside of the class to quell their curiosity. The important thing here is to have an interesting topic and a more interesting lead-in to the topic.

Holiday in the garb of an ELT conference? Sometimes. Just sometimes.

It’s time we did some introspection and sifted the good from the bad.

I have taught EFL in a university in Turkey for 4 years. The thing is that the heads themselves are found lacking in interest in sending their teachers to these mostly educative conferences. They don’t have funds kept aside for ELT. ELT is not given a fair treatment in terms of development of teachers or even the development of students. Let’s keep the rich private schools out of this.

Having said that, many conferences are just a promotion of publishers’ own interests. Books have to be sold after all. Also, the kind of teaching ideas floated around by the specialists are mostly not viable for the smaller colleges or state universities because of lack of funds. Other issues why these ideas are not viable are the number of students in each class, low interest levels and lack of or absence of equipment to carry on what is discussed in these conferences. Not all, and I say this again, not all but many of these conferences are a ticket to a holiday in exotic places. 

Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL)

I am a regular visitor to Kalinago. I found her research on MALL. I wanted to comment there but have been unable to because of some HTML tags which have flustered me. So, I decided to write my comment here. 

Hey Karenne. This is a very informative post. Though I have a fun take on this, yet I don’t think that MALL is ever going to be used for learning a language seriously or going to be an effective tool. I have been thinking of the application of such applications for sometime now. MALL – the acronym becomes a noun , or two different nouns.🙂 The first Mall is the shopping mall and the second Mall is a kind of a promenade. Both are places for leisurely activity.MALL is going to be used more for leisurely activities while travelling or waiting .
People have begun to have really short attention spans. To learn a language it is important to have a certain discipline which will give learning an impetus. The classroom offers that discipline and impetus and it also offers a little sense
of competition in that space which can be productive in learning. So, am not sure if MALL is going to be really effective.
I do look forward to your views.
Cheers
Manoranjan Dhaliwal

Just do it. You’ll love it

This is one activity which can be done across the board with students ranging from elementary to advanced level students. You can do it in any setting, too. Here you go:

An opinion on Burcu’s article on her blog.

I came across this post by Burcu Tezcan Unal  here. It’s a statement on the participation or non-participation of many ELT teachers in the ELT conferences.

I have my own opinion on these conferences. I do believe that these conferences / seminars are important for professional development and are a lovely platform for like-minded teachers to interact and exchange ideas. Yet something is amiss at these platforms. I have taught EFL in a university in Turkey for 4 years. One thing, of course, is  that the heads themselves are found lacking in interest in sending their teachers to these mostly educative conferences. They don’t have funds kept aside for ELT. ELT is not given a fair treatment in terms of development of teachers or even the development of students.

Having said that, many conferences are just a promotion of publishers’ own interests.Also, the kind of teaching ideas floated around by the specialists are mostly not viable for the smaller colleges or state universities because of lack of funds. Other issues why these ideas are not viable are the number of students in each class, low interest levels and lack of or absence of equipment to carry on what is discussed in these conferences. It seems that these conferences, not all of them, cater to the rich classrooms only.

Dreaming in different tongues

There is this very interesting talk called Dreaming in different tongues. It’s a nice discussion on the importance of your mother tongue in the space of familial bonds. This talk reminds me of a couple of lines I had once written on my personal blog here

Are we over-egging the pudding called ELT?

The use of technology has become a part and parcel of ELT. Almost.  Teachers are blogging incessantly about the virtues of it. It is quite engaging . The kind of tools and applications available to teach ELT  is staggering. There are courses dedicated to teaching teachers the use of technology in ELT.  On the other hand there are so many classrooms where technology is not used due to a number of reasons –  finances, qualified teachers who can use technology, ignorance, and cost-cutting are some of them that come to my mind.

In my opinion, the intense use of technology in the classroom is overrated. People are gushing about it and are making a song and dance about it. Too much implementation of technology is time consuming and ineffective. I think there is no harm in putting it to use in moderation . Over-egging the pudding will spoil the taste.

This is a new blog and I am not expecting any sort of discussion so early on this topic. But if you have the time, please give your opinion.

Six things I need as an EFL teacher


  1. An audio system in the classroom that really works
  2. A printer where I can print without being watched by the administration
  3. A photocopier that has a decent amount of ink in it.
  4. A peaceful teachers’ room
  5. The permission to carry my cup of tea to the classroom.
  6. Salary on time

Title taken from Lindsay Clandfield’s blog called Six Things

Down and out after a bad lesson? Eat a chilli

Image

Chilli mood-elevator

We all go through those times where we  spend a long evening doing our preparation for the most effective lesson. We are so excited about our lesson that we have even ignored an important phone call while doing our preparation. Unfortunately, sometimes the lesson falls flat on it’s face and we fall down on our knees and then we feel really depressed or demotivated. Here’s a little health plan for those gloomy days. The spicier the pepper, the better your mood.

An interesting write-up on CELTA

I came across this very spicy and delicious view on CELTA.

I found it here

 

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