Why you should use authentic texts authentic materials authentic text elt

By James Jenkin

What’s an authentic text?

As Thornbury (2006) summarises:

A classroom text is authentic if it was originally written for a non-classroom audience. A newspaper article or a pop song are thus considered authentic (p. 21).

The list of available authentic texts is, literally,...

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What is strategic competence? communicative competence elt strategic competence

 

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

How do you participate in a conversation if you are not familiar with the topic? What can you do if your listeners misunderstood you? In order to prepare learners for these situations, materials developers should include instances of communication...

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Five myths about language teaching elt myths native speaker non-native speaker

By James Jenkin

If you’re planning to become an EFL teacher – great!  In my opinion, it’s one of the most interesting, varied and rewarding career paths possible.

The world needs English teachers. In 2006 the British Council estimated by 2021 the number of learners would...

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What is discourse competence? communicative competence discourse competence elt

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

The popularity of mechanical grammar drills in language teaching, still prevalent in some parts of the world, is influenced by the view that grammatical structures are the basic building blocks of language. It is assumed that individuals will be able to use...

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Providing students with global perspectives digital citizenship digital technologies global perspective

By Lottie Dowling

In an increasingly globalised world, it is glaringly apparent that educators need to be providing students with opportunities to develop meaningful global perspectives, developing students’ knowledge and understanding of the world and improving their intercultural...

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What is sociolinguistic competence? elt sociolinguistic competence

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

A traditional approach to sociolinguistic competence is to use and teach language that is appropriate based on the expectations and norms of the inner circle countries, namely Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. This approach is problematic for two...

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Teaching to the test elt test preparation

By James Jenkin

It’s a truism amongst teachers we shouldn’t ‘teach to the test’. It’s common to hear statements such as:

Not only do students and teachers hate it, but the practice has been shown to actually harm student learning (Singer, 2016)

and

[Teaching to...

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What is linguistic competence? commmunicative competence elt linguistic competence

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

Hyme’s (1972) notion of communicative competence consists of four competences: linguistic, sociolinguistic, discourse and strategic. Linguistic competence refers to the knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. Traditionally, English language teaching focused on...

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21st century skills and their relevance today 21st century skills education learning

By Lottie Dowling

‘21st century skills’ is a term that has been around for some time now and, despite being 17 years into the 21st century, it seems many people are still grappling with what these skills are, their relevance and how they can be developed.

What are 21st century skills?...
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What is communicative language teaching? communicative language teaching elt

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

When communicative language teaching (CLT) was first introduced, the term communication in CLT was often misunderstood as conversation. As a result, there was a noticeable focus on speaking activities in language classrooms. Although conversations are a form of...

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Choosing a quality online language education provider elt learning providers online courses

By James Jenkin

Online English teaching – collaboration-based learning – is booming. In China, demand for online classes is growing at 25% a year (ICEF, 2014).

It’s easy to see why. Learners can potentially access a teacher from anywhere, at any time. An ever-growing variety of...

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English for the workplace authentic materials elt english for the workplace listening

By Dorothy Cleary

FINDING AUTHENTIC LISTENING MATERIALS

As I said in my introductory blog, authenticity of materials is one of the key elements in supporting learners to feel confident in New Zealand workplaces.  It is relatively easy to find authentic written materials, and learners who are...

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What is critical pedagogy? critical pedagogy critical reading elt

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

Going to school is good for you! Says who? What are the goals of teaching and learning? Is education neutral? Is it politically driven? Or is it influenced and driven by ideology and a particular worldview?

Traditionally, teachers were perceived as the source of...

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What is the genre-based approach to writing? elt genre pedagogy genre-based approach to writing

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

Teachers and learners are often attracted to universal rules that they can apply in all situations. Although such rules do exist, they are often too general and often not very useful in helping learners write effectively. For example, some teachers and learners...

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What is the process approach to writing? elt process writing

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

Learning English language in an exam-oriented environment, I was unfamiliar with the idea of revising and editing one’s writing. Essays were often written under time constraints and the focus was on producing an essay in one sitting. In this situation, I...

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What is the sociocultural theory of learning? elt sociocultural theory

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

A common misconception of the sociocultural theory of learning (SCT) is the idea that learners passively receive knowledge from experts, that is teachers or other adults, and that learning is basically a passive copying process.

This misconception is mainly due to...

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Teaching English for the workplace elt english for the workplace

By Dorothy Cleary

I’ve been involved in teaching English for the Workplace (EWP) classes in New Zealand for over ten years now, and my first comment on the title of this blog is ‘the’ workplace?  That large homogenous mythical place where everyone has the same values and...

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What is critical reading? critical reading elt

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

Being critical is sometimes associated with being judgemental.  In other words, reading a text critically is commonly misunderstood as reading to identify only its weaknesses. This misconception is sometimes seen, for example, in undergraduate students’...

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What is independent language learning?

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

A common misunderstanding of independent language learning, partly due to its name, is the assumption that teachers are not involved in a learning experience. Students are sometimes left alone to learn with little or no guidance from their teachers in the name of...

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What is literature? elt literature

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A LIMITED VIEW

Pride and Prejudice, Frankenstein, and Romeo and Juliet are examples of some of the most well-known literary texts. Such texts are usually the works of authors from decades or centuries ago, and the language they use is different from modern English. However, the...

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