Thank you to everyone who wrote a blog post in July. You can read them all here
We are taking a summer break in August so there are no specific topics for this month. However, we will be looking for new topics to suggest from September so please feel free to write a post to say what future topics we should cover and explain why.
Homework is a contentious issue in the place and country where I work. I have lived and worked in Thailand for 15 years and have had many conversations with parents, teachers, senior teachers and students about the issue. In Thailand, homework is expected by students and parents at all ages from Primary to Secondary. I have been party to occasions where parents have complained that teachers are not giving homework. Students generally hate homework and in my experience teachers give homework because they are required to and not because they feel the students will benefit.
In many parts of the world, learners are coming up to a long summer break. What can they do during a longer period like this to maintain and develop their English? Apart from the typical ‘read a book’ or ‘Watch films in English’, what tools and methods can you suggest that will help?
Homework is a complex issue with many factors affecting its success or failure. To begin with, homework is usually loaded with negative connotations. How can we turn homework into an effective language learning opportunity?
It is important to consider the teaching and learning context when we examine the homework issue:
Homework can be stressful – for the students who are often over-burdened, for the teachers who are already up to their necks in marking, and for the parents of young learners, constantly fighting (and losing) homework battles with their children. Nobody can agree on what’s right when it comes to homework. It is impossible to please everyone. Adam Simpson shares his four favourite arguments for and against giving homework in his blog post this month.
Whether it's at the end of the school year, at the end of term, or just when you feel like taking stock, here's an idea for using images to review what you've done and look forward to what might come next.
HOMEWORK: TO BE OR NOT TO BE.
Nina MK, Ph.D.
When I read Adam Simpson’s post on Homework, I felt like he had said all there was to say on the subject. It is extremely gratifying to see that somebody else has thoughts and ideas similar to your own!
How can your students develop their listening while away from your English classes ?
A learner training moment of reflection on how to take responsibility for their language acquisition.
*Do you need to train your ears for the different accents and pronunciation out there?
Back in November, my pre-intermediate students were listening to a coursebook text. There was an Irish speaker telling a story about his aunt and uncle’s holiday, and most of the students had no idea what he was saying. It wasn’t just his accent that was difficult for them. He spoke too quickly, and his use of connected speech was something they hadn’t really encountered before, or if they had, they hadn’t been taught how to deal with it.
LISTENING SKILLS DEVELOPMENT.
Nina MK, Ph.D.
When dealing with children, it is useful to remember that listening and hearing are two very different skills.