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Chris Miner
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If history is any indication, I suspect over the next ten years we'll see lots of existing ideas repackaged, reformulated, and renamed. Publishers will continue to try to write materials using authors they've trained themselves, thus excluding any new blood. They'll continue to create pale ghosts of ideas they've heard are really hot, but don't personally understand or value. Online attempts to replace current ELT materials will continue to be built by people who don't understand learning and others who don't understand online social networking. Traditional physically published materials will continue to be relevant to those who have no other choice. Hard to imagine how a teacher can 'deliver' 30 hours of instruction to a class in one week without smartly marching through typical ELT materials. Especially if the students aren't interested in being taught. A book is easy to cary around, you can write in it, it still works if you pour coffee on it, and it has a syllabus built in. Super handy. People who have other means to learn English will take advantage of them. In contrast to other languages, there is no shortage of materials for those learning English. Over time, I suspect (hope) the best of English teaching materials will be used as a model for other languages. The materials for plenty of 2nd and 3rd tier languages are so bad, they make the worst materials for English learning look like a stroke of genius. For example, try to find a learner's dictionary for Polish that compares with CALD. Although such dictionaries do exist, none of them are worth recommending. Another consideration is the age of learners and how that is likely to change. The younger learners are, the less they need materials to learn English or any other language. If my daughter speaks German and English just fine by the time she's 5, she won't be sitting in a foreign language class in the future. If she does learn another language, I hope it is taught with materials that have at least caught up with the best of current ELT materials.
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Hi Tara, Thanks for the reply. I liked Jason's suggestion: "consider making more of the material open source". Given that many teachers have never heard of your site, or seen / used any of it's materials, I suspect teachers posting a few of them online or passing around their schools would only be good for you. Back in the day, this was called "network marketing". If you don't want the logo on modified versions, ask people to remove it, or remove it yourself from the open source version. Or go one step further: run contests to tailor materials and showcase the resultant versions on your site. Create a buzz around tailoring / modifying / extending your stock materials. The "Let your light shine brightly!" strategy. Alternatively RRP could spend its money and time on making sure that all the materials at RRP stay under lock and key so that no unauthorized individuals get a peek under any circumstances. The "Keep your bright light in a box for safe keeping!" strategy. Chris
Toggle Commented Mar 29, 2011 on A quick review at Learning Twigs
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You seem to have left out the very popular three tier subscription model. Lowest tier is free for everyone, provides access to most / older content, a forum, and is supported by ads. Second tier charges a modest fee, contains no advertising, access to all content. Third tier costs more and provides all that plus 'tech support'. Not sure what 'tech support' would be in your case. Perhaps you can help them troubleshoot their teaching materials?
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Hey Tara, I don't think your answer three represents a response to Jason's third suggestion. Care to take another stab? Cheers, Chris
Toggle Commented Mar 24, 2011 on A quick review at Learning Twigs
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Chris Miner is now following Jason Renshaw
Mar 3, 2011
Chris Miner is now following Anna Rose
Mar 3, 2011
Yes that's the sort of info I was looking for. Thanks! I haven't done live reading, but I've worked with other bits of text/audio that were spontaneously generated in class. I'm usually not sure what to do with them, after we've worked through what the text actually means.
Toggle Commented Mar 3, 2011 on Live Reading at Magpie Moments
Regarding Creative Commons/Copyright issues: Viewing the photos via an IWB doesn't require the teacher to make a copy and therefore can't violate *copy*-right law. Also, "non-commercial" isn't a term that is actually defined anywhere in the CC literature. Most people think when they license something by-nc-nd any teacher is free to use it. This isn't actually the case. Depends on the country you live in and sometimes on the institution at which you work. On the subject of: "…the number of teachers wanting to learn and develop what I'm talking about is miniscule." – I suspect you are very wrong here, or maybe I missed something. I bet lots of teachers are interested in learning how to make well thought out materials based on a(ny) pedagogical approach. Many of us just don't know how. I can't tell you how many "lesson plans" I've stumbled upon that had no apparent purpose other than to use up class time. Where there are tons of (badly) self produced materials there are tons of teachers wanting to learn. Teaching teachers continues to be a thriving market.
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SQRRR is a method of studying. ( I think it bears a remarkable resemblance to a standard reading sequence. (ie Look at the title and picture, what do you think the article is about? What information do you expect to find? Okay let's read and find out. Now, were your questions answered? Did you like the article?) In that case, the point it to remember the information and be able to paraphrase it.
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I like this activity and reminds me of both "retrieval testing" and SQRRR. There's also a similar activity mentioned in Teaching Unplugged ("Five Old Five New" p69). In that case the script is new and Ss listen to it rather than read it. In the round it off section the students are asked to reproduce the text from their notes. Depending on the level of the students, length of the text, complexity of the text one could use 1 or more collaboration/listening steps to accomplish the task.
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Thanks for the response. The part I was interested in was covered in "So I asked my...". So basically you prompt them with a/some question(s), which they answer orally, then you prompt them more to get a sentence which you write (potentially reformulated) on the board. Did you follow the writing (it's really live writing isn't it?) with Jason's word swimming idea or did you do something else? Hypothetically speaking how might you have followed up the writing activity with a focus on form?
Toggle Commented Feb 11, 2011 on Live Reading at Magpie Moments
How does the 'generation' of the text actually work in concrete terms? How do you go from talking for 20 minutes (presumably about valentines day) to "Valentine's day is ..." I take it you prompt them with questions or a stock outline format, and then they have answers or they don't and you write something. Or maybe they write something. On your way to your first complete sentence, what do you say? What do the Ss say? What do you actually write on the board? Do you rework it after writing?
Toggle Commented Feb 10, 2011 on Live Reading at Magpie Moments
How does the 'generation' of the text actually work in concrete terms? How do you go from "[Why is Australia Day...]" to "Australia Day is significant..." I take it you prompt them with questions and then they have answers or they don't and you write something. On your way to your first sentence, what do you say? What do the Ss say? What do you actually write on the board? Do you rework it after writing?
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I'm not sure there isn't less potential for a course book just because only the teacher needs to buy a copy. It seems to me it avoids the pitfall of writing a schizophrenic course books that doesn't seem to know if it is being marketed to teachers, administrators, or students. In the end such books don't really address any of their sought after markets. Personally I'd welcome a course book that didn't try to claim it was appropriate for self-study as well as teacher fronted learning. Such books are often are good for neither because they still require 'optional' audio CDs, a multi-ROM, a workbook and a teachers guide. I'm only sorry I don't have any interest in teaching tweens at this time.
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Dec 21, 2010