24 December 2009

It's Snow Problem!

It's that time of year again and with almost all of France under the white powdery stuff, we thought you might have a ball (a snowball, that is) using these words and idiomatic expressions with your students.

How many words do YOU know?

A snow day
A snowdrift
To be snowbound
A snowbunny
To be snowed in
To be snowed under
Ice hockey
Black ice
Freezing Rain
Wind Chill
To scrape your windshield
A windshield scraper
Lake Effect Snow (see: http://www.weather.com/encyclopedia/winter/lake.html)
Where is the "snowbelt?"
Also: Snow - the black and white display of a t.v. when there is no reception

Fixed expressions
A snowball's chance in hell
To snow someone
It's coming down in buckets
No two snowflakes are the same

Play on words
It's snow problem
It's snow wonder
It's snow joke
It's snow fun
It's snowbody's business
There's snowbody here!

Can you think of any more?

8 August 2009

Announcing our upcoming Plenary Sessions!

Come see them at our 28th Annual Colloquium on November 6th and 7th!

Penny Ur

Plenary: English as a Lingua Franca

It is estimated that there are now in the world over two billion English speakers of whom the majority speak it as a second or foreign language. Indeed, English is now used more as a lingua franca for various functions of international communication (business, research, diplomacy etc.) than it is used intra-nationally for communication with each other by its native speakers. And most educated people in the world today (at least outside the English-speaking countries) are "English-knowing bilinguals": they speak their own language(s) for home use, and English for international communication.

There are various interesting implications of this development for English teachers which will be discussed this talk. I shall address questions such as: Is there such a thing as an ELF standard of language use in grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation? How does the development of ELF change our teaching goals? Does it make any difference to the function and prestige of the 'native' or 'non-native' English speaking teacher? What is the place of the culture of the English-speaking peoples in the teaching of ELF?

Workshop: Teaching Large Heterogeneous Classes

What is a large class? What is a heterogeneous class? What are the problems we encounter when we have to teach classes that are both large and heterogeneous?

In this talk I will begin by attempting to define what is meant by 'large' and 'heterogeneous', and then go on to list some of the main problems -- but also the advantages! -- that we encounter when trying to teach them.

As with many educational problems, there are no easy solutions. We could, perhaps largely solve them by preparing different tasks to suit different groups within the class; or by preparing several texts at varying levels of difficulty, as suggested by some methodologists. But most of us have neither the time nor the money to invest in such elaborate preparation, let alone the time to check the results later.

In this talk, I shall be proposing and discussing a series of practical teaching principles, illustrated by practical procedures, that involve very little (or no) extra preparation, that can make our job teaching large heterogeneous classes easier, and that go some way towards bringing about more effective learning.

Penny Ur's Bio

Penny Ur was educated at the universities of Oxford (MA), Cambridge (PGCE) and Reading (MATEFL). She emigrated to Israel in 1967, where she still lives today. She is married with four children and five grandchildren. Penny Ur has thirty years' experience as an English teacher in primary and secondary schools in Israel. She has recently retired from the headship of the M.Ed program in foreign-language teaching at Oranim Academic College of Education, but continues to teach M.A. courses at Oranim and Haifa University. She is interested in all aspects of language-teaching methodology, but in particular issues of fluency and accuracy in language teaching, language-learning activity design and the implications for teachers of the development of English as a lingua franca. She has published a number of articles, and was for ten years the editor of the Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers series. Her books include Discussions that Work (1981), Five Minute Activities (co-authored with Andrew Wright) (1992), A Course in Language Teaching (1996), and Grammar Practice Activities (2nd Edition) (2009), all published by Cambridge University Press.

Plenary & Associated Workshop by Jamie Keddie

Jamie Keddie

Plenary: Materials World

In an ELT context, what does the word materials mean to you? In this highly practical talk, I will be examining the richness of resources that are available to the modern language teacher. By dissecting six of my favourite lesson plans, I would like to share some thoughts on some essential lesson-planning skills which are often overlooked.

Workshop: Grammar Drawings

When a learner draws a piece of language, that language is suddenly brought to life and made memorable. In this workshop, which will be useful for teachers of all levels and ages, we will see some original grammar-based activities which exploit a fantastic piece of classroom technology - the pencil.

Jamie Keddie's Bio:

Jamie Keddie is a teacher, teacher trainer and writer who has taught in Spain and Germany. In 2008 he set up TEFLclips.com, a site dedicated to the possibilities for YouTube and other video-sharing sites in the classroom. He has written many articles on a number of subjects including grammar, image and the use of corpora in language learning. He is the author of Images in the Resource Books for Teachers series published by Oxford university Press. Jamie blogs at www.jamiekeddie.com.

21 May 2009

Call for Papers!

Come join our plenary speakers: Penny Ur and Jamie Keddie!

Have something to share? Submit an abstract for the TESOL France Call for Papers!

This year TESOL France is stretching its wings! For our 28th Annual Colloquium held in Paris, France at Télécom ParisTech on November 6th and 7th 2009, we are welcoming talks and Poster Sessions from all English Language Teaching fields including proposals concerning the present and future of the ELT profession and philosophy. We encourage presentations on learning and using interactive formats that engage the audience and focus on practical classroom practices. In this Call for Papers we welcome proposals that include suggestions, models, or "success stories" from today's classroom. Not only do we wish to explore ELT in France but also the world of ELT as a whole. Our goal is to open the way for in-depth discussions, debates, and classroom enlightenment.

Welcomed themes are related, but not limited, to the following ELT fields: Adult Learners, Young Learners, Higher Education, Language Testing, Global Issues, Business English, English for Specific Purposes, Learning Technologies, Corpus in the Classroom, Teacher Training and Development, ELT Management, Bilingual Education, The Four Skills, Research, Grammar and Vocabulary Development, Tried and Tested Classroom Techniques, Materials Design and Publishing, Ethics in the Classroom, Pronunciation/intonation, Learner styles, Intercultural issues.

Speakers and Poster Session Presenters can participate by making either a commercial or a professional presentation. A commercial presentation is designed to promote a particular product or service, such as a (course)book, publisher, author, school, examination, etc. Professional presentations should not be used for such a purpose and thus are non-commercial. Participants at TESOL France conferences are particularly sensitive to the distinction between these types of presentations and tend to prefer the latter.

To submit and abstract go to: http://www.tesol-france.org/Colloquium09-callforpapers.php

13 February 2009

Penny Ur is Coming to Paris!

We're thrilled to announce that Penny Ur has just accepted TESOL France's invitation to be the Plenary Speaker at our 28th Annual Colloquium!!!

This year TESOL France is stretching its wings! We are welcoming speakers from all English Language Teaching fields including the present and future of the English Language Teaching profession and philosophy. Not only do we wish to explore ELT in France but also the world of ELT as a whole. Our goal is to open the way for in-depth discussions, debates, and classroom enlightenment.

The two-day event will take place on 6 and 7 November 2009. So, mark your calendars!

Ms. Ur is well-known for her books on activities for the classroom (Five-Minute Activities: A Resource Book of Short Activities) as well as her extensive list of publications for every field in ELT. Perfect for TESOL France members!

More info will be available in the coming weeks on the blog and website. So, stay tuned everybody!

29 January 2009

Jeremy Harmer's Coming to Paris!

We're thrilled to announce that Jeremy Harmer has just accepted TESOL France's invitation to be the Plenary Speaker at our June Day. We will be devoting the entire event to Teacher Development (the before, during, and after of being a teacher).

The all-day event will take place on June 20th. So, mark your calendars!

Check out Harmer's website: http://www.jeremy-harmer.com
Harmer's well-known for his books on teaching English (The Practice of English Language Teaching) as well as his insightful and interactive seminars on teacher development.

More info will be available in the coming weeks on the blog and website. So, stay tuned everybody!

27 January 2009

Compagnie OZ Draw First Blood

I attended a marvelous 'Dracula' yesterday, masterfully produced and executed by Compagnie OZ who featured in the last edition of Teaching Times.
Produced specially for school-age learners of English, the cast were wonderful, the audience of teachers loved it and I saw bookings galore being made at the end of the performance.

There were only three actors, but they swapped roles at the drop of a fang and their enthusiasm and ingenuity were contagious.

My next step will be to persuade them to work with me on some of my Mega Minute videos, but in the meantime I really recommend you book them for your school (I heard figures of 150 pupils minimum and €9 per pupil being mentioned for Paris and suburbs but you'd have to contact them directly to confirm that).

The contact details are:

Michèle Mathieu
20 rue des Thermopyles
75014 Paris
01 45 43 05 26
Have fun and do let us know what you and your students thought after the performance!

19 January 2009

Teaching Wishes for 2009

Hi Everyone and a friendly wish for happiness and success in 2009.

Here is a personal list of seven goals I have for the year...

1) Lots more members joining TESOL France
2) Four even better issues of Teaching Times
3) A thriving teaching forum on the TESOL France blog
4) Lots of dynamic workshops on exciting new subjects
5) A real international exchange of ideas with other organisations
6) Easier communication and sharing of experience for members
7) Professional advancement for everyone through TESOL France!

What about yours?

Happy new year,

16 January 2009

New fiscal setup starting in January called, "L'Auto Entrepreneur"

Dear TESOLers and future entrepreneurs,

I know that many of us have side jobs like consultants, writers, translators, etc. Many of you are considering going independent.

There is a new fiscal opportunity starting in this month:
I've been told the paperwork is considerably simpler, and the fees are considerably lower, than UR$$AF.
Check it out. I know I will.