21 December 2010

The TESOL France Conference: What they're sayin'

The words out and the TESOL France 2010 Conference has been labeled as one of the best ELT conferences of all time.  Granted, it required two years of hard work, blood, sweat and tears from a team of volunteers on the TESOL France Board (see the list on the right), but it was 300% worth it.

Here are what some bloggers across Europe are saying about the conference:

Marianne Raynaud's Website
Mike Harrison's Blog
Eva Büyüksimkeşyan's Reflections on the Conference Part 1
Eva Büyüksimkeşyan's Reflection s on the Conference Part 2!
Martin Sketchley's Blog "ELT Experiences"
Gary Anderson's Blog

22 September 2010

Conference Preliminary Programme and Registration Now Online!

Welcome back everyone! We hope you all had a lovely summer. We also hope you've come back rejuvenated and refreshed to get back into teaching.

If you still need some ideas for the classroom, look no further! Our 29th Annual Colloquium on November 26-28 (with David Crystal, David A. Hill and Ben Crystal) will provide you with more than enough input to cover the entire year and beyond! And you'll get to meet up with friends and make new ones.

You can download the entire schedule (format pdf) on the conference website. 

And you can also register for the event.  Be sure to do in advance to ensure you get a conference badge.

Remember this event is free of charge to all TESOL France members.  
Non-member registration fee is 49EUR and automatic membership into TESOL France for an entire year! (which means free access to all TESOL France events and receiving our handy Teaching Times magazine!)

The schedule is jam-packed with conference talks, poster sessions, entertainment and plenty of time to network.

FRIDAY November 26th
Friday 26 November 15.30 to 17.00 Registration, Poster session, Visiting stands & networking
Friday 26 November 17.00 to 18.00 Opening Plenary: David A. Hill Why Extensive Reading is Essential
Friday 27 November 18.00 to 19.00 Cocktail dînatoire, Poster session & Visiting stands
Friday 27 November 19.00 to 20.30 Language Players presented by David Crystal and his family! Bring tissues cause it's going to be hysterical.
SATURDAY November 27th 
Saturday 27 November 09.00 to 18.45 Conference sessions
Saturday 27 November 13.00 to 13.30 Poster session & Visiting stands
Saturday 27 November 14.45 to 16.00 Plenary Session: David Crystal Language Play: From Scrabble to Babble
Saturday 27 November 18.45 to 19.30 Reception, Poster session, Visiting stands
Saturday 27 November 19:30 to 21.30 Open Mic Night! Music, songs, stand up comedy, and more! With your host David A. Hill

SUNDAY November 28th
Sunday 28 November 9:00 to 12:00 conference sessions
Sunday 28 November 12:15 to 13:00 Closing Plenary: Ben Crystal Shakespeare on Toast and Prize Draw!

19 August 2010

David Crystal Spotted! Language Change on the Internet

BBC's technology reporter, recently wrote an article on how language changes thanks to the internet. (full article here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-10971949).

We at TESOL France think this article is pretty cool.  For one thing, wouldn't it be great to chat with your students about language change? Are they adopting any of the new words used today?  Can they identify any borrowings from English or other languages?  Do they use "bling?"

Secondly, the article cites David Crystal, honorary professor of linguistics at the University of Bangor, and future TESOL France Plenary Speaker (November 26-28, 2010). So, if you are curious about what Crystal thinks about language change, then check out this article before coming to our conference.

See you in November!

25 July 2010

Round Table Discussion on Classroom Management

If you couldn't make it to our Spring Day on May 29th 2010, you can now view the entire Round Table Discussion on Classroom Management in which we discuss discipline issues in young learners, higher education and adults.  It will surely help you get ready for the upcoming semester.

Part 1:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3hV6Y0RSro
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrzqdQOcTQ4&feature=related
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QwIhHOcFI4&feature=related
Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NraJZb0eGdw&feature=related
Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NraJZb0eGdw&feature=related

Panel members include: George Pickering (Chair); Burcu Akyol (via Skype) Bethany Cagnol; Duncan Foord; Linda Vignac

22 June 2010

TESOL France has a YouTube Channel!

We're excited to announce that TESOL France has a new YouTube Channel where you can get a taste of the association. Just like a wine tasting, the videos include samples of some of the best speakers and events TESOL France has to offer. http://www.youtube.com/user/tesolfrance

Continue your own professional development all year round and/or use them with your students.  Got questions or comments, simply post them to the video itself.

Happy Viewing!

22 May 2010

The Spring Day on Managing Students, Teachers and Yourself

Saturday May 29th 2010, 9:00am to 7:30pm
Télécom ParisTech, 49 rue Vergniaud, 75013 Paris.
Register here:  http://www.tesol-france.org/springday10.php

This Spring Day will include seminars on:

  • Managing your own career
  • Boosting your salary
  • Observing fellow teachers
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Developing Tech-Savvy ESL/EFL Teachers
  • Empowering ELT Teachers Through the Arts
  • Classical and emerging themes in leadership and management thinking
  • The International Diploma in Language Teaching Management (IDLTM)
  • Plus: A round table discussion on Classroom Management: The challenges teachers face today
This event is FREE of charge to TESOL France and IATEFL LAMSIG Members and Speakers.

6 March 2010

March 20th: Independents' Day Part 2

TESOL France President, Bethany Cagnol, and fellow Executive Committee member, Elaine Henry, team up for "Independents' Day Part 2". This 3-hour workshop is for independents and non-independents.

March 20th 2010 2-5pm
Télécom ParisTech
Elaine and Bethany will be speaking about:

  • Getting and maintaining clients,
  • Time management,
  • Late-payment issues,
  • Paperwork,
  • Excel,
  • Autonomously managing one's accounts.
Since this workshop is Part 2 in the series, the speakers won't go into too much detail on how to become a travailleur indépendant.  But for highlights from Part 1 on how to go freelance, Bethany Cagnol has created a handy blog: The Freelance Teacher in France.  The speakers recommend reading the articles before coming to this workshop.   Get your questions in now, by posting them on the blog.  The speakers will then try to incorporate them into the workshop.

Join us in what promises to be a very informative and lively discussion.

23 February 2010

Falling salaries and prices!

Falling salaries and prices, increasing competition from web 2.0 technologies and low cost distance learning, a major reform of training law under way: what future for face to face language trainers in France.

Presented by Andrew Wickham

March 6th, 2010

1:00pm to 5:00pm
Venue: Telecom ParisTech

Register here: http://www.tesol-france.org/Wickham10.php
To cover speaker and event costs, there is an exceptional entrance fee for members and non-members: €25

The rise of distance learning and the Blended revolution are having an increasing impact on the traditional language training industry in France, which could be on the eve of a major transformation. Today, face to face training with teachers based in France accounts for 80 to 90% of language training, but if the current trends persist, will distance learning by telephone or visioconference, using "offshore" trainers working in countries where salary costs are much lower, replace face to face training in the coming years? Is e-learning, thanks to Web 2.0 technology and broadband access, finally coming into its own? What are the comparative advantages and disadvantages of distance learning over face to face training? How are traditional training organizations coping? Is the market going to concentrate? What do face to face trainers need to do to stay competitive? With prices and salaries under even greater pressure from the economic crisis, and worsening work conditions, what incentives are there for providing the high level, personalised professional training that many clients say they want today? How will the current reform of training law impact the market in 2010 ? Will the trends currently developing in France spread throughout Europe in the coming years? These are some of the questions that the Linguaid market study set out to find answers to in early 2008. Nearly 2 years later, Andrew Wickham, the writer of the market study report, which was published in Spring 2009, will present the study, which has been updated for 2010, and discuss some of the findings that directly concern trainers. The workshop will be as interactive as possible. This will be followed by an open discussion with participants.

Andrew Wickham began as a language trainer then moved to training management, set up and ran a training company, then moved to project management of industrial blended learning systems. He currently works as a consultant. His specialties include: Designing, building and running large-scale integrated training systems, strategic consultancy, managing language and communication training projects, cross-cultural training for business communication, and communication coaching.

12 February 2010

"'The Cheese Slid Off Her Cracker" -- Test Yourself

Test your students (B2 and C1)

How many ways can we say ”crazy" in English?
out to l______
he has a s______ loose
not all th_______
not right in one's h_______
out of one's m_______,
lost his mar______s
not pl_____ing with a full deck
s_____ in the head

Test your "lights are on, but nobody's home" idioms.

A taco sh______ ____ ___ combination plate
A few b____s  sh_____ ___ ______ six-pack.
24 co______  ______  ___  ___ quarter.
A few cl____s _____  _____  ____circus.
A few p____s _____ ____  ___ casserole.
A few f__________s ____ ____   __  whole duck.
A few fr___s _______ _____ __ Happy Meal.
He only has one oar in the w______r.
Doesn't have all her corn______s in one box.
The cheese slid off her cr________.
Doesn't have all his d______ on one leash.
Elevator doesn't go all the way to the top f________.
His an______a doesn't pick up all the chan_______.
Missing a few b_________ on his remote control.
Receiver is off the h_____k.
Too much yardage between the goal p_____s.
Not the sharpest k_______ in the drawer.
The wheel's spinning, but the h_______’s dead.
Not the br_______t bulb on the Christmas Tree.
The l________ are on, but ____________’s home.
About as s_____ as a marble.

Answers (and a few more)

out to lunch
he has a screw loose
not all there
not right in one's head
out of one's mind,
lost his marbles
not playing with a full deck
soft in the head
not all there

A taco short of a combination plate
The lights are on, but no body’s home.
About as sharp as a marble.
A few clowns short of a circus.
Not the brightest bulb on the Christmas Tree.
A few fries short of a Happy Meal.
He only has one oar in the water.
A few beers short of a six-pack.
A few peas short of a casserole.
Doesn't have all her cornflakes in one box.
A few feathers short of a whole duck.
The cheese slid off her cracker.
Doesn't have all his dogs on one leash.
Elevator doesn't go all the way to the top floor.
Her sewing machine's out of thread.
His antenna doesn't pick up all the channels.
His belt doesn't go through all the loops.
Missing a few buttons on his remote control.
No grain in the silo.
Receiver is off the hook.
Too much yardage between the goal posts.
Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
The lights are on, but nobody's home.
24 cents short of a quarter.
The wheel's spinning, but the hamster's dead.

Extra activity:  Get your students to invent their own idioms.
A few __________  short of a _____________.

31 January 2010

Introducing our 2010 Plenary Speakers

We are proud to introduce our 2010 Plenary Speakers (November 26 to 28, 2010 at Télécom ParisTech) 

Further information and our Call for papers:  http://www.tesol-france.org/Colloquium10.php

Professor David Crystal is one of the world's foremost authorities on language. An internationally renowned writer, editor, lecturer, and broadcaster, he received an OBE in 1995 for his services to the English language. He has authored and edited over 100 books including the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language (1987), English as a Global Language (1997), Language Play (1998), Shakespeare's Words (2002, with Ben Crystal), The Stories of English (2004), By Hook or By Crook: a journey in search of English (2008), and Just a Phrase I'm Going Through: my life in language (2009).

David A. Hill is a free-lance teacher trainer and educational materials writer working out of Budapest, Hungary. He has worked for The British Council (18 years), Pilgrims, Canterbury (12 summers) and has been a teacher trainer with NILE, Norwich every summer since 1998. David has worked with many major ELT publishers, writing courses for Italy, Spain, Poland, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Morocco and Bulgaria. He has recently co-written the teacher resource book Writing Stories for Helbling Languages for whom he has also adapted several classics and written original readers. David has held positions of responsibility within IATEFL for nearly 25 years, and is currently the Coordinator of the Literature, Media & Cultural Studies SIG. When not involved with ELT, he plays the blues, writes poetry, studies natural history and photographs art nouveau buildings.

16 January 2010

TESOL France workshop: 30 January (2-5pm)

Mix and match – how tagging and playlist-courses can create personalised blended learning paths for BE students. 

January 30th (2-5pm)

Télécom ParisTech
49 rue Vergniaud
75013 Paris

The first decade of the 21st century has already seen some strong web 2.0 features emerge. Web users can easily create, network, personalise, share and self-organise. So language-learning content also needs to be co-created and not just delivered by 'experts' but by teachers, school staff and learners. With English360, a whole new approach to materials development and course design is now available. This method involves mixing and matching material from learners, their company, authentic web resources, mp3 or pdf files, and other shared resources from teachers worldwide. Teachers can also integrate their own course material seamlessly with 25 Cambridge University Press titles that have recently been repurposed for online/blended delivery within the English360 platform. This new generation of content creation (which is entirely free for educators) moves beyond the traditional book, photocopier or scissors-and-glue approach. It enables teachers to create tailor-made activities that are uniquely relevant (real-world) performance-based.
The workshop will start off with an overview of the web today, and will outline the rapid shifts now occurring in publishing. It will address Business English needs assessment and the issues involved in blended course design, as well as offering advice on materials development. It will illustrate tags and tagging and show how digital tools can make the needs analysis process fast, accurate and ongoing. Tagged material and cross-referenced resources mean teachers can pull content from as wide a range of sources as possible to create individualised 'course' books much as you can shuffle playlists on an mp3 device.
The easy-to-use English360 self-authoring tools, which can be used to create a wide range of activities, will be demonstrated during this hands-on workshop, together with the course management features of the platform. The session will be entirely interactive and involve open discussion with participants. 

The three-hour workshop will be cover:
· Web 2.0
· Blended learning
· Personalising training programmes
· Shifts in publishing
· The English360 philosophy
Business English
· Needs assessment/analysis
· Existing systems
· English360 tagging
· Finding content – CUP cross-referenced content
Using English360
· Creating courses
· Self-authoring activities
· Mixing & matching CUP content
· Sharing content
· 'Managing' learners

The workshop will be co-run by: 

Cleve Miller
Since 1989 Cleve has designed, managed and taught business English programs in 11 countries to thousands of students in over fifty Global-500 companies. He has been named a 'global expert' by the American Society of Training and Development and, since about 1998, has had a single-minded obsession with effective use of the web for learner-centred language teaching. Originally from Kansas, he is currently based out of Cambridge, UK. 

Valentina Dodge
Valentina is Teacher Community Coordinator for English360, where she helps educators provide personalised Business English learning programmes to meet their student and customer needs. She collaborates with, and supports, Business English language teachers all over the world to help them publish and share lessons and courses for blended or online delivery. She organises training sessions and support forums on instructional design and blended course organisation, to allow educators to combine their own materials and lesson plans with high quality course material from Cambridge University Press.

15 January 2010

Test your Nationalities

Here is an exercise you can use to help your students expand their Nationality Vocabulary as well as gain practice putting a capital letter at the beginning of proper nouns.

Common mistakes among French native speakers of English:

In september the american company's stock increased. On monday the french sales team revamped their marketing strategy.

Fill in the information that corresponds to the adjective. If you are not sure, put a (?)

Adjective / the people / the person
Russian / the Russians / a Russian
English / the English / an Englishman -woman
Turkish / the Turks / a Turk

Germany ________ _________ __________
France ________ _________ __________
Greece ________ _________ __________
Britain _________ _________ __________
China _________ _________ __________
Quebec _________ _________ __________
Iraq _________ _________ __________
Thailand _________ _________ __________
Ireland _________ _________ __________
Italy _________ _________ __________
Switzerland _________ _________ __________
Israel _________ _________ __________
Japan ____________ ____________ _____________
Netherlands ____________ ____________ _____________
Finland ____________ ____________ _____________