Newsletter 2021#10

Newsletter 2021 #10
Good morning

This week has been quite momentous for me because I taught my last MA TESOL class at Warwick. I'm taking voluntary severance and leaving in a couple of months (still got some assignment marking to do!) to focus on ELT-Training and the small matter of finishing my PhD (!), so it's been a bittersweet week. I'm looking forward to new adventures but Warwick has been a fantastic job over the past 7 years, with amazing colleagues and inspirational students and I have lots of great memories.

But that's enough of that - 'yeah, yeah, yeah', I hear you say - 'but what have you got for us this week?!' Well, I thought I'd have a bit of a vocabulary focus, so here we go....

Concept checking for vocabulary
If you are on a CELTA course or a novice teacher, you may well be struggling with concept checking- making sure that your learners have understood what you think you have taught them. For many trainees, this isn't an easy thing to get a handle on at first and I think that a worked example is often helpful. So here is a short video about planning to teach and check a word and the anticipated problems to look out for.

A short, free CPD course about teaching vocabulary
There are a couple of free short, CPD sessions on my site that I developed with the idea that they could be used for a teacher working alone or in a small group. When I made them, I envisaged this in a face-to-face context, but I can see how this could also easily work in a synchronous online setting. The one I want to highlight today is called 'The Potential of Texts - Digging for Lexis' and it aims to help you to gain a better awareness of the kind of vocabulary that exists in the usual reading texts that you might use in class and how you can exploit this more effectively. There are videos and guided tasks, and I think that the whole thing should take about an hour, so why don't you get a couple of colleagues together online and try it out?

An interesting paper about teaching vocabulary in chunks
The Lexical Approach has been around for a while and it's something that teachers have often heard of (especially if they've done Delta) and have a vague idea about, but often don't really know about what this might look like in the classroom. So, here is a link to a free paper that will give you some helpful pointers in an accessible way. It's part of the Cambridge Papers in ELT series from Cambridge University Press (worth knowing about anyway), it's written by Scott Thornbury and it's called Learning Language in Chunks. It has an overview of the research in the area in Scott's very accessible style and has some practical applications, too. Let me know if you like it.

So, that's it for this week. I have something exciting planned for next week, but no spoilers yet! Have a great week,


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