Newsletter 2021#36

Newsletter 2021 #36

Good morning

Do you ever have times when you know that you've got to do something and you don't really want to get started? I've been having a week like that, trying to get my nose down into writing when I really want to be making videos... No problem writing to you, though. It's one of my nicer distractions and I've got quite a range of titbits today. Hope that you enjoy them.


Something old

Do you tend to repeat what your learners say? My something old this week is about Teacher Echo. It's mainly aimed at trainees and novice teachers but might be worth a listen even if you're a bit further down the line. If you know you do this, are there good reasons for it or is it just one of those default classroom habits? Hopefully, this will make you think a bit.


Something new

For my new video this week, something a bit different. I haven't made a Grammar Quirk video for a while and this was fun to do. One of my pet hates is when ELT material lumps 'where' in as a relative pronoun ('use who for people, which for things and where for places'). The inevitable question is then 'Teacher, why can't I say  - Birmingham where is beautiful'? (and no smart comments about the aesthetic qualities of my home town, thank you!).  This week's video is all about that and if you're a trainee or new teacher and not sure about this area of grammar, it takes you through how defining relative clauses work, and gives a great activity for practising them, too.


Something borrowed

Finally, every year, the British Council run a competition for the MA dissertation from a UK Masters programme with the best potential for impact on ELT. British Universities are asked to submit one dissertation for this and the results (and the dissertations) are available online. There's a wide range of subject matter, they're of an excellent quality and they're a really interesting source of professional development.

You can see this year's winners and special commendations here. If you want a few recommendations, how about:

Online teaching- (this was the winner)

Zening Yang from the University of Bath for her dissertation entitled: Motivational Strategies in an Online Learning Environment: L2 Teacher Cognitions and Practices


Alice Atkey from the University of Stirling: Fostering Confident Pronunciation Teachers: Can Pronunciation Support Materials Help?

CELTA Training

Gui Afonso Henriques from St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London: A Study of CELTA Trainers’ Understanding and Operationalisation of CELTA Assessment Criterion 2g: “providing appropriate practice of language items”.

And one of my own MA students from last year

Swapna Yadav from the University of Warwick: Exploring Indian Teachers’ beliefs and practices in Continuing Professional Development


That should keep you busy for the week! Hope you find something useful in all of this and I'll see you next Sunday,




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