My latest article in Modern English Teacher is about a reconsideration of the skills division – how Listening tasks should precede Speaking tasks, and Reading tasks should precede Writing tasks. I also make the point that we should do more to take advantage of the materials we have, and not treat them so lightly.
I have a new article out – this one is about scaffolding, which is the idea of making tasks for your students more achievable. I took Duolingo as a case study and considered some of the approaches they implement so successfully.
Read my article about the life and work of the Polish satirist and absurdist, Slawomir Mrozek, author of ‘The Elephant’ and other books and plays.
I was first introduced to Mrozek through my wife, who bought one of his books for me as a Christmas present – I have been indebted to her ever since, as Mrozek is in many ways just as fascinating a writer as Franz Kafka. His brilliantly dark absurdist tales are definitely worth reading if you are of an anti-establishment kind of bent, but if you are more into antidisestablishmentarianism, I’m not sure if his is the work for you. Well, it might be – I’m not 100% sure what the word rightly means…
When preparing students for formal examinations, it’s important that we teach the task – and sometimes that means curtailing our students’ greater ambitions. Writing 500 words on an area of interest is not going to lead to a high grade when the rubric calls for 200 words on a clearly defined topic.
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