21st Century Skills

March 10, 2012

Workshop Review: Vicki Hollett By Anne Hodgson, James Topping, Khushi Pasquale Sponsored by Pearson (thank you!) In the traditional classroom, the 3 R’s have now given way to the 4C’s – Communication, Collaboration, Critical thinking and Creativity. Vicki presented these as 21st century skills needed to handle the challenges of our complex and competitive world. She asked us: Do we actually need to teach the 4Cs to our students? This may be a rhetorical question, but it’s clearly worth discussing… Read the rest

Games Play Us

February 11, 2012

Workshop Review: Nick Munby Nick Munby provided some new perspectives on games in the classroom. Games are often used as warmers, getting to know or wind down activities in the language classroom. But games can also serve as core activities designed to examine how we think, put ideas into words and negotiate relationships with other people. The workshop began with some probability and mathematical teasers which produced enthusiastic participation and the use of a surprising range of language. Later, participants… Read the rest

Research in Business English

January 21, 2012

Workshop Review: Evan Frendo Evan Frendo discussed recent research projects. Topics included needs analysis, corpus linguistics, workplace discourse, intercultural communication and the controversial subject of English as a Lingua Franca.In the second half, attention was turned to framework materials. These are materials which take the form of a template for student input. They don’t take long to produce and help the teacher acquire background knowledge of the learner’s work and language needs. The presentation is available in prezi… Read the rest

You’re Hired!

November 5, 2011

What do language schools look for in a teacher? A panel discussion led by Dominic Braham with representatives from language schools gave participants the opportunity to to ask questions about key concerns such as qualifications, skills, rates of pay. Participants left with a clear idea of what to expect and how to successfully apply to a language school/institution in the Berlin and Brandeburg area.… Read the rest

Teaching Intercultural Competence

November 1, 2011

Intercultural communicative competence is a combination of knowledge, attitudes and skills. Communication skills are the focus, i.e. using language in intercultural encounters to ensure the best results for all involved. This 4-day course took place on two weekends in November. The course leads to certification  in Intercultural Competence in English (ICE)was developed by a team of elc testing experts in cooperation with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Saarland.… Read the rest

Grammar doesn’t have to be grey!

October 15, 2011

Workshop Review: Michael Swann Oxford University Press and ELTABB welcomed Michael Swan, author of “Practical English Usage” and many other ELT publications to Berlin. He demonstrated why “grammar doesn’t have to be grey”.… Read the rest

Dragon’s Den

September 24, 2011

Khushi Pasquale invited participants to hear about her one-year exploration of everything Dragons’ Den which eventually culminated in a Dragons’ Den curriculum. Dragons’ Den was imported from Japan and first broadcast on British television in 2005. In perhaps one of the best uses of reality show TV, entrepreneurs pitch their business concepts to a group of investors in the hope of getting funding. Sure enough, it wasn’t long before business English trainers started importing the series into their own classes… Read the rest

English as a Lingua Franca

August 13, 2011

ELF (English as a Lingua Franca) has been a point of discussion since the 90s and still remains a highly contentious issue in the world of teaching. Annette Stemmerich explained what is meant by ELF, why the discussion around ELF is so heated, and what research has been conducted in this area to support the claims made by ELF proponents. We looked at some of the issues in the classroom, in particular in teaching pronunciation, and its role in testing.… Read the rest