I work for a publisher and a key part of my role is to help our teams integrate research findings into ELT courses, materials, methods and approaches.
One of the challenges I face is how to make research interesting and engaging for the people who need or want to apply research to their daily practice. I find that many people who are not based in a very academic setting (like a university) hear the word “research” and immediately think that it will be boring, dry or esoteric, or that it will take them forever to read and understand a research publication. (And of course, sometimes it is like this, but it doesn’t have to be!)
So last summer, inspired by the innovative format of a 10-minute plenary presentation that I gave at a conference in Spain earlier that year, I decided to hold a series of mini-events to share key insights from applied linguistics research. I called these short presentations “Pedagogy Pop-ups”, and the principles were simple:
- just 10 minutes long, easy to fit into a coffee break;
- purpose is to share interesting insights from research and how they relate to our practice;
- no audience participation required;
- no slides.
There were five pop-ups in the series, of which three were video recorded. The first one, about teaching pronunciation, is now available to watch here (https://youtu.be/yyga6vIAroE):
While this pop-up isn’t “ELF” in name, it is ELF in nature! In other words, I don’t focus specifically on ELF, but my recommendations are informed by ELF principles.
Note that the original audience for this event was largely composed of ELT publishers and editors, so I make reference to materials and coursebooks, etc. – but everything here is relevant to teachers and trainers, too.
Enjoy, please share, and feel free to comment below!
P.S. I also mention in the pop-up that I can share a list of research and other publications that I referred to when compiling my script. Here they are:
Cauldwell, R. (2015). Listening Cherry 13 – Connected speech rules are too genteel. Published online at http://www.speechinaction.org/listening-cherry-13-connected-speech-rules-are-too-genteel/
Crawford, S. Z. & H. L. Moffie (2016). ‘Activities for teaching reduced speech’. TESOL Connections. Available online at http://newsmanager.commpartners.com/tesolc/downloads/features/2016/2016-06_reduced%20speech.pdf
Crystal, D. (2008). ‘Two thousand million?’ English Today, 93, Vol. 24, Issue 1, pp. 3-6.
Derwing, T. M. & M. J. Munro (2009). Putting accent in its place: Rethinking obstacles to communication. Language Teaching and Research, 42 (4), 476-490.
Graddol, D. (2006). English next: Why global English may mean the end of ‘English as a Foreign Language’. Published online by the British Council.
Jenkins, J. (2000). The phonology of English as an International Language: New models, new norms, new goals. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Levis, J. M., S. Sonsaat, S. Link & T. A. Barriuso (2016). Native and non-native teachers of L2 pronunciation: Effects on learner performance. TESOL Quarterly. Published online at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/tesq.272/pdf
Levis, J. & S. Sonsaat (2016). ‘Pronunciation materials’. In M. Azarnoosh et al (eds.), Issues in Materials Development, pp. 109-119. Published by Sense.
Munro, M. & T. Derwing. (1999). Foreign accent, comprehensibility, and intelligibility in the speech of second language learners. Language Learning, 49 (supp. 1), pp. 285-310.
Saito, K. (2012). ‘Effects of instruction on L2 pronunciation development: A synthesis of 15 quasi-experimental intervention studies.’ TESOL Quarterly, 46/4, pp. 842-854.
Underhill, A. (2015). ‘Proprioception and pronunciation’. Speak Out! The newsletter of the IATEFL Pronunciation Special Interest Group, 53, pp. 25-34.
Walker, R. (2014). ‘Pronunciation Matters’. English Teaching Professional, 90. Available at https://englishglobalcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/pronunciation-matters-etp-90.pdf
Walker, R. (2014). ‘Pronunciation Matters’ (presentation slides). Available at https://englishglobalcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/pronunciation-matters.pdf
Walter, C. (2009). ‘Teaching phonology for reading comprehension’. Speak Out! The newsletter of the IATEFL Pronunciation Special Interest Group, 40.