An Interview with Michael Swan from darren elliott on Vimeo.

I was very happy to speak to Michael Swan at the JALT conference in Nagoya in November 2010, and now you can listen to what he had to say too! We discussed grammar and how it should be approached by teachers, ELF and errors, and changes in methodology over the years he has been involved in teaching.

I recommend Michael’s excellent website, which is well stocked with articles on these topics and many more. A particular favourite of mine is ‘The use of sensory deprivation in foreign language teaching’ from ELTJ in 1982… read it with an open mind.

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An Interview with Penny Ur from darren elliott on Vimeo.

I had great opportunity to meet one of my ELT heroes, Penny Ur, when she visited Japan for the JALT National Conference in Kobe in the Autumn of 2013. Her plenary went over very well, and I spoke to her after she had given another talk to a packed room. You can see the slides from those talks here, but first please check out the interview.

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An Interview with Richard Smith from darren elliott on Vimeo.

I was very happy to speak to Richard Smith at the recent Learner Development SIG 20th anniversary conference in Tokyo. Richard was one of the founder members of the special interest group when he was based in Japan, and we discuss the motivation behind the formation of the group. We also talk a little about his subsequent and current work with the Warwick ELT Archive and as coordinator of the IATEFL Research SIG.

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An Interview with Judith Hanks from darren elliott on Vimeo.

Many thanks to Judith Hanks for coming to give a plenary speech at the JALT PanSIG conference at Nanzan University in May. I was very honoured to be involved in the organisation of the conference, and having read ‘The Developing Language Learner’, the book that Judith co-wrote with Dick Allwright, I was very keen to invite her over. Judith’s work is connected mainly to Exploratory Practice – a research methodology in which teachers and learners collaborate to understand the puzzles they encounter during the learning process. Dr. Hanks explains it far more eloquently than I can, so please watch and enjoy…..

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An Interview with Diane Hawley Nagatomo from darren elliott on Vimeo.

At the JALT National conference in Hamamatsu last month, I had a great time talking to Diane Hawley Nagatomo. Diane is a teacher, researcher and materials writer working in Japan. Some of her most recent research has been published by Multilingual Matters in the book “Exploring Japanese University English Teachers’ Professional Identity”, which we discussed in detail. We also talked about materials writing, gender in language education (Diane is currently co-coordinator for the JALT GALE SIG) and plenty more. If you want to read more several of Diane’s articles are available online and definitely worth looking at. Thanks for watching!

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An Interview with Alan Firth from darren elliott on Vimeo.

I recently met Dr. Alan Firth at the JALT National Conference in Hamamatsu, Japan. If you are not familiar with his work you should probably start with his articles on reconceptualizing SLA, written with Johannes Wagner and published (and critiqued) in the Modern Language Journal. Dr. Firth has a background in conversation analysis, which he still employs as a tool to research communication between English as Lingua Franca users in non-classroom based settings. Amongst other things, we also discussed the development of SLA as a field and the relationships between research and teaching. Please watch and enjoy!

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UPDATE: This is a developing presentation / workshop which I first gave at the JALT National Conference on October 14th, 2012. I will add further information from time to time, but for a selection of useful links and readings you can check this list at diigo.

 

I very much enjoyed presenting a workshop at the JALT National conference in Hamamatsu at the weekend. Over the last couple of years I have been working more and more on video projects with students, and in this presentation I reported on what I have developed so far. We started by talking about the various options available to teachers – pocket video cameras, traditional camcorders, mobile devices, webcams and so on. You can see a short video with examples here.

A Field Guide to Digital Video from darren elliott on Vimeo.

This checklist covers some of the factors to consider when choosing a camera and planning a project, and a few questions to ask yourself.

We then looked at some samples my students have created. Unfortunately, I can’t share them publicly online. But I can outline the project cycles we have undertaken.

Transcription

This is the simplest activity. Student conversations, debates or presentations can be recorded for later analysis. This video transcription worksheet shows the kind of thing you can do. I usually change the questions each time depending on what we have been studying in class (and because familiarity breeds contempt!). One important point is to emphasise that students are not only looking for mistakes, but alternatives and improvements. Yes, I want them to use the third person -s accurately if possible, but I also want them to develop their communicative strategies.

How-To Videos

Taking the website videojug as our model, students create instructional videos. They start by watching videojug’s own video on how to make a video, and to .check the advice offered, then choose a video of their own for homework analysis.
Students then plan and shoot their own video. Some language input is obviously helpful.

Drama

As with the ‘How-to’ video’s, it is important to plan carefully. Using a Storyboard enables both you and the students to focus on your task clearly (and makes editing easier later). With drama activities, it is helpful for students to express their emotions. Method acting is interesting, but any activities about self expression, body language or emotion can be effective.

Screencasts

If you have a windows machine, you can use windows media software, and Macs have QuickTime. There are many other applications available. Jing works with both Macs and PCs, and is free to download and use.

One man who has done a lot of great work with screen capture software is Russell Stannard. His Teacher Training Videos website teaches teachers how to use technology for education.

Two ways in which I have used screencasts – to give feedback on student writing, and to have students teach each other how to use web based tools like prezi, google drive and so on.

Alphabet

Allow me the indulgence. You could do the same with your classes with lexical sets, of course.

fghijk from darren elliott on Vimeo.

Links

Vimeo, for uploading video to share (password protected) with students.

Lipdub for beginners

wevideo online editing application

My previous blog posts about making student video.

A is for Ankylosaurus

How-to student video making

Watch Yourself

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I was fortunate to meet Junko Yamanaka at the 5th Annual Extensive Reading Seminar in Nagoya, Japan. She is a well known figure in extensive reading circles, especially in Nagoya, and I have used several of her textbooks very successfully. We talked about her experience as a teacher, teacher trainer and materials writer, about education in Japan, and many other things. It was great to finally meet her!

Thanks also to the JALT ER SIG for putting on such a great event and doing such great work all year round promoting Extensive Reading in Japan.

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I was very pleased to spend some time with Dr. Stephen Krashen at the 5th Annual Extensive Reading Seminar in Nagoya, Japan. Dr. Krashen is a man so well known that even my wife was impressed when I set this one up. We talked about some of his hundreds of publications, about his groundbreaking hypotheses, and about learning to read in first and second languages.

If you would like to know more, Dr. Krashen makes plenty of his work available online. Scott Thornbury’s blog post ‘K is for Krashen’ is interesting as ever, but the comments (including those from Stephen Krashen himself) add value. Finally, thanks to the JALT ER SIG for putting on such a great event and doing such great work all year round promoting Extensive Reading in Japan.

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