EFL 2.0 Teacher Talk

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Tag archives for language

5 Myths About Learning


I spent part of the morning rereading Frank Smith, particularly his thoughts about how we learn. Delightful, insightful, thoughtful.  Here’s an excerpt from his book: Comprehension and Learning but I also highly recommend his book about whole language, Understanding Reading. One of the things that I think hinders many teachers and stops educational reform is […]

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Strange stories about language learning

twilight zone

Over the years, I’ve kept my eyes and ears open for great “thought experiments” for language. Real examples and events that are so extreme, they really force you to think differently about ones preconceived notions about language learning (and by default teaching it). Here are the top 5 examples off the top of my head […]

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Joking Matters


I’ve spent the weekend reading the Heidegger and a Hippo walk through those Pearly Gates, the sequel to the amazing Plato and a Platypus Walk Into A Bar. Amazing books that combine commentary with jokes. As I’m reading, I was thinking of how jokes so well inform us teachers. So many times, jokes have framed […]

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Learning To Swear


“I am my language.” What a powerful phrase about how language is so wrapped up with identity. Both our own personal identity and our social identity in a larger group. A language learner aims to get to the moment where they “flow” with the language and “sing” language (Anna Deaver Smith talks about this here). […]

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Accent Agape

I spent a large part of a wonderful day stuck in the car. Thankful, saved by a wonderful interview with Slavoj Zizek, philosopher and iconic social critic. Catch the same interview here. What I love about him besides him irreverence (laughed like crazy when he said that 50% of the movies he’s written essays about […]

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Free “Won’t”


I’ve been thinking a lot about “free will” and the nature of the choices we make – both in teaching and in life. Recent research, especially since the famous Libert experiment, suggests we make decisions before we even know we make decisions. Meaning, something, a “ghost inside the machine” is controlling us and that free […]

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The Idiot’s Dictionary – early release


I mentioned this book previously. Now, releasing it early – I’ll have a hard cover, POD (Print On Demand), for purchase version shortly. Download The Idiot’s Dictionary.doc I’ll only say thank you to my niece Gabriella, who painstakingly went over the copy and edited everything. Thank you! Here, I’ve reprinted the short forward (the print […]

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Memory and Language – an experiment.


I’ve always been fascinated by the role memory plays in language acquisition. It isn’t a straight forward relationship (better memory = better fluency) however, looking at student “2nd language memory” does allow us teachers in a very crude way, to gather knowledge about student fluency. There is a lot of research on the subject, no […]

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Learning a language

This video is raw, raw and real. Meaning, to me it speaks on many levels (both good and bad) because it is from the heart, the belly and the brain – because it has spirit and eyes and emotion. We need more of this type of thing for our students, even given by our students. […]

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Stickiness – What makes what you do stick?

I’m putting together an online presentation for some Brazilian teachers and I’ll be talking about “Stickiness”. I thought it would be worthwhile to air my own thoughts specifically about what makes our teaching “stick”. In other words, how to make what we do transfer into the heads and the production/fluency of the learner (now or […]

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Insights about SLA …..

I’ve recently been updating articles and resources on the TESOL Teacher Training page/course. One article that I read several years ago has always stood out for me. What do we know about learning and teaching second language – Implications for teaching. Written by Francis Mangubhai, it is somewhat technical but still can be read by […]

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Top Language related posts

the best

Last week I posted up my “Top Teacher Training related posts″ – titled, “On the shoulders of Regular Joe Teachers” and my “Top Education related posts″. Today, I’d like to share my top Language related posts of 2010. I believe it really helps a language teacher if they have a passion and “eye / ear” […]

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Language and Power – WTF?


Today, I watched a CNBC episode of their new series “What the Future” (WTF).  I’ll refrain from commenting on their narrative and how they provide pleasant propaganda to the masses about helping those less fortunate. I find their message of “choice not charity” rather simplistic and self serving to their business clientele. No, what hit […]

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The #1 translated and subtitled video material

** Not your ordinary, endless list – just what’s number 1. Get the full eBook 6 Billion Others 6 Billion Others is a video series of interviews with real people. All translated impeccably. They really teach us, through humans telling their own stories about fear, love, childhood, family, god, dreams….. If education is anything, it […]

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Top 60 Websites for teaching/learning English

This presentation is often visited and I’m proud I took the time to distill and filter and come up with what I think are “winners”. Takes teachers so much time to find “gold” and this will help. Not a full answer but …… Sit back and enjoy a cool CC tune from CCmixter! Get the […]

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The indelible nature of language


Can you be my psychiatrist? May I admit something? I’ve always had a severe sensitivity to language – especially the proclivity to pun incessantly. I kid you not – full blown Foerster’s Syndrome. It is under control but today I’ve had a hard day with the word, “indelible”. It has been in every second sentence […]

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The #1…. (language reference book)

** Not your ordinary, endless list – just what’s number 1. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language – by David Crystal I’ve long been a big fan of David Crystal. See a nice video below, to get a sense of the “gentle” man. If anyone ever deserved a medal in the name of “Language” – it […]

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Technology and Teaching Languages

Here is a presentation in brief – focusing on how technology relates to curriculum. Some tips, some thoughts ……. HERE is the paper version.

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Music is more than the language of love…

It also might be the origins of thought…… think about it. This video is fascinating. It shows music on a very intense and personal level, conveying information just like language. Music is language, the language of personal expression. Jesperson’s long ago suggested a “sing – song” theory of language origins.. That as mothers sang to […]

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12 To Dos for Student learning English

It isn’t easy learning a language. I’ve learned 3 of them and had success in 3 completely different ways! I’m going to work on a fourth and probably will stumble along with a 4th method. What this means is “to each his own”.  We have to find what works for us.  However, along the way, […]

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