Here are some special areas of interest that I am always happy to work in...
I taught it to them really well, but they won't use it!
Why is it that however carefully we present and practice new language with our students, they often fail to use this language in free practice activities?
This seminar looks in depth at the nature of communication, and explains why we can not expect the language we teach our students to magically appear in their 'repertoire' of language to use. Grammatical knowledge is only one factor that an ability to communicate depends on. What are the others, and how do we teach them?
A context is a narrative
This seminar considers the importance of context creation as a technique in presenting new language to students. I look at some misunderstandings of what a context actually is, and discuss precisely how contexts can be best constructed and exploited.
Practising new language.
Precisely what needs to be practised, what can of activities seem to work best, and what is the best way to use the practice time we have in the classroom?
Ways of teaching grammar
Here, I look at the variety of conceptions of what grammar is in language teaching, where they have come from, and what they mean for the classroom.
The PISA programme and 'reading literacy'.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has been running a Programme for International Student Assessment for the past few years. This project compares the way countries' educational systems prepare students for life. In this seminar, I look at the way the PISA programme considers reading literacy, and look at some of the implications for EFL teaching.
Basic statistical analyses for tests
Learn how to interpret your test results, using the statistical tools on the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.
What makes a good test item.
Test items actually test the skills and knowledge needed to answer them! The trick in writing good test items lies in making sure that these are the skills and knowledge you want to test.
Testing and the curriculum. How do they fit together?
Good tests give us the information we need...and need to be based on what we think we are teaching.
Testing language areas
In these seminars, I look at principles and good practice in the following areas:
Writing specifications for language tests.
A good test works from clear specifications. This practical workshop looks at ways of preparing such specification in an individual school's own context.
What is multiple choice actually good for, and how do we make good MC tests?
I will be frank. I do not like multiple choice tests. But if you are going to use them, then here are some ways of making sure they are good MC tests!
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