Welcome to the July/August issue of HLT. For some it is the time of summer holidays, others are in the midst of winter. Wherever you are, I hope you will enjoy this jam-packed issue of HLT.
This issue starts two series of articles: one on teaching drama and one on Wittgenstein's language minimalism, which are to be contunued over a number of issues. In his major article: Drama and Language Teaching: the relevance of Wittgenstein's concept of language games, Mike Fleming provides an introduction to both the topics and combines the two themes. The Wittgenstein theme is also to be found in the Jokes section, in which you can enjoy a laugh at the famous philosopher's expense, and in Wittgenstein's house in Vienna in 11 steps, in which Hanna Kryszewska, invites you on a minimalistic guided tour of the house Wittgenstein himself designed. This article hopefully starts a new feature in HLT: reports and impressions from visits to famous or less famous places related to language teaching. Your contributions in the form of photographs, diaries, articles etc are more than welcome.
Two authors have a particlularly strong presence in this issue: Elena Kashina and Jamie Keddie. Elena Kashina shares with us her impressions from her professional visit to China in Smog, Breathing Exercises and Chinese Educational Reforms and in Student Voices presents her students' work inspired by an exercise Mario Rinvolucri presented in Russia : Dear Cutlery… . In his major article: Learning the Jungle, Jamie Keddie offers some new insight into what confuses language learners. He offers some solutions both in this major article as well as in Corpora Ideas section in his article How to Avoid Giving Bum Information. The issue of how to help students become better language learners is addressed in a number of other articles in this issue. In major article Play it Again Sam: on the Effectiveness of Repetition by Ewa Wasik presents her research results on measuring success in learning lexis. In Helping Higher Level Students to Participate More Naturally in Conversation Fiona Mulcahy focuses on ways of implementing the rules of Spoken Grammar into our teaching at more advanced levels. The subject of helping our students become more effective language learners is continued by Neil McBeath in Finding the Right Words: Dictionary Work for Air Force Technicians in which the author describes his experience with using different dictionaries in a specialised language class and the role of teaching students how to use dictionaries, in general. In the Book Preview section Judy Baker and Mario Rinvolucri present ideas on how to help students relieve pre-exam stress through NLP based activities . In their article Taking the Sting out of Exams readers can enjoy the taste of a new book Unlocking Self-expression Through NLP. The theme of Neuro-Linguistic Programming is continued by Gigliola Pagano and Claudia Bigaton in their articleMe…Together.
More lesson ideas and activities can be found in the Lesson Outlines section and in the Old Exercise section. In How do I love lists? Let me count the ways… Lindsay Clandfield presents different ways of using lists in language activities. Michael Berman in The Lesson as a Ceremonydescribes the rationale and presents a sequence of activities which explore the role of ceremony, severance and respect for sacred time and space in teaching. Thanks to Mario Rinvolucri, in Two Old Exercises we can enjoy two activities John Morgan described more than twenty years ago.
Another theme that has a very strong presence in this issue is successful classroom practice. The title of major article: Teaching Intelligence by Peter Maingay echoes Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences. The author coins this term, which encompases what makes a good teacher, a kind of teaching instinct teachers need to develop which involves using uncodified skills, avoiding mechanical and inappropriate teaching, dangers of over-routinised behaviour etc. In A Lesson or a Menu? Daniela Villani uses the metaphor of a menu to reflect on planning a lesson: Is an outline to be followed strictly or a set of options to choose from as appropriate? The issue of classroom discipline is raised by Katarzyna Niedzwiecka in A Few Road-tested Methods of Motivating Students to Engage in Language Lessons. Katarzyna is a language teacher who holds an M.A. in psychology. In her article she shares with us a few techniques she and her colleagues, fellow psychologists, use when they have discipline and motivation problems in class. A very special way of treating the learners, an innovative way of thinking about teaching and a unique approach to learner autonomy and learner training is presented in Team Academy in Finland - A New Learning Environment by Riitta Purokuru and Hannu Ryynanen
Trips down the memory lane, reflections on teaching, the teaching profession and various teaching situations are offered by Ken Wilson in My life-long relationship with teaching and The Heart of the Matter: Mobbing by Lou Spaventa. In the Publications section Jonathan Marks offers us a very special book review, what he himself called a retroview. Jonathan takes a 1970 ELT book and looks at it from a 2006 perspective. There are more retroviews in preparation, and All Readers are invited to contribute to this section. ( For more reviews look up our sister magazine The Teacher Trainer Journal, www.tttjournal.co.uk)
The Course Outline section has a different format from the previous issues. Instead of a formal course outline or outlines, you can find personal outlines and outcomes, memories of teachers who attended Pilgrims courses in Canterbury in summer 2005. At the moment there are more personal course outlines in preparation.
Last not least, do not miss a variety of letters written to the Editor of HLT and Poems for Humanism written by Muhammad Iqbal for his young learners.
Next HLT Issue : End of September/ beginning of October
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