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Humanising Language Teaching
Humanising Language Teaching
Humanising Language Teaching
READERS' LETTERS

Letter 1

Dear Hania,

When I was reading Tony Cañadas’s last reply

(www.hltmag.co.uk/feb12/sart08.htm) on my articles on Waldorf education and ELT, former HLT editor Mario Rinvolucri’s decision to follow a “policy of accepting English as a Lingua Franca from non-native authors, leaving many of their non-native ways of expressing their thoughts unquestioned”

(www.hltmag.co.uk/mar07/lett.htm) came to my mind. Obviously, Tony Cañadas’s article has not been edited by you – for whatever reason. I’m afraid the readability and comprehensibility of Cañadas’s article are adversely affected by such a decision: Parts of the article such as “Pr. Rather seems to suggest that because he lives in a culture which is in a way hostile to modern western democratic principals [sic!] the best thing is to ‘go on with the fashion’ and not trying to implement a change in conducts that seems to me a little bit ‘anti-democratic’”, “The princess had been changed to a gay prince and the other ‘prince’ who rescues him one hundred years later was also gay. What a good lesson for intolerant ways which by ‘education terms’ introduce intolerance in a democratic world” or “It would look like according to professor Rather that I have serious interests in defending Waldorf schools” suggest that the article could have been written more carefully not to mention the botched references part.

The main reason why I prefer to reply in form of a letter instead of writing another article is the fact that Tony Cañadas does not reply to the objections brought forward in my articles (or continuously misunderstands them). I repeated and accentuated them in my second article and am not keen to write them for a third time. The most striking example for the embarrassing ignorance displayed in his last article is the chutzpah with which Cañadas denies the indisputable fact that he plagiarized from other publications.

Another reason for abstaining from writing another article is the absence of readers’ feedback in the readers’ letters section of HLT. Even though I hope that there have been readers following the debate.

Finally two trifles: Firstly, through the debate I have learnt that the correct spelling of my surname must be a mission impossible. Secondly, Cañadas sometimes called me – for rhetorical reasons? – “Prof.” or “Professor” (a title which I am not allowed to hold); in his last article he calls me repeatedly “Pr. Rather”. What does “Pr.” stand for? Priest? Prime minister? President? I am none of them.

Best wishes,
Stefan Rathert

Letter 2

Dear Hania

Great to see you at ERF Awards Ceremony at IATEFL in Glasgow 2012 !

Here’s some text, photos, links from the event!

“A great night to be involved in ER.” “Quite memorable!” Very much enjoyed it.” “Encouraging to see so many people there.” “Jeremy did a great job as usual.”

The Extensive Reading Foundation Reception and Awards Ceremony took place at the IATEFL 2012 Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, on the evening of Wednesday 21 March. It was hosted by Jeremy Harmer, who presented the 2011 Language Learner Literature Awards, and the John Milne Lifetime Achievement Award to Robert O’Neill. The event was sponsored by the British Council, IATEFL, Black Cat, Cambridge University Press, Helbling Languages, International Language Teaching Services, Macmillan Education, Oxford University Press and Pearson.

Follow this link for the ceremony itself including Jeremy Harmer’s introduction, acceptance speeches by Emily Rosser (Publishing Director of British English ELT at Macmillan Education) on behalf of Gill Munton, Robert Hill (Series Editor of Black Cat Readers) on behalf of Elizabeth Ann Moore, Richard MacAndrew, author of A Little Trouble in Dublin, Tim Vicary, author of The Everest Story, and Julia Newsome, author of Dragons’ Eggs, and the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Robert O’Neill:

http://iatefl.britishcouncil.org/2012/sessions/2012-03-21/extensive-reading-foundation-reception-and-awards-ceremony
http://iatefl.britishcouncil.org/2012/sessions/2012-03-21/extensive-reading-foundation-reception-and-awards-ceremony

And this link gives you access to interviews with Robert O’Neill, Robert Hill, Tim Vicary, Richard MacAndrew and Julia Newsome (and many more). Just scroll down the thumbnails. www.livestream.com/iateflonline/folder

The ceremony was preceded by a reception for all attending including Carol Read, incoming vice-President of IATEFL, and Michael Carrier, Head of Global English at the British Council. Present from the ERF were David R. Hill, Chris Lima, Alan Maley, Sue Leather and Philip Prowse.

At the reception a guest said “I just want to say how much I’m enjoying the Learner Literature Awards – it’s so good to celebrate success like this. Amazing to see Robert O’Neill just the same as ever!” Another guest commented: “It’s wonderful to see the focus on books and writers!”

Voting for the Learner Literature Awards for this year is open now on the ERF website: www.erfoundation.org

All best wishes as always
Philip (Prowse)

Letter 3

ATTN: Hania Kryszewska; Editor; Humanising Language Teaching

Language Learning Game Nominated for ELTon Award

Truth or Dare for English Language Learners Recognized for Innovation.

[Vancouver, CANADA; April 1, 2012 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE]

Truth or Dare for English Language Learners has been nominated for the 2012 ELTon Award for Innovation in Learner Resources. The analogue game, a creation of Vancouver-based Speekeezy Publication Workshop, is designed to act as a medium for meaningful, student-centred, English language communication in a classroom setting.

“We’re thrilled with the nomination,” says Speekeezy founder Brian Grover. “It’s always nice to receive recognition for your efforts from a ‘higher power.’ This is the Oscars of materials design in the world of English Language Teaching.”

In this case, that ‘higher power’ is the British Council and the panel of materials design experts assembled to assess the latest learning resources to hit the ESL/EFL marketplace.

The ELTon Awards is a program of the British Council designed to "recognise and celebrate innovation in the field of English language teaching," Nominated learning resources are assessed on the basis of three criteria: innovativeness, practicality and effectiveness.

The 2012 ELTons will be awarded at a ceremony in London England on May 23, 2012.

“While there are lots of ESL/EFL games out there, most of the commercial ones are targeted at the way children learn,” notes Grover. “Not so with Truth or Dare for English Language Learners. This is the first and only learning game in the world designed expressly for adult learners of English.”

“Adults have a rich fount of experience to draw upon that children have simply not yet acquired. Through gameplay, adults leverage these experiences to the greater task of language acquisition. Children have a lot of advantages when it comes to language learning but this is one area where adult learners shine,” Grover adds.

For publication quality images and further background on Truth or Dare for English Language Learners download the Press Kit at www.speekeezy.ca. ToD can also be purchased online at the Speekeezy website.

Letter 4

Since this is the inaugural edition of English in China Today at Harbin Institute of Technology, one of China’s Ivy League Universities, we thought it would be appropriate to answer the question: Why do we need another journal about English?

China currently has more than 2,400 public, private and joint venture colleges and universities and every one publishes a journal in Chinese. No Chinese college or university will accept or publish anything in any language other than Chinese. Based upon the importance of the journal, a fee is required for publication of any manuscript. Chinese journals are cash cows since everyone wanting promotion is required to publish. Those who want an accelerated promotion to associate professor or full professor pay higher fees to publish in more important journals to accumulate points faster.

Publishing in foreign journals is more arduous because the standards are higher and translation to English is not exactly easy. In addition, the backlog of articles already accepted for publication requires two years to complete. Even more importantly, foreign journals are not favoured in the points for publishing contest at many Chinese universities.

No Chinese university currently publishes an English language journal either domestically or abroad. The instant journal is a first of its kind, limited to scholars from one Chinese Ivy League University and providing a platform for Chinese scholars to share their ideas with the global community, in the common lingua franca, English. It also provides Chinese scholars with a platform to hone their English academic writing skills.

Most Chinese scholars read English journals but most foreign scholars are shut out of the journals published in Chinese. This journal will open one of China’s doors that, for the most part, had remained closed to the outside world.

English in China Today at HIT provides accessible cutting-edge reports on all aspects of the language, including style, usage, dictionaries, literary language, Plain English, the internet, English language teaching in China as EFL, ESL, CALL, ESP, literature, culture, cross-culture communications, and translation. Its intended readership includes linguists, journalists, broadcasters, writers, publishers, teachers, advanced students of the language, university administrators and others with a professional or personal interest in communication. This journal is unique in its opening up of China’s scholarly works to the English speaking world.

Letter 5

DON'T DELAY - DO IT TODAY

Dear Colleagues:

Volume I of English in China Today at the Harbin Institute of Technology is now in print and has arrived in Harbin. This will require an International credit card.

Warning: shipping of more than two books at a time will incur a Chinese import tax. (I learned this the hard way - 748 rmb for 14 copies)

Publishing Volume II may very well depend upon sales figures for Volume I.

Publishers require sales and profits. I encourage you to buy an extra copy to give to a colleague at another school as a gift. Or simply forward this email to your friends and colleagues at other schools and encourage them to purchase a copy at the discount rate.

Martin Wolff and Tian Qiang - Editors
English in China Today at the Harbin Institute of Technology
Martin Wolff - 18246085172
Tian Qiang - 13945662988
English in China Today at HIT
Volume I in print www.c-s-p.org/Flyers/English-in-China-Today-at-the-Harbin-Institute-of-Technology1-4438-3716-4.htm
Volume II submission deadline March 30, 2012

Letter 6

Dear Volume II Contributors and all Colleagues:

Notwithstanding the multiple snafus caused by our lack of diligence and my ineptness, at 4:15 a.m. this morning, (April 16, 2012) the Volume II manuscript was transmitted to our British proofreader.

Once again, we have overcome overwhelming odds and prevailed! I wish to thank each contributor for their patience and my co-editors for their faithfulness to the task. A special thanks to Zheng Shuming who jumped in and saved me from drowning. After spending so many hours, days and weeks on the Authors and Editors page I feel like I know each of you as a brother or sister.

I am confident that Volume II is better than Volume I. Likewise I am confident that Volume III is going to be better than Volume II. We are learning and improving, a major goal of our publication.

DO NOT FORGET, WE ARE THE FIRST CHINESE UNIVERSITY TO PUBLISH IN ENGLISH, ABOUT ENGLISH EDUCATION IN CHINA. WE WILL BECOME THE ENVY OF EVERY CHINESE UNIVERSITY!

WE HAVE ESTABLISHED THE BENCHMARK TO WHICH ALL OTHERS MUST ASCEND. SOME MAY RISE TO THE CHALLENGE AND EVEN SURPASS US, BUT THEY CAN NEVER BE FIRST, WE WERE! WE DARED AND WE DID! THAT GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT IS OURS TO SHARE AND IT CAN NEVER BE TAKEN AWAY FROM US, CONGRATULATIONS TO US!!!

But our job is not done; we must encourage all of our colleagues, associates, friends, acquaintances and even former students to purchase Volume I. Western publishers must have sales to continue publishing future volumes of a book series.

WE CAN DO IT! We have come too far to fail now.

Warm regards,
Martin

MARTIN WOLFF, TIAN QIANG AND ZHENG SHUMING - Editors
English in China Today at the Harbin Institute of Technology

THE ONLY CHINESE UNIVERSITY PUBLICATION IN ENGLISH ABOUT ENGLISH EDUCATION IN CHINA

Letter 7

Hi Hania

(…) By the way this piece has been published in the Guardian: www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/apr/10/storytelling-for-teachers-inspire-learners

David Heathfield

Letter 8

Dear friends,

See attached the latest issue of our Phoenix Magazine.

Some of you will also shortly be receiving the printed edition also.

Those who also wish to receive a printed copy, in the £ sterling, Euro and US$ zones will need to send the requisite subscription or price by copy, as indicated. PLEASE NOTE FOR POSTAL COMMUNICATIONS our new address Flat 5, Cobbs Well House, Place Rd. Fowey, Cornwall PL23 1DR UK

If anyone wishes to receive, as a word-document, the black n' white printed edition for the sake of photocopying and passing into others, please ask and we will send it.

Also, please note, on P29, in our Phoenix News, the announcement of the new page on our upgraded website www.universalalliance.org.uk called 'Phoenix Art' which is a retrospective (and to be current) online exhibition of my own art-work (paintings/posters etc) plus biography from over the last 40 years - if you look at it, please follow through all the series of live links to see all the graphics currently posted on it (there are several more paintings to post very shortly)!

Please forward our Phoenix to anyone you think might be interested to receive it!

Wishing you many happy creative hours!

David Allen Stringer
Pamela Stansfield E-mail: uni.alli@btinternet.com

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