For more on EOT you can read in Letter 1 in Readers Letters in this issue of HLT.
Short Book Reviews
Hanna Kryszewska, Poland
Hanna Kryszewska is a teacher, teacher trainer, trainer of trainers. She is a senior lecturer at the University of Gdańsk, and EU Teacher Training College where she trains pre-service teachers. She is also Director of Studies at SWPS, Sopot, Poland. She is co-author of resource books: Learner Based Teaching, OUP, Towards Teaching, Heinemann, The Standby Book, CUP, Language Activities for Teenagers, CUP and a course book series for secondary schools: ForMat, Macmillan. She is also co-author of a video based teacher training course: Observing English Lessons. Hania is a Pilgrims trainer and editor of HLT Magazine.
English Out There – Intermediate TD4. ISBN 978-0-9561589-0-1, A4 pp131+94. This publication may surprise some teachers when they pick it up. It is neither a resource book, nor a teacher’s book, nor a photocopiable resource. It is all of them together in one. It is a package of materials to supplement a wealth of materials available on the internet at www.languagesoutthere.com. When I look through the book and browse through the website I can see that a new era of language teaching is nigh. Many traditional teachers might expect from a published language course that the course book will be colourful, the teacher’s book will follow the usual format and so will the resource material. In EOU you have to figure out how to use the in class material and then how to explore the ‘English Out There’ component, in which the learners have to go out into the actual world or the virtual one to practise their English. The way I see it the book is called “English Out There”, however, the website is called “Language Out There” as on the website you will find that other languages can be taught in the same way, such as Chinese, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Japanese.
The English language in EOT is modern and up-to-date. It is often language you do not get to see in a course book as it may not pass the frequency or the threshold level. However, it is very useful and relevant if you want to function linguistically in the world out there rather than pass an exam. This is a quote from the website which sums it up well:
“Languages Out There combines the classroom with the street and free virtual learning spaces for a learning experience that is interactive, fun, and uniquely effective.
In each session you learn a small amount of grammar and vocabulary. You practice it in the classroom. Then you go out into the city with your teacher or onto a language exchange website to use your new skills in real life and real time situations.
By using your new knowledge instantly, you'll remember it better. You'll get a buzz from making yourself understood to fluent and native speakers. And you'll get a true understanding of how the language really works.
Now, anyone, anywhere, either in the real world or online, can teach, learn and even earn using English the Out There way.”
On the website at www.languagesoutthere.com/categories/language-teaching-methodology-brain-friendly you can read and hear why learners enjoy the course. At www.languagesoutthere.com/categories/teach-english-out-there you can hear why teachers enjoy using this course. On the same site you can read Tim Bowen’s, opinion on the course. ( NB. Tim Bowen is a renown teacher, teacher trainer and author.)
At www.languagesoutthere.com/categories/englishvideolessons you can watch a sample of how learners practise pronunciation with Jason West, the founding founder of the EOT programme. I believe that in the emerging world of virtual learning and e-learning EOT is a very interesting attempt which taps into new trends. These new trends are not only prompted, if not imposed by educational bodies, but also expected by the learners as they often look for new ways of learning. In their educational paths they expect or are expected to follow blended-learning or e-learning courses, they use Moodle or discover Rosetta Stone for practising or learning a new language at www.rosettastone.com. Teachers and course authors need to tap into this new potential and make use of the learners’ readiness to learn in these new ways. We need to experiment and this is what EOT does. It makes at attempt at creating a completely novel course. I am really curious to see what the language teaching world will look like in ten years. This publication indicates that we may be going in different directions and only time will tell and learners decide. All in all, I recommend you look at the EOT/LOT course formula to see how language teaching is changing and which way it may be going.
Please check the Basic IT in the Classroom course at Pilgrims website.
Please check the Using Technology in the Classroom – Level 2 course at Pilgrims website.
Please check the Creating a Virtual Environment with Moodle – Level 2 course at Pilgrims website.
Please check the Social Media in Education - Level 2 course course at Pilgrims website.