January 2006 Archives
The American Dialect Society has voted for truthiness as the word of the year. It is defined as the quality of stating concepts or facts one wishes or believes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true
The Research Discovery Network have just launched a tutorial for ESOL students on using the internet that can be accessed freely by anyone interested. It's meant to give an overview of what the net is, how they can access it, how it can benefit them, etc.
I saw a job advert today for a teaching post in Spain that was quite possibly the worst job I have ever seen advertised in ESL:
Are you interested in teaching English in Spain? We need one person who can be here by ASAP (latest January 21st). The job is in Castellon.
It is preferable to have spanish language skills. The job consists of teaching private English lessons in peoples houses. You would be responsible for arriving to each class by bus, train, bike, or walking each day. Classes are typically given during the evenings and one or two on Saturday mornings for a total of 15-20 hours a week.
Pay is 6euro an hour, with a 50hour bond to be worked at the beginning (300euro is paid at the end of 6month contract). Housing IS included in a small pueblo near Castellon. Seven hours a week are deducted from pay to cover all housing costs. Minimum weekly pay is 60euro, average about 90euro. Spanish classes are also included.
Please respond only if available to come before January 21st, 2006.
In an interview on ELTNews on a recent visit to Japan, Professor Henry Widdowson says that the most obvious example of a conceptually flawed theory in ESL teaching is "the current precept that English teachers must only use real or authentic English in their teaching that is to say the English that naturally occurs in the contexts of native speaker use. This directive comes from corpus linguistics and as such has no necessary pedagogic validity whatever."
Tesol Law have published a draft discussion of a code of ethics, together with a discussion on the thinking behind it. It's not a new idea- the concept has been bandied around before. Most of the code seems pretty straightforward and sensible to me, but the enforceability of it is a different question. Robert J. Dickey, in his discussion, recognises that this could be 'a blessing or a curse' as it doesn't come from a recognised body.