Game-Based Learning 1.1: Myths & Mistakes

In this first instalment of a four-part guest series, David Dodgson talks about some of the misconceptions of GBL and the culture of gaming in general. Dave Dodgson is an EFL teacher working with young learners in Turkey. He has always had an interest in the use of technology to enhance the learning experience and … Read more

You Are Nature

You Are Nature A mini workbook inviting you to reconsider your relationship with nature and play with your infinite connections to the world. Overview You Are Nature is a mini workbook with gentle, reflective activities that invite you to reconsider your relationship with nature, designed to play with the way you perceive and interact with … Read more

Article – What makes an effective learning experience?

3 key principles from learning research What really works in learning? To find the answers to this we carried out a massive research project to seek out the evidence from learning research, cognitive psychology and neuroscience. We’ve turned that research into a set of practical learning design principles to support anyone designing online courses – … Read more

Learning and Time

Day 55 in isolation, or is it day 5… I, like many others, have lost track of time spent in lockdown conditions, finding that without the normal spatial cues of a commute or regular social engagements, time somehow has less meaning. Time is immensely fluid – we know that it can fly by when you’re … Read more

EFL teachers

The EFL teachers’ collection

ELTjam mostly writes about the intersection between tech and education, which means we’ve got plenty of posts of interest for teachers. Here’s a collection.

Categories ELT

Ten tips for getting into digital materials writing

Getting into digital materials writing is still a goal for many. Good luck if you’re one of them and here are some tips to help. While not comprehensive, the list is the real deal and reflects the big changes happening right now in ELT publishing as a result of the rush to digital. It’s aimed more at those trying to get in as new writers, rather than established authors.

Top-five posts of 2014

Looking back at the blog over the past year we can see we’ve had some fantastic people contributing posts and comments. It’s really interesting to see which posts got the most views, sparked the most debate and kickstarted conversations that resulted in fully-fledged follow up posts. This Top Five shows we really couldn’t run the blog without all of you, so a big thanks to everyone and here’s a look at the biggest posts

Categories ELT

MaWFest – MaWSIG’s first online festival

Sunday saw a first for MaWSIG (IATEFL’s materials writing special interest group) — an online festival that could be attended by anyone, anywhere. Via three streams, participants were able to interact with editors and experts from Edtech as well as ELT and mainstream publishing. Three webinars, a Twitter chat and a Facebook panel chat ran, one after the other, with breaks in between for “switching rooms”.

Intersubjectivity: Is there an app for that?

If you reduce language learning to its bare bones, you can come up with a methodology that suits many of SLA theorists: intensive conversation with a willing partner, one-to-one, providing the language input you need to communicate your thoughts. Could an app one day do all that?

Am I a Content Creator or a Writer?

In a post on ELT buzzwords, I included Content Creator as it was one I sensed was causing resentment among materials writers. It passed without much kerfuffle until someone suggested Content Creators shouldn’t expect royalties because they don’t originate the ideas behind course books anymore. In fact, it mostly echoes what Scott Thornbury wrote in  post about the myth of creativity in course book writing.

Equal rights for nNESTs?

In this guest post Marek Kiczkowiak from the blog TEFL Reflections and the TEFL Equity Advocates campaign explores the issue of prejudice against non-native English speaker teachers and issues a plea for a more egalitarian approach to hiring teachers, placing more emphasis on skills and qualifications than on mother tongue.

How could SLA research inform EdTech?

The criteria for evaluating the worth of any language learning software must include some assessment of its fitness for purpose. That is to say, does it facilitate learning? But how do you measure this? Short of empirically testing the software on a representative cross-section of learners, we need a rubric according to which the learning power of the item can be estimated. And this rubric should, ideally, be informed by our current understandings of how second languages are best learned, understandings which are in turn derived from the findings of researchers of second language acquisition (SLA).

Narratives of change in education

A doctor and a teacher from the 19th century climb into a time machine (possibly built by a Silicon Valley dude trying to disrupt the past) and travel to the 20th/21st century. The doctor visits an operating theatre, where he witnesses triple-bypass heart surgery. He emerges from the experience in a state of rapturous wonderment at the achievements of modern science. The teacher finds himself, coincidently – this isn’t a set up – in a modern classroom, where he sees a chalkboard, some desks and books, and a fellow teacher in front of rows of children, dictating notes to them. However, he questions whether he’s really travelled in time at all – for surely, this classroom is almost identical to the one he left behind in a smog-filled Victorian metropolis?

Tales of the undead

We’re delighted to welcome Russ Mayne (@ebefl) from the brilliant Evidence Based EFL blog onto ELTjam for his debut post. Russ gave one of the standout talks at this year’s IATEFL conference, and below he reflects on what might happen next … I have been told that my talk ruffled feathers, created waves and put noses … Read more

Three keys to making outsourcing work

Outsourcing is well established in publishing but is often poorly understood and managed. How do we get the most out of outsourcing? How do we work effectively with external partners? And how do we protect our teams from a real danger of outsourcing?

Who ordered the McNuggets?

The first of a two-part series, by Scott Thornbury

Learning linguistic items is not a linear process – learners do not master one item and then move on to another. In fact, the learning curve for a single item is not linear either. The curve is filled with peaks and valleys, progress and backslidings.