This issue has a feature article and lesson plan on one-room schools. Article topics include varieties of English, ESL versus EFL, pronunciation, vocabulary strategies, and word recognition exercises.
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The letters to the editor include a note from Stephen Krashen on the use of L1 in the classroom as well as a letter praising the forum for providing pre-service teachers in Cuba the opportunity to discuss ideas before entering the classroom.
This article argues that EFL students need to be familiar with different varieties of English. If EFL students hope to enter a global job market, knowledge of English around the world is essential. The author, an English teacher in Japan, proposes doing classroom workshops on language variation and English as a world language to broaden students’ views of language.
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The author argues for different teaching approaches in EFL vs. ESL settings. He points out the differences in student motivation and suggests how to select different activities for the two contexts (with examples of relevant activities). He gives guidelines for the appropriate role of L1 in each classroom, and explains how the two classroom cultures differ (for example, in term of the learning styles of the students). He argues that keeping in mind these differences will help educators make more effective decisions for their students.
This article identifies the most common differences among popular English pronunciation textbooks. Vowel symbols, number of diphthongs, and the different ways of marking primary and secondary stress are a few of the pronunciation features addressed. These differences can make it confusing and frustrating for teachers and students. Instructors should be aware of these differences and address them with their students while encouraging students to use the instructor’s preferred transcription system.
This article provides several activities designed to teach strategies for learning vocabulary. The author explains why it is important to teach strategies and offers ways for students to work on strategies, from preparation to experimenting with different methods, to evaluation of the instruction. Examples are given of cognitive, memory, and metacognitive strategies that encourage students to be responsible for their own learning of vocabulary.
This author discusses an interactive model of reading in which there is a balance in activities between top-down processes and the less common bottom-up processes such as word recognition. The author suggests adding more word recognition activities in L2 reading pedagogy to improve reading efficiency. After identifying the challenges in using these types of activities, the author proposes guidelines for developing materials that incorporate word recognition in an engaging way.
This article discusses the history of "One-Room Schools" from their prominence in America from the early 1800s to their decline post World War 2 to today. Also included is an interview with two cousins who attended one-room schools in rural southern Pennsylvania in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
This lesson plan, based on a short reading of a student’s description of a one-room schoolhouse, has a variety of activities, including group discussions, vocabulary practice, a spelling bee, research topics, interviews, and a task that has students exploring their own school. The grammar points focus on wh- questions and the comparative and superlative forms.