The Bigger Benefits of Big Reading

Mortimer J. Adler said, “Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.” Many English learners work the hard way doing test prep. But their hard study doesn’t always make their lives better. It may even make them suffer. But there is a better way. They can still study for English exams. But they can also balance their lives as they improve their English by reading big. And they can enjoy the many benefits of big reading for the good life. (1) They can enjoy more play and pleasure by reading big; (2) they can get more intelligence and smarts by reading big; (3) and they can grow more happiness and satisfaction — by reading big!

A virtual talk given at the 14th edition of vERtual TALK (October 3, 2020) in association with the Chapter of UIN Raden Intan Lampung, and in collaboration with the Indonesian Extensive Reading Association (IERA) and Extensive Reading Foundation (ERF). Click on the image to download a PDF of the talk.

Story-Centric Teaching at Charlie ZEMI

What if we applied a theory of story-centric teaching, using a clear definition of story to every strand of English teaching? What if we applied story principles to every language teaching method, such as task-based teaching, content-based teaching, even audiolingualism and grammar translation? Can the power of story revive old and tried up methods with deeper meaning? General research about story suggests, “Yes.” And in this talk, I show how we can use story to energize language teaching, where story works as an appetizer, an essential spice, or even the main dish in every lesson we teach.

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Can You Learn Language in Class? II

In case the Moodle download is not working, here is the PDF for my lecture on learning language in class (Part 2). JP-in-class

We can promote SLA through interaction, negotiating for meaning and creating comprehensible input (i + 1). In this process, we may or may not be ready to acquire some grammar points. We possess this readiness or teachability because we acquire grammar points in predictable sequences. As we acquire through i + 1, we can deliberately focus on grammar at the end (inductively) after using it in real communication, and lastly we can acquire language as we focus primarily on meaningful messages through content-based instruction.

Can You Learn Language in Class? I

LanguageClassIn case the Moodle download is not working, here is the PDF for my lecture on learning language in class.

We can acquire a second language without going to class, so do language classes actually help us acquire language? We can research the “open systems” of language classes, but this research is complicated by many variables. Research shows that traditional “accuracy” approaches don’t always produce fluency and accuracy that they aim for. But communicative approaches do help learners improve, and learners enjoy them more.

Improving Language Teaching (Part 2)

talk2In case the Moodle download is not working, here is the PDF for my lecture on Improving Language Teaching.

Even with language focused lessons, we can (1) begin with a meaningful event or stimulus, and (2) we can keep lessons focused on meaning by knowing the traits or principles of communicative activities and (3) the four faces of communicative competence. (4) By knowing these things, we can take dull language-focused lessons and make them more meaningful and communicative.