Teacher Talking Time: The Learn YOUR English Podcast
Episode 15: Brett Reynolds

Episode 15: Brett Reynolds

September 15, 2019

In this episode, Leo talks to teacher, trainer, and author Brett Reynolds. Brett has almost thirty years in the ELT industry, getting his start in Japan in 1992. Since 2003, he has worked at Toronto, Canada's Humber College, in the EAP and TESL programs. Brett was also the editor for TESOL Ontario's Contact Magazine from 2012 until 2019. 

In this episode, Brett talks to Leo about his recent publication in the ELT Journal called "Against Teaching Collocations."

  • Are collocations connected to language acquisition?
  • Are they actually a beneficial strategy for vocabulary building?
  • Does it matter if students can notice and identify collocations?
  • Should they only be for receptive practice?
  • Are collocations simply another form of native speakerism? 

Brett gives us his insights on these questions and much more in this episode. We thank Brett for his generous time and for sharing his knowledge with all of us. 

Contact Brett:

Email: brett.reynolds@humber.ca

Twitter: @brettrey3

As always, thank you for listening. If you like the show, consider subscribing on Spotify, iTunes, or Google Podcasts, and sharing it with a friend. If you have a comment or question about today's show, we'd love to hear from you: info@learnyourenglish.com 

For more info on what we do at LYE, check out:

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Or shoot us an email: info@learnyourenglish.com

Episode 14: Dr. Susan Hunston

Episode 14: Dr. Susan Hunston

August 16, 2019

In episode 13, Leo sits down with Dr. Susan Hunston. Dr. Hunston is a professor at the university of Birmingham, where she has taught applied linguistics and English language since 1986. She also did her PhD at Birmingham, and her thesis is titled "Evaluation in experimental research articles." Dr. Hunston won the Fellowship of of the Academy of Social Science Award in 2010, and the Officer of the most Excellent Order in 2017.

Her main research areas are in Corpus Linguistics and Discourse Analysis. Some of her more popular books include:

Her projects on pattern grammar can be found here, and her main research page can be found on the University of Birmingham website. She also works in conjunction with Collins Dictionary to bring pattern grammar to the fore. 

In this episode, Leo talks with Dr. Hunston about pattern grammar and how it is associated with language acquisition. She argues that patterns enable the expedition of acquisition - especially in the area of lexis - and emphasizes that it is the teacher's responsibility to activate and seek those patterns in texts and curricula, even if they are not explicitly stated. 

We thank Dr. Hunston for being generous with her time and expertise. We invite her back any time.

As always, thank you for listening. If you like the show, consider subscribing on Spotify, iTunes, or Google Podcasts and sharing it with a friend. If you have a comment or question about today's show, we'd love to hear from you: info@learnyourenglish.com 

Contact Dr. Hunston:

Email: s.e.hunston@bham.ac.uk

For more info on what we do at LYE, check out:

Our Website

Our catalog of online courses on Thinkific

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Or shoot us an email: info@learnyourenglish.com

Episode 13: Dr. Patsy Lightbown

Episode 13: Dr. Patsy Lightbown

June 18, 2019

In this episode, Leo chats with Dr. Patsy Lightbown, PhD. Dr. Lightbown has been in ELT for over forty years, and her research has focused on the teaching and learning of second and foreign languages in classroom contexts. 

Professor Lightbown is co-author of How Languages Are Learned, one of - if not the - most renowned books in the industry. There are now 4 editions in the award-winning series.

Lightbown also wrote Focus on Content-based Language Teaching and numerous articles, many of which can be found in Learning a Second Language Classroom

She is currently a distinguished Professor Emerita at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and continues her work as a writer, editor, consultant, teacher, adviser, policy maker, conference presenter, and curriculum developer in our field. 

Her complete bio can be seen here

In this episode, Dr. Lightbown talks to Leo about How Languages are Learned, and how that continues to shape second language teaching twenty years after being published. They also discuss:

  • second language acquisition and if there is a "best way"
  • the strengths and weaknesses of Paul Nation's Four Strands of Language Acquisition;
  • the micro elements of teaching and learning;
  • the role of textbooks;
  • Dr. Lightbown's teaching experience and inspiring career.

We thank Dr. Lightbown for her generous time and endless expertise. We invite her back any time.

As always, thank you for listening. If you like the show, consider subscribing on Spotify, iTunes, or Google Podcasts and sharing it with a friend. If you have a comment or question about today's show, we'd love to hear from you: info@learnyourenglish.com 

Contact Dr. Lightbown:

Email: patsy.lightbown@verizon.net 

For more info on what we do at LYE, check out:

Our Website

Our catalog of online courses on Thinkific

Join our Mailing List

Or shoot us an email: info@learnyourenglish.com

Episode 12: A Performance-based Approach to Language Learning

Episode 12: A Performance-based Approach to Language Learning

June 9, 2019

LYE's Leo and Andrew jumped across the atlantic recently to attend the annual ELT conference at International House, Barcelona. Teacher Talking Time is happy to present a mini series chronicling their travels, the conference, and all teaching related (and some non-teaching related) takeaways from the journey.

The final installment looks at Scott Thornbury's plenary on a performance-based approach to language teaching. Mike, Leo, and Andrew ponder the differences between competence and performance, or, as Chomsky says, the difference between "knowing" about a language and the ability to put it in to use. The guys then discuss if it's important for teachers to distinguish between the two, and what impact that has - or should have - on the classroom. They also wonder why many curriculum and syllabi do not focus much on performance (as Thornbury defines it) and what the implications of that are. 

This episode also includes some interviews with teachers and soundbites of speakers from the International House Conference. It ends with the boys answering rapid fire questions on re-thinking the use of performance in the classroom and perhaps why the industry has strayed slightly - and, of course, how to get back on track. 

As always, thank you for listening. If you like the show, consider subscribing on Spotify, iTunes, or Google Podcasts and sharing it with a friend. If you have a comment or question about today's show, we'd love to hear from you: info@learnyourenglish.com 

Show Notes:

What's the difference between competence and performance? - 5:30

Chomsky's Distinction between competence and performance - 11:50

Errors: Competence or Performance? - 15:00

Performance, Syllabi, and Marketing - 22:30

Interview with teachers from Ukraine - 32:40

What makes a good production stage? - 40:00

Adding psychological stress to the classroom - 43:30

Rapid Fire Questions -  52:05

For more info on what we do at LYE, check out:

Our Website

Our catalog of online courses on Thinkific

Join Our Mailing List

Or shoot us an email: info@learnyourenglish.com

Episode 11: Talking Task-based Language Teaching with Neil McCutcheon

Episode 11: Talking Task-based Language Teaching with Neil McCutcheon

May 20, 2019

In this episode, Leo chats with teacher and teacher trainer Neil McCutcheon. Neil lives in Strasbourg, France and is the head of CELTA and DELTA training at the ELT Hub in both Strasbourg and Leon. He began teaching in 1991 and has taught in Ghana, Hungary, the UK, and now in France. His main interests are teacher education and developing materials that reflect what we know about second language acquisition. 

On this note, one of Neil's areas of focus is TBLT: Task-based Language Teaching, sometimes referred to as Task-based Learning. He strongly believes this approach is one of the most effective in terms of language acquisition, and he encourages more teachers and programs to adopt it. In this episode, he sits down with Leo about the approach, how it works, why it is effective, and why he thinks many teachers are apprehensive about implementing it in their classrooms. 

Neil has also recently published a book on TBLT, co-authored by Neil Anderson, called "Activities For Task-Based Learning." It's a fantastic book on TBLT, not only because it outlines the approach and activities used therein, but it allows novice teachers to use it includes language that is likely to emerge from each proposed task - a common apprehension among instructors with low levels of language awareness, Neil explains. 

Pick up your copy on Amazon today

Neil McCutcheon and Neil Anderson also founded an enterprise called "Fluency First ELT" where they believe that learning is prompted by the need to communicate, and that out of fluency comes accuracy.

As always, thank you for listening. If you like the show, consider subscribing on Spotify, iTunes, or Google Podcasts and sharing it with a friend. If you have a comment or question about today's show, we'd love to hear from you: info@learnyourenglish.com 

Contact Neil:

Email: neil.mccutcheon@theelthub.com

On Twitter: @NeilJMcCutcheon

Website: Fluencyfirstelt.com

Show Notes:

Challenges in Teacher Training - 6:00

Most don't Identify TBLT in Training Courses - 16:00

Experienced Teachers too Reluctant to Change - 20:00

Value of Tasks and "deep end" teaching - 22:00

Focus on Form vs Focus on Forms vs Focus on Meaning - 32:00

Why PPP Doesn't Work - 35:00

Neil's book motivation - 38:00

Tips for Implementing TBLT in your classroom - 48:30

For more info on what we do at LYE, check out:

Our Website

Our catalog of online courses on Thinkific

Join our Mailing List

Or shoot us an email: info@learnyourenglish.com

Episode 10: Language Awareness - Help, Hinder, or Much Ado about Nothing?

Episode 10: Language Awareness - Help, Hinder, or Much Ado about Nothing?

May 5, 2019

In this episode, Mike, Leo, and Andrew discuss the theme of a recent Learn YOUR English workshop: Language Awareness. What is Language Awareness? Does it matter? Is it only important for teachers? For students? Does it actually improve proficiency? Do conventional textbooks advocate language awareness and choices or only "McNuggets"? Are there drawbacks to having a high level of language awareness? How can teachers increase their language awareness?

The boys tackle all of these questions and more. As always, they ask the listeners to ponder the question "why do we do what we do?" There are many approaches to teaching language, but to what extent can those approaches be implemented without language awareness?

As always, thank you for listening. If you like the show, consider subscribing in Spotify or on iTunes and sharing the podcast with a friend. If you have a comment or question about today's show, we'd love to hear from you: info@learnyourenglish.com 

Show Notes:

What is Language Awareness and how does it apply to teachers: Beginning - 24:30

Language Awareness for students: 32:00

Discussion on Josh Waitzkin's book The Art of Learning: 33:30

Four benefits of Language Awareness for students: 36:30

Limitation of Language Awareness: 37:40

Classroom tasks to apply Language Awareness: 41:30

For more info on what we do at LYE, check out:

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Our catalog of online courses on Thinkific

Join our Mailing List

Or shoot us an email: info@learnyourenglish.com

Episode 9: A Teacher’s Responsibility is his or her Response Ability

Episode 9: A Teacher’s Responsibility is his or her Response Ability

April 20, 2019

LYE's Leo and Andrew jumped across the atlantic recently to attend the annual ELT conference at International House, Barcelona. Teacher Talking Time is happy to present a mini series chronicling their travels, the conference, and all teaching related (and some non-teaching related) takeaways from the journey. 

This is part III, and is dedicated to a talk by Dr. Angi Malderez. Malderez is an Honorary Senior Fellow of the School of Education, the University of Leeds, and her bio and many works can be seen here. Her research area is mostly in the practices of supporting teacher learning.

At the IH Conference in Barcelona, she spoke about the need for teacher's to be able to respond in real time to what is happening in the classroom. She highlighted that this is something that needs to be developed, and is much more difficult than it seems. Maldarez identified common "blinkers" and touched on the difference between observing and noticing, and how teachers very rarely give "feedback" in the conventional sense.

In this episode, Mike, Andrew, and Leo sit down to discuss the topic and how we as teachers can learn to apply it in our classrooms. Dr. Malderez was also kind enough to sit down with us to give us a 1-1 interview (14:35). Many thanks to Angi for her generous time!

For more info on what we do at LYE, check out:

Our Website

Our catalog of online courses on Thinkific

Or shoot us an email: info@learnyourenglish.com

Episode 8: Teacher Advocate Aileen Bowe

Episode 8: Teacher Advocate Aileen Bowe

March 31, 2019

In this episode, Andrew talks to language teacher and advocate Aileen Bowe. Aileen is from Ireland and advocates for fairness and regulation in the ELT industry. As a result of her work with ELT Advocacy and Manchester Advocacy, she has seen legislation pass which will provide language teachers in Ireland and the UK with the working conditions they have long been waiting for. Aileen shares her stories of below-average working conditions, job loss, and questions why the industry has so few regulations globally. Her message? If teachers work together, they can achieve not only what they want, but what they deserve. 

Contact Aileen:

Email: eltmanchester@protonmail.com

Twitter: @eltmanchester; @eltadvocacy

For more info on what we do at LYE, check out:

Our Website

Our catalog of online courses on Thinkific

Or shoot us an email: info@learnyourenglish.com

Episode 7: ILAC Director of Studies Barbara Mendes

Episode 7: ILAC Director of Studies Barbara Mendes

March 17, 2019

In this episode, Andrew chats with the extremely talented Barbara Mendes. Barbara has been in the ELT industry for over 20 years and wears many hats: teacher, teacher trainer, language coach, small business founder, and, currently, the Director or Studies at the International Language Academy of Canada

Andrew asks Barbara about her experience, how she got started in the industry, about the characteristics she looks for when hiring new teachers, and how she is trying to impart a new mindset when it comes to professional development at ILAC. 

She has also started a new venture with three colleagues called Vertices Language Coaching. Together, they are offering language and proofreading services for students and educational opportunities for teachers. 

Contact Barbara:

Email: barbara.celt@gmail.com or b.mendes@ilac.com

Social Media:

  • Instagram - @babimendes; @vertices.team; @ilac_canada
  • LinkedIn

International Language Academy of Canada 

 

For more info on what we do at LYE, check out:

Our Website

Our catalog of online courses on Thinkific

Or shoot us an email: info@learnyourenglish.com

Episode 6: The Barcelona Chronicles,  ɪɪ

Episode 6: The Barcelona Chronicles, ɪɪ

March 3, 2019

LYE's Leo and Andrew jumped across the atlantic recently to attend the annual ELT conference at International House, Barcelona. Teacher Talking Time is happy to present a mini series chronicling their travels, the conference, and all teaching related (and some non-teaching related) takeaways from the journey. 

Part II is a special edition of Teacher Talking Time and is dedicated to those who love learning all over the world. In this episode, Andrew and Leo continue their travels and conduct three separate interviews, focusing on the differences and challenges in learning in different parts of the world. The first (8:23) tackles Germany and German; in the second (18:00), the boys participate in a high school project in Barcelona, and, finally, they sit down with good friends Claudia and Victor to dive into the Catalan-Spanish debate (33:05).  

Thanks for listening, and don't forget to subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts!

For more info on what we do at LYE, check out:

Our Website

Our catalog of online courses on Thinkific

Or shoot us an email: info@learnyourenglish.com