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Humanising Language Teaching
Year 3; Issue 3; May 2001


Welcome to HLT 2001/3, the May edition, which you will read as the monsoon looms, as you go into late autumn or as you wonder when summer will come.

Goodies in this issue for people who want classroom ideas:

Go to Teacher Resource Book Preview, where you will find activities for use with advanced and very advanced students from an as yet unpublished book by Simon Marshall. This material is for use with people who leave you thinking " what on earth can I possibly teach these folk, they know it all already."

Under Old Exercise, you will find a beauty for work with intermediates, in which the students have to decide on all the possible pragmatic meanings for a simple declarative statement like It's half past two Depending on the situation this could mean:

    It's nearly dawn and that bloody kid is still not back
    Susan was meant to be here at two pm and she's still not here
    The bomb goes off at 2.35. Time to phone a warning.
    What? This lesson doesn't finish till 2.45. Can't believe it!.

In Lesson Outlines you have discussion activities for secondary classes and a couple of fun exercises for primary level.

If you go to Validation of Drama in the classroom you can read a good number of reasons for using drama in secondary and young adult groups, but more importantly you have a couple of brilliant exercises you can use the moment you get off line. I have seen the author doing these exercises with a group- hence the justified use of the adjective brilliant..

For people with more general and theoretical interests:

In her major article, The University of the First Age, Maggie Farrar tells us about the application of Gardner's ideas on Multiple Intelligences to working with the poorest*children in Birmingham, UK's second largest city.
The importance of this initiative is that here we have the State pushing innovative, person-respecting ideas, not just an individual here or small group of idealists there. Tony Blair's so-called "New Labour" is behind this venture.

The second major article this time has Bonnie Tsai looking at Organisational Intelligence, much of this thinking emanating from the team of people round Howard Gardner.

Don't miss Robert Feather's short article: The full Force of Humanistic Teaching with Immigrants. The strength of the new experience of teaching adult immigrants has driven Robert to pen a lyrically powerful piece.

Numbers 4 -7 in the Short articles section of the 'zine are all re-published from the IATEFL TT SIG Newsletter of July 2000. All four articles deal with the area feelings and emotions in the classroom and pivot around a review that Scott Thornbury wrote of Jane Arnold's Affect in Language Learning, CUP ,1999. So, for example, Peter Grundy argues that teachers open to humanistic teaching ideas tend to have high tolerance of uncertainty, while those who cling to their silly-buses and coursebooks tend, on the contrary, to have low tolerance of uncertainly. The four articles are well read together.

If you go to Publications, you can read 13 short notices and a review by Tessa Woodward of her latest book, on lesson planning. There is also a page justifying the decision to ask some authors to review their own books in terms of the stifling dangers of peer-review.

Mike Rundell, in Ideas from the Corpora, attacks those misguided, Ancient Greek notions like: noun, adjective, verb for the misnomers that they are.

An appeal to readers of HLT.

Web'zines are a relatively recent phenomenon. I have no idea how you visit HLT?

Many readers come for one or two minutes only. Some probably go off and have coffee while on the site, but some will be doing technical things like leaping from page to page, like printing, out, like down-loading this or that.

I know that I can visit a site for 2 minutes and my printer will be chattering for a quarter of an hour. I may read the stuff then and there, or later.

Please send me an emilio telling me your normal practice when you visit the HLT site. Also tell me anything that would make the site better for you in terms of navigation or intellectual-technical content.

Whichever way you read, enjoy this issue.

  • Poor is the right word to use when describing 25 % of school age children in Birmingham. Under-privileged does not properly describe the condition that Thatcher and those who have followed her in government, knowingly chose for the children that the UFA is now trying to rescue, at least educationally.

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