Dear HLT Reader,
Welcome to the March issue. One of the themes of this issue is translation. In major article 2: Translation: Why the Bad Press? A Natural Activity in an Increasingly Bilingual World, Maria González Davies from Spain raises the issue of using translation in foreign language classes, the advantage of which is sometimes underestimated. Translation competence includes skills that can help students improve their language learning skills, in a communicative as well as a creative way. It can also enhance self-confidence and student-centred learning. Another voice regarding the role of translation can be found in Translation and Humanistic Language Teaching by James W. Porcaro from Japan. Procaro sees translation of literature in the native language of the students (L1) into English (L2) as an educational tool that can enrich humanistic education and provide an effective communicative language experience for the learners.
The second theme in this issue is creativity. This subject is partially raised in the articles on translation but is also further developed in a number of other contributions in this issue. In major article 5: Spreading the Spirit of Creativity through Creative Writing Workshops in the Asia-Pacific Region by Tan Bee Tin from New Zealand presents the outcomes of one creative writing workshop conducted in Bangkok in 2003. Since then English language teachers from different Asia countries have been meeting once a year to attend creative writing workshops. The author would like to inspire other English language teachers to engage in similar collaborative creativity. In Creative Problem Solving Hall Houston from Hong Kong continues his series of articles which offer an overview of various alternative trends in education. In this issue he focuses on brainstorming which is a well-known exercise in business and education circles. His article “Creative Problem Solving” (CPS) presents brainstorming in a six-step method used to solve problems. Lonny Gold from Canada/Sweden in his article: Suggestopedia – The Inner Dimension of Change, reminds us of the world of suggestopaedia, where teaching and learning take place in a safe emotional environment, where learners are unconditionally supported and not afraid to take chances. Suggestopaedia uses highly stimulating and artistic activities that appeal to all the senses, thus teaching in a multi-modal, matrix-like way and all knowledge is woven into unforgettable chains of association. Courses are designed so that students are constantly surprising themselves with their own newly discovered capacities. Other creative experiences which involve uncovering your own potential are to be found in the Course outline section where in Two Weeks in The Land of NLP, Bonnie Tsai and Bruno Rinvolucri present the power of NLP and the process of self-discovery, whereas in The Pilgrims Spirit, Anna ?ychowicz-?osiewicz and Hanna Kryszewska from Poland show in photograph the outcomes of creative activities which we enjoyed at Pilgrims ate which helped us to express ourselves.
Creativity can also manifest itself in poetry, art and humour. Our poets in this issue are Muhammad Iqbal from Pakistan and Francisco Gomes de Matos from Brazil, both of whom have published in HLT before. Also in his article From Poetry to Mini Play Henk van Oort from the Netherlands shares with us his ideas and tips on writing poetry for young learners, poems which could be described as action poems which involve the learner’s active participation and involvement. Creativity in visual arts is present in this issue thanks to the artist Julian Beever's who produces inspiring and humorous pavement drawings. Beever’s work is presented by Ken Wilson from the UK in the Jokes section (Julian Beever's Inspired Pavement Drawings). More ideas on using humour in the classroom can be found in Learning to Laugh by Daniel Martín del Otero from Spain, who is also a regular contributor to HLT.
As usual the issue has many practical ideas and tips for the language class. The first area relates to story telling. In major article 1: An Action Research Report on “Teaching stories without telling them” Dhruba Babu Joshi from Nepal presents the results of an action research project on the effectiveness of teaching stories in a variety of interactive ways. These ways improve the students’ performance in class, expand their knowledge and draw on the experience the students bring into class. Some story telling is also involved in What is Shamanic Counseling and How Much is it Worth?, Michael Berman from the UK. The second area is related to vocabulary and lexis. In Phrasal Verbs: For Beginners Only, Nevin Siders from Mexico presents his experience and solutions regarding introducing low level learners to the seemingly 'unteachable' world of phrasal verbs, whereas in Ticket to Ride? A Creative and Personalised Approach to Everyday Transactional Roleplays such as Buying a Railway Ticket, David Heathfield shares with us his ideas on making classroom role plays reflect real life situations. I would also like to welcome a new contributor, Monica Hoogstad from the UK who in her article Proverbs and A Leaf from a Book: Vocab Recycling (in Book preview section) shares with us her practical ideas regarding teaching vocabulary. Over time we hope to publish more of her work. Last not least, there is no language class without games. In Grammar Cubes: Giving Control Back to the Class, Tim Gilroy from France introduces us to the world of a new teaching aid ‘that manages to be both revolutionary and laughably obvious’, whereas Mario Rinvolucri presents the potential of a circle game as a frame (Circle Games)
The last distinct area is looking at the teaching/learning process and reflecting on our practice, methods and what happens in class. In major article 3: Slovenian EFL Teachers and the Career Cycle, Jane E. Hardy from the US presents the result of her research into teacher beliefs, teacher life narratives, and the teacher career cycle. She presents the study of 10 tertiary teachers in Slovenia and hopes that it will provide an additional point of reference in our expanding knowledge base on teacher education and development. In her article On Teaching about the Corpus - Getting the Message Across, Hanna Kryszewska from Poland looks at one concrete area of course content and syllabus in teacher education and shares with us her observations and concerns regarding presenting the idea of the Corpus and its implications to pre-service students. In Narrowing the Gap Between Learning and Acquisition, Tony Cañadas Ruiz (Spain) reflects on our classroom practice and procedures. Along the same lines there is also a review of a new book: “Dealing with Difficulties” by Lindsay Clandfield and Luke Prodromou (Delta Publishing 2007). Philip Kerr’s own words are the best recommendation for the book: “I wish that many of my own school-teachers had read a book of this kind. And I wish I’d had it when I was a recently qualified teacher working in a lycée on the outskirts of Casablanca.” (Solutions, Strategies and Suggestions for Successful Teaching - Review of “Dealing with Difficulties” – article to be found in the Reviews section).
The authors of the two next articles look for inspiration and better classroom practice beyond the ELT world. In major article 4: Could ‘What works in therapy’ Work in Education? Tim Murphey and David Barker from Japan tell us what language teachers might learn from a study of “what works” for clients in therapy. Usually improvements or cures are attributed to various factors: extratherapeutic causes, relationships, expectations, and the method or technique. Surprisingly the latter are the least frequent and it transpired that therapists are more successful when they learn to ‘confirm the extratheraputic activities reported by clients as being successful and by developing better relationships with them’, hence the premise of the authors is that “what works in therapy” could be or is applicable to education. In his article What is Shamanic Counselling and How Much is it Worth?, Michael Berman from the UK turns to the shaman for inspiration: ‘a shaman who can be defined as someone who performs an ecstatic, imitative, or demonstrative ritual of a séance…’ just like a teacher.
There could be no issue of HLT without student voices, the second party involved in the teaching-learning process. In Why English?, Maria Paula Santos Morales from Colombia lets us know about her reasons for learning English whereas in the other two articles in the section two pre-service teachers tell us about their learning experience and transformations (A Person, a Student and a Teacher by Fabiana Gambino from Italy and Concluding Comments on a Teaching Practice by Joanna Grucha?a from Poland).
The world of publishing is represented in this issue by three contributions: in his article In China, Simon Greenall from the UK shares with us his experiences of writing for the Chinese market and publishing process in China, whereas Tessa Woodward, the Editor of our sister magazine Journal The Teacher Trainer draws our attention to new and old publications. In Publications Received, Tessa shares with us her reviews of recent arrivals on the ELT market, whereas in her letter to the HLT Readers ( see below) she introduces us to the new TTTJ archive of 'Golden Oldie' back articles which no doubt will be of great interest and a source of inspiration to all of us.
I hope you will enjoy reading this issue of HLT
Dear HLT Mag Readers,
As you may well know, HLT has a sister magazine, also belonging to Pilgrims, that is printed three times a year and is called The Teacher Trainer Journal. It has a web presence at:
I am the Editor and have been for over 20 years! 1986 feels a long time ago now. That was when the first issue of a newsletter for people who train or help teachers came out. The whole idea was to provide a paper place where teacher trainers could talk to each other, recommend ideas and books to each other and take a peek at each others' work 3 times a year.
2007 is here now. This means that the journal has been going strong for 21 years!. This means we now have a bank of twenty one years' material. To celebrate our 20th
birthday last year we redesigned the journal and the web site and there are lots of new features in both.
One feature that may be of great interest to you as an HLT reader is our archive of 'Golden Oldie' back articles. This is our collection of classics from the pages of The Teacher Trainer journal, 1986 onwards. The early issues are getting rather scarce now but since the ideas in their pages are as robust and interesting as ever, we'd like you to be able to access them.
Starting from Volume One, I'm gradually reading through past issues filleting out the articles that have stood the test of time and reproducing them. This way, good articles from this genuinely specialised and dedicated journal will still have the readership and influence they deserve today.
Of course I hope that once you realise what a fantastic bunch of writers we have, you will want to subscribe to us too and write for us and advertise your courses and products in our pages. Why not join us?
All good wishes
The Teacher Trainer
Contributor's guidelines can be vieved here.