The quotation above shows how the Oxford comma can dramatically alter the meaning of a sentence — sometimes to comical effect.
'You may have heard that during the war, people could be sentenced to jail or fined if they were caught learning a foreign language.' In this month’s interview, Khlaing Reaksmeypich discusses the unique challenges faced by teachers of English in Cambodia.
‘We like your online placement test,’ said the teacher at Taiwan’s Asia University, ‘but with 1,000 freshers and only 20 computers, we’d be halfway through the first semester before we could even sort out our classes.’ Read more
In the second most popular TED Talk of all time, Amy Cuddy comes to the intriguing, evidence-based conclusion that altering the way we stand for just two minutes before an evaluative situation — a presentation or an exam — really can lead to better outcomes. Read more
Teacher involvement is fundamental to the success of online resources. Julia Ker from the University of Surrey talks to Andrew Stokes about how the Language Study Area makes a success of self-study resources through awareness building, advice and, above all, teacher participation.
Most IELTS candidates leave their test preparation to the last minute. When they go into the test centre, they discover they don’t understand the question types, they’re not sure how to allocate their time efficiently, and they don’t know what the examiner is looking for. And this is just the basic knowledge they lack. Read more
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) was originally developed for Europe, but the ‘can do’ statements have global application. After all, the ability to ‘understand simple technical information, such as operating instructions for everyday equipment’ or to ‘understand short, simple texts on familiar matters’ is relevant worldwide. Could it not therefore be renamed the Global Framework of Reference for Languages? Read more
Paul Liu from the Future Education Research Center in Guangdong discusses the role of online learning in China, and considers the uneasy relationship between teachers and computers.
ClarityEnglish has teamed up with testing and assessment experts telc to develop the Dynamic Placement Test, released this week. Test items are designed to exploit the multimedia capabilities of students’ devices, whether desktops, laptops, tablets or even phones.
Children in Northern Ireland start school at the age of four; in the Irish republic it’s six. And in much of Europe, it’s seven. Does an early start lead to better outcomes? David Whitebread explains why children may need more time to develop before their formal education begins in earnest.