As teachers, we often encourage learners to expose themselves to as much English as possible. One way for learners to do this is by listening to English songs. They are readily available through apps like Spotify and YouTube and can be enjoyed ‘on the go’ as people go about their busy lives. In the classroom, many teachers use songs to enhance their lessons, especially when teaching children. Using a song from a children’s story, one study found songs could potentially contribute to vocabulary learning (Medina, 1993). However, we know very little about the impact of listening to popular ‘everyday’ songs on vocabulary learning as very little research has been conducted in this area (Maneshi, 2017).
We all have our own beliefs about teaching and learning English. Sometimes these beliefs are explicit, and we can articulate them. Other times, these beliefs are more implicit. We may not be aware of them and we may not be able to articulate them, but they are still there.
Professionally, we have beliefs about many things, including our students, the effectiveness of various pedagogical practices, the nature of knowledge itself, and even our capabilities as teachers (i.e. self-efficacy). Continue reading
Pronunciation is often jokingly referred to as the Cinderella of language teaching (Brinton, 2012). In many classrooms, it just doesn’t seem to get much attention. Continue reading
The issue of proficiency is always at the forefront for English language teachers. As English language teachers, we need a certain level of proficiency in the language to teach it so we can serve as models for our students, and provide them with valuable language input that can help them learn. However, there is still no agreed upon level of proficiency that an English language teacher needs to teach effectively, and there may never be. Continue reading
The TESOL International Convention is always an enormous event with thousands of participants and presenters from all over the world. While at times overwhelming, it can be a thrilling and invigorating few days surrounded by some of the biggest names in our profession. The convention was held in Toronto a few years ago and it gave many the opportunity to go the conference for the first time. This year, the conference was held in Seattle, Washington from March 21st to 24th, and I was lucky enough to attend. The conference serves as an excellent way to discover some of the most current research, teaching ideas, and new resources in the field, but also, discuss and reflect on the most pressing issues in our field.
“Whether you think that you can or you can’t, you’re usually right” – Henry Ford
“People’s level of motivation, affective states, and actions are based more on what they believe than on what is objectively the case” – Alberta Bandura (1995, p. 2).
The above two quotations, for me, highlight the importance of researching teachers’ beliefs, and importantly, their self-efficacy beliefs. Continue reading