Why it’s hard for adults to learn a second language


Brianna Yamasaki, University of Washington

As a young adult in college, I decided to learn Japanese. My father’s family is from Japan, and I wanted to travel there someday.

However, many of my classmates and I found it difficult to learn a language in adulthood. We struggled to connect new sounds and a dramatically different writing system to the familiar objects around us.

It wasn’t so for everyone. There were some students in our class who were able to acquire the new language much more easily than others.

So, what makes some individuals “good language learners?” And do such individuals have a “second language aptitude?”

What we know about second language aptitude

Past research on second language aptitude has focused on how people perceive sounds in a particular language and on more general cognitive processes such as memory and learning abilities. Most of this work has used paper-and-pencil and computerized tests to determine language-learning abilities and predict future learning.

Researchers have also studied brain activity as a way of measuring linguistic and cognitive abilities. However, much less is known about how brain activity predicts second language learning.

Is there a way to predict the aptitude of second language learning?

How does brain activity change while learning languages?
Brain image via www.shutterstock.com

In a recently published study, Chantel Prat, associate professor of psychology at the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences at the University of Washington, and I explored how brain activity recorded at rest – while a person is relaxed with their eyes closed – could predict the rate at which a second language is learned among adults who spoke only one language.

Studying the resting brain

Resting brain activity is thought to reflect the organization of the brain and it has been linked to intelligence, or the general ability used to reason and problem-solve.

We measured brain activity obtained from a “resting state” to predict individual differences in the ability to learn a second language in adulthood.

To do that, we recorded five minutes of eyes-closed resting-state electroencephalography, a method that detects electrical activity in the brain, in young adults. We also collected two hours of paper-and-pencil and computerized tasks.

We then had 19 participants complete eight weeks of French language training using a computer program. This software was developed by the U.S. armed forces with the goal of getting military personnel functionally proficient in a language as quickly as possible.

The software combined reading, listening and speaking practice with game-like virtual reality scenarios. Participants moved through the content in levels organized around different goals, such as being able to communicate with a virtual cab driver by finding out if the driver was available, telling the driver where their bags were and thanking the driver.

Here’s a video demonstration:

Nineteen adult participants (18-31 years of age) completed two 30-minute training sessions per week for a total of 16 sessions. After each training session, we recorded the level that each participant had reached. At the end of the experiment, we used that level information to calculate each individual’s learning rate across the eight-week training.

As expected, there was large variability in the learning rate, with the best learner moving through the program more than twice as quickly as the slowest learner. Our goal was to figure out which (if any) of the measures recorded initially predicted those differences.

A new brain measure for language aptitude

When we correlated our measures with learning rate, we found that patterns of brain activity that have been linked to linguistic processes predicted how easily people could learn a second language.

Patterns of activity over the right side of the brain predicted upwards of 60 percent of the differences in second language learning across individuals. This finding is consistent with previous research showing that the right half of the brain is more frequently used with a second language.

Our results suggest that the majority of the language learning differences between participants could be explained by the way their brain was organized before they even started learning.

Implications for learning a new language

Does this mean that if you, like me, don’t have a “quick second language learning” brain you should forget about learning a second language?

Not quite.

Language learning can depend on many factors.
Child image via www.shutterstock.com

First, it is important to remember that 40 percent of the difference in language learning rate still remains unexplained. Some of this is certainly related to factors like attention and motivation, which are known to be reliable predictors of learning in general, and of second language learning in particular.

Second, we know that people can change their resting-state brain activity. So training may help to shape the brain into a state in which it is more ready to learn. This could be an exciting future research direction.

Second language learning in adulthood is difficult, but the benefits are large for those who, like myself, are motivated by the desire to communicate with others who do not speak their native tongue.

The Conversation

Brianna Yamasaki, Ph.D. Student, University of Washington

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Britain may be leaving the EU, but English is going nowhere


Andrew Linn, University of Westminster

After Brexit, there are various things that some in the EU hope to see and hear less in the future. One is Nigel Farage. Another is the English language.

In the early hours of June 24, as the referendum outcome was becoming clear, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, left-wing MEP and French presidential candidate, tweeted that “English cannot be the third working language of the European parliament”.

This is not the first time that French and German opinion has weighed in against alleged disproportionate use of English in EU business. In 2012, for example, a similar point was made about key eurozone recommendations from the European Commission being published initially “in a language which [as far as the Euro goes] is only spoken by less than 5m Irish”. With the number of native speakers of English in the EU set to drop from 14% to around 1% of the bloc’s total with the departure of the UK, this point just got a bit sharper.

Translation overload

Official EU language policy is multilingualism with equal rights for all languages used in member states. It recommends that “every European citizen should master two other languages in addition to their mother tongue” – Britain’s abject failure to achieve this should make it skulk away in shame.

The EU recognises 24 “official and working” languages, a number that has mushroomed from the original four (Dutch, French, German and Italian) as more countries have joined. All EU citizens have a right to access EU documents in any of those languages. This calls for a translation team numbering around 2,500, not to mention a further 600 full-time interpreters. In practice most day-to-day business is transacted in either English, French or German and then translated, but it is true that English dominates to a considerable extent.

Lots of work still to do.
Etienne Ansotte/EPA

The preponderance of English has nothing to do with the influence of Britain or even Britain’s membership of the EU. Historically, the expansion of the British empire, the impact of the industrial revolution and the emergence of the US as a world power have embedded English in the language repertoire of speakers across the globe.

Unlike Latin, which outlived the Roman empire as the lingua franca of medieval and renaissance Europe, English of course has native speakers (who may be unfairly advantaged), but it is those who have learned English as a foreign language – “Euro-English” or “English as a lingua franca” – who now constitute the majority of users.

According to the 2012 Special Eurobarometer on Europeans and their Languages, English is the most widely spoken foreign language in 19 of the member states where it is not an official language. Across Europe, 38% of people speak English well enough as a foreign language to have a conversation, compared to 12% speaking French and 11% in German.

The report also found that 67% of Europeans consider English the most useful foreign language, and that the numbers favouring German (17%) or French (16%) have declined. As a result, 79% of Europeans want their children to learn English, compared to 20% for French and German.

Too much invested in English

Huge sums have been invested in English teaching by both national governments and private enterprise. As the demand for learning English has increased, so has the supply. English language learning worldwide was estimated to be worth US$63.3 billion (£47.5 billion) in 2012, and it is expected that this market will rise to US$193.2 billion (£145.6 billion) by 2017. The value of English for speakers of other languages is not going to diminish any time soon. There is simply too much invested in it.

Speakers of English as a second language outnumber first-language English speakers by 2:1 both in Europe and globally. For many Europeans, and especially those employed in the EU, English is a useful piece in a toolbox of languages to be pressed into service when needed – a point which was evident in a recent project on whether the use of English in Europe was an opportunity or a threat. So in the majority of cases using English has precisely nothing to do with the UK or Britishness. The EU needs practical solutions and English provides one.

English is unchallenged as the lingua franca of Europe. It has even been suggested that in some countries of northern Europe it has become a second rather than a foreign language. Jan Paternotte, D66 party leader in Amsterdam, has proposed that English should be decreed the official second language of that city.

English has not always held its current privileged status. French and German have both functioned as common languages for high-profile fields such as philosophy, science and technology, politics and diplomacy, not to mention Church Slavonic, Russian, Portuguese and other languages in different times and places.

We can assume that English will not maintain its privileged position forever. Who benefits now, however, are not the predominantly monolingual British, but European anglocrats whose multilingualism provides them with a key to international education and employment.

Much about the EU may be about to change, but right now an anti-English language policy so dramatically out of step with practice would simply make the post-Brexit hangover more painful.

The Conversation

Andrew Linn, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Westminster

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Could early music training help babies learn language?


Christina Zhao, University of Washington

Growing up in China, I started playing piano when I was nine years old and learning English when I was 12. Later, when I was a college student, it struck me how similar language and music are to each other.

Language and music both require rhythm; otherwise they don’t make any sense. They’re also both built from smaller units – syllables and musical beats. And the process of mastering them is remarkably similar, including precise movements, repetitive practice and focused attention. I also noticed that my musician peers were particularly good at learning new languages.

All of this made me wonder if music shapes how the brain perceives sounds other than musical notes. And if so, could learning music help us learn languages?

Music experience and speech

Music training early in life (before the age of seven) can have a wide range of benefits beyond musical ability.

For instance, school-age children (six to eight years old) who participated in two years of musical classes four hours each week showed better brain responses to consonants compared with their peers who started one year later. This suggests that music experience helped children hear speech sounds.

Music may have a range of benefits.
Breezy Baldwin, CC BY

But what about babies who aren’t talking yet? Can music training this early give babies a boost in the steps it takes to learn language?

The first year of life is the best time in the lifespan to learn speech sounds; yet no studies have looked at whether musical experience during infancy can improve speech learning.

I sought to answer this question with Patricia K. Kuhl, an expert in early childhood learning. We set out to study whether musical experience at nine months of age can help infants learn speech.

Nine months is within the peak period for infants’ speech sound learning. During this time, they’re learning to pay attention to the differences among the different speech sounds that they hear in their environment. Being able to differentiate these sounds is key for learning to speak later. A better ability to tell speech sounds apart at this age is associated with producing more words at 30 months of age.

Here is how we did our study

In our study, we randomly put 47 nine-month-old infants in either a musical group or a control group and completed 12 15-minute-long sessions of activities designed for that group.

Babies in the music group sat with their parents, who guided them through the sessions by tapping out beats in time with the music with the goal of helping them learn a difficult musical rhythm.

Here is a short video demonstration of what a music session looked like.

Infants in the control group played with toy cars, blocks and other objects that required coordinated movements in social play, but without music.

After the sessions, we measured the babies’ brains responses to musical and speech rhythms using magnetoencephalography (MEG), a brain imaging technique.

New music and speech sounds were presented in rhythmic sequences, but the rhythms were occasionally disrupted by skipping a beat.

These rhythmic disruptions help us measure how well the babies’ brains were honed to rhythms. The brain gives a specific response pattern when detecting an unexpected change. A bigger response indicates that the baby was following rhythms better.

Babies in the music group had stronger brain responses to both music and speech sounds compared with babies in the control group. This shows that musical experience, as early as nine month of age, improved infants’ ability to process both musical and speech rhythms.

These skills are important building blocks for learning to speak.

Other benefits from music experience

Language is just one example of a skill that can be improved through music training. Music can help with social-emotional development, too. An earlier study by researchers Tal-Chen Rabinowitch and Ariel Knafo-Noam showed that pairs of eight-year-olds who didn’t know each other reported feeling more close and connected with one another after a short exercise of tapping out beats in sync with each other.

Music helps children bond better.
Boy image via www.shutterstock.com

Another researcher, Laura Cirelli, showed that 14-month-old babies were more likely to show helping behaviors toward an adult after the babies had been bounced in sync with the adult who was also moving rhythmically.

There are many more exciting questions that remain to be answered as researchers continue to study the effects of music experience on early development.

For instance, does the music experience need to be in a social setting? Could babies get the benefits of music from simply listening to music? And, how much experience do babies need over time to sustain this language-boosting benefit?

Music is an essential part of being human. It has existed in human cultures for thousands of years, and it is one of the most fun and powerful ways for people to connect with each other. Through scientific research, I hope we can continue to reveal how music experience influences brain development and language learning of babies.

The Conversation

Christina Zhao, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Washington

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

An Interview with Tony Penston

by Emma Pratt (Information and Web Management, StudyCELTA)

Tony Penston, founder of TP Publications and author of “Essential Phonetics for English Language Teachers”, and “A Concise Grammar for English Language Teachers”, on our reading list for CELTA, has taken time to give us his views on embedding pronunciation correction successfully in a lesson.

But first let’s find out about the man behind these well-known ELT publications.

When did you get into teaching?

Tony: I started in 1978 in Iran. I didn’t have a degree but had had a job as a copywriter so I had an interest in English. I soon got the teaching bug and back in Ireland I got a B.A. in Linguistics, later an M. Phil in Applied Linguistics and the Trinity College London DipTESOL.

Where have you taught?

Tony: In Iran as I said, also Mexico, Spain, China, Oman, and back home in Ireland.

What has kept you motivated?

Tony: The conviction that a caring profession like teaching is a great place to be. Also, that TEFL is so dynamic, setting the pace for so many other subjects in other educational fields.

[Editor: I really like that answer.]

What inspired you to develop your own publishing business and write the books you’ve published?

Tony: While teacher training I perceived a need for a grammar which could actually be covered on a TEFL course. A Grammar Course for TEFL Certificate (1998), 80 pages in length, was my attempt at this. I submitted the manuscript to a few ELT publishers but they rejected it, some because they already had authors working on something similar, others because as I had specified its readership as native speaker TEFL trainees they assessed the market as too small. I enjoyed publishing it myself, being able to organise the layout as I wanted, being able to include some ‘quirky’ examples, etc. This aspect of complete control prompted the publication of further books, in particular A Concise Grammar for EL Teachers and the latest Essential Phonetics for EL Teachers.

Where are you based?

Tony: In Greystones, a seaside town south of Dublin, Ireland. I do some occasional teaching and consultancy work nearby but I prefer to write when I can.

Getting down to business: pronunciation in the classroom

image by ELTcampus

We had a lively discussion about teaching pronunciation with fellow English language professionals from many different countries and contexts in an online community discussion recently. We decided to put some of the issues raised to Tony to get his perspective given the recent release of his book Essential Phonetics for English Language Teachers.

 “American elementary teachers do not use the IPA. It’s too daunting for kids, and frankly even for adults. Instead, for US English, Truespel phonetics links to phonics to show sounds in their most frequent spellings in text where possible. Truespel is free on the internet. US English is respelled in Truespel phonetics.”

Tony’s thoughts: Teaching IPA phonemes for their own sake, to children or adults, would be a daunting enough prospect for the teacher too. A phonic spelling convention may be of assistance to children especially, but it has its drawbacks, one being that many pronunciation difficulties are caused by incorrect articulation, often approximants of the L1 sounds, and not solely by graphemic-phonemic misinterpretations.

Essential Phonetics for English Language Teachers does not prescribe the use of phonemes beyond their exploitation in the correction of pronunciation errors.

We agree that the teaching of IPA (phonemes) is not essential, but that the use of some phonemes, of which the schwa is essential, can assist in correcting certain errors. Phonics is mainly concerned with spelling-to-sound difficulties. ESL learner difficulties are of a much broader range.

For this to be implemented successfully the teacher should have a sound knowledge of phonemics and phonology. This of course would include familiarization with:

• place and manner of articulation,

• stress placement in words,

• sentence rhythm,

• aspects of connected speech,

• And intonation.

“There is an argument that a visual phonetics chart is outdated – you can hear words online, why the need of learning phonetics?”

Tony’s thoughts: If students can perfect their pronunciation by using online programmes then this allows the teacher to work on other areas of language teaching and there’s no need for phonetic training. However, in my experience when students come to class they expect the teacher to know how to fix any serious mispronunciations, and to do this the teacher must be competent in English phonology and its exploitation in the correction of errors. Finally, hearing words online will not help regarding difficulties with connected speech, sentence rhythm and intonation. Regarding phoneme charts, I rarely find myself using any, though I like to have one in the classroom.

 “I teach upper-level content-based courses, so we do not have much time to teach IPA.”

‘Teaching IPA’ is not an objective of language teaching. Teaching pronunciation is. However, teaching pronunciation, like the teaching of grammar, should not entail the teaching of rules or phonemes for their sake alone. The Communicative Approach would recommend that rules be exploited for their benefits when and only when required. Essential Phonetics for English Language Teachers focuses on giving teachers the skills to hear and correct mispronunciations, not to ‘teach IPA’.

 “Sadly, improving speaking and sight reading is NOT a focus here in the Middle East. I agree that it’s very helpful, however, stakeholders don’t like to take it seriously. For them as long as the meaning is comprehensible, never mind of the correct enunciation…”

Language schools are entitled to concentrate on whatever area of language their students demand. If indeed their graduates’ speech is of a quality that renders it readily interpretable in an international context, and the other skills, reading, writing, listening, are also of an acceptable grade, then it’s ‘job done’. A reputable international language examination with a substantial speaking part would provide confirmation of this.

That being said, in my experience there have been no adult learning environments where students have not registered doubts about their L2 pronunciation accuracy. Indeed, there are cases where students expressed dissatisfaction with ‘listen and repeat’ as the sole means of pronunciation teaching.

“How do you implement/teach phonics to ESL students (3-8yrs)? And how can one lighten phonics classes with fun games?”

Children know how to learn languages and their methodology consists mainly of games, songs and role play. There is much published material available for such application. Teachers on the lookout for materials should join teachers’ associations, online groups, etc. LinkedIn, for example, has many teacher groups who share such information. A browse through the larger online EFL catalogues, such as that of Bournemouth English Book Centre, will also yield rewards.

So, who really needs to know their phonics? Do we train learners in phonics or the teachers?

Tony: I have had students come to my class at upper intermediate level having had little or no error correction, and it shows. They are glad to have things like vowel length, stress pattern and consonant articulation explained, with the assistance of the whiteboard, and with or without phonemic transcription as required (except for the schwa of course).

‘Training learners in phonetics’ is not an objective of Essential Phonetics for English Language Teachers; training teachers is, whereupon they will have the skill to fix pronunciation errors at the appropriate time in everyday classes.

Tony, thank you.

When Should I Use Capital Letters in English?

Writing in English can be confusing – particularly if you are writing formal business letters or emails. You want to get it right – the last thing you need is for a customer or boss to think your incapable of producing correctly written correspondence. Here are a few rules on when to use capital letters:


Why can’t us British emulate foreign students?

I feel very honoured to be part of a team that help people learn another language. Authors/Publishers and language schools should feel that also. They are creating new futures, lives and opportunities. IATEFL consisted of networking and selling all sorts of English Language resources. It was amazing to see how big and friendly the ELT community was. Although everyone is competing with each other by selling books, everyone respects each other and looks after one another. It is one big happy family. Authors were talking at seminars throughout the week, about the prospects of using a certain book to gain certain skills within the English language. These authors have put so much effort into helping others, they see and feel what the prospected English speaker needs to learn and how English speaking/listening/reading and writing, can be achieved. Teachers in language schools, have the patience and drive to help all levels of English learners, some whom might not pick up the basic language quickly, but they are in the school for a reason. And these Teachers see that these people have spent time, and money to gain extra knowledge, and a new way of looking at life. The English language gives them an extra stepping stone to achieving their dreams.

These people at IATEFL had aspirations, future goals and it was a delight to see how important books were for the future of these dedicated professionals. Being in digital marketing, I know how important it is to keep up with the digital times. The internet is and always will be important for learners of English. It gives them the opportunities to buy online, to search for schools online and to be part of a community socially. English books online are presumably the future in certain countries. Language schools that can afford to supply iPads or tablets will have an advantage but not every country or school can afford this. Books, material that you can touch, feel and own, are and always will be the future. We can talk about online material until we are blue in the face, but thinking back to when I was at school, material that was in front of you, that you could write on, practice, was the best way to learn. Each and every one of us could not wait for the TV to be rolled into the classroom, ready to watch something educational or perhaps not. Most days, we had enough of listening to teachers. Little did we know, that these teachers were drilling information into our brain without us even knowing.

It became apparent that the English, and the British educational system is way behind in terms of second or third language learning. The attitude of ‘well, we don’t need to learn another language, we have the main language’ is just not acceptable in my eyes. Why shouldn’t we learn another language? Why isn’t it used in primary schools where children soak information up like a sponge?

I have often been told by foreigners that the English people are lazy when it comes to learning another language. It isn’t the children’s fault. They want to learn, they need to learn, but for some reason, the British government don’t think we need to add languages as a primary subject. Well forgive me if I’m wrong, but myself and this is an estimated guess, 90% of the people in this country will not, use trigonometry or pie in their lifetime. I’m not singling out maths because basic maths is a must. This is just an example of how much time is used on subjects that unless you have aspirations to be a scientist, accountant or in mechanical engineering you might not ever use these for as long as you live. This goes for other subjects that we spent a lot of time learning at school, with very little outcome at the end of it. I think it’s great that we learn all parts of certain subjects that we might use to help us for the future, but to only introduce language learning as a secondary subject is why we lag behind. People who speak another language are smarter in my eyes because they have two or three words for our one word.

I have tried and failed miserably to learn another language over the years. It’s hard to want to learn when all you here is English. Your friends, family, people at work, everyone you know, can speak to you without even thinking about it. But what if we had to think about it. What if, while I was writing this blog, I picked a word and turned it into French/Spanish and started waffling on in that language. I think I would impress myself let alone other people that I have drawn in an audience who are French/Spanish speakers. If we had to learn it, we would.

A few things spring to mind when thinking about why and how the foreigners need to learn English. I used to be an agent for language schools, travelling to the Middle East to find prospected students wanting to learn English. On more than one occasion, I visited these students’ homes, some living in very bad conditions, but somehow, the parents had chosen to use their life savings on their children’s education. It was honourable to see the passion in these parents faces, wanting, needing their children to learn the English language. It was inspiring to say the least. It made me think of how important these families see the English language. It’s a must have in their eyes. They are setting their children on a path and there is no better language to learn.

Imagine if our parents had this thought process drummed into them. Saving up money for their kids’ education into language learning. No one is to blame. It’s not a natural thing. We have the most spoken language in the world. Why on earth would we need to learn another? Just imagine if the UK curriculum added a few extra hours of language learning a week, and gave students the chance to study abroad for a week or a couple of weeks instead of a week away at an adventure playground. Of course it comes down to money and taking kids out of the school for a certain period of time. But imagine if it started now and young parents wanted their kids to speak another language. Going abroad and learning a new language and culture, might open the pupil’s eyes. It might make them realise that there are other languages out there and not frown upon pupils in their school that are speaking to parents, friends in their first language.  Learning early would solve all of this. When I was learning French, I remember looking at my schedule of the week and was shocked. Two hours a week! What would you gain when you learn 1 hour every two days. Our teacher, although having a vast knowledge of the French language, weren’t even French and didn’t have the expressions, the tone and accent. We were also 15 years old, easily distracted by what else was going on in the class. We had not been taught the language early enough and we just weren’t interested.

This was over 15 years ago. So has it changed? I asked my 11 year old cousin who lived in France for 5 years and has a very good understanding of the French language. She is now back in the UK and so I asked her how much time was spent learning another language. One hour a week was her response and she said the French teacher was mispronouncing a lot of words. She knew this because she attended French schools. I may also add she has 4 hours a week learning Religious Education. And she watched the animated film The Lorax in her last RE lesson. I mean this is not right. When is it going to change? The UK is one of the brightest and cosmopolitan countries in the world and why can we not see that millions of people come to this country to learn our language. I actually feel embarrassed when someone from around the world asks me if I speak another language. I want my children to have a better understanding and at least be given the opportunity of language learning. It’s important as a human to learn as much as possible and it will do wonders for their future if they learnt from the early ages, say around 5 years old. British people who have married foreign nationals have an advantage. Being around speakers of another language, you pick up words, body language and become automatically interested. My wife is a foreign national and we have a daughter coming up to two years old. My wife speaks to her in French, Arabic and English and she is beginning to understand all three. I have another huge advantage, as I will watch and learn my daughter grow up, learning three languages. It will be in my best interest to learn while she learns. I will feel very odd if my daughter and her mother are communicating and I don’t understand a word.

I will now grab the bull by the horns and learn as much as I can. This is my opportunity. I just hope I have the attention span and need for this, because I have grown up in a country where learning languages isn’t on our agenda.

I hope the UK change the curriculum for every youngster’s sake. BEBC have been selling ESL/ELT books for over 40 years now, and that shows you how long students have been willing to learn English in our country and around the world. Our language schools would be even busier if it wasn’t for visa regulations and cost implications. This country and its state schools are now full up with many nationalities, many of whom can speak 2 languages. Instead of English kids turning their nose up at another language, let’s instil a mind-set that makes them jealous of these lucky people. I hope my rant reaches people who have the same opinion on our curriculum and the need for kids to learn languages early. Let us not underestimate the brain power of a child, they can cope with learning two languages. Trust me.

Nick Edwards

BEBC (Bournemouth English Book Centre)

The Company Words Keep – video interview with the authors

A new book from the Delta Teacher Development Series, The Company Words Keep, was published this month and is intended as a practical and thought-provoking guide for language teachers, showing how the latest insights into ‘language chunks’ can lead to learners acquiring natural and fluent English. In this short video by Pilgrims Training, authors Hania Kryszewska and Paul Davis share the inspiration and ideas behind this new title:

This new book is available to purchase from BEBC for £19.60. Click here to order.

What is your experience with ‘language chunks’?

IELTS Advantage Book Launch

On Friday I was lucky enough to meet Richard Brown and Lewis Richards, the authors of IELTS Advantage: Writing Skills, at the book’s launch in Portsmouth. IELTS Advantage:Writing Skills, by Delta Publishing, aims to take students step by step through the writing module to help them achieve a score of 6.5 or above.

Richard Brown and Lewis Richards at the book launch

Richard Brown and Lewis Richards at the book launch

The material has been trialled at Language Specialists International, a dynamic language school in Portsmouth, and there were very positive comments from the staff at the launch. Both the authors and Nick Boisseau, the publisher from Delta, were very pleased with the turn-out at Café le Parisien and it was more evidence that the smaller ELT publishers can produce attractive and competitive publications.

At the launch of IELTS Advantage: Writing Skills

At the launch of IELTS Advantage: Writing Skills

If you were at the launch or would simply like to add anything about IELTS Advantage: Writing Skills, please feel free to add your own comments below.

John Walsh, Managing Director, BEBC


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Ideas and Resources for Teaching Spanish and MFL from a Spanish Teacher using Mary Glasgow Magazines in her Classroom.

EFL Notes

Random commentary on teaching English as a foreign language

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