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


image-20160701-18331-1oy1oep

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.

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Could early music training help babies learn language?


image-20160512-16410-1i0hrpb.jpg

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.

With regular introductions of crazy new words in the Oxford Dictionary, here’s a list of old words that should never have left us in the first place!


Language changes over time; words and phrases come and go. In many cases, there is a good reason for words leaving our vocabulary. I am certainly grateful that modern sewer systems mean there is no longer a need for the term Gardyloo – a warning call before chamber pots were poured out of windows onto the streets below.

Other old English terms, however, still have perfectly valid meanings in our modern world and really need to be brought back, if only for the pleasure of saying them. Here are 24 words and slang terms from old and middle English (or thereabouts) that are fun to say, still useful, and should never have left us in the first place.

1. Bedward

Exactly as it sounds, bedward means heading for bed. Who doesn’t like heading bedward after a hard day?

2. Billingsgate

This one is a sneaky word; it sounds so very proper and yet it refers to abusive language and curse words.

3. Brabble

Do you ever brabble? To brabble is to argue loudly about matters of no importance.

4. Crapulous

A most appropriate sounding word for the condition of feeling ill as a result of too much eating/drinking.

5. Elflock

Such a sweet word to describe hair that is tangled, as if it has been matted by elves.

6. Erstwhile

This very British sounding word refers to things that are not current, that belong to a former time, rather like the word itself.

7. Expergefactor

Something that wakes you up is an expergefactor. For most of us it’s our alarm clocks, but it could be anything from a chirping bird to a noisy neighbor.

8. Fudgel

Fudgel is the act of giving the impression you are working, when really you are doing nothing.

9. Groke

This means to stare intently at someone who is eating, in the hope that they will give you some. Watch any dog for a demonstration.

10. Grubble

Grubble might sound like the name of a character from a fantasy novel but it does in fact mean to feel or grope around for something that you can’t see.

11. Hugger-mugger

What a fun way to describe secretive, or covert behavior.

12. Hum durgeon

An imaginary illness. Sounds more like an imaginary word. Have you ever suffered from hum durgeon?

13. Jargogle

This is a perfect word that should never have left our vocabulary, it means to confuse or jumble.

14. Lanspresado

It sounds like the name of a sparkling wine, but no, it means a person who arrives somewhere, having conveniently forgotten their wallet, or having some other complicated story to explain why they don’t have money with them.

15. Mumpsimus

Mumpsimums is an incorrect view on something that a person refuses to let go of.

16. Quagswag

To shake something backwards and forwards is to quagswag, who knew?

17. Rawgabbit

We all know a few rawgabbits. A rawgabbit is a person who likes to gossip confidentially about matters that they know nothing about.

18. Snollygoster

I think we can all agree this is a fantastic sounding word. It means a person who has intelligence but no principles; a dangerous combination. Watch out for the snollygosters, they live amongst us.

19. Snottor

This old english term has the unlikely meaning of “wise.” Really?

20. Trumpery

Things that look good but are basically worthless. I said THINGS, not people.

21. Uhtceare

This means lying awake worrying before dawn. We all do this, we just didn’t know there was a word for it. Say it now, like this: oot-key-are-a.

22. Ultracrepidarian

Similar to the rawgabbit, this person takes every opportunity to share their opinion about things they know nothing about. Social media is the perfect outlet for these people.

23. Zwodder

Being in a drowsy, fuzzy state, after a big night out perhaps?

And finally, I broke the alphabetical listing to save my favorite till last…

24. Cockalorum

A small man with a big opinion of himself.

BEBC’s Digital ELT Resource Glossary A-Z


ELT Publishers are creating more and more digital content, which some would agree is a positive step for language teaching. However these useful additional resources and the terms used to describe them are going above the heads of many who simply don’t understand the products or their functions. This is made even more problematic by publishers naming very similar resources differently.

For this reason, we at BEBC decided to get definitions from publishers to accompany the types of digital resources on offer so that we might share them with you. You may wish to save this page to your favourites or print it off as a reminder to help you when making your next purchases…

 

A

ActiveBook (Pearson) – a digital student book with full audio, suitable for any computer. Used just as a book in class, and outside the classroom it gives access to Student Book pages and audio so that students can practise activities taught in class.

ActiveTeach (Pearson) – for use with a computer and projector or with an Interactive Whiteboard. Includes Student’s Book pages, full class audio and DVD, printable worksheets and interactive exercises, assessment activities and tests and Interactive Whiteboard tools.

App (Cambridge University Press and others) – software for consumer mobile devices like mobile phones, tablet computers and media players.

B

Blended course (Cambridge University Press) – a teacher-led course containing a self-study portion accessed by the learner over the internet.

Blended Learning (Macmillan and others) – a method of learning which uses a combination of different resources, especially a mixture of classroom sessions and online learning materials.

C

Class Presentation Tools (Macmillan) – tools for classroom presentation.  This Interactive Whiteboard Software offers a digital version of the Student’s Book on screen with integrated audio, video, games and customisable Teacher’s pages e.g. New Inside Out / Global.

Classware (Cambridge University Press) – computer software that lets you present digital versions of Cambridge textbooks on an Interactive Whiteboard or projector, to engage the whole class.

D

Digital book (Richmond) – complete digital version of all components usually delivered on CD-ROM and compatible with any Interactive Whiteboard.

E

E-storycards (Richmond) – electronic version of storycards for display on interactive whiteboards.

eBooks (Cambridge University Press and others) – reading materials in digital form, requiring a computer, mobile device or e-reader to display the text.

ELT Advantage (National Geographic Learning/ Cengage Learning) – online professional development courses, workshops, and virtual seminars that help teachers increase their expertise in English language instruction. Free demos athttp://elt.heinle.com/eltadvantage.

ExamView (National Geographic Learning/ Cengage Learning) – comes with Assessment CD-ROMs and is available with most Heinle programs.  The testgenerating software allows teachers to create and customise tests, manage classes and assignments, retrieve results from online tests, and generate detailed and flexible reports.

F

Footprint Reading Library (National Geographic Learning/ Cengage Learning) – a collection of online ebooks (readers) typically accompanied by audio, record and playback functionality for pronunciation practice, video clip and interactive quiz. Free demos athttp://elt.heinle.com/ng.

G

Global eWorkbook (Macmillan) – an evolution of self-study materials, providing a wide range of resources including: listening and video materials, with video content from the BBC Worldwide archive, which can be viewed on a computer or downloaded to portable devices for mobile learning, grammar, language practice, reference materials, useful language sections and model conversations.

H

I

iTools (Oxford University Press) – digital resources for a range of Oxford University Press courses, giving teachers material for use on the Interactive Whiteboard and bringing learning alive in class (iPacks – first generation of Interactive Whiteboard software available for the New English File course).

iTutor (Oxford University Press) – a new interactive self-study DVD-ROM, included with some OUP courses (in the Student’s Book). Gives learners interactive material from the book, grammar revision and practice, skills practice and vocabulary lists with example sentences and pronunciation.

iWriter (Oxford University Press)  – available on the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary CD-ROM. Guides students through the stages of planning, writing and reviewing a range of different written tasks. Task types include essays, presentations, reports, letters, reviews, CVs and more.

J

K

L

LMS (Learning Management System) (Oxford University Press) – a platform that allows teachers to assign exercises to their students, track their progress and see their marks. LMS is now available with all courses that have online workbooks, online skills practice as well as online practice tests and online placement test.

Learning Platform (Richmond) – Portal + Virtual Learning Environment + Test Studio.

Learning Resources Bank (Oxford University Press) – Student’s Website.

M

Macmillan English Campus (Macmillan) – an English language learning platform that offers a complete solution for blended learning.  Combining a database of over 4,300 interactive resources with a range of learning management tool, Macmillan English Campus gives teachers full control of the resources and monitors students’ progress.

Macmillan Practice Online (Macmillan) – an easy, cost-effective way to offer your students the advantages of online learning.  With a range of over 80 online courses to choose from, each designed to support classroom teaching and including 100-200 resources, you can choose the one that suits your needs.

Macmillan Webinars (Macmillan) – the Macmillan Webinars are a series of live talks, broadcast over the internet to teachers worldwide.  Free to access and viewable from any computer with an internet connection, teachers have the opportunity to watch the talks and put questions directly to Macmillan authors http://www.macmillanenglish.com/webinars. No microphone is necessary as questions can be typed to webinar hosts.

mimio® software(Cambridge University Press and others) – MIMIO is a portable device which can be attached to a whiteboard, wall etc, via a projector, which provides similar functionality to a smart board. You can see more about them at the website- http://www.mimio.dymo.com/.

MyELT (National Geographic Learning/ Cengage Learning) – an internet based learning management system designed for English language teachers and students. Instructors use MyELT to assign Heinle online learning content, track student progress reports, and more. Students use MyELT to complete the online activities, monitor their own learning progress, and review as necessary.

MyEnglishLabs (Pearson) – provides interactive activities and online tools which give students tips, automatic feedback and instant grades. A grade book and diagnostic tools reveal to teachers how students are progressing. Teachers are able to assign activities to groups of students with different needs.

N

O

Online exam practice tests (Oxford University Press) – online practice tests for: KET, PET, FCE, CAE, IELTS, TOEIC®, TOEFL iBT™ and national exams. Teachers can assign online practice tests with help including instant feedback on answers, exam tips and an integrated dictionary, or without help as a mock exam. Saves time with automatic marking. Easily identifies areas of weakness to focus on in class.

Online Placement Test (Oxford University Press) – a Placement Test that helps teachers find their students’ level of English online. Saves time with automatic marking and then places students in the right class based on their scores (CEFR level, score out of 120, time taken and more…)

  • Online
  • Automatically marked
  • Instant results
  • Variety of scores (CEFR level and more)

Online Practice for Students (My…) (National Geographic Learning/Cengage Learning) – access to online practice is usually included the student’s book of a series e.g. Outcomes or Practical Grammar. It allows students to study online at their own pace or do the work their teacher set for them. All activities are automatically graded so that both students and teachers can monitor progress. N.B. Online practice with the Outcomes course is called ‘MyOutcomes,’ and online practice for Practical Grammar course is called ‘MyPG’ and so on…

Online Skills Practice (Oxford University Press) – Interactive Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking practice for a range of OUP courses. Students get access through MultiROMs available in their Student’s Books.

Online Workbooks (Cambridge University Press) – learning activities presented interactively on a website, rather than in a printed book, intended for homework.

P

Portal (Richmond) – interactive and regularly updated site corresponding to a particular course and offering both informal and formal learning. There are product demos, author interviews and downloadable sample units for teachers and fun learning activities for students such as blogs and games.

Presentation Tools (National Geographic Learning/ Cengage Learning)– a CD-ROM containing tools which combine resources from the core materials of Heinle Cengage courses e.g. Happy Trails, English Explorer, Time Zones, Outcomes. For use in the classroom with an Interactive Whiteboard or data projector with computer.

Primary Place (Pearson) – a website for primary teachers to find downloadable materials for their classrooms. Members of the website get access to invitations to workshops and presentations, free articles on current trends, few photocopiable activity sheets and free packs filled with posters, story cards, games and more.

Q

R

Readers Apps (Richmond) – interactive app to download for the iPhone, iPod or iPad complete with audio, animation and extra activities. Also see Apps.

Richmond vodcast series (Richmond) – a series of short films available on YouTube for adults corresponding to the Elementary to Upper-Intermediate levels of The Big Picture and New Framework. Ideal for sparking classroom communication or for use in conjunction with the online activities and competitions.

S

Student CD-ROM (Richmond) – extra resources for students on CD-ROM.

Student DVD (Richmond) – video accompaniment to student book complete with activities. Contains authentic interviews, stories or documentaries.

Student MultiROM (Richmond and others) – CD-ROM with audio tracks. For use in a CD player or computer.

Student’s Website (Oxford University Press)  – also called Learning Resources Bank. A website for students using OUP resources. Designed to provide students with extra practice both in and outside the class.

T

Teacher CD-ROM/DVD-ROM (Richmond) – extra resources for teachers on CD-ROM.

Teacher/Student Resource Site (Richmond) – dedicated course website containing extra resources for both students and teachers. These are usually free and are intended to supplement the core material contained within each course book.

Teacher’s Website (Oxford University Press)  – a website for the registrants of Oxford Teachers’ Club that enables teachers to download extra practice activities and ideas that supplement OUP courses and that are designed to be used with students in class.

Test studio (Richmond) – an online tool allowing teachers to create their own interactive tests online or editable paper versions. Teachers can create tests to revise by unit, a block of units or a complete book.

U

V

Virtual Learning Environment (Richmond) – an online resource, pre-populated with trackable activities for teachers to assign to their students. They are provided as integral parts of the course. Accessible with student and teacher log in account details, these highly adaptable resources allow teachers to set timings and pass marks for exercises. Scores are recorded in a grade book, allowing teachers to track their students’ progress. The forum and library allow teachers to communicate with their class and students to communicate with each other.

W

Web application (Cambridge University Press) – A website that acts like a piece of software, allowing you to perform some task, rather than being a static resource.

X

Y

Z

You can also view and download this glossary as a pdf via Scribd.com. Is there any other way you would like to see these grouped besides A-Z?

BEBC’s Digital ELT Resource Glossary A-Z


ELT Publishers are creating more and more digital content, which some would agree is a positive step for language teaching. However these useful additional resources and the terms used to describe them are going above the heads of many who simply don’t understand the products or their functions. This is made even more problematic by publishers naming very similar resources differently.

For this reason, we at BEBC decided to get definitions from publishers to accompany the types of digital resources on offer so that we might share them with you. You may wish to save this page to your favourites or print it off as a reminder to help you when making your next purchases…

A

ActiveBook (Pearson)a digital student book with full audio, suitable for any computer. Used just as a book in class, and outside the classroom it gives access to Student Book pages and audio so that students can practise activities taught in class.

ActiveTeach (Pearson)for use with a computer and projector or with an Interactive Whiteboard. Includes Student’s Book pages, full class audio and DVD, printable worksheets and interactive exercises, assessment activities and tests and Interactive Whiteboard tools.

App (Cambridge University Press and others) – software for consumer mobile devices like mobile phones, tablet computers and media players.

B

Blended course (Cambridge University Press) – a teacher-led course containing a self-study portion accessed by the learner over the internet.

Blended Learning (Macmillan and others) – a method of learning which uses a combination of different resources, especially a mixture of classroom sessions and online learning materials.

C

Class Presentation Tools (Macmillan) – tools for classroom presentation.  This Interactive Whiteboard Software offers a digital version of the Student’s Book on screen with integrated audio, video, games and customisable Teacher’s pages e.g. New Inside Out / Global.

Classware (Cambridge University Press) – computer software that lets you present digital versions of Cambridge textbooks on an Interactive Whiteboard or projector, to engage the whole class.

D

Digital book (Richmond) – complete digital version of all components usually delivered on CD-ROM and compatible with any Interactive Whiteboard.

E

E-storycards (Richmond) – electronic version of storycards for display on interactive whiteboards.

eBooks (Cambridge University Press and others) – reading materials in digital form, requiring a computer, mobile device or e-reader to display the text.

ELT Advantage (National Geographic Learning/ Cengage Learning) – online professional development courses, workshops, and virtual seminars that help teachers increase their expertise in English language instruction. Free demos at http://elt.heinle.com/eltadvantage.

ExamView (National Geographic Learning/ Cengage Learning) – comes with Assessment CD-ROMs and is available with most Heinle programs.  The testgenerating software allows teachers to create and customise tests, manage classes and assignments, retrieve results from online tests, and generate detailed and flexible reports.

F

Footprint Reading Library (National Geographic Learning/ Cengage Learning) – a collection of online ebooks (readers) typically accompanied by audio, record and playback functionality for pronunciation practice, video clip and interactive quiz. Free demos at http://elt.heinle.com/ng.

G

Global eWorkbook (Macmillan) – an evolution of self-study materials, providing a wide range of resources including: listening and video materials, with video content from the BBC Worldwide archive, which can be viewed on a computer or downloaded to portable devices for mobile learning, grammar, language practice, reference materials, useful language sections and model conversations.

H

I

iTools (Oxford University Press) – digital resources for a range of Oxford University Press courses, giving teachers material for use on the Interactive Whiteboard and bringing learning alive in class (iPacks – first generation of Interactive Whiteboard software available for the New English File course).

iTutor (Oxford University Press) – a new interactive self-study DVD-ROM, included with some OUP courses (in the Student’s Book). Gives learners interactive material from the book, grammar revision and practice, skills practice and vocabulary lists with example sentences and pronunciation.

iWriter (Oxford University Press)  – available on the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary CD-ROM. Guides students through the stages of planning, writing and reviewing a range of different written tasks. Task types include essays, presentations, reports, letters, reviews, CVs and more.

J

K

L

LMS (Learning Management System) (Oxford University Press) – a platform that allows teachers to assign exercises to their students, track their progress and see their marks. LMS is now available with all courses that have online workbooks, online skills practice as well as online practice tests and online placement test.

Learning Platform (Richmond) Portal + Virtual Learning Environment + Test Studio.

Learning Resources Bank (Oxford University Press) Student’s Website.

M

Macmillan English Campus (Macmillan) – an English language learning platform that offers a complete solution for blended learning.  Combining a database of over 4,300 interactive resources with a range of learning management tool, Macmillan English Campus gives teachers full control of the resources and monitors students’ progress.

Macmillan Practice Online (Macmillan) – an easy, cost-effective way to offer your students the advantages of online learning.  With a range of over 80 online courses to choose from, each designed to support classroom teaching and including 100-200 resources, you can choose the one that suits your needs.

Macmillan Webinars (Macmillan) – the Macmillan Webinars are a series of live talks, broadcast over the internet to teachers worldwide.  Free to access and viewable from any computer with an internet connection, teachers have the opportunity to watch the talks and put questions directly to Macmillan authors http://www.macmillanenglish.com/webinars. No microphone is necessary as questions can be typed to webinar hosts.

mimio® software(Cambridge University Press and others)MIMIO is a portable device which can be attached to a whiteboard, wall etc, via a projector, which provides similar functionality to a smart board. You can see more about them at the website- http://www.mimio.dymo.com/.

MyELT (National Geographic Learning/ Cengage Learning) – an internet based learning management system designed for English language teachers and students. Instructors use MyELT to assign Heinle online learning content, track student progress reports, and more. Students use MyELT to complete the online activities, monitor their own learning progress, and review as necessary.

MyEnglishLabs (Pearson)provides interactive activities and online tools which give students tips, automatic feedback and instant grades. A grade book and diagnostic tools reveal to teachers how students are progressing. Teachers are able to assign activities to groups of students with different needs.

N

O

Online exam practice tests (Oxford University Press) – online practice tests for: KET, PET, FCE, CAE, IELTS, TOEIC®, TOEFL iBT™ and national exams. Teachers can assign online practice tests with help including instant feedback on answers, exam tips and an integrated dictionary, or without help as a mock exam. Saves time with automatic marking. Easily identifies areas of weakness to focus on in class.

Online Placement Test (Oxford University Press) – a Placement Test that helps teachers find their students’ level of English online. Saves time with automatic marking and then places students in the right class based on their scores (CEFR level, score out of 120, time taken and more…)

  • Online
  • Automatically marked
  • Instant results
  • Variety of scores (CEFR level and more)

Online Practice for Students (My…) (National Geographic Learning/Cengage Learning) – access to online practice is usually included the student’s book of a series e.g. Outcomes or Practical Grammar. It allows students to study online at their own pace or do the work their teacher set for them. All activities are automatically graded so that both students and teachers can monitor progress. N.B. Online practice with the Outcomes course is called ‘MyOutcomes,’ and online practice for Practical Grammar course is called ‘MyPG’ and so on…

Online Skills Practice (Oxford University Press) – Interactive Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking practice for a range of OUP courses. Students get access through MultiROMs available in their Student’s Books.

Online Workbooks (Cambridge University Press) – learning activities presented interactively on a website, rather than in a printed book, intended for homework.

P

Portal (Richmond) – interactive and regularly updated site corresponding to a particular course and offering both informal and formal learning. There are product demos, author interviews and downloadable sample units for teachers and fun learning activities for students such as blogs and games.

Presentation Tools (National Geographic Learning/ Cengage Learning)– a CD-ROM containing tools which combine resources from the core materials of Heinle Cengage courses e.g. Happy Trails, English Explorer, Time Zones, Outcomes. For use in the classroom with an Interactive Whiteboard or data projector with computer.

Primary Place (Pearson)a website for primary teachers to find downloadable materials for their classrooms. Members of the website get access to invitations to workshops and presentations, free articles on current trends, few photocopiable activity sheets and free packs filled with posters, story cards, games and more.

Q

R

Readers Apps (Richmond) – interactive app to download for the iPhone, iPod or iPad complete with audio, animation and extra activities. Also see Apps.

Richmond vodcast series (Richmond) – a series of short films available on YouTube for adults corresponding to the Elementary to Upper-Intermediate levels of The Big Picture and New Framework. Ideal for sparking classroom communication or for use in conjunction with the online activities and competitions.

S

Student CD-ROM (Richmond) – extra resources for students on CD-ROM.

Student DVD (Richmond) – video accompaniment to student book complete with activities. Contains authentic interviews, stories or documentaries.

Student MultiROM (Richmond and others) – CD-ROM with audio tracks. For use in a CD player or computer.

Student’s Website (Oxford University Press)  – also called Learning Resources Bank. A website for students using OUP resources. Designed to provide students with extra practice both in and outside the class.

T

Teacher CD-ROM/DVD-ROM (Richmond) – extra resources for teachers on CD-ROM.

Teacher/Student Resource Site (Richmond) – dedicated course website containing extra resources for both students and teachers. These are usually free and are intended to supplement the core material contained within each course book.

Teacher’s Website (Oxford University Press)  – a website for the registrants of Oxford Teachers’ Club that enables teachers to download extra practice activities and ideas that supplement OUP courses and that are designed to be used with students in class.

Test studio (Richmond) – an online tool allowing teachers to create their own interactive tests online or editable paper versions. Teachers can create tests to revise by unit, a block of units or a complete book.

U

V

Virtual Learning Environment (Richmond) – an online resource, pre-populated with trackable activities for teachers to assign to their students. They are provided as integral parts of the course. Accessible with student and teacher log in account details, these highly adaptable resources allow teachers to set timings and pass marks for exercises. Scores are recorded in a grade book, allowing teachers to track their students’ progress. The forum and library allow teachers to communicate with their class and students to communicate with each other.

W

Web application (Cambridge University Press) – A website that acts like a piece of software, allowing you to perform some task, rather than being a static resource.

X

Y

Z

You can also view and download this glossary as a pdf via Scribd.com. Is there any other way you would like to see these grouped besides A-Z?

What does Headway mean to you?


In the 25 years since it was first published, Headway has become the best selling English Language course ever. We asked authors Liz and John Soars what inspired them to write the course and why they think it has achieved such success and longevity.

John and Liz Soars

John and Liz Soars

The first Headway manuscript was typed in 1984 on a manual typewriter which had no ‘correct’ function, so the pages were heavily caked in Tipp-Ex, and had bits of paper with corrections glued on top of the original until the pages were in places ten strips deep. We were in the early stages of negotiations with Oxford University Press.

An important thing to remember about Headway, is that it was originally commissioned as just a two-book series at Intermediate and Upper-Intermediate levels. It was only when these became successful that we were asked to continue the series. This we did by writing Headway Advanced. We went ‘up’ before we went ‘down’ the levels, so to speak.

We wanted to write what we believed in from both our teaching and teacher training experience. We were familiar with all the latest so-called ‘communicative’ ideas in ELT circles but we had become wary of fashionable bandwagons. We wanted to write a genuinely and practically useful course for teachers and their students.

When Headway was yet to be commissioned (let alone named) our friend John Walsh, Managing Director at BEBC, looked at the forlorn pages of words followed by more words, and after careful examination that lasted all of ten seconds, he pronounced “Of course, it will never sell.” Thanks John. However, after that he did say some nice things, and his words were very much worth listening to and heeding, because he has always had his ear very close to whatever is happening in ELT circles.

Just after the first book was published John made a radio programme for BBC English, and very sweetly gave Headway a plug, saying that he thought it was a book to keep an eye on, representing as it did the best of traditional approaches and more recent communicative ones. Later still he wrote an article for the Bookseller, and said tremendously nice things about the series.

New Headway Intermediate 4th Edition

New Headway Intermediate 4th Edition

The series grew from two levels to six simply because teachers asked for more. Its development was never part of some grand publishing plan. Nowadays so many courses seem to start out with six levels in mind. We always feel that Headway has benefited from having grown more slowly and in step with teachers’ requests. We hope that each edition is, on the one hand, still true to the initial principles we believe in as teachers, but on the other, espouses new developments which we feel are of real and practical use to language teachers.

John Walsh has been a huge support to us over the past thirty-plus years, both as a friend (we have known John and his wife Ann since before they knew each other – THAT long), and as a colleague in the publishing business. Thanks for everything, John.

Liz and John Soars

Liz and John have so far sold 72 million copies of Headway worldwide and are currently working on the 4th edition of New Headway Pre-Intermediate. To find out more about Headway visit the New Headway page on OUP Global Blog, or to purchase a copy visit BEBC’s website.

So, in your experience why do you think Headway is so successful and what does it mean to you?  Please leave your comments below.

Reviving Classic ELT Materials by Peter Viney


Peter Viney, co-author of ELT classics ‘A Weekend Away’ and ‘A Weekend By The Sea’, talks about his decision to relaunch the series under brand new venture, Three Vee.

Peter Viney

Peter Viney

Three Vee is our venture into publishing after over thirty years as full-time authors. We’d had so many requests for our out-of-print early videos, A Weekend Away and A Week By The Sea that we decided to license them back from OUP, and put both on one DVD for £16.50 (a set of the original VHS tapes from OUP was around £240!). The DVD is taken from the original masters, so is superior in quality to the VHS tapes too, available now from BEBC: A Weekend Away/A Week By The Sea DVD.

Then we felt we needed completely new Study Guides, aimed at the learner working without support. The Study Guides are still useful in class, but they don’t need “pair work” or “ask the teacher.” For more information see eltvideos.com or my wordpress blog. Again, these are both available from BEBC: A Weekend Away Study Guide and A Week By The Sea Study Guide.

A Weekend Away / A Week By The Sea DVD

A Weekend Away / A Week By The Sea DVD

Is it profitable? Not unless we sell a lot (and then not very), but there is great pleasure in making classic ELT material available again. We have been talking about various ELT Classics with BEBC, and our next venture will probably be along these lines: making  proven practical ELT material available again. We’re not confining this to our own materials. As a tiny publisher we’re a long way from being able to look outside our own interests at the moment, so we’re not seeking submissions. But we are interested in the revived classic area.

Peter Viney

http://peterviney.wordpress.com