Review of Meaning-Focused Materials for Language Learning

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This review appeared originally in the LINGUIST List at http://linguistlist.org/issues/15/15-839.html.

 

SUMMARY

Meaning-Focused Materials for Language Learning, edited by Marina Bouckaert, Monique Konings and Marjon van Winkelhof, is a collection of contributions arising from the 2017 conference of materials-development association MATSDA. The book is divided into four parts, considering materials creation, teaching interventions involving meaning-focused materials, the use of digital materials and multimedia, and critical perspectives on language learning materials and testing systems. Continue reading

Review of English-Medium Instruction in Japanese Higher Education

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This review appeared originally in the LINGUIST List at https://linguistlist.org/pubs/reviews/get-review.cfm?SubID=36413037

SUMMARY

English-Medium Instruction in Japanese Higher Education, edited by Annette Bradford and Howard Brown, considers the policy context, curriculum and classroom implementation, challenges and potential impacts of the current government-sponsored drive to offer more English-taught programs in Japanese higher education. According to the Japanese Ministry of Education, or MEXT, over a third of Japanese universities now offer courses taught in English (MEXT, 2015). English-Medium Instruction programs are defined in this volume as “courses and programs delivered through English with no consideration to establishing language learning goals” (xviii), thus distinguishing the focus from approaches that aim to incorporate content and language, foremost among them CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) and CBI (Content-based Instruction). Continue reading

Archive: the bedroom archaeologist

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Old books

Write a dialogue between a cow and a cabbage, on the subject of vegetarianism

This time I really mean it: I am really truly going to tidy up my things. There are boxes and bags and random piles of things that have been slowly building up into geological strata over the last ten years, as I dashed around hither and thither like a headless chicken. But no more: the time has come to bring order to the chaos.

It’s a shame, then, that I keep coming across things that are far more interesting than tidying. Today’s pick is a wee book that must have been my grandmother’s, called ‘English papers for preparation or homework’. Published in 1931, it provides all the practice a young ‘un could need in identifying famous quotations, paraphrasing great works in a third of the length, and memorising at which school great English leaders were educated.

It also contains the following serious and thought-provoking exercises

* Write a dialogue between a cow and a cabbage, on the subject of vegetarianism
* Name six things besides cigars which should be kept in a dry place
* Write a short essay on the relative advantages of living a short gay life, and a long serious one
* Write a short essay on the uses of indiarubber
* Describe all that you could procure from an ideal penny-slot machine
* Suggest, and illustrate by a drawing, how a petrol-station might be in no way disfiguring to a picturesque country road
* Draw a picture in pencil or colours to illustrate the following incident from Plutarch’s “Life of Antony”…
* Suggest two wireless programmes, to be obtainable concurrently, so that a highbrow and a lowbrow listener can each be satisfied

 

From here on August 27th 2008