Friday, 16th April

1. This month’s edition of Humanising Language Teaching (HLT) from Pilgrims – no country focus this time round that I can detect but the usual rich and varied mixture of topics nonetheless! https://www.hltmag.co.uk/apr21/

2. Two considered pieces from The Conversation about the resurgence of violence in Northern Ireland, which many people think is an unintended consequence of Brexit:

https://theconversation.com/northern-ireland-the-politics-behind-the-riots-158727

https://theconversation.com/northern-ireland-how-to-understand-the-influence-of-paramilitary-groups-158726

Don’t ask me what were the intended consequences of Brexit, please.

3. Acronym alert! EAP is English for Academic Purposes, BALEAP is the British Association of Lecturers in English for Academic Purposes, and a SIG is a Special Interest Group. OK?

EAP for Social Justice is one of BALEAP’s SIGs, and they recently published this account by Bill Guariento of an online pre-sessional partnership between Science, Engineering and Technology students at the University of Glasgow and at the Islamic University of Gaza https://eap4socialjustice.net/2020/06/06/pre-sessional-english-language-courses-university-telecollaboration-as-a-driver-of-global-north-south-student-contact-for-engineers/

Bill’s paper “concludes that pre-sessional English language telecollaboration that juxtaposes areas of peace and conflict can offer particular opportunities for the dialogue that, in Freire’s view (1996: 69) leads, through action and reflection, to ‘naming’ – and thereby potentially changing – the world”. PDF below if that’s easier than a long scroll.

4. I missed this report by the Society for the Advancement of Education https://www.sahe.org.pk/ looking at Medium of Instruction in Punjab’s Government Schools when it was first published a year ago and have just come across it while doing some preliminary research for a new CLIL project https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/sites/teacheng/files/Change_Medium_Instruction_Punjab_Government_Schools-Perceptions_Prospects.pdf

Its findings “point to the need for an appropriate language in education policy wherein Urdu rather than English serves as the MoI (medium of instruction) in the primary grades, English is taught more effectively as a subject or skill and there is room for the mother tongue to complement Urdu in the initial years”. It includes a very useful literature review. PDF below.

5. And, finally, my colleagues in Portugal have started a podcast, primarily for the students they teach – but I think it deserves a wider audience! https://spark.adobe.com/page/8xM4IHdgPtfZa/

In their own words, “The Sunshiny Day podcast is a tiny audio present packed with surprising talents, funny stories, moving music, side-splitting jokes, and much, much more!” Simple little gems like a nine-year-old talking about – and playing – their green ukulele (at the beginning of the first episode). How about you start one with your students?

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