Friday, 22nd October

1. No fewer than five MOOCs to review over the weekend, three for teachers https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/language-assessment

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/teaching-english-great-lesson

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/english-in-early-childhood

and two for learners

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/workplace-english

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/explore-english-language-culture

2. Here’s the latest ELT position paper from Oxford University Press – possibly ever so slightly more controversial than previous papers? – on English Pronunciation for a Global World https://elt.oup.com/feature/global/expert/pronunciation?cc=global&selLanguage=en You need to register to download and I recommend you do so. PDF below just in case.

3. Three thinkpieces with strong views on the future of education to accompany a cup of coffee or tea over the weekend:

first, courtesy of the WONKHE blog, the recent Alun Francis social mobility report for Policy Exchange  https://wonkhe.com/wp-content/wonkhe-uploads/2021/10/Alun-Francis-paper-for-media.pdf

“There are evidently many examples of unfairness and inequality, but if social mobility is going to improve, policymakers are going to achieve little if they remain locked into a discussion about elites, and policy focusses only on who becomes part of it. They have to ask harder questions about the supply of opportunities and how they can be extended to a wider variety of people” (PDF below)

second, from Sol Gamsu for the Open Democracy website, https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/elite-educators-have-milked-system-long-enough/

“As the pandemic deepens inequality between children, it’s vital to dismantle the system that gives state schools no chance against private peers.”

and third, from Christopher Such’s Primary Colour blog, https://primarycolour.home.blog/2019/10/06/the-fundamental-unaddressed-issue-of-education/

“As all foundation stage and key stage one teachers are acutely aware, children arrive at school with a vast range of experiences and abilities. There is an overwhelming difference between a child who has just turned four from a challenging family background and a child who is about to turn five from a supportive family background.”

4. There’s free talks from the LSE on a number of interesting topics over the next few weeks, including China’s role in the world, USA-Europe relations, climate, and corruption. Have a browse over the weekend! https://www.lse.ac.uk/Events/Search-Events

5. And, finally, John Agard reading his own most famous poem, ‘Listen Mr Oxford don’. A real treat if you don’t already know it – and a real treat if you do! https://youtu.be/Ywy-Tthdg7w

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