Monday, 8th November

No message tomorrow; back on Wednesday!

1. Starting next Tuesday, 16th November, Teaching pathways: How to teach listening https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/teaching-pathways-how-teach-listening

Learn over four sensibly-paced weeks how to design listening tasks and improve the active and effective listening skills of your students.

2. There was a good piece in the old-fashioned paper Guardian on Saturday that took a long time to make its way up onto the web, but it got there today: Should we leave the classroom behind? by Laura Spinney https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/nov/08/the-big-idea-should-we-leave-the-classroom-behind

“My 21-year-old goddaughter”, says Laura, “a second-year undergraduate, mentioned in passing that she watches video lectures offline at twice the normal speed. Struck by this, I asked some other students I know. Many now routinely accelerate their lectures when learning offline – often by 1.5 times, sometimes by more. Speed learning is not for everyone, but there are whole Reddit threads where students discuss how odd it will be to return to the lecture theatre. One contributor wrote: “Normal speed now sounds like drunk speed.”

So I guess that means I sound permanently inebriated!

3. And here’s another good piece by Spinney, who clearly had a productive weekend, that I chanced upon while waiting for the classroom piece to appear, Can history teach us anything about the future of war – and peace? https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/nov/07/can-history-teach-us-anything-about-the-future-of-war-and-peace

Steven Pinker famously claimed ten years ago that violence is declining. Not all historians agree.

4. This Naomi Klein piece from the London Review of Books, Let Them Drown: The Violence of Othering in a Warming World, is available to non-subscribers for this week only https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v38/n11/naomi-klein/let-them-drown

There’s also a recording of the author reading the piece, which originated as the 2016 Edward W. Said London Lecture.

Said once described environmentalism as ‘the indulgence of spoiled tree-huggers who lack a proper cause’. Klein takes him gently but firmly to task for doing so.

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