Welcome to the Warwick ELT!

Editorial… 

Welcome to the Seventh Issue of ‘The Warwick ELT’!

Dear all,

We are very happy to present the seventh issue of The Warwick ELT e-zine. As it is a common practice of our e-zine, the articles presented cover a variety of topics and contexts related to the English Language Teaching.

In this issue, we have a very special contribution by Rafaela Mesquita, a teacher of English in Brazil, who shares with us her impressions on being a teacher in the Brazilian context, with her personal reflection entitled ‘Unmistakable Role’.

Alongside the first personal reflection in our publication, this issue presents 5 equally interesting and engaging scholarly research articles in different themes.

First, Yanxin Chang (Alison), article “Syllabus Materials and Task Design for Chinese Young Learners”. In this article, Chang analyses a Chinese textbook and explains how she would adapt it for classroom context.

Secondly, Ning Ding (Trista), in the article “Novel and Film in English Language Teaching” focuses on the novel and film “The Little Prince” to illustrate the use of literature in the classroom.

Thirdly, Jie Liang (Jessica), in her article “Investigating the Use of Academic Words in MA Students’ Trial Assignment” presents a small scale study exploring the use of academic vocabulary in student based writing.

Fourth, article by Komila Tangirova, “Using Authentic Video Materials in Teaching English”, emphasises the use of AVM as a tool for teaching language and organising communicative activities at a class if used with appropriate methodology.

And finally, Mirian Fuhr, in her article “Reflecting on the Transition from GE to ESAP Teaching”, explores the transition from teaching general English to teaching English for specific and academic purposes, based on the literature review and on her own experience.

For ease of access, each of the articles can be found hyperlinked below:

  1. Unmistakable Role by Rafaela Mesquita
  2. Syllabus Materials and Task Design for Chinese Young Learners by Yanxin Chang (Alison)
  3. Novel and Film in English Language Teaching by Ning Ding (Trista)
  4. Investigating the Use of Academic Words in MA Students’ Trial Assignment by Jie Liang (Jessica)
  5. Using Authentic Video Materials in Teaching English by Komila Tangirova
  6. Reflecting on the Transition from GE to ESAP Teaching by Mirian Fuhr

We sincerely hope you enjoy reading the reflection and articles in this issue. Stay tuned for the next issue.

Thank you!

Julius Daniel, Mirian Fuhr and Wallace (Shizheng Liu)

June Issue Editors

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Personal Reflection

Unmistakable Role

Rafaela Zang

Being a teacher is, beyond any doubt, one of the hardest jobs I know. It requires features somewhat forgotten, such as patience, flexibility, attention, tolerance, and a fair amount of love. It is going through such an experience every 50 minutes in a universe full of different minds. Teachers are required to be committed, dedicated, motivated, and also to have a lot of knowledge. Teaching in Brazil, a country in which education has not been the foremost issue, requires even more.

Once I was asked whether I had any pleasure to be a teacher. I did not take long for a positive answer, which I was very proud of (I still am). I have been teaching English for 18 years now. I started as a very young teacher and I am satisfied to say that year after year I have built my career with dedication and love. I have taught in different kinds of schools: municipal, state, private language institute ones. I have tried not to do the same every year, as I make an effort to refresh my practice every conference or congress I attend to, every conversation I have with other teachers and students, every chance of getting better that comes to me. Continue reading

Syllabus, Materials and Task Design for Chinese Young Learners

Yanxin Chang (Alison)

Abstract

In this paper, a language-learning coursebook, which is named as ‘Bright star’ has been chosen for evaluation and revise. The target students are language learners in China who are aged from 6 to 8 years old. Considering the language teaching context and language learners in China, this coursebook will be evaluated and adapted with teachers’ own beliefs and teaching goals. Overall, the evaluation designed by Cunningsworth (1995) was used as a reference for evaluating this whole coursebook. To be more specific, there are four criterions from different perspectives are listed to be discussed for details, such as teaching aims, recycling parts and teaching approach. Following that, a specific unit (unit 19) in this coursebook was taken as an example to be adapted and supplemented. Through using multiple adapting methods, such as deleting, adding, modifying and reordering, enhancing this coursebook to be more suitable and reliable for the target students.

Keywords: language learning, syllabus, materials, task design, young learners, coursebook. 

Introduction

To introduce my language teaching context, I will give some basic information of my target students. My target learners are primary school students in Shanghai, China, who are in grade 1 and aged from 6 to 8 years old. Therefore, their mother tongue is Mandarin, and most of them are in their first year to learn English, which means they are at the very beginning of learning English as a foreign language. The normal size of each classroom for a primary school in Shanghai, China, is approximately 35 to 40 students. English is set as a curriculum for students in primary school in China, especially in the cities which are economically developed (like Shanghai), students are required to learn English as early as possible. Thus, children in Shanghai start learning English in grade 1 in primary school, even though some may start earlier (in their kindergarten).

In the following part of this paper, firstly, the chosen coursebook ‘Bright star’ for my target students will be introduced and evaluated according to the reference checklist. Then, taking my own beliefs and the context of my students into consideration, a specific unit in this coursebook will be taken as an example to be adapted and supplemented. Continue reading

Novel and Film in English Language Teaching

Ning Ding (Trista)

Abstract

Using literature in English language teaching has aroused a lot of attention recently. In this paper, the ‘literature’ will only focus on the novel and film forms based on the novel ‘the little prince’ released in 2015 and the 2015 film version. The paper will be illustrated from three aspects, which are the main differences between novels and films, the different experiences of seeing films and reading novels and the constructive uses for using film clips(videos) in literature teaching. The main reason for this decision is because of the argument pointed out by Montgomery (1992) that the visual form of film and the prose form of the novel are two mainstreams for people to experience fiction in the twentieth century.

Key words: film, novel, English language teaching

Introduction

According to Collie and Slater (2011), there is a question attracting people’s attention recently, which is given that there is no compulsory examination requirement for students.  Is it really necessary for a language teacher to use literature in the foreign language classroom teaching? Although there is one argument that the language appeared in literature is far away from what students frequently use in daily life, abandoning literature off syllabus thoroughly still causes a certain amount of unease (ibid). It cannot be denied that literature can help students get a sense of achievement, motivate their learning attitudes, enrich teachers’ teaching materials and improve students’ language proficiency if language teacher can choose suitable literature materials (Lazar, 2012. According to Lazar (2012), literature means that using bountiful and multi-layered language to illustrate meanings, including the fictional ones such as novels, short stories, plays, poems and films. In this article, it will only focus on the novel and film forms based on the novel ‘the little prince’ released in 2015 and the 2015 film version. There are two reasons to make this choice. The first one is based on the argument pointed out by Montgomery (1992) that, the visual form of film and the prose form of the novel are the two mainstreams for people to experience fiction in the twentieth century. The second reason is that, using video in language classroom has gained a large amount of support from different experts such as Bao (2008), Stempleski and Tomalin (1997), Wilson (2000), etc, especially that film clip as a video material has been paid a lot of attention. In the following part of the article, it will include three main parts, including the main differences between films and novels, the different experiences of seeing films and reading novels and the constructive uses for using film clips(videos) in literature teaching. Continue reading