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Foreign language quashes ethical qualms

By: Claudia Civinini

Would you kill a person to save another five?

Answering moral dilemmas is no easy feat, but imagine having to do it in your foreign language. How would this affect your decision?

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'What do people mean when they say "learning styles don't work"?'

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Marjorie Rosenberg calls for a more nuanced debate around one of the most divisive issues in education.

By Marjorie Rosenberg

In the last few years the mere mention of the words ‘learning styles’ has become controversial. As someone who has been working in the field of styles and learner preferences for more than twenty-five years it is uncertain to me what is meant by the argument ‘learning styles don’t work’.

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‘Students have refused to be taught by me’

varinder unlu

Language school director of studies Varinder Unlu has spent her career on the receiving end of often bare-faced racism. The issue is the ‘elephant in the room’ in ELT and needs greater research, she says.

I have grown up experiencing so much racism and sexism that most of the time these days it doesn’t even occur to me to be offended when it rears its ugly head.

Take last week for example. I get a call from one of our registrars – there’s a prospective student wanting to talk to the academic director about Ielts classes.

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EMI Special

Ernesto Macaro close up

‘EMI is not a grassroots movement’

Introducing English as a Medium of Instruction can be laced with pitfalls and institutions need to make sure staff, students and parents are all on board, a leading expert tells Claudia Civinini.

There are currently four models for EMI, says Ernesto Macaro, director of Oxford University’s Centre for Research and Development in English Medium Instruction. There is the preparatory year model, the institutional support model, and the pre-institutional selection model, he explains. The fourth, which he compares to an ostrich, is the not uncommon ‘bury-your-head-in-the-sand’ model.

As EMI spreads like wildfire throughout Europe and Asia, Macaro’s work is becoming all the more important to understand what can go wrong when it is introduced.

For Macaro, it’s all down to institutional problem avoidance. ‘Pretending that teachers are all ok, that students are all fine and that you don’t have to put any money into the system. I am afraid it all comes down to money’, he says. ‘EMI works well when all stakeholders are being involved: students, teachers, managers – and head teachers and parents in a school.’

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Does my booty look funny in this?

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A raccoon and a buzzard meet up in a circus and have a giggle.

You laughing yet? No?

Strange. The sentence is composed of some of the funniest words in the English language, according to new research by the University of Warwick.

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