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Point of view: ‘We have a moral obligation to lead the way’

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Ella Tyler explains why the ELT and international education industries are uniquely placed to promote women in leadership.

When I left university in 1993, I really believed that the glass ceiling of my mother’s generation had been shattered.

Women were equal to men in terms of accomplishments, and I was confident that over the next few years the imbalance of women at senior levels in companies would be redressed, leading to a better world for everyone.

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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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Don’t worry, size doesn’t matter

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Parents who think good-quality teaching comes by paying over the odds for small class sizes are misguided, says Melanie Butler.

‘You can have it cheaper, you can have it better, or you can have it faster’ – the old adage goes. ‘Pick two.’

Yet when agents ask parents to pick the things they want in a classroom, they get the answer: ‘cheaper with smaller classes’ – with the proviso: ‘the teacher can be any old native speaker as long as they are white.’

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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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Out of the box: The power of public speaking

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A few years ago, at the English language centre I was in charge of, our students would work on presentations quite frequently. But very often we felt those presentations didn’t benefit the students as much as we thought they would.

It seemed our students often treated those presentations as yet another classroom activity that needed to be completed before the lesson was over.

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