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Is it ever too late to learn a language? In 1997, Jonathan ‘Jonny’ Wilkinson left university to become a professional rugby union player. Since then, Jonny Wilkinson has excelled in the sport, becoming captain of the English rugby national team and seen as the key force that drove his teams to victory in the 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cup finals. After 12 years with the Newcastle Falcons, he transferred to Toulon in 2009 and that’s when his language-learning journey began… Discover how Jonny found out the hard way the importance speaking the language of his team mates.
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Why we celebrate Shakespeare
Associate Professor of English
Ethiraj College for Women,
There can be no doubt about the brilliance of Shakespeare who was, and still is a beloved playwright for many theatre and literature enthusiasts. 2016 marks the playwright’s 400th death anniversary. His writing is still looked up to and his plays are still relevant to the present day world. The magic of Shakespeare is that he has managed to stay alive in his works which have not been shelved yet, unlike his contemporaries.
Modern day usage of English may seem to have nothing in common with the English that was used in Shakespeare’s time, but it is not so. His usage of English and his diction may seem very different and old now, but his contribution to the current set of words and syntax is immense mainly because he structured his poetry and plays in a different manner. This helped to standardize grammatical rules and his invention of new words added to the existing corpus of words. He revived the usage of suffixes and prefixes, and was brave enough to change the verbs into adjectives and nouns into verbs. Though his spellings have been changed over the years, his grammatical rules are still being followed by the users of the English language even now. Many people who use certain phrases and words from the English language do not realise that before Shakespeare’s time they existed either as a word that meant something completely different to the modern day usage or did not exist at all and were coined by Shakespeare. The risks and artistic license taken by a single playwright has had such a huge impact on the very language that was his mother tongue and his tool of trade and this kind of magic can be wrought only by someone who is truly gifted. And a universally acknowledged fact is how gifted Shakespeare was.
His usage of iambic pentameter in his sonnets gives it a particular rhythm that is very catchy and mesmerising at the same time. The metaphors, similes’ and the rhyme scheme makes it easy on the ears and compels one to remember them, long after they have been spoken. He is credited with coining over a hundred and thirty five phrases, many of which are still being used and has invented over one thousand and seven hundred words which we use in a slightly altered manner nowadays. His flexible usage of words can be seen in his usage of the word “antic”. An antic is a fool, which is a noun. Shakespeare turns it into a verb ‘to make a fool of.’
He can also be credited with simplifying the English language and through the usage of his words and phrases one can easily master speaking English fluently. Since his phrases have a certain rhythm to them they can be easily remembered and would enhance the listening skills of the students.
Baluch, Changiz Khan. "The Influence of Shakespeare on English Language." Web log post. Changizbaluch.wordpress.com. N.p., 8 Nov. 2013. Web. 30 Nov. 2016
King, John, and Warren King. "Words Shakespeare Invented." No Sweat Shakespeare. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Aug. 2016.
A platform of authentic materials for children and young teens developed by children and young teens!
A platform of authentic materials for children and young teens developed by children and young teens!
Learning from others of the same age is the idea behind the new platform palm-edu.eu which wants to make the learning of foreign languages attractive for children in the European Union.
The Erasmus+ project PALM (Promoting Authentic Language Acquisition in Multilingual Contexts) will design a platform of authentic materials for children and young teenagers developed by the children and teenagers themselves. By the end of the project in August 2018, the platform will contain 1500 texts and 250 activities in 8 different languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Hungarian, Greek and Ladin, a minority language spoken in South Tyrol.
For teachers, the site is a resource for learning and teaching materials, as well as assessment tools, to go with various input texts developed by trainee teachers for piloting. They will then report back on the usefulness of texts and materials using short on-line surveys to provide feedback.
NILE, represented by Maria Heron, is one of the partners in this project which is being co-ordinated by Prof. Claudia Mewald of the Pedagogic University of Lower Austria. The team, which includes partners from Cyprus, Italy, Hungary, Austria and the UK, have been meeting twice a year and are meeting again next week in Bressanone in South Tyrol. They will be working on the platform but also planning and preparing for the first intralanguage gathering with some of the children and teachers in Bressanone in May and for the final junior symposium in Baden in June 2018. These gatherings will provide opportunities for plurilingual and intercultural exchange.
From left to right:
The story telling goddess from Hyderabad opened with a short, fun story about a frog race. She went on talking about the beauty and dangers of storytelling, the power of imagination and the importance of day dreaming.
Deepa Kiran is a storyteller, education consultant, writer and voice-over artist. She weaves in music and movement into her telling and holds training programs for teachers on employing storytelling in the language classroom. She lives in Hyderabad and holds her shows and workshops across the country. She holds a Masters in English Literature from the University of Hyderabad and a PGCTE (Post graduate specialization in the teaching of English) from EFLU, English and Foreign Languages University.
In her latest blog post, Chrysa Papalazarou shares a fine resource she came across and how to use it: the UNICEF’s Cartoons for Children’s Rights series.
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BREXIT – The Ugliest Word in 2016!
A Special “TESTING TIMES” Feature
BREXIT!! – A firm favourite for the title of the ‘Ugliest Word of the Year’! Ugly not only because of the sound of the word, but also because of the many ramifications. TESTING TIMES presents in this special BREXIT Christmas Edition news, views, clues and adieus connected with the Past, Present and Future of the UK and Europe following the result of the 2016 CEFR (= Conservatives European Frame-Up Referendum).
BREXIT for BREAKFAST
Did you know that many people confuse BREXIT with the word ‘BREAKFAST’, as did a Government Minister during a speech at this year’s Conservative Party Conference as well as a backbencher M.P. during the parliamentary debate in the House of Commons in November.
Perhaps this is where the concept of a Hard BREXIT and a Soft BREXIT comes from! Hard-Boiled Eggs and Soft-Boiled Eggs for breakfast/BREXIT? And perhaps many people voted with visions of a ‘full English breakfast/BREXIT’ with rashers of ham (to go with the rash decision by approx. 52% of the voters) and fried eggs (perhaps not sunny side up) and (as Cameron made a hash of the whole thing) a portion of hash brownies? And of course with real British sausages, not saucissons or Würstchen, i.e. going out with a banger and not being wursted!!
Another option would be a ‘Brown BREXIT’ or “Sweet BREXIT’ made of dairy milk chocolate - rather like the Kinder eggs made in Germany – with a big surprise inside!
The BREXIT Collocation Competition
In the ensuing months since the Referendum, many collocations of the word BREXIT have been suggested. Not only ‘Hard BREXIT’ and ‘Soft BREXIT’, but also ‘Black BREXIT’ and ‘White BREXIT’. Even ‘Grey BREXIT’ has been proposed, perhaps to reflect the fact that the result of the Referendum was to a large degree due to the grey-haired Be-Leavers who “wanted their country back”.
The latest colour collocation is a “Red, White and Blue” BREXIT – most probably a reference to the colours of the British flag, the Union Jack, although the spin doctors seem to have been completely oblivious of the fact that many other countries across the globe have flags with the same three colours, including the Netherlands (!), France (!!),the United States (!!!), and even Russia (!!!!).
TESTING TIMES invites readers to contribute their own suggestions for the BREXIT Collocation Competition to be printed in the next edition of this jocular journal. The first entries include:
‘Happy Hour BREXIT’ = BREXIT only applies three hours a day – with cheap drinks.
‘TESCO BREXIT’ = Every little helps! It will need to, especially for Marmite fans!
‘Boxing Day BREXIT’ = Every day of negotiation could be a boxing match.
‘April Fools BREXIT’ = That might have been a better date for such a referendum
‘Guy Fawkes’ BREXIT’ = The best way to deal with the politicians responsible.
One of the best comments on “BREXIT” came from a stand-up comedian at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival: “BREXIT sounds like a breakfast cereal for people suffering from constipation!”.
What’s in a Name?
Now that the BREXIT European Placement Test (which was a dismal failure) has proved to be in reality a DIS-Placement test, displacing not only hundreds and thousands of EU citizens and probably hundreds and thousands of British citizens from the other member states of the EU, but also Prime Minister Cameron.
Although many might not see this as a great loss – in fact it could even be seen as the only positive outcome of the Referendum, the question on which the jury is still out is whether his successor is a suitable person for the job.
On the principle of ‘nomen is omen’, the main issue is: How can a country like the United Kingdom appoint a Prime Minister whose name is a MODAL VERB! What is more, a MODAL VERB expressing UNCERTAINTY???. Would the French in 2017 elect a lead called Marine Le Peut-être? Will the Germans re-elect Angela Möglich?
It remains to be seen whether by 2020 both the voters and the country, should the UK then still exist in its present form, will be dismayed at the aftermath of the referendum results, and whether the British government will be ‘dis-MAY-ed’, the worst-case scenario being ‘Mayday’, ‘Mayday’, ‘Mayday’, especially as the confusion and chaos at present emanating from the British government can only be described as MAY-hem, or as somebody described it, a huge blob of MAYonnaise.
BREXIT = EX-BRIT
An interesting side effect of the BREXIT vote is the surge in the number of British citizens applying for dual nationality in other members of the EU. Hundreds of thousands of British passport-holders, who in the spirit of European integration have been resident and in employment in countries throughout the EU, and who furthermore were undemocratically excluded from participation in the Referendum, are now seeking a second passport to ensure ease of mobility, not to mention the duty-frees.
The Goals (and Own Goals) of BREXIT
BREXIT is not a new experience for English people – in fact, there has been a similar flop every two years for nearly a century. Whether it is the European Football Championships or the World Championships, British delegations have – with one exception – been excluded from success in the football single market, usually in the last few minutes of the game, as a result of penalty shoot-outs. The last occasion was in France just after the BREXIT vote, when Iceland consigned England to a second BREXIT – a Football-BREXIT! Two BREXITS in two weeks!
A number of overenthusiastic British football fans believe this is due to FIFA’s discriminatory policy of using the metric system throughout football, as a result of which British-born players misjudge the size of the goal especially when taking penalty kicks. The reverse effect was actually seen in Wembley in 1966, when a German player hit the bar (built to the British Imperial system of measurements) in extra time and failed to score.
NOMEN is OMEN
Given that both the initiation and the outcome of the Referendum was both the result of the Anti-European feeling in the Tory Party and the political in-fighting for the leadership of that party, it is worthwhile looking at the Tories and analysing the structure of their elected M.P.s. Research has revealed the party is full of:
Crema-Tories (those who are prepared to burn any bridges to achieve their aim)
Gyra-Tories (those who simply keep going round in circles, i.e. round the MAY-pole)
Innova-Tories (those with new ideas – an extremely tiny minority)
Lava-Tories (the unmention ables)
Manda-Tories and Regula-Tories (those who prefer the pro-wealthy leanings of the British judicial system to the worker-friendly judgments of the European Court of Justice/Human Rights)
Manipula-Tories (the contriving schemers behind the scenes)
Non-contribu-Tories (those without positive ideas – i.e. the great majority)
Obfusca-Tories (those who persistently confuse the issues by talking rubbish)
Purga-Tories (those who make life hell for most of the British population)
Supposi-Tories (those whose idiotic ideas should be inserted in the appropriate aperture)
And, of course, there is Boris Johnson, the absolute declama-Tory with the most ambiguous initials, who is on the constant search for models for new trade agreements, such as the Norwegian model, the Swiss model, the Canadian model, but who according to unconfirmed sources may have misunderstood the word ‘model’, which is possibly due to his new responsibilities for ‘Foreign Affairs’ and which could then possibly prove embarrassing for the British Government.
QUO VADIS BREXIT and EU?
After the BREXIT vote, it is generally expected / hoped (?) that many other EU countries will follow the BR-example given by the UK. In particular,
Prague will presumably check out
Warsaw will aim for a new Pole Position
Bratislava and Ljubljana will begin a European Go Slo
Vienna will initiate OUTstria
Rome will follow with Italeave
Brussels will remove Manneken Pis = P-Off
Lisbon will de- or ex-PORT-ugal
Copenhagen will dis-Dane the EU
Helsinki will definitely start the FINN-ish
Paris could take French leave signed with Le Pen.
Dublin might try to correct their Eire in joining the EU
Luxemburg will avoid and evade in their usual taxing way
There might be a CYP-Riot in Nicosia
Berlin will go one step further than BR-EXIT with a BRD-EXIT
Amsterdam might get Wilder and really go Dutch
And then only Bucharest will Remain-here.
So if Europe was always Eur(h)ope, what can you do if BREXIT WREXIT? Click here to find out.
Melodies, Rhythm and Cognition in Foreign Language Learning is a compendium of chapters that reflect on language and music, two unique, innate human capacities.
This book provides a clear explanation of how central melodies and rhythm are to foreign language learning acquisition. The interplay language-music brings to applied linguists inquires into the nature and function of speech melodies, the role of prosody, or the descriptions of rhythmical patterns in verbal behaviour. Musical students seem to be better equipped for language learning although melodies and rhythm can benefit all type of students at any age. In fact, in this book melodies and rhythm are considered a springboard to enhance the learning of foreign languages.
Table of Contents
Part 1: An Overview
Chapter 1: Music and Language Learning: an Introduction
Chapter 2: Music: why it affects us, how Society uses it, and how this Knowledge may benefit Educators
Part 2: Music as a pathway to cognition in language learning
Chapter 3: From melodious Cries to articulated Sounds – Melody at the Root of Language Acquisition
Kathleen Wermke & Werner Mende
Chapter 4: The Relationship between Musical Aptitude and Foreign Language Skills Carmen Toscano-Fuentes
Chapter 5: Musical Training and Foreign Language Learning
Chapter 6: Teaching English Rhythm through Folk Songs
Rosalía Rodríguez Vázquez
Part 3: Melodies for very young language learners
Chapter 7: Children’s Poetry and Music in Foreign Language Learning
Cristina Aguilera Gómez and Pascuala Morote Magán
Chapter 8: A Window into composing musical Materials for young English language learners
Part 4: Songs and music in the primary language classroom
Chapter 9: Shall we sing? Orff-Schulwerk tools for rhythmic Development in L2 students
Chapter 10: The Impact of Music on Creativity: exploring Classroom Research
Teresa Fleta y M. Luisa García Bermejo
Chapter 11: Songs as a valuable pedagogical Tool for EFL Primary School Children Maria Diakou
Part 5: Melodies and rhythm in the secondary and tertiary foreign language classroom
Chapter 12: Awakening Senses for Language Learning
José Manuel Foncubierta and Mark Gant
Chapter 13: La Chanson Française to develop Emotional Intelligence
Chapter 14: A Music-Based Agenda for Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language
Chapter 15: A – B – C, it’s easy as Do – Re – Mi! Notes from The Tune Into English Roadshow, a touring didactic sing-along Show
About M. Carmen Fonseca-Mora
Dr. M.Carmen Fonseca-Mora is the head of ReALL (Research in affective language learning) and professor in the Department of English Philology at the University of Huelva, Spain, where she has been also Vice-Chancellor for Lifelong Learning Programs and Innovation till 2012. Her main research interests are applied linguistics and language teacher training. She is also author of several publications on topics such as music and reading, ethics, innovation and quality criteria, and visibility of scientific journals. Her work has appeared in a significant number of academic journals and edited volumes. She has lectured in Germany, Portugal, France, Italy, Great Britain, Sweden, Peru, United States, Austria and Spain. She’s currently a member of the Conseil Européen pour les Langues / European Language Council (CEL/ELC) and a member of the Research Group FLAME.
FLEXIBILITY IN SECOND LANGUAGE MATERIALS
Dat Bao, Monash University, Australia
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"Contributions to Creative Classrooms" is a unique ELTA publication. It is a collection of activities developed by the teachers who attended the ELTA/British Council training course “Creativity in the English Language Classroom”. The course was supported by the British Council and based on the British Council publication “Creativity in the English Language Classroom”.
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The book Creativity in English Language Teaching edited by Daniel Xerri and Odette Vassallo is available to download by clicking on the image below:
THE C Group Blog
This is our blog space led by our official blogger, Malu Sciamarelli.