Debate: Teaching English to primary school children

This year  CLERA’s Dr Fiona Copland took part in the OUP debate at IATEFL.  The motion was: This house believes that teaching English to primary school children does more harm than good.  Fiona spoke for the motion and Janet Enever spoke against. You can watch the debate here.

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CPD workshop: Teaching Grammar through Reading at KS2

Due to last year’s success, another CPD workshop called ‘Teaching Grammar through Reading at Key Stage 2’ workshop was held on Wednesday 9th April 2014. The workshop was run by Dr Urszula Clark who is a Reader in English at Aston University. She also has many years’ experience in teaching English grammar.

The aim of this event was to help Primary school teachers prepare their pupils for the Key Stage 2 Grammar test that will be taken by year 6 pupils across the country in May.Through practical, group-based exercises, this workshop focused on how to teach pupils the ways in which verbs or processes represent experiences in fiction and contribute to the representation of character.

Delegates from seven different schools in the West Midlands and two university lecturers attended the workshop. One teacher said, ‘I’ve gained a better understanding of how I need to help KS2 students’ progress to KS3!’ Another teacher commented on how the session made her revisit her previous grammar and look at sentences in more detail.

Many thanks go to Dr Urszula Clark for making this workshop such a great success.

Conference: How does language and literacy work? at Aston University

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Second Annual How does language  literacy work conference poster

CLERA Researcher of the Month: Suzanne Bonn

CLERA has a broad range of researchers and research candidates working in many different areas of language education. Each month, we feature one of our researchers to learn more about them, their work and their interests.

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Our Researcher of the Month for February is Suzanne Bonn who joined Aston in April 2010 as a part-time postgraduate student. Her PhD investigates the characteristics of teacher personal narratives (i.e., personal stories or anecdotes) as well as the when, how, and why they are used by teachers. Originally from Canada, Suzanne was educated from high school onwards in the United States. She is currently teaching part-time at Nanzan University and Chukyo University in Nagoya, Japan. She is an active member of JALT (The Japan Association for Language Teaching) and will be presenting her PhD research in Brisbane, Australia in August this year for the AILA World Congress 2014.

Click here to read her profile.

CLERA Researcher of the Month: Anne Burns

CLERA has a broad range of researchers and research candidates working in many different areas of language education. Each month, we feature one of our researchers to learn more about them, their work and their interests.

anneburnsOur Researcher of the Month for January 2014 is Professor Anne Burns, Director of CLERA and Professor in Language Education

Anne supervises PhD students and teaches in the English distance and on-campus Masters programmes. When she is not at Aston, she works from her home base in Sydney. She is well-known internationally for her work in action research and language teacher education. Anne is a member of the Executive Board of the International Applied Linguistics Association (AILA) and is the Senior Academic Advisor to the Applied Linguistics Series published by Oxford University Press. She is also a member of The British Council’s English Language Advisory Group and serves on the Editorial Board of several journals, including Language Teaching and TESOL Quarterly.

Click here to read her profile.

CLERA Researcher of the Month: Joshua Antle

CLERA has a broad range of researchers and research candidates working in many different areas of language education. Each month, we feature one of our researchers to learn more about them, their work and their interests.

071119_2229~01Our Researcher of the Month for December is Joshua Antle. Joshua has taught L2 English in China, Canada and Japan to a variety of different learners at a variety of levels.  He is currently a full time lecturer at Toyo University in Gunma, Japan.  He began working on his PhD, titled ‘Collocations: Productive and receptive tasks to improve productive abilities’, at Aston University in April 2010.  Among his other research interests are extensive listening and incidental learning.  He is a member of JALT and ETJ.

Click here to read his profile.

CPD workshop: Teaching Grammar through Reading at KS2

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Invitation_CLERA CPD Grammar event 2014x

Teaching Grammar Through Reading: CPD workshops at Aston

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Invitation_CLERA CPD Grammar event 2014

Successful Twilight Webinar on Teaching Speaking in the Language Classroom

CLERA held its first ever webinar on 23rd October. The webinar was run by Anne Burns who is Professor of Language Education and Director of CLERA.

The session focussed on teaching speaking in the language classroom. It looked at the key skills and knowledge required for competent speaking and also considered how they could be taught. Professor Burns presented the attendees with a teaching model for planning speaking programs and illustrated the model with sample activities that could be used in speaking classrooms. The session also considered how well textbook materials met the challenges of teaching speaking.

MFL, ESOL and EFL teachers as well as Research students from different parts of the world actively participated in the online discussion and shared good practice. One participant in Japan even stayed up until midnight to join the event.

Many thanks go to Professor Anne Burns and to the participants for making this webinar such a great success.

If you are interested in attending a webinar, please contact Jacquie Harding with suggestions.

CLERA identifiernetwork for languages

CLERA Researcher of the Month: Urszula Clark

CLERA has a broad range of researchers and research candidates working in many different areas of language education. Each month, we feature one of our researchers to learn more about them, their work and their interests.

Urszula ClarkOur Researcher of the Month for November is Dr Urszula Clark, Reader in English. Urszula is Director of The West Midlands English: Speech and Society project and co- director of Aston’s Research Centre for Interdisciplinary research in Language and Diversity (InterLAND), an initiative that brings together colleagues in applied linguistics, social sciences and business studies. Her main areas of research interests are: English pedagogy; variationist sociolinguistics and discourse analysis.

Click here to read her profile.