Grasping The Nettle

IATEFL Glasgow 2017 It was a good conference for listening and phonology, this. Standout sessions from John Field, Sheila Thorn, Richard Cauldwell, Mark Hancock. Sandy Millin’s given a great roundup over here, as ever. I was pleased to have a good audience for the final session on Friday – including some of the very people who inspired me to get more into listening and receptive phonology in the first place. As usual, the original ideas in the talk were rarely my own. Even the title – it’s lifted from an article by Richard Cauldwell. After a run through the background literature, and … Continue reading Grasping The Nettle

Motivation, Time and Patience

Shaun Sweeney “The strongest of all warriors are these two – Time and Patience.” Leo Tolstoy I thought I’d start this post with a quote from War and Peace. Just to impress you with how literary I am. I’ve not read the book, but I highly recommend it – if you have the time. And patience. Using transcription and paying close attention to the speech stream requires a good deal of time and patience. Testing our listening proforma (nothing more complicated than a blank page and a grid) we chose to listen to a section from a short documentary about … Continue reading Motivation, Time and Patience

IATEFL Birmingham 2016

IATEFL Birmingham 2016 Developing Listening Skills:  Lessons From Learning Shaun Sweeney It was a challenge to get through much in 20 minutes, as there were three of us squeezed into a forum on listening skills materials. I was chuffed, though,  to be in a forum with someone like Annie McDonald, whose work I admire a good deal. She opened proceedings with a great talk on techniques and materials to use to develop listening skills. Her kitten earworm is still very much in my ears – as I’m sure it is yours if you were in attendance. ‘I know a little bit … Continue reading IATEFL Birmingham 2016

Lessons from Learning: Context

Shaun Sweeney A little bit of context: I moved from Italy to Spain, or more accurately from Milan to Barcelona, just over 2 years ago. By this time, I should be quite good at Spanish, right? Well, sadly, like many of us in this profession, I have to put in a lot of work hours to keep the wolves from the door and this has perhaps impacted on the amount of time I’ve had to spend on studying and learning a new language. I spend a lot of time in the classroom, reading lesson plans, giving feedback, moderating forums – … Continue reading Lessons from Learning: Context