Learning beyond the classroom (LBC)

There’s a quite interesting video here,

If you’d like something to read , here’s a pdf version of some slides exploring LBC in more depth and blog post here summarising two key books on the topic.

Visual and auditory learning styles and neuromyths.

There’s a TED talk about it here. Carol Lethaby and Patricia Harries go into more detail about the research in relation to language teaching and learning here. There’s a shorter article in relation to the meshing hypothesis in differentiation here.

ADAPTIVE LEARNING IN ELT Learning styles – the emperor with no clothes

Working with Vocabulary – a bit about the research

Vocabulary was once the neglected area of language  learning, not as important of the big four skills of speaking, listening, writing and reading. But then David Wilkins (among others) championed the importance of vocabulary with his quote which became almost obligatory for anyone writing about vocabulary at anything above CELTA level.

“While without grammar very little can be conveyed,
without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed. (Wilkins pp. 110-111)”

It’s the size of the task which makes focussing on vocabulary so important.

“Acquiring a sufficient amount of words is not easy: the base line of learning is 2000 word families, but one must know 8000 to 9000 word families in order to obtain 98% vocabulary coverage for newspapers or novels (Nation 2006).”



Michael Lessard-Clouston  has been generous enough to post the first chapter of his book here.  (You may need to subscribe to academia .edu but it’s free and easily done.)  He also links to the word quiz at the amazing free rice which donates rice to help world hunger.


Work through the reflective questions in chapter 1. Is there anything you need to change in your vocabulary teaching? Can your learners change and improve their language learning?


MWASIG: Working with wordlists

Nation, I. S. P. (2006). How large a vocabulary is needed
for reading and listening? The Canadian Modern
Language Review, 63(1), 59-82. doi: 10.3138/cmlr.

The importance of multimedia

As you can read here, images are vital for retention of new information as revealed by research about how the brain uses different types of memory. There’s a video here and an an article here. It also explains the very conversational style of this blog! If you want to get into the SLA research side of things try this.