09 October 2018

Materials (presentation files, papers as doc., etc.) from MICELT 2018 and MELTA 2018

I created a public folder at Google Drive that contains the presentations, papers, and related materials for the recent MICELT 2018 and MELTA 2018 files. You can read them as PDF online or download them.

The folder is found here:


05 August 2018


Content of the MELTA workshop to be delivered this month (August 2018) in video form at YouTube.

13 July 2018

Wikipedia and Wiktionary as LL Resources

One possible resource for students' word study and language practice is Wikipedia and its related Wiktionary. However, the situation at Wikipedia is complicated. Beginning-level students (and their teachers) might have difficulty in navigating its text-heavy pages and multiple hyperlinks. There are actually at least four different resources at Wikipedia that might be useful. But the teacher will have to take great pains to make sure the students find and understand them. 

First, Wikipedia has various bilingual dictionaries that can be accessed from the top page of the Wiktionary site. For example, one can link to a Japanese Wiktionary (JW). The JW can be used as both E-J and J-J dictionaries. The J-J function can also serves as a minimal J-E one, since it will give a very short English translation for a searched Japanese word. 

Below in the figure is a screenshot of the result of using the JW's E-J function for the verb 'negotiate'. It includes an etymology, phonetic transcription of both US and UK pronunciations transcribed into both IPA and SAMPA (no special characters), a sound file, inflected forms of the verb, Japanese translations of the core meanings, example sentences in both Japanese and English, and finally important lexical derivations. However, the JW didn't give English definitions or collocations for 'negotiate'.

For English definitions, there is the English Wiktionary (EW). For example, the EW gave five definitions for 'negotiate', including one that is now obsolete. There is also the Simple English Wiktionary. However, it limits definitions to a list of key synonyms and synonymous phrases.

Finally, there is the Simple English Wikipedia. It has a lot of content useful for language learning and practice put into more basic English than the regular Wikipedia. 

A list of links to Wikpedia and Wiktionary:

1.  Top page of Wiktionary

2.  Top page of the Japanese Wiktionary

3.  Top page of the Simple English Wiktionary

4.  Top Page of Simple English Wikipedia


13 June 2018

Some problem consonants and consonant contrasts of English

We can identify 'problem sounds' by three main ways:  (1) differences across English and the L1 of the learners (contrastive analysis), (2) the actual pronunciation errors L2 learners produce (in general or based on language background), and (3) 'marked' sounds of spoken English that learners of various backgrounds might find difficult (for example, they are late in native acquisition processes, or they are rare sounds among most world languages or at least some major languages). 

Here is a set of problem consonant sounds and contrasts that I have compiled with all three above in mind. 

16 March 2018

14 March 2018

A Quick Guide for Teachers Using Core English for Global Communication

I am making a PDF available for download. It is an overview and quick guide about the textbook for teachers who are planning to use the book in their EFL courses. It may also be of interest for those who are considering the textbook for classroom use.

It explains the language proficiency levels that the book has been designed for (in terms of TOEIC, CEFR, etc.). It then looks at the main task sets in each unit. Finally, it gives a message that teachers might use in their first class to help their students engage the book and English learning in class. In future blog posts here, we will be looking at sample units and then specifically at how to teach and manage each task set in the book. We will also look at alternative procedures for running the tasks in class.

Please note, this file is not the teacher's manual. The teacher's manual is available from Asahi Press.