Friday, 27 February 2015

Taking the pain out of referencing in academic writing

I must have written several dozen pieces of academic writing. These range from proposals to conference papers via essays and reports. Not to mention a 15,000 word dissertation.
All of them had one thing in common which I hated because of the time it took to do correctly. That was REFERENCING!!!

They are really tedious to do: and when you are citing lots of sources it is quite stressful too.
Help is at hand. Below is a link to a slideshare presentation that should make things easier. It goes through how to set up and use the referencing tab within Microsoft Word. This really does save you time. Different formats of citations are handled with the flick of a toggle. It handles in text and bibliography citations easily.
A big thank you to the author, Mike Glennon, for this really useful resource.

In praise of Non-Native English Speaking Teachers

I have said for some years now that NNESTs (non native English speaker teachers) are in many ways more suited to teaching English as a foreign language or English as a Lingua Franca than native speakers. NSTs (native speaker teachers) are sometimes burdened with 'too much' English. By that I mean, idioms, exaggerated elision and contraction, question tags, metaphor and all manner of needless extras. None of this is needed in the quickly increasing outer circle users ELF toolkit.

NNESTs are also in a position to empathise with, and perhaps teach better strategies to, others going through the same difficulties as they may have encountered.

So, there is my contribution towards the empowerment of the thousands of great teachers who were not 'lucky' enough to be born under one of a few select flags.

It will come as no surprise to many of you to hear that the highest performing nationality in the TKT test sample from the Cambridge handbook which I have used with close to 200 trainee teachers are not British, American or Australian teachers, but Romanians. Native speakers don't know enough grammar or IPA to perform well in it.