Last summer, inspired by the innovative format of a 10-minute plenary presentation that I gave at a conference in Spain earlier that year, I decided to hold a series of mini-events to share key insights from applied linguistics research with my colleagues (I work for an ELT publisher). I called these short presentations “Pedagogy Pop-ups”, and the principles were simple:
- just 10 minutes long, easy to fit into a coffee break;
- purpose is to show how research findings might apply to ELT practice;
- no audience participation required;
- no slides.
There were five pop-ups in the series, of which three were video recorded. The third one featured my personal list of the top 10 things (linguistic + pedagogical) that an adult learner needs in order to learn a second language. They’re not in any particular priority order; together they simply represent the sum of the conclusions I’ve drawn from all the research that I’m aware of — limited to a list of 10 key things.
A recording of this pop-up presentation is now available to watch here (https://youtu.be/vQYMU5p7Byg):
The other Pedagogy Pop-ups in this series were:
- Everything you always wanted to know about teaching pronunciation* (*but were afraid to ask)
- What works in technology-assisted language learning?
- What’s the point of teacher-led research in ELT?
- What ethical considerations are there when doing ELT research?
Videos are available for the first two – just follow the links.
Note that the original audience for these events was largely composed of ELT publishers and editors, so I may make reference to materials and coursebooks, etc. – but everything I talk about is relevant to teachers and trainers, too.
Enjoy, please share, and feel free to comment below!
P.S. Some of the research I referred to when compiling this pop-up:
Aitchison, J. (2003). Words in the Mind: An Introduction to the Mental Lexicon (3rd edn). Oxford: Blackwell.
Alcaraz-Mármol, G. (2010). The role of frequency in the foreign language classroom. Malaysian Journal of ELT Research, 6, pp. 167-194.
Cruse, A. (2004). Meaning in Language: An Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics (2nd edn). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Dewaele, J.-M. and Wei, L. (2012). Is multilingualism linked to a higher tolerance of ambiguity?, Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 16(1), pp. 231–240.
Dörnyei, Z. & Csizér, K. (1998). Ten commandments for motivating language learners: Results of an empirical study. Language Teaching Research, 2(3), pp. 203-229.
Dörnyei, Z., & Skehan, P. (2003). Individual differences in second language learning. In C. J. Doughty, & M. H. Long (Eds.), The handbook of second language acquisition (pp. 589-630). Oxford: Blackwell.
Gass, S. M., & Varonis, E. M. (1994). Input, interaction, and second language production. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 16(3), pp. 283-302.
Kornell, N., Bjork, R. A. & Garcia, M. A. (2011). Why tests appear to prevent forgetting: A distribution-based bifurcation model. Journal of Memory and Language, 65, pp. 85-97.
Kornell, N., Hays, M. J., & Bjork, R. A. (2009). Unsuccessful retrieval attempts enhance subsequent learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 35, pp. 989–998.
Lightbown, P. M. & Spada, N. (2006). How languages are learned. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Mackey, A. (2009). Feedback, noticing and instructed second language learning. Applied Linguistics, 27(3), pp. 405-430.
Nagy, W. (1997). ‘On the role of context in first- and second-language vocabulary learning.’ in Schmitt, N. & M. McCarthy (eds.) Vocabulary: Description, Acquisition and Pedagogy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Saito, K. (2012). ‘Effects of instruction on L2 pronunciation development: A synthesis of 15 quasi-experimental intervention studies.’ TESOL Quarterly, 46/4, pp. 842-854.
Schmidt, R. (2010). Attention, awareness, and individual differences in language learning. In W. M. Chan, S. Chi, K. N. Cin, J. Istanto, M. Nagami, J. W. Sew, T. Suthiwan, & I. Walker, Proceedings of CLaSIC 2010, Singapore, December 2-4 (pp. 721-737). Singapore: National University of Singapore, Centre for Language Studies.
Ushioda, E. & Dörnyei, Z.. (2009). ‘Motivation, language identities and the L2 self: A theoretical overview.’ In Ushioda, E. & Dörnyei, Z. (eds.). Motivation, language identity and the L2 self. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.