• Going Mobile – review copy Posted by Pete on 15 December, 2014

    untitled (25)My review copy of Going Mobile has just arrived! Thanks to Cengage and to Delta Publishing. Woo hoo – been waiting for this for a while. Congrats to the authors (Nicky Hockly and Gavin Dudeney). That takes care of tomorrow, then – the review should be coming to an EL Gazette near you, April 2015…..

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  • Book review: Blending Technologies in Second Language Classrooms Posted by Pete on 4 December, 2014

    untitled (24)Review

    Title: Blending Technologies in Second Language Classrooms

    Paul Gruba and Don Hinkelman [ Palgrave Macmillan] Published 2012 pp 181 ISBN 978-0-230-23261-7

    Much has been written about Blended Learning (BL). The term and the practice is much discussed in the world of English language teaching. Much of the literature on BL is from areas outside language teaching, including the corporate world and tertiary education. There is general agreement within language teaching that the term BL refers to a study program where part of the course is done face-to-face in a traditional language classroom, and part of the course is done at a distance, typically using web-based materials.

    The title of this academic work, Blending Technologies in Second Language Classrooms, helps situate the reader. It deals with blended approaches to learning and teaching which involve integrating technologies into face-face-face environments, with a focus on second language classrooms. The book has a logical structure, with ten chapters moving form theory to practice.

    Chapter one looks at the theoretical foundations of BL. The chapter introduces the concept of ‘blended approaches’ to language learning, tracing its origins through the corporate world and into higher education. The authors set out four considerations in blended approaches: purpose, appropriateness, multi-modality and sustainability.

    Reviewed by: Pete Sharma. The complete review will be available shortly in the new-style Newsletter via IATEFL Learning Technology SIG



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  • BESIG Cologne – presentation Posted by Pete on 3 December, 2014

    bonn I’ve just uploaded my BESIG presentation to Slideshare.

    The business English course book in the 21st Century: blending print and digital

    Photo: Antonio Ponte via Flickr

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  • The latest ‘Reviews in brief’ in the EL Gazette Posted by Pete on 1 December, 2014

    imagesCA4Q5HH2 EL Gazette: The latest Reviews in brief are available in December’s edition.

    The book of the month is COBUILD Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (8th edition) Collins. Nowadays, many students use electronic dictionaries. So, should we welcome a new paperback learner’s dictionary?

    Reviews in brief are:

    Open Mind Intermediate Student’s Book (Mickey Rogers, Joanne Taylore-Knowles and Steve Taylore-Knowles) Macmillan. This book comes with a rich range of resources including an online workbook and a DVD.

    Learning to Teach English (Second Edition) (Peter Watkins) Delta Publishing An interesting bonus is a DVD of the filmed highlights of four lessons, plus advice from practising teachers.


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  • Digital tools and technology in training Posted by Kevin on 22 November, 2014

    I have always been of the opinion that the decisions we make as educators should be informed by research. As such, I am glad that a colleague, Deborah Capras, is undertaking some research in the area of digital tools and technology in training. A copy of her e-mail to me is below, and she has confirmed that she would like as many people as possible to participate in this survey.

    I am currently doing some research on the use of digital tools and technology in corporate language training. As an experienced and respected professional in this area, I’d like to ask you to take a few minutes to fill in a short survey on this topic. I will send out a summary of the results to participants who provide their emails at the end of the survey, so I hope you will also gain some insight from it.

    Your time and input is very much appreciated. Please forward this email to anyone you think might be interested in the results.

    Thank you.

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  • The best corporate blogs – follow-up to BESIG Bonn Posted by Pete on 17 November, 2014

    bonnThanks to everyone who came to my workshop at BESIG Bonn on Saturday – braving the cold and the late hour.

    Here’s the link to an overview of the (so-called) 40 best corporate blogs.

    Great to see everyone – thanks once again to OUP for sponsoring this talk!

    Photo: Antonio Ponte (Flickr)

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  • Skills Boost – new worksheets from Richmond Posted by Pete on 6 November, 2014

    I’m over the moon at how these new Reading worksheets have turned out. Wow. What a difference a great designer can make to the writer-editor mix. They’ll be out next week – more info to follow!


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  • Reviews in brief – EL Gazette November 2014 Posted by Pete on 31 October, 2014

    reviews-in-brief-novJust published – the EL Gazette, with Pete’s usual Reviews in Brief page….

    Titles reviewed this month are:

    English for Life Listening B2+ Ian Badger (Collins)

    Focus on Oral Interaction Rhonda Oliver and Jenefer Philp (OUP)

    and Vocabulary Builder B2 Elizabeth Walter & Kate Woodford (Richmond)



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  • BESIG Teaser video on YouTube Posted by Pete on 30 October, 2014

    screenshot-youtubeBESIG WorkshopBlending print and digital

    BESIG has just uploaded the teaser for my presentation in Bonn. Click here to see the video:


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  • A brief history of the IATEFL LTSIG Posted by Pete on 29 October, 2014

    LTSIGThe IATEFL Learning Technologies Special Interest Group has just celebrated its 30th anniversary, prompting a moment of retrospection. Much has changed over the years – most notably the size of the SIG, which now claims around 500 members, and its reach – it can now be described as a truly international organisation. Nevertheless, much remains constant. The hard-work and commitment of committee members; the vision of the SIG co-ordinators; the energy and dedication to run events which can be quite life-changing for local attendees, and the desire to bring out a regular journal which describes, analyses, reviews and criticises the latest learning technologies in the field of language teaching.

    The rest of this article is available to LT SIG members on the LT SIG website.

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