Category Archive: VidyaBLOG

Posts on teaching English as a secondary language in VVNagar.

Harrogate: Russel Mayne – Recognizing Pseudoscience in ELT

Mayne confronts ELT practices that have no evidence backing them up and yet remain very popular. He provides important questions that will help young pre-service teachers to think critically about their own practice and what they are learning and our young research scholars as they consider research topics. Read on

Harrogate: Scott Thornbury – Teacher Education

Thornbury is best when he thinks about what teachers need and he’s asked here about the mismatch between teacher beliefs and practice. This will be a major topic in the new program in the coming semester so check it out. Read on

Harrogate: David Graddol – Economics of English Education

One of the most interesting parts of this talk for those interested in Indian education happens around 23:12 when Graddol describes how Indian call centers only look for people who speak English at the precise level needed for certain processes. Teachers will see immediately how this could have a seriously negative effect on language education. Read on

Back as a Specialist… and Harrogate

Vidyablog has been reopened for a special project. Read on

The Elfing Ends

ELFing comes to an end. Read on

New Textbook for Gujarat – 8th Std – 2nd Semester

The 8th Std Gujarat State Board book best described by its working title, “Writing about Writing.” Read on

Bridges in Action – MEET Video #4

This final video in the MEET series shows the same students receiving a traditional lesson followed by several lessons using … Read on

New Textbook for Gujarat – 6th Std – 2nd Semester

Early in the year, I wrote about having to cut much of the content from a new textbook I’d written … Read on

Bridges in Action – MEET Video #3

The first MEET video was an introduction to the MEET program techniques and to the materials that became Bridges. As … Read on

Bridges in Action – MEET Video #2

Back in May, I wrote about the connection between Bridges and the MEET project. Essentially, the MEET (Mobile Education for … Read on

Bridges and Collaborative Learning

While I was working on Bridges, it became clear that the classroom conditions were such that teachers and students would … Read on

Integrating MAELT Courses with a Scaffolded Research Project

This semester at H.M. Patel Institute of English Training & Research, the ELT faculty is working to integrate classes so … Read on

Bridges and Critical Thinking

In India, employers, CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education), NCF (National Curriculum Framework), many tertiary institutions and schools, and the … Read on

About Bridges

Bridges will be distributed free of charge to teachers and students who sign up on the website. The book is designed to support teachers as they help students bridge the gap between understanding English and producing it. Read on

Mobile Education for English Teachers – MEET #1

MEET – Mobile Education for English Teachers is a federally funded grant project to provide teacher training materials via MicroSDs … Read on

Coulda Woulda Shoulda – Teaching Modals II

This is a revised and shortened version of an earlier post. I recently wrote a textbook for the state of … Read on

Sardar Patel University: Writing for Research Scholars

Last year, we piloted the first Writing for Research Scholars course at H. M. Patel Institute of English Training & … Read on

New Textbook for Gujarat Schools

In the fall of last year, during my first year as an English Language Fellow, I was asked to consult … Read on

Using Themes & E-Content

I’ve written a lot of activities lately for primary level. In my work with the Gujarat State Board of School … Read on

Vocabulary in Nepal – NELTA 2013

In an earlier post last year, I introduced some teachers in Nepal to the first 1000 words of English in … Read on

Academic Genres through Web Tools – Part 2

In the first post on this topic, we introduced the students to wikis to promote the idea of neutral, collaborative … Read on

Understanding Academic Genres through Web Tools

Students experience the difference between two key academic genres by using the appropriate web tools for each. Read on

Testing Activity Designs

In the last post on materials design, I introduced a new textbook pattern that aims to provide teachers who may … Read on

New Pattern for Textbooks

One of my favorite projects in Gujarat has been consulting with teachers of English-medium primary schools in the design and … Read on

Going… and Coming

This is another post for ELF wannabees, purely about the experience of being an ELF. Long ago, seven weeks into … Read on

Like Riding a Bicycle

We all know that much traditional teaching has been very teacher-centered. In India, students of the past have been taught … Read on

Vocabulary in Pune

This week and next, I’m in Pune leading a Skills Update workshop for teachers who work in madrassas in southwestern … Read on

Putting Learning Objectives in Perspective

We all want to believe that our students are learning something when we teach. When some beginning teachers write learning … Read on

Creative Writing for Teachers

In the first post introducing my 7Sentences template, you’ll find a written explanation of the seven sentences.

Coulda Woulda Shoulda – Teaching Modals

I don’t do a lot of posts on grammar teaching, mostly because I don’t do a lot of grammar teaching. … Read on

Importance of Research

In an earlier post, I wrote about how important it is to incorporate research into student assignments. Here’s an excerpt … Read on

A New Writing Course Takes Flight

Today we launched the first session of Writing for Research Scholars at H. M. Patel Institute of English Training & … Read on

The Seven Sentence Story – Creative Writing for Everyone

Creative writing can inspire new vocabulary production and enjoyable language practice for learners of all ages and levels. I’ve used … Read on

Putting Genres in Context: Audio Presentation

The audio presentation here is one that I’ve been asked to do a number of times. The first part is … Read on

Recognizing Questions that Don’t Get Answers

I’ve already written about the need for teaching critical thinking along with English language proficiency. I’ve done a good many … Read on

Lesson Planning For Pre-Service Teachers

Pre-service teachers hear a lot of terms for describing lesson planning. They might be told to divide lesson plans by … Read on

Vocabulary in Nepal

This week I had to make a trip to Nepal. The visa I have in India requires that we leave … Read on

Catching the Spirit: Formative Assessment

Earlier, in Hyderabad, at the British Council’s International Teacher Educator Conference on assessment and evaluation, I did a short presentation … Read on

Gujarati Script – Mastering the Curlicues

As I said in the last post on learning Gujarati, I’ve been trying to learn the script because I need … Read on

Teaching Vocabulary – Why Size Doesn’t Matter

In the last post in my series on teaching vocabulary, I wrote that the graduate students I’ve tested in the … Read on

How Cultural Bias Gets You in Hot Water

When I arrived in India, it was winter, which means every day felt the way southern Californians say San Diego … Read on

Gujarati – Working with a True Beginner

It’s Gujarat Day and I had a chance to spend some time learning the language. I can’t say I’ve made … Read on

The Art & Science of Testing

I’ve been asked a number of times to offer training on assessment. One thing I’ve attempted to do is boil … Read on

Teaching Vocabulary (Part 4/6)

It’s been a while since I started this series, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working in this area. … Read on

Stimulating Critical Thinking Through Writing

I presented a full-day workshop at the American Center in Delhi for secondary teachers today. (For westerners, that’s “sorta like … Read on

Hi Ho, Hi Ho…ELFs at Work.

Periodically, I like to post something for the ELF-wannabes. I thought about applying for this program for a number of … Read on

Are We Homesick Yet?

I’ve been in India about 7 weeks now. From past experience, this is the week I had scheduled for homesickness. … Read on

Teaching Citation: APA Titles

In part 4 of the Teaching Citation posts, we discussed one of the aspects of APA that students find most … Read on

Developing Proficiency with Literature-Based Writing Tasks

One of the issues I’m learning about in India is that some employers feel there is a gap between the … Read on

Who is the Gatekeeper?

It’s said that communication in English is a gatekeeper skill. Certainly academic writing in English is. But who, exactly, the … Read on

Classroom Assessment Techniques Presentation

I’m in Hyderabad at the British Council’s International Teacher Educator Conference on assessment and evaluation. The conference is quite large. … Read on

School Visit & Ahmedabad

On my way to a conference, I need to fly from Ahmedabad, the largest city in Gujarat. It’s home to … Read on

Finally Home

Tonight, I’m finally at home. I haven’t had my own place since I left Idaho in early August, assuming I’d … Read on

My Commute

We’ve identified my accommodations for the year, though there are still some things to work out. There are no furnished … Read on

A Beginner Once Again

It’s been quite a while since I was a true beginner at learning a language. I think it’s an experience … Read on

A New World

I arrived in India on February 15th, 2012, after a very long wait for another post that never materialized. I’m … Read on

Better Distinction than “Theirs” and “Mine”

This audio is from a lecture I’ve recorded for the online class I announced earlier, Research Writing for International Students. … Read on

Stimulating Vocabulary with Film

If you learned a secondary language after childhood, you may remember learning new words every day… at first. But, if, … Read on

On Error and Importance of Structure

This audio is from a lecture I’ve recorded for the online class I announced earlier, Research Writing for International Students. … Read on

Am I Confusing or Confused?

English language learners are often confused about whether to use the present or the past participle. Here are some ways … Read on