I’m delighted to have had my speaker proposal accepted for the MATSDA (Materials Development Association) 2 day conference on the last weekend (28th/29th) in June, this year. The theme of the conference is Second Language Acquisition and Materials Development.
This is the abstract that I proposed:
What about the other 165 hours a week? Developing materials that scaffold and encourage out-of-class language acquisition, through their use as classroom tools.
Is this title a contradiction in terms? Perhaps not: the average language learner spends around 2-3 hours a week in the classroom, implying that for acquisition to take place, exposure to the target language shouldn’t be limited to classroom confines. Indeed, learner autonomy is somewhat of a buzzword in ELT – we recognise the inadequacy of classroom time with regards to acquisition, as well as the issue of syllabus structure often being at odds with learner ‘readiness’ to acquire, meaning that what learners do outside class time becomes of the utmost importance. However, there is often a gap between what we expect our learners to do outside the classroom and how we help them to do it. This talk looks at ways of helping learners harness the target language in their environment, real and/or virtual, effectively, and the role that learning materials, and their use in the classroom as well as beyond it, can play in scaffolding the process, in addition to stimulating and maintaining motivation, curiosity and the desire to acquire.
Last year, MATSDA was great fun – a friendly atmosphere full of banter and loads of interesting ideas to assimilate. I’m sure this year will be no different. I hope to see some of you there. For those who can’t make it, the usual write-up and references will follow – linked to on my Presentations page.