Teacher development is a key part of working life at the ELTC and the team who are in charge of it this term recently rolled out a new initiative, “Bite-size TD”. The idea is to build up a collection of recordings done by teachers of short talks on a range of topics, that other teachers can watch when they have 15-20 minutes spare and fancy a bit of CPD.
I volunteered to do a whistle-stop tour of www.wordandphrase.info/academic which is a corpus tool. Without the /academic part of the web address, a general corpus of texts is analysed, with the academic part included, it analyses a corpus of academic texts from a range of disciplines. Both sites work in exactly the same way, so what I talked about today could equally be applied to the general version. My powerpoint was adapted from one that I used with my ESUS (English Skills for University Study, which has since undergone a few changes and been renamed) students last term, with the aim of introducing the site to them through the medium of guided discovery.
My talk worked in two ways: a) For teachers unfamiliar with the site, I suggested they use the pause button a bit and try to do the activities on the site as they went along, to understand better how it works. b) For teachers who were already familiar, and for the teachers in a) once they were familiar, it modelled my approach to introducing students to the site and provided some example activities that they could use with students.
I suggested that as well as using this approach in class with the students as an introduction, it’s useful to reinforce it by:
- modelling use of it yourself in class if students ask you something about a word/phrase. (Particularly if you can project it)
- using it in tutorials based on students’ written work, to guide error correction
- encouraging students to use it before submitting a piece of work, to check their use of key language
Here is the powerpoint I used (click to download):
I’ll add the recording later if the link is a public one, but you should be able to follow what to do via the powerpoint, it’s step-by-step and the answers are included.
Do you use wordandphrase.info(/academic) with your students? How? Would love to hear about your approach/ideas for using it via the comments box below. 🙂
Happy weekend, all!