Have you ever tried Marmite? If so, did you like it? I have been asking teachers this question recently. You’d be surprised at how many teachers around Europe have sampled this quintessentially British product (it’s a black yeast spread, if you haven’t heard of it, it’s lovely on toast). For a simple product it divides the nation so much so that the advertising slogan for it is: “love it or hate it”.
A first lesson for a group of 5/6 year olds, they’ve never had English lessons before, they’re clearly nervous and a bit worried. My goal (as their teacher), in the first few lessons is to ensure they enjoy being there and feel happy about coming back for more lessons. A few games are played, the children seem happy and relaxed – goal achieved!
The lesson comes to an end and the nervous and slightly apprehensive students that came into the class, leave the room happy and relaxed. I haven’t taught them much English, but I have started the process of building a safe, positive and effective learning environment for lessons to come.
However, this is all undone by one mother waiting at the door to collect her child. As I stand in the doorway, saying goodbye to each of the students, I hear one mother, ‘pounce’ on her child with ‘So, tell me, what did you learn today? Say something for me in English’. The child looks at the ground, and shuffles her feet a bit, but doesn’t provide an ‘answer’, so the mother then says, ‘Come on, what did you learn, you must be able to say something in English, come on, say something for me.’ The child looks more than a little panicked and upset…
It’s here! After five years’ work, and more than 30,000 hours of editing, the new 8th edition of the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary has finally arrived.
Producing a new edition of the world’s best-selling English learner’s dictionary is no mean feat. Have a look at the statistics and see for yourself:
- 4,600 hours for printing
- 5,500 hours for folding
- 5,800 hours for sewing
- 7,600 kg of ink
- 28,860,400 sheets of paper= 614,500 kg of books!
And of course these statistics don’t include the many future printings of the 8th edition or the time spent developing the website and the CD-ROM.