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Oxford ELT shortlisted for two ESU Awards

ESU President's Award 2013 ShortlistedWe’re delighted to have been shortlisted for two English Speaking Union (ESU) Awards.

The Oxford Learner’s Bookshelf app for our enhanced e-books has been shortlisted for the prestigious ESU President’s Award, which celebrates the use of technology in the teaching and learning of English worldwide.

The app offers enhanced e-books of many of our most popular courses for use on iPad and tablets for Android™. Courses include English File, Solutions, Incredible English, Q: Skills for Success, and many others. The e-books turn the traditional Student’s Book and Workbook into a highly interactive and personal learning experience making the most of what tablet technology has to offer. Features that support language learning include integrated split-screen video, record and compare pronunciation practice, the ability to slow down audio for improved listening practice, automatic marking, written or spoken note-taking, and more.

The ESU judges were impressed with the range of accessible material and commented:

The design and quality of the software is strong and the interactive capabilities within the ebooks are beneficial to the learner.”

English for Football and Oxford EAP: A Course in English for Academic Purposes (B1+) have been shortlisted for the HRH The Duke of Edinburgh ESU English Language Book Awards, which recognise innovation and good practice in the field of English Language and English Language teaching. The judges assessed submissions based on their originality, practicality and presentation.

English for Football, written by Alan Redmond and Sean Warren, and described by the judges as “a handy, simple and effective guide”, is written for students who want to communicate better in English in the world of football. Part of the Express Series of short, specialist courses, English for Football features international players’ experiences of learning English, key topics such as narrowing the angles and cutting inside, and a forward by Sir Alex Ferguson. Each book comes with an interactive MultiROM, containing realistic listening extracts and interactive exercises for self-study.

Oxford EAP B1+, written by Edward de Chazal and Louis Rogers, is part of Oxford EAP, a three-level course which develops the essential skills and academic language for students preparing to study in English at university, whatever their chosen subject. Praised by the judges for being “clear and professional in design”, the course integrates the four main skills and academic language, and features authentic texts from Oxford textbooks, as well as videos of lecture extracts.

We look forward to the announcement of the winners, which will be on 2nd December 2013.

iPad is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
Android is a trademark of Google Inc.


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Top 10 @OUPELTGlobal blog posts of 2012

Welcome, everyone, to 2013!

2012 was a great year for our blog, so we just wanted to share with you our top ten posts for the year. This isn’t a list of our favourites; this is a list of your favourites, by the number of views for each post.

So here they are:

10. 10 Commandments for motivating language learners: #9 Create a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere in the classroom by Tim Ward.

9. Teaching ‘screenagers’ – how the digital world is changing learners by Tim Falla.

8. Fun with flashcards by Weronika Salandyk.

7. Introducing the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary App by OUP.

6. How ESL and EFL classrooms differ by Kate Bell.

5. Six steps to writing transactional letters in the FCE Exam – Part 1 by Michael Duckworth.

4. Why do people follow fashion trends? by Rebecca Arnold.

3. 20 most commonly misspelt words in English by Kieron McGovern.

2. 10 Commandments for Motivating Language Learners by Tim Ward.

1. Introduction to project work – what is a project? by Tom Hutchinson.

Interestingly, four of our top ten most viewed posts were published in 2010. We like to attribute this to our continued commitment to bringing you the highest quality articles from some of the ELT industry’s finest educators.

And we intend to continue this trend in 2013.

Happy New Year, dear readers!

Oxford University Press ELT Global Blog Team


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ELT Journal: Special Issue

ELT Journal: Special IssueKeith Morrow, who is retiring after 17 years as Editor of ELT Journal, reflects on the key developments in various areas of English language teaching during this time, as identified by contributors to the latest, special edition of the journal.

Have you had a birthday recently? Or a significant anniversary? Well, I have – not a birthday, but I have just received through the post the last issue of ELT Journal with my name on as editor. I’ve been editor for 17 years, so you can understand why I’m a bit misty-eyed!

For this issue we invited contributors to look back over my time in office and identify key developments in various areas of ELT during this period. We also asked them to peer into the future to see what the future might hold.

The result – though I say so myself – is a terrific overview of practice and principles in our field. But as I read and re-read the articles, I noticed two recurring themes. What do you think about them?

1. There is still a huge gap between theory and practice:

In his article, Alan Waters compares the 1996 and the 2009 versions of ‘Headway Intermediate’ and shows that the more recent version has “an increased emphasis on exposing students to and giving them opportunities to put the ‘target’ grammar into practice”. So what happened to all the work promoting the idea of learning language through using it, and even to task-based learning?

Amos Paran’s article is about developments in the teaching of the four skills. He identifies new insights into the nature of all four areas which could have profound pedagogical implications, but concludes that in the classroom little has changed. “We … have increasing evidence that what was a veritable teaching revolution in the 1970s, with a variety of communicative approaches to language teaching, has not in fact filtered down to the teaching profession to the extent that we like to think it has.”

2. Teacher education is not much help to teachers in the classroom:

Carol Griffiths surveyed teachers to find out what their professional worries were. She found that overwhelmingly they were to do with ‘classroom issues’ such as class management. As one of her respondents says ‘What happens in the classroom usually clashes with the theory’.

Amos Paran develops his theme by writing “…the picture that emerges is of teachers battling with the conflict between their beliefs, their training, the realities of the classroom, the demands of parents and learners, the requirements to demonstrate immediate attainment, and the increasing focus on exams.”

Does that sound familiar? And does current pre-service or in-service provision help teachers here?

The special issue is now available online to subscribers at http://eltj.oxfordjournals.org. Abstracts of articles are available free of charge, but even better is the fact that two really interesting pieces are available for free download.

One is an overview of the ‘Key Concepts in ELT’ features that appear regularly in the Journal; the other is a mammoth ‘Review of the reviews’ giving an overview of the book and materials reviews published since 1995.

If you want to find out what has been going on in the field over the past 17 years you can access them from http://eltj.oxfordjournals.org.

It’s time for me to stroll off into the sunset. I wish the new Editor of ELT Journal, Graham Hall, the very best of luck.

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Have your voice heard! Become a guest blogger for @oupeltglobal

Close up of hand writing on paperWe like to keep this blog as up-to-date and relevant to you, our readers, as possible. With that in mind, we’ve always strived to keep our list of guest bloggers fresh and varied, as well as give people a chance to share their opinions and knowledge.

Well, now we’d like you to share yours!

Whether you’re a seasoned blogging pro, a complete novice, or just want some more exposure for your own blog, we’re welcoming submissions from anyone for the chance to be featured here as a guest blogger. Plenty of people have already written for us and (we hope) they’ve all enjoyed the experience.

What’s in it for me?

There are lots of reasons why blogging for a big publisher like Oxford University Press is great for your personal and professional development.

  • The opportunity to reach out to a huge audience of teachers and language professionals around the world – our blog is read over 1,000 times a day; every article is shared with our Twitter audience of over 6,500 ELT professionals and our Facebook audience of over 24,000 teachers worldwide; and our ELT website receives approximately 1 million views per month.* How’s that for exposure and networking opportunities?!
  • It’s great publicity for both you as a professional and your website or blog. It could help you attract new readers to your own blog and connect with like-minded individuals around the world.
  • It’s valuable experience for your personal and professional development. Teachers and language professionals who take an active role in online professional development feel far more supported and enthused to take what they’ve learned into the classroom.
  • It’s not every day you get the chance to work with one of the world’s leading educational and academic publishers!
*Audience numbers accurate as of 29/05/12.

How can I get involved?

If you’ve written an article that you think might be suitable, or you have examples of previous work that you’d like to show us, or even if you just have an idea for an article, you can get in touch with us at elt.marketing.uk@oup.com with ‘Guest blogging’ in the subject line and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Are there any rules I must stick to?

There are no rules, as such, but here are a few guidelines as to what we’re looking for and what we think works best on an ELT blog:

  • Articles must be related to English language teaching or learning, education in general, technology in education, etc. If in doubt, take a look at our Categories page to see if your idea fits in with our themes.
  • Articles should be helpful and provide something of value to the readers. We won’t publish anything that is promotional or commercial in nature.
  • Posts should be about 300-600 words and have an interesting title.
  • If you want to include images in your post, please make sure that you either own the images, or you have permission to use them. Creative Commons search is a great website where you can find images that are licensed for commercial use.
  • Please check your spelling and grammar. Of course, we’ll work with you to improve anything that isn’t quite right, but the more accurate your post is to start with, the more likely it is that we’ll be able to use it.
  • If your article is chosen to be published on the blog, we’ll ask you to provide a short biography and a photo for our Guest Bloggers page.
  • Send your article to elt.marketing.uk@oup.com with ‘Guest blogging’ in the subject line to help us find and respond to your message as quickly as possible.

And that’s it! We can’t wait to hear all your fantastic suggestions and read your great blog articles.

Many thanks,

Oxford University Press ELT
Global Blog Team

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