JohnBald

JohnBald

102p

2,407 comments posted · 10 followers · following 2

5 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - John Bald: Mixed abili... · 1 reply · +1 points

I showed him my approach in my last meeting with him, a few months before he died, and he was most impressed, describing me as "a great teacher." Michel was an important innovator, but the MRC research was not available at the time of his death, and we need to use it.

5 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - John Bald: Mixed abili... · 0 replies · +1 points

You are correct. The failure rate in the early seventies was compared in the Times Ed. Supp. to Paschaendale. Your French mistress is in a tradition of error that goes back to Chaucer's prioress, and I'm not suggesting the approach to grammar that you and I probably both had at school. Things can be presented much more clearly and simply, and should be supported by having children build sentences on things that interest them, rather than making them complete exercises that they often don't understand.

5 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - John Bald: Mixed abili... · 3 replies · +1 points

The brain research evidence from the Medical Research Council's Applied Psychology Unit shows a great deal of overlap between the areas that process spoken and written language, so it is best to teach them together, in order to maximise brain activity. The key is understanding. I don't use tables, but present the full range of structures in ways that are accessible and attractive.Attempts to foster purely oral approaches are difficult, as it is hard for the learner to know where one word ends and the next starts.

5 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - John Bald: Mixed abili... · 0 replies · +1 points

I'm afraid that in my experience of language teaching, its effects are even worse. Most of the children I teach know nothing at all, despite four or five years of language lessons.

5 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - John Bald: Mixed abili... · 2 replies · +1 points

I agree that it should be fun, but much depends on the approach to grammar. We need to be able to put a sentence together in order to communicate. This can be explained easily, using normal English and just a small number of grammatical terms. But you can't speak unless you can put words together. Living in a country is immersion, as long as we don't only associate with Brits. It's not at all easy to reproduce that experience in a school.

5 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - John Bald: Mixed abili... · 0 replies · +1 points

Immersion courses are popular, but in my experience not effective unless they are complemented by personal study. Michel Thomas based his approach on clear explanation and sentence-building, not immersion. There is, alas, no research evidence in this area.

5 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - John Bald: Mixed abili... · 0 replies · +1 points

Dorothea43 is correct here. Some people do like to show off, but for the most part hosts appreciate the recognition that we are in their country, not ours.

5 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - John Bald: Mixed abili... · 0 replies · +1 points

You may well be correct about the US - my late friend Michel Thomas said people would come into his office, wave banknotes at him, and say that they were the only language they needed.

5 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - John Bald: Mixed abili... · 2 replies · +1 points

See Richard Hardie's comment for one reason. For another, it creates good relationships if we speak another language and helps us understand how other people think. Insularity is not a good way to live.

6 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - John Bald: Mixed abili... · 0 replies · +1 points

Very helpful, thank you. We need evidence of what works. We don't have to look far to see what doesn't work.