Monday, February 10, 2014

Rachel's English: An interesting website to check

By Tarak Brahmi, Teacher of English in Oman

I stumbled upon Rachel's English website when my nephew asked me to recommend websites that can help him to improve his pronunciation. The website features a plethora of videos illustrating important features of the English language in addition to new vocabulary lists, exercises and more. It is presented in a professional and straight-to-the-point way. For those who want to go the extra mile, there's also a paid five-week course. To know more about Rachel and her teaching background, you can watch this interview with our friend FluencyMC.
You can also check this interesting video about American English pronunciation.

Rachel's English

Thursday, January 23, 2014

How to share resources with colleagues online

By Tarak Brahmi, Teacher of English in Oman

Bookmarking websites is a handy way to keep a list of useful references that you can always go back to when the need arises or, in today's case, when used in tandem with a bookmark-sharing tool like diigo, may prove to be a great way to share and to save others a few hours of browsing. Diigo and other similar websites like pearltrees have been around for a few years but I had been reluctant to use them until my bookmarks space became so cluttered that I thought I ought to do something about it. Fortunately, diigo came to the rescue and it proved to be extremely useful for two additional reasons: First, if I ever have to switch to a different PC or format mine, I wouldn't worry about losing my bookmarks; They will always be accessible anywhere and anytime. Second, through these websites, my bookmarks can be easily shared with my colleagues.
The above mentioned websites come with nice additions like the ability to annotate, add colors, provide tags, etc..
Here is my recently created list of bookmarks. If you are curious about the great-looking tag cloud below, it was created with Wordle.

Tip: You can also have a look at the hundreds of groups on diigo to check their lists of bookmarks and save yourself hours of browsing.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

ESL Learners and Academic Writing Challenges

Jalel Guesmi 
Fulbright Teaching Assistant of Arabic 
Modern Languages Department, Ursinus College, PA 

The aim of this paper is to study writing in English as a skill in ESL. The purpose of this research paper is to investigate this issue and bring into discussion queries like how and why ESL learners find it challenging to write academically respecting the norms. Based on my own personal experience in writing and through my observation in my writing class in an American College, this paper seeks to differentiate between varieties of English that non-native speakers happen to mix when they write for academic purposes. Another intention of this present work is to culturally and psychologically interpret and account for the difficulties ESL students face in the process of writing in a linguistic situation when they are deemed to use English as SL in an English speaking country. Finally this paper is meant to inspire teachers of ESL to reflect on these concerns and find the proper teaching tactics and practices to prepare ESL students for such an experience.

Read the full article here: Click to View

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The 7th Issue of the Tunisian ELT Forum Magazine is online!

Hi dear friends, colleagues and blog visitors. The 7th issue of the e-magazine took us a little more than we had expected because of a few constraints and some technical problems. But, it is finally here. All the contributors enjoyed working on bringing this issue to your attention and they wish you would enjoy it as much as they did.

"Among the topics focused in this issue, we present “Teaching mixed-ability classes” as one of the important topics that so many teachers and educationists worry about. Abdessalem BOUAFIA, ELT Inspector in the region of Gafsa, shares some of his thoughts with you through the magazine and surely, reading through his article entitled “teaching mixed-ability classes” will make an addition. Two teachers from the University of Gabes ; Abdelhamid R’HAIEM and Sihem DRISSI wrote two articles which address two issues mostly debated among teachers of English as a foreign language and educationists. Abdelhamid R’HAIEM’s article is “Teaching literature in the EFL classroom” and Sihem DRISSI’s is entitled “Citizenship Education in Tunisia”.

  Jalel GUESMI, from Ursinus College in the USA, finds it important to write about S. Krashen’s model for SLA and we find it beneficial to provide the readers of this issue with the opportunity to refresh their minds and recall a bit of theory. In this same issue, from the University of Casablanca, in Morocco, Abdelmajid BOUZAINE writes about the integration of ICT in language teaching.

Fethi BOUGUERRA’s share is an article entitled “How can teachers help students to make learning part of themselves” while Tarak BRAHMI presents 40 websites for the EFL teacher to inspire from."

Here is the link to the 7th issue of the magazine. Enjoy it! 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

EFL teaching Terminology: Principled Eclecticism

By Teacher Trainer & EFL Teacher Fathi Bouguerra

 « It is obvious that we are not likely to find one method that will suit all learners, all teachers and all occasions »

    Doug Brown used the term principled eclecticism and Diane Larsen Freeman chose “informed eclecticism”. That is a teacher has to be informed and once informed has to choose wisely from among the available practices to create her own unique blend that would be appropriate for her own personality and teaching style, for her own student and the circumstances in which the teaching is taking place.

    Eclecticism came after years of reflection on different trends in language teaching. It appeared in a period when English teachers have discovered that no single teaching method deals with every thing that concerns the form, the use and the content of the target language.

    An eclectic teacher has to be cooperative because the more we share and communicate with each other the richer we become in our knowledge and the more successful in our practice. She has also to be funny because when students laugh they can learn better. In other words the use of humour makes the classroom atmosphere more pleasant, increases interaction between teacher and student and there fore makes learning more enjoyable.

     “We shouldn’t colonize others with our methods, but it seems to me that teachers can make up their own minds in the best for all worlds”
     D. L. Freeman

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Critical Reading of the 2012 Bac Exam Results

The CREFOC, Sidi Bouzid, hosted two workshops organized and presented by ELT inspectors, Mohamed Salah ABIDI and Belgacem HAMDI on November the 24th, 2012. Mr. ABIDI and Mr. HAMDI invited the 4th Year EFL teachers in the area of Sidi Bouzid to participate in a critical reading and scrutiny of the  2012 Bac Exam results. The two-session workshops, which started at 9 am till 12.30, began with PowerPoint presentations detailing the results in the schools of the area of Sidi Bouzid. This was followed by a discussion of the factors that had led to the success and those that may explain the failure. The second part of the workshops focused on the teachers' comments and their suggestions concerning the 2012 test and the possible ways to improve the results in the future.
You can access the slides and doc files here:


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