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- ItemGiving students a fighting chance: pragmatics in the language classroom(2004) McLean, TerenceIn order to give language learners a fighting chance outside the classroom, teachers must provide them with consciousness-raising opportunities for developing pragmatic awareness. By attending to pragmatic factors in second-language (L2) situations, students will be better able to make informed choices in negotiating effective communication. This article examines the potential use of the pragmatic discourse completion task (DCT) as a springboard for discussion in the L2 classroom. A description of a DCT used in a study involving advanced L2 learners at the University of Alberta (Ranta, 2002) is provided. The author also provides suggestions for developing students' pragmatic awareness.
- ItemA world Englishes mini-unit for teachers to use in the EFL context(2004) McLean, TerenceAlthough awareness of the importance of recognizing World Englishes is increasing throughout EFL literature, there remains a need to ensure that this trend is indeed reflected in course curricula, materials development, and pedagogy. The purpose of this paper is to present a practical suggestion for implementing a World Englishes mini-unit into the EFL classroom in Japan. Students should be encouraged to consider themselves within the concept of WE-ness as Japanese speakers of English--giving them a sense of identification with a personalized variety of English. If we can instill a deeper sense of confidence in young learners of EFL, then perhaps they will be better able to actively communicate in a foreign language that, until now, they have probably believed to be a thing owned by others. English is something we speak; it is not something they own.
- ItemYoung ESL newcomers need a chance to adjust(2004) McLean, TerenceThe first day of school must be made as smooth as possible in order for children to feel both at ease and safe. While the major objective of ESL programs is to prepare students for smooth transition into mainstream classrooms, the immediate objective regarding the welcoming of ESL newcomers is social. Educators have the responsibility of providing a supportive environment that will aid in the establishment of a stress-free transition to school life for young English as a Second Language (ESL) newcomers. They must be given a chance to adjust.
- Item"Why no tip?" Student-generated DCTs in the ESL classroom(2005) McLean, Terence
- ItemWorld Englishes in the ESL context, eh(2005) McLean, TerenceSure, we speak English, but just whose English do we speak? If Singapore and India can have their own hybrids of so-called World Englishes, how about my father? Can Russell from Glace Bay be the spokesperson for Cape Breton English? As an ESL instructor in Canada, should I teach my students more than standard Canadian English? Better yet, should I acknowledge that my many of advanced-level students already speak one kind of English--a World English? The world is changing - my job is changing - again.
- ItemThe rubber chicken: a fowl debate(2006) McLean, TerenceThis is a task-based activity that provides students with the opportunity to use culture (Canadian) and situation (law court) specific language while they practice reading, discussing, presenting, and debating. Before having the students tackle this activity, the teacher is assumed to have already taught basic skimming, scanning, presenting, and debating skills. Optional activities can include taking time to focus on form (timely focus on relevant grammar structures) and review vocabulary. This activity could also be adapted to fit in with Japanese sporting culture—see note below the story for a sumo example.
- ItemPragmatics, blasphemy, and a bloody moose(2017) McLean, TerenceLast week I saw a moose in my long johns. Have you ever endeavored to teach about dastardly dangling modifiers? I did so with this ripping yarn about my wild encounter with a moose while trekking in the wilderness of the Canadian Rockies.
- ItemQuick tip: sentence variety and zombies(2017) McLean, TerenceAs an English as an additional language (EAL) instructor, I am charged with the daunting task of teaching university program–bound international students how to write using a variety of the fabulous four English language sentence types: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex. Some students go the choppy route and use too many simple sentences, while others try a little too hard and think that the more complex the better, which does not always get the point or argument across.
- ItemThe good teacher, the metaphorical tickle trunk, and the survival of the fitter(2018) McLean, TerenceWhile being a good teacher is not getting any easier, pinpointing what good teaching or a good teacher is poses a bit of a conundrum. Of course, well-constructed syllabi, solid subject material, and interesting activities are essential, but what about the teacher? There's the rub. Without the good teacher, the best laid plans can go awry. Good teaching requires a little more; and this, along with the technical side of instruction, is what we need to develop. Survival in any profession requires effort, and good teachers know it. This paper offers the author's opinions as well as a look at literature on post-secondary educators and students' perceptions of good teaching.
- ItemAnswer the question: a research project(2020) McLean, Terence; Talandis Jr., JerryAs you probably know from experience, many Japanese students have trouble answering questions during English class. Why is that? According to Harumi (2011), the roots of this phenomenon lie in a complex mixture of linguistic, psychological, and socio-cultural factors. There is, in fact, quite a large culture gap in how silence is interpreted. For example, from a Japanese view point, the silent response from the student above could be seen as a means to save face, avoid difficulty, or request help. On the other hand, from a "western" perspective, the silence may come off as a sign of disinterest, boredom, or laziness. This phenomenon makes it very difficult for teachers to facilitate active learning (Harumi, 2001) and presents a risk of misunderstanding during cross-cultural encounters (King, 2005), both in Japan and while traveling or studying abroad. As a result, silence in the EFL classroom is widely acknowledged as a serious problem (King, 2013; Humphries, Akamatsu, Tanaka, & Burns, in press). It is therefore essential we help our students promptly respond to questions, whether they know the answer or not.
- ItemGames of lies: grill the teacher(2020) McLean, TerenceThis game gives students the opportunity to listen to claims by the teacher, “liar extraordinaire,” and to use question forms to determine which statements are true and which are lies. Some students may have difficulty with question forms; therefore, the opportunity to do so in a fun way can help them to develop the skills necessary to "grill" and catch the teacher in a lie. Furthermore, more proficient students can learn about pragmatic awareness and competence related to asking personal questions.
- Item3 approaches to managing online interactions(2021) McLean, TerenceSince the move to more online teaching, I have noticed a few areas in which I can help students manage their interactions during online lessons. The following observations are subjective, as they reflect my own teaching style, use of technology, classroom management philosophy, and individual student behavior; nevertheless, I hope that a point or two resonate with fellow instructors. I have separated my tips into three sections: technology, participation, and pragmatic awareness.
- ItemOnline breakout rooms: jigsaw discussions and presentation practice(2021) McLean, TerenceAs a result of the switch to virtual and blended learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many language teachers around the world are working to establish welcoming, communicative, online language learning environments. Most of us have experienced the unwelcome silence associated with trying to get all students involved in an online session. Yes, some students thrive online, but others tend to hesitate, sit back and listen, or tune out completely. Even though we are teaching online, we can still give students a gentle virtual push—and breakout rooms, if your online platform has this function, are an excellent tool for increasing student talk time during virtual instruction. This activity, a jigsaw that uses breakout rooms, can be used as stand-alone speaking practice or as preparation for a future speaking assignment in which students give an online presentation for the whole class.