Posts Tagged ‘Cambridge University Press’

“Look at those lovely little yellow flowers”

25 November 2016


twitter: @eugenio_fouz


These days I am reading and learning a lot of things from a self-study book on phonetics. This book -a handbook, in fact- provides a pack of audios which I listen as I read. The author is Jonathan Marks. There are plenty of examples, exercises and pair words to distinguish specific pronunciation of sounds.

Besides, one enjoys little pieces of poetry, stories or witty examples inside the book. The title of the post has been copied from an exercise in the book. The sentence works out the sound /l/ through the wonderful literary device of alliteration, “look at those lovely little yellow flowers”.

The variety of exercises offer the student of phonetics the chance to listen and mark the odd word out of a series of similar word sounds, phonetic transcriptions, drawings of the mouth, lips, tongue to show how a sound is pronounced, typical spellings where the sound is produced, etcetera.

As I said before, the book has got some stories. I would like to save this one:

Too many twos

Tom and Tim were twins

Tom said to Tim, “Can I talk to you?”

Tim said to Tom, “Shh, wait a minute…

One two is two

Two twos are four

Three twos are six

Four twos are eight

Five twos are ten…”

Tom said to Tim, “And what are two fives?”

Tim said to Tom, “Two fives? Don´t ask me!”


This is the handbook:

Jonathan Marks; English Pronunciation in Use.-Elementary; Cambridge University Press, (Cambridge, 2007)



TKT, reflections on teaching

12 July 2013

twitter: @eugenio_fouz

okkkoooo tkt

Years ago I used to ignore pedagogy, I mean, methodology or anything related to the best ways to motivate students and all that stuff. As time passed by, I realized that teaching was meant to be a process. Today I don´t follow the theories or strategies I used to follow before. Sometimes we might think that the world could be inside our heads but that is not true. Learning and teaching is a dynamic phenomenon.

Well, this post is about a book I have been reading these days on teaching and learning, namely The Teaching Knowledge Test written by Mary Spratt et al. (Cambridge, 2011). The book is a preparation for a test for teachers of English as a Second Language. I have read here about errors and slips, learners´ preferences, methodologies and so on. Sometimes teachers are right and students are wrong. However, some other times is the other way round. Needless to say, a teacher´s worry is teaching and doing a good job, whereas students (not the good ones, really) prefer the easy way and think they have the right to redirect the syllabus to the aspects they find more practical or useful for them.

I have learnt from this book that learners´ motivation vary from the lowest point to the highest one, and not necessarily go towards this direction. Personal attitudes on both sides count a lot. A teacher can turn the subject a bore or an interesting issue. One must reconsider activities such as roleplaying, dialogues to be read aloud, dictations, games.

There are different learners´ styles, too. Thanks to the book I wonder what should be the objectives in a syllabus of English as a Second Language class. I wonder if teachers must adapt their lessons to students or not. How relevant is evaluation in teaching? Could we suggest the students to work memorization? Should we ignore acquisition?

This book, TKT, has made me think lots of things. It is good.

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