Tweet Round-Up -Wednesday 5th May 2021

This week’s English Language tweet content. gender roles, phonemes, language without grammar…not to mention Star Wars…

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

We’ve all seen it, us teachers.

Female air hostesses, waitresses, and hairdressers set next to macho pilots, scientists, and construction workers sourced from the worst stock imagery.

“Mrs. Wash” will pour this pail on your head in a minute.

These pictures are probably never going to be quite as obvious as “Mrs. Wash Scrubs” from this old book, but lots of English resources out there have some pretty lousy examples of stereotyping.

Wouldn’t it be nice to live in an English-speaking world that surprised us and broke stereotypes occasionally? If there are any worksheet makers out there: consider replacing “Mrs. Wash Scrubs” with “Mr. Clean Mops.” A relevant tweet from @EngliciousUCL

Phonemic decoding can be a problem for Dyslexics.

A great post retweeted by @BytesDyslexia about using phonemes — the building blocks of language — in teaching.

Do you have any English students who you think might be Dyslexic? I’m not sure most of the English language teachers I know would necessarily be able to identify a student who has these problems. I wouldn’t despite having Dyspraxia myself. Nor have any of the many English learners I have taught identified themselves as having a problem like Dyslexia or Dyspraxia. Should we be looking out for these problems more? Is there any help out there for EFL teachers? I’m certainly going to be thinking about learning difficulties and EFL more after seeing this tweet.

The stage is set for Vişniec’s “Discourse Without Grammar.”

Then yesterday came another tweet from @EngliciousUCL that caught my social-media-roving eye.

It concerned Trapdoor Theatre’s latest spectacle Vişniec’s Discourse Without Grammar, which based on the review is a theatre production where dialogue descends into drivel and the script is more of a suggestion. It sounds very much like theatre of the absurd. Nonsense songs and surreal set-pieces abound. What’s it like to learn a language that isn’t guided by the conventional rules? There always seems to be this conflict within English teaching ideas, between presenting an understandable, contextual framework of language for learners vs. showing them words and sentences that are memorable. Which is better? Can different strategies be combined?

It’s too late for me to say May the 4th be with you but — @Onestopenglish got in there.

May the 4th be with you.

Kids love Star Wars. Grown-ups love Star Wars.

Are the scripts always an example of sparkling English dialogue? Well no. But nearly every character (save the Wookies) speaks in a clear and understandable way. And its moral lessons are clear and understandable for younger learners.

If there was one brand that could replace Friends as the go-to resource for English language teaching, Star Wars could be it.

But sorry, Darth Vader at Disneyland is just too much trade-mark and product placement for my brain to cope with.

Hope they have air-con in those suits.

That’s it for this week.

See you again next Wednesday for some more Tweets. If you see anything of interest, that relates to teaching or English language more broadly, then be sure to RT it to the ECFM Twitter.

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To_Murse

To_Murse

France-based nurse-teacher-writer. Find me on Twitter @TomLennard