English Australia Journal : English Australia Journal 27.2
English Australia Journal Volume 27 No 2 64 What are your views on the current explosion of interest in technology in ELT? Do you think it will fundamentally change the nature of teaching and learning? Inevitably it will change things. Educational administrators have a glint in their eye when they realise that they can, through online learning, teach more students, employ fewer teachers, have complete control over every phase of the registration, learning and assessment processes, etc. This may not be entirely good news for teachers and students. On the other hand, more learners will be able to pursue their studies at home, in their own time, at their own pace and teachers can access automatically every step of every learner’s progress – all positive aspects. Which ELT book has had the most influence on you? Michael Swan’s Practical English Usage (Oxford University Press) – still a classic after so many years. I just hope my own English Grammar Today (Cambridge University Press) lives up to the inspiration Mike’s book has given me over the decades. Which of your own ELT books is closest to your heart and why? Academic Vocabulary in Use (Cambridge University Press). Because I was an academic myself, I felt I could really get to grips with what students needed, and we had an excellent corpus provided by CUP so we could see exactly what words and phrases were used in academic discourse in both speech and writing and how the items were used. What advice would you give to a new teacher starting out? Listen to the old hands! I had some wonderful older colleagues in my first jobs who had seen it all and who gave me great advice on classroom skills and on the language itself. Don’t think you know better than them just because you have an MA or technical knowledge which they don’t possess. What was your first ELT job like and what did you learn from it? Aha! It was in [a well-known chain language school] in Spain – it was absolutely rigid with a textbook from which you weren’t allowed to depart by one word. I soon learnt that this made students lose the will to live! What mattered, I soon learnt, was to address them personally and to motivate them through engaging with their worlds. Michael McCarthy is Emeritus Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Nottingham, and Adjunct Professor of Applied Linguistics at the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Limerick.
English Australia Journal 28.1
English Australia Journal 27.1