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Not sure what to make of this…

In this post, I will do what I often do. I will write about an article I read.This article, though, left me in a strange place – a kind of quandary.   Dr. Paola Escudero is an expert in the field of second language acquisition. She got her Ph. D in the Netherlands and is currently […]

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  Referent Vowels I don’t want to sound like a smarty-pants, but I asked friends and colleagues if they had heard of referent vowels and nobody had. For that reason, I assume many of you don’t know about them either.   Research has discovered that vowel discrimination is often asymmetric. This means that discriminating a […]

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This post, as is often the case, will discuss articles I have recently read. This time though, I will leave one of the articles anonymous. I don’t feel like being polite or diplomatic. I’ve just had it. I’m fed up.   The article that will remain unknown is about phonics. It is a conference paper […]

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Being able to hear the sounds of a second language is important, right?   For listening, pronunciation, and phonics!!   I mean, how can you teach phonics, which is the correspondence between sounds and letters, if the students cannot distinguish all the sounds?   And, how do you teach the sounds to students who cannot […]

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For a bit more of what b4 does:    

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I came across an old TLT interview with Robert DeKeyser. It’s from May/June 2016, and in it he says what I have been saying since I started blogging. Namely, that grammar and vocabulary can be learned at any age. “Pronunciation” however,  “is clearly a function of age.” And this, as I have said perhaps too many […]

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Most English teachers know of the cognitive gains associated with bilingualism.  We love to tell our students about them. But, do you know when these improvements start to show, and what that implies?   At least some of the cognitive benefits of bilingualism are attributed to a bilingual’s need to inhibit one language while using […]

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The idea that you have to be able to perceive a sound in order to produce it is somewhat intuitive. No? I’m referring to what is known as the perception – production link. It is a much-discussed topic in L2 teaching literature, and the most influential speech theories, Speech Learning Model, the Perceptual Assimilation Model, […]

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I came across a quote from Dr. Silvana Montanaro, the founder of Montessori Schools, the other day. I was looking for something else, but the quote is important for what we do at Aka-Kara English. She wrote: …a course was recently developed, consisting of playing English language cassettes to infants. When, at the age of […]

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For the last I don’t know how long, I have finished my posts with “… and that is what b4 does.” I thought this was clever. I recently learned just what “that” is was not always clear. This is about “that.” The first thing a native speaking child learning any language learns is the sounds […]

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