The Use of the Media in English Language Teaching
Milestones in ELT
Milestones in ELT The British Council was established in 1934 and one of our main aims has always been to promote a wider knowledge of the English language. Over the years we have issued many important publications that have set the agenda for ELT professionals, often in partnership with other organisations and institutions. As part of our 75th anniversary celebrations, we re-launched a selection of these publications online, and more have now been added in connection with our 80th anniversary. Many of the messages and ideas are just as relevant today as they were when first published. We believe they are also useful historical sources through which colleagues can see how our profession has developed over the years. The Use of the Media in English Language Teaching This 1979 issue of ELT Documents focuses on uses of radio and television in language learning. Mostly drawing on the BBC’s experience as a world broadcaster, the chapters address issues such as: the integration of elements in multimedia language learning systems; the history of BBC English by radio and television; television materials for ELT; the English-teaching radio script; levels of local exploitation; and uses of English by radio programmes in the classroom. The volume ends with an interesting overview of the British ELT scene in late 1978 by GD Pickett, which is unrelated to the other contents, and which takes in dictionary publishing, developments in linguistics, teaching methodology, the demands of teaching in Britain and overseas, and teacher training.
ELT documents 105- The Use of the Media in English Language Teaching
The British Council ENGLISH TEACHING INFORMATION CENTRE
ELT documents 105- The Use of the Media in English Language Teaching
The British Council ENGLISH TEACHING INFORMATION CENTRE
ISBN 0900229 66 7 © The British Council 1979 Produced in England by The British Council Printing and Publishing Department, London
Page INTRODUCTION Marc Clift (British Council)
MAIN ARTICLES The integration of elements in multi-media language learning systems John Trim (Centre for Information on Language Teaching (GILT)) BBC English by Radio and Television history
Hugh Howse (BBC English by Radio and Television) Television materials for ELT
Joe Hambrook (BBC English by Television (on secondment to Children's Television Workshop)) The English-teaching radio script
Leslie Dunkling (BBC English by Radio and Television) Levels of local exploitation
Austin Sanders (British Senegalese Institute, Dakar) Using BBC English by Radio and Television in the classroom
Barry Tomalin (BBC English by Radio and Television) A personal overview of the British ELT scene in late 1978
Douglas Pickett (ETIC, The British Council) Notes on contributors
A selection from ETIC Archives
This issue of ELI Documents is centred on broadcasting in language learning. There is no intention of rating other media lower. Print, audio and video recording, media more directly under the learner's control, will be considered extensively in a later issue and they are not excluded from this. Broadcasting is now used as one important feature of a fully integrated multi-media learning system and an article is devoted to the implications of this. The emphasis on broadcasting in this issue is merely a way Of dividing the very large field. Broadcasting is increasingly linked with the audio and video cassette as the volume of published recorded material expands, as off-air recording techniques improve and where copyright constraints permit. Despite the rapidly developing technology in sound and vision, radio remains the centre point of educational broadcasting. There are two reasons for this, one economic and the other a matter of the learner's situation and consequent learning strategy. The economic factor may change, but it will be a long time before the cost of television allows it to replace radio as the really global medium of communication. In many of the poorest countries, where teachers, books, even newspapers are a luxury, a radio is owned by or is at least within earshot of almost every family. Its use may be for information, as a means of political unity or for entertainment. Whatever its primary use, once the set is switched on there is an opportunity for the language teacher. Five minutes of English in between information and popular music will at least be heard and in many cases welcomed and carefully followed by large numbers of people in remote areas. The broadcast English lesson may point the way to books, work in groups, work by correspondence. Some can take advantage of these other means of learning, some cannot but vast numbers have access to and will make use of the broadcast medium. Television receivers, on the other hand, are still the possession of the few. Technology is rapidly providing wider transmission coverage. The Indian satellite experiment (SITE) is an example of television being made available over a vast area,with a minimum of transmitters but even so, comparatively few can view it in their own homes. Group viewing, though valuable, does not give the medium the day-long availability enjoyed by radio. Smaller, cheaper sets will undoubtedly bring television one day into the present price range of radio. Video disc will give the provision of published video material the same simplicity of access as sound on audio tape. There remains the second factor: the learning strategy required by the medium. The television screen does not .necessarily provide more information in a given time than radio. An article in this issue discusses the limitations of television as well as its great advantages.
Television does, however, provide information over a wide range. The combination of sound and vision can provide language in its context more realistically than sound alone. This dictates a different learning strategy: the attention of the eye as well as the ear. This factor will inevitably set limits on the use of the medium. The writer, like very many others, has travelled in an African taxi where the driver was participating actively in an English by radio lesson while negotiating traffic with a fair degree of safety. He has heard an Asian salesgirl apparently muttering to herself while customers made their choices, and has then realized that she was repeating English phrases from a radio behind the counter, tuned to an educational broadcast. A television programme could hardly have been effective in these circumstances! and, to a lesser extent, television The range of situations in which radio may be used poses problems for the script writer and the producer which the textbook writer does not have to face. A broadcast lesson may be heard or viewed in a formal context, with preparation and follow-up and perhaps the use of supporting print or recorded material. None of this, however, can be assumed. In any case, the broadcast itself is essentially transient. It begins at a pre-arranged time which cannot be altered to suit the learner's immediate situation. It is perceived by the ear (or eye and ear) once and then is lost beyond recall (at that moment, at least; repeats on another day give a sort of recall, but nothing like the immediate re-reading of the page of a book not fully grasped). The programme must therefore provide its own context, hold attention and make sufficient impact without being able to rely on repetition or on the assistance of any other medium. This requires a presentation of material in ways which often differ greatly from the presentation appropriate to media which can be controlled (timed, repeated, used in part as well as whole) in the classroom. Good recorded classroom material (video or audio) may make a very bad broadcast and vice versa. The apparent similarity of and yet real difference between material recorded for use entirely within the classroom and material intended for broadcasting sometimes gives rise to misunderstandings between the objectives of the ELT producer and those of the classroom teacher. I have heard teachers complaining that a radio/television producer will inevitably tend to make a smooth, glossy production at the expense of effective content or methodology. And producers sometimes feel that teachers judge a radio programme as though it were a language laboratory recording, desiring language chosen and presented in a way which would discourage listeners and diminish their numbers. Where there is misunderstanding, I believe that it comes from the tension necessary in any production and also from the fact that we accept the tensions and constraints in book production (those imposed by publication 6
practices,available technology, costs, culture) but are less ready to accept them in the less-understood field of broadcasting. In book publishing, we are familiar with a more or less accepted range of compromises. With broadcasting we are not; we tend to take sides. I see this tension as one that has far more dynamic than nuisance value. The dynamic effect results from the fact that the tension is to a large extent within the same person, the producer. The good ELT producer will have considerable experience of the learner's situation: the classroom, the individual learner. He/she will feel the tension between the needs and constraints of this situation and the possibilities and constraints of the medium. Motivation, attention span, the use of silence and many other factors often operate differently in using a radio broadcast and, say, a language laboratory tape. The producer will be aware of the resulting tension and will produce to resolve it. Those of us who, as teachers, have made use of broadcasts but have not been involved in production may legitimately judge from results but we need to beware of pre-judgement on an unsound basis. We may not have studied the sentence or discourse types particularly relevant to radio or (arid they are different) to television. We are not always aware of the learning behaviour of the self-selecting audience of broadcasting. Above all, the whole motivating effect of broadcasting and its impact on learning through other media is something about which very little is so far known. Approaching the use of the media through script writing, aspects of television, strategies for using broadcast programmes both as teachers and learners and as organisers in an overseas situation, contributors to this issue have, I feel sure, provided guidance in the understanding and exploitation of broadcasting. The article on multi-media integrated planning concerns an important step into a large field. The overview of BBC English by Radio and Television is given as the setting in which so much development has taken and is taking place. This is not intended to be an issue of ELT Documents concerned with the BBC; its contents apply to broadcasting and multi-media enterprise throughout the world. However, it is entirely appropriate that examples and experience from the BBC should feature largely, since that organisation is undoubtedly the world's greatest repository of broadcasting expertise in the field of English language teaching. The final item in this issue was included by popular request. It is not specifically connected with the rest of the articles in that it does not deal with a specific aspect of teaching English through radio or television, but it is linked insofar as English through the various media are an intrinsic part of the ELT scene in Britain today. Marc Clift English Language Management Unit The British Council
THE INTEGRATION OF ELEMENTS IN MULTI-MEDIA LANGUAGE LEARNING SYSTEMS John Trim, Centre for Information on Language Teaching (CILT)
Although the idea of reaching the language learner through as many of his senses as possible is by no means a new idea, modern technology provides so many means of doing so that at first the mind reels. The diagram shows the full panoply of stimuli which may reach the learner, from open circuit broadcasting through recordings of one kind or another, books and kits, to the range of human contacts he may make. Indeed, the resources made available to a learner in a learning system of this kind may be classed in the first instance as human and material. Slides and filmstrips
Taped tests and examinations
The most important human resource is the learning effort of the learner himself, in terms of time, intensity, efficiency and appropriateness of that effort. All other components in the system are evaluated by their effect upon these learning parameters. A system which makes it possible for the learner to work longer, more intensively, more efficiently and appropriately will be more highly valued than one which does not. It is rather difficult to assess the social cost of learner effort. So much depends upon the competing claims upon that effort. Even leisure learning is achieved at the expense of other satisfactions and attainments. Where language learning requires, say, an executive or a highly skilled craftsman to interrupt his professional employment the direct socio-economic cost may be very high. The second human resource is the teacher, ie an initiate who organises, arranges and presents the material to be learned, checks on progress, provides feedback on performance and finds ways of overcoming learning blocks and difficulties, of building and maintaining motivation, fostering and controlling group dynamics. A third human resource is provided by the 'native informants', ie the members of the speech community who produce the behaviour to which the learner is assimilating himself, or a corpus of linguistic artefacts on which the learner models his behaviour, as well as the framework for direct conversational and pragmatic interaction. This latter service is also provided by the learner's fellow pupils. Fourthly, human resources lie behind the provision of all material resources employed in the learning system, and its organisation (engineers, technicians, writers, printers, publishers, secretaries, producers etc). The cost of these human resources depends on such interrelated factors as skill, training, availability, efficiency, and the extent to which their commitment is specially commissioned (thus 'immersion' learning benefits from the fact that the behaviour of members of the speech community is produced in the course of everyday living and is not specifically changeable). Language learning is a 'spin-off benefit. The per capita cost depends furthermore on the scale on which a service is provided, ie the number of learners amongst whom the cost is divided. Material resources, produced by the large number of people whom the student never meets (which may be very large) are of many kinds, each taking over some function or functions from teachers and informants. In making a brief survey of material and technical resources one may concentrate upon the 'software' directly used by the learner, without forgetting the substantial industrial machine which stands behind its production, and that of the 'hardware' devices which are necessary to its employment. They include printed documents (text books, course books, work books, pamphlets, newspapers, journals and magazines, works of fiction and non-fiction), realia kits (coins, bills, tickets, cultural objects).
blackboard and chalk, paper and pencil, pen and ink, disc reel and cassette recordings, gramophones, tape and cassette recorders, overhead projectors, films, slides and filmstrips and their projectors, video-tapes, discs and cassettes and the corresponding recorders, EVR tapes and replay units, radio and television programmes, sound and television receivers, video monitors, computers and their programmes. These material and technical resources vary widely in cost, particularly if an attempt is made to compute the cost on a learner/hour or learner/use basis. Some are cheap and universal. Others, being inherently expensive and requiring skilled operation, are justified only if used intensively or on a large scale or both. Since many kinds of software are specific to a particular presentation device, it is easy to conceive of multi-media systems which would involve high investment in under-used capital equipment and consequently low cost-effectiveness. It is therefore necessary to base the role of different media upon a careful assessment of the characteristics of each in terms of function and cost (per learner/hour). For instance, since television provides a full-audio-visual stimulation, is dynamic and attains a high degree of realism, it seems particularly wellsuited to the presentation of actual pieces of cultural reality and also to convey the way in which linguistic expression is embedded in an overall act of communication, integrated with facial expression, gesture and physical actions into a total self-expression. This full projection of personality may also be used to establish the television teacher as a person who directly involves the learner and raises motivation. Dynamic effects (panning, zooming, cutting in, as well as the use of animation and dynamic typography) are able to focus attention and to pick out the distinctive features of a situation in a way static pictures cannot. The possibility of facial closeup and animated diagrams make it eminently suited for the teaching of pronunciation. There are of course some well-known dangers to be guarded against passivity and visual distraction. Television is, moreover, inherently an expensive medium, and has to be exactly time-scheduled. It is therefore (as open-circuit broadcasting) rather an inflexible element reserved for special functions. Radio, being purely auditory, cannot be sure of claiming total involvement in the same way, but given that involvement, it concentrates attention upon speech without extraneous distraction. It may well liberate the imagination in compensation for loss of realism. It allows an accurate model of spoken language to be presented simultaneously to large numbers of students, who are then not dependent for their model upon the limitations of the performance of the teacher allocated to them. This is of particular importance in the case of the languages of countries which
few teachers are able to visit continually and for longer periods. It is timebound, and therefore suitable for timed drills etc, but since it too must operate in real time and be carefully scheduled, with language programmes in competition with other educational priorities, repetitions and pause-gaps must be programmed and costed. The transfer of these functions to records and tapes is then highly desirable, since they can be re-used indefinitely in accordance with a local timetable and the needs of the learner. Indeed, with the wider introduction and cheapening of videotape recorders and other methods of storing and replaying television signals one may envisage the TV programmes themselves, or elements taken from them, being available for re-use in a teaching programme, or even forming a cumulative bank of materials upon which institutions might draw. This in turn would perhaps liberate television from the need to produce a series of beginners' courses and instead extend the range of programmes over the whole range of proficiency levels. There are of course certain difficulties with copyright and important organisational implications for educational and broadcasting authorities as well as perhaps, publishers. Books, though purely visual, allow for reference to and from the presentation of diagrams and tables, and can be illustrated, though only by static pictures. Reading does not impose strict time disciplines so the book is well suited to the presentation of compact and tabulated information for reference, or where the student needs a longish, indeterminate time to study or memorise a text or solve problems. It has the important limitation that it may actually make the student less able to cope with the problems of communicating in real time with which we are faced in conversation by encouraging in him the habit of keeping silent while he weighs his words and forms his thought into complete sentences. The characteristics of the optimal learning system for a particular situation will largely depend on the one hand upon the value placed on the result of learning, and on the other upon the relative value or cost of the various kinds of human effort concerned the learner's time and effort, the work of a personal teacher, the native informant, the producers and distributors of hardware and software. Thus, if little value is placed on language learning, cheapness of provision will be the dominant factor, whereas if a society places a high value upon it (whether for social or, more likely, economic reasons), more substantial resources can be claimed in competition with other investments. Similarly, if the learner's time is cheap, self-instruction will be maximised. If it is sufficiently expensive, intensive personal tuition may well be justified. In an immigration situation, the exploitation of native informants will be maximised. In a remote country, their function must be transferred to teachers or to material resources. 11
Again, the size of the population of learners, the availability and cost of teachers (including their training) in relation to the costs of production and distribution of material resources, will control their relative balance in a teaching system. Since all these factors vary widely, even among advanced western countries, no one system can be proposed as a single global solution. However, it is clear that so far as is possible, courses should be planned on a multi-media basis, to exploit the specific advantages of each medium, whilst not being unduly constrained by its limitations. It should be remembered, however, that a multi-media course is not only more difficult to plan and administer, but also makes rather more demands upon the student, who must organise himself to pursue the different activities laid down in the programme in the order and at the times specified. They may therefore not be suited to a semicasual audience, but rather to the serious student. In such a course, one may envisage the different components as follows: 1 An actual course-book, with instructions on following the course, reference materials and exercises involving reflection rather than immediate response. 2
A work-book, of a semi-programmed type.
Records for close study and repeated imitation.
4 Television programmes to present naturalistic uses of language and to project the personality of the teacher in a full social setting and with full use of gesture and facial expression. 5 Radio programmes to give closer, more detailed instruction and explanation, and a good deal of practice drills. 6 The use of telephones to provide feedback to the studio is excellent. Students can also be encouraged to hold controlled telephone conversations with each other. Co-operation between Broadcasting Authorities in different countries should allow genuine native programme material, suitably selected and edited, to be integrated into courses at all levels. It is quite possible to programme a multi-media course in such a way that it can be followed fully by students working as individuals. Group working is, of course, advantageous. Speech is a group activity in any case, but in addition the teacher can provide guidance and therapy as required. Motivation is kept high by weekly assignment and the feeling of belonging to a developing group. Some desirable materials can be more economically 12
supplied to a group than to each individual separately. In addition a network of associated groups can provide programme teams with invaluable feedback, as can tests, especially terminal examinations, which may be conducted in association with experienced examination boards. In this way, we harness the large-scale resources of mass-media to achieve significant economies of scale, bringing television, radio, tapes, books, courses, a counselling service, study groups and examinations to support and sustain individual learners in a mass audience. This manner of organising language learning has now been employed in many countries with considerable success. Notable examples include Finnish Radio and Television's pioneering Dobryi Vedu. Unable to afford the production costs of a full TV series for Russians, the Finns imported an East German series based on a series of situation films and concentrated their efforts on embedding these experience elements in a learning system, carefully structured at the receivers' end, which they could manage and control within their own resources. The Swedish 'Start' programmes were notable on the one hand for the care with which learner needs were analysed in advance, and aspects of the package tailored to the requirements of the audience, and on the other for the way in which local resource centres were organised to produce bulk copies of tapes at unsocial hours. English by Radio and Television has, from Walter and Connie onwards, offered to its clients around the world a multi-media service ranging from the total course to series of modules suitable for inclusion as elements in courses conceived by other people. BBC Further Education has included books, and discs in its educational package since it first went into language teaching. Its recent productions Kontakte, Ensemble and Digame have been fully multi-media in operation including short training courses for teachers and, in the case of Ensemble. follow-up courses exploiting the language which has been learned, building social and professional relations with French colleagues. Perhaps the most ambitious project to date is Follow Me! co-produced by Bayrischer Rundfunk and Norddeutscher Rundfunk in association with other German, Austrian and Swiss networks. TV and Radio components are also being supplied by BBC English by Radio and Television. The course is based on the Waystage and Threshold Level specifications of the Council of Europe, harmonised for their purpose with the Grundbanstein of the Deutscher Volkshochschul Verband, which will provide the ground organisation for teaching. A related text is expected to be developed, coursebooks differentiate for self-study and learners in organised classes are being produced respectively by Longmans-Langenscheidt and Langenscheidt. The whole operation is being monitored by the Adolf Grimme Institut. 13
The full use of mass-media is only practicable on a very large scale. The initial costs are higher than can be borne by a single undertaking, even quite large ones. Even national broadcasting agencies and publishing consortia have difficulties in providing adequate resources, or in organising large enough markets to justify their deployment economically. International coordination in production and distribution is thus especially in a field.which in its essence deals with increasingly indicated intentional communication. International co-production of language programmes can cheapen production and improve cultural realism. Bilateral marketing agreements can lower unit costs by widening the market. Optimal economy may however be more capable of achievement if both production and distribution are organised in an integrated international multi-media system.
BBC ENGLISH BY RADIO AND TELEVISION - AN OUTLINE HISTORY
Hugh Howse, BBC English by Radio and Television At Queens House, Kingsway, London not, in Fowler's terms, an elegant variation for Buckingham Palace but our English by Radio and Television headquarters there is at least one figure of impressive calm and dignity in the bustle of activity that is the inevitable concomitant of seeking to meet what has now become the requirements of more than 100 countries all over the world for English lessons through the mass media and our associated published materials. That faultless figure is a statuette cast in bronze and it represents, appropriately enough for an activity that is based on broadcasting, the sower of the seed. The seed that ultimately developed into BBC English by Radio and Television was first cast some thirty-six years ago and its casting (narrow rather than broad at that time) was, relatively speaking, almost as primitive in manner as the starkly naked, seed-sowing bronze figure is in dress. English by Radio came into somewhat haphazard being during World War II; in fact no-one can quite remember which of the BBC's foreign language broadcasts at the time had the distinction of being the vehicle for our first attempt at teaching English by Radio. There are those whose memory would point to the Arabic Service and others who recall that it was, more probably, the German Service. What is certain is that the first English by Radio broadcast consisted of a series of selected utterances articulated slowly in the impeccable BBC English of the day, followed by a careful translation in the language of the learner. The duration of these broadcasts understandable at a time when the world was at war and when the major audience demand in whatever country was for hard reliable news and little else was rarely more than two or three minutes. Even so, the broadcasts began to arouse interest and they were improved pedagogically, methodologically and in presentation as they gained considerable listenership. This was dramatically revealed when, at the end of the War in Europe, German troops in Norway heard of the order for them to lay down their arms whilst listening to an English by Radio transmission in the BBC German Service, which was interrupted to give the news that the laying down of arms was, literally, the order of the day. With the end of World War II and the emergence of considerable evidence of interest from listeners in a wide range of countries in the learning of English through BBC broadcasts, a small Department was set up in the BBC's External Services to handle this special form of broadcasting. What had begun as a rather spasmodic, haphazard initial experiment soon 15
became a well planned, carefully organised operation in its own right. With guidance from the growing number of experts in English as a Foreign Hornby, Eckersley, Noonan, Elliott and Stannard Alien all Language special bilingual courses for come to mind as early course designers beginners were devised for transmission in a wide variety of the BBC's 'foreign language services and series presented entirely in English at intermediate and more advanced levels were prepared for broadcasting in the BBC's then special transmissions of English for Europe. The first Head of English by Radio, the late Sydney Stevens, who laid the foundations upon which all that has followed has been built, had the vision to see the need to support these broadcast series with self-study materials both in order to make them particularly records in those early days more effective pedagogically and as a source of income to help pay for the growing activities of the Department. The process of establishing publishing agencies abroad for English by Radio then began. The first was in Spain in 1947 when Editorial Alhambra began to issue BBC courses on records with accompanying booklets. The movement soon took off in Italy, where Valmartina Editore in Florence became our second agency, in France with Disques BBC founded specifically to market BBC English courses in recorded form and similar operations in Germany, Holland and Belgium soon followed. The early 1950's saw the birth of a carefully planned project to teach English to beginners throughout the world through a specially devised bilingual radio series accompanied by a book with records encapsulating the main dialogues and the teaching points of the course so structured and so presented in the learner's own language as to facilitate self-study. The course was given the appropriate title of Calling All Beginners and it is significant that this course, written by a former British Council expert in the teaching of English as a Foreign Language, David Hicks, is still in use in a number of as are the radio programmes and in demand countries all over the world more than a quarter of a century after its inception despite its having been superseded by several new courses in our more recent repertoire. I have given special mention to Calling All Beginners in this outline of developments because it was seminal in lessons lessons in the integration of published materials with a learned from it radio course for the student at home and lessons in the judicious use of the learner's own language as an aid to teaching at the beginner's level. Equally important to the Department's development was the proof, offered by its widespread success, of the ability to conceive and produce Englishteaching materials which could work on a global basis. Given the nature of the broadcasting medium with its ability to reach large audiences over wide areas of the world and given the economic realities of production costs, this was an important discovery and one that gained added significance when we began to use the much more costly medium of television. 16
The 1950's saw two further developments which have continued to play a significant role in the history of BBC English by Radio and Television. In 1955, BBC English by Radio held its first Summer School with students drawn from leaders of listening groups in Europe, which had been established to provide feedback on the English by Radio programmes broadcast on direct transmission. This experiment allowed the Department's staff to return to the classroom for a short period and to take back into their radio production work fresh experience gained through the direct teaching of English in the classroom. The Summer School became an annual event and now, much enlarged and run in conjunction with the English Speaking Union and International House, it attracts almost two hundred students each year from countries all over the world. All our production staff nowadays have rich experience of EFL and classroom teaching as a basic professional requirement but they still find it stimulating despite the considerable burden of additional work to return to the classroom at least once a year and, given the wide range of students attending the Summer School, we also seek to use the occasion as a means of testing out new courses and new ideas in methodology and programme production. In 1956 another event that was to become annual was first tried out a meeting of the European BBC English by Radio Agencies which had been established over the previous years. That first Agents' Conference in London, almost twenty-five years ago, was attended by eight agencies and a sign of the extent to which the rapid world-wide spread of English as a second language is a comparatively recent phenomenon the working language of the Conference had to be German which, apparently, was the highest common linguistic factor amongst those present. This year's Annual Conference of BBC English by Radio and Television Agencies will be held in Rio de Janeiro; it will be attended by more than forty people and the Agencies represented will be from Western Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East, the Far East, Latin America and Australia. Many of them are now leading educational publishers in their own countries with EFL experts on their own staff; an increasing number are experienced in the growing educational film and video markets and all, to our continuing enlightenment and development, will have well-informed marketing and pedagogic views on our existing courses and materials and on our plans for future developments. As we are devising distance teaching systems through radio, television and publications for use in any or all of a large number of countries all over the world, I need scarcely stress the value to us of constant contact with our Agencies in some fifty countries and of the ability of many of them to adapt our published materials to local requirements where necessary and appropriate. Reverting, however, to the chronological order in which our activities developed, by the early 1960's, English by Radio broadcasts at 17
intermediate and advanced levels in English were beamed not only to Europe but also to Asia and English by Radio lessons at lower linguistic levels, with explanation in the learner's mother tongue, were broadcast in many of the BBC's foreign language services. Radio stations in an increasing number of countries were also beginning to broadcast these lessons on their own local air. Publishing operations and the marketing of books and records were becoming more extensive in areas beyond Europe. Television, confined in the 1950's to the developed world, was spreading. The next logical step was, naturally, the use of television as well as radio to teach English. In financial collaboration with the British Council, BBC English by Radio and Television as it then became, produced what I can most appropriately describe as the 'Ur-Mutter' of English by Television Walter and Connie, a series for absolute beginners. Like Calling All Beginners in the field of radio before it, the series enjoyed instant and what was to be prolonged success. Its transmissions in Germany, one of the first countries to purchase the series, had an audience of twenty million with a hard core of more than half a million students taking the series as a selfstudy course using the books and records supporting the television programmes. It has since been used in more than ninety countries and, again like its seminal radio counterpart Calling All Beginners, it is still in use in certain countries today. Peking Television, for example, has just two of them were purchased three of our English by Television series more recent productions but the third is Walter and Connie. Experience with Walter and Connie reinforced some of the lessons we had already the importance of associated selflearnt through our radio operations study materials, for example, and the discipline of remembering always or dismissed that, as a teacher through the mass media, one is called in at the flick of a switch. In the highly competitive world of television programme and this has increased as time and skills have progressed production quality and the ability to engage, motivate and involve the audience are factors of great importance. Fortunately, they are also important educational objectives. I have met people in Europe, the Middle East and Asia who began to learn English through Walter and Connie and, invariably, they had found a sense of 'rapport' with the two engagingly acted leading characters to be a most helpful element in their ability to learn from the series and in their motivation to do so. The immediate success of Walter and Connie, which had the advantage of complete novelty, led to further collaboration with the British Council in the production of a number of monochrome English by Television series, and, in parts of the developing world, still all of which have enjoyed widespread use. The break through into more natural television enjoy came with The Bel/crest Story and the courage, persistence and colour skills of my immediate predecessor, Christopher Dilke, in obtaining the necessary funds to sustain and further develop an expensive operation in 18
the face of financial difficulties. The Bel/crest Story, teaching the English of business at the advanced level, was made in collaboration with the British Council and the Oxford University Press and was a break through not only into colour but also in methodology for advanced courses through the mass media. Initial, careful research covering some seventy countries had isolated the linguistic needs of the target audiences and this language was then naturally embedded in business situations, filmed with a near-reality that gripped interest as did the narrative thread of the series. The series, in its television or film form, contained no ostensive teaching but immersed the learner in the language appropriate to his business needs whilst the other elements in this multi-media package provided the material for the more formal acquisition and exploitation of this language by the student at home or in class. From The Bel/crest Story, which has been as widely used in the classroom as it has on television, we developed some of the skills necessary in a world where money is tight and where good quality film or video production is costly of seeking to meet both the needs of educational television stations for their audiences and of the teacher in the classroom for his or her much smaller number of students. The same aim was implicit in two other English by Television series for elementary and intermediate learners, undertaken as co-productions with Bavarian Television shortly after The Bel/crest Story On We Go and People You Meet. These two series also sought to break further new ground in that, unlike earlier productions, they were deliberately constructed on a modular basis. The intention was to facilitate their adaptation to local requirements by a wide range of potential users both on television and in the classroom. On the one hand, their modular structure made it possible for users to build, as required, their own local presentation around the three separate modular constituents of each programme and, on the other hand, the fact that each programme was complete in itself allowed a using television station or educational institute to present the materials to the learner in the order that most closely coincided with the requirements of the local syllabus. The two series have been and are being widely used both on television and, increasingly, as video facilities have developed, in the classroom. By the early 1970's, therefore, a small operation that had begun pragmatically, and by today's standards less than fully professionally some thirty years previously, had developed into an activity that embraced the use of radio and linked publications with audio support material, the use of television, fully supported by material for the learner at home or in the classroom, and, later still, by the integrated use of all these media. In the last few years the whole scale of the operation and its range have developed dramatically in response to the world-wide demand for English. English by Radio lessons are now broadcast from London to almost all parts of the world for more than sixty hours each week an entirely new
transmission for Latin America was introduced in 1978 and we now have special 'streams' of output for China, Indonesia, Southeast Asia and the Sub-Continent; approximately one hundred and twenty countries now broadcast BBC English by Radio lessons on their local air. English by Television programmes are now in use in more than one hundred countries either on the screen or on film and videocassette in institutions, and our published materials, so designed as to work both with our radio and television output and independently of both with audio support, are now published and marketed from London and in fifty countries around the world. Not only has the quantity of what we produce increased but, more important still, so has its range and variety. A few examples of our more recent activities will, I hope, suffice, at one and the same time, to bring this outline of developments up to date, to reflect the increasing range of our activities and to show some of the directions in which we are moving. The whole scale of our collaboration with the British Council was advanced with the production, under a scheme financed by the Overseas Development Ministry, of five major sets of materials film, radio and publications for ELT purposes in ESL countries. These ranged from Teaching Observed, a series of twelve 25-minute films for teacher training, made as documentaries, to two series (radio, books and cassettes) linked with '0' level examinations in English language and literature. With the British Council's increasing Direct Teaching Operations partly in mind and also in response to strong European demand for materials especially suited to advanced classes, we have begun to release on cassette, Yaw', untreated talks, interviews and discussions from the BBC's store of domestic radio output of a broadly educational nature for use in institutions, particularly at the tertiary level. At, literally, the other end of the scale we have been experimenting with English by Radio lessons for the very young Castor and Pollux. This radio series is set in a circus where the animals talk Earnest the Elephant became a particular favourite even with parents and teachers and is irrigated with humour and music. The series was devised as a radio strip cartoon and this approach was graphically validated in fan mail to the programme from children in countries such as France, Spain, Italy, Poland and Romania which included the children's own drawings of the rich variety of characters in the programmes as the children had imagined them from the broadcasts. At a different level again, we have been experimenting with our first series of programmes prepared on the basis of a notional/functional approach. This is an intermediate course, entitled Say It Again, which builds its language around themes associated with film 'genres' such as the Thriller (The Big Sleep was our natural prototype here), the Western, the Romance and the Musical. Both teachers and learners appear to have found the approach and its essentially 'radiogenic' 20
setting both novel and stimulating 'it is entertaining, funny and makes me think about the possibilities of English. Thanks for another delightful Say It Again. Brilliant.' wrote an enthusiastic teacher of English. In the field of English for special purposes, we have been tackling the English of oil technology in a series entitled The Petroleum Programme with a documentary flavour set against our own offshore oil operations and, in more specialized vein still, English for navigation at sea. This arose from an approach to us by the International Maritime Consultancy Organization which recently produced a Standard Marine Navigational vocabulary. In Television, we have taken a number of innovative steps with several new series. A series of six 20-minute films. Challenges, also available on video, broke new ground in exposing the advanced learner to documentary material, designed to stimulate the use of idiomatic English communicatively and to improve comprehension of English 'in the raw'. These six programmes take a realistic look at challenges facing young people; there are no actors used in the series and no specially structured studio sequences. The films are carefully integrated with a student-teacher package and they are already in use in institutes in several countries. The series has also been screened, or is about to be screened, on television in countries such as Japan, Singapore, Belgium, Poland, Austria, Yugoslavia and Hungary. Use of the films, particularly in British Council institutes overseas, has shown that the series has an additional appeal outside its purely linguistic function in that it also serves as a social and cultural introduction to Britain for young people who are likely tO'Spend some time here as students or as trainees. Whereas Challenges was primarily for institutional use but has also been found to be appropriate in certain countries for transmission on television, another of our recent English by Television productions. Songs Alive, was conceived primarily as an entertainingly educational series for use on television but has also been found most stimulating in the classroom in many countries. The series, which we made in conjunction with Bavarian Television, introduces the learner to entertainment through English and to'English through entertainment by presenting, dramatically, traditional songs from the English-speaking world with linguistic guidance where appropriate. It was only released just over a year ago and has already been screened in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Thailand, Holland, Yugoslavia and Brunei and will shortly be screened in many more countries, including the Soviet Union which has never before purchased English by Television programmes. In the field of English for special purposes, we have just completed yet another English by Television series of twelve 20-minute programmes, The Sadrina Project. The series has narrative impact in that it tells the story of a British executive in the travel business who goes to SE Asia on a special assignment which, as he soon discovers, is not without its problems and complications. The leading 21
roles in the series are played by actors but the drama unfolds against attractively real backgrounds in London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. The series as a whole shows English in natural, documentary use in hotels, offices, airlines and travel agencies and the accompanying publication draws upon this material to teach the English needed both by the traveller and by those working in professional fields linked with tourism. The Sadrina Project is, therefore, an unusual combination of drama, documentary and educational filming. We produced the series in collaboration with an adult educational television organization in Singapore, CEPTA TV. Both Songs Alive and The Sadrina Project operate, linguistically, at intermediate level; Challenges is a series for the advanced learner. It is, however, sixteen years since our first English by Television series, Walter and Connie, appeared and it was more than high time for us to embark on a new English by Television project for beginners. Work by the Council of Europe's expert group on Threshold Level language specifications (designed to encompass the acts of communicative competence required to take the adult learner from zero to a level of basic ability in a foreign language) happened to coincide with our own exploration with television colleagues in Germany of possibilities for a multi-media co-production centred on television to teach English to adults at the beginner level. As the result of a happy convergence, we have now embarked on what is probably the largest co-production ever undertaken in the English Language-teaching field. West German Television, Austrian and SwissGerman Television and we in BBC English by Radio and Television, partnered by the Council of Europe, the Deutscher Volkshochschul Verband and the German Ministry of Education, have just begun the coproduction of Follow Me, a multi-media course centred on sixty 15-minute television programmes closely integrated with sixty radio programmes, books for the student at home and textbooks for the institutional learner, both'supported by audio cassettes, and a teacher's book. Television coproduction is an arrangement between North German Television in Hamburg, Bavarian Television in Munich and BBC English by Radio and Television in London. We are also producing the radio programmes and we are the publishers to the project in association with Langenscheidt of Germany and Longman of Britain. The first thirty television programmes for use in Germany have already been produced and the two-year course will start on German thirty programmes will be transmitted each year television in October. German radio stations and our own BBC German Service will transmit the Follow Me radio series in association with the television transmissions and the books for students at home and for use in the classroom and supporting material on cassette will all be available to make this a truly multi-media course. Austria and Switzerland will be broadcasting the course at the same time and it is expected that the
materials will also be in demand in a great many countries, both in Europe and other parts of the world in the near future. Some of our next moves in the English by Television field are likely to be related to the increasing use of video in the classroom and to the impending advent of the video-disc. In publishing we have increased our areas of activity by establishing new agencies in Portugal, in Korea and Indonesia, in Syria and Saudi Arabia, in Mexico, Panama and El Salvador, and in Canada and Australia. Amongst our many publishing activities a venture that began two years ago the publication of some of our courses in the form of part-works supported by cassettes and made available to a wide public through news stands and kiosks deserves special mention. To give some idea of the scale of this new activity, which we have undertaken in collaboration with Salvat Editores of Spain, one of our basic English-teaching series published in this form has sold more than 10 million individual part-work copies in Spain and several countries in Latin America. Almost equally successful has been the conversion of the radio series for children, Castor and Pollux, mentioned above into specially illustrated part-work format which has aroused much interest and demand in France as well as in Spain. Our materials have also been made available in part-work form in Switzerland, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and, most recently, Brazil. We shall shortly be undertaking a second new venture entry into the world of paperback publishing in association with the British firm, Futura. The increasing demand for English around the world and related research and developments in the teaching of English as a foreign language and in educational technology make this a particularly stimulating period in the BBC's thirty-five year long history of English teaching. The spoken word, recorded sound, film and video are part of the professional air we breathe and we are additionally fortunate in BBC English by Radio and Television in that, organizationally, we also have the printed word as an integrated element of our immediate, professional environment. We have been equally fortunate in that, through our own specialized staff and collaboration with the British Council, educational experts, specialist organizations, authors and publishers in the UK and throughout the world, we have a wealth of skills and talents, some established long ago and some newly burgeoning, upon which we can draw. Lord Chesterton, speaking of literature, counselled his son: 'Speak of the moderns without contempt and of the ancients without idolatry.' In seeking to teach English world-wide through radio, television and published materials, we aim at a similarly open-minded catholicity of approach by always being open to new ideas without rejecting the tried and, if not the true, at least the known to have been effective.
TELEVISION MATERIALS FOR ELT Joe Hambrook, BBC English by Television (on secondment to Children's Television Workshop) Films and television programmes have been used for language learning and teaching since the 1930s, and in ELT for some twenty years. There are numerous claimants for the honour of being pioneers in this field, but probably the first ELT series to be seen widely on television screens (thus reaching a much larger public than the classroom use of films permitted) was produced and screened in Sweden in the early 1960's. Since then, thousands of hours of ELT materials have been produced for television transmission and classroom use, the programmes or films usually being accompanied by publications and sound recordings or forming a single component of a multi-media course. These materials have been aimed at both adults and children, and they have tried to cater for those with general language-learning needs and those with quite specific ones (eg businessmen, tourists, engineers, teachers, etc). This review is primarily concerned with materials transmitted by television to audiences in their homes, though institutional or classroom use of such materials will be referred to from time to time. It also concentrates on materials produced for international use rather than those made by broadcasting or production organisations for use in a single country or limited region. There have been many effective national, regional and local ELT television productions, and indeed they make up the major proportion of the total output in the field, but balanced consideration of them involves detailed explanation and comparison of local conditions and circumstances, whereas international productions generally have to allow for a wide range of such circumstances (however much they appreciate the importance of local variations in the use of television, in language learning methodology, and in social and cultural conventions). Most international productions are actually made or coordinated in the UK and therefore can or should have better access to resources specifically relevant to ELT materials production. Lastly, because of their wide distribution, they are more influential (for better or worse) and are likely to be more familiar to readers. This review will not attempt any appraisal of multi-media materials apart from television, although such materials are essential to the success of the television programmes which they support. Self-instruction by television alone is very limited in scope, at least where language learning is concerned. There are many factors affecting the planning, the production and (more important for the learner) the content of ELT television materials, which
are hidden from consumers (both organisations responsible for transmission and viewers/learners themselves) but which act as very powerful constraints on producers. For example, it may be necessary to allow for the different and possibly conflicting interests of co-producing or co-sponsoring partners (each of whom may want to give priority to a particular group of learners or to learners in a particular part of the world, or may favour a particular approach to the agreed objectives of a production), Financial constraints are important, too. It might be expected that international production projects taking two years or more to complete would command enormous resources. Compared with modest local educational television productions they might, but very often the producers have to realise their objectives within financial limits which drastically restrict the options open to them. The reason for apparently sketchy research or for the failure to employ this or that obviously appropriate production technique may well result from the need to determine priorities largely from a financial viewpoint. Restricted financing is also partly responsible for the limited output of materials for international use. However forcefully producers are influenced by factors from outside the actual process of production, they are still responsible for its outcome, and much rests on their ability to define the precise aims and scope of each project they undertake and to specify a target. This usually means allowing for the widest possible range of learners and learning needs, but aiming very carefully at a particular point within this target area, even to the extent of being able to describe an ideal viewer/learner (or a learner/viewer profile) at the centre of the target. Experience shows that the more precise the aim, the more effective the resulting materials are over a wide range, whereas an attempt to aim 'indiscriminately at the target as a whole leads to the sort of compromise that satisfies no one. Moreover, realistic financial planning and use of resources rely heavily on the effectiveness of such basic definitions. So do the participants in the project concerned, who come from many different professional disciplines (teachers, researchers, curriculum specialists, writers, directors, technicians, etc) and who need a set of common reference points. Without these it is very difficult to make the most of the diverse skills of those involved in most ELT television or multi-media projects. Indeed, while their professional diversity could lead to incompatibility and conflict (and produce results which reflected this state of affairs), they should (and do) work harmoniously and productively together provided they share a common view of what they are aiming at. At this point it is fair to ask whether there is any definable ELT television methodology which can guide and inform those involved in materials design and production and which can be exploited for the benefit of the learner/viewer. If so, it would be a proper subject for this review, but, so
far as materials for international use are concerned, it actually appears that producers and others involved work most successfully through existing teaching/learning and media methodologies. This does not, of course, detract from the usefulness of considering what television can and cannot do for ELT. First, what cannot be done by or what is not really appropriate to ELT television? Taking into account that screentime is precious (it costs a lot and there is not a lot of it likely to be available for ELT), there are some areas of language learning that are best left to other media or given a low priority. For example, it is usually unwise to spend much screentime exposing language in its written form. Signs, notices and other publicly prominent examples of written English are obvious exceptions to this precept, and it has been observed that beginners in English are reassured (perhaps surprisingly, in view of English orthography) by seeing key words and patterns in caption form on the screen. However, longer stretches of writing cause layout problems, take a long time to read and are more usefully available on the printed page of a book. A teacher figure, addressing the viewer directly from the screen^ uses the potential of television inefficiently, as does any device for giving lengthy explanations of language, situation, etc. Exercises which consist of drills or large numbers of examples are often counter-productive, because each example requires time to be visually contextualised and then assimilated by the viewer (in a way that is significantly different from such exercises on radio). The detailed exposure and demonstration of points of phonology can also be ineffective and wasteful in terms of screentime. The force of these objections lies largely in the lack of feedback in learning languages on a self-instructional basis by means of television and in the lack of control which the learner/viewer has over the learning context. Clearly, very different considerations must apply when the same material is viewed institutionally in the presence of a teacher, and even more so when the material is on videocassette/disc (and is therefore subject to much greater control and learning flexibility). The objections would also have to be modified in circumstances where a lot of screentime was available on a regular basis. How, then, can television benefit the language learner? Basically, it can extend the language learning horizons concerned, by showing language being used by a great variety of people for a number of different purposes in a wide range of contexts. A man buying a ticket in a hurry; a woman asking people the way to the Post Office and having to deal with directions provided with varying degrees of certainty and precision; two people accidentally knocking into each other in the street, expressing surprise and annoyance followed, perhaps, by embarrassment and then some form of polite acceptance of the situation, and finally a parting exchange
accompanied by a smile; friends or strangers meeting, greeting and arranging to meet again. These simple, everyday encounters and transactions are fundamental to understanding and handling a foreign language, and especially its essential operational nuances (the man buying a ticket was in a hurry, the people giving directions were more or less certain, the people in the street were annoyed and then polite to each other, the friends and strangers showed their familiarity or lack of acquaintance with each other). Learners with specific occupational or other needs can be catered for in the same manner. The trainee hotel receptionist can be shown a guest's tentative enquiries being turned into a coherent request for a particular service; the businessman can be shpwn an awkward transaction being successfully negotiated through the manipulation of identifiable operational language formulae which enable participants in the transaction to establish the right degree of formality, swap conversational initiatives, raise objections, stall, agree, disagree, confirm and bring the matter to a satisfactory conclusion. The immediacy and impact of these examples could not be achieved in the pages of a book or within the confines of a classroom. To be really effective for language learning, scenes like these need to be presented appropriately. It is fortunate that film and television techniques make it possible to concentrate the viewer's attention on significant features of language and language use. For instance, the businessman's awareness of an interruption and switch of conversational initiative can be highlighted by carefully positioning the point at which the camera cuts from one speaker to another (eg the initial interruption, 'Excuse me', can be heard before the interrupter is actually seen, rather than af the same time). The pace and density of language can be tightly controlled. Repetition and redundancy can be firmly organised. Above all, pictures and words can be matched (or a useful counterpoint between them can be achieved) to feature exactly what suits the learner's needs. The examples just given relate to situations in real life. On the screen they may be achieved through carefully planned and edited documentary film or through fully scripted dialogue. This dialogue may be integrated into a short sketch or a serial story, while the documentary film may be an insert in a magazine-format programme which also includes comedy sketches, quizzes, interviews, etc. Whatever the presentation format, it must relate to some kind of acceptable television reality as well as (and sometimes instead of) the reality of everyday life. At first sight, it might appear most valuable to show raw, untreated coverage of real people interacting without any intrusion from outsiders (film directors, language teachers and so on). In fact, this would be not only impracticable (eg How many cameras would be needed to cover some of the examples above, and what effect would their presence have on the participants?) but probably unsatisfactory for viewers at home, whose television reality is (rightly or 27
wrongly) packaged for them in easily digested sequences and whose access to the use of their native language is often through interactions specific to television (after all, they don't meet news readers and interviewers in their homes every day). Moreover, much of what they see and enjoy on television is in the form of drama and light entertainment. It is unwise for ELT producers to turn their backs on these familiar and appreciated means of access to the learner/viewer. ELT television programmes intended for international use have generally been acceptable and successful in proportion to the extent to which they have exploited existing television formats and techniques. The activities and events featured in such programmes can be made impressive and memorable through visual comedy, animated cartoons, and the behaviour of characters who have become familiar to viewers through the course of a television series, just as much as through coverage of unrehearsed interaction. The skill of producers lies in choosing the most appropriate formats and techniques for their learners' particular needs, and in adapting them to those needs wherever necessary. It is sometimes argued that ELT requirements coupled with tight financial restrictions will lead merely to rather unsatisfactory imitations of regular television programmes, but this need not and should not be the case. Moreover, solving the problems of the learners' needs can result in genuinely innovative programme-making (eg findings ways of integrating scripted and unscripted dialogue within a single scene). In one important respect, the learner/viewer is different from other viewers. He/she expects more out of programmes than mere entertainment or information and comment. In this particular field, the learner/viewer expects greater mastery of one or more language skills as a result of watching ELT television. An obvious way of meeting this expectation is to encourage the viewer to participate actively in the programme. In the past, such participation has often been achieved by inviting the viewer to repeat utterances, complete sentences and answer questions provided from the screen. Unfortunately, these devices suffer from the lack of feedback and control noted earlier, and they involve procedures of doubtful pedagogical worth. It is being increasingly accepted that other ways of involving the viewer are more valuable. Indeed, engaging the viewer's attention in a story or guiding him/her through a carefully constructed scene can lead to positive involvement since the language is unfamiliar and the viewer has to respond to and process/decode events on the screen in a more active and deliberate manner than when watching programmes in his/her native language. A much more concentrated form of attention is demanded. It is a short step from this proposition to the devising of scenes and story elements which incorporate specially planted clues for the viewer to pick up and follow, 28
and from there to the setting up of more language-specific problems for the viewer to solve, particularly at beginners' or near-beginners' level. Television can be used to meet all kinds of ELT course-design and curriculum objectives, but it must be clear from many of the points made above that it is likely to elicit the best response from the viewer when it operates according to language learning methodologies which are primarily functional. Indeed, ELT television programmes tend to operate along functional lines even when their stated objectives are very different. Perhaps it is now relevant to consider the actual results of using television as a language learning instrument for self-instructional purposes. Is it, in fact, successful? Unfortunately there is no authoritative answer, largely because this field is hopelessly under-researched. However, production organisations do collect data on which they can base future plans and projects, and there is enough evidence to suggest that receptive skills are significantly enhanced through watching ELT television programmes, while productive skills benefit from being given a fruitful background from which to develop. The kind of language processing needed for the assimilation and enjoyment of ELT programmes is immensely useful in reinforcing language learning at all levels and in adding to the confidence with which learners can tackle either formal language courses or the need to use English socially and at work. As a stimulating and motivating force, ELT television is extremely powerful. Of course, there have been unsuccessful ELT television materials as well as successful ones. Moreover, the essentially transitory nature of television programmes as such means that some of even the most carefully planned and presented material will pass by the learner/viewer unnoticed. This consideration alone would make it important for ELT programmes to be effective as television, and to have the kind of impact that makes popular television successful. Most learners/viewers are likely to have a fully developed television consciousness which provides the best route to their motivation and commitment to language learning. They should want to watch their weekly ELT programme as much as their favourite weekly comedy or drama series, and more than the daily news broadcast. One important element in the success of any international ELT television course or series is the way in which it is handled by the broadcasting organisations responsible for transmitting it. Its chances can be improved, or ruined, by the manner in which it is publicised, the time at which it is broadcast, etc. Local adaptation and presentation (from the mere introduction of each programme to a full-scale local version of the international original) are also very important. Many series intended for international use are produced specially for such adaptation to allow for local learning needs, viewing habits, etc, and most other series can be adapted to some extent.
Television alone cannot be a self-sufficient means of teaching a foreign language, .and even the most committed and highly-motivated learner/viewer can benefit from ELT television programmes only to a limited degree without further help from supporting materials in other media. For the serious learner these materials on the most modest scale (a short textbook and perhaps an audio-cassette) can extend the range and depth of his/her learning, while the integration of the television programme component into a fully developed multi-media self-instructional course should be the aim of any ELT materials producer. Finally, the influence of television on curriculum development should not be underestimated. This influence is likely to vary greatly from country to country, but the exposure on national television of a particular approach to learning foreign languages and also of a particular approach to the use of television as a learning instrument can have far-reaching effects, sometimes innovatory and sometimes reactionary. At all events, television has a part to. play in self-instruction within the broad context of continuing education, and clearly ELT forms an important component in this educational area. What are the future prospects for ELT television materials? So far, they have proved too successful to be dismissed as a passing fashion. Now the development of videocassette/disc technology has led to an even greater demand for courses which (in order to be economically viable) must cater for the requirements of both television and videocassette/disc markets. The latter will increasingly influence the former and is likely to require the formulation of a new kind of relationship between the learner and his/her learning resources (especially in the context of self-instruction). With videocassettes it should eventually be possible to work out a genuinely specific and separate methodology. In the meantime, ELT multi-media materials for international use should be extended in terms of the range of specialist requirements for which they cater and in terms of the sheer quantity of materials available for general purposes at all levels. At the moment, there is simply not enough suitable material to meet the demands of the world market. Hand-in-hand with the expansion of production should go the introduction of more systematic research and monitoring of self-instructional materials and their effectiveness. At present producers are working in the dark and it would not be surprising if they are failing to spot some of the best opportunities. Certainly the field is much larger than the current range of materials suggests.
THE ENGLISH-TEACHING RADIO SCRIPT Leslie Dunkling, BBC English by Radio and Television
Writing a script for a typical English by Radio programme is by no means an easy task. The inherent problem is this: a language lesson given on the radio is neither a normal lesson nor a normal radio programme; at best it can only be a curious compromise between the two. An ordinary English teacher, for example, when preparing a particular lesson, will know the level at which his students are working, why they are learning English, which native language or languages the students speak. He will be able to question his students and constantly modify his teaching method according to the immediate feed-back he gets. He can give a piece of linguistic information, demonstrate it, and immediately test to see whether it has been understood. He can support the oral information he gives by writing words on a blackboard or referring to a specific text in a book. He can monitor and correct his students when they attempt to repeat what he is teaching them. He will also probably have at least fortyfive minutes in which to give his lesson. When the teacher becomes a script-writer for English by Radio he is asked to prepare a lesson lasting anything from 3 to 15 minutes for an indeterminate number of students, of unknown age, unknown nationality, and working at an unknown level. He will be unable to ask why they want to learn English, and in the course of a particular lesson, will be unable to ask whether they understand what he is telling them. He can give no visual support to the lesson, nor can he monitor and correct an individual's progress. It is not even as if his physical presence in the classroom will be replaced by a tape-recorder, say, on which he has recorded a lecture. His students are almost certainly not going to be in a classroom at all, but in their own homes. They are not a captive audience, obliged to listen. At any moment they can bring the lesson to an end by turning a knob or pushing a button. Let us pause for a moment to stress that the above remarks apply to a broadcast radio lesson far more than to an educational tape, such as a selfstudy tape or cassette. The latter does imply a committed listener. More importantly, it can normally be assumed that an accompanying book is being used, whereas the radio programme must stand alone. Even if a series of English-teaching radio programmes does have a book that goes with them, a script-writer must never assume that every listener has it by him. It will always be true that the majority of listeners do not have it. 31
Further, an educational tape has the great advantage of not being timebound. A student can stop it and replay a section, or replay the entire lesson. A broadcast lesson is time-bound, and must be designed accordingly. The important general point here is this: language-teaching tapes and broadcast language-teaching programmes are not at all the same thing, and are rarely interchangeable in their entirety. The former can be constructed purely as educational aids; the latter are obliged to be constructed as radio programmes, conforming to the demands of the medium. We will consider these demands in a moment, but first let us be clear about the overlap that does exist between a normal language lesson and a broadcast language lesson. The following ingredients are certainly common to both: the teacher/script-writer must make an informed decision about what he wants to teach, based on his own linguistic training or on competent authorities, the old adage about 'tell them what you're going to teach, teach it, then tell them what you have taught them' applies, clarity and simplicity of exposition are vital,
a touch of lightness as a relief from solid educational matter is necessary if the students/listeners are to be motivated to continue with the course. To turn now to the nature of radio programmes, these can have many different formats, nearly all of which can be reflected in radio lessons. But any programme will basically consist of speech, music or sounds, often a combination of all three. Each of these ingredients is worth looking at separately. Broadcast speech is either unscripted or scripted. Both can obviously be used for language-teaching purposes, but different kinds of programme emerge. Natural or unscripted speech can be analysed in various ways, eg by glossing in a simpler form of the same language or by translating into a second language. Scripted speech is frequently used for language-teaching purposes because it enables particular aspects of a language to be demonstrated. Such speech can be structurally and lexically controlled; it is, as it were, a special preparation of mashed food for someone who is as yet unable to tackle the equivalent of steak and chips. The script-writer is in a position of some strength where speech is concerned, compared to the average classroom language teacher. The latter will usually be restricted to his own voice; the former will be able to 32
call upon professional actors, all native speakers of the language being taught. A BBC English by Radio script-writer, for instance, knows that three actors and three actresses are permanently available in the department's repertory company, while others can be brought into the studio as necessary. The writer also has access, through the various sections of the BBC's External Service, to professional broadcasters who speak thirty-nine vernacular languages. He therefore knows that if he designs his programme in a general bi-lingual format, (see the sample script at the end of this article), listeners from China to Indonesia, Brazil to Argentina, Finland to Italy, will be able to hear his lesson in a much easier form, presented by a vernacular speaker, but with all the English spoken by native English-speakers. The actors and professional broadcasters, needless to say, do constitute a great advantage. They are trained to be orally interesting, and they use vocal skills to the full in an effort to retain the interest of the listener. No listeners to a broadcast lesson need suffer in the way that students do when faced with a teacher who speaks dully. Music in language-teaching programmes is used in four main ways. The words of songs of various kinds can be explained and taught. Pop songs and traditional songs have certainly formed the basis of countless English by Radio programmes, and they are among the most popular according to listener research. Songs can also be written specially to illustrate a linguistic point. But perhaps the main use of music in English-teaching programmes is to provide psychological relief to the listener. A snatch of music allows him to relax for a moment and listen less intensely. Such relief from time to time is essential. A language-teaching programme, after all, demands far more careful listening than a normal programme in the listener's own language. Finally, it is a convention of the radio medium that music is used for identification purposes, so that any given series of programmes is likely to have an opening and closing 'signature' tune. The sounds' of a radio programme are either natural background noises, as when an interview is conducted in the street rather than the studio and traffic noise is heard, or they are sound effects meant to replace natural backgrounds. If a writer wishes to show language at use in a hotel foyer situation, he can script his dialogue and indicate that people are chattering in the background. The sample^script appended to this article calls for restaurant noises to be heard. When the programme was recorded, a standard BBC sound effects disc was used to provide the necessary atmosphere.
A special kind of sound used in a language-teaching programme may be for signalling purposes, eg as a cue to the listener that at this point he 33
should repeat aloud what he has just heard. These oral sign-posts should not be over-used. It could be argued that they distract rather than assist, and that silence will achieve the aim. Silence itself is perhaps the special 'sound' of a language-teaching programme. It is difficult to think of other radio programmes which so regularly call for silent pauses, yet although silence could appear to be the ultimate in bad broadcasting, there are strong arguments for using it carefully in a language-teaching context. These are some of the general points, then, that must be in the back of a script-writer's mind when he comes to write a language-teaching programme. There are many more practicalities. For example, programmes are usually designed as 'Inserts' and 'Narrations'. An Insert is likely to be a dramatized sketch which needs to be recorded in one of the larger drama studios. The Narration, or explanatory section of the complete programme, can be recorded in a small talks studio. Inserts are self-contained sections of a programme which can be used in various versions of the complete programme, eg those introduced in different languages. Thus the Essential English script accompanying the article was made into Serbo-Croat and Greek versions, with the explanation translated into and voiced in those languages. The final drill and sketch, recorded as an Insert on a separate tape, was simply played into both programmes. In other versions of the programme, incidentally, the Insert was not used at all, since the Burmese and Chinese sections of the BBC's External Service are amongst those which can only spare three minutes a day for an English lesson. The Essential English script is in some ways typical of those produced for English by Radio, but in many ways not. It happens to be one designed as a bi-lingual programme, whereas the department puts out a great many which are entirely in English. It is far simpler than most scripts because it was meant to fill either a 3 minute or 5 minute transmission slot; whereas 15 minutes is a more usual length. But like all scripts, it was ultimately meant to be listened to, not read on the printed page. It was meant to encourage an uncommitted listener to listen to a few essential English phrases, each one spoken several times, and to give him an opportunity to say them aloud, then immediately hear a native speaker do the same. After a few minutes' work, the programme wished to reward the listener by saying, 'Now listen to this little sketch in English. You will probably be able to understand it because of the work we have just done.' The script-writer must be 'listening' to his programme as he writes, and no amount of script-reading will enable him to do that. A potential writer must 34
listen to many-programmes, then discuss them if possible with the people responsible for them. Even this process must be thought about carefully. Listening to the tape of a radio programme which is being played back on a tape-recorder is not like hearing the actual broadcast. The programme has also been designed for listeners who do not speak English as a native language, and an effort must be made to put oneself in that position. Language-teaching script-writers usually have a teaching background and the content of their programmes will cause them few problems. What they will have to think about is the nature of radio - how it compensates for lack of physical presence by skilful use of human voices, framed by music and sound. The script-writer has exciting resources to call upon to help him create an interesting and effective lesson, but he will need to work hard at the acquisition of new skills before he can say that he has become a good radio-teacher. As with classroom teaching, theory is one thing, practice is another. A potential script-writer must try to get to a studio when language-teaching programmes are being made. The studio manager is the best person to demonstrate the full range of technical devices that can be used, including different acoustic effects which create an interesting sound. Actors will show how a simple line can be repeated ten times, if necessary, without becoming dull, because of the range of accents and styles of delivery they can use. The studio visit will also demonstrate most clearly what every English by Radio script-writer knows that he is one of a team of professionals, all of whom are contributing their varied skills to achieve a common goal, a successful English-teaching programme.
Introductory Notes to the Sample Script
Everything (including production directions) in capital letters is to be translated and voiced in a vernacular language. Wide-spacing is important for studio use. 'X' would be a member of the English by Radio repertory company, and he/she would substitute his/her own name here. 'A' and 'B' show alternative endings to the programme according to the time available. In the longer version of the programme, the idea is to end on a note of light relief after the more solid teaching section. 35
ENGLISH BY RADIO FIVE MINUTES' ESSENTIAL ENGLISH - 59 'What do you recommend?' by Leslie Dunkling (Bi-lingual) PRE-RECORDED SEQUENCE SIG. TUNE TITLE SIG. TUNE
HELLO AGAIN. THIS IS V.
AND THAT'S X, HERE TO HELP WITH ANOTHER ESSENTIAL ENGLISH LESSON.
WE'VE BEEN CONCERNED IN RECENT PROGRAMMES WITH THE WORDS AND PHRASES YOU MIGHT NEED IN AN ENGLISH-SPEAKING RESTAURANT. WE CAN'T DEAL WITH EVERY POSSIBILITY - SOMETIMES YOU'LL NEED TO ASK THE WAITER FOR ADVICE. SO TODAY LET'S CONSIDER WHAT YOU COULD SAY TO A WAITER. FOR INSTANCE, YOU COULD POINT TO AN ITEM IN THE MENU AND SAY THIS:
What is that, please? What is that, please?
YOU'RE ASKING WHAT THE ITEM IS. YOU'RE ASKING FOR AN EXPLANATION.
What is that, please?
REPEAT THAT PHRASE AFTER X.
What is that, please? (PAUSE)
What is that, please? (PAUSE) VER:
AND WHEN YOU ASK THAT, THE WAITER SHOULD TELL YOU WHAT THE DISH IS. THERE'S ANOTHER PHRASE YOU CAN USE TO A WAITER, OR TO THE PERSON YOU'RE WITH. FOR EXAMPLE YOU'VE BEEN INVITED TO LUNCH WITH SOMEONE, AND YOU GO WITH HIM TO A RESTAURANT. YOU COULD ASK YOUR HOST.....
What do you recommend? What do you recommend?
(SENSE FOR SENSE) WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND? IS THERE A DISH THAT YOU THINK IS ESPECIALLY GOOD?
What do you recommend?
SAY THAT NOW AFTER X.
What do you recommend? (PAUSE) What do you recommend? (PAUSE)
THE ESSENTIAL WORD IN THAT PHRASE IS THIS ONE:
AND OF COURSE, YOU CAN ASK THE WAITER TO RECOMMEND SOMETHING WELL, HOPEFULLY, WHEN SOMETHING HAS BEEN RECOMMENDED TO YOU, AFTERWARDS YOU WILL BE ABLE TO SAY YOU ENJOYED IT.
That was very good. That was very good.
THAT'S A SIMPLE AND EFFECTIVE WAY OF SAYING YOU ENJOYED A DISH, OR A COMPLETE MEAL.
That was very good.
SAY THAT NOW AFTER X.
That was very good. (PAUSE) That was very good. (PAUSE)
BY THE WAY, THAT'S ALMOST THE PHRASE SOMEONE MIGHT USE TO RECOMMEND SOMETHING. THEY COULD SAY:
That's very good. That's very good.
THAT ITEM OR DISH IS VERY GOOD.
WELL, THE TIME HAS PASSED VERY QUICKLY AS USUAL. NEXT TIME WE'LL TELL YOU HOW TO LEAVE A RESTAURANT AFTER A MEAL. UNTIL THEN, FROM X AND MYSELF, GOODBYE.
TO END TODAY YOU'LL HAVE A CHANCE TO REPEAT THOSE PHRASES AFTER SOME OTHER ENGLISH VOICES. THEN YOU'LL HEAR A LITTLE SKETCH. IT CONCERNS A WAITER WHO FINDS IT DIFFICULT TO RECOMMEND SOMETHING, EXCEPT THE RESTAURANT ACROSS THE ROAD! UNTIL NEXT TIME, GOODBYE.
LINK (Musical phrase)
INSERT_________________________________Pur: 01'12" 1.
What is that, please? (ASKING ABOUT AN ITEM ON THE MENU) (PAUSE)
What do you recommend? (PAUSE)
That's very good. (POINTING TO SOMETHING) (PAUSE)
That was very good. (HAVING EATEN IT) (PAUSE)
(ESTABLISH RESTAURANT AND MAINTAIN)
Good evening, sir, madam.
(TO MAN) Well, George, what do you recommend?
Recommend? Mmm. Waiter!
What do you recommend? (INDICATING MENU) That's very good
(MAKING IT CLEAR THAT IT ISN'T VERY GOOD) Well, sir ...
Well, that, then? Do you recommend that?
Not really, sir.
What do you recommend? That?
The Shepherd's Pot, perhaps?
I can't see Shepherd's Pot on the menu.
It isn't, madam.
But you recommend it?
Right. Shepherd's Pot it is.
A wise choice, sir. Goodnight.
Yes, madam. The Shepherd's Pot is the restaurant across the
Ah, thank you very much. Goodnight.
LEVELS OF LOCAL EXPLOITATION OF BBC ENGLISH BY RADIO Austin Sanders. British Senegalese Institute, Dakar
Introduction This is intended to be a practical paper and is based upon work carried out at the British Senegalese Institute for the Teaching of English, Dakar, in 1978-79. From this experience it became evident that there is a wide range of optional levels of exploitation of BBC English by Radio materials. Further, it appeared that there was a reasonably logical sequence in which to develop exploitation through those levels. Constraints imposed by resources and demand will naturally determine the optimum level of exploitation for a given situation but it is assumed throughout that financial resources are meagre and human resources largely unskilled. The order of presentation is that in which operations evolved in Dakar. This order was imposed initially by circumstances since English by Radio rebroadcasting and some audience research had been done by Tony Harper in 1975-77. If a completely new project were being set up, it seems probable that more preliminary needs analysis might be attempted. However, the medium finds its own audience and to a large extent the pragmatic approach adopted here seems to have given results for relatively little outlay. My thanks are due to my colleagues at the British Senegalese Institute for their patience when I made excessive demands on people and equipment; to many Senegalese teachers who have helped by distributing materials and helping to evaluate them; to BBC English by Radio staff for constant help, advice and encouragement; to the Director of the British Senegalese Institute, Harry Brewer, who has been patient with my wilder ideas and helpful with the reasonable ones. Simple Rebroadcasting The BBC will supply course materials for radio free of charge. All that is needed is a firm undertaking from your radio station that they will broadcast the programmes. Thus the two basic tasks at this level are selection of suitable courses and liaison with the broadcasters. 1 Selection. The 'Catalogue of English Teaching Radio Programmes available for broadcasting' can be obtained from: BBC English by Radio PO Box 76 Bush House Strand London WC2B 4PH 41
This catalogue contains details of more than 80 series of programmes at all levels, often with foreign language explanations and text books. The books are not usually free but some are in certain circumstances. If there is no data from previous broadcasting in the area, a double problem now arises: who will the listeners be and what are their needs? A 'market research' operation seems to be called for but it is probably better to get broadcasts going first and do the 'consumer research' later. A little inspired guesswork, using your knowledge of the people and the area, should permit preliminary selection of two or three courses which promise to be useful and interesting. The BBC will provide sample tapes and/or scripts from which a final selection can be made. A script from the beginning of a series, a tape from the middle and another script towards the end of the series will help you judge level, content and gradient of a course. These also are free. 2 Liaison. Having established serious interest on the part of the broadcasters, (a facile glossing-over of a process that may take months), it is worth involving the broadcasters in the final selection. Direct access to people who take decisions and approve schedules will be an enormous help. By asking them to lend their professional judgement to the selection process you can enlist their interest and support. Especially in developing countries, broadcasting budgets are often very tight. You can offer, free of charge, programme materials of the highest quality, backed by the name and reputation of the BBC. Given the shortage of broadcasting material and money, it will often prove possible to obtain free air-time in return for the free materials. This point should be established at an early stage since, if air-time is not free, the charges may be crucial to your operation. Even if it is impossible to get an open-ended commitment for free air-time it may be feasible to reach agreement on free time for a limited trial period, perhaps one course, with the final decision deferred and dependent upon the degree of listener-interest that you can demonstrate during the trial. 3 Presentation. Disc or tape? Pick-ups seem to need more frequent replacement than tape heads. Broadcasters sometimes prefer or insist upon material being supplied on tape. All BBC materials are available on disc but relatively few courses can be supplied on tape. This is another point to be established fairly early because it will be necessary to allow more lead-time (and equipment) if disc to tape transcription is called for. Transcription is costly in terms of equipment, man hours and tape-stock so it is best avoided if at all possible. If this problem does crop up then ask the BBC to let you know which courses are available on tape. This information 42
is not given in the catalogue. With plenty of notice and goodwill, the broadcasters may just agree to carry out transcription themselves. 4 Delivery. Once agreement has been reached on scheduling for a suitable course at a suitable time, the BBC can be asked to supply the material. When ordering the material you should specify the starting date for the broadcasts and the means of despatch to be used. Can you use Embassy or Central Office of Information facilities? The British Council Representative or the British Embassy may be prepared to help in this respect. Will you need customs clearance when the material arrives? The broadcasters should have the contacts to obtain clearance. Can you schedule far enough ahead to accept delivery by surface mail? If you require air-freight delivery, what will it cost? 5 Clerical liaison. At last, a parcel of discs and/or tapes will arrive, probably rather later than you had hoped. Allow extra lead-time for customs hold-ups, mail strikes etc. etc. It is not enough to drop the package at the broadcasting station and heave a sigh of relief. Unless your broadcasters have ample clerical staff, which is most unlikely, they appreciate foolproof labelling of each and every tape and disc track. Having established the schedule, get it typed up on stencil and mark each tape-box and spool, or sleeve and record with: Programme Title, Programme number, Transmission date. Tape spools need marking as well as their boxes, and discs need marking as well as their sleeves. Sooner or later someone is going to drop the whole load and mix things up. Transmission dates can be written direct onto record labels but do protect the record surface from abrasion and sweaty hands while doing it. Remember to mark the date for each track there will be two for each side of the record. Include on the duplicated schedule sheet the running time for each transmission (given on the record label), as this will be required by the broadcaster. A specimen schedule appears as Appendix I. 6 Resources and time-scale. At this stage the most essential resources are patience and personal contacts. Time spent fostering a relationship with the broadcasters will be well invested if the programmes are ever to get on the air. Drafting, typing and duplicating a 50-programme schedule, together with labelling the discs, will only take about one man day. It may take (and be worth) a year to arrive at this point.
Publicity and Audience Research Publicity can help to increase the audience, either selectively, aimed at a certain target-group or, more easily, to increase the overall listening numbers. However this may be a secondary objective of publicity. If there is to be some matching of programme materials to the needs of the listeners, then those needs must be established. Thus it is convenient to use publicity to generate feed-back from the audience and then to employ this information to evaluate and where necessary modify both programme content and further publicity. Effective broadcasting can only take place, we suggest within the context of such a dialogue between broadcaster and listeners. 1 Who are the listeners? What are their needs? How far do current programme materials meet these needs? The basic task is to establish the identity of the listeners. An obvious way of doing this is by using the radio to ask them to write to you. To make such a feedback campaign effective, it helps to offer a book prize for the best letter of each week. We have also found that response builds rather slowly so that a month should be considered a minimum period to get worthwhile quantities of feed-back. Listeners' letters are rarely particularly informative and so the quality of this feedback is low. In order to get detailed replies it is necessary to design a questionnaire and mail it to the listeners. An example of such a questionnaire, produced by the BBC is given as Appendix II. Payment of return postage, together with an offer of free photos of the principal characters of the series (provided by the BBC), enabled us to reach a return rate of better than 75 per cent. Similar operations have been highly successful when presenting the questionnaire as an order-form for free locally-produced supplementary notes and exercises. 2 The following account of our first feedback campaign may indicate some of the possible pitfalls. 3 minute) tapes, locally produced on old a A series of short (1'/2 equipment, broadcast on a regional station over a three-month period, provided valuable feedback about English by Radio listenership. The short duration of the project and its low cost were proved by results to be adequate. b From 1961 occasionally and very regularly since 1975, Radio Senegal (ORTS) had carried BBC English by Radio programmes. A 15 minute slot from 1930 hrs was used Monday to Friday inclusive. Apart from actual broadcasting, the service was administered by the British Senegalese Institute Dakar which selected material, established broadcast schedules and in one previous instance (1975-76) produced and sold supplementary 44
exercises. Some details of listenership were obtained in the 1975-76 operation but by 1978 it was obvious that spontaneous letters from listeners were a totally inadequate source of feedback. c Between January and March 1978 a series of short tapes was produced for broadcast before and after English by Radio programmes by ORTS Dakar. Towards the end of this period the tapes included an open invitation to an English by Radio meeting to be held on 25th March at the Institute. The tapes were in English, introduced and terminated by a fragment of a pop song and always included the Institute address, an invitation to listeners to write in and, as letters began to arrive, listeners' queries were answered and writers were thanked for their letters by name. Tapes varied in length between 1'/2 and 3 minutes. d Costs were kept down to the level where they could be met from the Institute budget. The entire project was thus funded by the Senegalese Ministry of Higher Education, apart from the time spent by the two London-appointed staff (ODM funded through British Council). As for all English by Radio broadcasting in Senegal, air time was free. Estimate of costs: Locally employed staff, tapes, mail, meeting etc (all borne by Ministry of Higher Education) London-appointed staff time (borne by ODM) Radio time (borne by ORTS)
£ 81 70 16 £167
Approximately £170 sterling. Of this sum about £60 was the cost of the meeting, refreshments etc. e Apart from the ability to make clean recordings of professional standard, the essential was an ability to learn by experience and to permit audience reaction, through feedback letters, to influence the project's development. Ability to carry out the project depended absolutely on two relationships: that between the Institute and its tutelary body the Ministry of Higher Education and that between the Institute and ORTS, the broadcasters. The first relationship is excellent and the Director has both a high degree of autonomy and direct access to the Minister when required. In this instance it was not felt necessary to make any reference up to ministerial level. The link with ORTS had been fostered over a number of years and permitted direct access to the Directoress of Programmes who was able and prepared to take the required decisions. Conference and 45
discussion time was thus happily kept to a bare minimum and written consultation and agreement was dispensed with completely. The benefits conferred by direct access to decision taking levels are considerable and incur responsibilities for keeping the decision-takers informed of progress on an informal basis as it takes place and formally on conclusion and evaluation. f Tape recorders used for direct voice recording and transcription were Ferrograph, series seven machines, run at 7% inches/second (19cm/sec). For voice recording a Relosound ribbon microphone (30-50 ohms and HiZ RBT/H) was used. Tapes were BASF or Ampex audio mastering tape (407). g From the point of view of English by Radio administration at the Institute the project provided a valuable picture of existing listenership, summarised in Appendix III. Listeners letters totalled 140 and about 80 persons attended the meeting held in Dakar. An esprit de corps developed as dispersed listeners met and it was very evident that such meetings should be repeated. A feeling of belonging to something and knowing the people behind the microphone was obviously enjoyed by most participants. Costs of the project were absorbed by the Institute budget and it is precisely in its limited nature and low costs that the project demonstrated its appropriacy. h During the period of the project (January-March 1978) there was an increasing momentum evidenced by the growing numbers of letters received: six in January, fifty-eight in March. Had the staff been available to build upon and continue the project, final numbers would have been much higher. 3 The use of other media for publicity has proved disappointing and expensive. Advertisements in the national press, for example, produced some fifty replies each when offering free supplementary materials. While being a useful response this represented a cost of £1.40 per enquiry. Better value for money was obtained from small, offset printed hand-bills which could be used as posters or handed out in schools, offices, government departments and so on. 4 It is useful to be able to quantify the results of a publicity campaign. It is easy to do this, even if you run several concurrent or closely consecutive campaigns, by adding a reference number or name to your address. Thus most incoming envelopes will show the origin of the enquiry. 5 Face to face publicity can get excellent results when it is possible to arrange short presentations to suitable groups. If you consider that you 46
are 'selling' sound, it is obvious that you should take along some samples. A tape can be made up of extracts from various courses or various levels from the same course. Attention span is relatively short in group listening conditions when there is no visual back-up. This means that the individual extracts and the whole presentation should be kept short. Three or four three-minute extracts linked to make a twenty minute demonstration has worked well. With teachers, this can be expanded to a longer workshop session by discussion and practice of ways in which the materials might be exploited in the classroom for children who listen at home in their own time. One such workshop on an in-service teacher training course brought in requests for almost 8000 sets of supplementary materials, an embarrassingly high response which we lacked the resources to meet. 6 Even with selective publicity our audience profile is somewhat resistant to change. That is to say that we can be sure that any publicity will bring in fresh students, a proportion of whom will stay in touch over months or years. The difficulty is that the proportions of different groups tend to remain rather stable as the gross numbers go up. This is only a problem if you are aiming at specific target groups. Appendix IV shows a recent audience profile which has proved quite typical. Different transmission times or the use of specialised materials, (eg commercial English), would certainly produce shifts but without such manipulation your audience tends to form itself into patterns that are difficult to influence by publicity alone.
The Function of Feedback We cannot know all our listeners but feedback helps us to know about them. It can sensitize us to their needs, levels, likes and dislikes. This is only useful however if we act upon the information to match our programme materials more closely to the needs of our audience. The function of feedback is to enable the broadcaster to adapt his input in the form of programmes and supplementary materials. 1 Where broadcasts are concerned the control loop is going to be a slow-acting one. The information that you collect this year may only influence your selection of material for next year since many series have about fifty programmes. This time-lag should not be allowed to obscure the importance of the control operation. In this context the stability of audience profiles (mentioned in 6 above) becomes an asset as well as a challenge. 2 In the case of locally produced supplementary materials we can take action more quickly on feedback. This added flexibility is one way of 47
adapting centrally produced materials to local needs and tastes. More on this in the next section. 3 In order to be worth acting upon, our information must be fairly specific. It is necessary to ask in the questionnaires, probably in the mother-tongue, about speed of delivery, level of vocabulary, presentation of grammar and so on. Such questions are best asked about the current series but the answers need to be applied to future series in the light of sample tapes and scripts at the selection stage already described above. 4 Audience profiles will probably indicate that you are dealing with several, perhaps fairly distinct, sub-groups. This emerges from the figures in Appendix IV. Can one series of programmes be made suitable for different groups by the provision of supplementary materials? Should you schedule two concurrent series next year? Should you alternate two different kinds of series? Local conditions and resources will usually ensure that your answers are compromises but the questions should be asked. 5 Finally, it should be remembered that the BBC, as programme initiators and producers, are intensely interested in the impact and effectiveness of their materials and your broadcasts. They will be most grateful for any information, even on small samples of audiences. Locally Produced Supplementary Materials It is unlikely that centrally produced materials will exactly match your local needs. Sometimes audience response shows that a remarkably close fit has been achieved, as we found in West Africa with the series Jenny and Michael. Very occasionally a series may generate such massive indifference and boredom that you take it off the air before completion. Most series will fail to provoke such extreme reactions. Given local production of duplicated or printed materials, most series can be made a much better fit to local conditions. 1 Audience expectations about method and content require consideration. Local teaching methods may be grammar/translation based while our programmes may follow a notional or functional syllabus. Leaving aside any discussion of the appropriacy of various syllabuses, we can readily understand that a student brought up on one method may feel lost when faced by another. Common requests from listeners in Senegal are for 'more grammar' and Vocabulary in French'. Without his accustomed props and crutches of overt grammar explanation and translation of new words the student may not feel that he is getting 'real' or 'serious' language instruction and may lose interest. Short grammar notes in supplementary materials together with a French/English glossary of the harder words help the student to bridge the gap between the 48
teaching he has been used to and that provided by an up to date, linguistically sophisticated BBC course writer. 2 You may be lucky enough to find a programme series made with your part of the world in mind. West Africa, Francophone Africa, the Far East, Asia, East Africa, Central Africa and the West Indies are all catered for in the current BBC catalogue. But either such regionally oriented series may not be at the right level or you may require a specialised course for mariners, for scientists or for commerce. Locally produced materials can provide local relevance and (probably just as important for motivation) local colour and flavour. In the 'Any other comments?' section of our questionnaires we have often found remarks which can be paraphrased as 'very interesting but the programmes have nothing to do with Senegal'. Appendix V shows how, by the use of local names, place names, currency and other references, we can add a very valuable, if partly illusory, local validity. This material was produced by A.J. Harper to accompany the series English by Air. 3 Passive listening, unsupported by practice in the other major skills, provides but poor conditions for language learning. Some BBC series give spaces for repetitions or pattern practice, thus inviting an active response from the student. Additional practice and exploitation of the broadcast material will usually have to come from printed supplementary materials. From the previous two sections it will be clear that we believe that the best materials are those which are tailor-made and produced on the spot. Both suitability and speed of response are involved. 4 The BBC, however, produces books to accompany many series. These are available in an impressive number of languages from Slovene to Swahili. If you lack the time to write or the facilities to produce your own materials then these books can be sold to students. This can, in any case, be a profitable activity which will contribute funds to your English by Radio operation. Complete courses, consisting of book(s) and between two and six cassettes are also available. An arrangement for a local bookshop to sell these may be possible. In this context it should be remembered that the BBC already has Agents and Distributors in many countries and, where such arrangements exist, they should be respected. In terms of our local conditions, a charge of 10 per cent on about twenty book/cassette courses will pay for the printing of about 100 copies of a locally produced 45 page booklet. In developing countries it may be essential to sell in the cities to finance work in the poorer country areas. This 'Robin Hood' approach seems to us quite justifiable and has allowed us to continue operations in periods of underfunding.
5 It must be emphasised that by locally produced materials' we mean completely original materials. We do not mean pirated versions of BBC books. The laws of copyright are strict and the BBC receives correspondence from even the remotest areas. Any question of adapting rather than copying material should be put to the BBC for prior approval. 6 The problems of producing and distributing materials can be expected to reach a peak as the one thousand copy level is approached. Where several hundred or even five hundred copies are required, ordinary duplicating and hand-collation prove adequate, given that staff are available. It is a great relief to find that offset, done commercially, is less expensive than duplicating done in our own establishment when runs of 500-1000 copies are required. Offset has the added advantage that your typescript can be reduced to half size with a consequent saving of weight and postal costs. With hindsight it seems advisable to work at one of two distinct levels. Pilot projects or small-scale operations of up to 300 copies can be produced on a duplicator with minimal staff resources. Beyond that figure a leap to the 1000 copy level is required to make commercial production worthwhile. If you have your own offset equipment of course this dilemma disappears. If you do not have offset then beware of the 400900 copy level where collation and costs present difficulties. 7 The resources and equipment needed are fairly evident from the above remarks. Costs will vary widely from place to place so there is little point in quoting ours. But, before embarking upon an operation of this kind, it is essential to do some preliminary costing. Break the operation down into component elements of man-hours, materials and postage or distribution costs. This will permit you to arrive at an overall cost per 100 copies and may stop you from starting a project that could not be carried through. It may help to know that hand collation and stapling of one thousand booklets of seven sheets took about 4y2 man days of continuous work. 8 We have handled distribution in many different ways. Materials are available either free or at nominal charges from the Institute. A bookshop in the capital has sold materials. We despatch by post direct to about a hundred individuals all over the country. Bulk despatches of between 25 and 100 copies are also sent to selected school-teachers who distribute them to their classes. All these methods work well now that mailing lists are available. Most of our materials are free or heavily subsidised so, to ensure that people really want them, we enclose an order form several times during the academic year. Only those who take the trouble to mail back the order form (and questionnaire) receive the next issue. Further distribution is carried out by cultural centres (run by the Senegalese government) in several rural areas.
9 About half our listeners are outside the major population concentration of Dakar and Cap Vert. We have made repeated efforts to establish regional counselling services in provincial towns but without success. In these conditions it has proved necessary to run a highly centralised distribution and correspondence answering service. Listeners in the provinces respond well to meetings advertised on the radio and in this way it has been possible to meet many of them on twice yearly visits to their towns and villages. These visits we now regard as an important element in the continuing dialogue between audience and broadcast organisers. Such trips, of over 1,100 miles on poor dirt roads in very high temperatures are invariably exhausting but intensely encouraging as one meets the listeners and teachers.
Local Production of Audio Materials The arguments in favour of locally produced supplementary printed materials apply with equal force to materials for broadcasting. There is however a vast difference in the resources required for the latter. A convenient intermediate stage between simple rebroadcasting and fullscale course production can be found in the linking, with local commentary, of short BBC items to form a magazine programme. 1 Equipment required at this stage is similar to that mentioned earlier with the addition of a record turntable. Purely for reasons of cost and local availability we use an Akai AP001C turntable. The use of three tape recorders and a mixer would make life easier but it is possible to manage with less. Re-recording by transcription and linking up with direct voice recording always seems to take five times as long as expected. This may be due to lack of technical expertise on our part but allow up to three hours to produce a 15 minute tape. 2 From the BBC you can obtain a number of short recorded items suitable for this sort of treatment, some on tape, others on disc. A few suitable titles are: Five Minutes' English: explanations of usage such as 'say' versus 'tell', 'arrive' versus 'reach', the use of 'since'. Crossword: a quiz programme from which one to five minute excerpts can be taken. BBC Magazine Units: discs of ten or more 2-4 minute tracks on topics and personalities of general interest. These are not specifically for language learners.
When taking extracts from a longer production you should include or mention the source of the material and give the credits by name which appear in the original. 3 It does not take long to produce, from ideas and a knowledge of your materials, a rough outline script which shows the skeleton of your programme. An example is shown as Appendix VI. Component items can be recorded in any sequence and finally assembled onto the master tape in the correct order by copying from one recorder to the other. Ensure that each edition carries your address and a short 'commercial' for your other broadcasts. 4 Check with BBC that they have no objection to your using extracts and with your broadcasters that you can use music from commercial discs without infringing copyright.
An integrated multi-media approach Appendix II indicates some of the demands which remain unsatisfied. On this small sample 83% wished to follow a correspondence course linked to English by Radio. 87% would have liked to attend regular listeners' meetings. 68% sometimes needed a counselling service. Thus, while answering a need at one level, the broadcasts were revealing and probably creating demands for further services. The pattern of these demands permits us to visualise how various media and methods might be combined to maximise the utilisation of English by Radio broadcasts. 1 Locally produced supplementary notes and exercises (with answers) would be as important as the broadcasts. This is above all the part of the course which permits us to attune BBC materials to local needs. 2 In order to mohitor progress some form of testing is required and this would, together with a question-answering service, form the nucleus of a correspondence element. Testing here has been successfully presented in the form of optional competitions. Costs were kept down by offering certificates for good entries rather than prizes. 3 A regular weekly column has been offered free of charge by the national newspaper. This would provide another means of answering a selection of listeners' questions and spin-off in the form of free publicity would also be valuable. We have been unable to accept this offer because we are already working at full capacity and dare not encourage further demand.
4 Some students use the telephone when they have a difficulty. With only two incoming lines to the Institute we have avoided expansion of this service because it is difficult to know just how many calls would come in if it were publicised. As in so many cases, a limited period pilot-project is called for to test the feasibility of telephone counselling. 5 On the spot counselling in the provinces would be a great help to students. Unfortunately English teachers tend to carry heavy teaching loads which leave them reluctant to take on further commitments. It is interesting to note that in one region, 150 miles from Dakar, a self-help group has formed itself with half a dozen adult listeners coming together weekly to sort out their problems. Although heavily reliant upon one personality in this case, the self-help approach could be fostered during listeners' meetings held during our visits to the regions. 6 Broadcasts in Senegal go out from three widely dispersed radio stations in the provinces as well as from Dakar. This has led to our making regular visits to each region and the importance of these visits has already been noted. There is little doubt that more regular listeners' meetings, with perhaps a film show, some music and a discussion, would be well supported. Constraints of time and money make this impossible at present. 7 On various occasions listeners have asked us to supplement the broadcasts, which are confined to general English, with others on specialised topics such as scientific English. Demand for specialised courses is very limited, especially in the regions so it is obviously impracticable to devote airtime to them. Many suitable courses are however available from the BBC in cassette form. We have, on a limited scale, operated a deposit-secured lending service for such courses. Locally produced materials on cassette are also needed, especially to prepare students for local examinations. 8 We have indicated how English by Radio could take its place as one important element in a multi-media service. With full integration of all these that of true distance elements we are moving into a different field education, a field which we and most other re-broadcasters lack funds to enter.
APPENDIX I ENGLISH BY RADIO B P 35 - DAKAR Emissions pour DAKAR, KAOLACK, TAMBACOUNDA et ZIGUINCHOR JANVIER - MAI 1979 EA PP EBA
: : :
English Anyway Pedagogical Pop English by Air
19h30 19h30 19h30
LUNDI-MARDI-JEUDI-VENDREDI MERCREDI LUNDI-MARDI-JEUDI-VENDREDI
JAN " " "
EA35 PP26 EA36
Present perfect Killing me softly. Roberta Flack Adverbs
12'45" 1 4'00" 12'50"
8 9 10 11 12
" " " " "
Must and mustn't " "
Star. The Stylistics Inventions r*
Lundi Mardi Mercredi Jeudi Vendredi
15 16 17 18 19
" " " " "
So and neither
Rikki. Steely Dan I think so
Lundi Mardi Mercredi
22 " 23 " 24 ••
25 " 26 "
Lundi Mardi Mercredi
29 " 30 " 31 "
Mardi Mercredi Jeudi Vendredi
2 3 4 5
Lundi Mardi Mercredi Jeudi Vendredi
Doesn't matter anymore. Buddy Holly Ought to " "
Believe, think, hope " " " Sunshine of my life.
1 FEV 2 "
Much, many, a lot
Lundi Mardi Mercredi Jeudi Vendredi
5 6 7 8
EA45 " PP31 EA46 "
The conditions " " S.O.S. Abba Can and could " " "
" " " "
13'40" 14'00" 13'55"
13 " 14 "
15 " 16 "
You've got a friend. James Taylor Must and had to
Lundi Mardi Mercredi Jeudi Vendredi
19 20 21 22 23
Suzanne. Leonard Cohen Tourists
Lundi Mardi Mercredi Jeudi Vendredi
26 27 28 1 2
Would've and Must've
I heard it. Marvin Gaye Hope to and Worth
" " " " " " " " MAR "
APPENDIX IIA JENNY AND MICHAEL Questions auxquelles nous aimerions avoir des responses : 1.
Ecountez-vous des legons d'anglais par la radio : Tou 3 les jours ou presque
Quelle est la station de radio sur laquelle vous ecoutez les legons d'Anglais ?
Depuis combien de temps etudiez-vous la langue anglaise? Depuis a peu pres de 6 mois
Au moins 1 fois par semaine
Depuis 6 mois b 1 an
Depuis 1 a 2 ans
Depuis 3 ans ou plus
Par quelle methods etudiez-vous ?
A I'ecole/au college/aux cours du soir Par correspondance Par la radio/television En voyageant ou resident dans un pays anglophone Autre methods : (priere d'indiquer laquelle)
Quel est, selon vous, votre niveau de connaissance de la langue anglaise ?
Excellent Bon Moyen Elementaire Nul
Si vous ecoutez Jenny and Michael, pouvez-vous nous dire si, en general, cette serie vous plait beaucoup, ou vous plaft assez, ou si elle ne vous plaft pas beaucoup du tout. Me plait beaucoup
Me plait assez
Ne me plait pas beaucoup
Ne me plait pas du tout
Si elle ne vous plaft pas, priere de nous dire pourquoi:.
Trouvez-vous Jenny and Michael utile dans votre etude de la langue anglaise ? tres utile
Pas util du tout
Que pensez-vous du debit des speakers, dans Jenny and Michael ? 5 parlent rop vite
Pas tres utile
A votre avis, ces lecons sont-elles tres faciles a suivre, assez faciles ou tres difficiles? tres faciles
II s parlent trop lentement
II 3 parlent juste c omme il faut
Avez-vous eu ('occasion d'utiliser ce que vous avez appris avec Jenny and Michael: A I'ecole
Dans un pays anglophone
Avec des amis anglophones
N'ai passeu ('occasion
Remarques sur Jenny and Michael :
DAKAR AUDIENCE PROFILE
Ages: 15 and under 16 - 20 21 -30 31-40 41+
3 24 35 3 1
Occupations: Lycee students C.E.G. " " (incl. 2 University) Other Civil servants Commerce Unclassified & unemployed
15 8 18 14 6 5
Length of English Studies: Under 1 year 2 years 1
" " and over
2 19 38
Need for English: Work Social life Studies
14 11 44
Leisure interests & activities: Reading Music Cinema Sport Football Travel Discussion
29 9 5 5 3 2 2
Would you like to follow a regular correspondence course linked to English by Radio? YES NO
Would you like to attend regular listeners' meetings? YES NO
What additional activities would you like to see organised for English by Radio listeners? Meetings, conferences, debates Films Live English courses
25 7 4
Travel to anglophone countries Contact with anglophone tourists English by T.V. Group travel in Senegal
3 2 2 2
Do you sometimes need an advice & counselling service to help you with problems encountered in the broadcasts? YES NO
Is the present programme time convenient for you? YES NO
In what other ways can English by Radio help you? More grammar in the lessons Longer programmes Pen friends More printed back-up materials
3 3 3 2
Higher level courses; weekly news analysis; more local content; holiday travel facilities to UK; personal contact with English speakers; 1 each.
AUDIENCE PROFILE for "ENGLISH ANYWAY" in Senegal December 1978
Adults Civil Servants Military Private Sector Unemployed
Others (& unspecified) TOTAL:
18 0 14 12
Up to 18 19-21 22-25 26-30 Unspecified
Students live in
Need for English Work Studies Social life
5 24 9 5 4
Age 14 27 23 18 9
No. of years of English 1-2 3-4 5-6 7+ Unspecified
University Lycee CEG/CES/CEMG Private/Catholic Others (& unspecified)
26 42 23
Dakar Regions Unspecified
59 31 1
APPENDIX V LESSON 11
Read this conversation. Mr Fall does not hear very well. (M. Fall n'entend pas tres bien) Mr Wade:
Aissatou lives in Kaolack
Where does she live?
In Kaolack! She works at the new hotel.
Where does she work?
At the new hotel. She gets 75,000 CFA.
How much does she get?
75,000! She needs a holiday.
What does she need?
Continue the role of Mr Fall, asking questions with 'where', 'what', 'How much' and 'who'. Continuez le r6le de M. Fall, en posant des questions avec 'where', 'what', 'How much' et 'who'. Mr Wade:
A holiday. Her brother lives at Tambacounda.
At Tambacounda. He works at the radio station.
At the radio station. He knows Mr Sock.
....... ....... ........ ......... .?
........ ................ ........
Mr Sock. He goes to Kaolack to visit his sister.
....... ........ ....... ....?
Mr Wade: Mr Fall:
To Kaolack. He takes the bush taxi. .........................
The bush taxi! He pays 1,000 CFA.
1,000 CFA. He visits his sister there.
His sister! She lives in Kaolack.
I know. She works at the new hotel and gets 75,000.
We ) They)
don't like Mr Seek
Vocabulary to employ
a tractor rice (singular) wages (plural) holidays (plural)
Rough Outline Script English by Radio Magazine. Edition 1 Item
Signature tune Narrator
Welcome and synopsis
Musical link 5 Minutes English
'Say' versus Tell'
Direct voice recording
5ME Disc 1 Track 2 Disc
Answers to listeners' questions
Credits for next item
Expressions with 'nose'
Crossword tape 5
Music link Narrator
'Commercial' for English by Radio
Disc Approx. running time :
USING BBC ENGLISH BY RADIO AND TELEVISION IN THE CLASSROOM Barry Tomalin, BBC English by Radio and Television
English teachers all over the world cry out for materials which can make English live for their students in schools and colleges, and for them the radio broadcasts and TV programmes of English by Radio and Television provide just such a resource. From Bush House in London some 30 hours a week of mainly fifteen minute broadcasts entirely in English are transmitted all over the world while there are also about 30 hours a week of broadcasts with teaching commentaries in 30 languages. Our English by Radio programmes are re-broadcast by national radio networks in 120 countries and our TV series are in use in educational institutions and on TV networks in upwards of 100 countries. What use for the teacher?
What English by Radio and Television offers the teacher is a source of real English material for listening to and viewing both inside and outside the classroom, It's a reminder that English isn't limited to a forty-five minute period every Monday, Wednesday and Friday with an exam at the end of the year. It's a graded series of lessons in English which allows students to listen, learn, practise and above all have success in understanding because they're listening to material at their level. Even those who are good at English and especially teachers find that our more advanced programmes on literature such as Booklist and Light Reading or on general English such as Deadline and The English of International Co-operation help them to keep up their knowledge of the language. Last but not least, precisely because our classes can disband at the flick of a wrist turning off the radio or TV set our programmes are of immense variety and give great importance to being lively and entertaining. Many of our correspondents are teachers and several write to us saying that our programmes give them new ideas for classroom work. Many send us details of how they use English by Radio and Television in the class with tips which we're delighted to have the opportunity of passing on in this article. First of all, however, let's take a quick look at the use of the programmes by the home viewer or listener. Using English by Radio and Television at home
English by Radio and Television programmes are for listening to or viewing. You may be asked to speak during a drill or exercise from time to time but their primary purpose is to let you hear the language and in doing so to introduce new words, phrases and ways of expressing things in 68
English. However, if you can, it is particularly helpful to get hold of the books and cassettes which English by Radio and Television produces in support of its courses, or the magazine BBC Modern English which gives information and background articles on programmes (which make excellent graded reading comprehensions for classroom use). In some countries such as Thailand support materials are available in the form of textual support in newspapers and magazines. If you have some kind of textual support, read through it before you listen to give you a general idea of what the programme will be about. When the programme is on put down your books and give your whole attention to the programme. Keep a pencil and paper by you to scribble down words and phrases that you may want to remember but concentrate on listening and on following what is being said. After the programme go back and study the support materials intensively, using any notes you took during the programme to help you. Remember that each programme is an element of teaching in its own right and can be listened to or watched without reference to any other medium. However, an increasing number of our courses are being planned as multimedia teaching packages and therefore offer the learner at home the possibility of going into things in much greater depth than a radio programme or TV programme on its own would permit. Using English by Radio in class
Let's turn now to the teacher using English by Radio programmes in the classroom. Our direct broadcasts cannot, of course, be recorded off the air for classroom use for copyright reasons, but the BBC does have an extensive list of courses with core material from its programmes, including dialogues and drills, available on cassette. Indeed we now produce special cassettes for classroom use for listening comprehension covering a wide range of topics ranging from football to science and using material from BBC World Service broadcasts. Many teachers find it difficult to use radio broadcasts live in the classroom due to timetabling although in some countries broadcasting programmes on the local air it is possible to tie educational broadcasts in with class times. However, the great value of English by Radio broadcasts is in extensive listening outside the classroom and teachers have suggested several ways of bringing the results back into the classroom and using them as a basis for classwork. 1 Incidental listening It is a fact that incidental listening to English on the radio, even if you don't
understand and are not concentrating on what's being said, can greatly improve your ear for English and help you understand more easily what is said to you elsewhere. Programmes such as Singalong, Catch The Word and Pedagogical Pop which teach the words of popular English songs are very useful in this respect. As a follow-up by bringing the record into class after the broadcast the teacher can get the students to explain the song. 2 Reporting It is easy to get advance notice of programmes through the British Council or through the three-monthly schedules made available by the BBC. Since most of our programmes can be heard up to seven times a day, the teacher may even listen to the programme in the morning before class, take notes on it and then in class give the students the task of listening to the programme in the evening. On the following day the students can report on the programme individually or in groups and discuss it. 3 Listening for information A variation on reporting is to get the students to listen for specific information. The teacher listens to the programme and asks the students to listen for specific points made in the broadcast and come into class the following day with the answer. 4 Reading and listening Our monthly magazine (ten issues a year) BBC Modern English provides summaries and background articles on many of the programmes to be broadcast during the month of issue. Some subscribers use the articles as reading comprehension in class and then get their students to listen to the programme to consolidate what they have learned. 5 The Weekly Echo Every radio station has its soap opera or regular weekly series and ours is called The Weekly Echo, an everyday story of life on a weekly local newspaper in England. Like all soap operas, like it or hate it, it is extremely popular with listeners and is a very useful source of idioms and colloquial English at an intermediate level. Each programme is followed by a dictation which provides good practice. In addition, abridged scripts of the month's stories are published in BBC Modem English. 6 Recreating the situation Many English by Radio series include dramatic Episodes. One teacher explained to us how she asks her students to listen to a broadcast at home and then in class they work in groups to recreate the situations and dialogues in their own words. Each group then presents its dialogue and the class decide which group got closest to the spirit of the original 70
broadcast. This teacher always listens to the broadcast and notes down the language points taught. She then revises these with her class before they go into groupwork. 7 What happens next? Apart from series where the language points are presented in individual dialogues or episodes, there are also series such as The Weekly Echo or The English of International Co-operation where the dramatic situations are presented in the form of playlets lasting over two or three programmes. Some teachers get their students to listen to a programme and then to reconstruct the plot in class. This leads to language exchanges as disagreements are sorted out. Then, once again, in groups, students discuss what will happen in the following broadcast. After that they listen to find out how far they were correct. One teacher wrote to say that even if the students don't listen to the first programme very carefully, they'll certainly listen to the second one to find out if they were right! 8 Discussion and debate A number of our programmes, especially the more advanced ones lend themselves to debate and discussion. This is particularly so of Point of View in which listeners send in questions about British Life and social issues which are discussed by a panel. This series is also available on cassette. Teachers use Point of View, and similar programmes such as My Week and Speaking of English, to stimulate discussion of points raised and the programmes offer excellent opportunities for listening, reporting, summarising points made and debating them. 9 Dealing with difficulties An increasing number of teachers, particularly in Europe, are now passing their students' questions to us. When students raise queries about grammar, vocabulary, idioms and usage arising from programmes or from classwork they encourage their students to write directly to 'Can I Help You?'our 'answers to listeners' questions' programme. What is better motivation to listen to English on the radio than to have your name, your question and the answer to it broadcast over the radio direct from London? And we write and tell you in which programme you can hear the answer. 10 Using the radio in relation to your teaching The topics treated in English by Radio can be very useful in relation to your own teaching. For example, if there's a programme about football as in our intermediate series Goal you can follow it up by studying a report of a local football match with your class.
11 Dialogue writing Many of our programmes contain dramatic inserts illustrating the language taught. Some teachers take a dialogue or situation from the radio programme and study it with their students. Then they get their class in groups to make up similar dialogues illustrating the language used. In this way they use the radio to introduce and practise new language. 12 What's he like? Character analysis by radio is a popular activity with some teachers. They ask their students to listen to a broadcast and choose a character. The students must find words to describe the character they chose, and also say why they chose those words. This activity is particularly good for generating descriptive vocabulary. 13 Drawing and painting I've left the nicest idea until last. Pride of place at the BBC is given to drawings sent in by children in Spain and France of the characters in our very successful series for 9 to 12 year olds Castor and Pollux. The series was aimed at children from 9 years old to, as it turned out, 72 years old and it followed the adventures of two twins from the moon, Castor and Pollux, in a circus. Teachers encouraged their pupils to follow the series and to draw pictures of the characters as they envisaged them and send them to us. Castor and Pollux, by the way, is the basis of a very successful weekly published partwork for teaching English to children. Planning Teachers who use English by Radio programmes regularly find them a useful addition to their text book resources. So, in summary, here are some useful steps you can take towards using English by Radio programmes. 1 Find out what's on and when. Get a current schedule from the British Council or from the BBC and put it up in your classroom. Our schedules describe the programmes as well as showing when and how to tune in. 2
Find out if there's anything you can listen to in class time.
Work out what activities you might be able to use with programmes.
books, cassettes, BBC 4 Find out if there are any support materials Modern English. Local newspaper back-up etc. The local British Council library should be able to help you.
Listen to the programme yourself if you possibly can.
Tell your students to listen and give them a specific task.
7 Do the activity you've planned in class on the basis of the programme and any follow-up that seems appropriate. Using English by Television programmes The BBC now has a repertoire of English Teaching programmes covering all levels and stretching to business, science, and travel as well as to teacher training. The series are made specially for use abroad on TV networks and for institutional use and are available on videotape, videocassette and 16mm film. All our TV series have back-up books accompanying them. The accompanying books show you how to get the most out of the materials while using the book but for the 'lone' viewer here are some suggestions. What TV can do is to situate language visually. By seeing something said it is easier to understand what is said and in what situation. The best thing to do is to follow the programme, take in the situation, and, where language points are projected on the screen note them quickly for future reference. The English you absorb will stand you in good stead when you come to more intensive study. Using English by Television in the classroom Once again, where there are accompanying books and cassettes, full details are given as to how to get the most out of them. However, I have had a lot of experience in using isolated TV films with groups of students without the aid of backup materials and I've always found the following guidelines useful. 1 Preparation: This is important. Viewers need to be told what they are going to see, how long it will take, and some landmarks so that they can pace their concentration and, if they lose the thread, have a point to pick up on. 2 Reconstruction. Before people can work on what they've seen they need basically to comprehend what went on. I usually get people to work in groups on reconstructing the steps the programme went through and then reporting to the whole class. 3 Interpretation and discussion: As a further stage in the discussion I will then ask why things were done and ask opinions not in the sense of "Do you think?' but 'What would you do in this situation?', 'Do people do that here?' etc.
4 Language work: At the end of the comprehension stage I will revise and pick up on the language points taught in the film and get students to work on that in writing dialogues, preparing roleplays etc. In summary, I find that students find it difficult to discuss a TV programme unless they have actively reconstructed it and I find that language work follows more successfully from this comprehension stage. A final word When you get down to it English by Radio and Television is a group of teachers producing English lessons for use in the educational media. Anything good will get wide use and although our principal brief is to serve the learner who hasn't learned language institutionally since, perhaps, leaving school, the wide use of our materials in the classroom is immensely pleasing to us. We welcome any comments from teachers on how our work has been, is being, or could be further used in the classroom.
A PERSONAL OVERVIEW OF THE BRITISH ELT SCENE IN LATE 1978 Douglas Pickett, English Teaching Information Centre (ETIC)
When one is deeply involved in the action of ELT it is often difficult to stand back and take a view of the field as a whole to see where one's particular activity and attitudes fit. However, I was given an opportunity to do this in relation to the British ELT scene recently, and the results might be of interest to colleagues. The present state of English Language Teaching needs to be considered in relation to theoretical developments on the one hand and practical demands on the other. Theoretical developments
These can best be grouped round the component disciplines of ELT viz English, Language and Teaching. 1 English It is estimated that the English speech community now numbers some 600 million people, half of whom have English as their mother tongue, the other half in addition to their mother tongue. Though standard British English (RP, BBC English) still enjoys enormous prestige and overwhelming scope, there is increasing recognition that for some foreign learners a dialectal or special variety may be more appropriate. While, therefore, the demand for standard British English as a literary, scientific and scholarly language remains unabated and the majority of learners probably still consider their task in terms of survival in a native English speaking environment, we appreciate that English is equally a language of international communication, or intra-national relations between countries none of which may have English as its mother tongue. This trend is compounded by tendencies observable in the teaching of English to mother tongue speakers or other British nationals in the domestic education system. Not only have formerly unfashionable regional accents of English become more acceptable but immigrant accents and forms of speech are also receiving the attention of linguists and educationists. Despite attempts to create one, British English has never had an 'academy' to lay down standards of correctness and this has allowed the tendencies noted above, coupled with the desire of linguists to be descriptive rather than prescriptive, to further erode whatever standards of 'correctness' we 75
had. American and other non-British varieties continue to influence the native strain, as do importations from foreign languages, technical jargon, acronyms, journalese and other deviations from formerly accepted norms. To many this appears as a lowering of standards, but to the linguist and the language teacher, ever conscious that no language stands still and that no variety is perse better or worse than any other, the problem is not a lowering of standards but the lack of a standard to which teaching can authoritatively be directed. Hence changes in the subject matter are changing ways in which it can be taught. As there are no a priori principles by which the corpus and variety of language to be taught can be selected, selection is made on practical grounds according to the purposes of the learner and a methodology appropriate to the selection is then applied. It follows that methods will be as unstandardised as language. The contemporary native-speaker corpus has been mapped over the last decade in the monumental Survey of English Usage at University College, London, under Randolph Quirk, and the Survey of English Dialects at the University of Leeds under Harold Orton. As a result there are now several valuable volumes at the disposal of the teacher who wants to know what his subject matter is, either standard or non-standard: Burchfield
The Supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary
Quirk et al
A Grammar of Contemporary English
Cowie & Mackin
The Oxford Dictionary of Current English Idiom
Orton & Halliday
Survey of English Dialects
A Linguistic Atlas of England
An attempt is also being made to devise a simplified form of English on the lines of the 'Basic English' of Ogden and Richards, designed to aid communication between non-native speakers, particularly in the worlds of commerce and technology. This work is being undertaken by a committee presided over by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh under the auspices of the English Speaking Union and with the collaboration of Cambridge University. Various terms describe the concept viz. 'semi-English', 'techspeak', 'nuclear English'. Important descriptive publications aimed at the foreign student are the new Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary of Current English — Hornby et al; and A Reference Grammar of English for Foreign Students — Close, For textbook writers there is English Grammatical Structure — Alexander 76
et al and Communicative Syllabus Design — Munby, which provide course designers with relatively scientific instruments for selecting the modes of language to be taught. Such publications are likely to remain as valuable guides to what English is to be taught for some considerable time to come. 2 Language Developments in linguistics may be seen against the broad background of the age-old psychological and philosophical conflict between mentalist and sensationalist attitudes. In psychology these led respectively to the Gestalt and Behaviourist schools, the former recognizing that human beings had some innate mechanism for organising the data of the senses into meaningful wholes and could therefore undertake 'cognitive mapping', whereas the latter discounted this innate ability and thought in terms of motor habits resulting from repeated stimuli to the passive organism. Until the late 1950s linguistics and language teaching were dominated by the latter. Since Chomsky's review of Skinner's Verbal Behaviour in 1959 the mentalist view has been reasserting itself and, while many textbooks and teaching ideas are still based on behaviourist principles, the formative linguistic ideas in this decade stem from the mentalist side of the spectrum. The hypothesis of Wardhaugh (1971) that language was learnt through a system of'cognitive code learning' brought mind back into the process and made system, rules, grammar and other intellectual props once more a respectable part of the learning process. Nevertheless, without the subsequent formation of habits on this basis real language fluency would not result, so J B Carroll (1971) proposed the sensible and realistic concept of 'cognitive habit formation' as a description of the language learning process. Current research tends to endorse the truth of this concept. In teaching it permits the use of rules and schematized presentation to improve cognitive assimilation, as well as drills and practice material to aid habit formation. Hence the teaching style currently in vogue is best described as eclectic. One of the notions that came out of the mentalist revival was that of linguistic competence ie innate ability to make and recognize formally correct utterances, as opposed to performance, which was the actual language produced, with all its deviations from formal and phonological norms. This implied an unrealistic divorce between the normative and the actual, the principles and the practice of language. However, Dell Hymes (1971) effected a reconciliation of the two with his notion of communicative competence ie the ability to realise the rules in language appropriate to and feasible in the speech situation. Without the dimension of appropriacy communication is incomplete; hence appropriacy is as important as the formal properties of grammar, morphology, syntax etc. 77
At this point the debate in America linked up with the current preoccupations of the British school of linguists, notably Halliday and Bernstein, who had for some time been looking at language as a social act with a concentration on performance and little interest in competence. For them language was a form of doing rather than knowing and they were interested in sociolinguistic particulars rather than mentalist universals. They regarded the form of language grammar, syntax etc as having been affected by use and hence tried to classify what we actually say as a series of options open to a native speaker and progressively limited by the situation in which the options are taken. Beginning with seven major categories, known as functions, which characterise the meaning potential of a large number of situations eg instrumental, imaginative, informative etc, Halliday demonstrated how language works down through a hierarchy of lesser functions to produce the appropriate language forms demanded of any situation. While there may be something rather arbitrary about the categories themselves (Pit Corder, for example, proposes five instead of seven and there are other schemes too), there is no doubt that to look at language in this new way is an important development and is now universally known as the functional approach. To the language teacher it is perhaps a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it adds an extra dimension to the study of language since now mere form is not enough for real communication; hence the teacher has somehow to inculcate this extra dimension at a time when even teaching the formal dimension is not easy. On the other hand, it provides a communicative base for language study rooted in use rather than knowledge; hence language can be taught to students as an immediately relevant communication system, thereby increasing motivation and thus (presumably) promoting learning. Though essentially theoretical developments, both the cognitive and functional concepts have implications for language teaching, which we may now consider. 3 Teaching Considerations of general pedagogy have naturally influenced language pedagogy. While learning theory is still disputed ground between cognitive and behaviouristic theories, the work of Piaget has received wide if qualified acceptance. In particular his notions of developmental phasing, something imposed on the learning process by the organism, seem to be relevant to language learning. For most students of any subject, learning is a much more personal and individual matter than it was twenty years ago and classrooms have been physically reorganised to allow greater freedom for each student to learn in his own way, for individualisation, in fact. In language teaching the importance of developmental phases has been demonstrated through work on error analysis, by which it can be shown 78
that learners impose a coherent, if formally incorrect, system on the language they are learning. This system produces an interlanguage somewhere on a cline between total ignorance and total perfection which is related to developmental factors, both individual and generic, as much as to the students' mother tongue. Hence error is acceptable as part of the learners' interlanguage and an essential step on the way to communicative competence. It is worth remembering that, according to Piaget, the age from eleven onwards (ie when most people start languages) is one of formal operations, when a child can think logically about concrete objects and becomes able to handle abstract concepts. Whereas this ability tended to be discounted by the behaviouristic teacher of the Direct Method or Structural school, it is now seen as a valuable characteristic to be exploited. To begin with, it explains why so many people can learn languages well using 'grammar-translation' or other expository methods. Secondly, it highlights the fact that the same method may not work equally well for every learner. Hence a very strong current in language teaching research is now the focus on the learner. Introspective studies of how good language learners learn are being carried out on both sides of the Atlantic and on the basis of this data, still incomplete and inconclusive, materials and methods are being developed that give scope for individual learning strategies. It follows that the monolithic 'method' is a thing of the past, as are dogmatic statements about how learners learn (often derived from a simplistic analogy with mother tongue language acquisition). The achievement of individualisation, though still a long way off because of practical constraints, is the alternative being sought. In present circumstances it can best be realised by making teachers aware of the possible variety of cognitive styles among their students so that the whole person is brought into the learning process. This is not a question of technical training but rather of education and personal awakening. It follows that the choice of method in particular cases is wide open and must remain eclectic, on pedagogic as well as purely linguistic grounds. To sum up, the total corpus of English can now be broken down into communicative sub-systems for specific groups or purposes by applying functional categories; much current research in British universities is concerned with identifying and mapping such sub-systems. For teaching purposes these can be organized into syllabuses, variously called functional, notional or communicative, where the criterion for ordering is that of potential contexts of use rather than grammatical progression. While the functional syllabus ideally may contain its own methodology and
predispose the student to learn by increasing his motivation, not all syllabuses are or can be functional and, whatever the corpus to be learnt may be, it still needs to be mediated to the student through some pedagogy. In the present state of the art this is eclectic, with increasing reliance on cognitive factors and due regard for the learning styles of individual students. Practical demands Even if there was complete agreement on the nature of language, the language learning process, and how language should be taught, there would still be the everyday pressures of meeting the demands of millions of students all over the world and equipping thousands of teachers to handle them. There would perforce be a lag of several years in realising the insights of the theorists in language classrooms. New textbooks take several years to produce and old textbooks take as many years to withdraw. There is therefore bound to be a disarticulation between theory and practice and this is a fact of life we all have to live with. What we find, therefore, is that the practical demands of students oblige teachers and materials writers to approach their task knowing that only parts of available theory will be of use in any one situation, and that for the next situation they may have to rely on other parts possibly incompatible with the first. Eclecticism is therefore not only required on linguistic and pedagogical grounds but on practical grounds too.
These demands come from two broad areas of pressure. 1
Developments in one area feed theory and practice in the other. The sources of pressure can be further categorized as follows: In Britain 3
Students in tertiary education
Private and part-time students (visitors and tourists)
Special occupational groups
TEFL teachers in training
Students in full-time education
Private, part-time students
Special occupational groups
TEFL teachers in training.
Students in Tertiary Education in UK At present there are some 84,000 overseas students in Britain. Of these about 32,000 are studying at universities and another 10,000 at polytechnics. A special group of university teachers (called the Special English Language Materials for Overseas University Students (SELMOUS) Group) meets regularly to exchange ideas about meeting their particular needs. Their task is to ensure that foreign students get quick and effective English teaching to enable them to pursue tertiary education in Britain. The special teaching provided is known as English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and it is made possible by the functional analysis of language needed to pursue particular disciplines. This is still in its infancy but several textbooks already exist to promote study skills in English specific to particular disciplines. The subjects covered tend to be broad and aimed at the largest groups of students eg Engineering and technology (9366), Social studies. Administration and business (6467) science (6190Mfigures for 1975/6). Theoretically, however, the selection of language might be narrowed down to highly specific targets eg Albanian plant pathologists, Cuban aeronautical engineers, Icelandic plumbers. Nevertheless, it is estimated that this endeavour provides for the needs of only half of the potential clientele, which gives some measure of possible extension of English courses directed towards specific academic needs. It is probably in the main this particular source of pressure that has led to the rapid adoption of functional ideas and their application to syllabus specification, often at a rate faster than the average teacher or theoretical linguist finds comfortable. Added to the requirements of groups 5, 6 and some of 4 and 7, the demands of this group have led to the efflorescence of specialised English teaching for groups with limited and definable needs, normally referred to as English for Specific Purposes (ESP). Private and Part-time Students These are very often visitors and tourists at the same time and some have specialised requirements. Indeed, for many young people, learning English 81
in Britain has become a standard way of spending a summer holiday. Some 2 1/2 million visitors aged 12-25 come to Britain annually and the majority hope to improve their English in some way or other. To meet their needs a large sector of private language schools exists, about one tenth of which are recognized as efficient by the Department of Education & Science and have acquired membership of the Association of Recognised English Language Schools (AfiELS). At present there are over 80 schools in this group, mostly in the south of England. It is estimated that in 1977 they contributed £43,332,000 to Britain's balance of payments surplus on invisible trade, nearly £19 million of which consisted of tuition fees, the rest, of accommodation costs and incidental spending. In addition there are 44 local authority colleges which also offer English language courses. For the summer months, when the biggest influx of students takes place, numerous short courses are organized by groups of specialists using rented accommodation for the occasion. The more established of these can acquire membership of the Federation of English Language Course Organisations (FELCO), a body that seeks to set and maintain acceptable standards in institutions offering short courses and not, like the ARELS members, functioning all the year round. In this Federation there are at present 46 member organisations holding courses in 198 centres throughout the country making a total of 290 separate courses. A few are members of ARELS also. It should be added that there are also many other schools and courses outside these groups which are not inspected or centrally recorded but which nonetheless contribute to the total ELT scene. This widespread educational industry has naturally had a great impact on the state of the ELT art in UK, principally by 1 Reinforcing reliance on monolingual teaching and hence to a large extent on drills and direct method, since in multilingual groups teaching through translation is impossible. 2 Reinforcing the primacy of oral English since students who have paid to come to UK expect to improve this part of their performance not catered for at home. 3 Reinforcing communicative teaching through exposure to varieties of stimulating material leading to interactive practice in the form of games, simulations and role playing exercises. While many of the schools cater for special occupational groups, have strong links with particular countries and even offer teacher training 82
facilities, the.majority are still primarily concerned with teaching general English for social and cultural purposes. Special Occupational Groups These overlap with the other groups and an element of specially oriented teaching can now be expected from all the groups 3 7. As a source of pressure, however, large homogeneous groups of similar profession, often of similar mother tongue, can present peculiar problems. To begin with, they virtually demand a functional approach, whether or not it is appropriate, because frequently the only thing they have in common is a common job or a common employer or common aspirations to both. Often they are being paid for out of aid or development funds and their mother country is investing a great deal in their success. Performance on the course may make or break individual careers. Hence they arrive with anxieties and expectations that force teaching into a functional mould and often interfere with the language.learning process, which depends as much on relaxation as on hard work. Attempts by teachers to reorganize classes according to pedagogic factors are often resisted and in a large national group there is always the temptation, particularly for the poor learners, to turn inwards, stick together and use the mother tongue more than English. The result can well be communicative incompetence. These pressures, in their turn, lead to the retraining of teachers and the rewriting or invention of materials to meet the demand, so that in time classroom reality more nearly matches the functional ideal, but in the present state of the art this is a process of approximation and pioneering and few teachers or institutions would claim to have found all the answers. Varied though grammar may be, it is easy to schematize into a limited and teachable code. This cannot be said for the infinitude of functional options that are offered as an alternative means of course specification. Immigrants To a certain extent adult immigrants are special occupational groups and need enough English to do their job. This is now increasingly provided but the National Centre for Industrial Language Training at the Pathway Centre, Baling, has pioneered materials and courses of this type, which we may call English for Occupational Purposes (EOF), a wide band on the ESP spectrum. A Sunday morning TV series produced there and shown in 1977 had a considerable success nationwide. Young immigrants of school age are a rather different concern since their target is to get into mother tongue English as soon as possible so that they feel at home in their adoptive language. Conversely, educationists are concerned that the new language should not deprive them of their non-English cultural heritage. 83
The studies of Bernstein, Labov, Gumperz et al about language deficit and cultural deprivation come very much to the fore in this context and reinforce the preoccupation with sociolinguistic issues noted above. The body in UK concerned with collecting and disseminating information about the teaching of English to immigrants is the Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research (CILT). On October 7 1978 the second national conference was held in Birmingham of an organisation set up by the Pathway Centre to promote the teaching of English to adults, mostly immigrants viz The National Association for Teaching English as a Second Language to Adults (NATESLA). In August 1978 a document appeared entitled Ethnic Minorities in Britain — Statistical Background which permits educationists to make sensible predictions about the language needs of immigrants and their children. Figures estimate that at present there are in Britain 1,157,170 people born in the New Commonwealth. Of these 462,125 are from the Indian Subcontinent, 302,970 from the West Indies, 392,080 from other areas. Clearly those with non-English mother tongues (the majority by more than 2:1) have different language learning requirements from those whose mother tongue is a creole or dialectal variety of English and it usually follows that their loyalties to an exotic culture are stronger. Perhaps half a million children have been born to all immigrant groups in Britain and their language needs will be different again from those of their parents. NATESLA publishes a catalogue of teaching materials, most of them, it is true, produced for either mother tongue English teaching or the teaching of English as a foreign language; but several local schemes for producing supplementary readers or other material for immigrant learners have been mounted in recent years. Unfortunately, the linguistic problems are extremely complex, the statistics are still incomplete and the subject of public debate, and the state of the art in other sectors is not sufficiently reassuring to suggest that a solution may be just around the corner. Rather, this issue is complicated by social, economic and cultural problems such as might be encountered, to suggest an extreme example, by an unemployed Sikh in a Welsh-speaking Baptist community hard hit by recession. ELT Teachers in Training All the above developments naturally lead to a demand for more qualified teachers of English as a foreign or second language (EFL or ESL). The distinction is still valid and significant. The teaching of English as a foreign language (TEFL) means basically the teaching of English to people whose mother tongue is not English and whose native environment does not use English as a medium for a large proportion of everyday transactions eg France, Italy, Spain. The teaching of English as a second langauge (TESL), on the other hand, is the teaching of English to 84
people whose mother tongue is not English (though it may be an English pidgin or Creole) but who, in their native environment, nevertheless need English for many everyday transactions eg India, Nigeria; Papua New Guinea. In such countries English is a lingua franca and a necessity of life. To learn it does not imply any sympathy for the culture of the Englishspeaking world and may indeed involve hostility. For the other countries, learning English is an educational option often taken for practical and utilitarian reasons but equally often, one feels, out of a desire to know more about the life and culture of the English-speaking world. Clearly the teaching situation and the drive to learn are different in each case and require different approaches from the teacher. There is, of course, a whole spectrum of situations in between these two poles and, on the whole, the training of teachers in UK tries to equip teachers to meet all of them. Unless there is a need to make a distinction therefore, I shall refer to ELT teachers and ELT teacher training, it being understood that the teaching of English as a mother tongue (EMT) is completely excluded. Before looking at the training courses, however, it is worth looking at the jobs for which trained ELT teachers can be recruited. There is first of all the large private sector in UK. ARELS schools, for instance, employ an estimated 1100 fulltime teachers throughout the year plus another 1000 part-time teachers at peak seasons. Then there are the teachers on local authority courses many of whom are also part-time. It is estimated that about 130 full-time posts are available here. Then there are overseas appointments. The British Council is the biggest recruiting agency and at the present time has 558 teachers and advisers serving on contract overseas with prospects of great expansion in China that would bring the figure up to the 600 mark. The Centre for British Teachers Limited at present recruits 202 teachers for the Federal Republic of Germany and will be recruiting for government projects in Malaysia. It is not possible to give figures of teachers employed directly by foreign employers, British companies overseas, or by British schools outside the ARELS group. Nor is it possible to count the numbers of teachers in British national schools that need ELT training to help immigrant learners. It would be reasonable to suppose, however, that the number would be roughly equal to the total we can estimate and it should be added on. Hence when we speak of ELT teacher training we are thiking of preparing people for some 4000 full-time jobs. It should be recognised, however, that a great deal of teaching all over the world is done on a parttime basis and for practical and economic reasons this is unlikely to change. There are basically two ways in which ELT teachers are trained in UK: By an academic course By preparing for the Royal Society of Arts examinations Both have recently been statistically surveyed by the British Council. 85
1 Academic Courses These are listed and described in the British Council's booklet Academic Courses in Great Britain, Relevant to the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages, published annually. In 1978-9 there are 83 such courses, 64 of which prefer or insist on a university degree as an entry condition. Only 48 of these courses actually have a teacher training element and 12 of these are purely teacher training courses. The remaining 35 are language, linguistics and literature courses, most of them at Masters level or above. Needless to say, the 36 mixed teacher training courses have literature and linguistics elements in addition. These courses are given in 31 different institutions, mostly universities but including one polytechnic, two colleges of higher education and three colleges of education. The vast majority are open to both British and overseas students and an increasing number can rely on a large proportion of their intake having had previous training or experience of teaching. In 1978 a total of 466 British students graduated from these various courses, 146 of them at postgraduate certificate (PGCE) level ie after initial teacher training, and 165 at Masters' (or pre-research/higher professional) level. This shows an increase over the 319 who graduated the year before and demonstrates how the demand for English creates a demand for trained teachers. However, in relationship to the teaching posts available to British teachers estimated above, the provision is not adequate and in relation to world demand it is infinitesimal. Of the 466, 196 were women. 65 took up posts in UK, 164 took up posts abroad. For the remainder figures were not available and there are a few in any intake who decide not to go into the profession. It was estimated that 95 of those qualifying had specialised in materials writing for ESP so the functional approach is solidly built into the new generation of English language teachers. Only 20 had specialised in teacher training and methodology. The latter is clearly a shrinking field whereas the former is expanding, possibly owing as much to the tilt of academic interest as to the choice of students. RSA Courses Many people, however, cannot afford to take the time off for full-time training and therefore study for the Royal Society of Arts TEFL Examinations in their spare time, often combining this with an ongoing teaching job. There are three examinations of interest to us here and a fourth will be dealt with below (English teachers and teachers in training): The Certificate in the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language to Adults (CTEFLA) (Candidates 1978
1143; certificates awarded
The Certificate in the Teaching of English as a Second Language in Multicultural Schools (CTESLMS) (Candidates 1978
258; certificates awarded
The Certificates in the Teaching of English to Adult Immigrants (CTEAI) (Candidates 1978
24; certificates awarded
(NB This is a pilot scheme in one college only). The latter two are aimed at meeting the domestic requirement for the teaching of immigrants and their children in Britain, while the first is a major contribution to providing teachers of English as a foreign language both at home and overseas. It can only be taken by candidates who already have a degree, teacher training or teaching experience, some 50 schools and colleges, both ARELS and local authority, offer courses leading to this examination. In addition to the above there are numerous in-house courses run by the larger chains of language schools and recruiting agencies eg International House, several of whom also provide training awards for selected employees to go on academic courses. There is also the Licentiate Diploma for Teachers of English as a Second Language provided by Trinity College London. A course to be mounted by The Open University in consultation with ARELS and the British Council is at present under discussion. The impact of all this teacher training activity on the state of the art is to turn speculation into doctrine. While theoretical linguists may argue amicably and at leisure about models, the teacher needs immediate answers to the pressing questions of the classroom and is impatient with delicate academic uncertainties. The teacher trainer, particularly at a university, is caught between the need to keep his options open pending the next theoretical revolution and the need to impart a repertoire of practical tricks to successive intakes of aspiring teachers. Consequently complaints are often heard from recent graduates that "the course was too theoretical' or 'it did not prepare us for the classroom' but, given the endemic disarticulation between theory and practice, the only alternative is to present as proven fact matters which are still the subject of hot debate. Perhaps the concept of 'training' is inappropriate in ELT and we should talk more of 'teacher education' since in the state of the art the best that can be offered is a framework of theory and principles and some exposure to the classroom to show how they might be applied just as one's general education is applied in life. Be that as it may, the effect at the 87
moment is to consolidate the teachable and the fashionable, at the expense of the routine and the problematic, aspects of English Language teaching. Students in the full-time local education system These can be divided into primary, secondary and tertiary. On the whole the primary and most of the secondary teaching of English in most foreign countries is catered for by local teachers under the local education system. The demands made on British UK resources by these sectors is relatively slight and mostly takes the form of requests for Teacher training Materials writing Syllabus design Advice to Ministries on Planning etc. Of the British Council's contract posts overseas only 67 are in national secondary schools, 55 of them in the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula and 24 in Qatar alone. There are none in primary schools and we have excluded those who teach in English-medium British or international schools, which are somewhat outside the national system. Naturally, whatever is offered can only work within national policies already decided on grounds that have little to do with linguistics, pedagogy or even, at times, education. Hence it is a question of grafting whatever insights are practicable on to systems not necessarily made to receive them. The valuable cross-national study carried out between 1965 1975 and published in 1975 under the title The Teaching of English as a Foreign Language in Ten Countries (Lewis, Massad, Burstall & Massad Stockholm 1975) showed that technical considerations of methodology played only a small part in determining success or failure in English Language learning compared with factors such as home environment, student and teacher attitudes, interest and motivation or simply the amount of time devoted to English on the timetable. In any event, the number of variables involved are legion and most of them are outside the methodologist's control. Hence activity in this field is limited and does not greatly affect the state of the art in UK, except in two ways: it often stimulates and underwrites the production of textbooks and ancillary materials by British publishers; it leads to a greater realism among language teachers. As an example of the latter let us take the doctrinaire Direct Method view of excluding the mother tongue from the classroom and see how it has fared. It is obvious that in many countries of the world indigenous teachers of English do not have a command of the language sufficient to teach through it. It is therefore expecting too much of them to adopt monolingual oral Direct Method even if it were proven to be the best
method anyway. Furthermore, to advise them to dispense with the mother tongue in the classroom is to deny them the use of the one great compensating factor that gives them an advantage, as teachers, over the native English speaker, who usually does not know the language of his students. Common sense and the increasing recognition of cognitive learning styles, which benefit from clear exposition in the mother tongue, confirm the value of the mother tongue in the classroom. In fact, the study referred to above shows a correlation between high achievement in English and the use of the mother tongue in class until moderately late in the course, notwithstanding the pressure on teachers to use an oral approach all in English. Needless to say, European countries with high living and educational standards, and little-learned mother tongues closely related to English, come top of the league eg Netherlands, Sweden, Germany. This merely confirms a whole set of lay assumptions about the affinities that lead to good language learning on the national scale. Hence the realism induced by contact with English teaching in national systems modifies views derived from theoretical linguistics and the predominantly monolingual teaching that goes on in highly favourable circumstances in Britain. Tertiary teaching is different and British teachers and advisers are much more involved. The activity ranges from the provision of individual lecturers in English for foreign universities (many of them with a brief for teaching literature as well as language), to large scale ESP projects involving teams of teachers, media packages, ancillary staff, and publishing offshoots. It is the projects that affect the state of the art in the UK most, though both make demands on recruitemnt and hence on the provision of qualified teachers. However, compare the twelve and ten university lektors recruited by the British Council for Yugoslavia and Poland respectively with the 79 provided for tertiary institutions in Saudi Arabia, 57 of whom are employed in only two university ESP projects. Not only is the impact of projects on teacher demand greater but the influence of project experience on ideas and materials is far reaching. The Longman Special English Series Nucleus was produced by editors who had worked together on an ESP project at the University of Azarabadegan, Tabriz, Iran; in 1977 teachers from ESP projects in Latin America met with other experts in Bogota and the published transactions of their conference are influencing the form of subsequent projects. Hence the demand from tertiary institutions overseas is considerably influencing the state of the art in the UK, and it is reassuring to see practice nourishing theory in this way. In a pioneering sector like communicative teaching new ideas must be tested against field experience and modified in the light of it. Private and Part-time Students Notwithstanding the provision of English language teaching in state 89
systems all over the world at primary, secondary, tertiary and often at adult level too, the demand overseas for private, mostly part-time, instruction in English continues unabated. Indeed, it seems to be expanding. The British Council itself has recently opened new teaching institutes in Hong Kong, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Singapore, Germany and Venezuela bringing up to 42 the number of Council institutes throughout the world. These coexist alongside hundreds of private language schools, many locally owned, some affiliated to a British chain of schools, a few run by local Anglophil societies with some British Council assistance. In repute and efficiency they vary enormously but very few of them are short of students. Many rely on large numbers of part-time teachers to supplement the permanent staff and in some cases may not insist on any further qualifications. Most also provide supplementary work for indigenous teachers of English. The best try to train their own teachers anyway, regardless of what qualifications they had to begin with, and many orient their courses towards some British or American examination. They provide a large proportion of the students who eventually come to Britain for further studies in tertiary education, private and part-time courses or special occupational groups. The effect of this source of pressure on the UK ELT scene is thus mainly as follows: 1 It affords a proving ground for young and often unqualified British teachers who may eventually build on their initial experience and become the high-powered professionals of a later decade. It makes possible the post-experience training offered by the RSA and universities. Indeed the better overseas language schools offer teacher training courses leading to the RSA examinations for both British and local teachers. 2 By supplementing the local state system, it compensates for its shortcomings and enables more students to benefit from further English study who might otherwise never reach the level where English is a comfortable medium. In doing so it relieves pressure on the supply of British teachers and advisers to the national system, who might otherwise be required to get the same results in less favourable circumstances. 3 By treating English language as a saleable commodity, it makes it available to those who have sufficient interest and motivation to lay out money for it. Conversely, it creates a teaching atmosphere where students are, on the whole, determined to get value for money. Ideally this predisposes them to learn and makes the teacher's task easier but at the same time it puts the teacher on his mettle and gives him a moral obligation to improve his skills. More realistically, of course, both students and teachers have other commitments which militate against the ideal. Nevertheless it creates 90
an atmosphere in which both managers, teachers and students are looking for a panacea or a gimmick that will make their task easier. This in its turn promotes the production of new materials and approaches in UK for use overseas and creates a buoyant market for publishers. 4 It also creates a market for British examinations and the ideas and books that lead up to them. 5 It creates a body of students which, along with the products of the state system, will probably come to UK for practice or further study. With all their shortcomings, private language schools overseas often provide a better service to the student than the state system. To the teacher, especially one who would not qualify for the state system, it provides a stimulating atmosphere where he is relieved of bureaucratic and political pressures, free to experiment and choose his materials and able to check his success or failure by submitting his students to a respected foreign examination. Such schools will therefore continue to have a healthy effect on the state of the art in UK. One further development prompted by the part-time state sector should be mentioned. This is the research promoted by the Council of Europe into the teaching of languages to adults carried out by Van Ek of the Netherlands, Richterich of Switzerland and three British linguists: Trim, Wilkins and Alexander. Though the principles evolved are applicable to any language, and the specific field of reference is Europe of the 70s and 80s, much of the work has been done on the basis of recent English teaching and the effects of the research are already being felt in the British ELT scene. Briefly, the research has two aspects. One is the selection of a corpus of language on functional rather than grammatical lines and the production of what is called a Notional Syllabus. The second aspect is to chop the syllabus into segments which can be examined separately so that credits can be awarded as the student progressively masters each segment. This is known as the Unit Credit System. So far the only segment that has been identified and defined in terms of specific structures and lexis is the beginners' level known as the Threshold Level and there is some doubt as to whether further levels can be defined with such precision. Nevertheless, research is still going on and has raised many issues that are affecting the state of the art in UK. While it does not seem that thorough-going notional syllabuses will ever be a practical reality by themselves, it seems to be accepted that, by running in parallel or leapfrogging with structural syllabuses, they add a valuable communicative dimension to teaching, which would otherwise be organised purely on the basis of form. In such a way the functional and cognitive approaches are held in equipoise and support each other. 91
Special occupational groups These groups overseas are less of a social problem than they can be in UK but obviously the demands made on their teachers are that much greater since, first of all, they cannot rely on total immersion in an English speaking milieu out of class hours and, secondly, the logistic and administrative arrangements for courses are not always as smooth as they might be in UK. Hence it is probably overseas where ESP and the communicative approach are put to the severest test. The large-scale projects in tertiary institutions mentioned above have parallels in large companies, armed forces and other occupational groups in many countries. In some cases these bodies have their own internal training resources to meet their needs without reference to British expertise but an increasing number are turning to UK for the more sophisticated approaches and materials that have emerged in the last five years. It is early days yet to say what the results may be but better results are certainly expected both by employers and teachers. The sort of staff that seek this sort of teaching are those whose job obliges them to communicate in English eg, the employees of airlines, banks, commercial and shipping firms, hospitals, catering and tourist organisations, civil servants, officers and cadets in the armed forces and merchant marine etc. On the whole these are all people whose basic education in the mother tongue is reasonably sound and who have acquired the habit of study. The extension of occupational teaching to working artisans and other adult groups who have shown no academic aptitude in the mother tongue is much more problematical and it is doubtful whether, in the present state of the art, ESP could rise to the challenge. Nevertheless, it is widespread in technical schools and colleges throughout the world where a knowledge of English is necessary for reading instruction manuals, following diagrams, understanding trade specifications etc. Here, however, the students are young and the English taught is part or full-time education so the case is not typical. The demand for occupational English usually comes from people who have failed during full-time education to learn enough English to communicate in their jobs and hence many of them are 'false beginners' having a second bite at the cherry. For them the functional/notional approach is welcome because it looks different from what they did at school, concentrates on their communicative needs and promises them quicker success. Being more mature and having probably material incentives to study eg promotion, a rise in salary or further training, they often approach the task in quite a different frame of mind and succeed where formerly they failed. Whether the key to their success is communicative teaching as such, or merely the favourable accompanying circumstances, might be debated but the fact is that a combination of both seems to get results.
Like the academic groups in tertiary education, special groups overseas have stimulated the production of ESP materials by British publishers, of which the Focus series by OUP and the Nucleus series by Longman might be mentioned. The Bellcrest Story (English for Business) produced by the BBC and OUP is an example of a multi-media course for an occupational group and similar series are in preparation, notably one for the tourist industry called The Sadrina Project English teachers and teachers in training One special occupational group that commands attention in two ways is teachers of English or teachers in training. In one respect they could be put in the section above since in many parts of the world they need their English language improved and there is an identifiable segment of language that of classroom interaction that could be defined and imparted on communicative principles. On the whole, however, this does not happen and when attempts are made to improve the language of English teachers it usually takes the form of more literature, or more background studies. Indeed, in the countries of the EEC English Studies has become a subject in its own right aimed not only at imparting the language but also at filling in the background to British life and institutions as part of the process by which member nations get to know each other better. At any rate this aspect of training is really part of the general teaching of English for social and cultural purposes and has no independent impact on the state of the art in UK. The other aspect of teacher training, however, certainly does. This is the provision of training in teaching techniques. It takes place in four major ways. One is the sending of overseas teachers to summer schools or longer training courses in Britain. In 1978 the British Council arranged 11 summer schools which were attended by some 660 teachers from all over the world. There are, of course, many other summer schools mounted by other bodies which teachers of English attend. As for longer full-time courses, it was seen above that possibly some 230 overseas teachers attended the academic courses provided in UK last year. Another is to provide short training courses overseas for teachers already working in-service. The British Council is deeply involved in this and in 1978-9 is mounting some 105 courses for which 170 British lecturers will be provided to train an estimated total of some 5100 participants. A third is to provide in-service training at a private or state language school or a British Council institute overseas leading to some recognised examination or certificate of attendance. Where more than language improvement is sought, the RSA examinations are increasingly 93
being offered and one has recently been specially devised for the foreign teacher studying overseas viz The Certificate for Overseas Teachers of English for which only practising teachers with 500 hours of relevant classroom experience are eligible. This has not yet been offered on a worldwide basis, however, but it is hoped that its value will soon become better known and lead to its adoption in many countries overseas. The fourth way is to provide British lecturers to teacher training establishments overseas. As many countries do not provide teacher training as such but rely on a university graduate in English being able to teach English without further training, it becomes difficult to distinguish overseas posts which have a teacher training element from those which are purely language or literature. Conversely, there are many universities that include teacher training in their university degree courses. In any case, the excellence of the English teaching corps in any one country is directly related to national success in learning English at all levels so the distinction would not be very meaningful. However, for what the figures are worth, it is estimated that some 60 of the 558 British Council contract posts abroad are primarily concerned with teacher training and possibly another 30 have teacher training implications. The impact of all this activity is, on the one hand, to keep overseas teachers up to date with the latest thinking in UK and, on the other, to tailor the latest thinking in UK to overseas situations. Even in USA and UK there is a lag from the time when a valuable theoretical insight is gained to the time when it is communicated to the teacher. There is even more lag between then and the time when the insight is embodied in published materials the teacher can use in the classroom. Five to ten years is normal. How much more time, therefore, will be needed for these ideas to be useful in the classroom overseas? Even when they are communicated, the overseas classroom is often an inflexible place and the teaching profession an unmovable body. There is no point, therefore, in adopting a doctinaire approach to teacher training overseas even if there was any justification for it at home. To effect any improvement at all the new ideas and methods must be assimilable and therefore must take account of where the particular overseas teaching situation is along a cline of obsolescence. It is a piece of wry cosmic justice that people who live by innovation should be bound upon an eternal wheel of obsolescence and most teacher trainers in UK are resigned to adapting their message to the situation of their hearers. Indeed, a great deal of teacher training in UK is now concerned with making them adept at it. In the days when the methodology of Direct Method teaching was preached, trainees acquired ideas that may have solidified with time whether or not they are appropriate to the local situation now. The only antidote to this is continual retraining so that teachers are continually required to keep several options in view and select the ones that suit themselves and their
students best. Learning to teach is not like learning to drive a car. You can never cover all the possible moves. A teacher begins to die when he imagines he has. Most teachers, fortunately, welcome the opportunity for renewal and the measure of success, ultimately, is not whether any particular trick gets consistently better results, for even the best tricks grow stale. The measure is how far the teacher continues to respond effectively to the classroom situation and this is only possible when teachers have repeated opportunities to talk about their work, learn more and feel that they as well as their students are on the move. Quite apart from any technical value teacher training may have,the psychological fillip it gives should never be underestimated. The present state of the art is often condemned for raising more questions than it answers but, for the teaching profession, this may be precisely the thing that saves members from methodological death. Reinvigoration of the English teaching profession overseas is as valid an aim as measurable improvements in national performance, the more so as the former is observable and immediate whereas the latter takes years to appear. Conclusion The state of ELT within UK at the present time is so multi-faceted and influenced by so many crosscurrents that a single theme is hard to distinguish. It may perhaps best be envisaged as a nuclear chain reaction, particles colliding from various directions and shooting off in others to create eddies of activity somewhere, the whole amounting to an explosion of great power but indiscriminate effect. The task for the future will be to harness and direct it.
Such, at any rate, was the way things appeared to me in September 1978 but I appreciate that it is difficult for one individual to cover such a vast field adequately and do justice to all the views and movements contained within it. I am also aware that there are deep-seated conflicts which somehow or other have to be accommodated regardless of which side one would like to take. Perhaps I am not alone, however, in feeling the need for some short layman's guide to the British ELT scene. By publishing it with all its imperfections as an interim document I hope not only to meet this need provisionally but to elicit comment and correspondence on which a more authoritative account could be based. I thank the British Council for providing me with an opportunity to do so.
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS
John L M Trim Graduated from University College, London, in 1949 and became Lecturer in Phonetics at the same College. He moved to Cambridge in 1958 where he was also Lecturer in Phonetics. After 1964, remaining at Cambridge, he became successively Lecturer in Linguistics, Head of Department of Linguistics, and Director of Department of Linguistics. In 1978 he left Cambridge to become Director of the Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research (CILT). He has been Director of two Council of Europe Projects and has numerous publications to his name. Hugh Howse has combined education and broadcasting in his career to date. He was commissioned in the Intelligence Corps at the end of World War II, served in the Far East, and took a First in Chinese at London University. He subsequently obtained a postgraduate Certificate in Education at the Institute of Education there. After work in administration, and education in the Malayan including broadcasting information Civil Service in the early 1950s, he joined the BBC. The posts he has held in the BBC over the past 23 years include those of BBC South East Asia Representative, and Head of the BBC Far Eastern Service. He has been Head of BBC English by Radio and Television since 1973. Joe Hambrook Born in Sumatra. Graduated at Oxford University. Has taught and lectured in secondary and higher education in the UK and Africa. Worked in television advertising and films (animated cartoons, documentaries, features) before joining the BBC to become the producer responsible for English by Television (including The Bellcrest Story, People You Meet. Teaching Observed, Challenges, Songs Alive, The Sadrina Project). Has worked extensively on the use of English in business and public administration, in collaboration with trade unions, industrial training boards, local authorities and the Business Education Council. At present consultant to Children's Television Workshop, New York (producers of Sesame Street). Leslie Dunkling Born in London, he attended the universities of London and Stockholm. He has been a lecturer in English at Stockholm University and at teacher training colleges in England, and has written several textbooks. He is also the author of books on origins and fashions in personal names, several radio scripts and two television series on teaching English. He is currently a Senior Producer in BBC English by Radio and Television.
Austin Sanders Born in Kent in 1934, he entered the Army from Grammar School and served in East Africa. After leaving the Army his activities ranged from sales management to mountaineering instruction and expedition driving before he entered TEFL, "through sheer carelessness", in 1968. Seven years teaching and administration, mostly with the British Council in Morocco, led him to take a Dip TEFL at London, followed by the MA in Applied Linguistics at Essex in 1977, "in order to gain some academic respectability". Since September 1977 he has been teaching, testing, doing administration and running English by Radio in West Africa at the British Senegalese Institute in Dakar, Senegal. Barry Tomalin was educated at St Georges College, Weybridge, and at London University's School of Oriental and African Studies. He trained as a teacher of EFL at International House, London, and taught in London and Algiers. He then became British Council ELT adviser to the Government of Dahomey and in 1975-6 taught RSA in Paris. He joined the BBC as editor of English by Radio and Television in 1975 and is also presenter of English by Radio's Can I Help You answering listeners questions on English. His publications include English for French Speaking Africa published by Armand Colin and Songs Alive, BBC Publications. Douglas Pickett After graduating in Persian and training in TEFL, he taught English for a few years in Guinea and Iran 1960-64, then took a second BA in English. He joined the British Council as Assistant Director of Studies, British Institute, Madrid and served subsequently in Tanzania, Dubai and Iran. He studied Arabic at MECAS, Lebanon, in quieter times and still dabbles as a part-time orientalist. Since 1975 he has worked in the English Language Division of the British Council in London where he is currently Deputy Director, English Teaching Information Centre.
Teaching English as a foreign language by radio and television: A select list of books and articles Books and sections in books COPPEN, Helen Aids tateaching and learning. Pergamon, 1965. £1.50 (Held in Central Library). COPPEN, Helen, comp. Survey of British research in audio-visual aids. NCAVAE, EFVA, 1968. (And Supplements 1-3, 1968-71). £1.05; BO. 15p each for supplements. CORDER, S. Pit English language teaching and television. Longmans, 1960. (Out of print). COUNCIL OF EUROPE. Council for Cultural Cooperation Modern language teaching by television, by Raymond Hickel. Strasbourg, Council of Europe, 1965. COUNCIL OF EUROPE. Council for Cultural Cooperation The reception of and response to modern language teaching programmes by television intended for the general public, by Wolfgang Halm. Strasbourg, Council of Europe, 1970. DILKE, Christopher English by radio and television: a lecture. British Broadcasting Corporation, 1966.
PAGE, C. Flood Technical aids to teaching in higher education. Society for Research into Higher Education, 1971. £0.95.
RUTHERFORD, R.W. The link between visual and linguistic elements in FLT scripts. M.Litt. thesis, University of Edinburgh, 1969. (Not held in Language Teaching Library).
SHERRINGTON, R.W. 'The organization of a schools television service: its sue in language teaching'. In: GORMAN, T.P. ed. Language in education in Eastern Africa. Nairobi, Dar-es-Salaam, etc., Oxford University Press, 1970. p 195-206. SHERRINGTON, Richard Television and language skills. Oxford University Press, 1973. £2.50. TRENAMAN, J.M. Communication and comprehension. Longmans, 1967. £2.25. (Held in Central Library).
Articles ADEKUNLE, Mobolaji 'Beginning English in Nigerian primary schools and the schools broadcast'. West African Journal of Education Vol 14, No.1, 1970. p.64-9. BERMAN,J.P. 'The role played by closed-circuit television in the teaching of modern languages'. Educational Media International No.3, 1974. p.20-22. BUCHMANN, Hansmartin 'Schulfunkarbeit in der Hauptschule'. English 4. Jahrgang, Heft 2. 1969. p.33-7. CAMRON, Hazel 'English by television'. Notes and Papers (Israel) No.9, 1969. p.36-8. CASPI, Bella 'Teaching by and with television'. English Teaching.Guidance (Israel) No. 16, 1969. p.6-9. CORDER, S.P. Technology and language teaching'. Praxis Vol. 16, No.2, 1969. p. 18691. CRIPWELL, Kenneth R. 'Literacy teaching by television in Central Africa'. Symposium (South Africa). 1966. p.41-7. (Teaching English with the 'New Ship English course').
DILKE, Christopher 'English by television'. Educational Television International Vol. 1, No.4, 1967. p.284-7. DILKE, Christopher 'English by television: 'Slim John". Educational Television International Vol.3, No.2, 1969. p. 116-22. DUNLOP, I. 'Television English'. English Language Teaching Vol. 16, No. 1, 1961. p.44-51. ELTENTON, Mike 'English by television'. English Teaching (Brazil). 1967. p.23-6. (Describes an Argentine television course). GEDDES, Marion 'Puppets in practice'. Educational Television International Vol.4, No.3, 1970. p.213-5. GILLATE, D.R. 'English language by television: a survey of the progress'. Journal of English Teaching (Tokyo) Vol.4, No.4, 1970. p.222-6. GILLATE, Don 'Let's watch the sketch'. Educational Broadcasting International Vol.7, No.3, 1974. p. 152-7. GLOVER, Michael The British Council and educational television'. Educational Television International Vol.1, No.4, 1967. p.329-32. HANCOCK, Alan 'ETV in Singapore'. Educational Television International Vol.1, No.2, 1967. p.97-104. HANDSCOMBE, R.J. "Castle Zaremba': a multi-media approach to learning Canadian English as a second language'. English Quarterly (Canada) Vol.4, No.3, 1971. p.33-46. (Kept in folder in Language Teaching Library). HEAD, Sydney W. a pilot radio teaching program'. Ethiopian "Improve your English' Journal of Education Vol.3, No. 1, 1969. p.32-8.
HIGGINS, JohnJ. "The green umbrella' the place of language drills in a TV language series'. Educational Television International Vol.2, No.2, 1968. p. 127-9. HILL, L.A. The CETO 'English for Everyone' series'. English Language Teaching. Vol.19, No.4, 1965. p. 164-7. MUGGINS, Viola The University of Brixton'. Multiracial School Vol.2, No.3, 1973. p.1921. (An ELT radio programme for West Indians). KELLEY, Michael R. 'English for foreign speakers a television solution'. Audiovisual Instruction Vol.17, No.9, 1972. p.25-26 and 28. KINROSS, F 'An experiment in teaching English by radio in primary school in Ghana'. Teacher Education (London) Vol.1, No.3, 1961. p.36-43. KLYNNE, Keity 'Scandinavian experiences of co-production and exchange of modern language programmes'. Educational Television International Vol.2, No.1, 1968. p. 12-16.
MCCARTHY, Anne 'Puppets for ETV for and against'. Educational Television International Vol.4, No.3, 1970. p.216-9. McLEAN, Alan 'Have you heard the one about...?' Times Educational Supplement No.3109. December 27, 1974. p. 15. McLEAN, Alan 'Make 'em laugh: the lesson of TV comedy'. Educational Broadcasting International \Jo\.7, No.1, 1974. p.14-16. MANSFIELD, JMbrma 'School broadcasts in teaching English as a second language'. Educational Broadcasting International'Vol.5, No.4, 1971. p.265-8. MILLER, D.C. The limitations of radio in the teaching of English as a second language in countries like Nigeria'. Teacher Education (London) Vol.5, No. 1, 1964. p.21-9. 101
MILLS, J.G, "A co-ordinated television and radio ELT experiment in India'. Educational Television International'Vol.1, No.2, 1967. p.91-6. MOSS, Robin "A successful ETV competition in Malta'. Educational Television International Vo\.2, No.3, 1968. p.262-9. PARRY, J. 'Primary English lessons by radio'. West African Journal of Education. Vol.10, No. 1, 1966. p.8-10. PARRY. John Teaching English by radio in African primary schools'. English Language Teaching Vol. 17, No.4, 1963. p. 181-3. PLOWRIGHT, Piers Towards a schools TV service in the Sudan'. Educational Television International. Vol.2, No. 1, 1968. p. 17-25. RANKOVA, Maria 'English by TV in Bulgaria'. English Language Teaching Vol.22, No.3 1968. p.260-6. REID, Charlotte Teaching English by television in Ghana'. Ghana Teachers'Journal (London) Vol.45, 1965. p.41-5. RICHARDO, Jos6 Teaching English by radio'. English Teaching Forum Vol.6, No.3, 1968. p. 18-23; Vol.6, No.5, 1968. p. 2-7. (Teaching in Brazil). RODDIS, Miles F. 'English language teaching and teacher training, a cooperative approach'. Educational Broadcasting International Vol.5, No.2, 1971. p. 113-4. SHERRINGTON, Richard Television an aid for English teachers'. Journal of the Teachers of English in Ethiopia No.2, 1967. p.27-30. SHERRINGTON, Richard 'Language-teaching programmes: student response'. Educational Broadcasting International'Vol.7, No.1, 1974. p.8-10.
SHERRINGTON, Richard The use of photographic stills: a format for English language programmes'. Educational Television International Vol.2, No.4, 1969. p.324-30. SIMMERDING, Gertrud 'Experience with supplementary material to schools' television'. Educational Television International Mo\.2, No.4, 1969. SULLIVAN, Paula M. 'A survey of the use of television in foreign language teaching during the last twenty years'. Rassegna Italiana di Linguistica Applicata Vol. 1, No.2, 1969. p. 125-45. VERDERBER, Heide-Rose 'English language series in school broadcasting, W.D.R. Cologne'. Programmed Learning and Educational Technology Vol. 11, No.5, 1974. p.258-64. WELNINSKI, Virginia M. 'Tele-TESOL in Puerto Rico for primary children'. TESOL Quarterly Vol.3, No.3, 1969. p.215-20. WOON, Doris 'Language learning and ETV in Singapore'. Educational Broadcasting International Vol.7, No. 1, 1974. p. 17-21.
SELECTED ADDITIONS TO ETIC ARCHIVES MAY - DECEMBER 1978
These materials are available for reference in ETIC Archives, the British Council, 10 Spring Gardens, London SW1A 2BN. Photocopies can be obtained at 10p per page. Argentina
Education Profile for Argentina. July 1978.27pp.
Writing English Teaching Materials: Report of a Workshop held at the Bangladesh Education Extension and Research Institute, Dacca, Bangladesh. 8-31 May 1978. 42pp.
ELT material available at British Embassy, Bulgaria. Received September 1978. 5pp.
Association of Teacher of English as a Second Language of Ontario, Canada. The Teaching of English as a Second Language in Ontario: Current issues and problems. September 1978. 20pp.
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The British Council. Services for English Language Teachers in Chile. Santiago, Chile, August 1978. 46pp.
Hawkey, R. Specialist Tour Report 5-11 November 1978 France: To run seminars on the analysis of communication needs and the specification of syllabus content, with considerations of methodological implications. 5pp.
Cortese, G. English for Academic Purposes: a Reading Course for students of Political Sciences. A course designed to improve the scientific reading proficiency of Italian students of political science.
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Received September 1978. 38pp. Trends in Language Teaching: the work of the Council of Europe: a Summary, September 1978. 4pp.
Bailey, B.L. A Language Guide to Jamaica. [Jamaican Creole]. February 1962. Received 1978. 75pp.
972.92 EZ EM
Education Profile for Poland. November 1978. 24pp.
Kirk, T. The Listening Comprehension Programme at the Asian Institute of Technology. 2 papers April 1978 and August 1978. Bangkok, Thailand. Numerous pages.
Pickett, D. Report on the Joint Anglo-Soviet Conference on elt 2 August 1978. 7pp 24 July
Lee, W.R. For or against an early start. Article from Foreign Language Annuals (New York) 10 March 1977. (Received 1978). 7pp.
Vanderplank, R.N. An investigation into the conditions for language laboratory use and the implications for methodology and language laboratory equipment. November 1978.24pp.
Mountford, A.J. English and Engineering: Designing a Science Language and Communications programme. Received 1978. 24pp.
RECENT PUBLICATIONS: BOOKS, FILMS AND TAPES
COOPER, JANELLE Think and Link Edward Arnold, 1979
A book designed to help students to read and write efficiently by focussing on the organisation of ideas and information in factual written English. The first four sections deal with the principle ways of organising ideas in factual English: sequencing, classification, comparison v contrast, and cause v effect. The final section, advantages and disadvantages brings these together in an essay plan. The various topics include wine-making, education systems, Louis Pasteur and Big Ben. The teacher's notes at the beginning make suggestions for using the material and there are exercises giving practice in how to order information, making tables and map routes, and labelling diagrams. CRUTTENDEN, A.
Language in Infancy and Childhood
Manchester University Press, 1979
£6.95 This book surveys the development of language between birth and the age of five, and in addition outlines the language development (including reading and writing which is still taking place in the early school years. There is an emphasis throughout on the detailed order of acquisition in phonology, grammar and lexis. In particular the treatment of phonology is rather more extensive than in previous books on the subject. The main aim of the book is to present the facts of language acquisition in as theoretically neutral a way as possible. Theoretical implications and issues are discussed as they arise from the facts, and some major theories are considered in a separate chapter. The book is intended for all students of child language and also for those concerned with language teaching or remediation. It is extensively referenced for the benefit of those readers who wish to study individual topics in more depth. Each chapter is largely self-sufficient so that those particularly concerned with certain aspects of the subject can easily refer to topics relevant to their interests. A glossary of linguistic and phonetic terms is provided. ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING DEVELOPMENT UNIT
The Visit ELTDU, 1979
A functional course in social English designed either for private study or a teacher-led class. It introduces a range of key expressions essential for the
student travelling to Britain on business or for other professional purposes. The course consists of 6 blocks of 4 parts designed to give 24 lessons of 45 minutes each. The book has sections on conversation, language laboratory practice, a section on etiquette, and suggestions for Role Simulation. There are general notes for both the student and teacher. WATCYN-JONES, P. Act English Penguin Books
Book £1.50 Cards £3.95
A set of two books on Role Playing, comprising a book of role-plays and a book of role cards. The role-play book is intended for teachers and pupils and contains 24 role-play exercises using the text of the role cards in the accompanying book. Also provided is further practice and revision material to prepare students for the role-play, tables of suitable phrases and general notes for further exploiting the material with follow-up procedures. The book of role cards is meant to be used in conjunction with the role-play book and there is a card for each of the 120 roles described. WHITE, R. Functional English Nelson, 1979 This course is intended for students who have studied English for 1 2 years. It includes a wide range of textual material and exercises to demonstrate spoken and written English used for various purposes of communication. There are 18 units covering: Describing people and places. How to go somewhere, Describing roles and routines, Asking and answering questions, Telling what happened. The history of a place. Narrative and description. Asking about the past. Describing an object and Giving instructions. Each unit uses a variety of exercises involving pictures, maps, tables and charts to illustrate the language used in these situations. Book 2 is more advanced and deals with the difficult areas of the language aspect, modal verbs and shifting attitudes. The textual material has a professional orientation and the material is from authentic sources.
FILMS COMMUNICATION GAMES IN A LANGUAGE PROGRAMME A new film from the British Council English Language Teaching Institute. Group and pair work are becoming integral to language teaching and interest in classroom activities that extend from pattern practice into communicative use of language is increasing. The use of communication 107
games is one way of setting up this type of activity. This film shows a class of students playing five games designed to give them the opportunity to use language taught previously in more formal classroom sessions. Principles underlying the design of successful communication activities are illustrated and the teacher's role as informant rather than director of activities is emphasised. The film is meant for use in a seminar or workshop and a very full set of notes for teacher-trainers or seminar leaders accompanies it. At the 1979 British Industrial and Sponsored Films Festival the film won a Bronze Award. Communication Games in a Language Programme may be purchased from: The Marketing Manager BRITISH COUNCIL Printing and Publishing Department 65 Davies Street (Tel: 01-499 8011) London W1 The full price is £200 although educational discounts may be available to some institutions. Video versions will also be available. It may be hired from: NAVAL Paxton Place Gipsy Road London SE27 9SR
(Tel: 01 -670 4247/9)
or GUILD SOUND AND VISION LTD Woodstone House Oundle Road Peterborough (TelPeterborough 63122) P29P2
14th Annual Convention of TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) will be held on 4 9 March 1980 in San Francisco, California. Information can be obtained from P Larson, Alemany, CCC, 750 Eddy Street, San Francisco, California, 94109, USA. The Lancaster Seminar for European Teachers of English will be held at The Institute for English Language Education, University of Lancaster and the Institute for European Education, St Martin's College Lancaster from 24 March to 3 April 1980. The objects of the seminar are a
Improving participants own communication skills in English
Investigation of current development in ELT methodology
Observation of teaching in UK schools and colleges.
For further details and application forms for this seminar write to the Director, Institute for European Education, St Martin's College, Lancaster LA1 3JD, England. The eleventh international conference in the UK held by LATEFL (International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language) will be held at Goldsmiths' College, Lewisham Way, New Cross, London, from the morning of Tuesday 18 December to the late afternoon of Friday 21 December 1979. The theme of the conference is 'Co-operation (with special reference to the teaching and learning of English as a foreign or second language)'. There are likely to be about eighty main speakers, coming from various countries and types of teaching environment. There will be plenty of opportunity for discussion and a number of small-group activities. Those who wish to take part in a smallgroup activity should register for the appropriate group on the first day of the conference. Half the sessions will be devoted to the teaching of children. Extra copies of the registration form can be obtained from Mrs B Thomas, 87 Bennell's Avenue, Tankerston, Whitstable, Kent, England CT5 2HR, or from IATEFL, 16 Alexandra Gardens, Hounslow, Middlesex, England TW34HU. Navasilu is a literary journal in English published in Sri Lanka. It includes a range of material from critical articles on both English and Sinhala literature to translations from Sinhala and original writings in English. The third issue is on the topic English in Sri Lanka. This is a double number in honour of Professor H A Passe. Navasilu is available from The Editor, 109
Professor Halpe, Department of English, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. Price: No 1 & No 2 £1.00 each. No 3 (double issue) £1.50. Prices include surface postage.
Handicapped people wishing to come to Britain to learn English. Over the past year ETIC has had an increasing number of enquiries regarding provision for the handicapped in Britain and particularly for those who wish to learn English. The Association of Recognised English Language Schools (ARELS) do have some schools which make provision for the handicapped. For further information write to ETIC (English Teaching Information Centre). Once in Britain, a successful and enjoyable stay depends on other things. There are three books available which would be of use to the Handicapped visitor.
Theatres and Cinemas
an Access Guide for Disabled People.
Contains vital information for handicapped people (is there a flight of stairs? a lift? a ramp? a suitable lavatory?) which is given for each of the 1800 theatres and cinemas in Britain and the Channel Islands which are listed. There is a special section on Greater London. The book costs 60p and is available from W H Smith and Menzies Bookshops or from the publishers: Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation, 25 Mortimer Street, London W1N 8LB. 2 The Wheelchair Owners Manual demonstrates with photographs and illustrations things like getting in and out of cars, through doorways, onto a bed etc. This booklet is available free if you send postage to: Zimmer GB, Coronation Road, Park Royal, London NW10 7QA. 3 The Disabled Traveller's International Phrase Book. This 68 page book gives words and phrases for sources of help, ways of access, motoring and repairs, and has symbols for aids, ailments, parts-of the body, and a section on wheelchairs. The book has translations into French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish and Dutch. It costs 85p and is available from W H Smith Bookshops or by post from: Disability Press Ltd, 1 Farthing Grove, Netherfield, Milton Keynes, MK6 4JP.
LANGUAGE TEACHING LIBRARY
20 Carlton House Terrace London SW1A2BN
This is a specialist library maintained jointly by ETIC and CILT. It has a unique collection of 25,000 books dealing with the teaching and learning of English as a foreign language and also allied subjects such as general linguistics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics and the teaching of foreign language in Britain. There are also 400 periodicals currently received and filed. The library houses a collection of dissertations on linguistic topics. ETIC Specialised Bibliographies are available free of charge. The Audio-Visual section contains over 1,000 different courses and sets of teaching materials. There are over 2,500 tapes, 700 discs, 1,000 slides and numerous wallcharts, posters and other non-book materials. ETIC Archives contains a large collection of unpublished documents relating to the teaching of English overseas and files on English language teaching in all countries. With the help of the British Council's English Language Officers, overseas English Language Teaching Profiles, for over 60 countries have been produced and it is hoped to extend the coverage globally. Also available to the public is a photocopying srvice and a microfilm and micro-fiche reader.
A series of Information Guides covering textbooks, readers, reference books, articles, research and theses, materials and aids, is availaable at the Centre or by mail order from Printing and Publishing Department, 65 Davies Street, London W1Y 2AA. Information Guides
English for Young Beginners
English for Specific Purposes
Materials for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Aids to English Language Teaching
Methodology of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Examinations and Tests in English for Speakers of Other Languages
Readers for Foreign Learners of English
Academic Courses in Great Britain Relevant to the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages a Brief List of Courses (other than vacation courses) available in British Universities and Colleges. (Revised annually). Occasional Papers by ETIC specialists and distinguished contributors from British and overseas universities. English for Academic Study with special reference to Science and Technology. The Foreign Language Learning Process. An analysis of 14 introspective accounts by language learners of their own learning processes. Pre-sessional English Courses. Produced in collaboration with SELMOUS this paper describes the need for pre-sessional courses for overseas students and the study skills and language skills taught on these courses. The Teaching of Comprehension. The papers delivered at a conference of the British Association of Applied Linguistics, this book deals with all aspects of teaching listening and reading comprehension including the psycholinguistic and discourse analysis views. Projects in Materials Design. A description of 12 materials projects undertaken in various parts of the world with the problems and pleasures involved. Pre-sessional English Courses in Britain a list of pre-sessional courses available in British Universities and Colleges. (Revised annually).
contents Multi-media Language learning systems History of English by Radio Television materials for ELT The English-teaching radio script Levels of local exploitation English by Radio in the classroom The British ELT scene Notes on contributors Specialised bibliography ETIC Archives
Recent publications News Items
price £2.50 ISBN 0 900229 66 7
© British Council 2015 / F044 The British Council is the United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.