Jennifer MacDonald

Jennifer MacDonald has written 109 posts for Jennifer MacDonald

An Ode to Grammar Translation

I admit it—as a language learner I really love certain aspects of the grammar-translation method. I like to learn words, phrases and structures and compare them to those in the languages I already know. Seeing where the gaps are in how the target language maps onto the others, and looking for systematicity in the way … Continue reading

Highlights from IATEFL 2017 Day 3-4

The IATEFL annual conference is always a whirlwind of learning, discovery, meet ups and new connections. Here are some highlights of what I saw on Days 3 and 4 of this year’s conference in Glasgow. Jane Setter’s plenary, Where angels fear to tread: intonation in English language teaching, was the first plenary session to deal with pronunciation in … Continue reading

Slides from IATEFL 2017

ELT conference season has begun! I’m currently in Glasgow, taking in the 51st IATEFL Conference. I’ll have write ups on some of the sessions I’m seeing in a blog post to come. My presentation, Diverse Approaches to Academic Writing at a Canadian University, is Wednesday, April 5, at 17:25, in the Lomond Hall. Here’s the … Continue reading

Pleasant Surprises from Dept. of Transpo

The CBC story Too rude for the road — government yanks man’s last name from licence plate may have been the most hilarious new story I’ve heard this week, for many reasons, including the quotes from the guy at the centre of the story, as well as the  partial list of vanity license plates rejected in … Continue reading

Canadian Spelling up in Smoke?

By now, my friends and family have become used to my regular raging as we drive past The Center on Windsor Street. I have nothing against the mission of this “hub of openness fostering community and collective growth”, but regarding their name…COULDN’T THEY HAVE SPELLED IT THE CANADIAN WAY? The other industry in Canada that … Continue reading

Code-switching made easy

One pet peeve of mine related to digital communication via chat or SMS has always been how annoying it is to code-switch. As a result of living in a few different places over the years, I have some friends whom I communicate with in French, others Spanish and some in blends and mixtures of either … Continue reading

Glass Houses and Stones

I’m a total CBC fangirl, but nonetheless, on a regular basis you can find me raging out at my radio,  verbalizing my disagreement with some host or guest, much to the entertainment/chagrin of my partner. Saturday’s episode of Day Six was one such occasion. Host Brent Bambury interviewed Ross and Kathy Petras on their new book You’re … Continue reading

Does Morality Change in a Foreign Language?

I just came across this interesting article in Scientific American: How Morality Changes in a Foreign Language. I admit when I saw the title, I was expecting it to be another re-hash of linguistic relativity, aka. the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.  However, the focus of this article is not on comparisons of how speakers of different language … Continue reading

An Illustrated Style Guide?

I heard about The Elements of Style Illustrated on the radio this past weekend. Illustrator Maira Kalman  had worked her magic on the ol’ Strunk and White chestnut and I was intrigued. An illustrated style guide? I pictured jazzy artistic renderings of the syntactic sentence trees I had to do in my undergrad. However, a bit … Continue reading

Corpus-based Grammars and Style Guides

I gave the keynote address at the AWELL Conference a few months ago, and one of the practical suggestions I included in my talk for writing teachers working with English language learners was to try to draw on corpus-based grammars and style guides based on real language use vs. those that try to pass off personal … Continue reading

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 76 other followers