Sense of progress 9.75 of 10: journal articles


For the penultimate post in the series, I’ve decided to run a simple keyword search on ‘sense of progress’ and ‘progress’ in ELTj, ETP and MET. Here are my top five articles:

  1. Effective signposting by Erin Herrick ETP Issue 86 May 2013
  2. How (not) to fatten a pig by Scott Thornbury ETP Issue 117 July 2018
  3. It works in practice (various) ETP Issue 99 July 2015
  4. Using vocabulary notebooks for vocabulary acquisition and teaching by Deborah Dubiner ELT Journal Volume 71/4 October 2017
  5. Motivational partnerships: increasing ESL student self-efficacy by Paul N. Cave, Norman W. Evans, Dan P. Dewey, and K. James Hartshorn ELT Journal Volume 72/1 January 2018

If you can get hold of any of the journals, just check those amazing articles without reading my scanty summaries. Otherwise, here they are:

Erin Herrick’s article about signposting focuses on boardwork: for example, ‘all aboard’ is the technique when you put the whole lesson plan on the board at the start of the lesson.  There is also ‘half-board’ (just signpost the skills/language and fill in the contents later) and ‘board as you go’. Useful stuff to keep the learners focused on the goals and yet remain flexible.

Scott Thornbury describes attempts to define progress the ELT industry has made through the years, and warns against ‘weighing the pig’ too often. It’s a wonderful read, if only for the scope!

The ‘In Practice’ section of this ETP issue describes a great project called ‘Film of Progress’ by Joanna Czeredys, who made a film of her one-to-one student’s achievements and gave it to him at the end of the course.

The article about vocabulary notebooks is particularly interesting because the participants of the study were very advanced learners of English (pre-service teachers); it also has evidence that vocabulary notebooks are a great technique to make progress more tangible and individualised.

And finally, motivational partnerships are a nice nod to humanistic language learning. In this research, students were put into ‘motivational pairs’ and supported each other by celebrating their success, inspiring each other with their own example, persuading each other that success is possible, supporting each other’s well-being. This increased the students’ belief in themselves and their ‘self-efficacy’, and thus helped them make more progress.

Any other reading recommendations? The topic is so huge that I’m sure I’ve barely scratched the surface!


One thought on “Sense of progress 9.75 of 10: journal articles

  1. Pingback: Sense of progress 10 of 10: putting it all together | Kate's Crate

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