Michigan State University
Michigan State University
English Language Center
Learning Symposium

Best Practices in Teaching
Speaking and Pronunciation

April 14, 2018 | Michigan State University 


Keynote Presentations


Digital_6149_Grant.jpgPronunciation:  The Missing Link
in Speaking
 and Listening 

Linda Grant | Lecturer and Author 

The growing body of pronunciation research informing classroom teaching attests to the revival of interest in pronunciation. Yet pronunciation remains the “missing link” in many ESL programs, especially in courses dedicated to developing listening and speaking skills.  In this presentation, we will explore the natural connections between pronunciation and listening. We will also identify a small number of research-based teaching points that play a critical role in spoken communication. Finally, we will look at ways to integrate these key pronunciation features seamlessly into our courses, whether they are pronunciation-dedicated or multi-skill classes.

Linda has pursued her interest in first and second language phonology for over forty years.  A former audiologist, she has taught ESL students at Georgia Tech, graduate students in applied linguistics at Georgia State University, and international teaching assistants at Emory University in Atlanta. The author of two pronunciation texts for students, Well Said and Well Said Intro (National Geographic Learning), and the editor of the teacher resource volume Pronunciation Myths: Applying Second Language Research to the Classroom (University of Michigan Press), Linda currently writes and conducts pronunciation workshops to help teachers implement research-informed best practices in their classrooms.



Juan Martinez.PNGNature y Cultura 

Juan Martinez | Environmentalist and Educator

Using Environmental Education as a bridge to bi-literacy, Juan Martinez empowers a worldwide youth movement to connect children with nature, attracts young leaders to conservation, and helps transform lives in disadvantaged urban communities. Thanks to his high school science teacher, Juan was dissuaded from joining a gang and joined the school’s Eco Club instead. That sparked his love for nature put him on a new path.

Now, a National Geographic Explorer and environmental educator, Juan is a national spokesman for the importance of getting youth—especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds—into the outdoors. He spearheads the Natural Leaders Network of the Children & Nature Network, an organization creating links between environmental organizations, corporations, government, education, and individuals to reconnect children with nature. Juan focuses on celebrating the positive value of nature rather than dire environmental dilemmas. He attends White House forums, advises the U.S. Department of the Interior on plans to create a youth conservation corps, serves as National Youth Volunteer Coordinator for the Sierra Club, and organizes youth delegations to conferences on green jobs and outdoor experiences.