Meet a MEC Author

18-Jul-2008

An interview with Patrick McMahon:

Meet one of our MEC authors Patrick who has bravely agreed to answer our gruelling questions. Patrick has written lots of EAP material for MEC and has recently completed some EAP lesson plans for our very own Teachers’ support area.

 

1)          What do you do when you’re not being a MEC author?

I’m a full time lecturer at so being an MEC author is a very small part of my work. I also spend a bit of time on my blog English for university.

2)          What do you do for fun?

I like being around water so things like boating, fishing and going to the beach are top of my list.

3)          When and how did you become involved with Macmillan English Campus?

Jenny Lovel contacted me and asked me to do some authoring after she saw my blog. I’ve been involved with MEC since April 2008.

4)          What kind of content do you work on?

I’ve written some EAP listening activities and some lesson plans for the teachers’ resource area.

5)          What are your views on MEC as a teaching/learning resource?

I think it’s very good indeed. I think its strength is the blended aspect of face-to-face teaching and online learning.

6)          How would you compare MEC with other VLEs you know or have worked on?

I think it compares very well. It offers a lot of support to teachers which other VLEs don’t do.

7)          Do you think that ICT training should be a bigger part of CELTA training and teacher development?

I think the basics of ICT should be included on courses but after that it should be an optional part of training. Lots of people go into teaching because they like to work with people, not computers!

8)          What is your favourite MEC resource, and why?

I like the web projects in the EAP activities. I think language students learn a lot when they are involved in project work without realising it and I think these activities give a lot of opportunities for this unconscious language acquisition.

9)           What are your tips for new teachers using MEC?

To spend as much time as you can having a look around MEC before you start using it. In class there’s nothing worse than a teacher trying to use resources that they are not familiar with.

10)       What are your views on blended learning? (resources, teacher : resource ratio, etc)

I think blended learning offers a real chance to maximise resources. Blended learning means that students can spend a lot of their own time doing reading and listening which allows the teachers to focus on the productive skills. To be honest a student should spend most of the time working without the teacher.

11)       Do you use a lot of technology in your teaching/work/life? If so, what do you use?

I use the web a lot. I put resources up for my students on our university portal and on my blog I point out useful online language learning resources

12)       Do you have any favourite ELT websites, blogs, podcasts or other resources?

My favourite EAP sites are Andy Gillett’s UEfAP site and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s English Language Centre site.

13)       What do you think the future holds for ELT teachers and authors?

I think there will be a lot more learning online and online tutoring as technology becomes more reliable and faster. Teachers and authors will need to be very flexible and adaptable to deal with this.

14)       Any parting comments?

I look forward to writing more material for MEC!

Patrick McMahon

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