User talk:Technopat

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Archive 1

Hi Technopat.Wave.gif Thanks for joining in. Really great to have you on board.--Bob M 05:48, 5 May 2009 (UTC)


Hi TP. Don't suppose that I'm going to see you at this bash in Bilbao? Cheers.--Bob M 12:26, 25 February 2012 (CST)

Best way of learning English[edit]

Hi Technopat.

Reading your sectiion about Swan on communicative approach brought me back to an old hobby-horse of mine. How do we actually "know" that any methodology is "better"?

It seems to me that there is a lot if ivory-tower speculation going on.

In order to establish the best method you would need to test a group of existing methods simultaneously against a placebo.

First of all you would need to decide which systems you were going to test against each other and then recruit, say, 300 students for each one. You would need to ensure that the students had exactly the same natural ability, existing level of English and motivation.

Then recruit your teachers who would all need to have the same set of skills. Ability to motivate students, engaging personalities, enthusiasm, commitment to the methodology being taught etc.

Your control group would be taught basket weaving or, perhaps more realistically, just allowed to do whatever they liked in English.

The groups would be monitored over a two year period in order to see which group had the best results.

Obviously this experiment cannot be carried our for multiple practical reasons. But if it has not been carried out how can we say we know which system is best?--Bob M 01:49, 6 April 2012 (CDT)

3rd time lucky? - I've lost my reply to you twice now... stormy weather? Below, more or less what I've been replying so far:
Agreed. Have always shunned The Dogmatic Approach, whichever it may be, and in fact, I owe it to Swan for showing me that it was possible to be eclectic and use the best of each method/approach, call-it-what-you-will, to the benefit of the student.
In fact, one of the reasons I left my cushy job at a leading language school oh-so-many-years-ago was 'cos they wouldn't let me introduce supplementary material - however relevant - to pad out the coursebook of the day.
One of the advantages of being freelance and having my own portfolio of clients is that I can often monitor the long-term results of the students' efforts. Of course, there's always the possibility that they reach similar or even better results following a more dogmatic approach, but as you point out, we shall never know. My yardstick is that my ex-clients often call me up years later for refresher courses or to bring them up-to-scratch for speeches, etc.
Regs., --Technopat 05:25, 6 April 2012 (CDT)
Indeed. It all leads me to the conclusion that what we do is far more of an art than a science.--Bob M 05:29, 6 April 2012 (CDT)
Absolutely! What is language, if not an art? It's true that there are language skills, techniques, that can be learnt, like sales pitches, presentation skills, etc., but the basic use of language is pure, creative art. Or instinct? By way of example, I have an extraordinarily high level of vocabulary and a very wide range of registers in Spanish while my mother-in-law is basically illiterate, but my spoken language skills come nowhere near her native-level discourse, even given her numerous bloopers.--Technopat 05:45, 6 April 2012 (CDT)

Template:Boxword and Template:Tab[edit]

Hi Pat, just wanted to let you know what I have been up to with Template:Tab on Teflpedia:Newcomer's guide. I used a gradient background like the one the Vector skin page top tabs use. Because your account was created before Telpedia's default skin changed to Vector you will still see the Monobook skin unless you switched to Vector skin under your preferences. Since newbies will see the default Vector skin, I've imitated it. Cheers, --Roger 22:22, 30 September 2012 (CDT)


Here's a heads up in case you don't know this already. WikiPedia templates sometimes get cached somewhere and your browser sometimes doesn't use most recent version if it was recently edited. So if a template that was recently edited is not working as expected, sometimes a purge of the page in question will help. It is easy to do. explains it. --Roger 15:03, 1 October 2012 (CDT)

Indentation (:) instead of bullet list (*) looks good with our new *wrong template[edit]

Pat, I had a go at formatting Contraction--a page you have clearly put considerable time into--with indentations (:) instead of bullet lists (*). I feel it looks rather good this way. Do you agree? I wouldn't want to meddle in a page you are writing. Just thought I would offer the example of indentation to replace bullet list for your consideration. I also edited one section, Contraction#With_be, into wiki table format, again, for your consideration (but you will see it does complicate editing; so you will want to use tables sparingly). I've no stake in your choice of formatting style, really, and only offer these edits for your consideration in case it's helpful. I did spend some time at it though; so please have a look see and think over how you do or don't like it. Then do whatever you want with it. I do hope I haven't caused trouble. You might just like the indentation (:) instead of bullet list (*) style on some of your other pages. Indentation looks better with the asterisk of the *wrong template than bullets do, yes? Cheers then, --Roger 00:38, 12 October 2012 (CDT)

Great use of the "wrong" template.--Bob M 05:31, 12 October 2012 (CDT)


Pat, I have a grammar question for you (concerning a contribution today from our new author) over on Talk:Binomial, if you please. Grammar is not my strong suit. Could you help? Thanks. --Roger 18:08, 15 October 2012 (CDT)

Category naming conventions[edit]

Pat, your input is requested at Teflpedia:Teachers'_room#Category_naming_conventions. --Roger 11:14, 21 October 2012 (CDT)

Your opinions and suggestions are humbly requested[edit]

Pat, your opinions and suggestions are humbly requested in the Teachers' room where I have made a scene. --Roger 14:48, 22 October 2012 (CDT)


Pat, I created what I think you are after there. Not sure what we have written around here on creating templates. I would expect to find something about it at Help:Templates. You might start there. Also, if you click edit over on Template:Reference needed and have a look see you will learn the basics. It is a basic Template and perhaps a good learning example. Cheers! --Roger 20:43, 2 November 2012 (CDT)

"...stuff" categories[edit]

Hi Pat, I propose we decommission the "...stuff" categories and categorize their members into the new top level categories that I have put in the Contents (second link in left sidebar). I think you may have been involved in making the "...stuff" categories in an earlier page organizing effort. Could you have a look at my proposal and let me know what you think there? Thanks, --Roger 18:11, 23 November 2012 (CST)


Hi Pat, a tip for you: links can have an 's' on the end, outside the brackets, and it will appear blue and underlined with the rest of the linked word but the link will go to the word without the 's', eg [[pundit]]s give us pundits but links to pundit. So no need for a redirect of "pundits" to "pundit" (I deleted that redirect) as long as you use this trick. It even works now with 'ed', 'ies', 'ing' and even 'xing' where x is any consonant should a double consonant be required before adding 'ing'. Cheers --Roger 20:19, 2 December 2012 (CST)

our purpose[edit]

Hi Pat. While I agree with the idea of "being bold" it might be best if edits which describe the purpose and objective of the wiki were first proposed on an appropriate talk page.--Bob M (talk) 12:48, 28 March 2013 (CDT)


for you: Talk:Methodology#Format, from: Roger (talk) 23:17, 15 April 2013 (CDT)


Hi Technopat. I see that you've reversed a couple of edits with the comment line "NPOV". We don't, in fact, have a NPOV requirement on Teflpedia. WP famously has one but we've never had one here. To be honest I quite like to see some opinion as it makes articles more interesting and we are small enough to actually have our own opinions about things. In some hypothetical future it might me necessary though. But I haven't reversed your edits as I'd like your opinion first. Cheers.--Bob M (talk) 05:21, 9 June 2013 (CDT)

IPA symbols[edit]

Hi TP. I imagine you will want to make a comment here. Cheers.--Bob M (talk) 15:34, 1 November 2013 (CDT)

Welcome message[edit]

Belated thanks for your welcome message. Ghoti (talk) 06:12, 13 November 2013 (CST)

Past tense pronunciation[edit]

Past tense pronunciation didn't need a butcher. I only inserted IPA symbols, and my certainty that some people will never "feel" the difference between voiced and voiceless. Ghoti (talk) 13:55, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Interesting. I've never had a student fail to identify the difference with the throat-touching technique. --Bob M (talk) 14:37, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Maybe this technique can be used for people who can't tell the difference between /f/-/v/, /s/-/z/, /ʃ/-/ʒ/ or /θ/-/ð/. But in those cases, they normally can't pronounce /v/, /z/ or /ʒ/. Ghoti (talk) 20:54, 22 January 2014 (UTC)