Laura McLoughlin

Laura McLoughlin

I am a lecturer at the National University of Ireland, Galway - School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures.
My main research interests are Applied Linguistics, Audiovisual Translation and E-Learning.

Location Galway, Ireland


  • Very user-friendly.
    I am sorry I am lagging well behind, still at week 1 but will get there :-)

  • Done! Very straightforward, thank you.

  • Very interesting, thank you. I am particularly interested in learner corpora. I have a small corpus of FL subtitles gathered over a few years teaching subtitling and would like to know how best to use it. Looking forward to the rest of the course.

  • Så flott :-)

  • I see, maybe we should have an additional option (Other:.. explain what you do), but the whole idea is really to think about what we do when we encounter new words, the options are not exhaustive

  • It's really what works for each one of us. We develop a personal way of learning/reading/listening etc. Thinking about what we do and how we do it, however, can help us improve/speed up our methods, if or when necessary.
    Awareness is part of learning

  • Yes, that works for me too

  • Well, that's the main aspect of these courses. We support each other and we learn from each other. It's very interesting!

  • Exactly, academic titles normally require knowledge of the discipline and its terminology

  • Yes, you need to be familiar with the academic topic

  • Eventually you will find that you use them all. As you move from the lower to the higher thinking skills you will have touched on all or almost all the other actions.

  • Good point! It' s a nice way to start, makes the presentation more "personal".

  • Good prediction

  • Correct, and eye contact of course is also part of the non-verbal sphere

  • The tone would belong to the non-verbal, the sentence to the verbal.

  • Yes, non-verbal is anything to do with body language, facial expressions, gestures, but also intonation and pits. Anything that is not "words".

  • Yes but there are some more actions associated wit each level, as listed in the right-hand side of the pyramid.

  • I understand what you are saying, but sometimes guessing can help. Of course we can guess wrong, but the fact that we then realise we made a wrong assumption, that we need to go back and reconsider will help us to build up a larger vocabulary.
    Ultimately, however, as language learners we will find a strategy that suits us personally and it may be very...

  • I understand what you are saying, but sometimes guessing can help. Of course we can guess wrong, but the fact that we then realise we made a wrong assumption, that we need to go back and reconsider will help us to build up a larger vocabulary.
    Ultimately, however, as language learners we will find a strategy that suits us personally and it may be very...

  • Yes, visual aids help us to focus and normally summarise the main points. Great help.

  • I bet you will find that very soon you have a better understanding of English specialist texts on this topic than the average native speaker :-)

  • You sound very determined but your goal shouldn't be to speak like a native, that can be very frustrating. The goal of learning a language should be to be able to communicate effectively. You will be fluent when you are able to adapt the language to the context (colloquial language with friends, academic language at university/for research, formal language...

  • Hi everybody. Nice to see you in week 2. This is a more "practical" week as we consider listening to academic texts. Enjoy!

  • Thank you for all your comments. Glad to hear you have enjoyed this introductory week. Next week we will go into more details analysing academic texts. We look forward to having you with us again.
    Have a nice weekend.

  • Glad to hear that you all like the Learning Diary. As it is a template, you can adapt for any other course you take or for your own students.
    We would be interested to know how you get on with it.

  • Interesting comment. The second one is certainly more specific and specialised.

  • correct

  • Yes, Michelle is right. Of course, the two audiences are different and their needs are also different. Students probably have tests and exams at the end of the course, while the general public only listens to learn something new, not to take exams. That also determines the different style.

  • Yes, the audience is not made up of specialists, yet they can still follow because the topic is clearly explained.

  • Yes, you all correctly pointed out his choice of vocabulary, not really typical of colloquial speech among "normal" people :-)
    Normally, spontaneous colloquial conversations rely on more common, less specific words and constructions.

  • Yes, he is using all these difficult words!

  • Yes, research proposals are an important example of texts in academic language. A poorly written proposal for a good research project is unlikely to get funded.

  • I would say "scholarly" information, rather than "official". Official communications are more likely to come under bureaucratic language.

  • Hi, nice to meet you here.
    The idea of speaking like a native is a myth. There are many different native speakers who speak very different varieties of a language, some natives speak their language "well" (compared to a standard variety), others not so well.
    The important thing is to be able to communicate our message. As we become more fluent, we are able...

  • Hi Olga.
    I hope you like the course and that your students can also join us. I'd love to hear about that.

  • Hi Leticia,
    we won't be covering grammar as such, we will concentrate more on skills and strategies. But you can take advantage of the Discussions to practice your language.

  • I like your attitude. An I think it's great to see so many participants from so many different countries but with similar goals!

  • Good idea, we'll try and make the image it as clear as possible.

  • Well, official and academic is not the same thing. Official language is a language that has a special status in a country. So for example English would be the official language in the UK, etc. But academic is a variety of language used in specific contexts (universities, research, essays etc).

  • We certainly hope so and that you will enjoy progressing with us.

  • Hallo everybody.
    Great to "see" you all here. I look forward to working with you all over the next six weeks and hope you will enjoy the course.

  • Welcome to the first week of this course.
    We look forward to your comments and interactions and hope you enjoy the next six weeks.

  • Hi, I am Laura and a late comer to the course. I have a strong intetest in kanguage teaching so I really look forward to this course.

  • Great to see you made it to the end of Week 2 and we look forward to meeting you again next week.
    Have a great weekend.

  • The role of other languages is difficult to gauge without going into more specifics (another MOOC needed :-). It really depends on the similarities between the languages, our level of fluency etc. Anyway,the verbs associated with the different levels in the pyramid help define HOTS. I would agree that conscious code switching falls into HOTS

  • I am glad you are not discouraged. These definitions may seem confusing, but it is good to know the terminology and you can go back to it in the future. You are aware of them now and that awareness will stay with you.

  • Good list, thank you

  • Absolutely, using the correct register is of paramount importance in communications. As you say, it doesn't always happen and not only among language learners. Sometimes native speakers also use the incorrect register and therefore may come across as either rude, or naive, or more generally inappropriate.
    In academic texts, register is doubly important...

  • The aim of the Mooc is actually to help you become aware (or more aware) of skills and strategies that you can use or are already using, and the. make the most of them. So if this step got you thinking, that is great.

  • Hopefully at the end of this week you will feel more confident.

  • Yes, and the more aware you are of these strategies, the more you can optimise them.

  • That is true, our learning strategies change as we progress and acquire more knowledge. However, it is useful to know which strategies can be applied when we are faced with a challenge.

  • As you all predicted, the talk is about Earth, oceans etc. Of course, evend finding that our predictions were not correct is important and useful as we consciously reassess what we think the theme is going to be.

  • Yes, that is exactly the point. We may not always be aware that we are predicting/confirming but when we face something more challenging is good to activate these strategies.

  • Language skills are certainly complex skills that encompass all HOTS, although probably with a different mix depending on our fluency level. While we may start with just remembering, we then need to move through the other layers of the pyramid in order to construct and use meaningful utterances, i.e. in order to communicate effectively. Both listening and...

  • Can you access YouTube? This is the link to the video:

  • Hi everybody,
    welcome to Week 2. We are now going deeper into our topic of academic English. I hope you will enjoy the content. Keep posting :-)

  • Yes, we will cover this during the week

  • We have a combination of videos and texts to suit different types of learners

  • Some very good points made here: calm speaker, personal accounts, use of displays and jokes, easy flow to drive the topic. In the next steps we will se how/if this differs from academic talk.
    Well done, keep going.

  • Thank you for your comment.
    Yes, the title is Talking "difficult", rather than talking "academic" and it was just meant to introduce the topic of the next steps in a light-hearted way. Above all, our goal was to get conversation and comments going, so that you all interact with each other as well as with us.

  • And this is a very good point. As a matter of fact, that is just the way he talks all the time

  • Yes, don't worry. This is just the Introductory Week, we will go back to scientific texts in the next weeks.

  • Indeed it is not easy at all. Hopefully our Week 4 will help. In Week 4 we concentrate on writing skills, let us know how you get on.

  • Will we focus on reading skills in Week 3. Let us know when you complete week 3 if you feel more confident.

  • Yes, I would say some textbooks too, at least those that are written for scholarly audiences.

  • Thank you. Glad you are enjoying it.

  • Strange, could you try with a different browser?

  • Don't look at them as flaws and shortcomings. Inaccuracies are part of the language learning process :-)