A before/while/after you watch approach to planning a video lesson — National Geographic Learning: In Focus

In a new series of posts on the subject of using video with language learners, I plan to look at a range of issues relating to this area of English language teaching such as the criteria for selecting video, how different genre of video lend themselves to different task types and some of the pitfalls… via A before/while/after you watch approach to planning a video lesson — National Geographic Learning: In Focus

IATEFL MaWSIG PCE 2020 – Practical tools and tricks of the trade: sharing our expertise — MaWSIG

We are delighted to announce our line-up of expert authors, syllabus-creators, designers and editors for the 2020 pre-conference event at IATEFL in Manchester. We’ve organised a day packed with practical advice from experts in all areas of ELT materials writing. There really is something for everyone. Most materials writers, whether new or experienced, writing… via IATEFL MaWSIG PCE 2020 – Practical tools and tricks of the trade: sharing our expertise — MaWSIG

Personalizing Culture — National Geographic Learning: In Focus

Reading Time: 5 minutesIf you’re familiar with materials from National Geographic Learning you’ll know that they include a lot of images, texts, and topics about people and places from different countries. For this reason, you can often use the cross-cultural aspects of the material to help your students build their intercultural awareness alongside their language… via Personalizing Culture — National Geographic Learning: In Focus

Ninja networking at ELT conferences

When people think about ELT conferences, they tend to picture the plenaries, presentations, workshops, and exhibitions. After all, these are the things which we see advertised in the online flyers and listed in the pages of programmes. And in terms of professional development these aspects of conferencing-going are a key part. However, I’d argue that most is often gained from the informal conversation you have with the person sitting next to you before a talk begins, the sharing of ideas over a coffee afterwards, and the chance meeting with someone who has similar interests. It’s called networking and although conference…

The language of playing games

Like many teachers, I use games in the classroom. It might be something quite basic like a quiz game or a game to review to some vocabulary. Sometimes it’s a more involved game based around the idea of a board game. Board games are generative and adaptable to target a variety of language aims. Such games also have their own language in terms of vocabulary to refer to the pieces (dice, counters, board etc.) and phrases such as ‘You go next.’, ‘It’s your turn.”, “Move forward 1 space.” and so on. Recently I used a snakes and ladders board game with…

A checklist for writing ELT worksheets

Most teachers like making their own worksheets – for example, maybe a reading text with some questions or a worksheet with tasks that accompany a video. The fun part is coming up with creative tasks but it’s easy to spend more time on aspects such as adding headings, titles, rubrics and so on. To speed this aspect of materials writing up, I have a mental checklist of things that appear in every worksheet. If you make them an automatic part of your writing process, it frees up more time for the fun creative stuff. 1 Titles The main title on the worksheet lets the students know…

Learning English with Robinson Crusoe

I recently read A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo which aside from being a great read will also be of extra interest to language teachers because it captures the progress of a language learner in English. Reading it also reminded me of an article I wrote many years ago for English Teaching Professional (Issue 15) all the way back in 2000(!) It was about the portrayal of one-to-one teaching in the book Robinson Crusoe and what we could learn from it. Here’s the article reprinted below. Feel free to comment if you have other examples of ELT lessons described in literature. Lessons for…