10 Activities - Using Pictures in Class

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photoinesl_407318959A picture speaks a thousand words!  And you can get your students speaking just as many by using pictures in class.  Check out these fun and engaging communicative activities below.

I find these work at all ages and the best thing is that each task can be adapted to the level you are teaching and designed with a particular language focus in mind so whether you’re teaching the Past Simple at A1 or the use of cleft sentences at C1, you can pull from your bank of pictures and adjust your instructions as you see fit!!… continue...

Dyslexia in the ESL Classroom

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DyslexiaI have noticed a number of students in my class lately who have been diagnosed with dyslexia but I haven’t really known how to help them. I knew that these students might need a bit more time to complete a reading or writing task and that they would probably have problems with spelling but that was about it.… continue...

Teaching Large Class Sizes – How to get students communicating.

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I recently had the opportunity to travel to China to lead some teacher training sessions and seminars as a representative of ATC.

O2012219193520ver 3 weeks, I was lucky enough to work with a fantastic group of teachers from several different middle schools in Zibo, North China.… continue...

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A2 Lesson – The Answer (Short Film)

shavingLesson – The Answer.

In this lesson, students will meet words/phrases for describing appearance while introducing them to ‘will’ for future predictions.   In this communicative lesson, students will work in pairs/groups to discuss the short animation, answering questions and then reading a review of the book ‘The Secret, which the short film is based on. … continue...

The Lesson Planning Checklist

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lesson plan_223254835 (1)
When I first started teaching, I spent HOURS planning one solitary lesson! I couldn’t comprehend how a teacher could work full-time hours with all the planning you had to do.  Eventually this got easier; my lessons plans got shorter as my teaching became more instinctive, yet many times I felt that I didn’t really get to the heart of my lesson.… continue...

Adapting and Supplementing your Coursebook.

creative-peopleDoes this situation sound familiar to you?

You work in a language school where there is a syllabus designed around a coursebook. You feel a certain pressure from management, parents or students themselves to ‘get through’ the whole thing– course books are expensive after all.… continue...

The Improvised Bits


(by Joanne Mitten)
A couple of weeks ago I attended a talk at IATEFL Manchester by Adrian Underhill: Jazz and the Dark Matter of Teaching. And over the course of 45 minutes, his theory about improvisation in the classroom shed some light on an experience I’d had a few weeks before the conference.… continue...

Film yourself Teaching! A Self-Reflective Task...

filming By Andrea Goldman

When I was younger and thinner, I worked for an organization that required teachers to film their classes once every three months. In my wisdom as an older, fatter person, I thought it would be wonderful to encourage the teachers around me to film themselves teaching, to see what their classes really look like.… continue...

4 Ways to Use Literature in Class.

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There is no question that literature can be daunting for language learners. Many of my students experience of learning English was translating entire books word-for-word into their own language at high school – I remember one student who spent 4 years translating ‘1984’ in English lessons.… continue...

'Make' and 'Do' - 5 Fun Activities

Do your best_84325501
‘Sorry, I didn’t make my homework’
Teacher: You didn’t what?
Student: ‘I didn’t make my homework last night’
Teacher: ‘You didn’t make your homework?’
Student: ‘No, I was busy making the housework and then I had to do arrangements for the party.’
Ok, so I might have exaggerated a little here (or have I?). … continue...

Peer Observations: Step out of your Comfort Zone

Comfort Zone_223856497
Peer observations seem to be both under-valued and unwelcomed.  Are we as teachers simply protecting our oversized egos from being judged in our own classrooms?

Andy Hockley, in this British Council webinar ‘Peer Observation: How can we make it work?’ discusses some of the obstacles teachers face.… continue...

Critical Thinking – Making the most of your coursebook

Critical ThinkingI joined in yesterday in the Macmillan Education online conference and Ed Newbon’s webinar in particular on Critical Thinking Skills really got me, well…thinking.
He argued that our role as teachers is changing, that nowadays it is not enough for students to only speak English, they need to have transferable skills for work, studies etc.… continue...

Student Assessment: Long Live the Gap Fill?

posted in: Assessment, Uncategorized | 14

student assessment


Is summative testing a thing of the past?  Although standardized tests have their place in official high-stakes exams, do they have a deserved place in today’s classrooms?

Marking tests based on the language system (grammar and vocabulary), teachers can be confident that an answer is either right or wrong …but it’s not that straight-forward when assessing language skills and usage, is it?… continue...

Student Feedback - Encourage your Students to Review your Performance!

student feedbackStudent Feedback?

You’re all used to top-down feedback, usually in the form of official observations and although it can be quite daunting, it’s part of your role as a teacher and if you’re honest with yourself, it’s constructive, developmental and helps you reflect and improve on your teaching techniques and methods!… continue...

ELT Technology – 5 Online Tools for your Classroom!

ELT TechnologyELT Technology ….you know you love it!

You arrive home in the evening, you stretch out on the couch and pick up your tablet to check your emails (maybe something your life depends upon has arrived in your inbox in the last ten minutes while you were driving), then you check your Facebook app….… continue...

Tools for an ELT Coach!

Last year, we noticed that a number of our long-term students were going through a ‘mid-course crisis’ and one by one seemed to be having a ‘I’m not learning anything’ meltdown and although students attempted to comfort their teachers by explaining to them that, ‘it’s not you, it’s me’, we knew it was our responsibility to knock this infamous learning plateau on the head once and for all. … continue...

The Dog Ate My Homework- A guide to ESL study skills.

esl study skills

Most of the students I have in class are fairly organised, they file worksheets away and write down new vocabulary in their notebook. I have the occasional organisational machine who has their phrasal verbs listed alphabetically on note-cards and is hoarding folder dividers for fear of an upcoming apocalypse.… continue...

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