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Getting to know you: teaching on and offline


I have mixed feelings about Getting to Know you tasks in real world teaching.  I do use them, but it really depends on the class, their age and ability.  For example, if you walk into a corporate client, where all... Continue Reading →

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Brainstorming – Book Review


The process of brainstorming in the classroom is often a rather haphazard and stilted affair.  Learners are coming into a topic area they know little about and feel uncomfortable in, they might feel that they don't have the language to... Continue Reading →

What should Advanced materials involve?


I was recently asked what features I thought good C2 materials should have.  It's quite a good question, especially because there aren't any good GE materials at C2 level.  There are a number of books aimed at preparing students for... Continue Reading →

IELTS Writing Part 1 – The Happiness Graph!


How happy have you been over the last week?  Has it been a good or a bad week?  This is (broadly speaking) what my week looked like:   The Happiness Graph is a warmer that you can use with any... Continue Reading →

The case for and against RP


"Since being in hospital, the only people I have heard speaking in the UK prestige model of "received pronunciation" are some of the consultants and surgeons.  Everyone else in the hospital is from everywhere else." In a recent post, about the... Continue Reading →

Disemvoweled


t's nt lwys tht sy t rd txts tht hv hd ll th vwls tkn t f thm.  Whch f crs s wht mks t sch gd ctvty fr th lngg clssrm.* Taking the vowels out of words is not... Continue Reading →

Collocation Connections


Here's a little test for you to see how good you are at spotting collocations.  The words in the grid below can be put into four collocation groups.  Can you figure out (a) what the groups are?  (b) which word(s)... Continue Reading →

Reason to Read – a genre specific approach to developing reading skills


In my recent talk at IATEFL 2015, I argued that the standard approach to reading in ELT is ineffective and that tasks which reflect a broader range of genres and more realistic reasons for reading are preferable, and I demonstrated... Continue Reading →

Five Fantastic Film sites for ELT


Using video in the classroom is a great way to engage learners in the material, either from a topic perspective or with a particular language point.  Young learners in particular seem to love the moving image and it can be... Continue Reading →

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