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thinking about language teaching

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Proficiency

Alphalists – promoting speaking


I was working with one of my exam classes last week and we were focused on Part 4 of the speaking when one of my students said that she always worried that she wouldn't have anything to say on the... Continue Reading →

Speaking Exams in Masks


It is the time of year when many students are doing their Cambridge exams – many have probably already done theirs but I know there are some doing theirs in July (such as my Advanced group) and it's still not... Continue Reading →

A lesson on Spam Emails


This is a lesson I have been doing with my advanced and proficiency classes for a couple of years, but I have only just got round to writing up for the blog. It works on both receptive and productive writing... Continue Reading →

Processes and Passives


This is a lesson I did with my advanced class the other day as part of a review of passive structures.  I've typed it all up into a full plan and procedure which you can download in pdf through this... Continue Reading →

The Colour Coded Essay – #IHTOC7


With the introduction of a compulsory essay task in the Cambridge English: First & Advanced exams, it's become quite important for learners to understand essay structure and organisation. Here's a ten minute talk I did for the International House Teacher's... Continue Reading →

Words with Multiple Meanings


Here's a nice infographic from the Kaplan blog about words with multiple meanings.  I can think of three immediate ways to exploit this with a class: (1) Prediction - give students the keywords.  Students then think of as many phrases... Continue Reading →

The Cheating Art


If you teach, you will have encountered cheating.  And if you're honest, you've probably cheated yourself at some point in the past - I don't remember specific incidences of cheating from when I was at school, but I do remember... Continue Reading →

The Tai Chi of Reading


This is a ten minute presentation I gave at the recent International House Teachers' Online Conference (IHTOC60) on the Tai Chi of Reading. The basic premise is that there are certain movements or forms that exist within the Tai Chi... Continue Reading →

The Shambles of CPE: a bit of a rant


I am not impressed.  For whatever reason, it simply seems as though both Cambridge ESOL and most of the major publishers seem to have shown and complete and utter disregard towards the students and prospective candidates studying at CPE level.... Continue Reading →

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