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thinking about language teaching

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speaking

Great site for conversation classes


Running a conversation class can often be a difficult thing for teachers, especially if there is no syllabus or course plan to follow, or if the class has been going for a number of years with largely the same students... Continue Reading →

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Reviewing the School Year: A Lesson


The last lesson of the school year is often a tricky one to manage.  Often, neither you or the students are in a particularly useful frame of mind - the energy and creativity is dwindling and it can be difficult... Continue Reading →

Say what you see – vocabulary and images


This is an activity that I used as a warmer with my classes last week with great results!  It works really well for vocabulary review, with lower levels, but also with extending and developing the range of vocabulary that exam... Continue Reading →

The Interview Round


Job interviews are fun things to prepare learners for.  A colleague and I once prepared a student for a job interview as a hotel receptionist by sitting her in the director's office and making spurious phone calls to her in... Continue Reading →

Moral Dilemmas – Book Review


Imagine you are teaching a group of business people, all of whom work for the same company.  They have been told that their eligibility for the next round of promotions depends on their achieving a certain level of English.  All... Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

PechaFlickr – exam speaking practice


One of the common complaints students have about exam speaking is that they never know what to say.  In practice sessions, I've had students dry up completely and embarrassedly freeze half way through a sentence, I've had other students refuse... Continue Reading →

The WHY Game – for practicing clauses of reason and purpose


  This is an activity I did with with an intermediate group of young learners - who absolutely loved it.  It led to what was easily the longest conversations they'd had in English all year.  It probably wouldn't take much... Continue Reading →

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