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thinking about language teaching

An Overview of Learning Theories


This is possibly the most complete online resource I have ever come across on learning theories: I had to reduce the browser to 50% just to get the screenshot, but if you click the picture or the link below you... Continue Reading →

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A Systematic Pattern – material considerations online and off


In many respects, the regular occurrence of systematic features is what makes a course a course.  It is these features which tell us that we are moving from one section to another and thus that we have indeed "moved on".... 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 →

Using Visualisation for the Present Continuous


This is an idea I tried out with an elementary group of young learners the other day.  The focus in the coursebook was on teaching the present continuous for actions that are happening now and at the book had very... 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 →

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 →

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