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thinking about language teaching

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 →

An Introduction to Teaching the Unteachable


I wonder how many people who are looking at the title of this post, and indeed the title of the upcoming webinar on this topic, are wondering what constitutes “unteachable”?  It’s a tricky concept to grasp, not least because it... Continue Reading →

Four “must have” activities for digital teachers!


The title of this post is an example of Clickbait - something that is designed to get you clicking the link to look at the seemingly impossible / brilliant / hilarious story behind the headline.  Something eye-catching that makes you... 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 →

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