During my “Making Writing Real” webinar presentation at the SkyEng online conference in March, I discussed five ideas to make writing in lessons a more motivating activity by writing for an external audience (not just the teacher!) and doing useful, everyday tasks. I received several comments in the live chat box that this philosophy is all well and good, but it can’t apply to exam classes. … Continue reading Exam Prep Meets Reality: Dear Mayor Bernabéu…
I met Marina at the 6-week Delta Module 2 course in London back in summer 2015, and we’ve kept in regular contact since. Having been an active advocate of teacherpreneurship over the last few months, presenting two webinars in February and starting up a teacherpreneurs Facebook group, she gave a presentation about teacherpreneurship at the 2017 IATEFL Conference in Glasgow last Thursday (the link … Continue reading How to Become a Teacherpreneur – Q&A with Marina Kladova
Practising what I preached at the Skyteach webinar conference a fortnight ago about making writing real… A few weeks ago I took over a class of low-int 10-11 year olds who are pretty errrm…energetic and fidgety (90 minutes last a while!) On our voyage through Islands 5, the topic of school came around, and using the IH Riga computers, they each researched one of the four … Continue reading Horsham School Search
Excuse anything delirious. It’s 6.30am, I’ve slept for 3 hours, but like any conference worth its salt, IH Toruń’s International Teacher Training Day has pumped up my enthusiasm and I’m writing this on the train to Warsaw before flying back to Riga. There are a lot of new ideas buzzing around in my head like flies. I need to swat some onto paper (screen) before they fly … Continue reading 10 things I learned at IH Toruń, Poland.
Today (18 March 2017) I presented a webinar during the Skyteach Conference for English language teachers titled Making Writing Real: How to make writing lessons more enjoyable for teachers and learners alike. Many of us have experienced the less-than-enthusiastic groans when we announce a writing lesson to our students. And many times it’s not just students that aren’t excited about it — how many times … Continue reading Making Writing Real webinar (video, slides and notes)
VERY brief post just to nod you towards the SkyTeach webinar next Saturday 18th March. Really getting into the world of webinars – great way to connect to fellow professionals around the world without even leaving your sofa! I’ll be presenting on ‘Making Writing Real’ at 15.35 Moscow time/12.35 GMT, and will be briefly discussing teacher and student attitudes to writing in EFL before giving … Continue reading Skyteach webinar SATURDAY 18th MARCH
I recently finished reading A. A. Gill’s Pour Me: A Life. It’s a frank and funny memoir on his fragmented memories of years of alcoholism, and insightful musings on his childhood and post-alcohol rise to becoming a writer, critic and Sunday Times journalist. Not only did I appreciate the carefully-selected words and the rhythm of the well-crafted sentences, but the book also made me consider many aspects of … Continue reading 6 Lessons from Pour Me: A Life.
Having selected common problematic sounds in English, the most important thing is what we can do to improve these things. The foundations of this whole exercise should adhere to principles of Dweck’s Mindset theory: focused practice, belief in the possibility to improve, re-labelling “failure” as a stepping stone to success. Once we move the tongue and lips correctly, the sounds will be produced. We can … Continue reading Mouth Gym Part 2: How to train
“I can’t make that sound”. Millions of language learners all over the world would have said or thought this at least once. I know many of my students have. Several have asked me what they can do to improve, so the next two posts will give some advice. Pronunciation is hard in any foreign language, as there are usually new sounds (phonemes) to practise and … Continue reading Mouth Gym Part 1: What to train
President Trump’s speech to mark Black History Month on 1 February was, as with most things he does, quite a spectacle. Historical, institutional, racial…but let’s focus on the linguistic show on offer. Learners of English are taught to focus their arguments to the task and master coherence and cohesion, and these two criteria feature in marking criteria for most reputable exam bodies, like IELTS, Trinity … Continue reading Would President Trump meet the English language requirements of an international student?