Exam Prep Meets Reality: Dear Mayor Bernabéu…

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…

Horsham School Search

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

Would President Trump meet the English language requirements of an international student?

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?

A Beginner’s Guide to Latvian Culture

The following is a collaborative effort from my C2 teenagers (17-18 years old), as a final project to crown our study of culture over the last few weeks. Each student contributed a section about an aspect of Latvian culture, although we agreed to keep the authors anonymous to prevent comparisons. Language Despite the fact that the only official language in Latvia is Latvian, in the east of … Continue reading A Beginner’s Guide to Latvian Culture

Haikus: Learning English

Haikus, which originated in Japan, are 17-syllable poems: 5 in the first line, 7 in the second, 5 in the third. So they don’t take long and work on learners’ awareness of pronunciation. Enough from me; these are what my C2 teenagers came up with… I started learning English seven years ago I very leik trains. -A.H   The English and I Seeing truth with my … Continue reading Haikus: Learning English