Non-Stick Plans: Conversation and Jazz

"Do we have to plan like this for every lesson after we finish the course?" a CELTA trainee asked me recently. No! Please no! Apart from kicking off a mental health time bomb (teaching more than one lesson a day, when would you sleep?!), you'd miss out on the genuine flavour of human interaction that [...]

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Get Real! Conference, Ancona. Authenticity is…5 things.

Firstly, thanks very much to the team at Victoria International House Ancona/Jesi for organising such a great conference. It's a privilege to be part of a network of 160 International House schools worldwide that share, collaborate and constantly push themselves to set the standard in English language teaching worldwide. In case anyone was looking for [...]

Food for Thought: 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

“Think before you speak. Read before you think.” – Fran Lebowitz And read, think and speak before you teach. Encouraging your students to read is hypocritical if you don't make time for it yourself. Not having new ideas, experiences and perspectives is a sin if your job is to motivate and share knowledge with a [...]

Making Writing Real with Jim Egerton (another one!)

I turned the page and my heart dropped into the pit of my stomach. 'Formal writing' for my Advanced group of 17-18 year olds. Oh please. Not again...Too often so painfully contrived and disconnected from reality. Then I remembered that it's not so bad - as long as the writing is authentic and has a [...]