The 'scene of the crime': a creative way of teaching modals of speculation The greatest challenge I have faced in my teaching has been in facilitating creativity in both my lessons and in the way my students learn. There have been many good reasons for this, both personal and environmental. Firstly, I suffered for years with the sense that I wasn’t creative and therefore couldn’t encourage creativity in others. It was easier, and safer, to stick to the coursebook and follow what it suggested. The school environment also lent itself to a lack of exploration into creativity. Flipping these assumptions on their head was what I needed to do if I was to get my learners to indulge their creative sides. As E.M. Encourage a creative frame of mind Look for alternative ways of doing mundane tasks. Intellectualize the process Discuss what you want to do with your learners and encourage them to think about the tasks, stages and methods you’ll use. Keep your objectives in mind Appeal to a range of learning styles Think about timing Creativity is a slow process that takes time.
Present perfect aspect – tips and activities By Kerry G.Maxwell and Lindsay Clandfield Tips and ideas from Kerry Maxwell and Lindsay Clandfield on teaching the present perfect aspect. Introduction When teaching the present perfect, or explaining the present perfect, it is often easiest to focus on the use of the present perfect rather than the meaning. However, sooner or later you will be looking at different uses of the present perfect, and more often than not its relation with the past tense. An easy way of explaining perfect is to use the word before. Activity: experiences A frustrated teacher once asked, “How many activities can you make for the present perfect?!” 'Have you ever …' questionnaires are good for restricted personalised practice. Cinema experiencesHave you ever met a movie star? These can be done by students in pairs, or organised into a larger survey, with students having different questions and reporting back their findings. Activity: Why not? Because I’ve seen it a hundred times! Because I’ve …Because I haven’t ...
Upcoming BC TeahingEnglish webinar on activities to stimulate creativity Sadly, the webinar I was scheduled to deliver later today has been postponed. To cut a not very long story even shorter, the weather is bad here today and there’s a real risk of the electric being cut during the webinar. The good news is that we’re still on; the same time, next Thursday, I hope you’ll join me for my workshop on activities to stimulate creativity. Below the picture you’ll find the details which I’ve cheekily copied and pasted from the TeachingEnglish website: Encouraging learners to explore the language through creative activities in class is not as difficult as it may at first appear. This webinar will firstly look at the barriers to creativity, then how might overcome such hindrances. New Date: 24th October, 2013 Time: 12pm BST (see what time this is in your country) Location: Theme: Every time our learners speak in a new language, they are essentially exploring their creativity.
Malala: The girl who was shot for going to school Image copyright AFP One year ago schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen - her "crime", to have spoken up for the right of girls to be educated. The world reacted in horror, but after weeks in intensive care Malala survived. Her full story can now be told. She is the teenager who marked her 16th birthday with a live address from UN headquarters, is known around the world by her first name alone, and has been lauded by a former British prime minister as "an icon of courage and hope". She is also a Birmingham schoolgirl trying to settle into a new class, worrying about homework and reading lists, missing friends from her old school, and squabbling with her two younger brothers. She is Malala Yousafzai, whose life was forever changed at age 15 by a Taliban bullet on 9 October 2012. The Swat Valley once took pride in being called "the Switzerland of Pakistan". I remember it well from childhood holidays in Pakistan. It is clear that her absence is keenly felt.
Favourite infographic for October: What are the hardest languages to learn? It was round about this time in March that I reflected on how much time I spend these days digesting information through infographics. I’m a firm believer in their value: while they should not be seen as a replacement for reading, they are a very useful tool when it comes to getting key ideas across quickly and in a visually stimulating way. With this in mind, I decided, starting in March, to post an ‘infographic of the month’. This has proven to be a popular addition to my blog, so it’s one I’ll continue to do on approximately a monthly basis. This month’s choice comes from the Foreign Service Department of the U.S Department of State and offers us a review of the hardest languages – for English speakers – to learn…
Free Classic AudioBooks. Digital narration for the 21st Century 20 resources for teaching and practicing parts of speech Learning the difference between the various parts of speech – nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions and interjections – can be tedious and confusing for any language learner. Nevertheless, a clear and thorough understanding of the parts of speech is a necessary step in helping to prepare your learners for future success in speaking, writing and reading English , so a major goal for you as a teacher is to get them to a point where they are able to identify and use all eight parts of speech without difficulty. ‘Students’ by @yearinthelifeof (me) from ELTPics In my experience, this is something that needs constant, steady work in – and outside of – class. Rather than spending the whole lessons working on the parts of speech, intersperse activities and games to make things fun and interesting.
Christmas Traditions, Christmas History, Christmas Around the World, The Christmas Story and Christmas Fun and Games! - whychristmas?com How to get the most out of a #RSCON4 The fourth Reform Symposium online conference kicks off in a few short hours and I’m delighted to be presenting at the event for the first time. Attending an event like this for the first time can be an interesting experience and even a bit of a shock to the system. For those new to the ‘online conference game’ here are a few pointers for getting the most out of the experience… 1. Find a quiet place to ‘attend’ Choose a place that you will act as your ‘conference space’: if you don’t, you’ll lose half of the experience. 2. If you see yourself attending a lot of online conferences in the future, a good headset with microphone is a really good investment. 3. Reading up on the topic that will be discussed in the RSCON session can do wonders for you (you can easily do this, as each session comes with a fairly detailed description). 4. Some anti-virus programs block external programs such as the one being used for the Reform Symposium. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Free Electronic Books Online Contemplating who I am as a teacher: Plans for professional development Another academic year is beginning and this seems as good a time as any to do a bit of self evaluation. Over the course of this and three more posts I will be analyzing who I am as a teacher by looking at who I am as a teacher from four perspectives: my attitude, my skills, my expectations and my feedback. Although I will be looking at myself and giving anecdotes that illustrate what I’ve been doing in the past and how I want my teaching to develop over the next year and in the longer term, I invite you all to use the framework I will present to follow me on my journey and examine how you can develop as a teacher. A starting point What makes me a good teacher?Am I in fact a good teacher? A lot of my colleagues believe – and there’s nothing wrong with this – that their success as a teacher is measured by the degree to which the learners are transfixed by their enthusiasm for what they are teaching. ‘Tree trunks’ by Jeffrey Doonan from ELTPics 1. Goal 2. Goal(s) 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
11 Hilarious Hoax Sites to Test Website Evaluation In this day and age, where anyone with access to the internet can create a website, it is critical that we as educators teach our students how to evaluate web content. There are some great resources available for educating students on this matter, such as Kathy Schrock’s Five W’s of Website Evaluation or the University of Southern Maine’s Checklist for Evaluating Websites. Along with checklists and articles, you will also find wonderfully funny hoax websites, aimed at testing readers on their ability to evaluate websites. Check out these 11 example hoax sites for use in your own classrooms: Of all of these, my favorite is always the Dihydrogen Monoxide website, which aims to ban dihydrogen monoxide and talks in detail about its dangers. Happy hoax-hunting! Like this: Like Loading...
4 great things to do with newspapers in the language classroom Although the way we consume news has gone through great changes in recent years, newspapers remain a great teaching resource to use in the classroom. Some of the best lessons I’ve ever taught have been based around newspaper articles. Their flexibility in terms of meeting objectives and outcomes are the key to why they are such a good resource for us as teachers. 1. Newspapers are, by definition, full of writing that uses language to deliver information in a specific way. ‘A classroom scene’ by @sandymillin from ELTPics Make a copy of your chosen article for each learner and get them to make note of any words in the article that they are unfamiliar with. 2. Headlines serve as the basis from which we predict what the content of an article will be. With this in mind, give your learners only the headline of an article, and ask them to write it based on this prompt. 3. Newspapers are a great way to learn about what is going on in your country and the wider world. 4. A few useful links
10 Word Cloud Generators You Have Probably Never Tried A few days back, we looked at five great ways to incorporate word cloud generators into your classroom. There are obviously many more uses out there for them – but that is a discussion for another post. We’ve mentioned most of these before – in a post from way back when – so I won’t go into too much detail about each individual one, but we’ve added a few notable ones to the list. (Of note, the list is in no particular order). The vast majority of them work the same: plug your text into the box, select a few options, and you’ve got yourself a word cloud. If you do a quick search for word cloud, you’ll see so many different types. Do you have a favorite word cloud generator from the list below? Wordle Jason Davies’ Word Cloud Generator WordSift WordItOut Tagul TagCrowd Yippy WordMosaic AbcYa Tagxedo VocabGrabber