Reading Time: 4 minutesIn this month’s blog post I want to look at why and how we can use real life topics to engage our teenage students. As teachers and materials writers, I think we can sometimes fall into the trap of thinking of language as a set of structures and lexical sets
Reading Time: 6 minutesIn the last post on memorization, I talked about the role of emotion, stories and personalization. All of these things gave language a better chance of reaching longer-term memory because of their impact on the student – the way they resonated with them on a deeper level. In this post I
Reading Time: 4 minutesIn my previous post in this series on quick and simple ways to motivate our students, I looked at setting measurable targets for tasks and classroom activities, the idea being that giving students a specific outcome to aim for leads to a sense of achievement. Part of meeting a measurable
Reading Time: 3 minutesIn my previous post, I wrote about playing TED Talks without the sound as a simple hack to control language level. But what happens if we leave the sound on and turn off the pictures? Does that have the opposite effect and raise the level of the input? Not necessarily.
Reading Time: 5 minutesMusic, food, language, dance, stories and decorations. These are just a few of the ways that people express their cultural heritage. As a photographer, one of the most exciting parts of my work is discovering and photographing different cultural traditions around the world. When I visit a new place, I
Reading Time: 5 minutesIn Part One of this blog post I look at getting organised in terms of focusing on the four skills in each lesson. Then I suggest some practical ideas for practising the skills through classroom routines. In Part Two I suggest ideas for adding skills practice into simple add-on activities,
Reading Time: 3 minutesSometimes you can tell that your students are going to doze off as soon as the lesson starts. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, despite making a ‘brilliant beginning,’ you can sense the energy levels start to flag as your lesson progresses. A quick switch, getting your students up and out of
Reading Time: 4 minutesI want a house with a swimming pool. That’s what a friend said to me during my first week at college. It was my first understanding that we are all motivated by different things. And it’s as true of language learners as it is of mountain climbers, entrepreneurs or ex-smokers.
Reading Time: 2 minutesDid you miss TED Speaker Hetain Patel and ELT materials writer Lewis Lansford’s recent webinar? The good news is you can still watch it here on the In Focus blog. Read on to find out more about the talk, learn about the speakers and watch a recording of the live
Reading Time: 3 minutesA simple hack to control language level In the first post of this blog series TED Talks work for all levels: Try it!, I talked about how TED Talks can be used in the classroom for students at any level, as long as the activities that support them are level-appropriate.