Reading Time: 4 minutesLast time, we examined the psychological need to complete things and make them whole, and how that can be exploited to help students stay motivated. The word ‘need’ is a key term when we’re looking at students’ motivation, of course. At its most fundamental level, motivation is all about wants
Reading Time: 3 minutesFailure is a word and a concept that our students often fear. In today’s society, with its focus on success, celebrity, fame and wealth, failure is linked with a sense of not being good enough. But actually, failure is a hugely important part of learning. By failing, we see where
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: 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 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.
Reading Time: 5 minutesThe previous post in this series looked at how personalization in the classroom helps to build rapport, add authenticity and make classroom activities more motivating. It’s an aspect of teaching that is normally seen as beneficial and desirable. However, integrating personalization into your teaching is not without ‘risk’, according to
Reading Time: 4 minutesBecome a Citizen Scientist (Using Your Phone!) Did you know that you can contribute to scientific research using only your phone? Scientists around the globe are calling on anyone with a camera or a computer to help contribute to our knowledge of the world. This movement is called Citizen Science