It’s nearly Christmas! In truth, if the presence of Christmas decorations in shops or Christmas adverts on TV is anything to go by, then it’s been nearly Christmas for a while! But Advent, which begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, sees the start of a more ‘official’ countdown.
This Saturday, December 2 Pearson will once again be participating in the annual People Teach People Conference put on by the Association of Language Teaching Centres in Valencia, ACEICOVA. Now in its third year, the conference draws in hundreds of English teachers from the Valencian Autonomous Community and beyond interested in sharing best practices and thus maintaining and improving the quality of language teaching in their classes.
On the fourth Thursday in November Americans* celebrate Thanksgiving, a national holiday to celebrate the harvest and other blessings over the past year. This tradition dates all the way back to 1621, when English colonists and the Wampanoag North American Indians shared a feast and signed a peace treaty which was to last 50 years.
Thanksgiving sees families come together for a feast which typically includes potatoes, cranberries, pumpkin pie, stuffing and, of course, a turkey. Here at Pearson we’d like to wish everybody a Happy Thanksgiving! Though we can’t provide teachers with a turkey to celebrate, we can offer five common turkey-related expressions plus ways to use them in class.
Pearson is once again honored to be participating in ACEIA’s annual conference in Seville this coming Saturday, November 11. This year’s event, titled People First, promises to be yet another great opportunity for teachers and other professionals in the English language teaching environment to come together and share ideas, observations and best practices. More information on the conference, as well as the programme, can be found here on their website.
Having our pupils work collaboratively makes sense on many levels. We might consider the development of higher order thinking skills like critical thinking, or the improvement in oral communication skills. Collaboration in class will go a long way to making our students socially competent people and looking further afield, the ability to work together is held in very high esteem by prospective employers, so we’re sowing the seeds for a successful future. And if pupils work collaboratively on a regular basis, they will start to see one another as resources, as opposed to looking only to the teacher to answer questions.
Despite having been around for a while mobile devices are still rather slowly finding their niche in most of our classes. There are the rather obvious applications that many of us teachers have finally seen the usefulness of, like allowing students to use them to look up a word or research a language point or topic area. Many of us have started to add some fun and competition to our classes with the popular quiz tool Kahoot. And at long last language teachers are beginning to see the value of getting students to record their spoken output to share and analyze with the class. But using a mobile device does not necessarily translate to implementing mobile learning. So how can we use mobile tools to actually extend learning beyond the school and into the community at large?