Assessing listening: challenges and choices

Listening: a vital skill

One of the first things new teachers learn is that simply exposing students to lots of listening will quickly increase their ability to communicate orally.  Even beginners armed with a very limited repertoire of vocabulary and grammar can often get their ideas across provided they generally understand what other people are saying to them.  In fact, Feyton is often cited as estimating that listening makes up a full 45% of what we do in a language.  So invariably the assessment of listening will be of paramount importance in the overall evaluation of our learners’ communicative ability.  And yet it remains one of the most elusive skills to reliably test.

Continue reading

Team Up! shortlisted for the English Language Awards 2018

Do you know Pearson’s new Primary course Team Up!? If you don’t, check it out! Team Up has been shortlisted for an English Language Award 2018.

The English-Speaking Union (ESU) has celebrated the highest quality English language teaching material for almost 50 years. This international educational charity and membership organisation aims at providing people with communication skills, confidence and opportunities that help them exchange ideas and opinions.

Continue reading

GET OFF YOUR PHONE! A free video-based lesson plan

Using short video in ELT is fast becoming a must. People watch videos for fun: youtube, for example, is the most popular platform for teens, so it makes sense to harness the attraction of video in our teaching. Videos can be watched anywhere – in class, at home, or on the bus, so our students can use them flexibly. Videos provide visual clues that aid comprehension, give meaning to language and demonstrate paralinguistic features. Video can be used to contextualise grammar and vocabulary and provide a window on culture, but perhaps even more importantly, a well-chosen video can act as inspiration for student production.

In this post, I’d like to share with you a free video lesson plan on a topic relevant to teachers, students and just about everyone else!

Continue reading