Cyberbullying: a video-based lesson

The teens and tweens we teach are too young to remember a world without the internet. They take for granted the benefits it brings, such as access to all kinds of information at the click of a finger or the ability do a video call with someone on the other side of the world. However, admiring the skills these ‘digital natives’ possess has given way to the realisation that they need guidance on how to properly use the internet in general and social media in particular. For example, 50% of boys and 26% of girls don’t consider it to be dangerous to meet someone they have met online in person. In this two-part blog series, we’ll look at video-based ELT lessons to raise awareness of two key issues: cyberbullying and protecting your identity.  

Continue reading

Grammar Guessing Games: 3 activities to practice grammar orally

Grammar lessons sometimes get a bad press. Perhaps that’s because they might typically have involved long, drawn-out explanations and activity upon activity of mechanical form-based practice. Explanations and closed practice are necessary of course, but in this blog post, let’s look at three activities that allow the students the chance to personalise the grammar and use it more creatively. All the activities include the game element of guessing.

Continue reading

Addressing racism in your ELT class: 3 ideas.

What’s the most challenging thing about teaching teens? Getting them to behave? Getting them up to standard to pass exams? One of my greatest challenges was addressing prejudice in class, which often manifested itself in the shape of racial prejudice. Not all students of course, but some. At the start of my teaching career I foolishly attempted to use my authority to ‘stamp it out’: how dare the students utter such reprehensible ideas? It wasn’t effective. Predictably, a subtler approach, talking about the issues raised, worked better. Taking into account phenomena such as a spike in hate crime after the Brexit referendum and given that the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is coming up on 21 March, in this blog post we look at 3 ways to address racial discrimination with our students

Continue reading

5 fun activities to build interactional skills

It takes two to tango, goes the saying. It also takes at least two to interact. Interaction requires both speaking and listening skills – by listening carefully and understanding we’ll be in a position to reply directly to our interlocutor. Interaction requires our students to have mastered certain language functions. In the case of a discussion for example, our students will need to be able to agree, disagree, ask for their interlocutor’s opinion etc. In this blog post, let’s look at five fun activities to build our students’ interactional language and skills.    

Continue reading

Making an Escape Room for your ELT classroom

Over the Christmas holidays I experienced my first Escape Room (in Ávila, successfully breaking out in 54 minutes: see photographic proof!) and last week I held my first Escape Room for teachers on a gamification course (they broke out in 59, living dangerously!). I enjoyed both immensely. Participants work together and are extremely focused on their goal so work hard – behaviours we like to see in our students. In this blog post I’d like to look at ways to set up activities to make your own ELT Escape Room.

Continue reading

5 Christmas adverts with ideas for class

It’s that time of year again! For some, the run-up to Christmas hasn’t yet started in earnest, but for others it’s already in full flow: In Britain, Christmas adverts tend to appear on the TV from mid-November onwards, making the countdown to Christmas very long indeed! These short videos are a great resource to use with your students, who will also be starting to feel festive. The adverts often tell a story with a message, contextualise lots of Christmas vocabulary and can be used as an inspiration for student production. In this post I’ve chosen five new adverts from 2018 and added a few ideas on how to use them in class. Give them a try with your students!

ADVERT 1

Continue reading

Pre-primary English teachers: make your voice heard and win!

At Pearson, we’re committed to understanding what teachers need in order to create the right materials for your classes. That why we’re calling on all pre-primary (infantíl) teachers of English in Spain to fill out our survey.

As a token of our gratitude, all teachers who fill in the survey will be entered into a draw to win a 100€ Amazon gift voucher.

The survey is in Spanish. And if you’re not a pre-primary English teacher, but you know someone who is, feel free to forward it on to give them a chance of winning!

Don’t forget to fill in your personal details at the end of the survey to be entered into the draw. The survey closes on 25 November, so don’t delay!

Thank you…and good luck!

Assessing speaking: an ‘inexact science’

What’s the most common collocation: do you speak/understand/read/write English?

That’s right, people tend to focus on speaking when asking this general question about language proficiency. And think of one of your classes and how students perceive one another’s level: you can bet your bottom dollar that, as well as by comparing exam results, it will be on how well they seem to speak. This blog post, the third in our series on language assessment literacy, will focus on assessing speaking.

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

Training on demand: The Pearson Academy is here!

With a motto like ‘Always Learning’, it’s not surprising that  teacher training is a central part of what we do at Pearson. Today we add another string to our bow in the shape of the Pearson Academy, a great way to access teacher training whenever and wherever you want.

Find out more about Pearson teacher training and the Pearson Academy…

Continue reading