With the Pearson Teacher Training Department for Spain and Portugal having delivered a large number of sessions around primary learners so far this year (and with many more to come!), the aim of this week’s post is to share five of the practical ideas we’ve been looking at. These activities have fun and engagement at their heart, as well as including the language practice our students need to make progress.
1) Sing a welcome song
Songs are a great way to learn English and thankfully for us, most primary-aged pupils are only too happy to sing. We often use songs as a way to contextualise a grammar point or some vocabulary – a catchy song will help this stick. But what about beginning our lessons with a welcome song? This is a great way to set a positive climate for learning and to calm and focus our students. Here is an example of a welcome song:
We English teachers do so much more than teach English. I won’t attempt a definitive list for fear of breaking the internet, but one of the other things we do is to teach our students transferable skills which will be useful to them wherever they end up. The 4Cs of Critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration have been recognised as the ‘learning and innovation’ skills that separate students who are prepared for life in the 21st century from those who aren’t: how can we help nurture these skills? In this blog post I’d like to begin to take a look at these questions which I will be looking into in more detail in my webinar on the topic. Continue reading
Welcome back everybody! With the end of Christmas, New Year and Epiphany it’s time to tighten our belts financially, loosen our belts literally (at least in my case after all the mince pies) and generally get back to work. But do not despair! This blog post has the aim of staving off the holiday blues with 10 ways to talk about happiness, positivity and laughter in English plus ideas to teach and use these expressions in class.
- To be full of the joys of spring
Spring may seem a long way off after the weekend’s snowfall, but here is a nice expression to talk about someone who seems positive, energetic and enthusiastic.
Chris is full of the joys of spring at the moment. Things must be going well with his new girlfriend!
‘Twas the class before Christmas and all through the school all the teachers were searching for something to do!
Sound like a familiar situation? Your students have their work completed and exams taken. Holidays are just around the corner and you need one more lesson to send them off on a positive note. Well, look no further!
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.
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.
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.
The advent of bilingualism in many Spanish schools has presented challenges and opportunities for teachers – both English language teachers and teachers of other subjects who now teach in English. Let’s talk about Content and Language Integrated Learning (or CLIL)!
Spaniards and Brits are different in many ways, but we also share some similarities. I’ve always thought that a self-deprecating sense of humour is something we have in common and I believe another is that we both like to talk about the weather – it’s almost a national pastime. Watching the 3 o’clock news on Sunday, there must have been a good fifteen minutes dedicated to the weather. It included a feature on the Indian summer that Spain is currently experiencing with short sound bites from holidaymakers on the beach (“Hay que aprovechar el buen tiempo y tomarse unas cervecitas” (there’s another similarity)) and smiling hoteliers, pleased at the unseasonably hot weather resulting in full hotels.
Both languages are rich in weather expressions and in the post, we are going to look at 10 of the most commonly used in English, followed by some ideas on how to use them.
Happy World Teachers’ Day!
The 5th October is World Teachers’ Day, a celebration on which we remind ourselves of the vital contribution that teachers make to education, development and society in general. Our warmest regards to teachers everywhere!
As a token of our recognition of the fantastic work done by teachers, Pearson has launched the second annual ELT Teacher Award. The six lucky winners of this award will win a paid trip to an international teaching conference in 2018: TESOL (US) or IATEFL (UK). It would be great to see a winner from Spain or Portugal!
To enter, all you need to do is submit a short video (not longer than two minutes) in which you answer the following questions:
Q1: How do you know when students are making progress in English?
Q2: What’s the best thing about being an English teacher?
Watch the video below and click here for more information and to enter the competition. The closing date in 31st December 2017 and the winners will be announced 25th January 2018.