Whose English is it anyway?

I am a native speaker of English.  I was born and raised speaking a particular variety of North American English.  It’s my mother tongue. Heck, my mother (and my father and the whole community around me for that matter) taught me how to speak it.  Well, to say they “taught” me isn’t entirely accurate. I was brought into the fold and participated in this living, growing, evolving thing that is my native language.  I’m proud of that. I feel like I belong to something quite beautiful and unique. It’s good to belong to something. It’s nice to share a language with other people, to know what they’re thinking and even, if you’re quite lucky, to have a little window into knowing how they feel.  I think that’s really very special.

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5 Things to love about teaching English

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and to celebrate it we are re-posting this article from our archives on reasons why we love teaching English.

And while we’re on the topic of love and English, check out this post with a list of romantic readers for your students!

No two people have quite the same experience of teaching English.  My own history includes mostly private sector teaching to adults and teens (so this post might not reflect your situation exactly).  But regardless of the context you teach in, many of us, and this is undoubtedly true of any profession, might get to a time when we question why it is that we are doing it, or maybe we forget why we got into it in the first place.

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Pearson offers a new webinar series for primary English teachers

Are you a primary English teacher interested in the latest methodological trends that will make your teaching more effective and get your students engaged in learning like never before?  Are you looking for new ideas to bring that extra spark of joy and wonder to your classes?  And are you the type of educator who is not only thinking about getting them to speak English, but also getting them prepared to be active participants in their communities both now and in the future?

Then join us for “Empowering primary learners for the future”, our free webinar series which will focus on the concerns of the primary teacher and learner in the 21st Century.

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See you at ACEICOVA this Saturday!


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.

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ACEIA 2017 is here!

ACEIA 2017

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.

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The Extended Classroom: towards the practical and the real


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?

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Why we should develop Emotional Intelligence in our students


With all of the demands on us as teachers to help our students improve their English we can sometimes lose sight of the fact that language is not the only thing going on in our classrooms.  As important as improving students’ linguistic competences is, we know we are also getting them ready for using that language in the real world.  And take a look around – the world is a pretty chaotic place (VUCA if you will) which can put a strain on the most resilient of us.  Though no one is asking us to be professional psychologists, taking into account some of the principles of the Emotional Intelligence movement is a good idea if we want to help our students become happy, productive and resilient in addition to linguistically proficient members of society.

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Ten expressions (with talk) to get your students talking

speach bubbles

Stuck for something to talk about in class?  Well here are ten useful expressions in English to stretch your students’ vocabulary plus a quick activity to get them chatting as well.

Teach the expressions anyway you see fit.  You might start out by putting the word “talk” on the board and ask students to think of different ways of talking, or as many expressions with “talk” as they know.  You can then include the expressions you want them to learn and have them guess at the meaning and use a dictionary to check, or have them match expressions to their meanings.

Here are my ten (but you can use others if you like):

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Integrating pronunciation into your classes

As we get back into the swing of things this new school year we look back at our three part series on an area which can be problematic for teachers and students alike.

pronunciation cloud

Part One: The Basics

Pronunciation.  It’s often the area most avoided by new teachers for lack of confidence, and also the first thing experienced teachers leave out due to lack of time and a desire to get on with the “meatier” issues of vocabulary, grammar and skills work.  But like it or not our students are aware of the importance of pronunciation and will expect us to work on it with them, so getting comfortable with it and finding the time should be one of our priorities as teachers.

The following is the first part in a three-part series outlining some basic tips for successfully integrating pronunciation in your classes.

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Ask a Stupid Question Day


When you saw the title of this post you probably thought that this is just the latest example of a world gone crazy with yet another apparently random silly holiday.  Better think again.

Ask a Stupid Question day, far from being a pointless unofficial holiday, was created in the 1980’s by a group of teachers with a very specific purpose in mind: encouraging their students to participate more in class by asking questions. They knew that most of them had lots of questions but believed they kept many to themselves for fear of being laughed at.

It takes place on the 28th of September, but it’s commonly celebrated on the last day of class this month. Since its creation, this has been an annual tradition in American schools, and has recently become popular in Britain and India.

So how might we English teachers take advantage of this date at the beginning of the year to foster a more participative classroom which focuses on the needs of our learners? Continue reading