‘‘You have to believe in magic to find it’’, Roald Dahl.
Roald Dahl was without doubt one of the most magical of children’s writers working in the twentieth century. Today his magic still infuses our popular culture and his stories have been translated into scores of languages and adapted into blockbuster films. Our English language students can also experience the Dahl magic via the Pearson English Readers.
Roald Dahl was born 100 years ago in Llandaff, Wales on the 13th of September and this year marks his centenary. His writing career started in the United States with short stories and magazine articles for adults. Roald’s first venture into children’s fiction was the short-story Gremlins, which he wrote for Walt Disney in 1942. Gremlins wasn’t a success, so he returned to writing for adults producing the best-selling short story collection Someone like you in 1953. Continue reading →
The Global Scale of English has been a great support and a positive change for my practice. As I previously discussed, the GSE can be used in a variety of ways, but my three favourite uses are as a tool for validating my students’ learning objectives, as a tool to enhance and improve my assessments, and, finally, as a tool to create content. In this discussion, I’d like to look at how you can use the GSE and the Teacher Toolkit to create custom rubrics and also explore the potential of the GSE Assessment Framework for teachers. First up, a refresher on rubrics (please skip to the section titled “Using the Global Scale of English to create English learning rubrics” if you’re already familiar with the concept). Continue reading →
Teaching English to teenagers can be frustrating and fulfilling in equal measure. They can be full of energy and ideas that add a real buzz to the class, but they can also be sullen, self-conscious, reluctant to work together and difficult to engage. However, if you approach lessons with teenagers with the right ideas, materials and tricks of the trade, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be a great success.
Here’s our list of indispensable teaching skills for working with teens:
***Do group project work***
Group projects come in all shapes and sizes and work well with teenagers. They increase motivation, promote learner autonomy, have clear, achievable objectives, involve all four language skills, and can be managed in a way that lets everyone in the group take on a role that’s best suited to them. They also make a welcome break from routine and can be run over several classes, with a section of each lesson allocated to them. You’ll find plenty of examples of project workhereandhere. Continue reading →
When learning something new, maintaining a good level of motivation is key – and this applies to learning English, too. Students learn at different rates, and motivation will vary from learner to learner, so it’s useful to have a way to measure their English skills and provide step-by-step goals that they can aim for. The Global Scale of English (GSE) Learning Objectives can do just that.
The GSE is a global standard that allows teachers and learners to accurately measure progress. It provides an easy answer to students asking questions such as, “How good is my English?” and “Am I progressing?” To motivate students and help them move to the next level, the GSE Learning Objectives give learners guidance on what to concentrate on next. Learning a language requires a mix of skills across reading, writing, speaking and listening. If a student understands that they are weaker in one skill they can focus more on this area to help raise their overall proficiency score, or they can tailor their learning to meet the needs of their overall learning goal. They have all been constructed in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Continue reading →
It’s approaching the end of the school year and while you’re concentrating on finishing off the year, here’s an update on what’s new in the world of Speakout and what you can look forward to exploring.
Whether you’ll be spending the summer at the beach or simply lazing around on the grass at home, why not take the time to practice your English and enjoy some great books in the language? We’ve put together a list of the top 20 books for learning English during the summertime, a mix of comedy and drama, horror and history, sci-fi and romance, plus a whole lot more. You’ll find something for young and old alike, and, with our graded and active readers, something to suit you perfectly, no matter what your level of English.
Top 20 books for learning English during the summertime
1.- The Beach (Alex Garland) – One night, while travelling in Thailand, Richard is given a map with directions to a mysterious beach, part of a beautiful lagoon hidden far off the beaten track. He sets off in search of this paradise, meeting other travellers along the way. Not long after finding the beach, however, the hard reality behind the idyll soon becomes apparent. Find out what happens with our graded reader. Continue reading →
What are the most common challenges teachers encounter in the secondary classroom and how can we rise to them? In this session we will examine ways to make classes more student-centred and look at a range of engaging activities with special focus on projects and the new curriculum, which are sure to motivate your ESO students. Continue reading →