Collaborative learning in EFL class with teens and adults

Collaborative LearningForget the traditional classroom scenario that sees the teacher at the board imparting facts or explaining ideas while students sit passively at their desks. If you really want your learners not only to acquire knowledge but also the skills necessary to make good use of that knowledge in the outside world, then collaborative learning is the way forward.

Collaborative learning builds on two keys premises; firstly, that we learn by doing; secondly, that we learn best when we learn together, with peer-instruction allowing students to check each other’s understanding and address any misconceptions. This of course is central to acquiring good language skills, not only because language is an inherently social act but also because misunderstandings only make themselves known in actual use of language. Continue reading

7 tips for teaching English to beginners

7 tips for teaching English to beginnersTeaching beginners can be a daunting prospect, especially when it’s a monolingual group and you know nothing of their language, or it’s a multilingual group and the only common language is the English you’ve been tasked with teaching them. Nevertheless, not only is it possible to teach beginners only through English, it can also be one of the most rewarding levels to teach. To help you succeed in setting your learners firmly on the path to increasing proficiency, here are 7 tips for teaching English to beginners.

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5 great activities for using movies in the EFL class

5 great activities for using movies in the EFL classPersuading students of the usefulness of watching English-language movies at home isn’t hard, but there are many things you can do to bring films into the classroom as well.

Here are 5 great activities for using movies in the EFL class.

  1. Half in half out

Choose a scene from a movie that you’d like to work on, preferably one with lots of movement and lots of dialogue. Divide the class into two groups, A and B. Send group A out while you show group B the scene with the volume muted. Then, bring group A back and send group B out. Play the scene again, but this time only let group A listen to the dialogue – don’t let them see the screen (if you have an IWB you can simply turn the screen off, if not just have the students face away). So you now have one group that have heard the scene and one that have seen it. Bring group B back, put students into A/B pairs and have them reconstruct as well as they can what they think was going on. Then show the full scene so they can see how close they were. Continue reading

Interview of JJ Wilson, Speakout 2nd edition author, at ACEIA 2015

More than 700 English teachers attended the ‪#‎AceiaConference15‬ by Asociación de Centros de Enseñanzas de Andalucía (ACEIA) in Seville, Spain. We would like to thank all the teachers that attended our talks; thanks to JJ Wilson for his great sessions and thanks to the Pearson Team for your fantastic work. It was great to see everyone there!

Below you can see an interview of JJ Wilson, Speakout 2nd edition author, at the 2015 ACEIA Conference we would love to share with you!

More info about Speakout 2nd edition at http://product.pearsonelt.com/speakout2e

Fun Halloween activities and materials for English classes

HalloweenDear teachers, we hope you are having a fantastic school year and that you and your pupils are enjoying working with Islands and Our discovery Island. One main celebration during this term is Halloween next week and many of you will be preparing special activities in your English classes now and over the next days for this.

We have prepared lots of fun Hallowe’en activities related to the characters in Islands and Our Discovery Island and materials that we are sure you’ll be interested in: Continue reading

5 poems for the English language classroom

all the world's a stageFrom puking babies to philosophical pigs, today we take a look at 5 poems for the English language classroom. Poems can be a great resource for both the teacher and the learner. Not only are they an ideal way to practise the stress and intonation patterns of the language, they also lend themselves to a whole range of accompanying activities, from predicting the content to discussing how they make the reader feel, or even, with younger learners, illustrating different scenes.

5 poems for the English language classroom:

With higher levels, you might want to introduce your learners to some lines by the most celebrated poet of all, William Shakespeare. Although his 400 year-old English can often be intimidating, especially as it was never written to be read on the page but rather heard in the theatre, there are still many accessible passages, even for English learners. Continue reading

5 English beach towns for studying English in this summer

If you’re looking for somewhere to study English in the UK this July or August, why not look a bit further afield than London? England might not be well-known for its beaches, but the country actually boasts some amazing coastal scenery.

Here are 5 English beach towns for studying English in this summer.

St Ives

St Ives. Licensed under CC to Chris Downer

St Ives. Image by Chris Downer, licensed under CC 2.2.

Boasting not one but four sandy beaches, the seaside resort of St Ives on the Atlantic Coast of Cornwall draws not only tourists from around the country and English students from around the world, but also surfers, windsurfers and water-skiers, making it ideal for anyone who wants to divide their time between the classroom and the sea.

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10 common errors Spanish speakers make in English

10 common errors Spanish speakers make in English

There’s no path to fluency in a second language that does not involve making lots and lots of mistakes, but as a teacher it’s worth knowing why your students might be making some of the same ones over and over. Here are 10 common errors Spanish learners of English tend to make.

  1. Possessive adjectives

Given that Spanish su, as in su libro can mean both ‘his book’ and ‘her book’, depending on the context, and that all Spanish nouns have either feminine or masculine gender, it’s little wonder that Spanish speakers often mix up his and her. Combined with a tendency to mix up he and she as well, this can lead to some very confusing anecdotes being told, in which you’re not sure if it’s men, women or both being talked about. It’s worth drilling the difference again and again. Continue reading

ELT Ideas for Secondary Teachers

Pearson Evens for English TeachersFollowing our visits to Zaragoza and Valencia last week for the Pearson Evens for English Teachers, Elena Merino and I would like to share our presentations with you as promised.

We hope these ELT Ideas for Secondary Teachers come in handy, and we certainly appreciate the thoughtful participation of all of those attending.  Your comments helped us to come up with a few new ideas as well! Continue reading

Speaking and Secondary Students

nextmove_teensHow can we get our teenage students to communicate in English? Is there any way in which we can motivate them to speak?

 

This week I will be presenting a talk for our Pearson Events for English teachers called “Secondary Students can communicate in English” which aims to present practical examples, including ICT and other traditional interactive tasks that teachers will be able to put into practice right away. Based on Next Move 3rd Edition for secondary education, a course ready for the 21st century students, I will look into different ways of exploiting speaking exercises in a fun and creative way. Continue reading