The benefits of reading in English

Benefits of reading in English 2While most learners want to focus on improving their spoken English, the other skills should not be ignored if you want to become a fluent all-round user of the language. Today we look at some of the many benefits of reading in English and offer some ideas to help you become a better reader yourself.

The benefits of reading in English

First and foremost, reading is one of the best ways to increase vocabulary and to consolidate your understanding of grammar. Not only will you come across many new words and phrases in context, you’ll also see grammatical structures laid out on the page that you may have heard in conversation but not quite yet worked out. With repeated exposure to the same vocabulary and language patterns, you’ll find they begin to make their way into your spoken English as well. In this way, reading helps speed up the normal language learning process that sees passive comprehension become active knowledge. In short, provided you’re also practicing conversation, the more you read, the more quickly your spoken English will improve. Continue reading

A class with your class

Workshops with children are great. I love them.

I have realised that  after being away from the class for quite a long time, you start to talk and think too theoretically and idealistically.

Children bring us back down to earth, back to class, a place where you need to find the perfect balance between theory, trends and reality, where emotions and relationships are as important as the latest trends in education.

Why am I saying this? Because we have created what we call “A class with your class”. The principal aim of this activity is to offer teachers a “live teacher training” . We conduct a class for the students, (we request the presence of the English teacher) and a meeting with the teachers afterwards to talk and reflect about what we have done as well as to complement the session with resources and more ideas.

Let’s have an example. We did this in A Coruña, in the International School Eiris, a great school that is now facing the challenge of implementing the use of tablets in their classes, so, we decided to deliver a QR code workshop for students and a training session to the teachers focused on  digital competence in the English class.

Why QR codes? When we talk about literacy,  we have to be aware that in a technological society, this concept is expanding to include the media and electronic text, in addition to the alphabet and number systems. Our students need to learn how to read images, how to read multimedia, how to read the web, and how to read anything that can give them information. QR codes are just another way to get or to offer information.

In this session we explained to the children the QR code concept, we practiced with QR codes, we created QR codes and we reflected afterwards about how we can apply it to our daily activities.

Here you have the presentation.

Another session is called 20-2-GO.

20-2-GO,  is a collaborative contest that measures children’s reading comprehension in a fun way. Here you have the presentation where the rules are explained. You can use it for so many different purposes in your daily routines just by changing the questions.  The counter works only in presentation mode and its duration can be adjusted to your necessities.

Here you can read a review of the activity written by a teacher after one of the workshops, thank you Salva!

And the winners are…

Love ActuallyWe´re giving away 5 copies of that most romantic story Love Actually in its Penguin Reader version for upper-intermediate/advanced level learners, for you to read yourselves or share with your students, in our ELT Learning Journeys competition.
We asked you to answer  the following question (as a comment on this ELT Learning Journeys post):  ”what´s your favourite song for a day like St Valentine´s day?”.
The first 5 people to answer and who have won a copy of our Love Actually Penguin Reader, as detailed in the competition rules, are:

1. Joan
2. Etelvina Fontes
3. Cristina Moreno Feliz
4. Esther Peláez Villar
5. Carmen

We will be emailing them over the course of the coming week, at the email address provided when participating in the competition. We remind everyone that the cut-off date for any reclamation regarding these prizes is Monday 24th February.
After that date, if Pearson does not receive a correct postal address from any of the 5 winners so as to be able to send the book to them, we reserve the right to carry out a second draw and name a new winner or winners.

A little bit of love (actually) goes a long way!

Love ActuallyToday is a slightly different post from what we usually share with you here on ELT Learning Journeys. But love is in the air and St Valentine´s Day is just around the corner, so we thought it would be a nice idea to give a little present to 5 of our followers here!  We´re giving away 5 copies of that most romantic story Love Actually in its Penguin Reader version for upper-intermediate/advanced level learners, for you to read yourselves or share with your students.

All you have to do is answer (as a comment on this post) the following question:  “what´s your favourite song for a day like St Valentine´s day?”.

We´ll share the most popular choice with everyone this Friday on Pearson English Hub, our Facebook site, and the first five followers to answer this post  with their song suggestion will soon be receiving their own personal copy of the book. 

The competition closes at 10.00 am, 14th February 2014 and the names of the 5 winners will be announced both here on ELT Learning Journeys and on Pearson English Hub at 11.00 that same day, and they will then be contacted by email using the email address used to take part in the competition.

* Who can take part in this competition: Any follower of our Pearson English Hub Facebook site residing in Spain or Portugal. Prizes will only be sent to winning entries of followers residing in Spain or Portugal. No Pearson employee or Pearson employee family member is allowed to take part.

Time limit for any type of reclamation or complaint: These can be submitted up to Monday 24th February 2014. Likewise, if by that date Pearson has not received full postal details to be able to proceed to send the prizes to the 5 winners, new winning entries may be announced in their place.