When I first started teaching English, there were almost no published materials to teach from. I was teaching academically oriented students, and sadly, focusing a lot on grammar and sentence structure because that was the assigned textbook. Today we are all fortunate to have a wealth of excellent materials to
As many teachers who use ELT titles from National Geographic Learning will be aware, critical thinking is a key feature of the materials and informs our approach to English Language teaching. Now, Life authors Paul Dummett and John Hughes are carrying out research into how critical thinking is applied and
In the last post on memorization, I talked about the role of emotion, stories and personalization. All of these things gave language a better chance of reaching longer-term memory because of their impact on the student – the way they resonated with them on a deeper level. In this post I
In my previous post in this series on quick and simple ways to motivate our students, I looked at setting measurable targets for tasks and classroom activities, the idea being that giving students a specific outcome to aim for leads to a sense of achievement. Part of meeting a measurable
In my previous post, I wrote about playing TED Talks without the sound as a simple hack to control language level. But what happens if we leave the sound on and turn off the pictures? Does that have the opposite effect and raise the level of the input? Not necessarily.
In my last blog post, we looked at the effectiveness of images and stories in helping to make learning more memorable. In this post I want to look at the role of emotion – both in the learning environment in general and in the content that we include in our
In the two previous posts in this series looking at personalization in the classroom, I focused on the individual learner and how teachers and materials can make the language and topics of the classroom relevant to him or her. However, personalization isn’t just about making sentences using the words ‘I,
I want a house with a swimming pool. That’s what a friend said to me during my first week at college. It was my first understanding that we are all motivated by different things. And it’s as true of language learners as it is of mountain climbers, entrepreneurs or ex-smokers.
Did you miss TED Speaker Hetain Patel and ELT materials writer Lewis Lansford’s recent webinar? The good news is you can still watch it here on the In Focus blog. Read on to find out more about the talk, learn about the speakers and watch a recording of the live
A simple hack to control language level In the first post of this blog series TED Talks work for all levels: Try it!, I talked about how TED Talks can be used in the classroom for students at any level, as long as the activities that support them are level-appropriate.