For over a century, students have had opportunities to learn about far off places through pictures brought back by intrepid explorers venturing across the globe. The world learned about the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu through the images of explorer Hiram Bingham and saw the view from Mount Everest after
According to the internet, video is processed 60,000 faster than text – an amazing, but seemingly unfounded claim repeated over and over online. Still, the old proverb A picture’s worth a thousand words isn’t wrong, and as teachers, we understand that one of the great things about video is the
In this month’s blog post I want to look at why and how we can use real life topics to engage our teenage students. As teachers and materials writers, I think we can sometimes fall into the trap of thinking of language as a set of structures and lexical sets
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.
Music, food, language, dance, stories and decorations. These are just a few of the ways that people express their cultural heritage. As a photographer, one of the most exciting parts of my work is discovering and photographing different cultural traditions around the world. When I visit a new place, I
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
Sometimes you can tell that your students are going to doze off as soon as the lesson starts. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, despite making a ‘brilliant beginning,’ you can sense the energy levels start to flag as your lesson progresses. A quick switch, getting your students up and out of
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.
Become a Citizen Scientist (Using Your Phone!) Did you know that you can contribute to scientific research using only your phone? Scientists around the globe are calling on anyone with a camera or a computer to help contribute to our knowledge of the world. This movement is called Citizen Science
Teenage students have a famously short attention span, and with plenty of other distractions around them, you need to get them hooked as soon as they walk into the classroom. That’s why I often say that a lesson can be ‘won or lost’ in the first five minutes. In this