Half a blog

ideas for the language classroom

Re-energise your teens class with a drama lesson

I recently finished one of my classes and for my last lesson I wanted to do something a bit different. It was a higher level secondary class so there were  a lot of options available.  I went looking in the book “Drama Techniques, a resource book of communication activities for language teachers”. I ended up adapting one of the lessons on poetry and the result was a creative and challenging class that my students really enjoyed. If I taught the lesson again I might do things a bit differently but here are the resources and the main stages I included.

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A quick way to make teaching grammar more communicative

If you’ve been teaching English for any length of time you have probably come across the term Task Based Learning or TBL for short. TBL is becoming increasingly popular within the EFL industry as is now frequently integrated into coursebooks at the end of a unit of work. In books such as Cutting Edge, Language Leader and English Unlimited students have to give short prepared presentations to members of their group or as part of a group to the class as a whole. In this way, TBL has become synonymous with teaching speaking and giving presentations in particular. The TBL approach is lot more flexible than this and can be a great way to make grammar lessons more communicative and more enjoyable.

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Is learner training a waste of everyone’s time?

If like me you have taught in Vietnam or China for any length of time, you probably got used to hearing students complain about their local education system. Traditionally, students are encouraged to learn things by rote, the content of what they learn is strictly controlled and there are limited opportunities for students to discuss their own ideas. This form of education is deeply ingrained and shapes what learners consider to be the role of the teacher and the student. In these contexts, it is worth asking whether the goal of learner autonomy is worth pursuing and whether it can realistically ever be achieved.

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Get students drawing using YouTube

I’ve been getting my teenage students drawing this week and although my drawings weren’t all that good, my students really liked the lessons. One thing the lesson showed me that you don’t have to be great at drawing to make a class out of it. I was able to turn my bad drawing skills to my advantage by using youtube drawing tutorials in class and trying to learn along side my students.

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How to pass an observed Trinity DipTESOL lesson

It has been a while since I have written a post as I have been busy help administer a Trinity DipTESOL. The observed classes are pretty demanding and candidates are often so focused on delivering their lesson that they forget to do some of the more basic things. Hopefully, this post can help you get a higher score by including a few basic steps that match the lesson criteria. There are a lot of easy marks available by doing the basics correctly.

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