• The Perfect British Accent – Does It Really Exist? 20-Jun-2013

    As I was eating my breakfast this morning, I watched an interview with a young local schoolgirl who had been chosen to give a speech at the G8 summit in Northern Ireland. Hearing her speak made me realise that the Northern Irish accent is an interesting one, and something you don’t

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  • Online language teaching: Language training for charitable organisations 17-Jun-2013

    I discussed in the last chapter how Skype and similar technologies are helping to broaden the possibilities of language learning. One of the key advantages of Skype is the ease with which people can now communicate over long distances. Obviously it was possible in the past using a telephone,

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  • The sound of Welsh 31-May-2013

    I recently decided to try to learn Welsh. Being impatient and not having all that much time to attend a class, about a minute after deciding to learn, I downloaded an app. A few minutes after that, I could say, ‘I am trying to speak Welsh’ in Welsh. I would write

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  • How to teach English? 03-May-2013

    Last year we shared with you a great infographic created by Kaplan on How to Learn English. This year they surveyed ESL teachers on what tools they use to enhance their lessons. As a big fan of comic books I was happy to see that they do

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  • Macmillan IELTS Skills app: a summary video 01-Apr-2013

    Thank you to Rui and the team for their insightful views and thorough assessment of the Macmillan IELTS skills app over the past few weeks. As a final treat, they’ve prepared a video and shared it with us summarizing their experiences.

    We hope you’ve enjoyed the series as much as

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  • Don’t just sit back and listen: feedback on listening with the Macmillan IELTS Skills app 25-Mar-2013

    This week we take a look at the final skill area on the app, having previously focussed on reading, speaking and writing. Listening takes centre stage this time round as we find out what our students and teachers make of the app’s contribution to this often tough to teach aspect of

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  • Video in the classroom: Britain on Film 14-Mar-2013

    I don’t normally watch much television. Last night, however, was a bit of an exception given it was a Monday night and absolutely freezing outside to boot. While flicking through the channels, I stumbled across a programme called Britain on Film, a collection of fascinating short videos from the

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  • IELTS gets personal: experimenting with the Macmillan IELTS Skills app 25-Feb-2013

    As teachers of English we are continually being asked to respond to prevalent trends and methodologies that reshape our industry and daily practice. From new teaching methods such as Flipped Learning to the growth in mobile learning and social media usage, we are constantly kept on our toes and

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  • Remember your resolutions 11-Jan-2013

    We’re already more than a week into 2013 and at a time when, statistically, most of us have already failed at our New Year’s resolutions. Whether it was to go on a diet or quit smoking, ultimately the majority of us fail because we are giving up something we enjoy. So,

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  • Four more years 08-Nov-2012

    In the UK we have a saying: “Remember remember, the fifth of November.” (Take a look at Becca’s post on Bonfire Night here)  However, across the pond, Americans were yesterday being urged not to forget the sixth of November, a crucial day in American politics as hundreds of millions of

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  • A life in music 18-Oct-2012

    There’s a fun new website from the Guardian called Six Songs of Me where you get to pick six songs that symbolize key events in your life: the first song you bought (mine? …Baby, One More Time by Britney Spears!); the song that always gets you dancing; the song

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  • Endangered Languages 04-Jul-2012

    It’s been estimated that by the year 2100 only 50% of today’s languages will be alive! Although it may seem like a long way to go, the pace at which the extinction of the languages is happening is rather alarming. We may not notice it at once but with the disappearance

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  • Music’s Effect on Learning 27-Jun-2012

    As teachers we often use songs during the lessons regardless of students’ age or level. The question is whether music is only a fun part of the lesson or it has got a slightly stronger impact on learning and memory. The inforgraphic below helps to understand how music affects brain and

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  • Today in history – the founding of the New York Stock Exchange 17-May-2012

    On May 17th 1792, the New York Stock Exchange was born under a sycamore or buttonwood tree. Signed by 24 stock brokers, the Buttonwood Agreement promised only internal trading with no auctioneers, and a maximum commission price on any trade was agreed.

    With the recent economic crisis being felt across the world,

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  • Readers: a bit of history and a look at the present 30-Mar-2012

    Graded Readers are one of the most motivating ways of encouraging learners to practise their English – there’s no better way of persuading learners of whatever age that they need the language than making them want to turn the page because they have to know what happens next.

    There’s a long history

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