• Creating eBooks: The eDiary 17-Sep-2013

    There are various ways of describing language in the classroom, using suitable purpose-specific methods and approaches. To me, Jeremy Harmer’s theory of the ESA (Engage- Study- Activate) process in class corresponds with an interactive and motivating way of teaching language and managing learners in the best possible way.

    This idea has led

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  • You Are What You Eat 15-Aug-2013

    A recent survey by experts at the University of Sheffield in the UK has found some interesting trends in British eating habits.  While many people think we’re spending more time apart from our families, eating on our own, on the go, or in front of the television, in reality the story

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  • Are you a good tourist? 08-Aug-2013

    It’s holiday season, and that means that all around the world, people are buying phrasebooks in various languages, and learning key phrases for the holidays: “Where’s the beach?”, “A table for four please” and “I’m a vegetarian!”. And Expedia’s annual report by hoteliers and service staff have ranked various

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  • The SaypYu project: one global language 25-Jul-2013

    A recent article in the Telegraph led me to discover an intriguing collaborative project called SaypYu, whose aim is to create one global alphabet combining all sounds in every language in the world, to standardize spelling and pronunciation. SaypYu stands for Say as you pronounce Universal project,

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  • There’s more to immersion than relocating 11-Jul-2013

    I have just come across the results of a really interesting study this week about language students’ interaction with their native culture, and how this affects their use of and fluency in the target language. If you want the full title of the study, it’s this:

    “Heritage-culture images disrupt immigrants’ second-language processing

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  • 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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  • Plan an excursion with your students 13-Jun-2013

    One of the main things that all language learners usually have in common is the desire to travel and learn about and experience other cultures. However, travelling can be costly, and even daunting for students who don’t speak the local language well. So how can you let your students experience other

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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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  • 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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  • Take my word for it 22-Mar-2013

    I’m a fairly irrational person. Blooming daffodils in the park can make me as happy as any piece of good news. Likewise, I will get as angry with a stranger who pushes past me as I would if a friend were to kick me in the shins (this has never happened).

    This

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  • Role-playing reality: feedback on speaking with the Macmillan IELTS Skills app 11-Mar-2013

    In last week’s post we looked at developing reading skills with the new Macmillan IELTS Skills app. This week we shift the focus to speaking and explore how the app might help students prepare themselves for their often daunting 11-14 minutes of fame in an IELTS examination room.

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  • Learning Russian Pt. 2: Speaking Russian – the hard way 07-Mar-2013

    Russian pronunciation is easy and hard, all at the same time. It’s easy because 99% of the time, it’s a phonetic language: you simply pronounce every sound in the order it appears. Unlike in English, individual Russian phonemes rarely change: there are about four sounds that change depending on whether they’re

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  • And the winner is… 28-Feb-2013

    Not many small 85-year-old men can command an audience of millions around the globe, but the excitement created around little Oscar creates each year for film stars and avid movie fans was felt on Sunday night as the biggest stars graced the red carpet outside the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

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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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