Online language teaching: Language training for charitable organisations
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,Read More
The sound of Welsh
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 writeRead More
Twitter in ELT: Teaching ideas for using Twitter
Using Twitter in an ELT classroom strikes me as being a particularly interesting concept. While the idea of condensing messages into 140 character bursts may seem at odds with supporting linguistic development, viewed another way, Twitter can be a great tool for facilitating communication and encouraging use of English in aRead More
Never ‘misunderestimate’ the English language
The English language is an adaptable beast – constantly borrowing and reinventing itself to fit its current climate. Centuries of wars, globalization and technological development have left English a mishmash of languages, forever expanding to incorporate the latest fads, technology and culture.
In Shakespeare’s day there were only 2,000,000 speakers of EnglishRead More
How to teach English?
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 doRead More
The EFL classroom through digital curation
I wrote a few weeks ago about the great talk I went to during the last IATEFL conference in Liverpool; MLearning: is it a portable circus or just an illusion. I also had a chance to attend one more interesting talk: Filtering relevant information for the EFL classroom throughRead More
Don’t just sit back and listen: feedback on listening with the Macmillan IELTS Skills app
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 ofRead More
Take my word for it
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).
Learning Russian Pt. 3: Vocabulary
We all know that one of the biggest challenges when learning a foreign language is building up your vocabulary. So many words, so little time… Vocabulary has got to be the most important aspect of language, because without the words, there’s no need for grammatical structures and no need to pronounceRead More
Taking one for the team: a memory test
A couple of months ago I read an article about a man who learnt a language in 22 hours. The man in question has “never been particularly good at languages” and the language was Lingala (the native tongue of northern Congo and not something that you’d be likely toRead More
Using children’s books with adult language learners
I remember reading that it’s not recommended to use children’s books in an ELT classroom as the language used in children’s books is often playful and irrelevant for language learners. While I’m sure this is true of some children’s books, there are some great examples out there that allow adults toRead More
Creative writing for the creatively challenged
Sometimes, setting creative writing tasks can be difficult because students are unsure just where to start, especially if they’re not naturally a creative type. But creative writing can be a really great task for getting students to use a wide variety of vocabulary and topics. So, if you’ve got a classRead More
The Codfather of wordplay
Puns can often elicit a collective groan of despair, and some people would even go so far as to say they are the lowest form of humour while others think plays on words are actually very clever ways of manipulating language which were even used by Shakespeare. It seems that manyRead More
Remember your resolutions
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,Read More
‘brushetta’ or ‘brusketta’ – pronunciation problems
Today’s posting is about a topic that both language learners and non-language learners alike will have experienced.
What do you do when you have to pronounce foreign words and you’re not really sure how to do it!
It’s mainly food and drink that causes this predicament. The correct pronounciation of certain words hasRead More