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
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
Macmillan IELTS Skills app: a summary video
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 asRead 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).
Break it down to build it up: feedback on writing with the Macmillan IELTS Skills app
Our previous posts in this series have looked at the reading and speaking sections of the Macmillan IELTS Skills app, and it’s to the writing section that we now turn. Often cited by students as the most difficult skill to improve, we will look atRead More
The long and short of it
It may seem redundant to say this when writing a blog entry, but the way we now communicate has changed almost beyond what could have been imagined 20 years ago. The fact that I am able to post an article online to a global audience and it is not considered remarkableRead More
IELTS gets personal: experimenting with the Macmillan IELTS Skills app
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 andRead 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
Editor vs. linguist
My best friend simply cannot tolerate poor punctuation and is outraged on almost a daily basis by “apostrophe abuse” (that’s one of her favourite phrases) and “ungrammatical mauling of written English” (I’m putting words into her mouth here but it’s something that I can imagine her saying). She sees me asRead More
I recently volunteered as a mentor on an adult literacy course called Improve your English through Creative Writing. Most of the students on the course had little or no understanding of punctuation and many of them had never had the courage to pick up a book for fear of not understandingRead More
There are lists of homonyms on the web, as English is riddled with words that sound similar yet have different meanings and/or spellings; some of them are very common and are used in everyday conversation and writing. There are no quick rules on them, and most are just a matter ofRead More
10 onomatopoeic words for writing and everyday use
Onomatopoeia is the formation or use of words that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to. They are often used in children’s stories and poetry, but they can be successfully included in your students’ learning. The infographic below lists 10 of the handiest onomatopoeic words.
Show theRead More
The Power of Poetry
I’ve just been to my son’s end-of-year show and have come away inspired, as he has been throughout this transformational year – his second year of primary school.
We were taken on a whirlwind tour of all the things they have learnt. They recited poems they had written, including a brilliant oneRead More
Idioms and proverbs – as easy as pie?
Idioms are a funny thing – it’s only once you start learning idioms in a foreign language that you realise just how bizarre they are, even if they used to sound perfectly normal in your own language. For example, the French version of our English “To count one’s chickens before theyRead More
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 disappearanceRead More