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
Preserving language, new and old
It is estimated that within the next 200 years, around half of the 6000 languages currently spoken around the world today will become extinct. One linguist in America is trying to preserve or rather revive an extinct language of Papua New Guinea, Arapesh, by using a much more modernRead More
Creative presentations with Prezi and infographics
Whether it’s the information age’s endless data streams or the seemingly infinite English lexicon, it’s easy to see how students can often feel overwhelmed by the data they are expected to process. I believe the solution lies in giving them more creative control over their learning and in this week’s postRead More
Trending with IELTS Task 1: a web journalism project
Any teacher who has spent time teaching IELTS Task 1 has probably faced the same problem: that students writing about trends in the chart or table often fail to… actually write about the trends! They learn key phrases, like ‘it increased’ and ‘there was a decrease’, but then just use theseRead More
10 tips to improve your grammar
No matter what language you’re learning, grammar is hard. So many rules, exceptions to rules, and exceptions to the exceptions of those rules! Help your students keep on top of their English grammar with this great infographic, with some of the most common grammatical mistakes and tips to boostRead More
Guided tours on Google My Places and Google Earth
The great thing about many of the online resources we have available these days is that they are not just resources in a static sense; they are also spaces that we can continually re-source for all kinds of student activities.
Russell Stannard recently spoke at IATEFL about the connected classroom, where weRead More