• The long and short of it 08-Mar-2013

    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 remarkable

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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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  • Creative writing for the creatively challenged 07-Feb-2013

    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 class

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  • Editor vs. linguist 28-Sep-2012

    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 as

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  • Story time 14-Sep-2012

    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 understanding

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  • Troublesome words 15-Aug-2012

    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 of

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  • 10 onomatopoeic words for writing and everyday use 08-Aug-2012

    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 the

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  • The Power of Poetry 20-Jul-2012

    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 one

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  • Idioms and proverbs – as easy as pie? 12-Jul-2012

    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 they

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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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  • Preserving language, new and old 31-May-2012

    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 modern

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  • Creative presentations with Prezi and infographics 28-May-2012

    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 post

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  • Trending with IELTS Task 1: a web journalism project 21-May-2012

    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 these

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  • 10 tips to improve your grammar 16-May-2012

    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 boost

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  • Guided tours on Google My Places and Google Earth 14-May-2012

    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 we

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