The merits (or not!) of insisting that students learn vocabulary off by heart were often the subject of discussion in my previous departmental meetings.
On the one hand, learning lists of isolated words, even in the context of a specific topic, might be seen as irrelevant, and certainly doesn’t develop the skill of manipulating words and phrases in grammatically correct sentences.
However, given the lists of items with which students are expected to be familiar (as laid out in the relevant exam..
In the past week or so, there have been a number of celebrations or days which are specific to one country or culture. Recent items have included Halloween, Día de Muertos and Bonfire Night.
This started us wondering:
We’d love to hear from you!
Idioms are a natural part of speech. We use them every day, often without thinking about their literal meaning. When you break them down, they’re often quite confusing, particularly for learners of the language. Yet they are a great talking point – try using one at the start of a lesson to see if your students can work out what it means!
You may have noticed our #PhraseforFriday, where we share an idiom each week in the English language.
We’d now like to start building a collection of idioms..
Professor Jonathan Acuña-Solano, ELT Instructor & Trainer based in Costa Rica, has shared some thoughts on teaching grammar with The LanguagePoint.
The enquiry of whether to teach grammar or not –overtly- in class is one of those questions asked over and over again by language instructors worldwide. Many language experts have tried to give a satisfactory answer since grammar has always been on the spotlight; grammar means the search for a better language performance in the eyes of ma..
If you are involved in language education in England, or saw our post from February this year, you'll be aware that there are still on-going consultations regarding some significant changes to what is taught to school pupils from the ages of 5 to 16 in England.
A draft proposal was issued, and responses were requested. The government has now responded to these opinions, and has provided the following documentation.
Report on the consultation - reform of the national curriculum in England
Have you ever taken part in a Show and Tell, a TeachMeet event or something similar?
I had the privilege to attend such a gathering last weekend, and I can highly recommend it!
Once someone has taken the initiative to organise and provide a venue, they pretty much run themselves after that.
It’s a testament to the dedication and commitment of the teaching profession that around 70 people gave up their Saturday to gather together in order to learn from each other and share ideas on learning and t..
When I buy bread in my local supermarket, it generally looks something like this:
But when I’m visiting another country, it might look like one of these:
What I really want is to show my students what an item actually looks like in other countries, to put things into context, to show the differences (or similarities) around the world.
Finding those images, ones which are freely available and importantly, not breaching any copyright issues..
Have you come across VocabCoach yet?
VocabCoach is an interactive and adaptive way to learn a new language, which can strengthen understanding and retention of new vocabulary.
VocabCoach monitors learners’ understanding of a language, and so will not repeat familiar words unnecessarily. Using pictures to support the learning process, and repetition of items not answered correctly first time, VocabCoach utilises proven methods for permanent vocabulary retention.
For fast learners, the overall spe..
Professor Jonathan Acuña-Solano is an ELT Instructor & Trainer based in Costa Rica. He is also Curricular Developer at CCCN, Senior ELT Professor at Universidad Latina, and Freelance ELT Consultant for OUP in Central America.
He has provided the following observations on Storytelling in the Language Classroom for our third guest post – the items mentioned in the article can be accessed from Jonathan’s blog by following the links.
Literature has always been an important part of any society and c..
The UK Government yesterday announced its proposals for a new National Curriculum for England. (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own education systems, and are not directly affected by the proposals.)
Whilst a big debate continues around how English pupils and schools should have their progress assessed and their skills and knowledge examined, language teachers have been interested to read how the government views the place of foreign language learning in the curriculum. Here i..