Blog

9
Jun

Whiteboards: The Force Awakens. Boardwork Tips for Teachers.

By Amy Blanchard Last weekend I had the opportunity to present at the third annual InnovateELT conference in Barcelona. The brainchild of the lovely people at ELTJam and hosted by Oxford TEFL, it’s become famous for a diverse and friendly crowd, relaxed and productive atmosphere, and innovative format: 10 minute plenaries in the garden, sessions involving learners, and 30 minute talks. I delivered one of these short sessions on the topic of using the whiteboard. No, not interactive, just the act of writing with a pen on the board. As a CELTA tutor, observing lessons and boardwork is a key...
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2
Jun

Taking the Task-Based Approach to the Extreme

by Daniel Zuchowski Have you recently given your students a real-life task? A genuine out-of-classroom task that they were supposed to complete in order to make their lives (personal or professional) better: sending an email, publishing a blog or social media post, giving a presentation, etc. A few years ago, at an English language centre I was in charge of, our students would do presentations quite frequently. But very often we felt those presentations were not benefitting them as much as they should. It seemed our students often treated those presentation as yet another classroom activity that needed to be...
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25
May

Embracing the L1: Getting your teens to speak more English in class – Part 1

By Dan Shepherd We are often told during our initial teacher training courses that students are in class to learn English, therefore only English should be used in the class. In theory, this makes sense. The more exposure they have to the L2, the more likely they are to learn something, right? Many trainees arrive in a new country and don’t speak the local language so they are more than happy to go along with this, but in reality it’s not that simple. I remember my first year teaching teens – it nearly put me off for life. Motivating my...
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4
May

ITNedu at InnovateELT 2017

ITNedu and Digital Learning Associates are a team of TV producers and learning resource specialists working on the next generation of ELT learning. We are are passionate about how great video can give English learners confidence and real life experience of the language. This weekend we will be attending InnovateELT as Gold sponsor. The idea of using film or video in learning is hardly new. In 1913 the inventor Thomas Edison predicted that within ten years books would be obsolete because it was “possible to teach every branch of human knowledge with the motion picture”. Despite some great educational film...
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27
Apr

Pushing the Digital Boundaries

By Roisin Vaughan There’s no denying the transformational impact technology is having on our personal and working lives. If reports and media stories are to be believed, it’s not just robots taking our jobs that we need to worry about – algorithms and Artificial Intelligence will play their role too. A recent report from leading consultancy firm PwC suggests that by 2030 one third of UK jobs will be under threat as a result of automation. Reassuringly, this research highlights that education is one of the professions least at risk of a total digital takeover, as social and literacy skills...
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24
Apr

Why we Need LXD for the Classroom

By ELTjam Learner Experience Design (LXD) is something that we have discussed a lot at ELTjam over the last few years, mostly with a focus on digital products. More recently, however, we have been applying these principles to a wider range of teaching contexts, both on and offline. So what is LXD, and why is it important for the ELT classroom? LXD is a framework and systematic approach for identifying problems and coming up with solutions that bring about effective, efficient learning. Our focus on LXD originated with the reviews that we did for the ELTjam blog of digital ELT...
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23
Mar

The Coaching Twist

By Daniel Barber and Duncan Foord For teachers and their students, online resources for learning languages made available in the last few years should be the answer to our prayers. Learners now have the tools to learn effectively at their fingertips. But ask yourself: have you noticed much of a rise in the level of English among your students? How many of your learners are making use of Skype language exchange chats or vocabulary apps? Some, definitely. But most? The primary question learners need to answer, then, is not: What can I do to improve my English? First they need...
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8
Mar

Who really shaped ELT?

By Nicola Prentis Who shaped ELT? If you’ve got a TEFL certificate of any kind you might suggest some names from the core books on your course. If you’ve done an MA or DELTA, you can probably add to that list. Or you might come up with names of speakers you’ve seen at conferences or on the covers of course books and resources. I can guess some of the names that spring to mind. But I was intrigued to see a quote on a recent IATEFL Materials Writing SIG blog post by Peter Viney as it chimed with an idea...
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