The Curse of Knowledge

The Curse of Knowledge
Do you ever despair of your learners and wonder why they can’t understand your explanations of grammatical structures? You can’t understand it. You studied the grammar diligently until you knew everything about the structure you were going to teach. And yet, when you shared your knowledge with your learners, they looked at you in that ...

50 FCE Speaking Questions for Part 1: The Interview

50 FCE Speaking Questions for Part 1: The Interview
If any of you are teaching FCE (First Certificate), you will need to give your learners lots of exam training practice. Part 1 of the exam (the interview) is a good place to start because the learners have to talk about everyday topics, such as their home town, what they do in their free time ...

Rolling Dice: Speaking Games for TEFL teachers 61

Rolling Dice: Speaking Games for TEFL teachers
All you need for these fun speaking games are some dice. I recommend you buy a few sets and carry them around with you all the time. Dice are a great resource for TEFL teachers because they are portable and suitable for adults and kids What I love about dice is that the options are ...

The Pixar Pitch Lesson 4

The Pixar Pitch Lesson
What do these animated movies have in common? Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., The Incredibles, Up, Ratotouille and Brave (The winner of the best animated film at the Oscars in 2013). All of these movies were made by Pixar, the animated film studio linked with George Lucas of Star Wars fame ...

English teachers are now in the improvement business

The times they are a-changin’ Back in the old days of TEFL, learners could count themselves lucky if their teacher used a course book that had pictures in. They could count themselves really blessed if the classroom was equipped with a cassette player to play audio materials, usually performed by impoverished drama students intoning phrases ...

Teaching One-to-One: Stop teaching, start coaching!

Do you find one-to-one teaching frustrating? Do you find it hard to keep your students interested and motivated? Do you get the feeling that they are not really satisfied with your classes? Do you and they feel they are not making progress? If your answer to any of the above questions is YES, maybe you ...

15 ways to use ‘post-it notes’ to teach English 11

15 ways to use 'post-it notes' to teach English
Although they may not be great for the environment, the humble ‘post-it note’ is one of my favourite teaching resources. They follow me into every class I teach (along with their less eye-catching cousin, scraps of used paper) and they are always on hand, to help me engage and activate my students’ English. Post-it notes, ...

10 Reasons why you should become a TEFL Teacher

The other day, I came across my old Trinity TESOL certificate. After leaving university, I took a 4-week training courses and learned how to teach English as a foreign language. I say learned, but really, the course just allowed me to dip my big toe into the world on language teaching. Many years later, I’m ...

How should I correct errors and mistakes? 2

First of all, it is common in ELT to establish a difference between an error and a mistake. An error is when a learner uses language incorrectly because they are a) not aware of the correct form or b) unable to use the correct form or c) they have misunderstood how the form is used. ...

What is eliciting? 1

Back in the good old day, teachers would stand in front of a blackboard with a piece of chalk in their hand and start imparting information to their learners. The learners would make notes, copy down what was written on the balckboard, and feel blessed to be in the presence of a master educator. Well, ...