July 2015 blog topics

Many thanks to everyone for the blog posts in June, which made very interesting reading. 

This month, many of us are on a long break for the summer, so our first topic looks at how we as teachers can use this time to reflect on our teaching or for developmental activities. We also have topics on no or low prep activities, learners with Special Educational Needs, and parental expectations - so we hope you'll find something interesting to write and read about. 

Happy blogging!


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Vicky Saumell - Ways of promoting creativity in the classroom

This article is based on a presentation given at IATEFL Harrogate 2014 and is also published in IATEFL 2014 Harrogate Conference Selections (2015).

As Einstein once said, “Creativity is intelligence having fun”. And as such I think creativity should be an important aspect of teaching and learning. However, it depends on us that creativity finds a place in our classrooms.

Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

Rachael Roberts - Realia

According to Wikipedia, ‘in education, realia (pronunciation ree-ah-lee-ah) are objects from real life used in classroom instruction by educators to improve students' understanding of other cultures and real life situations’. Some people would include authentic texts in this definition, but, for me, realia has to be a physical, tangible object.

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David Dodgson: Pronunciation - no big deal

In my first teaching job at a language school in Turkey, there was only one thing that really mattered – grammar.

Students judged you by how confidently you could explain different uses of the passive voice, colleagues respected you if you knew your relative clauses, and when the DoS observed you, you would be evaluated on how well you had addressed the focal grammar point.

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David Petrie: The autonomous exam student

It may seem, at first glance, that the terms autonomous and exam don’t go together very well. An autonomous learner is one who goes off and does their own thing while an exam very often acts as a constraint on the learning process, focusing everything in towards what is required to get that passing grade. And yet, it is very often the students that sit there waiting to be told by the teacher what they need to do to pass are the ones who have the greatest difficulties and who struggle to achieve the grades they need.

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Nina MK, Ph.D.

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David Dodgson: Defining personalisation

’Have you ever been to Moscow?’

Look! ‘Have you… Have you…’

And there’s more! ‘Have you ever been to Istanbul?’ Yes, Istanbul! Can’t get much more personalised than that!

A few years ago I attended a conference in and a coursebook author was on stage showing us an activity he had written while trying to make a very tenuous connection to the overall conference theme of personalising the language learning process.

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