CPD: English First!

Meeting new people, communicating with colleagues and observing them conduct their lessons always gives me a great impulse to look at what I am doing, and to share my own ideas and concerns. On September 4, a new EF, English First Center for Adults was opened in my home city of Novosibirsk. My first impression was one of light, since it is situated in a new very modern building with panoramic views over the city and even glass walls and doors inside. The word transparency thus acquires a new meaning.

Average: 5 (1 vote)

Your very first lesson as a teacher

Every year, new young teachers come to schools around the globe, and we experienced professionals can share our wisdom with them. “Don’t you know it ALL?” yet another twenty-two-year-old, newly-minted BA asked me naively. Of course I do, or I can convincingly pretend I do.

Here are some simple steps to be taken before your very first lesson.

Average: 5 (1 vote)


Homework is a contentious issue in the place and country where I work. I have lived and worked in Thailand for 15 years and have had many conversations with parents, teachers, senior teachers and students about the issue. In Thailand, homework is expected by students and parents at all ages from Primary to Secondary. I have been party to occasions where parents have complained that teachers are not giving homework. Students generally hate homework and in my experience teachers give homework because they are required to and not because they feel the students will benefit.

Average: 4.3 (3 votes)

Lizzie Pinard - keeping your learning going in the summer break

In many parts of the world, learners are coming up to a long summer break. What can they do during a longer period like this to maintain and develop their English? Apart from the typical ‘read a book’ or ‘Watch films in English’, what tools and methods can you suggest that will help?

Average: 3.8 (9 votes)

Vicky Saumell - Turning homework into an effective learning opportunity

Homework is a complex issue with many factors affecting its success or failure. To begin with, homework is usually loaded with negative connotations. How can we turn homework into an effective language learning opportunity?

It is important to consider the teaching and learning context when we examine the homework issue:

Average: 5 (2 votes)

Katherine Bilsborough - Taking the stress out of homework: 5 tips and 5 tasks

Homework can be stressful – for the students who are often over-burdened, for the teachers who are already up to their necks in marking, and for the parents of young learners, constantly fighting (and losing) homework battles with their children. Nobody can agree on what’s right when it comes to homework. It is impossible to please everyone. Adam Simpson shares his four favourite arguments for and against giving homework in his blog post this month.

Average: 4.5 (6 votes)

Ceri Jones - Taking stock

Whether it's at the end of the school year, at the end of term, or just when you feel like taking stock, here's an idea for using images to review what you've done and look forward to what might come next.

Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

Homework: To be or not to be

Nina MK, Ph.D.
When I read Adam Simpson’s post on Homework, I felt like he had said all there was to say on the subject. It is extremely gratifying to see that somebody else has thoughts and ideas similar to your own!

Average: 5 (1 vote)

The 7-step Listening Challenge

 How can your students develop their listening while away from your English classes ?

A learner training moment of reflection on how to take responsibility for their language acquisition.


Quiz me


*Do you need to train your ears for the different accents and pronunciation out there?

Average: 3.8 (6 votes)

Sandy Millin: Micro-dictations

Phonemic chart

Back in November, my pre-intermediate students were listening to a coursebook text. There was an Irish speaker telling a story about his aunt and uncle’s holiday, and most of the students had no idea what he was saying. It wasn’t just his accent that was difficult for them. He spoke too quickly, and his use of connected speech was something they hadn’t really encountered before, or if they had, they hadn’t been taught how to deal with it.

Average: 4.1 (26 votes)


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