Who manages the class - the teacher or the students ?

Teachers must be cognizant of this issue when they design their lesson plans. Teachers dealing with with ESFLLs (English as a Second/Foreign Language Learners) have to anticipate that the students might easily get distracted if the class activities are not engaging enough. Accordingly, the students will get bored after some time. Hence, their levels of concentration will fall. On the other hand, teachers guarantee their EFLs (English as as First Language) students’ high concentration as long as the class content is explicitly explained without any incomprehensible vagueness.

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All’s well that ends well: three activities to encourage reflection.

It’s important that a lesson reaches a conclusion. I personally like to use the last five minutes or so to tie up any loose ends, set any homework and play a game. However, for me, one of the most important things that learners can do at the end of the lesson is reflect on what they have learnt and their own contribution to the lesson. Here are three simple ways this can be done.

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Let's play online!

I love games, because playing a game is like living a short life with a very happy end: if the game is interesting, engaging and meets the educational goals, each participant is enriched with either new skills developed, or existing skills enforced, or, on the part of a teacher, with the feeling of fulfillment and accomplishment. There is a ton of great games around for vocabulary and grammar that are easy to find on the Internet, or in books, and that are sure to make lessons memorable and effective. I mean offline lessons, but how about online?

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Using L2 in classrooms -the pros and cons of it

In international schools, students come from various linguistic backgrounds. In this scenario how can we teach students in their native language?

It would certainly be perplexing and cause misunderstanding among the students. Maybe, when the majority of the class are natives, the mother tongue can be used for abstract contexts

I do not deny the fact that children can grasp and learn subjects with ease in their mother tongue, but they are put under a lot of strain to practice learning all their subjects in English.

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Using students' mother tongue in the English classroom: pros and cons

As a teacher trainer I have often been asked about the use of L1 by students in their English lessons.

As a matter of fact, it was not so long ago that a great number of teachers admitted feeling guilty about using students’ L1 in the English classrooms.

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Turning Input into Intake: Helping Students Speak.

We had a great teacher at university who helped us activate our vocabulary and speak in our lessons on a large variety of topics. Later I realized that she had one very simple and effective technique which I used regularly with my own students. She would sort of step aside once we all started speaking, and allowed us any deviations from the theme if she saw that we all took part in a discussion.

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A little bit of pressure does you good?

They can fear making mistakes, failing to understand the person they’re speaking too, or simply drying up. So shouldn’t we try to make speaking activities as stress free as possible?

There are certainly benefits to making sure students are well prepared, that they have the necessary language, that they have a clear idea of what the task demands. However, there are also some good arguments for not trying to remove all stress, and even adding some pressure at times.

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Four games for vocabulary development

In this post, we’ll share four classroom games that we also find effective in teaching vocabulary to English Language Learners.

Nine Box Grid

We use this simple game, which we learned and modified from English teacher Katie Toppel, a lot. As you can see from the image, it’s just a matter of putting nine words (or, when we teach phonics, letters) on a numbered three-by-three grid (for a total of nine boxes/spaces) on the class whiteboard.

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L1: Pros and Cons.

When I was a school child and began studying English at the age of eight, I was fortunate to have a great teacher who spoke English to us since day one. There was our mother tongue used at home and at school during all the lessons, and then there was this exciting new subject where we learned how to speak a different language. Nobody used abbreviations like L1 and L2, nor were we aware of the modern classification into levels A, B, C. It was a reflection of real life: everybody around us spoke the same language, and then at school we learned a foreign one.

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