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Using podcasts to develop listening skills

A podcast is an audio file which you can download to your computer, phone or mp3 player and listen to whenever you choose.

How professional development is structured where I work

I know that I am very privileged to be the Director of Studies in my first year at an established school, which has one of the best...

Sandy Millin: Highlights from my teaching story

As World Teaching Day comes round again, I thought I would share a few random thoughts about teaching and how it has influenced my life...

Sandy Millin: Accent and identity

I find the relationship between accent and identity fascinating.

Sandy Millin: Reclaiming attention and exploiting smartphones

The mobile phone is a fact of life, and we need to accept that.

Sandy Millin: Exploring cultures in the classroom

A couple of years ago I was teaching an intermediate multilingual class with students from all over the world.

Sandy Millin: The importance of feedback

As a CELTA tutor, one of the main areas I notice candidates struggle with is what to do after a task is complete.

Sandy Millin: Advanced pronunciation

Pronunciation is just as important with higher-level classes as it is with lower ones, and often for the same reason: it is a key part...

Sandy Millin: Developing myself and others

I am the Director of Studies at International House Sevastopol, and one of my responsibilities is to plan the programme of Continuing...

Phonemic chart
Sandy Millin: Micro-dictations

Back in November, my pre-intermediate students were listening to a coursebook text.

Sandy Millin: The big reveal

Read Sandy's latest blog post on the use of ELTPics images.

Sandy Millin: I'm a terrible student - motivate me!

When I first started teaching, I used to get really frustrated when I set homework and my students didn’t do it.

Sandy Millin - An influential teacher

I have been very lucky to have met a lot of influential teachers in my life, and it’s impossible for me to choose just one.

  • They are an excellent way to work on your, or your students’, listening skills, as you can listen to them as many times as you want to. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also manipulate files so that they are faster or slower, or so that you...
  • Development at our school is done in a variety of ways, all of which were inherited from my predecessors.Collaborative level planning meetingsThis is a system which I have never seen in any other school. Weekly one-hour slots are timetabled for all...
  • Becoming a teacherI think I’ve always been a natural teacher. When I was at primary school, if the teacher was busy my classmates would ask me for help. I’d forgotten this until I met up with my primary school teacher again a few years ago and she...
  • I never noticed my own accent or that of the people around me until I heard my voice for the first time. As part of our language GCSEs (exams at age 16 in the UK) we had to go into a room with a tape recorder and record a piece we’d prepared over...
  • If we rail against their use in the classroom, all that is likely to happen is our students will feel like we don’t really understand where they’re coming from, and we will harm the rapport we may have built up. Instead, we need to ask ourselves why...
  • Four of them were from Saudi Arabia, four from Brazil, and the others were from Czech Republic, Spain and Turkey. We spent 20 hours a week together, two in the morning and two in the afternoon every day. Normally when you teach a class like this in...
  • As a CELTA tutor, one of the main areas I notice candidates struggle with is what to do after a task is complete. How many times have you moved on to a new activity and the students are still asking questions about the previous one? Feedback is...
  • I have regularly taught advanced students who are extremely competent speakers, have a very wide vocabulary and a good knowledge of grammatical structures, but who have trouble understanding when native speakers produce fast speech. This was a...
  • I strongly believe that we should reflect constantly on our teaching and strive to be better teachers, and I hope I can pass this on to my teaching team.
  • 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...
  • Read Sandy's latest blog post on the use of ELTPics images.This photo would be great for practicing the language of speculation.It lends itself well to being revealed gradually, with students speculating based on what they can see in each version of...
  • Then I realized that I was just as bad. At school, I’d always been good at doing homework, but as an adult I just can’t seem to get into the habit. When I had a Czech lesson, I would always do my homework the night before, regardless of how long I...
  • Instead, I’ll tell you about a few of them, and what I’ve learnt from each of them.Barbara PickeringMiss Pickering was my maths teacher in my second year of junior school, then my class teacher in my fourth year. She always pushed me to achieve as...