20 steps to teaching unplugged

Luke Meddings builds a picture of teaching unplugged. April 2011, London.

Luke Meddings builds a picture of teaching unplugged in this seminar, filmed at the British Council in London earlier in 2011. 

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Submitted by jillyfrees on Fri, 08/12/2011 - 08:44


Very interesting and engaging talk, thanks. We're pretty much 'unplugged' out of necessity in our Community-based ESOL classes in Melbourne, Australia. We value a communicative approach and context, and can't afford a class text.

Nevertheless, we still rely heavily on photocopied resources from a large-ish ESL resource collection. And students complain of paper overload, not knowing what to cull and what to keep. (I wonder if they revise anyway...)

Great ideas - I liked the pigs story - and I think we'll start tomorrow with a cartoon of a woman rushing off with a huge TV under her arm, looking askance at a business 'suit' scurrying off in the other direction with a world globe under his arm - and elicit what they know (from their networks and L1 media) and their opinions.

BTW: would you like to share your favourite related Twitter hash tags?

And is that the ELT angel or fairy godmother watching over you?

Submitted by teachermark on Fri, 08/12/2011 - 16:39


Thanks for this great presentation. I teach a TOEFL prep course. Five hours straight. No matter how good the book is, it is pathetically boring and has no real program. I have been using some of these methods but this offered a lot of new and fresh ideas.

I have found the need to vary the class week by week and for myself from one group to the next. I think ideas like this keep me fresh and more dynamic for my students.

Submitted by Stephen Jones on Sun, 08/14/2011 - 08:13


There are some fantastically practical ideas on how to motivate learners to get language 'out', but the one issue I'd like to raise concerns measuring student progress.

I'm not talking about exam classes, or even end-of-book tests. Rather, students (and teachers) need to be able to demonstrate progression in a language. This fosters confidence, and as a result, more language from the students, thus enabling them to actively participate in the kinds of activities Luke mentions in the presentation.

Without a starting syllabus and set of aims (class by class and for the course overall), does implementing the unplugged approach create a meandering feeling to courses? I'd be interested to hear what Luke or other teachers who have used the unplugged approach do to assist students in progressing, and moreover, what they do to help them become aware of this progress.

Submitted by Eslkazzyb on Thu, 03/29/2012 - 21:36


Hi, I have just signed up and would love to access this video. For some reason when I click on the video icon, it does not connect..is there another way I should be accessing? Thanks

Submitted by carolk2312 on Tue, 04/03/2012 - 15:14


This video is very informative, and I have tried to share it with colleagues in different countries, but some of them don't seem to be able to access the video.  Is there any chance that you can add it to your collection of videos on YouTube?

Submitted by anatav on Tue, 05/08/2012 - 10:59


Exams have to also be unplugged! More user friendly and there should be freedom of choice in terms of themes and language testing. Flexibility without sacrificing standards or general language skills.

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