Rachael Roberts - Motivation

I recently started to brush up my German. I last studied German many years ago at school and I can’t say that it was a great success. In fact, I failed the exam and had to retake it. Hardly surprising, as I seem to remember spending a good portion of the exam time writing out David Bowie lyrics!

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Blog topics for November 2015

Hi everyone

Apologies for the late posting of this month's blog topics! Here they are. 

Promoting 21st Century Skills is one of the professional practices in the British Council’s new Continuing Professional Development (CPD) framework. But what exactly are 21st Century skills and are they the same as digital literacies?

In two recent articles written by Gavin Dudeney, he explores the four key digital literacies: focus on connections, on language, on information and on (re)design. He also looks at the distinction between these and 21st century skills. 

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The Inclusive Teacher Checklist

1. Seating Are all your students in the best possible place?

Do those who need support from the wall sit next to it (remember a student might not be lazy and uninterested just because they are leaning against a wall) Are those who need to see clearly close to the board? Are those who find concentrating more difficult sitting away from attention grabbing posters or windows? Most students will automatically, even unconsciously sit in a place where they feel comfortable so you might not need to fix what is already working well.

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All ELT teachers are teachers of Inclusive Practices

It’s probably to do with having mixed level classes; any language teacher knows that by definition every group class is heterogeneous, different learners find different aspects of language learning more or less challenging, be it comprehension, writing, etc.

Let’s look at the following tenets of IP:

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Inclusivity: teaching and talking about refugees

Here on the TeachingEnglish webpages, we're starting off 2018 with a conversation about inclusivity. Who should be included in our classrooms? And how? Here's what happened when I decided to talk about refugees with my students. I teach in Catalonia, a northern region of Spain with a strong sense of its own identity. Over the past couple of years, Catalonia has seen a growing movement for independence. You'll find people animatedly debating language, history and identity on every street corner and in every café.

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No one stays behind!

Nowadays our classrooms are increasingly becoming diverse. The traditional classrooms which used to be more uniform are a thing of the past. In recent years most classrooms include students from different backgrounds, cultures, religions and family situations and this makes the job of the teacher even more complex and demanding. The aim of education and the basic duty of an educator should be to find a way to teach students acceptance, understanding and respect for anything different.

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The importance of being heard

Being a teacher is not just a job you do every day to get money. It's a vocation that fills one with an insatiable desire not only to plant the acknowledged ideas and make sure they are learned by heart or understood properly, but to create a special atmosphere for the learner which will enable him to cultivate these ideas independently. That is why it is a hard thing for an EFL instructor to bear in mind the phenomena of both inclusivity and equality in teaching, as we not only offer topics to discuss but also provide students with necessary building material- the language.

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Inclusivity in Learning

We live in a politically correct world, for the most part. There are words and stereotypes that were commonly used half a century ago that we wouldn’t stand for now. We work hard to make sure that no-one feels his or her experiences or opinions are worth less than that of an other’s. We still have a way to go, but on whole, I would suggest -- we are on the right track.

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How I use mobile devices in my ESL work

I am obsessed with educational technology, but this obsession is of a rare type which leads to positive outcomes. Now it is difficult to imagine my work and my students (I mostly deal with adult learners in a corporate setting) without using tablets and smart phones. I want this article to be of a more practical value, so I’d rather just give a list of 5 things we do with mobile devices in class and a short description for each usage.

1. Using a learning management system (LMS)

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