Video lesson: Just a language certificate or a valid teaching aid in itself?
There exist several standardized tests to assess language proficiency in terms of knowledge and communicative competence for study and work purposes. The list keeps on growing and existing certificates are being continuously updated. But are they just assessment tools for the more hard-working and ambitious learners to prove their language skills, or can we actually use them as a different approach to teaching?
Let’s have a look at how some of the language tasks can be exploited not only in our own tests, but also in our classes to help our learners develop their language skills.
Virtual Blended Learning: developing fluency in classroom
Many classroom teachers have transferred their teaching online, a move which involves a steep learning curve. They face an ever-increasing range of options for blending different modes, materials, platforms and technologies.
This webinar explores the concept of ‘Virtual blended learning’ where synchronous, online teaching in a virtual classroom is combined with asynchronous work using digital materials. It argues that drawing selectively on the key principles of Blended Learning can help teachers overcome many of the challenges they face when teaching in this new era. The webinar includes a range of inspiring practical teaching ideas for developing speaking skills. Attendees will leave with insights into the pedagogical principles underlying Virtual Blended Learning which will equip them to better navigate the current challenging landscape.
ELT and climate change, where next?
Awareness is growing of some of the negative impacts of ELT on the climate, and of the opportunities the community has to tackle climate change through its classrooms.
The first part of the talk will reference the British Council’s ‘Climate Action in Language Education’ project that the speaker was involved in across 2021, explaining a little about the structure of the project and its findings and outcomes. The session will focus on approaches that might be taken by a range of different ELT stakeholders, as well as highlighting some of the types of initiatives that have already been put into place. It is hoped that the sharing of ideas and best practices will encourage people to revaluate and develop both their teaching operations and the content of what they teach, in the context of the climate crisis.
The second part of the talk will focus on some small and time-efficient ‘tweaks’ teachers can make, that can give teaching materials and lessons a green perspective.
Preparing Students for Life and Language in the 21st Century
The old-fashioned idea of teaching English simply a subject with rules and words is over. Nor do we teach English because students might one day visit or even want to know about the UK, USA, Australia etc. To prepare students for life in a global, connected world , we must teach English as a skill for realistic international communication at work or for study. This, therefore, has important implications regarding our topics, approaches, and exposure to the language used by non-native speakers of English who form the majority of the world’s English language speakers.
This session looks at ways, through remote teaching or in the classroom, to bring the real world of English and cross-curricular elements into the English classroom using materials, including video with both native and non-native speakers, from the new secondary course, Ready for Planet English.
Testing Times: Teaching Exams in ELT
When teaching English for exams it is essential that we strike a balance between getting students ready for formal evaluation, yet not lose sight of teaching English as a real language skill. This session is an overview of main considerations when teaching English exams whilst maintaining purpose and motivation.
Getting the most out of writing assessment
Should we use writing assessment purely as a measurement tool or could we also use it to help our learners improve? This very practical workshop will begin by looking at how we set up, our assessment criteria and also how we give feedback so that our students can become their own very best writers. Aimed at secondary school teachers of students A1+ – B1+.
Tell Me a Story, Help Me to Grow!
Teaching English with stories is much more than an ‘activity’ or a ‘treat’ now and then for the class. It is everything because narratives and storytelling are a natural part of our everyday lives. They are a familiar format for kids, as theirs is a playful world full of imagination and creativity. Stories are a natural context for them to experience new language; they are memorable and fun. Stories also welcome repetition, invite curiosity, interaction, and personalisation, and motivate retelling.
We are also educators preparing young people for a life after school. So, if we choose the right stories and activities for our English classes, such as simplified classics or fairy tales, we will also be modelling good values to strengthen the learners’ social and emotional learning. We will be building cultural awareness, modelling positive citizenship, and teaching them about the world at large and working with the many different people they will encounter. In this session, we will look at physical and online classroom ideas for storytelling and life skills using materials from the new primary English course, The Story Garden.
Visual Literacy in English Language Teaching
As educators we have a responsibility to prepare students for a world totally transformed by digital images and video. If we are teaching students to interact with others in a global language, then we must equip them to do so as they interpret what they see and respond and communicate accordingly. So what is ‘visual literacy’ and why is it important in ELT? This session addresses these questions and looks at materials and strategies for teaching learners of all ages groups and levels.
10 Essentials for Teaching Very Young Learners
Whether you have many years of teaching experience or you are in your first teaching position, these 10 essential tips will help to enhance your younger students’ learning journey and your teaching with Smart Start. Focusing on different aspects of the Whole Child Approach Smart Start author Mary Roulston will guide you through practical and pedagogical tips to make your classroom the best start and the Smart Start for your students.